Monday, November 10, 2014

Journey through Personalized Learning: Transforming Education

Journey through Personalized Learning: Transforming Education: Take a moment and think about the students who are currently in your classes. When you teach a lesson on any given day there are typically...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Something for everyone

Rita Axford presenting on her Fulbright experience
RHCHP Faculty Development Day was held last month in the Mountain View Room. The
day featured something for everyone including research, learning technologies, a panel discussion on social media, and even a fascinating look at a Middle Eastern educational culture as seen through the eyes of a Fulbright scholar.

What was personally most enjoyable were the presentations by last year's Teaching and Learning with Technology Micro-grant award winners. TLTM is a competitive grant program funding small scale projects for examining the effects of technology on teaching and learning. I was amazed at what our incredibly talented faculty can do with as little as $1,000. Projects ranged from an examination of student reaction to audio-enhanced presentations, to the use of game theory for instructing Nursing students on the handling of end-of-life patient and family issues, to the development of an smart device app.

Kudos to RHCHP for sponsoring this most worthwhile event and for sharing with the Regis community.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Social media – The scary, the awesome, and the scary awesome

I attended the Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium held on October 24th at Metro State University in Denver and wanted to share a little bit about a social media session that I attended called “Social Media – The scary, the awesome, and the scary awesome.”

Why did I choose to attend the social media session? I have to admit that I am not particularly devoted to social media and often wonder when the buzz of twitter will die down. I think to myself, what possible use or service could all of these different social media sites provide that makes them so relevant in today’s society? Someone must get it because, Facebook has something like a quarter of the world’s population enrolled on its site. That’s no small feat. So, I chose to attend the session on social media out of curiosity and to see how social media might be able to enhance the learning environment.

The presenter started by quizzing the audience to see if they could recognize the various social media site logos. I realized that there are many more social media sites than I had initially thought and some sites I had never identified as social media. The sites include: Flickr, Instagram, Blogger, WordPress, Good Reads, Pinterest (a personal favorite), Tumblr, Wikipedia, You Tube, Vimeo, Stack Exchange, Reddit, Octocat, and GitHub.

Some sites are great for photo sharing, others are good for discussion, while even others encourage group engagement. This is the key to social media in the learning environment I discovered, no one site is right for all circumstances. The presenter emphasized creativity in the incorporation of social media. Good reads for example is a site where anyone can go to post their review of a book and to comment on other’s reviews. This could be added onto a reading assignment or incorporated into a class discussion.

While the presenter didn't have time to go into the benefits of each site, we only had twenty-five minutes, he did leave us with curiosity. He pressed us to explore more social media sites and to think more abstractly about how they could be used in our day to day lives and in courses.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Learning About Infographics at TLTS 2014

Another outstanding partnership between the eLearning Consortium of Colorado (eLCC) and Metro
State University resulted in this year's Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium. The event was well organized and well attended. And there was ample parking across the street from the event center. Awesome!

Normandy Roden and Travis Chillemi of the U. Colorado System provided one of the symposium highlights with their session titled "1,000 Words are Worth a Picture: Infographics to Enhance Teaching and Learning". Visual learners depend on  charts, graphs, and images for providing meaning to large amounts of information. Infographics can also be included in this toolbox of information conveyers. Giving a visual learner a well laid out infographic makes them a happy camper.

Infographics types and examples

The session began with an overview of infograph types including guides, step-by-step, decision trees, simple and complex timelines, and simple and complex data visualizations. An example of an historically significant infographic was the publication in 1862 of a complex timeline of Napolean's march on Moscow, pictured at the top of this post.

A more modern infographic example is the word cloud, sometimes known as tag clouds or wordles. Word clouds use block of texts that are represented by a word chart. The greater the frequency of the word in the text block, the larger the word appears in the graphic.

Creating infographics

Infographics can be created using a number of programs including MS Word, Wordle, Adobe Illustrator, and similar. PiktoChart  was specifically mentioned as an easy to use program. The free version is available but limited in the number of available templates and graphics. The Pro version, at $40/year, was a highly recommended option.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Keeping Up with What's Hot and What's Not

Randy Bass, Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English at Georgetown University, was the keynote speaker at the Regis College 2014 Fall Faculty Conference. During his presentation, Bass mentioned a data analysis tool called the  Gartner Hype Cycle. The hype cycle tracks technologies through their life cycle using scales based on visibility (hype) versus maturity (time).

