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:

May 27, 2016

What happened at the 2016 Sakai Conference?

We just attended the 2016 Sakai (Apereo) Conference in New York, at New York University. We found a very excited group of faculty, developers, and trainers, who couldn't wait to find out about the latest updates to Sakai 11. Plus, there are already a variety of plans afoot for Sakai 12 too! Some folks were handing out Sakai 11 t-shirts-so I thought you might want to see a sample:

 For Sakai 11 (which we'll get the end of this year) the biggest change is the look and feel: 
  • Students can use their mobile devices to access Sakai
  • We'll work with a stream-lined Lessons tool, with just four buttons. 
  • The Test and Quizzes settings will be consolidated and simplified. 
  • Assignments will support peer and group activities. 
  • The New Gradebook (Gradebook NG) will look and work like a spreadsheet, and will be easy to download, update, and upload. 
  • We'll provide training this Fall so you can try out the changes!

What are folks planning for Sakai 12?

  • Forums retooling : Forums will remain the same for Sakai 11, but big plans have already been made to streamline the tool, with less clicks for posting and grading. 
  • Resources upgrade: In addition, there are already plans to update Resources so it looks and acts more like Google Drive or Dropbox, with drag and drop capabilities. 
  • New! Rubrics: Also, a new group has formed to integrate rubrics with the new Gradebook, later Assignments, then Forums.
  • Want to add your ideas or help with projects? Check out FARM, where you can submit and vote on ideas for Sakai and other Apereo open source projects.  You can also volunteer to join project teams (test how a change looks, how it works, document it, code it, or test it) 

What will be available the end of this summerMeetings (BigBlueButton) is adding new features:

  • Breakout rooms
  • Closed Captioning 
  • Plus: Faster Desktop sharing

In future, Meetings will allow shared note-taking, and will allow students to join a Meeting with mobile devices. As a matter of fact, if students use the Puffin web browser on their mobile device now, they can use it to join a Meeting now!

Curriculum Online Course Guidelines
Tools for Teaching
Sakai Resources for Instructors