Solving the Jigsaw Puzzle: Improving Retention through Predictable Design

Katie Evans and Bill Beers (via Blackboard Collaborate!)
Instructional Design TeamKatie and Bill from Lake-Sumter College
Lake-Sumter State College (LSSC)

Katie and Bill have learned a lot together, and have adopted Quality Matters (QM). They use QM as their guiding light in the decisions they make surrounding course design.

A little bit about the school, the second smallest college in Central Florida. Lake-Sumter State College serves 5,000 students in Central Florida. There are 130 Faculty teaching in Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP 10. There are 7 eLearning Team Members and 2.5 student workers.

The Concept of Predictable Design

The problem: students become frustrated, not by the content of your course, but by the jigsaw puzzle course design which makes it hard for them to figure out the instructor expectations much less how to navigate a course. Eventually, these students fail or drop the course.

Faculty: “Students don’t read my syllabus – I have to explain things to them individually, over and over again.”

Student: “I can’t figure out what my instructor wants. I have to click all over the course to find the information I need.”

The solution: Predictable Design, a method of organizing course materials where students can find everything they need intuitively, with little instruction. It merges instructional concepts with the behavioral design concepts used to build websites.

Problems with Traditional Course Design and their Solutions

Problem #1: The syllabus is the roadmap for the course!

No one uses road maps anymore! (Have you been to Amazon.com lately and downloaded and printed a map? Even my mom has a Kindle and purchases eBooks from Amazon. :] )

Solution #1: Design your course so that it does not need a map. Instead use road signs to give students vital information in the places they will look for it, as they need it.

Ideas:

  • Create a course tour video for the first week – speak from a transcript, that way you can upload it straight to YouTube and have it sync your transcript with what you say and create captions. It also helps students get a feel for who you are, and what you want! Plus you can still lecture in the online environment using these videos!
  • Stop designing your course by chapter – design it by week! Tell students exactly what you want from them for the week in a detailed assignments list.
  • Create a weekly checklist of assignments your students must complete.
  • Repeat vital information in more than one place. (It is not enough to put those instructions for the discussion board in just the syllabus, put it in the directions for the discussions each week. Repeat what your late work policy is – don’t make students hunt for it.)

navigation menu example from an online courseProblem #2: Information is scattered all over the course, in left-hand menu headings for assignments, tests, modules, documents – and on and on. The course menu goes on and on forever!

Solution #2: Solve the Jigsaw Puzzle for your students. Use a short course menu and divide your content into weekly folders with a predictable structure. Everything is in the same place each week which makes it easy to find. Put together a weekly template for your course, and use it each week.

Problem #3: Your campus provides advising, tutoring and disability services, but your students do not use them. Do they even know they exist?

Solution #3: Inform your students about these services in places where they may need them.

Ideas:

  • Are you showing a video? Provide instructions for accessing captions or contacting the office of disabilities.
  • Are you assigning an essay? Are you giving a particularly difficult math assignment? Link to tutoring services in the instructions for the assignment.
  • Link to advising services web pages during “W” week. Remind students that they do have the option to withdraw.

Problem #4: Students submit assignments, but their work does not fit your instructions. You leave them feedback, but they still don’t get it.

Solution #4: Provide several examples of what a “good” assignment looks like, as well as some commentary on why the example is good.

Other ideas:

  • Give your instructions in a new way, like a video or interactive component.
  • Allow peer review for big assignments, using your discussion board. Provide strict peer review criteria.
  • Give your students “practice” exercises and quizzes so students can make mistakes in a low-stakes environment before it “counts.” If students have the opportunity to practice before a “test,” they will do better! 🙂

Course Tour of a Design in Progress

LSSC prioritizes online course redesign based on the retention rates. The lower the retention rate, the higher the priority. (Bill uses app sharing on Blackboard Collaborate to show the course, Introduction to Psychology, a very cool experience!) Introduction to Psychology was recently a course that had a very low retention rate at LSSC, and the team (Katie and Bill) are currently working on redesigning the course.

Bill then showed us the American Literature course that won a Catalyst Award this year. It is also being used by QM in their training. (Katie and Bill feel the course is mediocre, but there is a tour available on YouTube.)

How You can Begin Solving the Jigsaw Puzzle Right Now! (The big take aways…)

  1. Make an orientation video
  2. Make a welcoming course home page that contains your contact information.
  3. Design your course sequentially, by with, with “chunked” folders appearing in the exact same order each week.
  4. Give your students a checklist of what they must accomplish each week. (Assignment list)
  5. Repeat course policy information

My Big Take Away

Study games are still around! Katie and Bill use StudyMate and Respondus and have found ways to help their students practice and succeed with study games in some courses.

