So you’ve located your open materials, Now what?

Providing attributions for open educational resources (OERs) is not only required for Creative Commons (CC) licensed materials, but citing sources for collected works is a good practice to follow in general. Documenting the material that you are using by including the author’s name and the name of the license, as well as where you found it can be especially helpful…

  • When embedded content is malfunctioning or fails to appear. You can refer and go to the URL of the content item.
  • When learning what permissions are granted for the content. You can refer to the license name, which informs you what you can do with the material as well what is permissible.
  • When determining what changes have been made for any derivate work. You can go to the URL of the original work that is provided to determine the changes that have been made.
  • When researching the author, organization or project of the content. If you would like to know more about the author of the project or the organization or project in which the work is created, used or derived, you can conduct a search using the author’s name and the organization and project title or go to any provided URLs in the attribution.

Is there a tool to help me generate attributions for open materials?

Open Washington Attribution Builder is a tool that you can use, which automatically generates attributions for any open materials that you’ve located. Just go to the site and complete the online form. After filling out the provided fields, an attribution is generated complete with active links and a html code for you to cut and paste into your project.

Screenshot example of an attribution generated with Open Washington Attribution Builder [CC BY 4.0.] Managed by WA SBCTC.

Open Washington Attribution Builder Screenshot

Try it out!

Go to Open Washington Attribution Builder and try it out for yourself. It’s that easy!

Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

When was the last time you really sat down and looked at the ‘bones’ of your course?

Course outcomes form the backbone of a course – telling us what students should be able to do by the end of the term. All content, assignments, assessments and other activities should support the course outcomes.  We call this concept alignment. According to the Quality Matters rubric, a national benchmark for online course design, alignment is defined as “the critical course elements working together to ensure that students achieve the desired learning outcomes.” Reviewing the alignment, or lack of, within your course can help you identify areas for future improvement.

A course-planning chart is a tool that you can use to begin examining the alignment of the elements in your course. It can help you identify orphan content or activities that do not support a corresponding learning outcome – or if there are learning outcomes that lack associated activities.  It is also useful in determining if there is a good mix of activities to engage students and whether the course meets workload requirements for a class.

Sketching out how all of the elements of your course align with each other is a good first step in identifying where you can strengthen your course.

Resources:

Ecampus course planning chart
Learning Outcomes: Tools for You
Quality Matters

Want to add an engaging “wow!!” factor to your teaching, on-campus or online? Try using augmented reality (AR). It’s simple, easy, and there is a wide range of educational apps for iOS and Android devices, many for free. Best of all, AR taps into the eager desire many young people express to use technology in innovative ways, including as part of their learning experience.

Per a recent survey from Adobe Education, 93 percent of Gen Z students said that technology in the classroom was essential for their career preparedness, as reported in a 2016 EdTech article. The survey found that “Gen Z students see technology and creativity as important and intersecting aspects of their identities.”

jan17blog_surveygraphic

2017blog_pokemongo

Remember the headlines for Pokemon GO? Maybe you, too, got hooked. If so, you were one of about 21 million users who were playing every day! This is the compelling aspect of AR–it’s fun, engaging, innovative and for some, nearly addictive. The astonishingly realistic and detailed displays of many AR apps, such as those for physiology, add an exciting and engaging dimension to learning. And with AR instantly available in the palm of your student’s hand, there’s no reason not to explore this creative and exciting technology.

(Image by Paintimpact pokemon go)

But AR isn’t just for fun or entertainment. It got serious and life-saving applications as well. AR, and related technologies like virtual reality (VR), are being used in medicine with extraordinary outcomes. In 2015, a baby in Florida was born with only half a heart. Surgeons used a cell phone, 3D imaging software, and a $20 Google Cardboard VR viewer to “peer into the baby’s heart.” The surgeon, Dr. Redmond Burke, said, “I could see the whole heart. I could see the chest wall. I could see all the things I was worried about in creating an operation,” as recounted in How Virtual Reality Could Change the Way Students Experience Education.