Bass used one such scale, the Hype Cycle for Education, to illustrate MOOCs and their rapid rise and fall. Only two years ago, the 2012 Hype Cycle for Education had MOOCs as an Innovation Trigger, otherwise known as “On the Rise”. However, the 2014 Hype Cycle for Education has MOOCs sliding into the “Trough of Disillusionment”, having become virtually a non-player with little to no impact on tuition-based institutions.

That got me to thinking about other emerging technologies and the sustainability of their hype over time. First, take a look at the Gartner hype cycle ratings methodology and scale, then take a gander at some of these well known technologies:


On the Rise At the Peak Into the Trough
3D printing Internet TV Web 2.0
Augmented reality Cloud computing Public virtual worlds
3D flat panel displays Microblogging Video telepresence


On the Rise At the Peak Into the Trough
Human augmentation Image recognition Gesture recognition
Social TV Internet TV Virtual worlds
3D bioprinting Augmented reality E-book readers


On the Rise At the Peak Into the Trough
3D bioprinting Autonomous vehicles Gamification
Digital security Internet of Things Augmented reality
Connected home Wearable user interfaces Mobile health monitoring

Other resources

Friday, August 29, 2014

30th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning 
August 12-14th, 2014
Madison, Wisconsin
As always, University of Wisconsin Extension puts on an excellent conference that focuses on distance teaching and learning. The best part about the conference is that there are 7 tracks of info sessions to choose from. Here are some key take-aways from some of the sessions I attended.

One of the first sessions I attended was labeled something about a TPACK. I was curious. TPACK stands for Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. It is a framework that identifies the knowledge teachers need to teach effectively with technology. The model shows how each of these three knowledge areas overlap to an ideal sweet spot that teachers can aim for. No argument there but the question is how can we support faculty to get there?

Evaluation for innovative change KEYNOTE by Dr. Michael Quinn Patton
This was a very good keynote that brought to light traditional forms of evaluation are just not cutting it. Dr. Patton explained that as educators we should adopt “evaluative thinking.” It is important to acknowledge failure and, learn from it, be open to it and reflect on the experience. Dr. Patton said “Education remains stuck in delivery method rather than making a difference in student lives.” Timing of feedback is critical. The greatest learning opportunity occurs early in a course so action may be taken. In other words, don’t wait until the end of the course to evaluate students or inquire feedback. A learner’s initial experience can really set the tone for the rest of the journey in the course.

Elliot Massie had a quick virtual spotlight shortly after that. He brought up an interesting concept “learning interruptus.” You can read his blog post about it here: In a nutshell, learning interruptus is about how learners are swimming in a sea of learning options, choices, and personal control. His example is about how so many people may have good intentions and start a MOOC and then find that they just stop at the first week and never come back. What kinds of things distract you when you are learning? Elliot reminded us to be flexible with students and as we design learning modules. What would happen if we allowed students to redo an assignment until they got an A? Is there harm in that? Think about the advantages.

Grand Canyon University reported on some research they did with classroom assessment techniques and the connections it has to student learning. I love CATs! CATs are usually non-graded activities that check for understanding. Their research showed that when students choose to address their muddiest point and key take-aways in a one minute paper their quiz scores were higher than the students who didn’t do the one minute paper. Nice!

New book by Bonk! Add some TEC-VARIETY with a free PDF ebook by Curtis Bonk and Elaine Khoo! Go to and look for the link to download. The focus of the book is on meaningful engagement and illustrates 100+ activities for motivating and retaining learners online.

Ray Schreoder- KEYNOTE Staying ahead of the wave
All the links are in his Google site
Ray has laid out the steps to predicting the future! Understand the economy, technology, trends and job market. Check out the Google site.

Jane Bozarth- Using social media for learning
Jane always has great ideas to share. She talked about several methods for incorporating social media to engage students. She had Facebook at the top of her list. I didn’t realize there are ways now that you can create closed groups in Facebook and you don’t have to friend everybody in the class.
You can check follow what she is linking on Diigo
One example that sparked me is about using Pinterest, having students post something and then class and instructor can view all at once. Works best with visual work. You can then see one of many.
Jane’s new book is “Show Your Work; The Payoffs and How-to’s of Working Out Loud”
She mentioned a site I had not heard of called “” it is a place for people to post or view homemade tutorials on pretty much anything.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dropping down to the field of the heart

I attended a spiritual seminar a couple of weeks ago and came back feeling peaceful and recharged. In this day and age, we get inundated with flashing news, nonstop twitter updates and text messages. No wonder we get stressed so easily because we don’t relax any more. Worse yet, we've forgotten how to relax.

