Monday, June 24, 2013

Tips for Successful Synchronous Online Learning

Planning and developing learning sessions that require both students and the instructor to be online at the same time (synchronous) can be challenging. Issues such as equipment failure, slow bandwidth, and missed cues can interfere with a synchronous learning session. The following are tips for facilitating a successful live learning session:

  • Conduct an equipment check before the session. Always do a quick run through of your classroom setup (computers, cameras, software, etc.) 15 minutes before the session starts and have your students do the same. This not only ensures that everything is working properly, but also helps you gain a level of comfort with the technology you will be working with.
  • Have a contingency plan for problems. Let your students know what the plan is in case they lose their connection or you do. For instance, you might want to tell your students that if a session is interrupted to wait 5 - 7 minutes before logging out to give you or other students ample time to get reconnected.
  • Don't assume your students have everything under control. Require your students to do a software compatibility check before logging in. Your students may not be using the same computer device every time they log into the session, so if they switch devices they need to do the compatibility check for each new device. Devices such as an iPad may require them to download a special app to access the session.
  • Schedule an informal "practice" session where students can get to the know the technology and each other before it is actually used for instruction. This will help you to identify any problems with the technology and any issues that the students might have with this type of learning.
  • Keep the online session simple - don't try to use too many types of media, tools, applications and/or software during a session. Focus less on the technology itself, and more on creating an engaging, interesting learning environment.
  • Experiment with different pieces of equipment. If your computer has a built-in microphone and/or camera test it for quality before the session. You may want to use an audio headset for better voice quality.
  • Be sensitive of your students' learning styles and abilities. Some students may be able to move through information quickly and interact with fast moving chat sessions, while others need a slower pace and reinforcement. Give plenty of opportunities for students to ask questions and interact with the course content.
  • Take advantage of the workshops and technical support on Collaborate offered through the ITRC.
Information adapted from "The 'Dos and Don'ts' of Synchronous Online Learning"
by Bridget McCrea.  Campus Technology. 05/08/13

Friday, June 14, 2013

Quality Matters Summer Camp Professional Development Opportunity

What is QM Summer Camp?
For just two hours a day July 22-26 faculty and staff can participate in 5 highly interactive and engaging sessions that provide strategies they can apply right away to their fall term classes. They can participate from any location they are able to access the Internet with their laptops- from the back porch, the veranda at the resort, maybe even by the pool! QM Live! Summer Camp workshops take only 2 hours per day allowing everyone plenty of time to relax over the summer.

QM Live! Summer Camp workshops focus on specific review standards of the Quality Matters Rubric. From each workshop session, participants will take away valuable tools and strategies for designing new courses or improving existing ones, reducing repetitive questions and providing students with a high quality learning environment. After connecting objectives to assessments, writing instructions, looking at instructional materials and learner interactions, the last day of camp pulls it all together to help you connect these dots for students in explaining where to go and what to do to get started.
QM Live! Summer Camp meets just 2 hours a day in Collaborate from July 22-26, 2013.
  • 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ADT
  • 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT
  • 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. CDT
  • 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. MDT
  • 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon PDT
  • 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. AKDT
  • 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. HADT
  • 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. Singapore
Subscribers can attend Camp for just $300, a $75 savings! Non-subscribers are $500. Pre-pay or receive an invoice when Camp closes. Your choice!
Contact Nancy Ragias, QM Registrar for Higher Education: or 410-497-8043
Register now! Space is limited to 20 participants.

For questions about Quality Matters at ISU contact Lisa Kidder or 208-282-2502

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The "Padagogy" Wheel

The name of this wheel is a play on the combination of "pedagogy" and "iPad" and demonstrates how different iPad apps can be used in conjunction with the levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. The idea is to adapt pedagogy possibilities with mobile devices, in particular the iPad.

The Taxonomy wheel was first discovered on the website of Paul Hopkin's educational consultancy website and was produced by Sharon Artley and was an adaptation of Kathwohl and Anderson's (2001) adaptation of Bloom (1956).

Click Padagogy Wheel for the pdf version of the wheel that is much easier to see and use.

Click here for another resource that applies iPad apps to the levels of Bloom's.