Laurie Berry and Kristin Kowal gave an excellent presentation on how to make online discussions more engaging, taking a traditional discussion prompt and offering different ways to expand upon it.
A pdf of their presentation is included at the link below. While viewing a pdf can’t replicate the experience of attending their presentation, their slides offer numerous discussion examples with a variety of ways make them more personable and interactive.
What are some of your favorite ways of using discussions in your courses?
The Association for Distance Education and Independent Learning has two new connecting and learning opportunities:
1) ADEIL is launching a book discussion group, reading Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education by Thomas J. Tobin and Kirsten T. Behling and discussing it on LinkedIn. The first discussion is found at the link below, and please note that you can still be part of this first discussion even if you haven’t yet read the book.
2) I (Rich Freese) recently gave a video presentation for ADEIL. It examines three online-research activities, created by IL’s very own Sarah Korpi and Joan Bell-Kaul, and discusses how to adapt these for different courses.
As of January 1, 2019, works published in 1923 – literature, movies, images – are now in the public domain. The public domain refers to works that are available to the public with no copyright restrictions; works published in 1922 and prior had already been in the public domain, and if copyright laws remain unchanged, each new year until 2073 will see a new batch of published works enter the public domain (next year, works from 1924; the year after that, works from 1925).
Are there any ways you might be able to use these new open materials in your courses? I teach music courses; alas, copyright for standalone sound recordings isn’t as straightforward, but I can freely distribute sheet music of these pieces or look at examples of music in film.
Alan Ng recently requested a feature for Canvas that’s open for global voting. The request is for instructors to be able to include a direct link while annotating feedback as we grade student work. This link could go to a specific Canvas or OER page containing relevant or clarifying information that students can simply click on to access.
If you’re interested in such a feature, or if you’d simply like to help a colleague, you can vote at the link below (please note that you’ll be prompted to log in to your Canvas account).
UW-Madison is hosting a free conference for employees interested in managing their careers, offering resources, helping establish goals, etc.
From the conference website:
You can learn how to assess where you are now, build a career plan, execute that plan, or continue building within your current role. Join us for a full day or part of the day.
Again, this is free, and includes access to workshops, a keynote session, and lunch.
As we further learn how to get the most out of teaching in Canvas, Erin Paul has put together another FAQ. This one explains how we can use rubrics in Canvas to quickly evaluate assignments. Thanks, Erin!
How to Grade Using Rubrics in Canvas
On a related note: if you haven’t used them for grading before, rubrics can save a lot of time. While there is the initial work to create a rubric, many instructors have commented how it can make evaluating student work so much more time-efficient.
The included pdf contains three web-based, research activities for a course on Ernest Hemingway at the University of Wisconsin-Independent Learning, created by Joan Bell-Kaul and Sarah Korpi.
In an effort to help with online protection, UW-Madison will be adding a step to the NetID login later this year. After logging in as we usually do, we’ll then use a smartphone or a fob to verify our identity. If you don’t have a smartphone, you will be provided with a fob.
The purpose of this: even if someone else has your NetID password, they won’t be able to log in to steal information or your identity.
The Division of Continuing Studies is schedule to start this process in February or March. More information can be found here:
In general, this new process should be user-friendly, and we’ll provide detailed instructions when the login process changes.
Happy New Year, IL Instructors! We hope 2019 is off to a great start for you.
Erin Paul recently created a Frequently Asked Questions that includes helpful information on how to e-mail all of your enrolled students along with getting accustomed to Canvas. You can read the FAQ here:
Frequently Asked Questions for Independent Learning Instructors
Earlier this year, Nate Ewings and Kristine Pierick at UW-Extension presented Assessments, Alignment, Evaluation, Oh my! The Path to Creating and Evaluating Assessments. The presentation examines ways to create high-quality assessments. You can view a powerpoint from their presentation here:
Faculty Symposium Assessments
While viewing a powerpoint doesn’t replicate the experience of attending a presentation in-person, there are some great ideas included:
Characteristics of high-quality assessments
Aligning learning objectives with assignments
Including real-life applications for students
Examples of how these ideas have been implemented in courses