A large portion of the seminar devoted to explaining why it is important to hush the mind sometimes and enter into the “field of the heart.” Meditation is a good way to reach this heart centered awareness. As you engage in the meditation process, you will discover that your mind quiets naturally, and you become more aligned with your inner being. It is in this state that miracles start happening – you’ll see life as a joy rather than a burden.

For us meditation newbies, the seminar provided some useful techniques (Jonsson, 2013). Give these techniques a try and reflect on what you have noticed:

1.      Elevator: Imagine an elevator in your head. See a miniature version of yourself stepping into the elevator and allow for the doors to close. Press the down button. Follow your awareness as the elevator descends out of your head, down through your throat and even further down into your chest cavity. Allow for the elevator doors to open. Notice what you notice when you step into that space of no space and no place.

2.      Take a moment to feel into someone or something that you love unconditionally. Feel that connection. Notice the feeling and allow for that feeling to move through your entire body.

3.      See yourself as a Vitamin C tablet. Drop yourself through awareness as a vitamin C tablet into a glass of water and feel within yourself as your sense of separation dissolves.

4.      Get silly! See a waterslide from your head to your heart with a pool in the field of the heart. Energetically pop your eyeballs out of your head, drop them onto the slide and let them drop into the pool with a big splash. As your eyeballs resurface, notice your attention from the field of the heart.

5.      Notice the constant flow of thoughts in your brain or awareness without attachment. See your thoughts as clouds floating by. Do not attach to them. Observe them neutrally with a sense of curiosity and no judgment. Observing thoughts and experiences without judgment keeps us in a state of heart-centered awareness.

Jonsson, M. J. (2013). M-Joy practically speaking: Matrix energetics and living your infinite potential. Encinitas, CA: M-Joy of Being, Inc.

Monday, August 18, 2014

COLTT 2014 Conference Summary

Guest post by Sally Cordrey, Technology Specialist, ITS Center for Academic Technology, Regis University.

You’re Holding it Wrong: Fixing Lectures Online and In the Classroom, David Thomas, UCD

This presenter has presented at COLTT in the past and he is one of my favorites. He is very engaging, creative, and gives out prizes in his classes!

Abstract: Most lectures are a drag, recorded lectures are really a drag, yet teachers love lectures and students claim to like them. Question: What’s going on? This interactive session explains what is wrong with the lecture, what we can do about it, how to make the lecture work effectively both in the classroom and, more importantly, online.

 What lectures work? TEDTalks – no more than 18 minutes, well-rehearsed 50 times before recorded, experts tell stories, present ideas.

We are experts – how we think, work, act.

The key to a good lecture is modelling – demonstrate those things! How you think, how you work, how you act. Use visuals, objects, tell stories to bring content to life, make it relevant, memorable. Use real-time problem solving, case studies. Think out loud, give the students a peek inside of your head.

Don’t cover the material in the textbook or what is available on the internet and don’t lecture in a closed discussion, make it interactive. Use simple PowerPoints with good quality graphics, photos and few words.

Always answer, “If I had to do it over again, this is how I would do it!”

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ling's takeaways from COLTT

I went to a fun session on infographics at the COLTT. If you don’t know what infographics are, visit to see tons of examples. I was not new to infographics. When we work with faculty, we always ask ourselves if infographics would be useful to communicate ideas visually and effectively to our learners. The new idea I learned from the session was that infographics was a very powerful tool to elicit an emotional response from your audience. I want to share with all of you a design template for possible infographics. It’s helpful to spend a few minutes to complete this design template before we jump into the actual creation phase.
Item name:
Intended audience:
Ideas on the product (e.g., website, poster, filier, slideshow):
Type of information (concept, process, instructions, data, fun facts, etc.):
Key components:
Intended reaction/emotion/action: 

Flipping classrooms:
Flipping classrooms was one of the hot topics at the conference. I have two major takeaways.
1. What if my students don’t read?
Sadly, this topic was brought up quite a lot at the conference. It’s a common challenge faculty face these days. If students don’t complete their assigned readings before the class, and you go over the readings with them during the class, they’re smart enough to figure out readings are not necessary. These are the strategies to “force” students to read:

  • Ask them to summarize the readings in 150 words. 
  • Use a couple essay questions/quizzes (depending on disciplines) to diagnose students’ comprehension of the readings. This type of diagnostic questions should be assigned low stake grades and used regularly throughout the term. Use the results to customize your teaching materials and address common misunderstandings in the class. 