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Can Twitter microblogging lead to higher retention?

Cheryl Boncuore, Academic Director at Kendall College in Chicago
Aurora Dawn Reinke, Assistant Professor at Kendall College in Chicago

Kendall instituted an experiment with faculty to implement social media in pedagogically sound ways. The college allowed the use of social media in class and beyond; tied use to institutional mission, programmatic learning outcomes and class objectives. They conducted the experiment with 10 professors, used 13 hashtags, and 276 students.

Kendall learned from the microblogging experiment that it is a great way to…

  • Prompt student research.
  • Connect with leaders in the industry and build relationships.
  • Engage students and faculty (some students that may not normally talk in face-to-face classrooms, may feel comfortable using social media instead).
  • Affirm student knowledge (followers, retweets, favorites).
    Image

Lessons learned and what Kendall will do differently next time…

  • Provide more training for students and faculty; how to use hash tags and mention use.
  • Explain to students better the advantages of using Twitter; only takes a few seconds, short, and to the point.
  • Don’t assume all Gen Y students are not afraid of doing it “wrong.” Encourage them to participate without fear of being penalized for not tweeting correctly.
  • Do not use Twitter to remind students of homework as it will result in a negative reaction from students.

Tips to integrate Twitter into your class…

  • Come up with a list of topics for hashtags to use in tweets and find reliable information.
  • Have students follow you (the instructor). The instructor may also want to also follow the student. Encourage students to create a professional (not personal) account.
  • Encourage students to find great resources and share URL.

Results…

Students felt more connected with instructors, peers, and those in the industry.

Useful Twitter tools…

  • Twitonomy analytics is a tool used to see statistics on students’ twitter accounts (number of tweets, replies, retweets, mentions, and even the devices used).
  • Hootsuite.com is a social media dashboard to manage and measure your social networks. It allows faculty to schedule tweets and have multiple feeds.
  • Tinyurl.com is one of many sites used to shorten URLs to help meet the limited 140 characters.

Use #teachwithtwitter so that we can learn from each other.

For students using assistive technologies, Easy Chirp is a third-party web-based Twitter interface. It is a web-accessible application meaning that it’s optimized for disabled users.

Opening Keynote: Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky
http://www.shirky.com/

Blackboard’s new CEO, Jay Bhatt, introduced the opening keynote speaker, Clay Shirky, an internet idol or icon, a forward thinker with education and media. Shirky wrote the best selling non-fiction book, Here Comes Everybody.

“Here comes Clay Shirky,” introduces Bhatt.

Clay Shirky at BbWorld13

Education has always been collaborative. We produce and publish things in education to get a conversation going. There are new ways of doing things in education, but we don’t know how to use those ways yet. The new resource for bringing people together in new ways to learn things is cognitive surplus.

It took 100 million hours of human thought to create Wikipedia.

How big is that compared to television?

200 billion hours go into TV watching, in the US alone, every year.

We spend a Wikipedia amount of time watching TV commercials in a single weekend. (WOW!)

Shirky introduced An Xiao Mina, who studies memes and uses Instagram to share her research. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/an-xiao-mina)

Here is a story about these little plastic discs, or CDs, and the rise and fall of Napster. Napster went from zero to 80 million users in 18 months, and it was killed overnight. The music industry took control back, but still lost control of distribution because it was impossible to unbundle those bundled albums on CDs.

music distribution services
Let’s bring it back to Education with the story of a student at Ryerson University, Chris Avenir, Chemistry 101, and how a Facebook group led to a $10 Million Lawsuit against Ryerson University.

  • The first MOOC from Stanford – students in the MOOC started a MeetUp to fill the social void that was not present in the MOOC, but was necessary to learn and succeed in the course.
  • Devlin’s Angle – there is now no reason to have a distinction between textbooks and class notes
  • BibSoup – collaborative filtering of books and libraries

We now use music we like to find other people that we would have something in common to talk about. With BibSoup, we can filter through data related to books and research.

Education is becoming a demand driven environment. The educational landscape is about to be transformed by student demand.

Phew!

GRCC at BbWorld12

Pictured left to right – Eric Kunnen (DLIT, Director), Cheryl Kautz (Computer Applications Department Adjunct Professor), Meegan Willi (DLIT, Instructional Designer/Technologist) at the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award Luncheon

Cheryl Kautz (Computer Applications Professor), Meegan Willi (DLIT Instructional Designer/Technologist), and Eric Kunnen (Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies) had the opportunity to attend the 14th national BbWorld 2012 conference that was held at the convention center last week in New Orleans.

BbWorld’12 offered a wide array of over 175 client-led sessions and was the largest Blackboard conference to date with over 3,500 attendees from over 1000 institutions and over 280 Bb partners.

Here are a few photos and highlights from Grand Rapids Community College at the BbWorld12 national conference:

(Note: For an overview and summary of BbWorld’s keynotes and conference, please be sure to see: “BbWorld12 Conference Highlights and Summary” as well as the additional posts on this GRCC BbWorld Blog.)

On Social Media, Blogging, and Twitter

  • 25+ blog posts were written by Cheryl, Meegan, and Eric.  The posts capture the notes and key learning from the event.  All posts are available on this blog at: https://bbworld.wordpress.com
  • In the past week there were over 11,000 Twitter mentions about BbW12 and BbWorld with over 100 tweets coming from Meegan and Eric.  Twitter messages from the conference are available via Twitter’s search feature here.
  • Meegan and Eric were highlighted as top influencers on Blackboard’s Hashcaster site.

    Blackboard’s Hashcaster Site

  • Meegan Willi and Eric Kunnen served as official BbWorld bloggers.

    Meegan Willi, DLIT Instructional Designer/Technologist – Official BbWorld Blogger

    Eric Kunnen, DLIT Director – Official BbWorld Blogger

About and Around the Conference

  • Eric spent time as an Ask Dr C (complete with lab coat 🙂 ) sharing best practices, answering questions, and connecting with peers from a wide array of institutions.

    Bb Ask Dr C, Eric Kunnen in the Upgrade Center and Digital Content Booth

    Pictured left to right: Eric Kunnen (GRCC), Henk van Rijssen (ROC Midden Nederland), Mike Zimmerman (University of Nebraska, Omaha)

  • Eric served on the program committee for the conference.
  • BIE Steering Committee and Bb Collaborate Product Advisory Council meetings were attended by Eric Kunnen.

On Presentations at the Conference

  • Eric presented as a panelist with Jacksonville State University, University of Maryland, and Montgomery County  in 2 sessions: “Blackboard Analytics for Learn – Panel Discussion” and “Mobility and Course Communications: Bb Connect

    GRCC DLIT Director Eric Kunnen – Presenting at a  Panel Session on Bb Analytics for Learn

  • Adjunct Computer Applications Professor, Cheryl Kautz, was highlighted for receiving the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award in a special award luncheon where Ray Henderson, CTO and President of Academic Platforms, presented Cheryl with her award.  Cheryl also gave a live demonstration of her award winning course on the first day of the conference in the Digital Content Booth.

    Cheryl Kautz receiving the Bb Exemplary Course Award from President of Academic Platforms and CTO, Ray Henderson

    Cheryl Kautz receiving the Bb Exemplary Course Award from President of Academic Platforms and CTO, Ray Henderson

  • Cheryl Kautz also presented with San Jacinto College, University of Miami, and Colorado State University on a panel at BbWorld entitled: “Beyond the Bells and Whistles – Exemplary Courses and Best Practices

    GRCC Computer Applications Adjunct Professor, Cheryl Kautz – Presenting at BbWorld

BbWorld12 Conference Highlights & Summary

Cheryl Kautz (Computer Applications Professor), Meegan Willi (DLIT Instructional Designer/Technologist), and Eric Kunnen (Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies) had the opportunity to attend the 14th national BbWorld 2012 conference that was held at the convention center last week in New Orleans. (See also the blog post and recap of “GRCC at BbWorld12” for the highlights and notes from Cheryl, Meegan, and Eric.)

BbWorld’12 offered a wide array of over 175 client-led sessions at this event that covered topics from teaching to the system administration of Blackboard.  The focus tracks this year included: digital content, social learning, analytics, and mobility.  Keynote sessions were delivered by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Sal Khan, creator of the Khan Academy.  There was also a Blackboard keynote by Michael Chasen, President and CEO and Ray Henderson, CTO and President of Academic Platforms.

