I developed my first Prezi on MOOCs. MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses. These courses are generally free of charge and open to anyone who wants to learn the skill or gain the mastery covered. My Prezi below highlights a few examples of current MOOCs. Stanford University research professor, Dr. Thurman, for example, delivered a MOOC in Fall 2011 entitled “Artificial Intelligence” and had over 160,000 students enroll from 190 countries. A recent NYT article (March, 2012) describes the MOOC as a way to “democratize higher education.” MOOCs offerings are fast increasing especially among elite universities as described in this (April, 2012) Inside Higher Ed article.
View my Prezi “MOOC in Higher Education” here: http://prezi.com/eia76flib7-m/mooc-in-higher-ed/
Prezi is an interesting tool for teaching. In some ways, I think it may be more complicated than other methods for communicating information. There is a lot of screening in and out and some have said they feel “dizzy” after watching one. But a well-designed Prezi may be more helpful than a traditional PowerPoint when the learner is just “flipping through” the slides without the speaker or narration. This is because the Prezi grounds the viewer in the context and reference visually. Main points can be more easily discerned visually and intuitively (if Prezi is organized and clear) than with a linear PowerPoint presentation.
More resources from TT1221:
Surveys are a great way to collect information from your students. Insturctor and course evaluations are one way that surveys are commonly used at the conclusion of a course, but student feedback surveys can be helpful (more helpful!) during the progress of a course.
Surveys can be used to learn your students’ “baseline” on the course content. This can help you know where and how to start the course. Anonymous student surveys can also be used throughout the course to get “course and instructor” evaluations at a time when you can adjust if a problem is presented. I have done this type of mid-review in my courses for years and find that the students also appreciate the opportunity to express concerns at a time when THEY and THEIR LEARNING is the focus of the change action (as opposed to future courses).
Student surveys are commonly at the conclusion of a learning module. My 16-week courses generally have 5-6 learning modules. A survey with the following questions is helpful at the conclusion of each: What did you learn? What do you still need help on? Describe your effort? These reflection questions can reinforce learning and identify areas that are still unclear that may need to be addressed.
I created a ‘module reflection’ survey with a free Survey Monkey account. Here is the module reflection whole survey FYI: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KYH2N3Q . It looks like:
In most cases, I would use the Blackboard survey because it is linked to the Gradebook.
Screencast videos are great in online courses! Basically, these media are a video of what you see on your computer screen and your voice as you explore it. The screencast may be a PowerPoint presentation, website, Blackboard, map, whatever.
Jing provides free account to record 5-minute (MAX!) screencast videos . (If you are more serious, you may consider a paid Camtasia account).
The video below is a Jing screencast video I recently used to welcome my online undergraduate students to class on the first day.
Watch video: http://www.screencast.com/t/1ahAwr5Qjx
Once I “shot” and recorded the Jing video, I transferred the video to another related account at Screencast. Screencast is like Youtube or Vimeo; it’s a service for storing and sharing videos. In the past, I’ve used Youtube and Vimeo. I like screencast because the privacy settings are great – I could make a folder PRIVATE, yet share the link of a video in the folder. And Screencast is linked to Jing so the transfer/upload is really fast and simple too. (Vimeo has additional benefits for storing videos – i.e. screencasts or narrated PowerPoints – because there are additional privacy settings that allow you to remove the option for viewers to embed the video randomly online. This provides additional control over where your lectures, videos, etc end up on the web.)
Some TT1221 resources:
There are many ready-made quality resources available to include in our courses. Using these material adds QUALITY and is a STRENGTH to online teaching. Finding these resources will vary by discipline.
The CDC (Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention), for example, has many videos and podcasts that would enhance a public health course. Here is an example of a 15-minute streaming video on healthy community design. The video covers important topics such as urban sprawl and public health and 7 health community design principles. I currently use this video by requiring students watch it (LEARN) and then participate in a discussion board that prompts specific questions (i.e. “What is urban sprawl and how does this design influence public health?”) and I ask the students to post the 2 largest take-aways from the video.
iTunesU is also a valuable tool for ready-made materials. Access these materials through your iTunes and click on your subject area to review.
Here are some TT1221 resources:
Blackboard Collaborate is an amazing tool for student learning. This tool is synchronous and allows for real-time interaction, questions, collaboration, etc. From my experience as a student in this TT1102 course, participating in the these sessions is simple and engaging.
There are many options for teaching with this tool, but my personal preference is to use this tool is by facilitating an online course similar to how I would lead a face-to-face course. Basically, I would provide a day/time for my students to log-in and join the session. I speak into the microphone on my computer and they all hear my voice as I’m talking. I use the “whiteboard” in Blackboard Collaborate to present a PowerPoint lecture and or show other documents and websites. The students use the hand-raising function to text their questions (or request microphone ability to speak their question) as we go through the material together. The poll option is also very easy and helpful to use. I speak a question and provide a poll with A, B, or C or yes/no options that students respond to. I see those poll responses immediately as do all the participants. In addition, the facilitator can transfer the moderator role to a student. This allows students to present their PowerPoints or projects to the class.
Here is a summary of what the platform looks like:
Here are how-to tools for faculty at UNF.
Although there are many advantages to using this tool, there are also disadvantages to consider. Students are flocking to online classes because they are primarily asynchronous – and thus convenient and self-paced. This tool is synchronous. I think it’s important to consider the students’ expectations and schedules before requiring these sessions. You can also record a session so students could watch the “class” as a video. They would not have the benefit of participating, questioning real-time, but they could see the interactions that took place.
Here are some TT1221 resources:
Poll Everywhere is an amazing service. You can poll your students via text message (or internet) for FREE, up to 40 participants. The way it works is you create an online account at Poll Everywhere and share a code for your students to text to. The responses are tallied immediately on your online account. You DO NOT get text messages on your phone (wow, that would be a mess!).
Here is a 2 minute video that explains:
Text polling can be used in the classroom as described in the above video. Text polling could be used online by providing the text code (as the video shows) and asking students to provide feedback on a question within the day (or some time frame that you determine). Remember, the feedback you receive will be tallied and summarized as shown in the video on your online account – NOT YOUR CELL PHONE!
I really look forward to incorporating this in my courses!