2. Games and learning
One presenter who teaches freshmen time management had a great success in incorporating board games such as Monopoly and Chutes and Ladders in her classroom. She could have just presented her students with real life scenarios to discuss in the class. However, once she introduced the game concept to these scenarios, students got competitive and were motivated to complete all assigned readings before the class in order to perform well and beat other teams. Learning happens in a fun environment!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

COLTT Conference - What a Deal?

COLTT Conference - What a Deal?

I have been fortunate enough to attend at least one day of the Conference for Online Learning and Teaching with Technology (COLTT) for the past 3 years.  Every year I leave saying what a great deal! This year was no exception except I attended 1.5 days of the conference.  If you aren't familiar with the conference, it a 2 day conference held at CU Bolder.  The cost is very low and the administrative side of the conference gets better every year.  You can find all the details about the conference at:

I wanted to share a few of the gems that I took away from the conference.

                                Flipped Classroom/ Higher Order Thinking/Just In Time
  • I went to several session around the Flipped Classroom, Higher Order Thinking, and Just In Time.  I came away thinking how each of these are intertwined and really support each other with minor adjustments to the process.  They really do focus on getting the student engaged and making the best use of the face to face time. 
  • Just In Time takes the Flipped Classroom one additional step by having the student engage in course material prior to class and provide the instructor with information about the material.  This allows the instructor to bring that information into the classroom and also better understand what to focus on within the classroom. 
  • One session I went to was called Unflipping the Classroom.  In Plato's day students got together discussed topics and then went to the expert.  Aristotle kind of flipped this by going more to the learn by listening to expert talk about the topic model.  So "Unflipping the Classroom" is referring back to the original and also a good marketing strategy for the talk. 
  • As with any term, there is concern that "Flipping the Classroom" can just become another buzz word.  We shouldn't think in the box, or outside the box, we should think like there is no box. 
  • Speaking of terms, the term "Essential Organizing Ideas" was introduced, and I left thinking isn't this the same as Learner Outcomes?
  • Whatever students can learn without you, they should, and then come to the class to learn more and practice.   For classroom we really need to promote this approach.  The big question I can't answer is, how do we incorporate this method into online learning.  Any and all thoughts are appreciated on this. 
                           Additional Tidbits or Gems
  • According to one study, the number one complaint from students regarding online instruction was a lack of instructor interaction. 
  • The elements of thought are not a linear process.  Website on higher order thinking:  This site has a really good Blog.
  • The act of writing improves engagement and learning. Hyperlinks in the text reduces reading comprehension.  Oops, ignore the hyperlinks above!
  • Confirmation that multi-tasking increases the number of mistakes.  We need to focus, but in today's world that is becoming harder and harder.  When the brain has information overload, it tends to shut down instead of focusing. 
  • Taking notes by hand increases retention. 
  • I really enjoyed Dr. Jeff Loats contrast with teaching and treating diabetics. He is stressing that we need evidence based teaching. Can you imagine going to your Doctor and asking how he is going to treat you since you are a diabetic and getting a response, I tried this before and it seemed to work. We need to have evidence that what we are doing is working. 
  • Forget the screens, since in the future we could have brain to brain transmission. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Avoiding the Conference Information “Black Hole”

The annual Conference for Online Learning and Teaching with Technology (COLTT) was another resounding success. The vast majority of sessions provided food for thought and ideas for implementing locally. This is almost always the case at conferences: you come away totally jazzed with fresh ideas and new perspectives after attending sessions and talking shop with colleagues. But upon returning to work the reality of the workday sets in and POOF!: all of the great takeaways and fantastic ideas are washed away amid the flood of emails, phone calls, reports, and daily stuff.

Well, not this year. This year, I’m doing something different. This year my conference to-do list is being made public. There are too many great ideas to let get sucked up into this conference information black hole for worthwhile projects.

So here are three project ideas being made public for the sake of accountability to be implemented this fall:

The Faculty Innovation Podcast
This is an idea that began taking shape since the first day of COLTT. David Lyons, University of Colorado at Denver, presented a session on social media tools for classroom use. His use of social media provided the idea for creation of a podcast for discussion of learning technologies and associated ideas and issues. The next day I lunched with Sally Cordrey and Tim Noteboom where I mentioned the podcast idea. We began discussing possible names when Tim comes up with idea for hosting the podcast at the Faculty Innovation Center. This serves the dual purpose of providing faculty perspectives on learning technologies while marketing the greatly underused Faculty Innovation Center, located in Carroll Hall Room 20. Look for the first podcast (or vodcast) episode in early September.

