Course Collaboration

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To establish a presence and opening the lines of communication in an online learning experience there are key challenges to get the course started. An online icebreaker can promote these characteristics by humanizing a technology-based learning experience and building trust among students and their online facilitator.

This Week’s Resources

Chlup, D. T., & Collins, T. E. (2010). Breaking the ice: using ice-breakers and re-energizers with adult learners. Adult Learning, 21(3-4), 34.

Dixon, J., Crooks, H., & Henry, K. (2006). Breaking the ice: Supporting collaboration and the development of community online. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology/La revue canadienne de l’apprentissage et de la technologie, 32(2).

Woods, R., & Ebersole, S. (2003). Using non-subject-matter-specific discussion boards to build connectedness in online learning. The American Journal of Distance Education, 17(2), 99-118. 


For this discussion, you will collaborate with your assigned group members to respond to this icebreaker.   T
ell us a five things about yourself others might not know. ( Minimum two paragraphs)

Here is where the fun begins.

     “Syllabus Icebreaker” Generate a list of four to eight questions or concerns you have about the course using the syllabus.  

    Use the course syllabus found in the resources to generate these questions.  Other Team members are expected to respond to your questions in the group discussion area.

         Upon completion of the small group activity, the group may ask any unresolved question that was no addressed by your team discussion group to each other.

By Wednesday
Post your initial response to your group’s Discussion board. Be sure to APA cite any external sources used.

Return to the Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Continue the dialogue as desired by responding to your colleagues’ thoughts or questions written by your group members. (Minimum, two responses)

Return to the Discussion board often and comment on the syllabus questions posted by the other members of your group. Discuss the challenges associated with them.

By Saturday
As a group, vote on a final syllabus question that needs additional clarification by the instructor.

Elect a group representative.
Your elected group representative should post a summary question of your group’s online concerns not answered to your group Discussion board.

 Note:
Be sure to write “SUMMARY” in the subject line of the posting. Only one summary question per group should be posted. The instructor will respond to clarify your concerns on this question.

By Sunday
Read a sampling of summary postings from the other groups’ discussion forums.

Respond to at least two of the other groups’ Discussion boards.
In your responses, constructively critique the proposed ice breakers. What are the positive aspects discovered about the course?

 

Rubric for Icebreaker
Discussion

Criteria

Unacceptable

1 Points

Acceptable

2 Point

Good

3 Points

Excellent

4 Points

Frequency

Participates not at
all.

Participates 1-2 times
on the same day.

Participates 3-4 times
but postings not distributed throughout week.

Participates 4-5 times
throughout the week.

Initial Assignment Posting

Posts no assignment.

Posts adequate
assignment with superficial thought and preparation; doesn’t address all
aspects of the task.

Posts well developed
assignment that addresses all aspects of the task; lacks full development of
concepts.

Posts well developed
assignment that fully addresses and develops all aspects of the task.

Follow-Up Postings

Posts no follow-up
responses to others.

Posts shallow
contribution to discussion (e.g., agrees or disagrees); does not enrich
discussion.

Elaborates on an
existing posting with further comment or observation.

Demonstrates analysis of others’ posts;
extends meaningful discussion by building on previous posts.

Content

Contribution

Posts information that
is off-topic, incorrect, or irrelevant to discussion.

Repeats but does not
add substantive information to the discussion.

Posts information that
is factually correct; lacks full development of concept or thought.

Posts factually
correct, reflective and substantive contribution;
advances discussion.

References & Support

Includes no references
or supporting experience.

Uses personal
experience, but no references to readings or research.

Incorporates some
references from literature and personal experience.

Uses references to
literature, readings, or personal experience to support comments.

Clarity & Mechanics

Posts long,
unorganized or rude content that may contain multiple errors or may be
inappropriate.

Communicates in
friendly, courteous and helpful manner with some errors in clarity or
mechanics.

Contributes valuable
information to discussion with minor clarity or mechanics errors.

Contributes to
discussion with clear, concise comments formatted in an easy to read style
that is free of grammatical or spelling errors.

APA Guidelines

References
page contains no academic resources, only internet webpages.

