Monday, April 27, 2015

What Makes for Student Success?

I just found this video made by my friend and colleague Lindsey Rothschild, Instructional Designer for Holyoke Community College. In this two minute video three faculty members and three students explain tips for being a successful online student.

Two points stood out for me related to being present "in class." Frequency and care.

1. Being present frequently was addressed by both faculty and students. Watching for and reading announcements from teachers, responding to posts and email, completing activities several times per week are tips for students to demonstrate frequent presence.

2. Careful reading and writing were also highlighted. Both faculty and students highlighted the importance of reading completely and writing in a way that makes it easy for others to understand and engage with your ideas.

How do you set expectations for your students to succeed in your online classes? If you have tips for setting or communicating expectations, please post a comment below. If you want help clarifying your expectations of students, let me know.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Internet minus Copyright = Open Education Resources (OERs)

Why Open Education Matters a 2 min 27 sec video by David Blake


Dr. Smith needs high quality (accurate, authoritative, current) educational content for her undergraduate courses. Right now Smith uses textbooks in each of her classes. She has carefully reviewed texts from good publishers. She is confident in the material in those she has selected and happy-enough with the organization of content. She is not happy that her students have to pay between $90 and $200 for these books.

[Wouldn't it be great if we could provide high quality content to students without the exorbitant cost? Maybe we can.]

Dr. Smith heard that some of her colleagues had replaced their textbooks with open educational resources (OERs).  She learned that OERs are teaching and research resources that are published with an "open license" to be used and shared, for free. She asked her librarian and instructional designer for help. Together they found a rich collection of materials that substituted nicely for her text books. Her students are happy. And Dr. Smith is pleased that she is using excellent content in a variety of formats (e-books, articles, videos, interactive web activities).

Scholars and educators around the world have begun to recognize that they will have a larger impact if they share their content rather than if they hold onto it. You may be able to find OERs that suit your instructional needs, at one of the many repositories of OER content. And what about all the great content you create?

An OER Handbook from WikiEducator
TideWater CC offers a zero textbook cost ("Z") degree in Business Admin
9 Videos, each under 5 mins, from Edutopia's Why Open Education Matters video contest