Though many AR apps are geared towards a K-12 audience, there are still plenty of ways to effectively include AR in the college classroom. Nearly every discipline has AR apps, including anatomy and physiology, physics, geography, American history, language translation, astronomy, science, geometry, chemistry, marketing and advertising, mechanics and engineering, interior design, architecture, and more! Check out the 32 Augmented Reality Apps for the Classroom from edshelf, or simply do your own internet search for “augmented reality education” and explore.

You might be wondering how to employ AR technology in the online classroom. For apps that make AR targets available online (many do), just provide the URL and have students download and print. Some apps use the natural world as a target; for example, Star Chart uses GPS to calculate the current location of every star, planet, and moon visible from Earth – day or night – and will tell the viewer what they are looking at.

The possibilities are endless! Give it a try yourself. I am willing to bet that you will exclaim, “Wow, that’s so cool!”

Online courses are open 24/7. This is more convenient for students, but it also means they don’t really know how/when to get in touch with you, the instructor. Online courses benefit greatly when the instructor creates a communication plan and communicates it with their students, especially in weeks one and two of the term.

 


Here’s a sample communication plan:

“Please post questions about the course in the Q&A discussion forum so that the entire class can benefit from our back-and-forth. Please reserve email for questions of a personal nature.

I will reply to email and questions posted in the Q&A discussion forum within 24 hours, usually sooner.  I strive to return all graded work, with my feedback, within 5 days of the assignment being submitted. Please do look for my detailed feedback and use it.

If I need to deviate from this schedule, I will [send an email] and let you know. I will usually not be available on Sundays. Most assignments are due on Monday evenings.

Students should [check Oregon State University email, log in to the course] at least three times per week.”


For the last couple of paragraphs – you might prefer to post an announcement, or adjust the course home page. In your communication plan, you may want to address your recommendations for students in setting their own notification patterns in Canvas to suit how you plan to communicate, as well as expectations that students check their Oregon State University email accounts.

Your communication plan may be different, but it should address communication channels (discussion board, email, phone, Skype), your estimated response times for questions, your estimated time to complete grading, and any days when you expect to be unavailable. This might be a certain day of the week, or perhaps a few specific dates during a given term while you give a conference, etc.

Icons for Multimedia and Web tools

 

Who doesn’t like free stuff? But in the field of education finding free materials that fulfill your needs often proves difficult. In this blog post, I have annotated a short list of websites that provide free resources that can be used by anyone (instructional designer, teacher or student) and for any purpose from a personal or professional website to a multimedia presentation to an online course or assignment.

 

 

 

Picture Image Icon

Pixabay
What is great about Pixabay is that not only can you use these images, but you can modify them to suit your needs and even use them for commercial purposes without having to pay any fees. Nearly all are free of copyrights, which means attribution is NOT required…so no need to worry about citing sources here.

 

Audio Sound Icon

Freesound & SoundBible
These sound effects sites are “open source” which simply means everyone can create and share. Great for teachers providing feedback for students or for anyone to use for creative purposes. For these sites please check the “terms of use” as some require attributions or have restrictions on use.

 

World Wide Web Internet Icon

H5P
This open-source authoring tool site can be used to create multimedia presentations or activities and games that involve drag and drops, hot spots, fill-in-the blanks, etc. To create content all you need to do is register with the site (which is free) and either install the web plugin or embed the content on your site.

 

Let’s keep this list going…For this I encourage you to post a blog comment listing any free resources (images, videos, sound effects, games, tools, etc.) that you have found. Let’s see how many OERs we can collect and share here with the OSU CDT blog community.

 

Happy hunting!

Do you ever wonder where your students go once they log into an online course? John Whitmer (Blackboard analytics, blog link) and Kevin Reeve (instructor and director of Teaching and Learning Technologies at Utah State University, Canvas Analytics video link) did some hard work to seek answers to this question. Kevin presented his team’s preliminary results at Online Learning Consortium conference in Nov. 2016. Some of the findings were obvious, some not so.

My question is: what can we do with this information? How can we use this learning analytics to guide our course design practices as online instructors and online instructional designers?