Lack of APA guidelines for references provided.

References
page contains only one academic resource.

Many errors of APA guidelines: double space, 12 pt. font, hanging indent.

References
page contains: 3 total but one less of academic resource or text reference.
Follows most APA guidelines of components: double space, 12 pt. font, hanging
indent.

References page contains more
than required academic reference (3) and text reference.

Follows APA guidelines of components: double space, 12 pt. font, hanging

 

Plagiarism Detection and Prevention

Walden U EDIT6510-2 Week 6 Assignment

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What plagiarism detection software is available to online instructors?

“Detection of plagiarism can be either manual or software-assisted. Manual detection requires substantial effort and excellent memory, and is impractical in cases where too many documents must be compared, or original documents are not available for comparison” (Pappas Christopher, 2013).

I prefer “Software-assisted detection which allows vast collections of documents to be compared to each other, making successful detection much more likely” (Unknown, 2015).

I, as an instructor have been fortunate to have Turnitin plagiarism software available, it is a leading academic plagiarism checker technology for teachers and students, but is not free, available through our campus Learning Management System (LMS).

But in talking to other instructional staff I found out a plagiarism checker is not always available through the LMS. So I went digging, searching for free software that may be used.

  1. Anti-Plagiarism Anti-Plagiarism is a software designed to effectively detect and thereby prevent plagiarism. It is a versatile tool to deal with World Wide Web copy-pasting information from the assignment of authorship.
  2. DupliChecker DupliChecker is a tool 100% free to use. Just copy-paste, or upload your essay, thesis, website content or articles, and click ‘search’, and you’ll get the analysis reports within seconds.
  3. PaperRater Paper Rater offers three tools: Grammar Checking, Plagiarism Detection and Writing Suggestions. It is a free resource that is developed and maintained by linguistics professionals and graduate students. It is absolutely free to use and it allows you to check for plagiarized parts in your students’ essays.
  4. Plagiarisma.net Plagiarisma has a search box as well as a software download available for Windows. Users can also search for entire URLs and files in HTML, DOC, DOCX, RTF, TXT, ODT and PDF formats.
  5. PlagiarismChecker PlagiarismChecker.com makes it simple for educators to check whether a student’s paper has been copied from the Internet. Users can also use the “Author” option to check if others have plagiarized their work online. It is very easy to use as it does not require any download or installation.
  6. Plagium Plagium is a free plagiarism detection tool. It’s very easy to use. All you have to do is paste in the original portion of text (max 250 characters) and hit “search. It is available in six languages and an Alert feature is also available.
  7. PlagTracker Plagtracker is another online plagiarism detection service that checks whether similar text content appears elsewhere on the web. It starts scanning all internet pages and more than 20 million academic works for any plagiarized copy. After scanning, you will receive a report with details about your work.
  8. Viper Viper is a fast plagiarism detection tools with the ability to scan your document through more than 10 billion resources, such as academic essays and other online sources, offering side-by-side comparisons for plagiarism. It’s free and you can download it very easily. Just keep in mind that it requires a download. Just note that Viper is available to Microsoft Windows users only.
  9. SeeSources SeeSources is an online, automatic and free plagiarism checker. Choose MS Word in the formats (.doc/ .docx) or HTML in the formats (.htm) or text (.txt) or text document (max. 300kB, 1000 words). With “Start Analysis” the source search begins.  You will be updated about the progress continuously, search takes about 1 minute per document.
  10. Plagiarism Detector Plagiarism Detector is a software especially designed keeping the growing content requirement over the internet in mind. Equally useful for teachers, students and website owners. It scans the documents and detects plagiarism and provides an instant report. Your content should not be in a specific format. You simply need to copy/paste your content in the provided window and press search button. This is it! (Pappas Christopher, 2013)

Here are two more links to Free Plagiarism software, so you may decide for yourself.

Digital DYD                                                     (Swadhin Agrawal, 2015)

BloggersPassion.com                                     (Jasmine, 2015)

I have signed up for www.Pagiarism.net .   It was easy to setup a free account. I uploaded our Week Six Sample Assignments #1 & #2. Both came back with a 97% original content.

