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Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Image via WikipediaMary McMahon - Pomona College ITS
Mary McMahon is the Director of Instructional Services at Pomona College. Susan Kullmann - Scripps College IT
Susan Kullmann is an Instructional Technology Consultant at Scripps College
Benjamin Royas is an Instructional Technology Specialist at Claremont McKenna College. An alumnus of the college (class of 2003) and a long time employee within the Instructional Technology and Client Services department, Benjamin provides training and support to faculty using Sakai and oversees a team of student workers who digitize course materials.
Susan Roig is Director of Academic Computing at Claremont Graduate University.
The Claremont Consortium administers a biennial survey to the approximately 5,000 Sakai-using undergraduate and graduate students in its member institutions [Claremont McKenna College, Claremont Graduate University, Harvey Mudd College, Keck Graduate Institute, Pitzer College, Pomona College and Scripps College]. Academic technologists and information technology administrators from several consortium campuses will present findings from the 2008 and 2010 surveys. We will identify changes in student use of Sakai; student assessment of the benefits and drawbacks of courses that use Sakai; which tools students find most useful in their courses as well as tool usage patterns, and student suggestions to improve Sakai and the ways that it is used in their classes.
Image via WikipediaStephen Marquard - University of Cape Town
Stephen Marquard is Learning Technologies Co-ordinator at the University of Cape Town, where he is responsible for the University's popular Sakai deployment known as Vula. Stephen is a previous Sakai Fellow and a current member of the Sakai Product Council and Sakai Board.
UCT's Health Sciences Faculty has 3 related initiatives aimed at improving assessment practices: introducing the use of Extended Matching Item (R-type) MCQs, a Question Bank application to author, manage, reuse and share MCQs, and collaborating with other institutions to develop and share MCQs (including EMIs). The presentation will describe work in progress, particularly support for EMIs in Tests & Quizzes and the evolving requirements for a Question Bank application, with the aim of identifying similar interests from other institutions and medical schools leading to possible collaboration.
Image via WikipediaThomas Boudrot - Oregon Health & Science University
Thomas Boudrot is the Manager of Academic Technology at Oregon Health & Science University. His team provides instructional design and technical support to three schools and numerous departments in the use of Sakai. He has an EdD in educational administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.
John Ansorge is an Instructional Technologist at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR. He provides user and technical support for Sakai and other online academic technology services. He has a Masters degree in educational technology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Support calls from students and instructors are an extremely important source of information. By analyzing help desk issues, a course builder will often discover that design, not the technology, is the culprit. Using support call details, course developers can revise courses and develop best practices to prevent further support calls. Spending just a few minutes improving a course at the beginning of the term can save hours of user frustration and confusion. Many good design techniques are basic though new course builders are likely to miss them. A few of them include:
- Building the course homepage to direct students to important features and “must-do’s” when they first enter the site
- Ensuring that the site has a voice of its instructors
- Building (and deploying in Melete or Resources) templates that standardize the look and feel of instructional material
- Standardizing on uploaded media types to prevent the need for multiple media players and to minimize end-user access issues.
- Make sure there is something on the home page of the course that tells the students where they are.
- Link to the syllabus in the side-bar (we do this already).
- Set link target with tools to "top".
- Put a "Getting Started" section in the homepage that links to the syllabus.
- Make sure that the students get an email or message every week (creates a voice for the course) or put in a video or recording.
- Get rid of all unused buttons. Use the "Page Order" in the "Site Editor" (Site Info).
- End the scavenger hunt. Use icons and links in the "Lessons" tool. Provide a template. Look at the "Templates" button.
- Standardize all file types for things like videos (they are using Flash, mp3, and pdf)
- Have faculty use the Text Editor as often as possible instead of uploading and linking documents
- Do not use date specific assignments - make the tests due on specific weekdays.
- Because you can't link to every area in Sakai (don't link), give them a consistent path (Tests & Quizzes > Week 03 Quiz).
- Stop using the calendar - not every instructor uses it, students don't know to expand the calendar. It sets the students up for failure.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Image via WikipediaRob Moore - UNC-Chapel Hill Dept of Romance Languages
Rob Moore is a 2004 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked at UNC for almost six years. He is entering his fourth year as Manager of the Foreign Language Resource Center in the Department of Romance Languages. In this position, Rob collaborates with instructors and other departments on projects to improve the quality of language teaching as well as integrates innovative technology into the language curriculum. Recent completely projects have included
http://www.unc.edu/languageplacement and http://flrcvideos.unc.edu.
