eLearning Frenzy

eLearning is like a sewer, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.



‘Twas the Week Before Blackboard World’

‘Twas the week before Blackboard World,
not much longer will we wait.

Thinking about multi-booked sessions

for which we’ll be late.


Meeting with vendors, colleagues and more,

Technology experts and topics to explore.

Pre-conference workshops to jumpstart our brains

learning best practices on which we will train.


I’m interested in training, f2f and online,

so many sessions, so little time!

T-Bug, best practice, pedagogy first,

networking with colleagues, you work up a thirst!


Vendor exhibits, giveaways galore,

Or maybe a door prize of which we will score!

We will listen, we will talk, we will soak up the knowledge,

and share our experiences with private sector, k-12, or college.


We look to return come Friday next week,

loaded with the knowledge we strove to seek.

So I say to you all, let’s learn without fear,

for if we want more, we wait ‘till next year!

BbWorld14 Session Blog – Be A Better Online Teacher

Paul Beaudoin PhD
Online Education Specialist
Murano 3304

Dr. Paul Beaudoin shares five key classroom tested strategies to help improve teaching efficacy and enhance the classroom experience for the learner.

“Upgrade your online experiences with zero financial cost”

“Where’s the Rubric?”  – Quality Matters Rubric or Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Rubric

5 Strategies:

  1. Maximize Your Digital Savvy

    Know your LMS – find out what tools are available to you (native & third party)
    Know what your text editor can do!  Format text and fonts, use hyperlinks, emoticons, webcam videos, tables attachments.
    Find other tools to use as well – Timetoast (timelines), Jing, Voki, GO2Web2.0(.net) [list of tools]

  2. Be an Active and Engaged Participant –

    Participate – What you do will be emulated and modeled by your learners
    Wiki class study guide.  Play Devil’s advocate
    Utilize User Activity inside content areas report tool.

  3. Reinvent your Wheel!

    What you do face to face isn’t always easy to do online (rethink)
    Use Wordle to help focus vocabulary building in your class (have students create them)  Transfer notes into wordle to emphasize what words are popping up over and over.
    Role play online  (ToonDoo cartoon)  (what one word would you use to describe this class – scenario)
    Use Twitter – Tweet the Crusades, Romeo & Juliet on Twitter

  4. Include Your Learners in the Process

    Make students feel like they are contributing to the process:
    Google Docs (surveys, forms, group documents)
    Make a commitment right at the beginning of glass on a DB as a public statement
    Create study guides – Study Blue
    Surveys (Formative, summative) to “Course Correct” along the way.

  5. Reassess Assessment

    Take the anxiety out of testing.  Testing Strategies that are low-stakes, medium-stakes & high-stakes
    Puzzles!  Crossword and Jigsaw Puzzles – great for building learner confidence (Bonus Points)
    Consider using questions that involve media (pictures, audio, video)
    Consider mind mapping tools like mind-mup.
    Have learners create infographics using tools like glogster.
    Making a Movie/Podcast Digital Storytelling FTW!  (Even use Vine)

Yup, It’s Okay to Fail!  Failure will allow you to build on the next endeavor!



BbWorld Session: Incorporating Student-Centered Activities within Blackboard Learn Courses

Session Title: Incorporating Student-Centered Activities within Blackboard Learn Courses
Thursday, July 11 9:25 – 9:50
Venetian|Palazzo Congress Center, Bellini 2003

Erika Wilkinson
Dean of Online & Continuing Education
Central Penn College

Being student centered must spill into every aspect of university life.

The Approach:

Start with Literature Review, Get Buy-in, Highlight non-student centered policies and develop professional development sessions.

Definitions & Review of Activities  (wikis to discuss class policies, journals for refleciton and dbs for collabo)

Instructor Centered vs. Student Centered

Don’t just stand there and share your expertise.  Involve the students, be collaborative.  Its about how you engage with your students.

Things (Topics that can be discussed)  Give Students options, get student buy-in and opinion on what they want to look into.

People (How you view it) – How you engage with students is important

Process (How the Information is shared)  Same thing every week (PPT, Discussion, Assignment)Have students post lecture notes (outline) by group.  Include your students!

Teaching is now how many posts are in DB or if curriculum is uploaded.  Teaching is how you are engaging your students!

Class Policies – Provide opportunity for students to take ownership of course requirements – Use Wiki with students to determine class policies:  Allow Student Editing, Allow Student Commenting, Decide if participation is graded.  “Class are we going to allow late work?”  “Should there be a penalty”?  “Should Extra Credit be available?” Post rationale.

REFLECTION – Provides opportunity for students to engage in learning. Bb Tool:  Journal – Weekly or Monthly entries, allow users to edit or delete, permit course users to view journal (Private vs. public), graded journal.

Journal Activity – Reflect on your personal goals for the class as they align with the course objective.  By the end of each week post a reflection on how this weeks assignments aligned with your goals and any modifications you anticipate in behavior for upcoming assignments.

Collaborate – encourage students and teachers to learn from one another. Bb tool: DB, WIKI, COLLAB SESSIONS.  Have students work together on review assignments for upcoming exams or presentations.

DB example – Give students roles in managing their own discussion


Begin on small scale, communicate new approach with students, use Bb tools to:

  • engage students in their learning
  • encourage students to reflect on their learning
  • motivate students by empowering them
  • Encourage students and faculty to learn from one another

Giving Your Students Directions on their learning journey!

ImageWhen you travel somewhere for the first time, doesn’t it seem to take a little bit longer to get there than it does to return home?  Whether it is unfamiliar surroundings, difficulty reading the map or the GPS isn’t up to date, it can be frustratingly slow to travel to new places.

Think of your online course as that new destination for your students.  How would they describe their navigation experience?  Would they say that once they travel into your course that it is difficult to find their way back?  Would they say that the course links were easy to find and use?  Would they be frustrated trying to make it to their “destination”?

Connecting your course by organizing and clearly naming your navigation elements will save your students and ultimately you time when putting together your online course.

Below are steps you can take to connect your course and save time for you and your students:

  • Use Dividers and Subheaders to visually organize your course’s navigation menu (hint see the Teaching Online and Putting it Together Subheaders in this course.
  • Append the text (Click to Open) on titles for content folders, learning modules, lesson plans, web and course links.
  • Make the content item Blue if you want your students to click it
  • Chunk your course content as you would teach it in your face-to-face course.  For example: Put all Chapter content in chapter folder with different sub-folders for each chapter.
  • Place a Course Link at the bottom of a unit a study so that the student can navigate back to where they were before easily.

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