Guest Speakers for Technology Committee Meetings
There are two technology committees on campus. The Academic Technology Committee is charged with examining, promoting, and recommending academic technologies to the university. ATC reports to the Executive Technology Committee. The Educational Technology Committee is for RHCHP and answers to the Academic Dean. Both committees advocate for faculty for improving teaching and learning with technology. To provide new perspectives, guest speakers will be brought in to committee meetings, either in-person or via video conferencing. Speakers will come from regional institutions such as those presenting at COLTT. Every session I attended concluded with the presenter volunteering their email and voice number for more information. Hopefully we can mine this rich knowledge resource for guest speakers. Look for committee guest speakers to begin in October.

Improving Course Content
The third idea will be announced a bit later as Jill Giacomini works out the details. However, expect to see within the next few weeks an outline for a really awesome method to improve online course content.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

D2L Fusion Notes on ePortfolio

Guest Post by Dr. Barbara Berg, Associate Professor, RHCHP School of Nursing

I enjoyed the time to hear of the many uses of D2L at the Fusion 2014 conference last week in Nashville. I purposefully attended several sessions on use of the ePortfolio component of the learning management system. I can say that from two of the sessions (one lecture type and one actually hands on at a computer) I have a better understanding of how the portfolio works and what the finished presentation looks like. I was impressed that the look of the finished product was what you would expect from a contemporary multimedia portfolio without artificial compartments within which some ePortfolio systems force faculty to fit when constructing templates for the students. I was also interested that the link to the ePortfolio was always in each class and available to students once they logged on with their password. Access was very easy.

Artifacts are stored by the user (student or faculty) in their My Items area. These documents or files can be of all types and can be imported from the classes (link to “add to portfolio button” in classes) that are “certified” as taken from a course or from other sources. These collected objects can be viewed in a list or organized into collections for greater ease of locating them later. There is also a forms tool with which forms can be created by the faculty to be completed and submitted by the students.

Faculty are able to create a template of the type of presentation they want for the portfolio for consistency and push the template out to the students. To share the works the student is able to create the presentation to the template and submit the finished product to the drop box, export as an HTML website (with a link for access), or print the portfolio. Program administrators are able to force sharing to a faculty or within a class as well. Portfolios do not lock as graded or submitted and may be recreated in many templates for many uses. All students are able to save the portfolio materials to a My D2L site where they will have life-long access at no cost. Apparently a help center is available to students and faculty (but I do not know much about this feature).

Two other presentations highlighted the way that programs have used the ePortfolio. Most had some sort of training materials for faculty and students prior to the use of the portfolio. One school even produced video tutorials. One presenter stated that complete training to all the uses of the ePortfolio usually lasted a day for faculty and administrators. Types of uses included completing requirements for a school of education competencies, class related assignments, and showcasing accomplishments for career purposes. One university required the students to submit weekly ePortfolio assignments working toward increased familiarity with the program and completion of a finished portfolio.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Welcome to IDT Today

The proper use of instructional design principles and their associated learning technologies can significantly enhance the student experience. There is a strong research correlation between properly designed courses using appropriate learning technologies and student success, student satisfaction, and instructional efficacy. So why aren't these principles incorporated into all courses?

Welcome to IDT Today. This blog provides a forum for a number of topics including perspectives on the design and delivery of courses that are enhanced by the use of technology, training ideas, conference summaries, and the occasional off-beat post. Blog authors will primarily be from the Department of Instructional Design and Technology of Regis University with a hefty sprinkling of other perspectives from guest authors outside the IDT department and Regis.

We hope you return often and post comments on what you read. And let us know if you have an idea for a post for sharing with our reading community.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

eLCC Meeting Notes, May 23, 2014

Guest post by Sally Cordrey, Academic Technology Specialist, Center for Academic Technology, Regis University

The monthly meeting for May 2014 of the eLearning Consortium of Colorado was held at Denver University.

