Sep 22

Tech Tuesday: Two New Tutorials

techTuesThis week’s Tech Tuesday provides you with two new tutorials. Recently we blogged about Blackboard’s achievements and badging and promised to share a tutorial on making your own badges. Here you go!

Create Badges in PPT to Use Inside of Blackboard

We’ve also gotten questions about sizing banners inside of Blackboard so we’ve attached a tutorial to help you with that as well.

Determine What Size to Make Your Bb Class Banner

Thanks Tina for creating these tutorials for us!

Sep 18

Fried Friday – Bloom’s Taxonomy According to Seinfeld

Bloom’s Taxonomy, a widely used method of classifying different objectives that educators set for students: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation. To end the week, we hope you enjoy the methods demonstrated below through various episodes of Seinfeld!


Sep 16

FLC is Looking for A Few Good Men/Women

It’s almost time for the Title III team to turn over the reins of the Faculty Learning Corner to Maureen O’Halloran and perhaps a handful of faculty interested in participating in the creative blog authoring process. Our goal in creating this academic blog for UAS was to:

  • Encourage thoughtful dialogue across UA Southeast
  • Build a community of learners
  • Create a platform to share ideas
  • Respond to faculty questions and needs with timely tutorials and/or articles

As our readership has grown (over 195 followers) each post has also gotten more view time. At the start we thought a ‘good’ day was one where 10-15 people read the post. Now, we’re seeing 25-60 hits or persons reading the posts. That’s encouraged us to definitely want to see the FLC continue. We think YOU, our readers, are best suited to keeping the FLC alive. istock photo showing Editor

Are you interested in becoming an editor of the FLC? Our usual weekly posts include:

  1. One-two posts each week on topics we think relevant to faculty, highlighting research or articles that support the topic. If a topic is really in-depth, we usually cover it with multiple parts over multiple days.
  2. Tech Tuesday: a short Tuesday post highlights a technology that we think would improve the teaching and learning process or facilitate your student’s learning. Sometimes Tech Tuesday posts include short tutorials demonstrating the tool. Sometimes they link to cool apps or programs that could improve the teaching/learning process.
  3. Fried Friday: relevant, timely humor that connects with higher education or in some way can be connected to eLearning or academics.
  4. Posts after conferences where we share summaries, links, videos and/or other conference resources.

Are you interested in helping with one or more of these weekly posts? We think this would give you great experience with WordPress and could be a creative way to satisfy faculty Service requirements. We’re looking for no more than 4 faculty to respond our request for FLC Editor. Please let us know if you’d like to be a guest (or more permanent) contributor to the FLC in 2015-2016.  Contact Kathi if you are interested.

photo credit:

Sep 15

Tech Tuesday – VoiceThread

VoiceThread Fall Workhsops

VoiceThread is offering some free workshops this fall to help you get started using the tool and to focus on how it can enhance communication in your current classroom. These workshops cover both the pedagogy and the how-to aspects of the tool.

What exactly is VoiceThread? It’s a cloud-based tool (no software to download) that allows you to create a sense of presence with your voice. Students can speak using a headset, a telephone, or a mobile device. They can even upload an audio file. You and your students can annotate or draw on slides while speaking. Your VoiceThread can be private or public. Currently we have a license for faculty while students creating their own VoiceThread can use the free version.

Basic VT Skills

  • Basics 1: Uploading, commenting, and sharing – Sept 23 at 7:00pm ET
  • Basics 2: Creating groups and advanced sharing – Sept 30 at 7:00pm ET
  • Basics 3: Comment moderation, re-ordering, and copying – Oct 7 at 7:00pm ET
  • VoiceThread in Your LMS – Oct 28 at 7:00pm ET

Lesson Design Series

  • Assessment – Oct 21 at 7:00pm ET
  • Student Portfolios – Nov 4 at 7:00pm ET
  • Game-Based Learning – Nov 18 at 7:00pm ET
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – Nov 24 at 7:00pm ET
  • Student-Led Flipped Professional Development – Dec 2 at 7:00pm ET
  • VoiceThread Mobile – Dec 9 at 7:00pm ET

Sep 14

Rubrics (Misfire on first post this morning, sorry)

Do you use rubrics? Maryellen Weimer explores both the advantages and disadvantages of using rubrics in Exploring the Advantages of Rubrics, Faculty Focus, September 2015. She clearly states that research shows that rubrics:

  • Have value when used to determine what criteria make papers, projects and performances excellent
  • Improve a student’s own product after the student uses a rubric to peer review someone else’s paper/project

Click the image to read Dr. Weimer’s post at the Teaching Professor.

Click for article

Gareth Bramley shares The importance of rubrics in higher education advances, (The Higher Education Academy, July 2015). His post points out the benefits of using properly constructed rubrics as well as some of the pitfalls.

The Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning provide their faculty with many resources on rubrics. You might find some of these to be informative and useful: Rubrics

Another interesting website invites instructors to share their rubrics at Rubric Samples for Higher Education. While there don’t seem to be too many examples there yet, the University of West Florida Center for University Teaching, Learning, and Assessment has collected many examples of Rubrics. Example of Rubrics

Finally, Blackboard makes using rubrics pretty simple for instructors. You can see many of Blackboard’s helpful resources at Help Results for rubrics.

