elearning

Online, in the classrooms, and behind the camera.

course dev-02

January 19, 2016
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on Strategies to Ensure Equal Teamwork

Strategies to Ensure Equal Teamwork

Do you find that sometimes it’s a couple of individuals on the team that do all the work?

What strategies can help with ensuring all team members are equally involved?

Assigning team roles bi-weekly can eliminate the confusion of who does what. It can give everyone a chance to excel in different ways instead of just the usual suspects. It will also help those that usually don’t assume accountability to do so in a structured situation. Simultaneously, it can allow for some of the usual suspects to relinquish control over the team project.

Balancing team work can be challenging in the real world. So, even though we’re hoping students obtain team skills in college – it can be difficult to facilitate it if we ourselves sometimes struggle with it. Teamwork itself can also have a negative connotation for overburdening some students and letting others coast. It’s up to us to dispel this notion and create environments where teamwork is equitable and where students grasp the benefits of relying on a smorgasbord of different talents and skills.

Below is a nifty little chart which describes the different team roles we can assign, the reasoning behind each role, and the responsibilities each role carries. Team roles consist of:

leader, recorder, checker, encourager, and reporter. Your teams may require slightly varied roles or combinations of roles depending on the subject matter and/or project.

It is advised that students also be oriented to the purpose of assigning team roles and obtain this chart to help them identify respective responsibilities. Another complimentary strategy is to have teams come up with milestones and then turn in weekly reports of individual roles and who did what on the team (see article on team evaluations).

Team Role (What) Reason for Role (Why) Role Responsibilities (How)
Leader
(also Facilitator)
To structure and maintain effective group functioning Orients group to task, raises issues, calls on people, keeps group on task, pushes for decisions, initiates ideas for solution
Recorder To preserve group’s ideas Writes down ideas contributed, writes up work to be turned in
Checker
(also Researcher, Devil’s Advocate, Timekeeper, Elaborator)

 

To make sure everyone understands, agrees, and completes work in allotted time/ To research and double-check data, bibliographic sources, or graphics for accuracy and correctness Asks: “Does anyone have a question or want clarification?” “Does everyone agree?” Reminds group of time and amount of work remaining/Checks for additional information and accuracy
Encourager
(also Observer/Praiser, Reflector)

 

To make sure everyone participates and no one dominates the discussion/To improve individual and group performance of roles/To recognize positive contributions from group members and make them feel good about their participation Gives own ideas, asks for others’ ideas, reacts to others’ ideas, asks for reactions to others’ ideas, stops anyone from dominating/Takes notes on how group members perform, gives feedback based on observations/Says: “That’s a good idea”. “You’re doing a good job as “recorder”.
Reporter
(also Summarizer)
To present group’s work to the instructor and/or the rest of the class Gives oral reports

 

 

eval and assess

January 19, 2016
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on To Employ Team Peer Evaluation or Not To?

To Employ Team Peer Evaluation or Not To?

To Employ Team Peer Evaluation or Not To?

It’s only later when one or two team members confront the instructors about those that were not participating in a team project. Instructors have said that they do not use team peer evaluations because they’re afraid that teams will evaluate all their team members with flying colors and the entire exercise will end up being more work than it’s worth.

Sometimes teams do evaluate all their team members with flying colors because they’re afraid of the consequences of saying someone is not participating or perhaps they’re afraid of not being liked if they evaluate someone poorly. How can instructors safeguard against this?

It is suggested that instructors use a team peer evaluation rubric which has an area where students comment how each individual team member has specifically contributed to the project. Other criteria that the team member will be evaluated on include:

Promptness
Commitment to team goals
Contributions to the team
Workload sharing
Attendance at meetings
Professionalism
Initiative
Interpersonal skills (ability to work with others)

It is also suggested that the team peer evaluation rubric be utilized at the midpoint of the team project so that potential group difficulties are prevented early on. Additionally, why not make completing the team peer evaluation rubric count for a few points of the entire team project?

Please look below for a copy of the team peer evaluation rubric.

 

TEAM NAME:                                                                                EVALUATOR:                                                                                                  
Use a 1 – 5 point rating scale for the following criteria for each team member with 1 (needs improvement); 2 (fair); 3 (good); and 4 (excellent). Be honest in your evaluations, and be as objective as possible. The ratings are not about whether you “like” the team member or always disagreed with the team member, but whether, from your professional opinion, they performed well as a team member. The peer evaluation will be 10% of your grade on the final project (using a weighted index).

Team Member Name Criterion & Score Individual’s Contributions & Comments
Promptness
Commitment to team goals
Contributions to the team
Workload sharing
Attendance at meetings
Professionalism
Initiative
Interpersonal skills (ability to work with others)
Promptness
Commitment to team goals
Contributions to the team
Workload sharing
Attendance at meetings
Professionalism
Initiative
Interpersonal skills (ability to work with others)
Promptness
Commitment to team goals
Contributions to the team
Workload sharing
Attendance at meetings
Professionalism
Initiative
Interpersonal skills (ability to work with others)
Promptness
Commitment to team goals
Contributions to the team
Workload sharing
Attendance at meetings
Professionalism
Initiative
Interpersonal skills (ability to work with others)
eval and assess

January 19, 2016
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on LTU Graduate Learning Goals and Objectives

LTU Graduate Learning Goals and Objectives

LTU Graduate Learning Goals and Objectives include Team Work: Students Identify Team Projects as One of Their Least Favorite Assignments

The LTU Graduate Learning Goals and Objectives identify team work as:

1) Graduates can demonstrate effective leadership skills in a group project.