Institutional reports

DU: Kathy, Paul, Molly, Kim
  • Going from eCollege to Canvas;
    • Molly uses Adobe Connect for affiliate faculty training; 
    • 3 people managing chat,      
    • 1 hour session comparing old LMS and new LMS, 8 sessions for affiliate faculty, very successful.
  • TOW – teach online workshop, 3-week online course for DU faculty. 
    • Faculty work on their courses while in the workshop

CSU: Al, Marianne
  • CSU has joined the Unizincoop of major universities, going from Blackboard to Canvas, 
    • CSU has 3400-4500 course sections
  • Master Gardner program available as open badge certificate series
  • South Denver campus is offering courses at CH2M Hill. Wants to hire two DTC-area, computer-savvy students to go there and set up for class every week, computer and A/V. $18/hr. 4-5 hours one night a week. 

AIMS Community College: Cheryl Comstock
  • Cheryl will replace Jean Otte as Director, Online Learning.
  • They have two ID positions open.

CU Denver: Crystal and David
  • UCD uses Canvas and loves it. Offers 10-week faculty training online, not mandatory but paid; 
  • Offers faculty training on Fridays when faculty typically are more available, with lunch, several times a year. 
  • They offer an all-day faculty development workshop right after semester is over, determined timing is good for faculty.

Professional Development

Guest speaker Sarah Belstock, Director of DU’s Health and Counseling Center provided a stress management workshop.

Other Business

  • Next meeting in June hosted by Colorado Mountain College, date and location at a CMC campus TBD
  • Professional Development day with Metro will be in the fall

    • Faculty training requirements
    • Describe faculty development model for distance instructors
    • What LMS do you use? (52% responded - D2L)
    • What lecture capture system
    • Growth rate of online courses
    • Challenges and successes.
  • Participating institutions: Colorado State University, Emily Griffith Technical College, University of Denver, Johnson & Wales University, Colorado Christian University, Ashford University, Pueblo CC, Pikes Peak CC, Aims CC, Colorado Mountain College, MSU Denver, Regis University, Red Rocks CC, Arapahoe CC, Colorado Community College System, CC of Denver, University of Northern Colorado, Front Range CC.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Nicole's summary of the eLCC Conference

The 25th Annual eLCC Conference April 16-18, 2014 - Breckenridge, CO

I attended and presented at the eLCC conference this year and celebrated the 25th anniversary of eLCC. The conference was well attended and it is always a quality production with excellent presenters and speakers.
One of the first sessions I attended was personally exciting for me because it was on two topics of interest for me, badging and gardening!
Michael Macklin and Claire Pettner from Colorado State University Online Plus did a presentation titled “Certified Gardner Program: a non-credit curricular badge pilot”
They call it “unbundled education.” People can sign up for the whole program or they can take courses ala-cart. The badges are sorted into different levels that you can build on. Trek levels and Quest badges. They actually said that the Certified Gardner Program via badging is much more robust of an experience then if they were to come to the campus and take the face to face courses. The program is also as you can imagine much more community focused because it is non-credit continuing education. What a great way to pilot the badging system. It seems so appropriate. The badges are certified, include metadata and are good for up to 3 years. They are using the Mozilla open badge system but they are also working on building a big data infrastructure for the badging system as CSU. They have a long term goal that one day the badges would be worth credit and can be transferable.

Wednesday Keynote Alan Levine
 “Enquire Within Upon Everything: True Stories of the Wondrous Web”
You can take a look at the slides here. Alan’s presentation was an entertaining look at where we were with technology 25yrs ago and what he calls “amazing stories of openness.”  You can view some video stories here:
His presentation was quite interesting as he dug up the proposal of Tim Berners-Lee and his vision of openness and the exchange of information on “the World Wide Web.” It was just the start to HTML webpages as a method to share information. It did seem like it really fell into place as it was conceptualized.

Increasing Student Engagement in Online Discussions with SNAPP presented by Holly Chandler from Front Range College
The Social Networks Adapting Pedagogical Practice (SNAPP).
This was interesting. There’s a free browser plugin that can be accessed that will take the data (in real-time) in your discussion forum and create a sociogram of interactions.
A network diagram of your students’ discussions online can:

  • identify disconnected (at risk) students;
  • identify key information brokers within your class;
  • identify potentially high and low performing students so you can plan interventions before you even mark their work;
  • indicate the extent to which a learning community is developing in your class;
  • provide you with a “before and after” snapshot of what kinds of interactions happened before and after you intervened/changed your learning activity design (useful to see what effect your changes have had on student interactions and for demonstrating reflective teaching practice e.g. through a teaching portfolio)
  • allow your students to benchmark their performance without the need for marking.
As a free browser plugin, it’s a potentially very useful tool for reflecting on teaching outcomes when refining pedagogy for the next delivery. (
Also visit  for more info. I can also forward you the handout to help interpret the sociograms that Holly provided. Just let me know. She has a variety of articles that support this as well.