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How can the design of assessments and strategies help prevent academic dishonesty?

In an article written by Donald L. McCabe and Gary Pavela they present opinions on academic integrity on how to foster student honesty. “Part of integrity and honesty has to do with reinforcing standards and insisting on real ….course work from our students” (McCabe & Pavela, 2004).

The authors suggest ten principles to explain the importance of honesty and integrity in the information students will be documenting in their writings.

  • Foster a lifelong commitment to learning.
  • Affirm the role of teacher as guide and mentor.
  • Help students understand the potential of the internet – and how that potential can be lost if online resources are used for fraud, theft, and deception.
  • Encourage student responsibility for academic integrity.
  • Clarify expectations.
  • Develop fair and creative forms of assessments.
  • Reduce opportunities to engage in academic dishonesty.
  • Respond to academic dishonesty when it occurs.
  • Help define and support campus-wide academic-integrity standards.(McCabe & Pavela, 2004).

“It is our job…to bring out the best and highest moral standards in our students by helping them not to cheat” (McCabe & Pavela, 2004). Recognize and affirm academic integrity as a core institutional value.

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What additional considerations for online teaching should be made to help detect or prevent cheating and plagiarism?

The instructor need of establishing a rapport with the students thus enhancing the communication of instructor requirements and expectations regarding plagiarism

“In general there are three tools can be used to investigate Internet copying: search engines, plagiarism websites and software that checks for identical wording between specific sources.

By defining and discussing the topic of plagiarism on multiple occasions in class the instructor will make students aware of his or her expectations” (McLafferty & Foust, 2004).

“Our goal … to prevent them from making citation errors in the first place and getting punished for what was really not intentional. By making sure students had the knowledge to create honest work, we could improve their skills and motivation, reducing the incidents of plagiarism in our classes” (Paulos, 2011).

If you suspect plagiarism can you use a quick knowledge check for that student?

  • Most students who plagiarize do so inadvertently. T/F
  • Students cannot be accused of plagiarizing if they don’t know the citation style expected by the instructor. T/F
  • Using sources for educational purposes means that those sources are exempt from citation rules. T/F (Paulos, 2011)

How you answer these three simple questions may help you to determine your suspicions of plagiarism.

Worst case scenario:

“When instructors suspect plagiarism, they are obligated to follow steps prescribed by the institution to address the problem. These steps include contacting the student and forwarding a report to the dean or a disciplinary committee, and a possible hearing before either or both” (Paulos, 2011).

 

References

Jasmine. (2015, October 5). 10 Free Plagiarism Checker Websites for Bloggers. Retrieved from http://bloggerspassion.com/10-free-plagiarism-checker-websites/

McCabe, D. L., & Pavela, G. (2004). Ten (updated) principles of academic integrity: How faculty can foster student honesty. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 36(3), 10-15.

McLafferty, C. L., & Foust, K. M. (2004). Electronic plagiarism as a college instructor’s nightmare—Prevention and detection. Journal of Education for Business, 79(3), 186-190.

Pappas Christopher. (2013, November 18, 2013). Top 10 FREE Plagiarism Detection Tools For Teachers Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://elearningindustry.com/top-10-free-plagiarism-detection-tools-for-teachers

Paulos, L. (2011). Quick Coach Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism.

Swadhin Agrawal. (2015, September 11). Top 20 best free online plagiarism checker tools and websites. Retrieved from http://www.digitalgyd.com/top-20-best-online-plagiarism-checker-tools-free/

Unknown. (2015, October 2, 2015). Plagiarism detection

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism_detection

 

Impact of Technology and Multimedia Related to Online Teaching and Learning.

What impact does technology and multimedia have on online learning environments?

Let’s look at this question from a different perspective.

What impact does technology and multimedia have on online learning environments for instructional staff members?

New technologies have changed the nature of open and distance education in the last decades by providing a way for communities of learners and their teachers to interact with one another despite being situated in differing geographical locations.(Wilson & Stacey, 2004)

This raises the issue of how online technologies should be integrated into teaching in higher education, as not all staff enthusiastically embrace the change that such new technologies and pedagogies can bring (Wilson & Stacey, 2004). This was written 11 years ago and it still applies to the aging Baby Boomer educators in higher education institutions.

Individual adoption rates of innovation are usually distributed along a bell-shaped curve and be grouped under five categories: innovators, representing 2.5% of the population; early adopters, representing 13.5% of the population; early majority, representing 34% of the population; late majority, representing 34% of the population, and laggards, representing 2.5% of the population (Wilson & Stacey, 2004) These statistics are older but I feel the ratios today still apply with some adjustment higher in early adopters and early majority categories.

Where most learning and instructional institutions are still missing the train the trainer or instructor: “to develop the skills of the online teacher, strategies that include not only teaching the technical skills required to use the software and the learning management system that distributes the course to the student, but also teaching instructional design skills in order that the teacher can integrate the interaction that has traditionally been part of classroom teaching, into the online environment” (Wilson & Stacey, 2004)

The advantages of technology and multimedia in an online learning environment:

“Technically, we need to engineer efficient methods to synthesize multimedia content.

Just-in-time knowledge acquisition:

Enables learners to access knowledge at any time via the Internet.

Interactivity:   

Learning is an active knowledge acquisition

Self-directivity:

Learner-centered process in which a learner chooses personal learning strategies

Flexibility:      

Gives learners flexible control over the learning process, style, and content to meet their individual needs” (Zhang, Zhao, Zhou, & Nunamaker Jr, 2004).

“Theoretically, we must understand the impact of different factors on e-learning effectiveness.

Advantages identified for institutions and learners:

  • Learner-centered and self-paced
  • Time and location flexibility
  • Cost-effective for learners
  • Potentially available to global audience
  • Unlimited access to knowledge
  • Archival capability for knowledge reuse and sharing

Learners actively construct their own knowledge based on prior knowledge and experience brought to bear on learning tasks” (Zhang, et al., 2004).

What are the most important considerations an online instructor should make before implementing technology?

Prepare a very large to-do list, and don’t be afraid to add to it as a growing checklist.

A summary to-do list is useful as you develop your online course.

“Considerations:

  • Course overview and introduction
  • Learning Objectives and outcomes
  • Assessments and measurements
  • Resources and materials
  • Learning interactions
  • Learner support
  • Accessibility” (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010), Pg.69.

To understand the tools and applications in designing your course beginnings.

Technology considerations to be made to match:

  • What course management system?
  • Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Sakai, Moodle, WebStudy
  • E-mail: Announcements?
  • Discussion forums
  • Lectures: what media, Audio or Video, Both?
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Turntin software
  • Will there be synchronous collaboration(Boettcher & Conrad, 2010), Pg. 59.

What implications do usability and accessibility of technology tools have for online teaching?

E-learning is an enriching and stimulating environment within which learning can take place. While the pedagogy employed within a course or unit must be at the heart of the experience, the technology employed also has an impact, both negative and positive, on the experience for the student” (Kelly, Phipps, & Swift, 2004).

“One of e-learning’s advantages is the capability to provide for flexible learning suited for students with a range of different needs. An example of this is problem-based learning whereby the content is selectively released to students as they work their way through a series of problems, allowing them to solve the problems at their own pace” (Kelly, et al., 2004).

“Another example is resource-based learning where students are given a collection of resources. By setting questions to guide their mining of the resources, students can search the resources according to their own needs, e.g. some may prefer text-based materials, others graphical or media based. Indeed they may have the opportunity to add some of their own materials to the resource collection” (Kelly, et al., 2004).

“At the heart of any e-learning experience is the pedagogy that drives it, the learning outcomes, the content, which illustrates those learning outcomes, the context in which the content is presented and the activities a student completes to aid his/her understanding of the learning outcomes” (Kelly, et al., 2004).

What technology tools are most appealing to you for online teaching as you move forward in your career in instructional design?

Technology tools that will support introductions and the use of discussion forums in making deliberate attempts to build community in a virtual setting, as it becomes a means to promoting collaborative learning.

“The use of dialogue (i.e., interaction) and structure (i.e., design) and the dialogue variable using three core types of interaction: learner–teacher, learner–content, and learner–learner” (De Wever, Schellens, Valcke, & Van Keer, 2006).

I now understand the importance of these elements in an online learning environment to be some of the core components to making the online learning experience successful.

References

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R.-M. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips: John Wiley & Sons.

De Wever, B., Schellens, T., Valcke, M., & Van Keer, H. (2006). Content analysis schemes to analyze transcripts of online asynchronous discussion groups: A review. Computers & Education, 46(1), 6-28.

Kelly, B., Phipps, L., & Swift, E. (2004). Developing a holistic approach for e-learning accessibility. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology/La revue canadienne de l’apprentissage et de la technologie, 30(3).

Wilson, G., & Stacey, E. (2004). Online interaction impacts on learning: Teaching the teachers to teach online. Australasian journal of educational technology, 20(1).

Zhang, D., Zhao, J. L., Zhou, L., & Nunamaker Jr, J. F. (2004). Can e-learning replace classroom learning? Communications of the ACM, 47(5), 75-79.

 

 

LMS: Launching the Online Learning Experience

Significance & Understanding LMS Features and Acquiring Technology Available to You!

LMSLMS

The importance of the Learning Management System (LMS) be it Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate, Desire to Learn or any other LMS must be acquiring experience to comprehend the basic tools and features that are available.

  • “Logging In
  • Getting Started
  • Course Creation
  • Course Enrollment
  • Accessing Courses
  • Modifying the My Courses Module
  • Course Shell”  (Frostburg State University, 2015)

Students and faculty benefit from course management systems. Benefits include: (1) increased availability, (2) quick feedback, (3) improved communication, (4) tracking, and (5) skill building.

As my example, each Blackboard course shell is the same by default. The Blackboard environment includes:

  • Open Quick Links
  • Task-Based Navigation – allows you to jump from one course to another allowing you to perform the same task across multiple courses.
  • Global Navigation Menu – one-click entry access to My Blackboard and Log out button.
  • Menu Area (Tabs)
  • Add Content or Tool Links
  • Course Menu – modify as you like
  • Control Panel
  • Course Theme – Select from drop-down menu
  • Edit Mode Button – Leaving Edit Mode ‘On’ allows you to edit content within the window” (Bradford, Porciello, Balkon, & Backus, 2007).

This layout provides consistency in maneuverability in each course for faculty and students. It is important to understand the main purpose, to add online elements to courses traditionally delivered face-to-face and to develop completely online courses with few or no face-to-face meetings.

Why is it essential to communicate clear expectations to learners?

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“Expectations may be assumed by and transparent to instructors, but students often feel more secure when they have them explicitly stated or confirmed. Providing examples of completed assignments or models of expected discussion behavior is a way of doing this, and might readily be built into the course design, so students do not have to ask for it.

Additionally, open discussion between instructors and students of discrepancies in ranking between items considered important to performance and those that lead to satisfaction would allow students a sense of ownership and help instructors best meet the needs of learners in a particular class (Dennen, Darabi, & Smith, 2007).

What additional considerations should the instructor take into account when setting up an online learning experience?

QM_LogoQM_Rubric

    As with any new enterprise, planning is key to successfully implementing innovative components into your course, and this is especially true of e-learning courses, which require significant up-front effort.

I recommend the use of Quality Matters Rubrics intended for use with courses that are delivered fully online or have significant online components (hybrid and blended courses).

    Quality Matters (QM) describes itself as “a nationally recognized, faculty centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components. Quality Matters has created Standards Education Rubric in developing course components.

Quality Matters provides a complete checklist of how to get started in creating an online learning atmosphere.

  • Course Overview Introduction
  • Learning Objectives (competencies)
  • Assessment and Measurement
  • Instructional Materials
  • Course Activities and Learner Interactions
  • Course technology
  • Learner Support
  • Accessibility and Usability” (Quality Matters, 2014)

Additionally QM provides a Peer Course Review Rubric that assures quality in Online Learning outcomes.

Additional attention:

   “There are many considerations that need to be taken into account when setting up an online learning experience. Boettcher & Conrad discuss the importance of establishing an online presence of the instructor as well as building an effective learning community (2010). Although a course can have the best course management system, accompanied software and integrate numerous techy tools, but if the instructor does not successfully develop their presence within that learning community within the first few weeks of the course students will not be as successful as they could have been and the course can potentially have a higher dropout rate”(Boettcher & Conrad, 2010).

Whether you are building an Online Learning framework for primary students, college students, or for professional development among your colleagues, the basic premise remain the same – the Online Learning Environment should enhance the learning potential of your candidates.

References

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R.-M. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips: John Wiley & Sons.

Bradford, P., Porciello, M., Balkon, N., & Backus, D. (2007). The Blackboard learning system: The be all and end all in educational instruction? Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 35(3), 301-314.

Dennen, V. P., Darabi, A. A., & Smith, L. J. (2007). Instructor-Learner Interaction in Online Courses: The relative perceived importance of particular instructor actions on performance and satisfaction. [Article]. Distance Education, 28(1), 65-79. doi: 10.1080/01587910701305319

Frostburg State University. (2015). Blackboard 9.1(SP 8) Basics Faculty Guide  Retrieved September 15, 2015, from http://www.frostburg.edu/fsu/assets/File/Blackboard/Blackboard%209%20SP%208%20Faculty%20Guide%20Basics.pdf

Quality Matters. (2014). The Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric. Retrieved from https://www.qualitymatters.org/higher-education-program

Welcome to the Course

 

 Skillsbrain

     To get started in the course, be sure to locate the Syllabus on the left menu bar; click on it to open, and then thoroughly read all the sections.  Important information is contained in the syllabus, such as the universities’ academic policies, grade scale, and student resource.

Yes, the amount of material is prodigious at first glance. However, the material is well designed and provides you with the information and links to the sources you will need to be triumphant in this class. I strongly suggest that you will have the occasion to look through the class material and review the course performance goals and outcomes.

There is a written assignment that will be due based on review of the course materials.  Your expression of course materials content should be indicated in an essay. At a minimum you should write a reflection that is two pages double spaced, using APA formatted references.

Guidelines for the Assignment:

  • As part of your assignment explain how this course goals and objectives will prepare you to obtain your personal performance goals
  • As part of the context tell me how will you use your new knowledge and skills acquired in this course in the future?
  • As part of your responses support why are you taking this course and also consider what goals you have established relating to the kind of learning you hope to obtain. 

Post your assignment in the Week One Application by Wednesday, 11:59 pm.

If you have any questions, use the Contact the Instructor Link in the course navigation, left menu bar.   I am always available to help clarify those concerns.

Gary Jechorek, BS, IST

Engaging the Online Learner: Community Building and Effective Online Instruction

Side view of a concentrated casual young man with coffee cup using laptop at homeimage3

“Students enrolling in college who are 40 and older are often referred to as nontraditional students, re-entry students or simply adult learners. According to the American Council on Education, adult learners account for 40 percent of college students in the United States. People over 40 are going to college to increase their salaries, for specialized training to continue in a particular field, or to change fields entirely” (Johnson M, 1998; Sellers Evie 2015).

This is an important group who would consider online learning in their continuing education.  Are these nontraditional students ready for online learning? How do we as instructors make them feel comfortable in an environment that is totally unfamiliar?

“We must engage these learners, whether one calls it interaction or building a community, it is critical if an online course is to be more than a lecture oriented course in which interaction is primarily between the learner and the content or the learner and the instructor (Conrad & Donaldson, 2011), pg. 4-5.

“Ours learners cannot be passive knowledge-absorbers who rely on the instructor to feed them information…the environment must leaner centered environment” (Conrad & Donaldson, 2011).

Rita-Marie Conrad wrote in her book, Engaging the Online Learner, that there are appropriate activities in designing and utilizing activities.   She described them as engagement phases.

  • Phase one: focuses on introducing peers to one another in a creative and fun manner.
  • Phase two: activities focuses on two peers working together.
  • Phase three: the group choice example activity.
  • Phase four: exhibits how learners can be provided opportunity to lead an activity.

