As you take a moment to reflect on your experiences teaching during the Spring 2020 semester, COLRS encourages faculty to discuss your teaching experiences and further develop your skills in teaching in an online or blended environment. Upcoming opportunities include:
Throughout the summer, COLRS will be offering workshops on Technology Tools for Remote Delivery, Blended Learning Best Practices, and HyFlex Teaching. Check the COLRS Workshop calendar for dates and Zoom connection links. These workshops are free and available to all UIS faculty and staff (full or part-time).
COLRS Building Digital Community Course on CanvasThis self-paced faculty development course meets the requirements of the Higher Learning Commission for required faculty training in online instruction. It consists of six modules: Foundations of Online Learning, Accessibility, Instructional Design, Learning Theories, Facilitating Online Learning, Putting it Together. This course is free and available to all UIS faculty and staff (full or part-time). COLRS Canvas Migration Resources on CanvasThis Canvas site is a central location for support, materials, and resources to help you migrate your course to Canvas. These resources are publicly available.
Illinois Online Network (ION) Course Options
ION offers several non-credit courses including Overview of Online Courses, Blended Learning Design & Instruction, Instructional Design, Student Assessment, and many more. See the ION schedule for all upcoming course offerings. These courses are free for UIS faculty and staff (use code DV412 during registration).
For-Credit Course Offerings
UIS offers relevant for-credit courses. Please contact Human Resources for tuition reimbursement possibilities.
EDL 515 – Online Teaching and Learning. This course will introduce students to online and blended teaching and learning. Major concepts and issues, research in the field, and emerging technologies are covered, as well as practical strategies for designing and teaching online, which students actually get to practice in the course.
EDL 555 – Foundation for Technology in the CurriculumBasic technology skills and knowledge necessary for today’s education professionals. Computer operation, electronic communication, and computer applications with emphasis on the tools most applicable to the classroom setting.
As emphasized as a value in the UIS Strategic Compass, the UIS community seeks to understand the world around us through the pursuit of scholarship that is challenging and significant. In the past couple of weeks, COLRS has been approached by UIS faculty who would like to discuss research possibilities relating to the campus-wide transition to remote teaching. If you are interested in participating in an initial discussion about potential project ideas, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. In your e-mail, please share any immediate areas of interest that you would like to raise in the discussion. COLRS will coordinate the scheduling of a Zoom session in the upcoming weeks for those who show an interest.
As millions of people around the world shift to working from home, the unprecedented transformation of our behavior has put a large strain on internet infrastructure which can lead to slow internet speeds.
Here are some ideas to help us address this challenge:
The following companies are offering free or low-cost internet service during the crisis:
Those using Zoom web conferencing to connect with students, may find
that Zoom uses significant bandwidth, especially for video calls. To
address this concern:
In response to COVID-19, the larger educational community has been active in curating virtual resources for educators needing to quickly convert on-ground courses to alternative formats. As COLRS discovers resources that may be useful, we will share them here in this blog post.
If you’re traveling out of town, or just need to connect to campus from home, we have some tips for keeping connected with ease.
For additional help with the VPN client, remote desktop access, or Box, contact ITS.
Files can be uploaded from a local drive or the course itself, and can be documents, spreadsheets, Powerpoints, etc.
The email tool allows you to send email to other people in your course without launching a separate email program. You can send email to individual users or to groups of users.
Blackboard keeps no record of your email, whether you send or receive it. Any email you receive from Blackboard appears in your UIS email inbox. Keep a copy of important messages in case you need them at a later date.
You can send email to these users:
Note: Recipients of each email won’t see the email addresses of other recipients.
Note: To select multiple users in a list on a Windows computer, press the Shift key and select the first and last users. To select users out of sequence, press the Ctrl key and select each user needed. On a Mac, press the Command key instead of the Ctrl key. You can also use the Select All function to send an email to all users.
I have a wonderful team of student workers who do remediation of documents and video captioning. Recently two examples of their angst as students, highlighted the benefits of thinking about user experience and universal design for learning by making content accessible.
One of my students has a second job, and at that job she is allowed to quietly do online homework. This means she can watch captioned videos only. For one class, she was required to watch around 20 hours of video, however it didn’t have captions, not even auto generated captions. For a student who has personally captioned several hundred hours of video, she was more than a little upset with her professor. She is just trying to make the most of her time, and do her assignments, not having captions impeded that.
Another student, sent me a message the other day that she could not highlight some text in a pdf to copy to her notes. She’s working on a paper and thought a few sentences from the required reading really nailed the point. I knew that the pdf had not had any accessibility work done, so I told her to download it, go through the first few steps of making it accessible, and then copy the required quote, which worked.
In both these cases the students don’t need the files to be accessible because they have a a physical, learning or cognitive disability. They are used to files working a certain way because they do this work at least 20 hours a week, and they are busy people. In their attempts to do their real work, as students, they were inhibited from learning. Yes, accessibility certainly benefits students who may have a hearing or visual impairment. However, if we make content accessible, universally design our classes for all learners, and think about the user experience it will benefit all our students.
This is my 37th blog post, and my 8th on videos. I have talked about evidence based video lengths, correcting captions on YouTube videos you don’t control, audio descriptions, captioning, and getting a clean transcript from a caption file. Today I’d like to write about how to improve the overall quality of a video, and the answer is scripting.
