Plagiarism Education Week – Free Webcast Series

10 04 2014

The 2nd annual Plagiarism Education Week virtual conference is April 21-25. Free, daily webcasts will share ideas and best practices to teach educators and students how to stop copying and start thinking critically.

  • Monday, April 21 – Understanding Plagiarism with Help from Dr. Seuss
  • Tuesday, April 22 – Tweets from the French Revolution? Using What Students Know to Promote Original Work and Critical Thinking
  • Wednesday, April 23 – “I Plagiarized My Child’s Birth”: From Extreme Plagiarism to Contextualized Understanding
  • Thursday, April 24 – How to Keep Your Job, Not Lose Your Reputation, Avoid Getting Sued, and Not Kill People
  • Thursday, April 24 – IRAC, Therefore I Write
  • Friday, April 25 – Survival of the Fittest: Adapting Methodologies for Successful Plagiarism Discussions

Visit Turnitin’s web site for more information on the sessions above and to register! Certificates of Participation are available.

Sponsors: AIC, SEE, 6IPC, NITLE, and PlagiarismToday.

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Improving Completion Rates in Online Developmental Math Courses

13 03 2014

mathPosterOn February 28, Patricia Brower, Math Technology Specialist, and Jeff Johnston, UAS Campus Director, presented at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Conference in Portland on their Title III funded case study. The focus of the presentation was on the analysis of the changes made to the online developmental math courses at the Sitka Campus. Patricia and Jeff spoke with several attendees about the success of the case study and the improvements made to the completion rates of UAS’ online developmental math courses; the courses have sustained a 30% increase in completion rates over five continuous semesters.

Under the UAS Sitka Campus Title III grant, research was conducted to discover how we could increase completion rates for our online developmental math courses. Using the well known emporium model (where math is taught within a physical lab) as a guide, we set out to improve our completion rates by improving sustained engagement. In looking at the research data, we found that throughout the US, developmental math courses were serving as a barrier to completion not only of the math courses themselves, but of degrees in general. Creating an “impassable gateway” for many, and serving as a graveyard for college students, developmental math courses have proven to be in need of redesign so that student can acquire their degrees and to go on to successful careers. To learn more about the purpose and approach of the research read the brief report.

The case study brought much interest from campuses across the United States interested in the possibility of creating successful online courses for developmental mathematics. Jeff and Patricia presented on how through the project, the Title III team was able to adapt the emporium model to a completely online environment. This new “Virtual Emporium Model” is one of the first models used for online developmental math education. Mcgraw Hill is featuring the results of this case study for other Universities, so that they can see how to successfully use adaptive math programs like ALEKS on their own campuses.





Please Join Us! “Thru the Lens” Session 1 Is THIS Friday!

12 02 2014

This Friday, at 9 AM please join us for a one-hour mini-peer review of 4 different courses. The session will take place using Blackboard Collaborate. We’ll be using the UAS Peer Review Rubric Standard 1 and applying it to (1) ED 593: Design and Teach an Online Course, (2) Econ 202: Principles of Microeconomics, (3) Acct 379: Fund and Governmental Accounting and (4) BA490: Political and Social Environment of Business. Thank you Mary Purvis, Kathi Baldwin, Ann Spehar, Maren Haavig, and Charla Brown for opening up your course for this first mini-peer session in the Thru the Lens series.

Peer Review Through the LensFriday, February 14th at 9 AM we will use Collaborate  to meet so you can participate from your office or home. Please use the link shown, look for the “Tools Box” and click on “Participate Now” to attend. After joining the Collaborate session you will be given the information to log into each of the courses that we’ll be reviewing. Please have a headset with you so you participate by voice as well as text throughout the hour. If you have never done a Collaborate session before you might want to try logging in prior to the session to make sure you are ready at 9 am. 

Be sure to have a print-out ready of the Peer Review Standard I ready before you attend. If you have any questions, please contact Kathi at ksbaldwin@alaska.edu.  This is your final reminder. So please mark your calendar and plan to attend!

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/Sergpet





Tour 4 Online Courses During Our New “Through the Lens” Series

5 02 2014

Four of your colleagues have graciously opened up their courses for you to participate in an abbreviated peer review. Join us, February 14 at 9 AM, as we apply Standard I: Design of the Course of the UAS Peer Review Rubric and explore each of four courses.  You can participate from your office using Blackboard’s Collaborate.

Once a month, the “Through the Lens” series will open up a few online courses and we will apply one of the Peer Review Standards. This is a great opportunity for you to:

  • Peer Review Through the LensGet familiar with a Peer Review Standard
  • Apply the Peer Review rubric on an actual courses
  • See the Peer Review process in action
  • Explore a peer’s online course
  • Ask questions and participate in an informal peer review
  • Volunteer YOUR course for peer comments and suggestions

The “Through the Lens” series will be offered once each month. On February 14th we will use Collaborate  to meet so you can participate from your office. Please use the link shown, look for the “Tools Box” and click on “Participate Now” to attend. After joining the Collaborate session you will be given the information to log into each of the courses that we’ll be reviewing.

We hope to see you, Friday, February 14th at 9 AM. Mark your calendar now! This hour-long session will use the UAS Peer Review Rubric, so be sure to have a print-out ready before you attend. If you have any questions, please contact Kathi at ksbaldwin@alaska.edu.  We’ll send out another reminder next week repeating the connection information.

