Nov 11, 2016

Sakai Virtual Conference 2016: Recordings available!

Sakai Virtual Confernece logo

If you missed the third annual online Sakai Virtual Conference,  (it focuses on teaching with Sakai, learning, sharing, best practices, and community building), never fear! The Sakai Virtual Conference playlist of  the 2016 conference sessions are available now. 

What were the sessions about?
There are many excellent presentations to listen to, but if you want to know what some of the popular "themes" were, here's some of the popular topics to choose from:
  • Best Practices: What are best practices for Sakai courses? Blended? Online?
  • Lessons: Tips / Learning pathways in Lessons
  • Conversion: What is it like to convert to Sakai 11 (from a technical and user view)
  • Upcoming updates: More Sakai Accessibility, Resources, Gradebook, Site Info
  • Hot Topics: Student Engagement, Problem-based Learning, Learning Analytics

What did participants say they liked best about the conference?
  • "Huge variety of topics and presenters (from tech experts to innovative end-users); interactivity, fast-paced sessions packed with vital information and a sense of community!"
  • "Good practical insights from currents users about features, challenges and opportunities with Sakai"
  • "Working with Sakai users all over the world who are doing such interesting things with Sakai"

Who was there? 
Over 375 faculty and staff attended the conference this year from around the world.

Where will the money raised go?

Hope to "see" you next year (the conference is usually held the first week in November).

Sakai 2016 Virtual Conference playlist
Sakai Virtual Conference web site
Introducing Sakai 11 video (2:31 min)
Sakai Project web site

Aug 24, 2016

*Free* Fall MOOC's for Teachers/Educators

I took a couple of excellent courses this summer from Coursera and edX, so I thought it was time to find out what was available for teaching and learning this fall. I've also taken MOOC's with and Open2Study, and heard good reviews of FutureLearn, too. I found a number of interesting courses from all of these vendors, and listed them below, along with their student ratings (if available). FYI: I don't work for any of these these companies, I just enjoy learning new things, and the price is right.

Watch out: Coursera has changed. Some courses are still free. But now, some courses are free, but there's a catch: you don't get to submit the assignments and/or tests (I haven't taken one of these yet). And just like there were previously, there are courses you can pay for, if you want a certificate. But there's now a new wrinkle: paid specializations. Groups of individual courses are bundled into specializations. So if you want to take free courses, search for courses, not specializations.

Coursera courses (Rated 4.4 - 5 of 5 by students)

Canvas, edX, FutureLearn and Open2Study courses


Aug 22, 2016

Sakai/Instructional Technology/TLC workshops Fall 2016

Durham Tech Teaching-Learning Center and Sakai logs

Good News: Durham Tech Adjunct Faculty can attend any of the Fall presentations or hands-on workshops listed below and/or attend any of the Fall Teaching-Learning Center (TLC) sessions (for a total of two sessions) to be eligible for a $50 stipend. Please join us! We'll provide the form you need to apply for the stipend. 

Making your Word Documents Accessible
August 26, Friday, 10:00 am - 11:30 am Registration required 

Web Conferencing with Sakai Meetings
September 8, Thursday, 10 am - 12 pm Registration required 

Narrating PowerPoints with Office Mix
September 21, Friday, 2 pm - 4 pm Registration required 

New! Sakai 11 Upgrade: Overview and Q&A
October 6, Thursday, 2 pm - 3 pm No registration required!

New! How to Create Randomized Tests in Sakai with Pools (Webinar)
October 12, Wednesday, 10 am - 11 am No registration required! 

New Features in Sakai 11: Pick one of three dates:
1) October 25, Tuesday, 2 pm - 3:30 pm
2) October 28, Friday, 10 am - 11:30 pm
3) November 10, Thursday, 2 pm - 3:30 pm
Registration required 

New Features in Sakai 11 Workshop Information: 
Durham Tech will upgrade from Sakai 2.9 to Sakai 11 on December 19, 2016. 

In this hands-on workshop participants will log in to a Sakai 11 site and explore the changes and new features. Sakai 11 brings a whole new look-and-feel, designed to be more mobile-friendly. You'll learn how to navigate the redesigned user interface and how to use the updated Lessons tool. You'll also learn about new features in Tests & Quizzes, Gradebook, Syllabus, and Assignments. 

Need more workshop details? Check out the Fall Teaching-Learning Center calendar

Introducing Sakai 11 (short video)
Sakai Instructor Resources

Modifications: Reduced to 126 x 111 and added beside Durham Tech's TLC logo

Aug 19, 2016

Save the Date: Nov 2, 2016 for Sakai Virtual Conference 2016

Sakai Virtual Confernece logo
Mark your calendars for the third annual online Sakai Virtual Conference, with a focus on teaching, learning, sharing, best practices, and community building. This is a faculty-friendly event. Plus, no need to travel-the whole day's workshops will be online. 
Last year we hoped 200 people would attend the conference. Instead, over 350 faculty and staff attended the conference from around the world! There were so many excellent presentations to choose from, but if you missed any, the recordings were provided later for you to watch. Plus, you'll get "swag" after you register as well.

The Sakai Virtual Conference web site already has the following information posted:
  • Proposals: Submit now. Due by September 16. 
  • Nine Conference Tracks: (listed on the Proposals web page with descriptions)
    • Faculty Course Showcase
    • Instructional Design/Support
    • Effective or Innovative Practice
    • Learning Analytics
    • Technical Session
    • Birds of a Feather, Lightning Talks, UX Testing
  • Registration: Starts Soon!
  • Cost: $50. If you are a presenter: $25.  
  • Schedule: Tentative list is provided.
  • Sponsors: Longsight, Apereo and Lamp (so far). 
Save the Date: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

"See" you there!

Jul 21, 2016

Summer Pilot: Teaching and Designing an Online Course Workshop

 This summer we offered a face-to-face pilot workshop titled: Teaching and Designing an Online Course. Eleven part-time and full-time instructors worked with us on the following topics: 

Handprints on a paper, with the saying: Students will not simply pass through a course like water through a sieve, but instead leave their own imprint on the learning process by Bryn Holmes (2001)
  1. Course Structure and Course Expectations
  2. Course Design and Learner Engagement
  3. Assessment, Grading and Academic Integrity
  4. The Human Factor: Communication, Feedback, and Course Orientation
Each week, participants were assigned homework to complete. Later, the participants received text, video and audio feedback using email, Screencast-O-Matic or Vocaroo

We'd like to thank our "beta testers" for helping us try out the course! 

THE GOOD: What did the participants like? (From an anonymous survey)
  • Finding out what to put on a weekly Lessons subpage
  • Viewing examples of other instructors course sites
  • Creating an introductory video (and humanizing my course)
  • Hands-on Sakai training
  • Feedback provided by facilitators
  • Finding ways to make a course engaging 
  • Playing Kahoot
  • Discovering time-saving tips and how to improve my course 
THE BAD:  Lessons Learned:
  • Allow lots of time for instructors to share/work with each other
  • More hands-on, less lecture
  • In future, instructors will need to complete both the Intro to Sakai Online course and the Intermediate Sakai Online course before attending the workshop.
THE UGLY: One session:
  • For our second session, an Internet outage affected three local community colleges (us included) and a host of local public K-12 schools. The participants were wonderfully patient; it was a good time to get to know each other and share ideas and tips.  
We hope to offer the course again in Spring 2017. If interested in attending our next workshop:
 A Few Teaching and Designing Course Links:
Sakai Tools Resources: