Preparing to Offer Your Course Online

Will you be offering your course online in a future semester or term? Do you need help preparing?  Here is a run down of available resources from instructional technology. Because you are busy, our focus is on providing on-demand help and giving you entry points to get you started in the knowledge domain of online pedagogy.

As experts in your own knowledge domain, you understand what it takes to develop expertise in new areas, so we are giving you the scaffolding and threshold concepts that will jump start your understanding of the theory and practice of online teaching and learning.

  • Top 5 questions to ask as you are making decisions about setting up your course for summer, along with a menu of answers 
  • Generic Online Course Syllabus Template: You can use this template or just copy out useful policy statements (e.g., substantive interaction to take the place of attendance) and descriptions of academic support services for online courses.
  • Community Wisdom: COVID-19 remote instruction workplace group–share your tips and questions and hear from other faculty teaching remotely as you draw on the collective wisdom of our community
  • Just in Time Support Are you stuck?  Send an email to support@stedwards.edu.
  • On Demand Technology Help: Search our knowledge base at support.stedwards.edu
  • Instructional Design Consultation: Want to meet with an instructional designer with expertise in online teaching and learning to optimize your course?  One hour of work with an instructional designer could save you hours of development time later.  When you begin working on your course reach out to us by emailing support@stedwards.edu and using the phrase “instructional design” in your email. To ensure instructional designer availability, please sign up by May 1 for summer courses.  After that date, help will be provided as available.  For example, instructional designers can help with:
    • Translating face-to-face learning activities to online versions
    • Setting up assignments and gradebook in Canvas
    • Creating and sharing video lectures
  • Self-paced training: Have a little more time (2-4 hours)?  Instructional Technology has two self-paced courses in Canvas that give you a deeper dive into online course design and best practices for teaching online and model Canvas course shell design.  A little time here can save you a lot of frustration at a later date.  Each course takes 1- 2 hours to go through; then go back later to access the linked resources, as needed.  Request access by emailing support@stedwards.edu.
    • Building Online Courses — proven strategies for online learning activities and assessments, student engagement, and course set up in Canvas
    • Teaching Online — proven strategies for getting and keeping students engaged and on track and managing grading and other workload
  • Sample Canvas course shell — no need to stare at a blank course–this design gives you a head start on building your course the way you want. Request access by emailing support@stedwards.edu.
  • Course Design Review Standards: A rubric of proven, research-based practices for online course design. This link goes to the first page of the standards broken down by category, with annotations, but you can also download a pdf of all standards. (Advanced knowledge)

Strategies for Promoting Academic Integrity in the Online Classroom

St. Edward’s University establishes a culture of academic integrity in keeping with its Holy Cross mission and values through its Academic Integrity Policy (see the policy in the current Bulletin).  In online courses and programs, instructional design and pedagogical practices work to remove opportunities and incentives for cheating, plagiarism, and other violations of academic integrity. Below is a roundup of strategies that promote academic integrity.

  • Build an “academic community of integrity” in the classroom.
    • Instructors should build a community of trust in online and blended courses through frequent interaction, such as weekly video meetings and online discussions.
  • Include frequent low-stakes assignments or assessments to gain insight into a student’s ability and progress, as well as familiarity with a student’s writing style and other work to facilitate plagiarism detection.
  • Eliminate high stakes assignments or exams to reduce the exigency that causes many students to cheat.
    • Break large projects into smaller tasks, which also encourages task planning and time management.
    • Avoid creating lengthy exams by instead breaking them into a series of smaller tests or quizzes.
  • Take steps to minimize test anxiety which can lead to cheating.
    • Give students frequent and timely feedback.
    • Offer non-graded practice exams to help students self-assess and prepare.
    • Give clear instructions on time limits.
    • Consider offering open book exams.
    • Consider letting students retake assessments multiple times and provide automated feedback for incorrect answers to promote learning.
  • Take steps to minimize opportunities for cheating.
    • Create unique versions of assessments for each student through the use of
      • Question banks
      • Randomized question order
      • Shuffled answer choices for multiple choice questions.
    • Set time limits for quizzes and exams to reduce opportunities for students to look up the information elsewhere.
    • For more information on setting up quizzes or exams in Canvas, see Creating Quizzes in Canvas.
    • Create unique assignments and assessments to reduce opportunities for students to find the answers elsewhere online. Ask students to apply course concepts to their own work or personal context.
    • Use essay questions graded with a rubric rather than multiple choice or other objective question types.
    • For online discussions, require students to post their response before seeing those of other students.

Faculty Recognition Gathering 4/30/19 4-6 pm

Please join us for the 2019 Faculty Recognition Gathering to recognize your colleagues’ accomplishments.

Tuesday, April 30
4:00–6:00 pm
Mabee Ballroom

The program will open at 4:00 p.m. with the awards presentation. The ceremony will be immediately followed by a reception with food, wine, other drinks, and the music of St. Edward’s Band.

Those individuals who will be recognized include:

  • the Distinguished Teaching Awards for Full-Time Faculty and Outstanding Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty recipients and finalist;
  • the Sr. Donna Jurick Distinguished Career Award recipient;
  • the Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction recipient and finalist;
  • the Center for Teaching Excellence Mission-Informed Teaching Champion awards;
  • those who were promoted and/or tenured;
  • the 2019-2020 Innovation Fellows;
  • the 2019 Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grant recipients;
  • those who have piloted new technologies on behalf of the university in the 2018-2019 academic year;
  • the 2019 Presidential Excellence Research Grant recipients;
  • and those who have applied for grants, both external and internal.

This gathering is sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Department of Instructional Technology, the Office of Sponsored Programs, and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Learning Portfolio Pilots 2018 – 2019

Sample Portfolio front pageThe Office of Information Technology is conducting a pilot of technology to support the creation of Learning Portfolios.  Learning Portfolios are collections of student work and other evidence from their career in higher education (often accompanied by reflections) that demonstrate broad skills and competencies possessed by the students.  In other words, learning portfolios showcase student learning.

Making Connections and Reflecting

The general education program at St. Edward’s University has identified the learning portfolio (also known as the eportfolio) as a useful tool to help students make connections

  • across the general education curriculum;
  • between general education, major, and elective courses, as well as
  • with co-educational experiences like work, civic and volunteer activities, and personal interests.

Learning Portfolios are also a place for students to reflect on what they have learned.  Some majors have students assemble examples of work done in their major, select works that illustrate what they have learned in the major, and reflect on their learning.  These portfolios are also useful repositories to draw on in conversation with prospective employers.

Portfolium

portfolium logoThe potential use of learning portfolios in general education means that every student will need their own portfolio, so it makes sense for the university to consider providing a portfolio tool at the enterprise level (a tool that everyone on campus can use).  Before we can select that tool, we need a better understanding of technology requirements. And before we can determine requirements, the new general education curriculum, which launched in Fall 2018, needs to work out the process and practices of learning portfolios.  To enable that work, the Office of Information Technology has licensed a product named Portfolium for the 2018 – 2019 academic year.  Instructional Technology chose this tool with input from pilot faculty because it is easy to use and plugs into Canvas. We will use this pilot to help determine requirements for future tool selection, which we hope to accomplish in Spring 2019.  Regardless of what tool the university ultimately uses, students will retain their Portfolium profile free for life.

Pilots

Six faculty who teach general education courses have already volunteered to begin using Portfolium in the Fall 2018 semester once Portfolium becomes available in October. Two other history faculty will be piloting the use of portfolios in the history major.  We have plenty of licenses for Portfolium, so we are seeking faculty volunteers for Spring 2019,  as well.  If you are interested in trying Portfolium or have questions about this pilot please contact Rebecca Davis or Brenda Adrian in Instructional Technology.

If you would like to pilot Portfolium with one of your courses or in some other way, please fill out this brief google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSchv8G_7aJ7LF87dTQpkKX5dOjhYMs071WEW1Xf3ZKU18VX4A/viewform?usp=sf_link

More information about the pilots is available to members of the St. Edward’s community in this folder in google drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/15rqf4Lh6TUp4WIoz8b6YpK6yrHPCrnFN?usp=sharing

Access the Portfolium FAQ here:   https://support.stedwards.edu/customer/en/portal/articles/2956430-what-is-portfolium-?b_id=14595

Are Incoming Freshmen Digital Learners?