BbWorld12 was the largest Blackboard conference to date with over 3,500 attendees from over 1000 institutions and over 280 Bb partners.  This event was a huge success and provided the outstanding opportunity to:

  • Connect with other Blackboard users and colleges from around the world.
  • Network with peers who share in building, expanding, enhancing and improving the use of Bb in teaching and learning.
  • Discover best practices and emerging technologies and teaching techniques.
  • Explore and identify new products and services that can advance the services we provide at the college.
  • Engage and participate in informal discussions and panel sessions around key themes and topics impacting education.
  • Hear inspiring keynotes from thought leaders on the intersection of technology and education.
  • Learn from innovative speakers that approach the next generation of teaching and learning with technology.

The top highlights from the BbWorld conference included:

  • Keynote by Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County on “Innovation in Higher Education: Leadership and the Role of Technology

    The university’s president started out with a simple statement: “Education is becoming something you can get anytime/anywhere… Things are a changing…”.  President Hrabowski’s engaging keynote was inspiring and provided goals that all educators and institutions can aspire to.  We need to focus on “Academic Innovation” which allows education to becoming much better than we are currently.  Rather than focus on the notion of “access” – we need to focus on access AND success in the same sentence.  Online learning and hybrid courses can lead to better results than face to face courses and

    “We must believe that we can make a difference in the world.  America is great and can be greater than ever before.”

  • Keynote by Michael Chasen (President and CEO of Bb), Ray Henderson (CTO and President of Academic Platforms) on: “Blackboard Corporate Keynote

    This session opened with a thought provoking video of “The Voice of the Active Learner“.  Also highlighted was Blackboard’s innovative vision, a focus on the fundamentals, and several new services and a mobile showcase.

    Bb announced “Projectxp” which will bring several new innovations that include a new: discussion board, calendar, and an exciting new way to share learning content within the institution and beyond through “xpLor” which is a new learning object repository coming later this year.

    Support was also discussion with 89% of tickets resolved within 1 day and an 8X improvement in extensive product testing.  Client satisfaction is at an all time high and Bb is committed to quality at all levels of the platform.

    In addition to “xpLor” mentioned above, new features include: improved item analysis for assessments, new interface with easy global navigation, new enterprise survey tool included at no charge, improved text messaging support also included, enhanced 2 way SMS text messaging for Bb Connect, a brand new Analytics platform for reporting and student insights from courses, the live Bb Collaborate tool now has integration with the gradebook and mobile features, and finally, a brand new “Social Learning” system is coming the provides enhanced profiles, student social spaces, profiles, activity streams and more!  Blackboard also announced that students can now purchase Bb Mobile Learn on iOS and Android devices for $1.99 for a yearly subscription and $5.99 for unlimited use.

    Additional notes are available here: “Blackboard Corporate Keynote“.

  • Keynote by Sal Khan founder of Khan Academy on: “Rethinking Education

    Sal’s session was very inspiring and the mission of the Khan Academy is: “A free, world-class education for anyone anywhere”.

    He shared stories of how technology is benefiting students from around the world and how it can significantly increase student – to – teacher ratio time by shifting some of the lecture content from classroom time to homework aka “Flipped Classroom” model.  In this model (in use by several GRCC faculty) instructors can spend most of their time on interventions with students, working individually with them, group activities, and hands-on learning in the classroom.

  • Day 1 Recap Video
  • Day 2 Recap Video
  • Day 3 Recap Video
  • Voice of the Active Student Video
  • BbWorld12 Session Presentations are available (74 to date) on Blackboard’s Slideshare account.

Beyond the Bells and Whistles – Tips & Tricks from Blackboard Exemplary Course Award Winners

Deb Everhart, Exemplary Course Director

Course winners:

  • Tess Bader
  • Cheryl Kautz
  • Chris Duke
  • Lyndon Godsall

PanelThere are seven directors in the Exemplary Course Program, Deb Everhart being among them. The core of the program is the rubric which is a tool divided up into four main areas to help faculty in reviewing their courses.

  1. Course Design
  2. Interaction & Collaboration
  3. Assessment
  4. Learner Support

This rubric is also used entirely outside of the Exemplary Course Program. For more information visit http://www.blackboard.com/catalyst/ .

2012 was the largest year for the Exemplary Course Program. There were 151 courses submitted, 265 reviewers who produced more than 650 reviews. In the end 40 courses were awarded. Of those courses, four were selected to share in this session.