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/Sergpet





Are You Mentally “Fried” by Friday?

31 01 2014

Image of overworked womanIt’s Friday, and we want to help alleviate your mental weariness! We’re starting something new and calling it our “Fried Friday” sessions where we’ll bring you tutorials, Q&A sessions, or just a little light hearted humor. You’ll be hearing more about these sessions in the following weeks so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, to kick off our first Fried Friday post, enjoy this bit of humor that Susie and Maureen shared with us. As online instructors, we’ve all participated in some pretty tedious audio-conferences. We think you’ll get a chuckle out of this Conference Call in Real Life . We hope this helps you to enjoy your Friday!

click for youtube video

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for more interesting and fun posts from your Title III team and friends!

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/FotoW





A Survey to Help Us Help You

30 01 2014

onlineSurvey

Please take our short survey!

As we wind down our grant (only a year and a half left!), we want to be sure that we focus our training and support efforts on what you need and want. To that end, please take 5 minutes to complete this survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/UASFacultySurvey2014. If you could complete it by February 7th, we can get going on your requests immediately. Thank you!

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/orsonsruf





Peer Review at UAS–an Update!

18 12 2013

There has been a lot of interest in the Peer Review process developed by the Peer Review for Course Improvement Committee at UAS. We’ve developed a tutorial and website to explain peer review, answer your questions, and supply you with the rubric and the checklist so you can start using these tools on your own online course. Maren Haavig and Kathi Baldwin will be showcasing the website and answering questions about peer review during Spring Start-Up at 1 PM on Thursday, January 9th at the Juneau Campus. Ketchikan and Sitka campus will be able to dial in– check your agenda for details. Please join us.

We totally believe that the peer review process and rubrics created could be modified to peer review a traditional face-to-face course, however, at present, they are being used only to enhance and improve online courses. Take some time and let us know what you think of the UAS Peer Review Process! We look forward to your feedback.

Click the image below for the presentation, visit the website  for a textual version of the information, or return to this blog and click on the “Additional Resources”   page to find the presentation at a later time.

Peer Review Presentation





Universal Design Principles

25 11 2013

We have talked in the past about designing your online courses with care and making informed choices when deciding what to include or how to include content. Certainly we all agree that the look of your course is important. Sometimes we think that Universal Design Principles are only important if you have a student with a disability in your course. This is not the case. These principles make it easier for everyone to view and learn from your course materials.

Think about it. A wheelchair accessible ramp may have been built to help disabled people avoid the staircase, but have you ever used this ramp instead of the staircase yourself or seen others do the same? I’m sure we all have. The same is true of Universal Design Principles. When we build a course with good design, it benefits all of our students, not just those with disabilities. A good review of the Principles of Universal Design can be found at Ten Simple Steps Toward Universal Design of Online Courses.

Colored Grapefruit ImageOne area of Universal Design that we often forget about or ignore entirely is the use of color in our courses–#6 in the Ten Step article above. When preparing presentations, papers, slides, or any materials that live on the web, we need to consider some Color Universal Design principles. First, do not use color alone to convey meaning. If the work is printed on a black and white printer, your color emphasis may be totally lost! But another important consideration is making your work friendly for people who are colorblind.

An excellent article explains color blindness and discusses how to select colors that are easier to distinguish can be found at Color Universal Design. There you will find three important principles that will benefit your overall course or material design:

  1. Choose a color scheme that can be viewed easily by all regardless of actual lighting conditions and the environment of your user.
  2. Use different shapes, positions, line types or patterns  *in addition to color* to ensure that the information will be seen by all individuals, even those who have trouble distinguishing differences in color.
  3. Clearly state the color name in addition to showing the color whenever possible.

Universal Design may seem like a lot of work, but I think we’d all agree that, for the sake of our students, it is well worth the effort. Thanks Peter (Ilisagvik College) for bringing up this important topic and sharing the link.

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/orsonsruf





Online Education — a Disruptive Innovation?

4 11 2013

One of our colleagues from Ilisagvik College shared this article today (thanks Peter), from the NY Times, Innovation Imperative: Change Everything,“– it’s a powerful argument for higher educators to modify their approach to education and embrace online learning.

This article underscores that college, as many of us remember fondly, is no longer the “bridge” experience from childhood to adulthood, as only 30% of college students today live on a college campus. Yet, it states that online education may replace and improve that experience offering students an opportunity to socialize and learn together. Please take a look at the article linked above and report back what you think!





We Have a Blog For Your Students Too!

16 10 2013

Don’t let your students miss out on great posted tips and tutorials! Let them know about the Tips for Student Success blog. Check out the latest post to see how easy it is to sign up and forward the link to your students! (Of course you’re welcome to sign up too!)

tssSubscribe We’ll have two new tutorials posted this week – Creating Posts in WordPress and Editing Your Posts in WordPress. On the list for upcoming posts and tutorials are:

  • Uploading and Inserting Media in WordPress
  • Pop-up Blockers
  • Graphing with Excel
  • Citations and References

Do you have a need for a student tutorial? If we can’t find one that’s already developed, we may be able to create it for you. Let us know!








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