Category Archives: Professional Development

Professional Development, Training, Faculty Development, Workshops

Using Blogging to Contribute Expertise and Convey Credibility

Today I’m presenting at the United States Distance Learning Association National Conference 2017: Using Blogging to Contribute Expertise and Convey Credibility. This post shares the accompanying resources.

PowerPoint

My blogging history:

Tools for blogging:

Ideas for Blogging

Scheduling and Tracking Writing

Promoting and Learning

Getting Ready for USDLA National Conference 2017

Are you going to the USDLA National Conference next week? I am. Hope to see you there! Here are some bits I’m looking forward to:

  1. Indianapolis! USDLA has been in St. Louis for as long as I can remember (well, I first learned about USDLA in 2008, so that’s not so long ago compared to the 30 years anniversary USDLA is celebrating this year!) USDLA board member, Samantha Penney, has put together a great little collection of things to know about Indy and the attractions nearby. Maybe I’ll get a chance to see the White River State Park!
  2. Elliot Masie is doing the opening keynote – that is bound to be an amazing experience!
  3. Darcy Hardy’s preconference on strategic planning. Hoping to pick a few tips and possibly find some holes in our strategic planning that I can get ideas to fill!
  4. Bill Jackson Sunrise Run/Walk. It’s always fun to get up in the morning and see professional colleagues in their running gear! Curious to see what Indy sights we’ll see on our run/walk this year!
  5. Scavenger Hunt on Sunday night. These activities are fun for meeting people. One thing I love about USDLA is that as the conference goes on, you start recognizing more people because there are so many opportunities to be together and learn from each other.
  6. A great line-up of sessions. Of course it’s always hard to choose. This year, it seems everyone really got their racing hats on when writing session titles. Usually there’s a few people who take the theme into their session in creatives ways too. Looking forward to lots of good learning!

Your Turn

What about you? Going to USDLA? What are you hoping to learn? And/or, is there another conference that’s your favorite? What have you picked up recently that you’re applying now in your distance learning work?

Taking the Teaching Perspective

Have you ever been really ticked because someone didn’t do something the way you wanted them to? Have you ever seen someone else really frustrated because they aren’t getting the results they want? Have you ever been frustrated that your students weren’t responding the way you wanted?

Recently, a fellow faculty member commented,

I tell my students to only spend an hour on this assignment. If they don’t have it done in an hour, to write on it what they tried, where they are frustrated, and just turn it in.

Because if they can’t do it, it’s because I didn’t teach it well enough, and I need to teach it better.

These situations can happen all the time! Frustration explodes!

Man putting fist through laptop

Photo credit: SaintLuxx

  • An administrator frustrated that a faculty member isn’t accomplishing assessment tasks as desired.
  • A teacher frustrated that students aren’t making the desired progress.
  • A committee leader frustrated that the members aren’t doing their part.

Blame

Who’s to blame in these situations? Is it the student or teacher? Leader or follower? Both sides?

Taking the Teaching Perspective

I’m not sure if I’m crazy, but I always think of professional development, teaching, training, in situations of conflict and unmet expectations.

  • Were the necessary resources provided?
  • Was the task or expectation scaffolded?
  • Is the underlying concept clear?
  • Are there some missing steps from point A to point B that weren’t clear in the instructions or expectations?
  • In online environments, were the needed resources and instructions where the student was expected to use it? i.e. instructions near or in the spot where they turn in the work?

In higher education, often the attitude is that the student should “come and get it” and it’s their responsibility whether they are successful or not.

Yet, one could take the teaching perspective. One could try to understand where the other person is coming from. One could try to consider the novice perspective vs. one’s own expert perspective.

Your Turn

  • What do you think? Is there a limit to this concept?
  • What does it take for someone to be able to see another’s perspective?
  • Should the teacher/leader take all the responsibility for failure? Where does this break down?
  • Is it useful to consider the teaching perspective in a conflict?

Last Bits from IFWE 2016

I’m attending the IFWE 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX and this is my last blog post, wrapping up my learning. Here are some snippets from the last sessions I attended.

15 Tips When Working With New Technologies and Learning Ideas

Description: After working with faculty and technology in a variety of positions in Distance Learning, this presenter has discovered 15 tips on how to work with all these new-fangled learning techniques and/or technologies. Come join us to learn!

Presented by: Diana Amis (University of Texas at San Antonio)

This session was targeted to those who might get frustrated or overwhelmed with new tools and technologies. These 15 tips help you tackle something new in a logical manner: 

  1. Breathe!
  2. Patience is a Virtue
  3. Fresh Set of Eyes
  4. Take a Brain Break
  5. Stressing out is not worth it
  6. Time Management
  7. Chunking
  8. Bridging the Gap/ Filling a Need
  9. Baby Steps
  10. If all else fails, ask questions
  11. Communication
  12. Support – call the company
  13. Trial version – test it out
  14. Contact Info for the company
  15. Does it apply – do you need it?