It’s that time of year again when all the reports come out to tell faculty about this year’s incoming freshman class, like Beloit’s Mindset List which annually reminds us all of how old we are.  The Office of Information Technology partners with our summer orientation programs to survey all incoming freshmen about their technology habits.  This year we had 523 responses to the survey. Follow this link to see all eight infographics and read on for highlights: Freshmen Technology Survey Infographics

Generation Z

100% of students have a smart phone; 82% have iphones & 18% have android phonesSome of those reports tell us that our freshmen are members of Generation Z and describe them as “connected since birth” (Cheryl Faux. “Generation Z: Connected From Birth.” 27 February 2015.)  Our survey results bear that out–100% of survey respondents report owning a smart phone.  In past years, there was always at least one who did not; but this year we’ve crossed the threshold to full ownership.  That constant connection comes out in their digital habits–they spend their time online on social media (85%, with Instagram and Snapchat as the leading apps), 63% check their email at least daily with another 19% checking when notified, and 64% manage their to do lists with reminders on their phone. A staggering 90% of students video chat, with 75% using Facetime (82% have iPhones). Take a look at all eight infographics (also linked from the thumbnail below) to gain more insight into how they take notes, manage deadlines, and prefer to communicate with instructors. Continue reading

Call for Pilot Projects to Support Learning Spaces & Digital Scholarship; Pre-proposals due 3/20; Final due 4/6

The Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable (TLTR) invites proposals for the Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants (TLTR Pilot Project Grants) for projects in 2018-2019. The TLTR will be awarding grants worth up to $5,000 to fund innovative teaching projects that incorporate new technologies and can be used as a model for other faculty. The TLTR especially encourages projects of the following types:

  • Projects that experiment with innovations in learning spaces
  • Projects that create a research-rich curriculum, by engaging students in authentic research enabled by digital tools and methods or leading to digital publication.

Pre-proposals: Due March 20, 2018.
Instructional Technology staff will review pre-proposals to make sure the proposed pilot is feasible or necessary. Instructional Technology may recommend alternate technologies, confirm that the university already possesses proposed technologies, and give advice on the project budget.

Final proposals: Due April 6, 2018.
No final proposals will be reviewed if a pre-proposal was not received and reviewed in advance.

More details, the Grant Proposal Guidelines, and electronic submission are available on the TLTR website at http://sites.stedwards.edu/tltr/pilot-projects/guidelines/

Google, Mobile, and What Else? Insights from the 2017 Freshman Technology Survey

As we do every year, we surveyed incoming freshmen about their technology habits during summer orientation. This year we received nearly 800 responses.  What did we learn?

Google

Freshmen Technology Survey 2017 Google Use

Freshmen Technology Survey 2017 Google Use

Incoming Freshmen Google Use 2013 - 2017

Incoming Freshmen Google Use 2013 – 2017

Some things we already knew–students like Google and their Google use is only going up. This year we saw 94% using Gmail, 81% using Google Drive, 75% using the Google Chrome browser, and 74% using Google Docs.  Given our recent switch to Gmail & Google calendar, we in OIT were happy to see that.  We’ll also take their use of Drive and Docs into account as we consider whether and when to turn on those other apps in GSuite.

Mobile

And, of course, yes, our students are as mobile as ever.

Freshmen Technology Survey 2017 Mobile Technology Use

Freshmen Technology Survey 2017 Mobile Technology Use

 

Digital Identity? Not so much . . .

What are they doing with their constant connection?  88% report that they use the web for Social Media.  This year, we decided to unpack what that means by asking them if they maintain a digital identity.

Freshman Technology Survey 2017 Digital Identity and Web Use. 71% don't maintain a digital identity and 88% use the web for social media.