Department of Romance Languages has several large section courses, which can have as many as 45 sections taught by multiple instructors with one course coordinator. The course coordinator provides syllabi, assignments, and tests for the sections. Using Sakai’s section aware tools, these courses were moved from Blackboard to Sakai, which significantly improved communication and coordination between coordinators and instructors. The move to Sakai has not only saved time but also significantly improved communication and coordination between the coordinator and the instructors. Starting in the fall of 2009, each of the large section classes for French and Spanish had one main Sakai site, with the course coordinator designated as the instructor. Students were enrolled in sections within this main course, and instructors were set as teaching assistants for their section. The course coordinator can post necessary information to this one site and all students are able to see it, which eliminates the need for the coordinator to manage multiple sites and instructors having to move items from external locations to Blackboard. Another advantage of Sakai is that it segments students enrolled in the sections so that when they log in, they see only classmates from their section. As a result, any assignments or discussion boards are available to a specific section, and they are graded and seen only by that section’s instructor.
Image via WikipediaKirk Alexander - UC Davis
Image via WikipediaAngela Gardiner - University of Hull
Angela Gardiner is a Senior Lecturer and eLearning cordinator within the facility of health and social care within the University of Hull. She leads and teaches a number of modules and programmes across the faculty and has a number of years experience teaching online. Angela has designed and developed a number of education provsions within healthcare and is leading on the construction of the virtual PBL Sakai site.
Patrick Lynch is the eLearning Coordinator at the University of Hull. Patrick has qualifications in Business Information Systems, Education and Consultancy. Patrick has over 20 years of experience in supporting and developing academic staff. Patrick is also one of the tutors n the MEd in eLearning at the University of Hull.
Yvonne has been a nurse for nearly 30 years. Working in Ophthalmic Nursing and Education as a Nurse practitioner and senior lecturer. Working will colleagues over the last 15 yeas to develop various modules and programmes on line. She is currently Chair of the RCN Ophthalmic nursing Forum and working with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists on their eLearning Project. Mary Beadle -
This paper will discuss the use of a Sakai-based environment to facilitate scenario and problem based learning across a range of healthcare disciplines as part of the Interprofessional learning agenda. A virtual landscape has been developed comprising of a number of key locations which mirror a real town or city location and which links to a range of scenarios which can be used to facilitate learning across health-related student groups. The structure of the site enables individuals to read literature, access supporting materials and review audio visual resources which together depict a particular scenario. Once the students have explored the supporting materials and resources, they are laced into inter-professional groups to explore a range of issues in relation to the scenario. The method of learning and teaching employed is based upon the learning needs of the students and of which the virtual landscape is employed accordingly using an appropriately constructed task. The functionality of the Sakai-based site has enabled a range of learning materials to be gathered and structured in such a manner as to enable a highly visual approach to scenario and problem based learning which can be used in addition to or as an alternative to classroom based activities. This option is particularly significant for groups of learners at remote locations to the institution and has a particular significance for health students undertaking learning as part of continuing processional development and hence may not be able to access regular on campus.
Image via WikipediaYitna Firdyiwek is Faculty Consultant in Instructional Technology at the University of Virginia.
Sakai is now in full production at the University of Virginia where its adoption rate has been steadily growing over the last two and a half years. However, in spite of its many useful features, one of Sakai's serious shortcomings has been its limited accommodations for variety and flexibility in truly representing and delivering a course's design. While Sakai allows instructors to select, rename, and reorder tools and resources, instructors cannot provide students access to tools and resources except through a linear and heavily tool-based menu structure. Instructors at our institution have made it clear to us that this limitation is a severe setback to their creative and effective use of the system, especially in purely online environments. They may, for example, want to organize their course content and activities in a chronological order, or by topic modules, or even as a narrative with an emergent design. But, by default, Sakai forces a tool-based view/presentation even though few (if any!) courses are designed that way. This limitation has been partially addressed by at least two projects -- Melete by Etudes and OpenSyllabus by HECl. In this presentation we will briefly discuss the approaches and limitations in these two efforts and describe a third approach that focuses on the built-in editor in Sakai (FCKEditor) which we have adapted to provide a simple and flexible way for instructors to deliver their course designs via Sakai. By extending the Sakai editor with easy-to-use templates and plug-ins for full screen editing and previewing, and by adding the ability to easily link to discussion topics, assignments, and tests (in addition to resources), we have been able to provide instructors with an environment that is simple but also capable of supporting their individualized and innovative course designs.
