As tri-chair of the Maricopa Millions project in Maricopa, much of what we do is speak to the values of the project. The goal is to save students $5 million in 5 years and to radically decrease student costs by offering LOW COST or NO COST options for course materials. We were nominated for a Futures Assembly Bellwether award this year and became a Top 10 finalist. Last week we traveled to Orlando, FL to present our presentation to the judges. Our project didn’t win the Bellwether, but our students in Maricopa are the real winners. To date we have save students $3,458,000 and we still have two years to go. If students have affordable materials from day one, this increases the chances of student success. Below is the infographic Sam Frauline from PVCC created for our project.
There is a lot of talk these days about going digital, and in an online teaching environment, going digital is just common sense. The problem is up until recently digital options were not all that great. It started with companion websites that were difficult to integrate into your course because they were just stand alone websites. Then we got companion websites that offered a few tools (peer review, bibliography tool, etc.), but again no real integration with the LMS and they were clunky. Then came the ebooks, but they were just PDF files of the same old paper texts. Nothing ever seemed to solve all the needs, nor did they seem worth all of the time needed to set things up. And on top of that, students just didn’t really like most of this stuff.
I really think publishers needed some time to develop digital content that made sense, and as a result the offerings are getting so much better. Four years ago, we had the foresight to consider our digital options when we did our last book adoption. My job was to explore all the current digital tools and help make a decision as to what would be best for our faculty. At that time I played with MyCompLab, InSite, and Connect Composition. We went with Connect, and in the following video I explain what the major factors were for why we chose Connect.
The product has evolved over the four years we’ve used it, and it just keeps getting better. They’ll be rolling out Connect 3.0 in the fall, and I’ve already had a chance to check out some of the new features. The biggest change is the addition of LearnSmart and a new SmartBook option. The new SmartBook has finally brought the concept of an ebook into a more modern adaptation. It’s certainly not a PDF file anymore. It’s an adaptive learning experience for students. The only think I would like to see is mobile access for some of the tools in Connect and better Canvas integration. Mobile access would be huge.
I attended my first OpenEd conference Nov. 6-8th in Park City, UT. Click the link and you too can see some of the sessions from the conference. I went with a team of people from Maricopa representing the Maricopa Millions Project. What I learned was that James Sousa from Phoenix College is famous in the OER world, and the SCC math department is cutting edge. Who knew? When I returned, I did a presentation last Tuesday from 2-3pm in the CTLE on OER to help everyone at GCC understand OER and the Maricopa Millions initiative. I shared information about the initiative and the call for proposals that went out last week. Proposals were due last Friday. Here is some information about the project from the call for proposals.
The main goal of the Maricopa Millions Open Education Resources (OER) Project is to reduce educational costs for students. Spending less money on textbooks and materials will foster greater access to materials for students, which may enable them to stay on track with completing their courses.
The Maricopa Millions OER Project includes developing a strategic, sustainable OER infrastructure that would include: awareness, professional development, OER development and technical support, marketing and technical structure. In order for OER to be successful at MCCCD, we have established an OER strategic planning and implementation team to establish and oversee specific OER outcomes over the next 5 years.
The driving objective for the project is to save MCCCD students $5 Million Dollars over the next five years through the use of OER materials. The sooner we begin, the sooner the students can realize the savings.
This Maricopa Millions OER project, through an internal grant process, supports the adoption, adaptation, and development of complete OER course materials for high enrollment courses in the MCCCD. The final product will be OER course materials that can be easily adopted and modified by other faculty (including adjuncts) teaching that course.
I wanted to point out many of the different facets of the program, one main one being that there is a “low cost” option available as well. This means that faculty could choose finding or adopting materials with a lower costs instead of building their own OER. For instance, in composition we are comfortable using an online publisher product with a built in ebook that is currently half the price of the average textbook cost for composition courses, so we are already saving our students money. There are many other scenarios for the low cost option.
Also, the call was for a specific list of high enrollment courses (ENG101, PSY101, COM100), but that should not discourage anyone who teaches smaller enrollment courses from participating with OER. It just means that at this time, the committee wants to start with supporting the higher enrollment courses to get a bigger impact on the numbers out the gate. Any faculty who wants to work on an OER project can do so without the support of the committee. The goal is to save students money and not everyone doing so will be able to be supported by the project.
Below is the agenda and all the links we talked about and shared during the presentation. Feel free to ask me questions about the Maricopa Millions project if you have any. In the mean time, check out some the resources below and start exploring OER. Read more
On Friday, Seth Goodman and I will be presenting at the TYCA West Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our presentation is titled: Making Peer Review More Relevant and Engaging by Doing It Online and Adding Asynchronous Discussion. The presentation stems from the research we did for my MIL project last year on the same topic. My research focus was on researching effective practices to structure online asynchronous discussions with particular emphasis on student led small group interaction. The goal is to publish our paper and share the research with other educators, which is the MIL’s secondary purpose to create a community of scholars that will engage in conversations about the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Our 80 minutes presentation will begin with a brief discussion on peer review and asynchronous discussion. My focus will be to highlight the benefits of doing peer review and to explain how we did peer review online using Connect Composition. Seth will then do a brief overview of asynchronous discussion and discuss its elements, affordances, limitations and considerations. This segment will be followed by an overview of MIL and our project, and we will finish with our findings from the study.
You can view our slides below. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments area below this post.
This week we hosted a Basic Softchalk training in the CTLE. You can use SoftChalk LessonBuilder to easily create interactive lessons designed to engage your students in your subject. LessonBuilder allows you to quickly turn Word or PowerPoint documents into web pages for your students that include interactive learning games, quick response questions, and pop-up text annotations for definitions–all without being a programmer! It truly is that easy.