Please share with us your experiences using rubrics.

Sep 11

Fried Friday: Best Rx for LIFE!

We’re so lucky to live in Alaska, it makes this prescription an easy fill! Life getting you down? Too much to do? Check out this Rx before you despair. No i-devices necessary for this remedy.

click for videoHave a great weekend!

Sep 10

UAS Blackboard Collaborate Fall 2015

CollaborateUAS faculty have the option to adopt the new Blackboard Collaborate version this fall (all classes will be using it this Spring). The new version requires a one time installation of a “Launcher” program by both faculty and students – most people will be able to install it even without administrative privileges – a few might need help from IT if their computers or locations have extra security precautions.  The use of the “Launcher” program will bypass the Java version and security setting difficulties as well as allow Mac OS users with newer OS to once again upload PowerPoints! Plus more!

To see how to make the switch visit and watch the video

  • Make the switch well in advance of your class day and let your students know they should visit the new Webmeeting link and click Join Room to install the Launcher program.
  • If you switch but your student has an instructor still using the old version – no problem
  • Can you use both the old and new in your class? – not really. You should stop using the old when you switch to the new. Hide the old WebMeeting link.  Leave the Webmeeting Archives link visible if there are already recordings there.

The FAQ on the IDC Webmeeting site will continue to be updated to document new features (some are still being tested).

Sep 10

More About Drawing Stick Figures

It looks like our Faculty Challenge #5 might been too difficult or you didn’t quite buy the premise that stick figure drawings could enhance your courses. I’ve a couple of articles to help persuade you that a) it might be worth your time and b) you HAVE the requisite talent, even if you, like me, “can’t draw”!

Priyanka Pereira wrote in 2013 that gender neutrality, race neautrality, ease of changing color and background are only a few of the reasons that she now prefers using 3D humanoid vectors instead of photos of humans in eLearing courses. She explains in her blog post: Top 10 Reasons to Use 3D Humanoid Vectors Instead of Photographs.

Regardless of whether you are drawing on a chalkboard, whiteboard, or electronic whiteboard, here are some articles that might help:

Say It with Stick Figures: Your Crude Drawings are More Effective Than PowerPoint stickman bullet July 2014

How to Draw a Stick Figure (School of YouTube) 2014 Youtube showing you how to draw stick figures

How to Make a Stick Man in PowerPoint 2015 eHow step-by-step

stickman bulletHow to Draw a Stick Figure: a Complex Guide  2015 Starting from the basics, a line and a circie, a guide to sitck figures

Tutorial Draw and Teach with Stick Figures  2010 Slideshare with good examples of drawing figures

stickman bulletAnatomy of a Stick Figure 2010 tutorial on creating stick figures

Little Known Ways to Create Your Own Graphics Using PowerPoint (old post from 2007 but still useful)





Sep 08

Capturing Your Student’s FULL Attention

Back in June of 2014 Saga Briggs wrote The Science of Attention: How To Capture and Hold the Attention of Easily Distracted Students. In this article she describes the findings of research which indicates that university students do best when their attention is captured by periods of active learning. She then gives the reader 15 Tricks for Capturing Your Student’s Attention. I’ll highlight just 5:

  1. Change the level and tone of your voice
  2. Make a startling statement or give a quote
  3. Write a challenging question on the board
  4. Involve students in lectures
  5. Introduce change and surprise

She explains each of her 15 tricks– take a minute and click oAttention Spann her link above.

This research ties into an article posted by Faculty Focus this past week, authored by Illysa Izenberg. It was called: The Eight-Minute Lecture Keeps Students Engaged. Izenberg describes why she has chosen to do short 8 minute lecture bursts and how she prepares her students for these mini-lectures.

Her technique for segmenting lectures works regardless of whether your lecture is live or delivered online. In Ms. Izenberg’s article she gives an example of how she uses this technique in a module on global business.

If you weren’t already convinced, check out this graphic by the Statistic Brain Research Institute. They claim in their “About Us” page that “they love numbers, their purity, and what they represent.”



Finally, this all ties together with our post inviting, no, challenging YOU to create some stick figures that you could use throughout your course. These figures could add interest and help to maintain your student’s attention. So don’t forget to read and give it a try. We’re hoping you’ll make an attempt and submit a drawing, stick figure, comic, for Faculty Challenge #5. Send us your example of drawn figures (refer back to FLC posts from August 31 and Sept 02) by Wednesday, September 9th! We know you are busy, but if the research is correct, your low-fidelity drawings might just be the presentation enhancement your students need to “click” and retain your content’s message.

Sep 04

Fried Friday: Summer’s End– Having Trouble Staying Awake?

It’s the end of summer, at least that’s what Labor Day, the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, and school busses on the road everywhere always says to me. Lots of people, you, your students and perhaps your colleagues, may be finding it difficult without triple doses of coffee, to stay awake.

Here are some great tips from the American Chemical Society. Hope they help and thank you Susan for sharing the link. Of course, a chemistry instructor would find this one!

Click for YouTube