Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Quality Matters - Year in Review and Friday "Jam" Sessions

QM Year in Review 2013

QM logo
Quality Matters recently shared their QM Year in Review and letter from Executive Director, Ron Legon. A few of the highlights from the letter:
  • The number of courses officially reviewed using one of the QM rubrics is nearing 6,000, with many more courses informally reviewed or self-reviewed using the standards and tools.
  • QM now has more than 800 institutional subscribers and nearly 150 individual members.
  • About 4,500 faculty members, instructional designers, program administrators, and others have achieved and maintained their certifications as QM Peer Reviewers.
  • The QM Higher Education Rubric is undergoing and update with the goal of producing a new version of the Rubric by summer 2014. Developments that will impact the new Rubric are:
    • The recent surge of interest in competency-based education;
    • Increased concern about student authentication; and,
    • The challenge of designing for devices with different screen sizes and navigational methods.
  • QM's first Rubric for K-12 elementary school courses will be developed in 2014.
  • During the first quarter for 2014, QM will be launching their web-based eLearning Marketplace Directory which will be a free, searchable database with information on products from vendors who serve the online and blended learning community
  • The 6th Annual QM Conference will be held in Baltimore September 29 - October 1, 2014.
Click here for the complete letter: A Message from QM Executive Director, Ron Legon, PhD

Get Into the Groove with QM LIVE!'s Friday "Jam" Sessions!

Michael Crampton illustration
Image courtesy Michael Crampton

The term is in full swing. The usual questions have been answered and your students have settled into their class routines. During the first few weeks of a new term, faculty are often able to see ways they might further improve their courses for the next term, but finding time can be difficult. Now in just two hours each Friday during February and March, you can learn how to make your courses even better! QM LIVE!'s Friday "Jam" sessions are" jam-packed" with tools and strategies you can apply to your courses right away. 

These are not traditional "sit back and listen" webinars! In each "Jam" session you will work collaboratively, often in breakout rooms, to create tools you can apply to your courses immediately. 

Each session is individually beneficial, but packaged together they can have a more powerful impact for your students. Register for one session at $75 per person ($125 for non-subscribers) or all 8 sessions for $450 per person ($850 for non-subscribers), a savings of $150! To take advantage of the discounted rate for all 8, you must register by February 6. Register for all 8 sessions.
View descriptions and register for individual sessions at the following links: 
 Sessions are held at the same time every week:  
  • 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. AST
  • 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST
  • 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. CST
  • 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. MST
  • 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PST
  • 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. AKST
  • 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. HAST
  • 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 
  • 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Singapore
Have a professional development party on Fridays in February and March with QM LIVE!'s Friday "Jam" sessions!  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Introduction to Social Technology

Students use social technology such as Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter every day for their personal use. These technologies can be used in education as a method for promoting student engagement and interaction if used effectively. This blog looks at things to be considered before using social technology in education. This material is taken from the Emerging Trends and Technologies MOOC offered through Coursera.

According to Eric Sheninger, there is no guidebook out there that educators must abide by when it comes to using social media and there are no overbearing rules - which is why it is so useful and adaptable. The only firm rule he encourages educators to follow is to use common sense when posting to the Internet and always remember your role as an educator in the community you serve.

Types of Social Technologies being used in education:

  1. Social Networking and Sharing of Information - these technologies allow the user to post ideas and personal work for the community to view and give feedback. Examples: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare, and Pinterest
  2. Blogs and Wikis - these technologies allow users to create collective works or to blog information for the community to comment on. Examples: Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress, and Wikispaces

Suggested ways social technology can be useful to educators:

  • Acquire, share, and curate resources
  • Discussion forum and engagement in conversations of professional interest
  • Elicit feedback on ideas and initiatives
  • Ask questions and receive answers from experts
  • Track conferences
  • Digital newspaper
  • Share the great things you and your students are doing
  • Public relations
  • Enhance communications

Before you use a social technology in the classroom:

  • Set-up a profile in the technology you want to try and use it personally so that you are familiar with its use before introducing it to students
  • Investigate and understand the privacy controls
  • Determine a learning objective and make sure it is measurable, centered on social sharing and/or collaboration, and that it will work with the technology you have selected
  • Gather clear examples of effective use for students to reference
  • Design activities with a duration over a finite time with explicit activities to be achieved

Tips for using social media tools efficiently for instruction:

  • Don't comment on every post...unless you want to
  • Use the technology to crowd source student support (let students help each other)
  • Be visible for frequent, short durations to maintain momentum and your sanity
  • Subscribe and filter as a way to monitor student posts 

 More information:

Coming soon: Using Twitter for Education