I just came across this new social network, designed specifically for students and teachers, for interacting “after class’.
and an interview with the networks creator, ceo Jon Corshen.
I just came across this new social network, designed specifically for students and teachers, for interacting “after class’.
and an interview with the networks creator, ceo Jon Corshen.
I have had one other online course (so I could get certification as a Medical Assistant to help my husband build his practice and to be able to see patient charts for billing). The instructor just posted a 1 page document (weekly) and then we were to take a multiple choice quiz. It was pretty low-level. I did 10 of these and I didn’t feel like I learned much. It was basically paying for a certificate so I would not violate HIPAA.
I have learned a lot from this class but feel as though I really need to review all the material again to be able to incorporate more of the approaches into my courses. I am inspired to create exciting learning opportunities for students and see that there is much to be done. There is definitely a lot to absorb and some learning curves involved but I look forward to the discovery and implementation.
In terms of tools that have taught me the most in online classes (including this one!), I would say that narrated lectures, the opportunity to have peer-to-peer interactions, and independent reading were the most effective ways that I was engaged. I did like the use of quizzes and other content like this, but as a “Millenial” (and ugh, do I ever hate labels like that!), I find myself trying to “clock” the game in the shortest amount of time possible, instead of focusing on what lessons I should be learning from the exercise.
With the narrated lectures, as Sharon and Karen were saying, I can definitely see the advantage of keeping these shorter from a student standpoint (even if more total powerpoints were needed in order to encompass the material). It is actually quite challenging to find a fifteen minute block of time just to sit still and watch a lecture, so I imagine anything longer would be even more difficult for students to manage. However, it is amazing how much more engaging having a narrated powerpoint is over just reading a flat text file.
The peer-to-peer tools are excellent – I’ve learned a lot from our discussion board forum using the experiences of other instructors in the class. I prefer discussion board to the blog format, because it feels like you can see the interaction between different thread topics more easily…as clunky as the discussion board is when people get very active posting, it seems like it has more “flow” and interaction than the (reasonably) static blog format.
Reading, I think, has a similar purpose to on-campus classes. Allowing students to explore material on their own at their own pace seems like an effective learning tool. I guess the main thing here is that I need to check the material regularly to make sure nothing more relevant (or more readable) has come out for the topics of the course.
Anyway, that’s my two cents on what I found the most engaging tools in this course. As to how I will engage students? I’m hoping narrated lectures, using multimedia for labs, and “high-grading” for more interesting assigned literature will “hook” them into the subject of Whales and Whaling.
Well, I’m not talking about weddings here, though I do feel lots more tightly connected to our wonderful helpers in Ecampus from these weeks of learning.
This week we’re talking about engagement, but not just general engagement in getting to know each other, but more focused, in terms of learning more online strategies. Although I love the big sharing in the discussion board, I did get overwhelmed with all the threads going everywhich way and found it hard to follow 12 different conversations as I checked in again. I guess I lost the thread a few times. Like this yarn unravelling.
So, the one-to-one sense of someone talking to me in the narrated PPTs with a tighter linear focus have helped me follow along all at one sitting to get information. And I am working on creating my own right now. I sent in a stack of PPT drafts to get started. Those have engaged me well.
Now here’s an interesting question. I know I’m not the most dazzling leader of a whole class discussion, so I usually work with small groups first and get them to discover things and report back. So, I’m wondering if there is a way to do the small group student/content/student – reports back to the whole class – effect work online. I will have to think about this.
The students in Science Writing were engaged Wednesday on a hunt to discover whether the magazines we were reading used “you” in the articles or just first and third person. Their other task was to find out whether the articles referred to people by last name, first name, or with title, such as Dr. or Professor. Results? Rarely is “you” used. None of the students found the title used beyond the first introduction. Because the students found out for themselves and reported back to the class, I hope they will remember better for their own work.
As we finish our workshop, we will continue to be connected to our colleagues and helpers in Ecampus, because it is “life long learning.”
I’d like to share that two of my Science Writers have profiled scientists about their teaching skills – one who teaches in Ecampus, Dr. Richard Nafshun – in this YouTube, if the link will work http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHe1xBpwiTg . The other student is profiling her high school teacher. Both are studying the science of teaching science and are great models for us. What’s great to see is that my two students are so engaged by their teachers that they want to write about their teaching methods. I would hope to be as inspirational one day.
Like others have mentioned in the last several posts, I was thrilled and surprised with the outcome of the webquest activity. I went through all the links shared in the assignment directions and took notes whenever I found something I thought could be useful to students in my course (Writing Art Criticism). Students in my classes cover a broad range: seniors majoring in art and students from other departments that haven’t a clue; those who have a proclivity towards writing and those who (as Sara pointed out) haven’t even had the college’s basic writing course. One thing I can say though, is I how surprised I’ve been by everyone’s enthusiasm to learn about art, either to add to what they’re already familiar with or to brave what seems completely foreign to them.
