Thursday, December 20, 2007

Grading Exams

Here's a guide to grading exams....

And, when it is time to negotiate a change of grade, you can have students complete this online form.

Eva's Blog

Eva has launched a page! I love the name, "Education Virtually Anywhere!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Second Life and Music Appreciation

From the League for Innovation's news....

How a music appreciation class is taught using Second Life.

Magnolia and edu 2.0

Eva, who is great at finding these sorts of things, has sent me a couple of links to follow.

The first one is Magnolia. No, this is not a site for the neighborhood with great views on the bluff overlooking Puget Sound. Magnolia is another social bookmarking site, enabling users to share websites, form groups, and carry on discussions. It was easy to set up an account, add a bookmark, and tag it with key words so other users can find the bookmark using the search engine.

The next is edu 2.0. It's a new free, web-based learning management system. This looks like it's primarily focused on K-12, but seems simple and easy to use.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

No Learning Management System?

Kevin sent me this one, with the comment, "A" is wise.

He also writes, 'In my wilder moments of late I have started to wonder if we could really do without formal learning management system altogether, instead relying on a string of social networking tools to create learning communities. I think there are some compelling reasons that won't happen any time soon, but the direction is intriguing.'

Maybe, someday. The college uses an LMS (Bb, Moodle, Angel, whatever) to manage enrollments, provide a consistent and familiar interface for instructors to use, as well as for branding. Colleges and other organizations have bought the Bb solution for many of those reasons. I wonder if instructors need the consistency and familiarity more than students?

The Web 2.0 tools enable instructors and students to access more resources, communicate more easily and broaden the discussion in ways that are limited by whatever LMS is being used. So, the trick (or the current state of the art) is to craft a blend between the two when building our courses.

Friday, December 14, 2007

DL Institute - December 2007

EdCC Instructional Technology Services (is that the new name?) held its quarterly DL Institute on Friday. Yours truly was tired and burnt out from Fall Quarter, low on sleep and too much sitting and staring at the computer screen. And, I came away pumped up with ideas after collaborating with the others all day! Amazing how that happens.

Here are my notes and thoughts, along with links to resources...

The internet and web-based communication tools are changing how we teach, and how we use time and space....nothing new with that. But, we have moved from a read-only environment to read/write environment, where the participants are contributors and we have an opportunity to build plug-and-play curriculum. For our students, the traditional classroom environment is a foreign environment, and the mode of lecture data-dump delivery doesn't work well.

The breadth of resources available has given rise to 'seat-of-the-pants' analysis and JIT journalism. One result is analysis is on a very shallow level. We still have to teach critical thinking and evaluation!

Different communication styles should be expected in the discussion forums vs. formal papers. Don't be a grammar Nazi on the discussion forum. Set clear expectations for each and allow students to figure out appropriateness and context.

Social Bookmarking Sites.....



Peanut Butter Wikis

Flock - New social web browser

Blackboard's biggest disadvantage is that it is password-protected. It's second biggest disadvantage is the hierarchical structure of the pages. We can and should use blogs and wikis to build a network of educators, communicators, thinkers, teachers and learners to explore how to use these tools, share ideas and practices, and to have some fun. Don't lock down the network. Open it up! The value of the network will expand exponentially in relation to the number of people using the network.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why Discussion Matters

This is from Jessica Hagy's wonderful Indexed blog.