- CMS Advisors
- TRC - teaching and learning support
- Instructional development teams in the different schools
- Focus on supporting instructors
- Give instructors control over the interface
- Provide design assistance with templates
- Focus on online editor training for instructors
Image by glemak via FlickrDr. Mark A. Van Dyke, Associate Professor School of Communication and the Arts Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 (845) 575-3000, ext. 2679 mark.vandyke @marist.edu
Marist College has completed a one-year pilot of a CLE-based site for academic advisors and student advisees. This site, created with Marist's iLearn (Innovative Learning and Research Network) brand of Sakai, integrates a full suite of Sakai tools. These tools create a highly-interactive online community that has greatly enhanced virtual communication, collaboration, file management, and innovation in the academic advising process for one advisor and more than 50 of his academic advisees. The Marist model of this collaboration site supports academic advising for an on-the-ground bachelor's in communication program and a fully-online master's program in communication. It also supports advising between master's candidates and thesis committee members, provides tutorials and other instructional resources for new advisees, and connects students who are studying abroad with the academic advisor and other students who consider study-abroad programs. Hence, this site can serve the needs of traditional and non-traditional students and academic advisors in a wide variety of situations by offering the flexibility, power, and the openness of Sakai's product.
He developed a project site around Marist Collaborative Learning Constellation.
Sakai and innovation in academic advising
"If academic advisors want to reach their advisees, and their advisees are living in a digital world, then advisors need to become part of that world as well."
Elements of virtual academic advising include fast, efficient, flexible, powerful, and open. He saw Sakai as a good fit for this.
Used the U.S National Academic Advisting Association Guidelines for Web-based advising.
The course site used most of the tools in Sakai. The academic community of advisors and advisees could benefit from the same collaborative learning environment as the teachers and students. He creates specific groups for specific needs. All the links advisors need to calendars and schedules are in the side-bar. One of the most popular tools is the wiki. He also uses Twitter. He uses an online sign-up sheet as needed via the wiki tool. He also used web conferencing to meet with students.
Computational Technologies in Educational Ecosystems
Introduction to Science Fiction and Fantasy
Joshua Danish's Course: Computational Technologies in Educational Ecosystems Indiana University Bloomington In his graduate course on Computational Technologies in Educational Ecosystems, Dr. Joshua Danish used Sakai as a hub to help extend class conversations beyond the classroom and even into other courses. He used Sakai wikis and blogs, and other Web 2.0 tools such as Twitter, to help meaningfully position students’ online conversations in order to promote rich reflection and discussion. One of the central activities of the course was a modeling activity in which students created visual models of the course content and iteratively refined their models throughout the semester, while posting reflections to the course website about the manner in which they adjusted their models in response to course readings and peer feedback.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Image via WikipediaBryan Holladay has been a developer at Indiana University for the past four years. Bryan has assisted with the Matrix tool enhancements for ePortfolio, is the project co-lead for Sakai's Messages & Forums tool, created Oncourse's mobile portal for MobileIU and redesigned the synoptic tool for Messages & Forums. He has his B.S. in Computer Science from Indiana University and will complete his M.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University in August 2010. Bryan enjoys android programming and sailing the lakes of Indiana in his free time.
Megan May - Indiana University
Megan is a Quality Assurance Team Lead / Project Planning Coordinator within University Information Technology Services (UITS) at Indiana University and was the Quality Assurance (QA) Director for the Sakai Foundation for just under 3 years. Over the years Megan has been responsible for leading a global QA effort, as well as directed the testing and implementation effort of IU's migration from the legacy CMS to Sakai. She has also been responsible for the communication, coordination, data analysis, design, documentation and tier 2 support. Megan earned her B.S. in Business from IU's Kelley School of Business with concentrations in information systems, operations management and process management.
Gonzalo Silverio - University of Michigan
Gonzalo Silverio is a Sakai/Ctools front end developer at the University of Michigan, focused on constructing usable and accessible user experiences.
Introducing the faster, sleeker, and improved Messages & Forums tool for Sakai 2.7. This showcase will go over the improvements made to the Messages & Forums tool, including the UI makeover, the new synoptic tool, the many performance improvements and the extra features added for the user. We will also go over the process of becoming an independently released tool.
- Deep hierarchical structure
- need for context and detail
- But there is no Sakai idiom for dealing with these issues.
- Color coding
- Threaded view
- Single message view
- New flags that tell you what you have read
- Navigation tools
- Clarifying permissions
- Complete accessibility review
- Word counts
- New synoptic tool (shows unread messages)
- Performance improvements
- Direct pinking to Forum posts
- Mark all as "read" when displaying all messages
- Site participant notification
- Displays # of users who read post
- view all postings by in individual
- Option to display and sort by last and recent activity
- Option to pre-populated default forum and topic
- Read by feature
- Statistics page - able to click on posting and retrieve thread
Image via CrunchBaseUnicon's Aaron Zeckoski is a software engineer and open source software developer. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in the Sakai open source collaborative learning environment. His nine years of experience include work both as part of a university team and as an independent consultant. An experienced systems architect, Aaron has demonstrated his programming expertise in all aspects of web application development. He is also experienced and interested in technical documentation, programmer tools development, and developer training.