Basic writing skills and art history aren’t part of the teaching goals in this course but the broad range of students required that I be ready to offer help to those who are struggling. The easiest way to do that was to begin collecting links to online sources, both about art and writing. Some are from the sites mentioned in our assignment. This assignment gave me even more sources from which to gather content materials.
So far, the most common problem with their writing is passive sentences, descriptive details, and confidence. Here are some of the links I found:
Names of colors – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colors
Names of emotions - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions
Descriptive Vocabulary Help – http://www.enhancemyvocabulary.com/word-pairs.html
Action Verbs (and some explain passive vs. active) – http://www.cvisual.com/film-techniques/writer-action-verb-list.asp http://www.examples-help.org.uk/parts-of-speech/action-verbs.htm
In an effort to level the playing field for students, I keep a collection of online resources in addition to course work to help those who aren’t as familiar with art as others. As things come up in a discussion or while going over their papers, I suggest they check out specific links in the folder. Non-art students are sometimes intimidated by art, so I spend the first 3 weeks doing quick short assignments for the reason (among others) that it gives me opportunities to calm their fears. Here are some of the links I found, both from this assignment and some I already had before. If anyone is interested in a full list, let me know and I’ll send.
Note: I’m trying to embed the videos, but, in case I fail, I’m giving you the links too.
TED: I came up with some excellent treasures! I consider these exceptionally good for several reasons: it’s the artist themselves talking about their work in a relaxed friendly way, they all have a quirky story, and they only last 15 minutes each!
This is also from TED. At times, when a student is from another field I send them a link to an artist who is working in that field. People still only see art in the traditional mediums (painting, sculpting, architecture…) I am very excited to find this gem tonight.
[ted id=1252] http://www.ted.com/talks/nathalie_miebach.html
These were links from surfing Merlot.org. I have access to ARTstor, but my students don’t. I was happy to find out that Valley Library has amazing art image resources for both me and students, then I found a couple more.
World Images Kiosk http://worldart.sjsu.edu/
Web Gallery: http://www.wga.hu/index.html When you go to many of the images on this site, there is often music playing from the same time period. Besides that (as if that weren’t enough), it has the option “dual mode” for viewing two works side-by-side. This was the grandest and most useful discovery I made from this assignment!
Kahn Academy has an extensive collection of Art History videos, but the quality is amateur from the ones I saw. I could see potential for using it to create my own, or as an assignment for students. While I’m on the subject of creating my own: it was useful to see the various ways other educators are using Flickr.
Youtube Edu: I’ve searched through it before and, like before, didn’t find anything that I liked.
I’m interested in Almagest but couldn’t figure out how to get to the non-member material. Later will try some more.
I have found a lot of great material on Youtube by typing in an artist’s name or title. Here’s some I use a lot:
Ways of Seeing, John Berger, the entire documentary in several parts: http://youtu.be/LnfB-pUm3eI (I warn students that this is an older film and Berger looks like the hippie Marxist that he still his. The content is valuable and worth helping them look past this.
Artists John Cage, Nam June Paik, and Joseph Beuys. http://youtu.be/Pbgr74yNM7M
New York art critic, Jerry Saltz (he also has a facebook page where he converses with anyone about art regularly and I share that also with students). http://youtu.be/cxmMxi-lelg
Art Fag City is an online journal http://www.artfagcity.com/ and also produces short films about artists for Youtube http://youtu.be/lhMdl0vEczo. A student shared this with the class a couple terms ago. It was a great find! I like that the style of filming is up with the times and the artists tell their own stories, and they’re all less than 4 minutes long but packed with interesting useful information. Students are writing about contemporary artists so this is a great source for them to choose one they find interesting.
I think I inadvertently saved the best till last: the incomparable Ubu Web, created by Kenneth Goldsmith, houses the largest collection of avant garde sound, film, video, and writing on the web.