Additionally there are key elements in building community and engaging students in an online environment include the following facilitated by the instructor.

For the online newcomer: “instructor provides activities that are interactive…. provides opportunities… to get to know one another. Instructor expresses expectations for engagement…provides an orientation and keeps the learners on track” (Conrad & Donaldson, 2011), pg. 9.

Additionally, the instructor provides direction to promote community by facilitating engagement though activities.

  • “Students establish their own learning goals
  • Students work together in groups
  • Exploring appropriate resources to answer meaningful questions
  • Tasks are …authentic… connections to the real world
  • Assessment that is ongoing and performance based
  • Products that are shared…beyond the classroom so students are able to add value outside the learning environment” (Johnson M, 1998).

All activities are collaborative, solve problems, reflect on experiences and are learner-designed or learner led. Discussion groups are established and activities created that require critical thinking, reflection and sharing of ideas (Conrad & Donaldson, 2011).

Designing and utilizing activities that are appropriate for the various engagement phases of specific learners can promote confidence and success.

Community building and engaging learning does not simply happen, It requires “architectural engineering” by the instructor. Planning and utilizing activities that assist a learner in moving through the phases of engaged learning ensures that learners are motivated and able to successfully interact and collaborate in an online learning environment and eventually engage in independent knowledge building (Conrad & Donaldson, 2011), pg. 14.

References

Conrad, R.-M., & Donaldson, J. A. (2011). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction (Vol. 38): John Wiley & Sons.

Johnson M. (1998). Article for School Times.

Sellers Evie (2015). How to Enroll in College if You’re Over 40 Retrieved September 2, 2015, from http://education.seattlepi.com/enroll-college-over-40-1574.html

Encouragement Message from Gary Jechorek to All of You in WaldenU Course EDIT 6510-2

“The only difference between who you are and what you want to be in future is what you actually do. It is your clear vision towards your goal that assures you of your success in the long run. Keep up the spirits and study with great determination”(Sample Messages 2012).

 

Reference

Sample Messages (2012). “Encouragement Messages for Students.” March 1, 2012. Retrieved Auguat 29, 2015 from http://www.samplemessages.com/encouragement-messages/encouragement-messages-for-students.html.

Tenure Promotional Materials Packet for External Review Project.

Background: Our state legislature made the decision to remove tenure positions from the state statutes, unannounced to the stakeholders (Probationary Instructional Academic staff or probationary adjunct tenure track) on Friday June 5th 2015, with the law changing as of June 30, 2015. Those with Tenure status as of June 30, 2015 will be grandfathered with tenure.

With a window of opportunity for those currently eligible to have their promotional materials ready for review and possible tenure, the project date was announced for June 10th to have all promotional materials ready for review for those still seeking tenure.

I wrote a tentative schedule of events that needed to take place by Monday. I held a phone conference call on Friday late afternoon and called all stakeholders who were affected by the project. We set a time and action schedule in place that clearly identified my expectations of what each candidate needed to supply by Monday morning
.
My project was to take materials from the candidates, hard copy materials and make them an Adobe Acrobat PDF electronic copy, numbered, with table of contents so that they could be shared to reviewers in a cloud storage and then supply a numbered hard copy, with table of contents as a backup.

definition-of-scope-creep-450x155

Scope Creep occurred as the candidates found additional materials to add to their package after the initial scanning was completed. Once scanned and numbered, late additions needed to be inserted.

Opportunities: to keep what was already number and referenced for the table of contents to still be accurate. Each new addition had to be scanned insert number sequence added to match the existing page numbering sequence. Solution. Page numbers inserted had to be pre-numbered in with Adobe as a separate file then inserted into the master file. Numbering to be sequential 58, inserted pages to be numbered: 58a, 58b, 58c, to keep it in the correct category and sequence.

There were three promotional packages to be created with multiple documents being added to all three packages. The project began on Monday, June 8th for a twelve hour day with additional pages being added Tuesday for an additional 4 hours of inserting.