“Effective Preparation for instructor success in online education
Jacqueline Cahill of Colorado State University Global Campus
I have to say I was impressed at the rigor and robustness of how they prepare instructors to teach in their online ed programs at the CSU Global Campus. New faculty coming in must take some courses and pass just to get in the door. If for some reason they don’t pass in the beginning they can’t teach. For current instructors they must keep up with ongoing training as needed or identified. They also have a mentoring program (that seemed a little big brother to me, but they feel they need to stay on top of policing what is going on in all their courses in order to meet the standards of excellence they require.) All faculty use a checklist to make sure they perform certain tasks expected and on time! They have yearly peer reviews as well.
Ms. Cahill explained that they have a high rate of faculty satisfaction and retention. They have a faculty resource center that provides a variety of robust teaching strategy training opportunities.

Thursday Keynote
John Sener, Sener Knowledge, LLC.  John has written a book called “The Seven Futures of American Education: Improving Learning & Teaching in a Screen-Captured World”
John’s keynote was entertaining and interesting but it is tough to stay awake after a big lunch and long morning.  Here are some key take-aways and notes from his presentation.
First he defined “Melioristic” – The world can become better or can be made better by human effort. Then he defined a fun word “Cybersymbiosis” – being dependent on technology. Here’s how we can be more melioistic for the future of education in 3 easy steps:

  1. focus on making things better; Go beyond status quo, move beyond equal quality, move beyond effectivenes
  2. deal with changes by aligning education with the foundational shifts that are reshaping it.; refine knowledge; redistribute access, renegotiate authority
  3. deal with the powers that be by incorporating the influential futures that will be shaping education in the years to come; free market rules, free learning rules, standards rules;

“Just in Time Teaching (JiTT)”
Jeff Loats from Metro State
Here’s a good resource on the topic:  and a video overview:
I actually attended another one of Jeff’s presentations on the same topic at the Teacher Scholar Forum at Metro State earlier this year. I have a blog post on the topic.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Notes on 2014 eLCC conference

Guest Blogger: Sally Cordrey
Academic Technology Specialist
Information Technology Services

What is eLCC? The eLearning Consortium of Colorado (eLCC)
The eLearning Consortium of Colorado (formerly Colorado TELECOOP) is a non-profit organization based in Colorado. The membership consists of a coalition of public and private colleges, universities, K-12 education, and private sector business dedicated to the enhancement of educational opportunities through eLearning since 1986.
Annual Conference – The 25th anniversary conference for the eLearning Consortium of Colorado conference was April 16-18, of 2014. This year’s conference was packed with practical tips and techniques to help faculty teach, facilitate, and coach online, blended, and technology-enhanced courses.
The highlight of the conference was that I was nominated for the eLCC four-year institution co-chair position. This was quite an honor and I am humbled to have been nominated. The co-chair position was won by Paul Novak, DU Senior Instructional Designer. He asked me to lend a hand on the board.
My presentation
Build Your Own TEDTalks: Record a Class Guest Speaker, Sally Cordrey, Academic Technology Specialist, Regis University
Whether online or in a classroom, there are a variety of ways to use video technology to capture a guest speaker, edit video and share with colleagues. Use again in future classes. Build a video library of experts (your own TEDTalks) and have them available to use in the classroom again or online.
I presented to 25 faculty and faculty support people from various institutions. I reviewed the technology requirements, easy and free tools, and showed examples of videos created here at Regis. The audience was engaged and asked good questions. My hope is that they were able to take away some good ideas and ready-made strategies to create their own guest speaker videos. Presentation found at:

Sessions I attended

Building Community Across Groups using Evernote, Elizabeth Kleinfeld, Writing Center Director, Metropolitan State University of Denver
The MSUD Writing Center uses Evernote, a notetaking app that can be used on PCs, tablets, and smartphones to save, tag, and search text, webpages, and files. Explore Evernote to collaborate with multiple groups, including Writing Center staff, students, and the larger writing community.
 They have a wide age range 18-60s, level of expertise and technology comfort. Share notes, videos, articles, assignments, PowerPoint, templates. Evernote allows shared “notebooks”. Each person creates their own account, notebooks are categorized, share presentation, templates so that everyone is on the same page. Evernote can tag searchable terms.