I have worked on, and sat through many videos which are, to a certain extent, improv. This means that the creator sat down cold, and began recording all in one sitting. The video portion could have a talking head, or a PowerPoint, a screen recording, a drawing, or even show some sort of event or chemical reaction. In a video like this there could be a lot of filler words like um, ah, ok, a… Or perhaps there are interjections based on occurrences during the recording such as running out of ink, trying to find the proper tab for a function in the software, or yelling at someone in the house that the laundry is upstairs. For the student this can be distracting. And for those of us who don’t like hearing our own voices in a recording, it can make us cringe even more to hear, in our own voice, “someone let the dog out, um ah, where was I?”
An effective way to decrease these instances is to write a script for the video. Take the time to write down what you plan to say. Edit it a few times. And then read the script during the recording. Depending on your setup, you may want to print it out or have it displayed on an extra monitor. I recommend increasing the font size so it is easier to read as well. Doing this will decrease the ums, ahs, and oks. It cannot prevent a barking dog, but it can allow you to scrap the recording with the barking dog, and not worry about where you were to say what you meant to say. It will also give you an initial transcript of the video. Depending on how you are captioning your videos, you might also be able to upload the transcript and allow your video hosting platform to sync it.
The official system of record for your class list is the Enterprise Self-Service system. This is also the system where students register and drop courses and instructors enter midterm and final grades.
To upload an .srt file in Blackboard, goto My Media. Next to the video you would like to add captions to, click the greyed out pencil highlighted below with the red arrow.
You will then be on a screen with 9 options below your video, one of them is captions. Click captions
You will now see a blue button on the far left, “upload caption file”, click it.
Then a new box will pop up. Browse for the file. Select the language. And give it a label. If the language is English, “English” would be a good label. Then click save.
Recently I saw a post on Facebook with a blue circle, with a barely lighter blue rhino in it. It equated intelligence with the ability to see the rhino. It made me think of the need to keep color in mind in our instructional materials. Around 8% of men and 1% of women of Northern European descent are color blind. And the older we get the more difficulty we all have with certain color combinations. So it is important to think about this for our students, if you like to use color in your documents or presentations. Below are some known color combinations which are highly problematic.
This website by Giacomo Mazzocato or by WebAIM can give you an online color checking tool. The Paciello Group Website has a downloadable piece of software for Mac and PC which you might also find useful. If you use lots of color, please check the contrast.
If you’ve been trying to identify employability skills’ rubrics, check out the resources below.
The Leadership Development Center at York College conducted a national professionalism study, which identified key professionalism components spanning across industries and occupations. In the 2015 report, respondents ranked seven responsible parties according to how responsible they felt each should be in developing professionalism in college graduates. Students themselves were ranked number one and were followed by faculty ranking number two. The report also describes the qualities of professionalism and unprofessionalism. This list of qualities could be used for developing learner expectations for your course and allow various opportunities for practice in adopting professional attitudes and behaviors prior to graduation. Adapt ideas from this learning activity to help your learners improve in professionalism behavior and attitudes.
The National Career Clusters Framework consists of 16 Career Clusters, represents more than 79 Career Pathways, and includes knowledge and skills statements. Use the framework as an organizing tool for comprehensive understanding and to guide curriculum design with the purpose of bridging secondary and postsecondary curriculum. A new proposed sustainability/green category is also available with Green/Sustainability Knowledge and Skill Statements and tools and references to aid in the instruction of the Green and Sustainability Standards. As a reminder, Career Ready Practices should be applied throughout the continuum of learning.
The Illinois Career Clusters, Pathways and Programs of Study complements The National Career Clusters Framework and serves as a resource in understanding Illinois’ adoption of the National Career Cluster Framework.
Explore the ACT WorkKeys Assessment information developed to measure foundational hard and soft skills relevant to any occupation, at any level, and across industries. Each assessment has characteristics and skills divided into seven levels of difficulty. Use the information to explore ideas for developing or enhancing learning activities.
The Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) outlines a set of reference points for what students should know and be able to do upon completion of an associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees – in any field of study. The are five broad, interrelated categories of proficiencies which provide a profile of what degrees mean in terms of specific learning outcomes.
The North Carolina Network for Excellence in Teaching developed an Employability Skills Resource Toolkit comprised of eight modules for faculty to use for integrating employability skills across the curriculum. Use the modules to introduce a topic or adapt for course-specific content. Each module contains instructional materials with course lessons and learning objectives, questions for reflection and discussion, student handouts, assessment rubrics, facilitator notes and annotated presentation slides.
The Rigor Relevance Framework was developed by the International Center for Leadership in Education to examine curriculum, instruction, and assessment along the two dimensions of higher standards and student achievement. The tool can be used for both instruction and assessment.
As of January 2017, the “Last Access” Column in Blackboard’s Grade Center and Performance Dashboard is not accurately reflecting student activity.
In the example below, all the students have posted to the discussion board and two have submitted quizzes, yet only two of the students have a date in the “Last Access column in the Grade Center or Performance Dashboard.
ITS cannot install the update to fix this issue until after the Spring 2017 semester ends. Thus, for reporting the date of last attendance for students earning a grade of F, faculty will need to run a report to get accurate dates for last student access.
You can retrieve accurate data on your students’ course access by running the Course Activity Overview report.
In your course, go to Control Panel and click on Evaluation > Course Reports. Select the report you wish to run:
You manage availability to students when a test or survey is deployed on in a content area of your course (e.g., Course Materials or Assignments), by click on the “item options” button on the Test Options or Survey Options page.
Unavailable and deleted tests and surveys differ in the following ways:
UIS maintains an instance of Moodle for faculty and staff use at https://uistraining1.uis.edu/login/index.php
If you have a UIS NetID, you may access the Moodle site by click on the “Continue” button on the right side of the Moodle home page.
If you are a guest user of the Moodle system, your UIS contact will send you instructions for accessing the site.