A Matter of Trust: Technology and Privacy in eLearning Environments

Description: This session will discuss educational privacy issues online, with a brief overview of relevant federal and state laws. A possible framework within which to address privacy – and to contribute to an environment of trust – in our online distance courses and communities will be proposed and shared.

Presented by: Susan Stephan (Nova Southeastern University)

This was a great session that I decided not to blog because we had such interesting discussions about things that don’t have a black/white answer. It was really interesting to go to this session on the same day that I attended the learning analytics session. The unique angle that Susan brings to the idea of privacy issues is the trust side. The learning exchange is really a matter of trust between the institution, the faculty, and the students. I learned about a few issues that I’m going to go back and check out. I also really enjoyed the conversations on whether or not it matters that our privacy is so eroded. Fascinating!

Delivering Innovation and Entrepreneurship to the MENA Region

Presented by: Meghan Kent (Stanford University) and Ireen Massis (Stanford University)

Description: During 2015 – 2016 Stanford University designed and delivered a curriculum in Innovation and Entrepreneurship to promote gender equality in the labor force in the MENA region. The curriculum was distributed virtually, allowing for unlimited scale of and the highest possible impact to the region. During this session we will share the initial needs, survey results from the pilot program, and our own observations, obstacles, and solutions. Furthermore, we will share our findings from women who have taken the course and the impact that it has had on their academic, personal, and professional lives.

This was a fascinating project. They basically had a specific course that they wrote so that faculty in UAE could use it as a “course in a box” – it was a course on innovation and entrepreneurship. The cultural differences made the project an interesting process journey – lots of learning shared out of that. 

Women & Gaming: Educational Gaming for All

Presented by: Amber Muenzenberger (Triseum, LLC) and Shawna Fletcher (Texas A&M University)

Description: Gaming has grown immensely over the last decade, including using games for education and professional development. There are a growing number of gamers around the world, including women. Join the conversation of gender roles in gaming, ties between gaming and elevated interests STEM careers, and inclusion of gameplay in education.

Amber sure has some good work going on! She’s at Triseum – and they’ve built two cool education games – Arte Mecanas – an art history game; and Variant – coming soon – that teaches calculus (aligned to AP too). These are for the college level. Interesting data and experiences shared on how males and females are playing games – how much time, what devices, etc. What a powerful discussion among the women attending. 

Wrap Up

So, wow, IFWE! First time. It happens every two years. It’s time to plan for 2018! Mark your calendars. It’s an amazing experience – networking, support, life coaching, great e-learning!

Tweeting Teachers and Pinterest Professors: Social Media Lessons from a Community of Educators as Learners

I’m attending the IFWE 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX and live blogging the sessions I’m attending.

Starting off today with a preconference session by Stephanie Thompson, PhD, Faculty and Course Lead who teaches for Kaplan University. Contributors for this session included Barbara Green, Teresa Marie Kelly, and Josef Vice, other Kaplan faculty.

Faculty Driven Learning Communities

The idea is that faculty can learn together online, because it might be hard to travel to attend conferences – and social media can be a way for doing that.

As we do introductions, I think it’s so interesting what makes people come to a session. I’m mostly interested in the social media side – but the faculty development / professional learning idea is really critical too – and I’m looking forward to seeing how social media can connect faculty for learning.  

This is a cool graphic shared from EdSurge Guides – to help focus on the idea of personalized learning / personal learning networks – driving your own learning. I am so fascinated by the change to self-driven learning – in the context of thinking about our self-paced courses – which often are looked at somewhat askance – but really, the Internet allows us to learn at our own time and with the people we choose. That’s a different type of learning!

Things to Learn About

One comparison that Stephanie is making is the difference between Career Development and Professional Development. That career development is more about learning how to climb the ladder – leadership training, learning how to be a department chair (thinking of CIC’s workshop on that), support for research publication. But professional development is more life long and focuses more on teaching. So what all do faculty need to learn about?