Tess Bader and her team of six developed English 130, Introduction to Literature. At CSU-Global each course has a template which is built in-house by a team. The three exemplary practices from this course were:

Consistency of Design Screenshot1. Interaction

  • Every course has six specific items in their course:
  • Faculty Information, including a picture, weekly office hours that are held through Blackboard IM, commitment and expectations that students can have of them throughout the course.
  • Discussions – Faculty are required to start a weekly discussion and all students must post their own response and reply to two others.
  • Live Classroom – The courses are all 100% online, so synchronous activities are not required. However, every course has a live classroom link in Wimba Classroom which CSU-Global will transitioning to Blackboard Collaborate. If faculty can commit to doing three live classroom sessions in a semester they receive a stipend.
  • Feedback & Grades – The best practice at the university is for faculty to mark up papers line-by-line with the commenting features in MS Word. Additionally, all assignments have rubrics to give students specific detail on how they will be graded.

2. Use of MediaScreenshot of Video & Podcasts

  • Each module has a written version of a lecture.
  • Video & Podcasts are included in the lectures. Podcasts from NPR and videos from appropriate sources to compliment the content of the lecture.
  • CSU-Global is currently working on a single-button translation for students to go from English to Spanish for any media in a course.
  • Accessibility: Every video or audio clip is transcribed and students can download, print, and use the written transcription.

3. Mastery Exercises

  • Check your understanding exercises are peppered throughout the course materials.
  • Mastery Exercises are for a grade and students may taken them an unlimited number of times. They are typically 10 questions in length and have no due date.

Cheryl Kautz, an adjunct faculty member at Grand Rapids Community College won an Exemplary Course Award for her Advanced Photoshop course.  http://raider.grcc.edu/~ckautz/grcc/252/252.html

1. ProjectsScreen Shot of Course Design: Projects

  • The heart of this course is in the projects.
  • A course link is provided to give students two ways to get to the projects – from the weeks and also directly from the navigation.
  • Inside a weekly folder, the set-up is consistent from week to week. The topics differ each week, but the layout is the exact same.
  • In some videos there are pop-up quiz questions which stop the videos and also ensure that students are paying attention.
  • For each project, there are screen captures of past student work to let students see examples without giving them the raw file.
  • In addition, there is a help link for each week which is a text file including all of the same information from the video in a different format  for students to use if they want or need the extra information.
  • Lastly is a learn more folder which gives students more activities and resources for students to use for fun.

2. RubricsScreenshot of Assessment Rubrics

  • Cheryl uses Blackboard’s Interactive Rubrics for her assessments.
  • The rubrics are provided for students as printable PDFs to give students a way to print out and be able to refer to the exact details of how their work will be graded.

Chris Duke uses the philosophy of ACA – developing courses that are active, collaborative, and authentic. This framework can be used to rework any course.

1. Announcements

  • Over the last few years, Chris has started to carry over his announcements from one semester to another. It increases efficiency, so the introductory announcement is already written each time.
  • This also helps carry over the lessons learned from one semester to the next.
  • Some of the announcements are scheduled to release. By having the announcement prepopulated, Chris can have the announcements be regular and consistent which increases his presence in the course without creating more work for Chris.

2. Module Structure

  • Everything is labeled either required, recommended, or optional.
  • Required items must be done as they will impact a student’s grade.
  • By having ever item in an module labeled, students are forced to be more active in the course and make their own decisions on what they need to do to be successful in the course.

3. Task List

  • Students get a checkable task list which is ordered sequentially thought the course which helps them manage their time and complete the necessary assignments and assessments.

4. Automated Notifications

  • If a student has not logged in over the last two days, they get an email template letting them know that they need to log in. The email is sent daily until the student logs in.
  • Students appreciate the emails. It make one student feel really guilty – but it evoked a response with the student which might be what you need to get them involved in the content.

5. Project Driven

  • Students make real life purchasing decisions, giving them active, collaborate, and authentic experiences.
  • Some students take all of their work and actually use it for purchasing a real computer at the end of the year.

Lyndon Godsall is an Instructional Designer at University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies and he won an award for the course Teaching and Learning Theory in Clinical Nursing Education.

1. Consistency

  • They used the learning modules in Blackboard and built everything into units.
  • A unit reflects a week and that reflects a course which can be copied into each semester as long as you don’t put a date in anything. 🙂
  • All units begin with an overview, objectives and a to do list which led to the consistent desired.
  • Learning objects were specifically developed for each unit.

2. Communication

  • They wanted to be in constant communication with the students.
  • Wikis, blogs, collaborate, and discussion boards were all used to provide regular communication with the students.
  • One of the strongest learning points in the course – in many of the online courses at this institution – have discussion boards to allow peer to peer and peer to teacher communications.
  • We created a class photo website. The gallery of pictures garnered a feeling of community amongst the group. The team asked students to provide a picture for the website – this really made the students feel like part of the classroom even though they would never be on campus together for the course.
  • Blackboard Collaborate was very important to regularly communicate with students. Each week there was a seminar to communicate with students and give them a way to communicate back with the team.

