As part of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Innovate 2019 conference, our team of instructional designers, Sarah North, Lynée Sanute, and myself, led an emerging ideas session around our work in diversifying design partnership options for faculty who are teaching online. Our presentation represents the first milestone in our process, and I want to share some background on what we’re doing.
In the spring of 2018, the Office of Digital Education (formerly CU Online) worked together with faculty member Lois Brink from the College of Architecture and Planning on a collaborative project to bring online students and face-to-face students together in a single classroom. With all the technology options available, the Microsoft Surface Hub reigned supreme and was selected to be the best tool on the market to make this idea a reality.
With the support of the CU System President and CU Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus Chancellors, Online Education is vastly improving at our campuses. With this support, the Office of Digital Education (formerly CU Online) now has the ability to provide a robust marketing and student recruitment effort as well as a student success team to support your new, fully online students from the moment they indicate they have an interest in your program.
Oh discussions, the often-dreaded exercise of the online experience. The design of a discussion can turn an exciting topic into a banal exercise where students are drafting large, online speeches and grasping at straws to provide two “meaningful” (hello subjectivity!) responses to other colleagues’ long speeches to meet the requirements in time.
I know I’m biased when I say this, but it’s hard for me to imagine an online course without media. In my opinion, media is one of the best formats for learning. It personalizes courses and gives students options beyond a textbook. YouTube has changed the way our culture learns. For instance, if you want to learn how to assemble Ikea furniture or explore some different cooking recipes, all you have to do is search YouTube and find high quality videos that show you the process step by step.
There are many factors which contribute to any students’ success, but online students face more of an uphill battle. Success in online learning requires more self-direction, more persistence, and more assertiveness than traditional face-to-face learning environments do.
I often find myself talking with people about online discussions and how to best set them up. Instructors, in particular, want to know the key to student engagement and best practices for their own participation. This isn’t something that has a hard and fast answer – you can certainly find plenty of suggestions, but a lot rides on what’s happening in a particular course.
The Office of Digital Education is preparing to solicit proposals from the schools and colleges of CU Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus for development of new online programs. An important part of the program development grant is the development of courses for online delivery and the professional development opportunities that are available to faculty who are developing and teaching the online courses.
Every semester we host several Canvas Basics trainings for faculty. My baseline goals for faculty attending Canvas Basics are simple: know how to organize your course with Modules, customize your navigation, and seek help using the Canvas Guides and/or the Helpdesk.
Have you ever needed to point out specific information in Canvas or on a website that you use in your online course? If you answered ‘yes,’ then I recommend trying out the university licensed tool Snagit by Techsmith!