  • technology tools in teaching
  • more teaching strategies
  • providing quality feedback
  • using different resources like OER etc.
  • how to progress in their career
  • learning about advising
  • learning about supervising or leading others
  • building skills for ongoing learning
  • classroom management
  • data and assessment collection and evaluation
  • increasing content knowledge
  • tools for organizing and planning your career development
  • think about the next job you want – and then start your learning heading in that direction
  • how to build curriculum based on outcomes

Specific Strategies

These are specific professional development strategies that caught my attention…

  • Observing each other’s teaching – I love this idea. Thinking about how we could set that up so that our online faculty could observe each other’s teaching. What would it take to do that in a fully asychronous course? what kind of structures would help make that happen?
  • Requiring a certain number of hours of training – Kaplan requires 8 hours of training a year for their online faculty. What would it take to do this? Could we do it for all online faculty – both adjuncts and full time? Could it be framed to be received well?
  • Using Trello to plan career/professional development – using a tool to track your personal goals, resources, and accomplishments
  • Have an Appy Hour and have everyone connected share round robin all the different tools and resources they like and use – shared by Elaine Shuck

Forms of Professional Development

  • Open, user-generated content like blogs and wikis
  • Social networking tools like twitter, reddit, etc.; Google+ or Facebook group about a topic
  • Virtual communities – google groups etc
  • Webinars
  • Virtual conferences
  • MOOCs / open courses

Resources Shared

Places to keep learning – social media based professional development – webinars etc. – places to learn online…. These are shared by the presenter, Stephanie

Other resources and cool things shared throughout the session:

Main Takeaway

Social media and online resources allow anyone to organize, track, and design their own professional development and learning!

Disconnect and Battle Six Super Villains to Win Back Your Life

Tomorrow I’m presenting at the International Forum for Women in E-learning in San Antonio, TX with Elaine Shuck (Polycom), Amy Spath (Central New York Regional Information Center), and Roxanne Glaser (i2i Technologies and @superdoodlegirl).

This post contains the resources and websites we shared in our presentation.

Disconnect and Battle Six Super Villains to Win Back Your Life

Description: Are you trapped on the treadmill of not getting enough done? Feeling disconnected? Stressed? Join us as we discuss our battle with evil super villains: Dr. Distraction, Sir Sit-a-Lot, Captain Busyness, Ferocious Foodie, Guilty Girl, and Super-Yes-Woman. Learn how to tap into your superhero powers to recharge your work-life balance.

Disclaimer: This session is actually self-therapy or friend-therapy. We are just sharing what has worked for us. Some things are free, some are not; but almost all of them one or more of us loves.

Dr. Distraction

Fight with GOALS:

Sir-Sit-A-Lot

Captain Busyness

Ferocious Foodie

Guilty Girl

Super Yes Women

What’s Next? 

  • Find your tribe
  • Pick one thing

The Role of Social Media Tools in Higher Education

Today I presented for the faculty of Burman University in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. This post has the accompanying resources for the social media session.

PowerPoint

Examples of Social Media Use

Other Social Media Ideas

Articles and Resources on Twitter in the Classroom

LMS vs. Social Media

Issues and Challenges

Additional Recommended Reading

Bonus Idea: COIL: Collaborative Online International Learning

Blended Learning and Flipped Classrooms: Practical Strategies and Ideas

Today I’m presenting for the faculty of Burman University in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. This post has the accompanying resources.

Blended Learning PPT

Andrews Resources

Definitions

Video Resources

Open Courses and Resources

Recording and Hosting Videos

Assessments at the Door

Resources for Teaching, Active Learning, and Engagement

Accessibility

For Further Reading

Using Blogging to Contribute Expertise and Convey Credibility

Today I’m presenting a webinar for the United States Distance Learning Association National Distance Learning Week Webinar Series: Using Blogging to Contribute Expertise and Convey Credibility. This post shares the accompanying resources.

PowerPoint

My blogging history:

Tools for blogging:

Ideas for Blogging

Scheduling and Tracking Writing

Promoting and Learning

Thank you to USDLA for the great line-up of webinars for National Distance Learning Week!  the opportunity to present this session! Hope to see you, dear reader, at the following upcoming USDLA events:

Jazzing Up Your Curriculum: Applying Principles of Jazz to Collaboration

Today I’m co-presenting at the 10th Anniversary COIL Conference with Ken Conn, Amy Spath, and Roxanne Glaser.

Jazz workshopSession Description: Collaboration requires a unique set of skills, skills that are similar to those used in jazz music. Autonomy, passion, risk, innovation, and listening are essential to a successful collaborative experience. Learn how these five principles of jazz are applied in a unique summer course for K12 teachers called 123 VC: Jazzing Up Your Curriculum with Videoconferencing. The workshop is collaboratively led and features a variety of interactive activities across the participating sites

Google Slidedeck

Note: 2008-2010 the Jazz workshop had international participation from Wales, UK and British Columbia, Canada.

The “Jazz workshop” Resources

We challenge you to ensure your collaborations are jazz music, not a one-man band or a symphony led by a star conductor!