MCCCD used to have a district license for Softchalk, but we are in the middle of a process to either re-subscribe or obtain a license for some other lesson builder program. I have no idea what those other options are, so I’m secretly hoping Softchalk won the RFP process and will be back in our hands by Spring. In the mean time, GCC purchased a 50 seat license just for our campus, so we are still up and running in Softchalk Cloud. The rest of the district is limited to just Softchalk 7 and zip files. It’s still a good option.
In the workshop I walked participants through the process of downloading and installing the software, creating a lesson from a Word Document, inserting page breaks and headings, adding an Image, adding a YouTube video, adding audio using the Windows Sound Recorder (Windows Media Audio format- wma), adding QuizPoppers, choosing Style Properties and exporting to Canvas using zip files (not Cloud version). I created a cheat sheet for the class below.
I presented the following presentation at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, NE this week. My slides and notes are posted below.
Title: Student Engagement in a Changing World * Overall Theme: Student Engagement
I. Introduction: This presentation was designed to demonstrate different ways to engage students using a few technology tools along the way. (Animoto video) + Storytelling: Used to be a track coach, busy all the time, quit, realized I was bored with teaching, students were bored and unmotivated, started using tech to mix it up, went back to school, learned how to do it right, better engage students in their own learning. Student engagement is important in what we as teachers do.
“Students learn more when they are actively involved in their education and have opportunities to think about and apply what they are learning in different settings. Through collaborating with others to solve problems or master challenging content, students develop valuable skills that prepare them to deal with the kinds of situations and problems they will encounter in the workplace, the community, and their personal lives.”
Introduce CCSSE study – purpose.
II. CCSSE Data (Poll Everywhere)
2012 CCSSE Executive Summary (PDF) focuses on the importance of relationships among students, faculty, and staff, and with institutions themselves: how they evolve, the value they add, and the importance of building and sustaining these critical connections. The report offers data about the quality of community college students’ educational experiences and describes how colleges across the country are intentionally making connections with students online, in the classroom, on campus, and beyond.
“Personal connections are the unanticipated success factor — a critical variable that improves the odds of persistence.”
The five benchmarks of effective educational practice in community colleges are active and collaborative learning, student effort, academic challenge, student-faculty interaction, and support for learners.
Show key results from active and collaborative learning – Open a poll (“…79% of entering students report that they plan to earn an associate degree, but just _____ of full-time students meet that goal within six years. What percentage met this goal?) Answers: 35%, 45%, 55%, 75% <–PollEverywhere/ View our results and then the CCSSE results for A and C learning.
One more area possibly – Student/Faculty Interaction – another poll question – Transition -relate to student engagement
III. Student Engagement– occurs when “students make a psychological investment in learning. Read more
Scottsdale Community College hosted SCC TechTalks 2013, a series of live, 18-minute presentations on how technology has impacted teaching and learning on February 1, 2013. The event followed a similar format to the widely popular TEDTalks and was put on by SCC’s Instructional Strategic Technology Advisory Committee (ISTAC).I was honored to be invited to be one the speakers of this inaugural event and had a great time participating.
Event description: “The thought-provoking talks feature presenters from a variety of professional backgrounds covering an array of subjects — from theater and music to math and science. Presenters include faculty members, tech gurus and students.”
Below is a playlist of all the talks featuring Maricopa’s past and present technology leaders. So go grab some popcorn, get comfy and enjoy the show.
On Thursday I did a face to face workshop in the CTLE at GCC on audio tools. This was a short 50 minute presentation with about 10 people in attendance. All the content is posted on my wiki, but I posted the main page below. Links should take you back to my wiki where you can learn all kinds of great stuff about teaching with technology.
Workshop Wiki: http://drcoop.pbworks.com/EnhanceAudio
- Introduction – What is Podcasting? (5 min)
- Examples of Courses Enhanced with Audio (20 min)
- Voicemail box for Students – Use Google Voice
- Audio Discussion- Use VoiceThread or embed VT on Canvas
- Audio Announcements in a Canvas Course – Use Built in Audio Player or SoundCloud with Audio recorded using Audacity
- Audio Discussion Boards and Class Introductions with Built in Audio Recorder or AudioPal.
- Audio Announcements in Blackboard – Use Wimba Podcaster
- Module Introductions – Mp3 files embedded in Blackboard or Canvas
- Demonstration of a few Tools (20 min)
- Use a Google Voice number with your students and you won’t have to worry about students having your phone number. They can call and text you during the times you want to permit that, and when you don’t, you have all the calls go straight to voicemail where you can read or listen to them later.
- Google keeps a record of every call and text conversation you have with your students, and you can even record calls that you feel need to be recorded. Read more
On Friday GCC hosted the eLearning Community of Practice (eLCoP) in Maricopa. Our topic was Micro-Lectures with video and audio tools, and we had a nice lineup of GCC faculty sharing how they use micro-lectures in their classes: Chris Nielson, Amanda Murphy, JoAnn Pell and myself. We had a great turn out with people from Gateway, GCC, PC and SMCC in attendance – 28 people in all.
The eLCoP is composed of faculty and staff dedicated to the research, discussion and dissemination of best practices for eLearning at Maricopa. eLearning includes courses taught hybrid and online, those using a college Learning Management System and learning that occurs via alternative delivery methods. eLCoP is open to all faculty and staff who are interested in positively impacting student learning outcomes through the creation and adoption of eLearning best practices.
In our presentation we shared how we use lecture capture, screencasting, video and audio tools to create short meaningful lectures for our online and hybrid courses. This topic is also relevant to faculty teaching face-to-face who may be interested in the concept of the Flipped Classroom. Below is our timeline with all the videos and links for tools that we shared with you. If you have any questions, add them in the comments below or email any of the other presenters. Read more