University of Memphis New Faculty Orientation — online teaching tips

Posted Leave a commentPosted in higher education, teaching

I was pleased to be part of a panel on effective teaching this morning for our new faculty at the University of Memphis. Here are the notes from what I shared this morning. There is so much to learn about effective online teaching, and this is just a brief list of some practical tips for instructors who are “thrown into the fire” and begin teaching just a few days from now.

  1. When designing a course, ensure alignment between objectives, instruction, and assessment.
    1. Write your assessment first.
    2. Then write measurable behavioral objectives.
    3. Then select the instructional strategies and activities.
  2. Get to know eCourseware
    1. Take courses, seek consultation with CITL, find colleague examples.
    2. Use eCourseware help docs and tutorials
    3. Learn these tools now: rubrics, dropbox, discussions, quizzes, and gradebook.
    4. Go “all or none” on the eCourseware internal email tool. I suggest “none”.
  3. Create a modular course syllabus, so you can modify individual parts over time.
    1. Create separate sections for major assignments, grading, contact info, about me, expectations, etc.
  4. Share a clear rubric for each assignment in advance.
  5. Send a clear introductory email before the course begins.
  6. Introduce yourself via video. Consider a phone call with each student. I give my mobile number to students. 
  7. Set expectations for how to contact you, level of access to you, and professional communication standards.
  8. Use and refer students to the UM help desk for technical support. (901) 678-8888.
  9. Have a frequently asked questions (FAQ) for your course.
  10. “Reply to all”, when appropriate, when a student emails you a question, so all can benefit.
  11. Consider connecting with students via LinkedIn.
  12. Give structure to online discussions.
    1. model what being a good participant looks like
    2. Provide an informal talk area.
    3. Include a “I have a question” forum. 
    4. Consider synchronous office hours that can be recorded (Google hangout, etc).
    5. Consider small groups for discussion. eCourseware handles this.
  13. Award “bonus points” for students finding dead links or errors in your course.
  14. Encourage students to write and show assignments publicly on the open web. 
    1.  is the University of Memphis wordpress installation.
  15. Require something in the first couple of days. quiz, email, etc.
  16. Keep your own log of each course–a journal about how it went, and what you should and did change or improve.
  17. Evaluate your course based on established rubrics or checklists.
    1. Course checklist from UM3D (ask Fair or Leonia).
    2. Quality Matters
    3. Online Consortium Scorecard
  18. Take an online course yourself.

IDT Consulting and Project Management Course Resources — IDT 7078

Posted Leave a commentPosted in consulting, elearning, program news, resource, teaching

I really enjoyed teaching a new course this past summer, called IDT 7078 Seminar in IDT — Consulting and Project Management. The students produced some really interesting and useful projects, and you can see them all here. Essentially these are compiled resources around a topic area.

IDT 7078 Broad Areas and Topics – Google Docs

I conducted a series of interviews with experts in project management and instructional design consulting, and they are available here. Joe Thomas, Kevin Thorn, Jennifer Maddrell, Laura Wolf — all provided their perspectives on project management strategies, and working as a consultant.

IDT 7078 Consulting and Project Management – YouTube


College of Education dissertation announcements and archives blog

Posted Leave a commentPosted in higher education, program news, teaching
Dear IDT student,
You should follow this blog, to see announcements like below. Very handy to be able to read past abstracts (methodology, etc.) from all COE dissertations (including IDT). 
A few years ago I convinced our College of Ed. staff that a blog would be more effective for announcing defenses than our traditional practice of tacking up paper announcements on a bulletin board by the Dean’s Office.  They were initially resistant. Turns out the web is not a passing fad. In other words, if it isn’t on the web, it didn’t happen. 
Next logical step — broadcasting proposal defenses and final defenses via videoconference. I’m going to try to make this happen, but you should be demanding it (respectfully, of course). These are supposed to be public events — at least the presentation part. Unfortunately they are usually attended only by the student’s committee. A healthy department/college/faculty has broader participation in scholarly events than we currently have.

Dissertation Defense Announcement for Tracy McAllister

Major field of study: Instructional Design and Technology

Major Professors: Dr. Clif Mims and Dr. Carmen Weaver, co-chairs

MOOC overview and links

Posted Leave a commentPosted in higher education, News, open, teaching, Uncategorized

Here are the links from my talk today at the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis.

  1. Educause Library on MOOCs. Start your reading here.
  2. Peter Norvig: The 100,000-student classroom. TED video.
  3. Wikipedia entry on MOOCs. A very comprehensive entry including examples, history, etc.
  4. MOOC organizations
    1. EdX
    2. Coursera
    3. Udacity
  5. MOOC-List: Site with list of courses
  6. Huffington Post articles on MOOCs
  7. Inside Higher Ed — Technology news section
  8. Chronicle of Higher Education Wired Campus
  9. Massive (But Not Open). Story on Georgia Tech online $7000 computer science MS

Professors Put Textbooks Online to Reduce Costs

Posted Leave a commentPosted in higher education, teaching

Here are some examples of professors writing their own textbooks, and either selling them at much lower than usual cost, or giving them away. I’m strongly in favor of eliminating the middle man (publishers) and using the most powerful and democratizing publishing medium ever conceived–the web.

Professors Put Textbooks Online to Reduce Costs – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education.