Here is a summary of Kevin’s report and my ideas of course design based on learning analytics of students’ course visiting behavior patterns:

Student course visit behavior Observations from Canvas learning analytics: Course Design Ideas:
Students’ first visits to online courses may be exploratory.

activitiesannouncementdqtodoviewcalendar

Use announcements to connect with students before course start and during course session; Create navigation tutorial video to guide students; Design course homepage, Start Here module, and syllabus for easy navigation and communicate important information with clear instructions.
Some students visit “Grades” early on to view the weighting of grades and other details Have an accurate grade book available from day 1
Some students visit assignments first Put link to learning module, or related learning materials, learning outcomes, instructions etc. in each assignment.
Many visits to course do not start with homepage Design your course homepage to be attractive and put information that students care to read there; Direct student attention to course homepage if you intend to put important information on homepage, otherwise do not overly rely on homepage.
To do list is driving students entry points once course starts. Enter due dates for graded assignments so the assignments will appear on the calendar and to do list.
Syllabus is being missed by some students during the first few visits Make syllabus prominently visible and accessible.

In the same time, put important information from syllabus in multiple places such as course home page, Start Here module, and first assignment directions, in case students visit assignments directly.

If you have ideas for Canvas course design based on the above observations or your own observations of online students course visit behavior patterns, feel free to share with us

Happy Holidays!

If you’d like to adopt group work in your online course, but want to ensure accountability among your students, consider asking your students to create a group contract to guide their work. Beginning online group work with a mutually agreed upon contract creates a blueprint for the project, and it facilitates the process of students establishing norms and expectations within their group. These norms help to remove the instructor as the sole authority figure, and instead give the team the power to hold one another accountable, according to the guidelines they agree upon, rather than just personal opinions or perceptions.

One way to help your students begin to think about what to include in their group contract is to initiate a conversation with your students about their preconceived notions of group work. Have they done group work before? Have they had good or bad experiences? Ask your students to clarify what ideal group work looks like to them and what specific things they hope to avoid. A discussion about their past experiences may also help your students to better understand their peers’ perspectives and what skills they bring to the team. Key areas for your students to consider and map out in their contract are:

  • Roles and participation responsibilities
  • Communication expectations (mode and frequency)
  • Project timeline/milestones
  • Conflict resolution plan
  • Consequences for breaking contract

To get you started, take a look at these sample group contracts that you can adapt to fit your needs:

References

  • Barkley, E.F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Additional Resources

Bright red and orange maple leaves against a blue skyResearch supports the value of online student-to-student interaction and building community among learners. Week 1 intro discussions—Let’s get acquainted. Tell us about yourself!—are a staple of interaction among students in online and hybrid courses. Can a Week 1 intro discussion that introduces students to one another also actively engage them in learning course content while building community with peers?

Karen Holmberg, Assoc. Prof. of Creative Writing, uses an “Interview Haiku” exercise in her hybrid WR 241 Introduction to Poetry Writing course that combines students introducing themselves and introducing peers while practicing the popular three-line poetry form.

After being introduced to haiku, syllable counting and marking stresses in the first week, Prof. Holmberg’s students interview partners during an in-class session. (In a fully online course, this step could be done through other means, for instance, in a Google doc or by text or email.) For these intro interviews, she provides a set of six questions such as “Describe your preferred environment: urban, woodland, seaside, desert, etc.?” and “What is your favorite animal and why?”

Text showing portions of interview questionsFollowing the interviews, students write haikus to introduce their interview partners to the class as well as haikus to introduce themselves. Imagine the challenge of introducing someone else, or yourself, in three brief lines!

Each student posts these two intro haikus in an online discussion. Then each student replies to another student by copying and pasting the other student’s two haikus in the reply box and counting and marking the syllables and noting the stressed syllables in the haiku. The instructor can follow up with her students by offering timely feedback individually and collectively through the discussion forum, through comments in the grade book, and in subsequent in-class discussions.

Looking for ideas and effective practices for online discussions that enable learners to share, comprehend, critique and construct knowledge?  Try The Art and Science of Successful Online Discussions.

Do you have an intro discussion assignment that engages learners in course content?