Vito Acconci, performance artist, Centers http://www.ubuweb.com/film/acconci_centers.html
Lovely film by William Kentridge blending film, performance art, visual art, and opera. http://www.ubu.com/film/kentridge_repeat.html
Ubu also has a list of unique links. This is an art site for Middle Eastern Bedoun culture. http://www.bidoun.org/
As I return to this now, I realize that the narration makes it a great discussion group item. Until now, I haven’t considered using media as prompters for discourse. Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece http://youtu.be/Zfe2qhI5Ix4
Art21 is a series made for educational purposes, organized by themes and names, completely accessible on Youtube. They also have teaching aids that accompany the videos. I don’t use it much because after awhile they all look generic, a bit too composed, over worked, or something along those lines. But I give the link to the students to peruse. http://youtu.be/s1bBJsOOvTI
Guerilla Girls http://youtu.be/33DXdBHaokw
Their book mentions a lot of artists and works but for many there’s no image provided. I am putting together a folder that will have at least one work by all the artists mentioned to give them a visual of what the book is talking about.
I’ll skip telling you how much I get out of NPR, all the online museums links I use. But here’s one more just for fun that I found at “clipsforclass.com” while doing the assignment. (you have to scroll down to the M. C. Escher film. Enjoy!) http://clipsforclass.com/sandp
Much of the content in my film music history class depends on being able to hear and see the examples. I am always combing the internet for new content and appreciate the list that was set up by Shannon.
I have enclosed a podcast series on the use of foley (the use of sound effects in film music). I think students would find this part fun. I would have them listen to this and then pick out fun you tube clips with an historical account of how foley is used in film. Students may even want to use their own cell phones to record foley (and submit to the discussion).
“Sound Ideas Podcast #8, The Legacy of Jack Foley” – itunes (free podcast)
I thought this webquest was a great way to start finding materials for the migration and foraging ecology aspects of ‘The natural history of whales and whaling’ course. I focused on TED, Merlot, Youtube.edu, Wolfram Alpha, NPR, MoOM and Itunes U. The three least useful search engines (for me – they work fine in other subject areas!) were TED (no content), Wolfram Alpha (which tends to interpret the search query much too narrowly for biology-related questions) and itunes U (full of movie trailers). I got a LOT of hits at youtube.edu and NPR using the search terms “whales OR whaling”. This is excellent, because I was hoping that multimedia would be available.
MoOM looks as though it may have had a few useful resources, but I found it hard to work out how to search this site. In the end, I went to the archives and used my web browser to search for the word “whale”. When I clicked on the links, nothing happened so I had to right click to open a new window which might not be as intuitive for less web-savvy people. I did find this:http://www.wdcs.co.uk/media/flash/whalebanner/content_pub_en.html which might be useful for highlighting some of the adaptations in the cetacean evolutionary lineage, such as really large sizes. Merlot also had a resource on whalers which I’ll be looking into more detail in after looking at all the other links I’ve turned up!
I’m beginning to have an idea that perhaps for the week where I was going to provide the students with multimedia of cetacean feeding strategies, that instead I could set up a webquest for them. This would allow the students to focus in on the species/feeding strategies of greatest interest to them (I’ll be giving an overview of the strategies in the “canned” lecture, so different kinds of strategies won’t be completely overlooked just because they aren’t the student’s favorite). Because I know that there is a fair bit of material out there from the searches I have just done, I feel like I wouldn’t be leading them down a complete dead-end, and I wonder if they might feel a little more engaged if they have to go out and search for examples themselves. This would also make the activity a little more accessible to students with disabilities, because they could select samples which were not necessarily multimedia.
This exercise also highlighted to me the importance of ongoing efforts to keep “an eye out” for resources e.g. I knew Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, had an excellent exhibit on whales, and searching this I found several multimedia items that should be really useful for my class, including this one: http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/category/pygmy-right-whale/page/3/ . If you start at page 3 (the link given here), and work your way backwards, you can see the blog and photos associated with a pygmy right whale necropsy!
Right away I was skeptical about finding online content that is really relevant to my Environmental Law class. Of course, there are so many things about the environment out there, but it sounded like a bit of a long shot to find really targeted and effective content that speaks to the narrow topics in class, specifically about law or policy (not just cool science) that is at a level appropriate for undergrads. Or would take a long time to sift out, and heaven knows that I just don’t have the time.
I am familiar with TED content from personal use, so my first step was to browse the “Environment” tagged videos. Most were too science and application oriented for my Environmental Law class, but I came across a TED debate on nuclear energy right pretty quickly (http://www.ted.com/talks/debate_does_the_world_need_nuclear_energy.html).
Using outside content is helpful because (a) Some people (much smarter than me) have thought very hard about these issues and can say it faster and better than I can, and (b) I can’t provide a debate in my class when it’s just me! Giving them a different perspective of both content AND process is incredibly valuable. Especially when we are dealing with highly controversial issues, such as whether we should be encouraging expanded use of nuclear power.