Freshman Technology Survey 2017 Digital Identity and Web Use

Students and Social Media Freshman Technology Survey 2017

Incoming Freshman 2017 Social Media Use by Platform

71% of them don’t.  If you look more closely at their social media apps, Facebook and Twitter use continues to decline while Instagram and Snapchat use is growing.  These two apps, in particular, function off the idea of instantaneous and ephemeral communication.  In her study of teen social media use, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Network Teens, danah boyd, argues that teens replicate analog communications and see digital spaces as a continuum not an alternative to face-to-face interactions.  Instagram and Snapchat have replaced my generation’s practice of passing notes in class.  These apps are not necessarily about establishing a brand identity, unlike social media apps, Facebook and Twitter, where we see use declining.

Online or web-enhanced learning?

Past Learning Management Systems Used, 2017 Freshman Technology Survey ResultsWhile they may not be branding themselves on the open web, students are used to using the web for learning.  This year, we saw a dramatic drop in the response for students who have “never used an LMS (learning management system)” from 43% last year to 17% this year.

While most students have experience using an online LMS, they have not been fully online students. Nevertheless, even here we saw an increase:  35% have taken a class online which is up from 31% last year. In other words, over a third of incoming freshmen are familiar with online classes.

 

Working Digitally

Beyond online learning, students increasingly work digitally whether that is composing assignments and notes using online Docs (like Google) or accessing course materials, information, and grades online. What does this mean for instruction?  These students are ready for faculty to level up in Canvas by moving more course workflow online, but they may also be open for more innovative uses of online technology like collaborative projects, writing, peer editing, or group brainstorming.  Instructors could even leverage those ubiquitous mobile devices to expand the face-to-face classroom or encourage virtual group work outside of class.

What’s Next?

Finally, we always ask what new technologies students are interested in.  This year, wearable tech, 3D printing, and virtual reality headsets all passed 50% . Is it time to get a makerspace on campus?

Freshman Technology Survey results 2017, what new technology are students interested in?

What new technology are students interested in? 2017 Freshmen Technology Survey Results

Acknowledgements

Thanks to  Brenda Adrian, Jenny Cha, Ling Chen, Laura Lucas, Chris Mosier, Joana Trimble, Mike Weston for contributing insights to this post and to Eric Trimble and the team of student workers in Instructional Technology for the graphics.

Mary Dunn Shares Online Teaching Strategies for the Traditional Classroom

Mary B. Dunn, Assistant Professor of Management

Mary B. Dunn, Assistant Professor of Management

Mary B. Dunn, Assistant Professor of Management, is one of several panelists for the 2017 Teaching Symposium Session, “Online Teaching Strategies for the Traditional Classroom”.  Since Mary can’t make the session, she has offered her remarks in the following essay:

Four Tools I Adopted in My Traditional Classrooms After I Taught On-Line

Good afternoon! My name is Mary Dunn. I am an Assistant Professor in the Management Department in the Munday School of Business. I teach traditional undergraduate classes as well as non-traditional, blended courses for undergraduate and graduate students. I developed and taught an MBA course in the low-residency format at St. Edward’s.

The bulk of my teaching experience has been in the face-to-face format, but I have developed my on-line and blended teaching skills considerably over the past several years. In all of my classrooms (traditional and on-line), I take a relational approach (e.g. Parker, Hall, & Kram, 2008) to learning and building social capital (e.g. Burt, 2000; Coleman, 1990; Granovetter, 1973, 1974), so students are more likely to learn from one another and engage actively with the content. When I teach on-line, one of my primary goals is to create an on-line learning community that is just as interactive, collaborative, and cohesive as those in my traditional classrooms since interaction facilitates positive learning outcomes (Swan, 2002).

Initially, I didn’t expect that my traditional classrooms would gain much from experiences teaching on-line, but I was wrong. I have incorporated several new practices in my traditional classes that help me make my classes more collaborative and interactive. In particular, I find it easier to incorporate technology to flip the classroom, respond to unexpected changes, promote students’ learning from one another in shared reflection, and provide additional feedback. Continue reading

Proposal Planning Workshop, Tuesday, February 21, 4-5 pm, Premont 116

Need help preparing a proposal for the Innovation Fellowship or the Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants? Not sure if your idea fits the CFPs? This hour-long workshop will review successful proposal strategies, as well as pitfalls in proposal preparation. Participants should come with ideas and will leave with a proposal outline and/or rough draft.

Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants

Innovation Fellowship