3. Appropriateness

  • Different types of multimedia was used throughout the course, but always appropriate media that adds meaning.
  • Video is shot in-house in a simulation lab in the school to allow them to shoot various scenarios.
  • 5 of the units contain embedded video via Vimeo.

Beyond the Bells and Whistles – Exemplary Courses and Best Practices

Professor Cheryl Kautz talking about course design strategies that she used in her Exemplary Course.

Speakers
Tess Bader
Instructional Technology Coordinator, Colorado State University Global Campus

Chris Duke
Director of Curriculum and Assessment, San Jacinto College, Adjunct Faculty, Lone Star College Cy-Fair

Deborah Everhart
Chief Architect, Blackboard Learn

Lyndon Godsal
l
Instructional Designer, University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies

Cheryl Kautz
Adjunct Professor, Grand Rapids Community College

Session Description
Join the Directors, reviewers, and winners of Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Program (ECP) as we focus on the importance of pedagogical best practices. We will discuss the design and teaching principles behind the ECP rubric; the impact of exemplary courses on the student experience; and how the ECP and its rubric can be used for individual course improvement, faculty training, and professional development. Several of this year’s ECP winners will demonstrate best practices in their winning courses.

Notes:

  • Over 150 courses were submitted this year in the Exemplary Course Award Program
  • The program uses a rubric on course design, interaction, assessment, and learner support.
  • Colorado State
    • Uses Bb Collaborate for live sessions and sessions are archived.
    • Students are given feedback on their work through
    • Uses a module approach that includes media for lectures (written narrative, podcasts, videos embedded).  The videos have a transcript.
    • Check your understanding (ungraded) and mastery exercises (Bb quizzes of 10 questions) are used for formative assessment.  StudyMate is used for quick quizzes for ungraded assessment.
  • GRCC – Cheryl Kautz
    • Projects – Weekly folders include lecture and homework projects and resources.  Links are also included to previous student work as examples and to set expectations.  Manageable segments are consistent and variety of media. Camtasia is used for the video.  Each week has a help link that provides tutorial resources for learning the skills.  There are detailed instructions and screen shots that give extra support.  FAQs are also available and have been acquired over a number of years.
    • Interactive Rubrics – These are available in several places in the course.  Students can print the rubric that is required/used for project reviews.   The interactive rubrics are used from the grade center and are used to assess work and the score is saved automatically included in the gradebook.  This has been a huge time saver.
    • Rubric resources are available here:  http://learning.blackboard.com user/pass: bbw77
    • Tour available here.
  • San Jacinto College – Chris Duke
    • “ACAdemic” = Active / Collaborative / Authentic is a design philosophy for the course.
    • Uses dashboard announcements – used for curated content as much as the rest of the course.  Announcements are copied and reused each semester.
    • Chris uses a required and recommended approach for some of the content.  This gives them a filter and manage their time without being overwhelmed.
    • Modules > Objectives and content is sequential and varied.
    • Task list in Angel is used and helps students and guides them through due dates.
    • Automatic notifications help broadcast his presence in the course.  If students are not logging in, the students will get an email.
    • Links to “real world” websites such as HP, Microsoft, etc.
  • University of Miami – Lyndon Godsall
    • Consistency, communication, and appropriateness is key.
    • Units and learning modules were used in the design.  A unit reflects a week.
    • Communication was important too.  Collaborate, discussion boards, wikis, and blogs were used.
    • Multimedia was used with a focus on appropriateness – a purpose of use.
    • Learning modules were used for consistency.  Includes objectives, to do lists, reading, discussion board, seminar, additional resources, video, summary, powerpoint, and archived seminar from Bb Collaborate.
    • Video was custom and edited in house and uploaded to Vimeo.
    • Discussion boards were used in every unit to enable communication for peer to peer and teacher to student communication.
    • Wikis were used and students enjoyed contributing to the group wikis which was an additional mode of communication and vehicle for sharing ideas.
    • A class photo roster was beneficial since the students were never going to meet since it was an online class.  Created a feeling of connection among other students.
    • Bb Collaborate provided a way to hold online seminars to enhance student communication and allow them to communicate back in real time.  These sessions were archived.  The instructors used the polling function to keep the seminar interesting.