Wednesday morning was executive committee review and approval of materials.
I was the project manager to coordinate all materials, three instructors, two full faculty members and another administration support person until the project was complete.
The project could not have been planned to avoid this scope creep. As materials arrived due to the short time and the fast tracking needed due to time constraints, each new submission was dealt with by exception.

The guide for a change control system was used.
All requested changes were reviewed for impact on content
Impact to changes of project content was weighed against project performance, successful tenure and
promotion
Benefits and disadvantages of inclusion were evaluated
Proper authority accepted or rejected proposed change inclusion.
Communication of accepted change was communicated to all stakeholders (Portny et al., 2008), pg. 347.

As the project manager I continually was involved in planning, monitoring, and controlling various project aspects. Scope creep was inevitable with this project, but the change control lessened the random additions that could have been possible.

Reference
Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects: Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Converting Discussions to a Distance Learning Format

This week we are exploring two sites and considering how you might use them to help plan a project’s schedule, budget, or break down a project’s tasks.

Website
One

Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition

The title brought to mind all the players or Minions that live to serve, but find themselves working for a continual series of hopefully successful masters or in our case project managers. Each player or minion performing their part to a successful completion.

Estimating Costs and Time in Instructional Design

“People rarely spend much time on a given web page, unless they have a particular reason to dig deeply or unless they know they are on the one page that has the information they need. Other than that, people are moving quickly; they are on a mission in search of an answer” (O’Quinn, 2015).

I found this web site to be simple in design and easy to maneuver. Covering many of the topics needed to complete a Gantt chart and budget projection. It has helpful analysis templates for the beginner with tools for planning.

Learning Activities and the Analysis Templates (contains several analysis templates) ready to download and use.

 

“Contents of this PageTable of ContentsBudgeting.

Training Cost Guidelines,

Estimating Development Hours

eLearning Development Time,

Instructor Preparation, Time,

Seat Time,

Interactive Multimedia Instruction,

Case Study, ToolsReference(Clark,2015)

“Contents of this Page

Choose Instructional Setting

Learning Activities(Clark,2015)

Introduction to the Analysis, Phase, Business Outcome, Performance

Analysis,

Needs Assessment, Compile,

Job & Task Inventory, Task Analysis,

Build Performance Measures(Clark,2015)

Instructional Design Toolkittoolkit
ISD Concept Map
(Clark,2015)

 

Check out the original web page and author. http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/index.html

 

Website Two

http://business.tutsplus.com/articles/6-budget-planning-steps-to-professional-project-estimates–fsw-38700

6_budget_Steps

“We are going to look at two approaches: the top-down approach, and the bottom-up. The top-down approach is for when a client comes to you and says, can you do this project for $X? You have to decide whether to take the project, but first you need to work out all the costs involved to understand what (if any!) profit there would be in it foryou.

The bottom-up approach is for when a client asks how much you charge for a project, so you have to put all the elements together to work out your project rate” (StakesRoberts,
2013
).

Top-down Approach: “We have a budget of $6,000 for this 10-page white paper, are you able to supply the
finished product for that? You need to be able to work out an accurate budget estimate to understand if you are able to take it on?” (StakesRoberts, 2013)

Bottom-up Approach: “This approach is broadly similar to what we have already covered, except instead of giving us a budget and asking whether we can work within that, a client may come to us and ask, “What would you quote for this work?” (StakesRoberts, 2013)

This web page is a very simplified approach and overview to estimating projects. It is a beginning where additional research would be needed. It is an example of very simple short term projects to be estimated. It does give you the basics with worksheet examples to start your budget planning. There are hyperlinks that will take you to related topics with added explanation and details for budget planning.

References

Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/costs.htm

O’Quinn, K. (2015). Simplified doesn’t mean simplistic. Writing with Clarity: Turn corporate sludge into focused writing Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.writingwithclarity.com/2010/03 /simplified-doesnt-mean-simplistic/

StakesRoberts, J. (2013). 6 Budget Planning Steps to Professional Project Estimates Retrieved May 2, 2013, from http://business.tutsplus.com/articles/6-budget-planning-steps-to-professional-project-estimates–fsw-38700