From Ho-Hum to That Was Fun! Sharon McPherson, Mathematics Faculty, Pikes Peak
Community College
Tired of speaking to a deadpan sea of faces or more and more empty seats? Explore ideas to convert your lecture to an interactive learning environment through the use of technology and engagement techniques. Presenter uses Mimeo Studio which is similar to BrightLink. Using a whiteboard and the tools, she created colorful ways to interact with the content by drawing and typing onto the board. Files can be saved. She uses it for math equations, Venn diagrams, able to drag and drop numbers. She also shared an activity using clickers.

A Cloud of Documents,  Nate Wadman, Pikes Peak Community College
Ever wondered what the big deal about Google Docs and SkyDrive is? Find the advantages, tools and pitfalls of using cloud-based documents. Nate created his presentation in OneDrive, Microsoft’s version of Google Docs. Also has Excel, Word, OneNote, file hosting service, collaboration. Free. Access files anywhere. Don’t have to log in to OneNote, can use for sharing notes with students. Works for large file sizes, zip files.

Tricking Out Our Course Proposal Design Process, Debra Warren, Lead Instructional Designer, Nik Hunnicutt, Media Production Manager, CU Boulder
The new course proposal and development processes were working against us rather than for us. Learn how we approached this problem, made changes, what we did to make the new process work for several different programs and how we tricked some faculty into creating better courses. When you have processes in place, you get more done! Word spreads, they find you! Be ready, be prepared for anyone who walks in the door, calls you, or emails you. Have the documentation ready for the meeting with information of what your department does and a guide of the process. This clarification helps define job duties and adjust faculty expectations speeds up the process so that the meeting is 30 minutes instead of 2 hours. The key is to have them send their syllabus ahead of time and have them go through the Community Faculty Course D2L course first. Everyone is on the same page when meeting.
They shared an organizational guide, proposal form. All is tracked by project manager. IDs teach faculty how to teach online.

Lunch Presentation: John Sener, author “Seven Futures of American Education – Improving Learning and Teaching in a Screen-Captured World”
Good speaker with a message reminding us to focus on making things better beyond status quo, beyond effectiveness; deal with change, shift to producing results, performance-based; openness wins.

Just in Time Teaching–A 21st Century Teaching Technique, Jeff Loats, Associate Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Just in Time Teaching is an effective, evidence-based teaching technique using internet tools for face-to-face courses. Students and instructors are better prepared for class, allowing for better use of their time together. Explore the “Why should I?” discussion that should surround any new teaching technique. Presenter uses clickers to quickly engage students and gauge students on apprehension of lesson. Also asks for “Warm Up” questions to be answered and turned in before class, instructor reads them and plans class lesson accordingly based on responses. These are graded questions. Value to the instructor, “I know what they are already thinking!” Self-reporting gives a measure on how things are going. Value to the students, “I have a concrete vision of what we will cover in class, I am prepared!” Students are more engaged in class, compare themselves with their classmates.

Student Perceptions of Great Online Courses, Eric Salahub, Online Instructional Coach/Philosophy Faculty, Front Range Community College
Front Range Community College had 90 student nominations for Online Master Teacher for AY 12/13. An analysis of the nominations found overwhelming consensus that faculty engagement was the most important aspect of a great online course. Dig into the data and consider a new model of course quality. The guidelines were 1. Instructor-generated content; 2. Quality feedback from the instructor to students; 3. Instructor presence in the online discussions. Great to see the quotes from students promoting the faculty who are showing engaging presence, variety of teaching techniques, and timely feedback on assignments. Presenter has details on his blog:

Using Google+ Hangouts for Online Classes (F2F Classes, too!) Larry Giddings,Writing Center Director/CCR Faculty, Pikes Peak Community College
Get real-time practice with Google+ Hangouts (free download) to enhance online teaching and online tutoring. Explore Hangouts for office hours and teacher-student conferencing and tools including screen sharing, application sharing, chat, and video/audio. You should preload free software at and establish Google+ accounts as well. This presentation was somewhat chaotic but I came away with some tips on how we could help faculty use this free tool with their students and possibly bring a panel discussion into the classroom.

I will add to the documents I saved from this conference in a folder on the W shared drive. Feel free to ask me to expand on these notes.