This is a presentation on the integration of Kaltura Video into Sakai. We will discuss the use cases for the project and why it was developed. We will also present results of the pilot at UVA. There will be a demonstration of using the Media Gallery tool to create a media collection and using the Sakai Rich Text Editor integration to capture, edit, and embed video into various other parts of Sakai.
Kaltura is an open source video transcoding system to put content into Sakai. It is like YouTube except it is siloed. I am not sure if this is a good thing but for student privacy or some copyright issues this may be important.
Image by kiwanja via FlickrThis presentation was by Stephen Marquard of the University of Cape Town where he is the Learning Technologies Co-ordinator at the University of Cape Town. He is also responsible for the University's popular Sakai deployment known as Vula. Stephen is a previous Sakai Fellow and a current member of the Sakai Product Council and Sakai Board.
Find out more about how to send SMS messages from Sakai and integrate incoming SMS messages with Sakai tools and service. Questions and Answers is a contrib tool for asking and answering questions. Course Evaluations provides an easy and powerful way to deliver online course evaluations and other surveys in Sakai. This is a full presentation is a companion to the tech demo covering these tools.
Image via WikipediaThis is a presentation by Joan Esterline Lafuze who is a professor of biology at Indiana University East. I am particularly interested in this session because teaching online labs seems to be such an issue for so many science instructor and colleges. Interestingly enough, there is a lot of actual science that is practiced via the internet (e.g., gathering and sharing data). I see a disconnect between the teaching of science and the practice of science.
- Streaming video (live demonstrations)
- Modules (Melete Tool in Sakai)
- Assignments II
- Original Test & Survey to Samigo
- Wiki & ePortfolio
- Traditional course for pre-nursing and nursing students
- National, international, and rural students
- Issues: access to technology
- Benefits to having this course online
- Attendance/Live streaming element (there are attendance points)
- being able to meet individual students needs;
- able to teach deployed military;
- gasoline shortage;
Image via WikipediaThese are my notes from Jim Laffey's presentation "Activity awareness in Sakai: Improving the social nature of learning." The social nature of online learning; context-aware activity notification system (CANS); lessons learned.
Dr. James Laffey is a Professor in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri and a former researcher and systems developer at Apple Computer, Inc. Dr. Laffey has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has won awards for the design of innovative, media-based computer systems. He currently teaches graduate level courses on development of systems to optimize HCI and learning. He is the principal investigator for a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to study activity awareness in learning systems.
Image via WikipediaThese are my notes from this morning's keynote at the Sakai Conference. This is not a transcript but notes that highlight my interest in her work. Anya Kamenetz, author of "Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education" was the keynote speaker at the Sakai conference.
Friday, June 04, 2010
Image via WikipediaI have been looking at ebook readers and netbooks for the k-20 market. The iPad has been suggested as a solution to that in a few places. Those who know me know that I have been a big proponent of Apple in the past. I think a college really loses something when they do not support multiple platforms: they lose out on innovation, creativity, and ultimately, money. I have said in a couple of places that I can't consider the iPad as a platform for elearning. I am saying this not just because I am an advocate for open source: I have always had an iMac at home, my jobs generally insist on PCs, and I am currently travelling with a netbook that uses Linux-based Jolicloud (which I enthusiastically recommend to anyone who will sit still long enough to listen to me rant). So I am basically trilingual. I try to make a difference where I can and I am currently working towards opening up education in an area with little infrastructure, virtually no money, with widely dispersed population of about 9000 students with a potential 3 or 4 thousand more.
The iPad is a great platform for consuming content. But if you define education as more than the consumption of content - the problems come in:
1. No Camera
The quality of web cams on netbooks is increasing and their prices are going down. Early in this decade, cameras cost a thousand dollars a megapixel. Now you can get a 12 megapixel camera for $200. Seeing someone's face and making a human connection in distance learning is an important consideration.
As of my last look, the iPad does not support 3G Skype calls "due to contractual obligations with ATT." The platform of choice can't be tied to a phone contract. It has to work well with any VOIP program and Google Voice. This really ties in with the first one: computers should be essentially tools for connecting with others, interacting with content, remixing, and sharing. This is much easier to do on a netbook.
3. Censorship in the App Store
I read a story last week about an artist who altered his work (a comic book based on James Joyce's Ulysses) so it would be acceptable to the app store. It was cartoon nudity!
5. The Price
What I really want for our students is a $100 netbook. We are almost there. I want the students to be able to connect with one another, subject matter experts, their instructors, course content, and access ANY etext or content (unfiltered by commercial interests). On top of that, I want them to be able to use Open Office or any other open source tool to create and share content. I want all of this in one machine for under $200. And yes, I will get it. I have already bought a used netbook for that price and the On Laptop Per Child program has inspired others such as the Marvell Moby.