References:

Al-Shalchi, O. N. (2009). The effectiveness and development of online discussions. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(1). Retrieved from http://jolt.merlot.org/vol5no1/al-shalchi_0309.htm

Palenque, S.M., & DeCosta, M. (2014, August 11). The art and science of successful online discussions. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/art-science-successful-online-discussions/

Rubin, B., & Fernandes, R. (2013). Measuring the community in online classes. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17(3), 115—136. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1018304.pdf

Just came back from Open Oregon State‘s Open Education Day and can’t wait to share with you all what I have learned from the meeting: open pedagogy. The keynote speaker for Open Education Day, Rajiv Jhangiani from the University of British Columbia (@ThatPsycProf), introduced open pedagogy as an instructional strategy to promote reusable assignments and turn students from consumers of content to creators of content.

Examples: a book produced by instructor and students from Brigham Young University (2012)a wiki resources of web 2.0 tools created by students from College of Education at Purdue University (2012); a book produced by instructor and students from the Master of Science in Education: Information Technology program at Western Oregon University (2013):

project management for instructional designers book coverinsite project: web 2.0 tools for educationmassively open book

Examples of open pedagogy Jhangiani introduced:

LibrerTexts: Students-built knowledge base for Chemistrylibretexts: students built knowledge base in chemistry

When Wikipedia Is the Assignment, & WikiUniversitywikiversity

Teach and Learn Psychology for free at NOBA noba: teach and learn Pscychology for free

 

Annotate Open source text to teach literaturegutenburg project

free public domain images from rijks museumfree public domain images from rijks museum

The call is for instructors to design assignments that build problem solving skills, critical thinking skills and/or analytical writing skills in students and create assignments that live beyond the lifespan of a course and are useful to the general public, instead of creating assignments that only one instructor will view in order to give a grade.

Have fun design such creative assignments and feel free to share your life-long assignments with us.

If you’re searching for an engaging, authentic, and personalized way to assess your students’ learning, consider developing an ePortfolio assignment for your online course. The benefit of ePortfolios, or digital collections of student learning artifacts, is twofold: you can formatively assess your students’ learning over time, and you can help your students craft a personalized, customizable end product that serves as both a networking tool and a professional presentation of their skills and abilities to showcase to future employers in a more humanized way than a standard resume.

There are multiple approaches to structuring an ePortfolio assignment. One method is to ask your students to gradually add to their ePortfolios each week. This allows you to assess your students’ work over the course of the term, and it allows your students to make meaningful connections between all of the learning artifacts they collect.

With any ePortfolio assignment, consider building in a reflection requirement to help encourage students to connect their learning. Reflection helps students make connections between what they learned, what they still hope to learn, how these things connect to the next course in a series, and how these things apply to experiences beyond their online class. Reflection is also an opportunity for you to encourage your students to connect the dots between their academic, professional and personal lives.

As a starting point, OSU’s College of Liberal Arts has some great reflection tips and questions for you to provide to your students.

Two Tools: Canvas ePortfolios and Google Sites

You will need to select a tool for your students to build their ePortfolios. If you are looking for an integrated tool in your LMS, consider Canvas ePortfolios. This tool is useful because it is not specific to your course, but rather specific to each Canvas user. This means each student can create as many ePortfolio sites as they wish, and they can continue to access these even after your course is over.

Canvas ePortfolios also eliminate the submit it and forget it experience with digital assignments; with a few simple clicks, students can quickly add assignment submissions they are proud of to build structured digital archive of their achievements throughout their online college experience. They can also export their ePortfolio at any time, meaning they could save a copy to take with them after they leave OSU.

Another option is a Google App called Google Sites, which is a free platform to build a website. All students and faculty have access to Google Sites with your ONID login. The benefit to using this tool is the flexibility of platform; students can apply a previously created template or build a custom site of their own.

When considering any ePortfolio platform, it is important to remember to play with the tool as an instructor to understand how the tool works and what the student experience will be like. Consider setting up a model ePortfolio to familiarize students with what you generally expect, but encourage them to go above and beyond to personalize their ePortfolios. This will empower students to engage with the process of customizing their collection.

ePortfolio Tool Resources

References

Miller, R., & Morgaine, W. (2009). The Benefits of E-portfolios for Students and Faculty in Their Own Words. Peer Review, 11(1), 8-12. Retrieved from https://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/benefits-e-portfolios-students-and-faculty-their-own-words

Barrett, H. (2011) Balancing the two faces of eportfolios. Retrieved from: http://electronicportfolios.org/balance/balancingarticle2.pdf