The web is an amazing resource, but as I get older I notice that I am now teaching people who have only known on-demand media and I realize how much it has actually narrowed our world in some senses. We all have the ability to search out the material that confirms our own perspective, and we don’t have the patience to sit through the material that challenges our perspectives. I think that dynamic is reflected in our highly polarized society, and it is only going to get worse. With a resource like a 20-minute TED debate, we MUST listen to both sides, and if I can get my students to even look at the other side of a debate, I consider that a hit. If they took the steps to seek out more information about the other side, that is a home-run. So maybe I should do a little before and after essay with this—a paragraph about your opinion on the use of nuclear energy before watching the debate, then a paragraph arguing the other side after watching the debate!
One question that I am thinking about as I continue to seek out media: Is it credible to pull media primarily from 1 resource, like TED or another site? Or should I make a concerted effort to bring in resources from different places? And how much?
Christy Anderson Brekken
Ok, I’ll admit up front that I did not devote what one could call ‘quality’ time to the webquest assignment involving zunal.com. That is, unless keeping one eye on the monitor and one eye on my son’s homework can be called ‘quality’. But hey, such is life. Something tells me many others out there deal with these same quality issues.
In a way, restricting the activity to simple searches on a handful of search engines was beneficial. It revealed how restrictive it is to use only general words or terms. In my case, I used the word wilderness, or term wilderness management. In future searches, I would be a bit more specific about the topic I’m seeking help with. Rather than simply using wilderness, I’ll try wilderness recreation, wilderness and fire management, or something similar.
I used four search engines: Ted.com, Merlot.org, YouTube Edu, and Science Daily. When entering the term wilderness management, only one of the four came up empty:
Success with the other engines varied. The best result was with Science Daily:
I was reminded of how liberally the word ‘wilderness’ is used in science and natural resource circles. It is seemingly used to refer to a variety of lands containing some type of wild character. Even in the Science Daily reference, I am not convinced that this technology would actually be used in wilderness areas. The Wilderness Act of 1964 mandates that no mechanized use be allowed in wilderness areas. There are caveats of course, but I don’t believe this is the case with the technology referenced by Science Daily.
Overall, though my search results this time around were less than stellar, I the exercise opened my eyes to some new sources of information. I imagine that I will use zunal.com again, or simply utilize one of the engines contained within. Of course, it pays to enter the activity with a specific, focused topic in mind. Otherwise, time slips away (and leaves you with nothing mister, but…)
This is such an exciting part of this workshop and of teaching – the finding of more information and the opportunity to integrate and synthesize material. Intellectual curiosity is one of the key concepts of critical thinking that we hope to inspire in our students, no matter the topic.
In writing classes we can have a lot of fun with questing on the web because students can choose topics, often very widely. That’s one reason why I always partner with a librarian to have a special info lit page built for my courses, and take students from on-campus classes to the library for more instruction. For many of our students, several years have passed since they took WR 121, and they may not have had to write any papers in the meantime. So their information literacy skills may be rusty. And up to 40% of on campus students have never taken WR 121 at OSU, so we do not know how much training they had before arriving in our classes.
Papers or reports in my classes always require research, and often we build assignments such as annotated bibliographies to help them gather and assess materials for their projects. Sometimes, as for Science Writing, instead of a written report, students create a PowerPoint reporting their research on the aspects and elements of articles in National Geographic or Discover magazine.
Now, I am the one web questing hunting for materials I can use to augment my class. It’s been interesting – and harder than I thought – to experiment with keywords to try to find interesting and interactive materials for the learning of technical writing.
YouTube EDU is turning out to be a really useful source. What I like is that these materials are already invented. I don’t have to re-invent materials. Also, if they are not entirely perfect, that allows me to critique and analyze
This one I can use for Unit 3 Creating Instructions with Illustrations.
This YouTube I can use with new instructors to give them an idea of how (and why) they could/should make similar introduction videos for their courses each term. Do any of you have similar video introductions? Do you update them often? Victor Yee gave a great presentation for last spring’s Ecampus forum on introduction and other videos.
Ecampus made an introduction for my Science Writing last winter, but I’ll need to update it because I changed the textbooks.
SAMPLE INTRO VIDEO
And this YouTube is actually helpful to me in thinking how I can explain instructions to students – because they do not always know what I mean!
I’m eager to see the resources you all are finding and I’d love to have some feedback on these.
I’m still questing the web for me — happy hunting to all!
PS: This note added after the original posting –> Does anyone know about how accessible YouTube videos are for anyone with disabilities? They might not be closed captioned. Would we send them to Ecampus for captions? Or we could check one out for visual clarity. Two of the three I posted are by one professor back in NJ. I like his clarity, though I wish there were more (some) visuals. Still, I did just post the Instructions one for my f2f class to show tomorrow. To show that it is there, but not show during class.