2) Graduates can demonstrate effective leadership skills in a group project. Demonstrating to students how to work as a team includes setting up opportunities for the students to get to know each other, setting ground rules, and teaching students how to communicate.

Wouldn’t you like to hear this type of feedback from students? These are actual quotes from students enrolled in a Fall 2015 course that included team work.

“I like how the course has a collaborative team effort, allows all the work to be delegated as you would see in the real work place.”

“The course was very knowledgeable. Teamwork is key!!”

Students were asked to: List the most valuable learning experiences you have gained from this course and instructor:

“Collaborative team work (via online).”

“…teamwork (this was the best team I have ever worked with).”

“Class enables good team work which allows the intense work load to be easy to handle; by having this collaboration I consider this class one of my favorite and beneficial in my masters experience.”

Effective team work in this class was accomplished by including learning activities that helped the students to get to know each other. This included an online discussion prior to the first day of class where students shared their learning goals, employment responsibilities, and personal interests. Students were also notified there will be team assignments and their first assignment was to identify traits of a quality team and concerns about working in teams. For each quality and concern students provided an example of how they would work toward quality and solutions to reduce concerns.

On the first day of class the instructor facilitated a discussion teaching students about team work in the work force and how the course work develops this skill. The team assignments students would be responsible for were reviewed to assist them with developing full knowledge of the responsibilities and submission requirements. By the end of the first class teams were assigned. Team assignments can be self-selecting or the instructor can make the assignment and communicate to students how this was accomplished.

One of the first assignments due by the second class is a team charter. As a team students are responsible for documenting how they plan to create strong morale and spirit in the team, share wins and success, foster open dialogue, define success, and create a feeling of belonging. The students are then empowered to work within their team to bring about solutions to problems.

Resources to assist you with implementing team work include:

Presentation on Team Work and Developing a Team Charter – 20 Min Video

Rubric for Assessment of Leadership in Team Work – Rubric

Peer Evaluation (pg. 3) – MBA Traits and Rubrics

dr larry 2-02

January 19, 2016
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on Dear Dr. Larry

Dear Dr. Larry

Dear Dr. Larry is a regular column in the LTU newsletter. Faculty and students can submit questions to Dr. Larry via this link. Dr. Larry will answer each week with leading-edge, witty, insightful responses.

Dear Dr. Larry,

LTU is offering four sections of my course this term. I am teaching one, and three of my excellent LTU colleagues are teaching the other sections. Is there some way to combine our sections into one main Blackboard site so we can share and collaborate on course content? It doesn’t make sense for four of us to be posting the same material!
Trying to work smarter

 

 

Dear Smarter,

Your question is timely. We’re seeing requests for this sort of combining much more frequently. Technologically, yes – your sections can be combined into one large Blackboard course and ALL the students will be enrolled in that site and all faculty will have full access. You can post a document and it will be available to ALL students in the combined sections.

While that might sound ideal, there are unintended consequences to manage. For example, you’ll now have a grade center with ALL the students. How will you grade yours, and your colleagues grade theirs? Also, students can be confused by announcements and assignments that do not necessarily apply to them. There are some simple ways to manage this, but first and foremost is the need for you and your colleagues to agree on consistency and communicate regularly. If your sections will not have consistent requirements, then don’t go down this road! If, on the other hand, you and your fellow instructors can plan for consistent content and assignments in the course, then this will make your lives much easier and bring consistency to the curriculum.

There are additional settings you can make to manage the course. You can put students in groups based on their CRN and instructor and then use Blackboard Smart Views so that you only have to see the students in your section. It’s a wonderful tool.

Check out the rest of this newsletter for other suggestions or go see those nice folks in eLearning. They will make it work for you!

Best wishes for better instruction and happy students,
–Dr. Larry

campus announcements-02

November 19, 2015
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on LTU Gives Users UNLIMITED Storage

LTU Gives Users UNLIMITED Storage

LTU gives its users UNLIMITED storage in Google Drive!

Putting your files in the “cloud” just got easier. LTU has given its users unlimited storage space in Google drive. Google drive works just like file storage on your computer. With Google Drive, you can:

  1. Create, add, or upload a file using a single button.
  2. Find and add files shared with you more easily.
  3. Single-click a file to select it and double-click a file to open it.
  4. Drag-and-drop files and folders just like you do on your desktop.
  5. Take advantage of improved accessibility.

You can create folders to keep your files organized. You can share the files easily and then email the link to the document or post the link in Blackboard so your students can access the file. And the file stays in your Google drive so you don’t need to worry about hard drive failures are Blackboard courses going away with all your files. Here is how to add a link to a Google document in Blackboard.

  1. Create the Google Doc using your Google account (if you need help with this, contact eLearning)
  2. Once the document is complete, select “Share” in the upper right corner 1
  3. Before sharing your document, edit who has access. In the center of the screen the text says “Anyone who has the link can ____”. Select “Change” and it will take you to an editing page. Select “Anyone with the Link” and “Can Edit”2

 

This allows only students on the Blackboard site access to the Google Document and edit the document.

  1. We also recommend modifying the permission settings. This will keep students from accessing the link and changing who has access to the document.

At the bottom of the page, select [Change] in order to edit these settings.3

Select “Only the owner can change the permission” then save your changes.4

Copy and paste the link to the Google Doc.

5

Now your class is ready to use Google Docs!

November 19, 2015
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on Why Back Up Your Personal Data?

Why Back Up Your Personal Data?

Why Back Up your Personal Digital Data? What Are your Options?

First of all, why would you want to back up your digital data?

Let’s just say you have lots of personal music, videos, photos and personal documents that you don’t want to lose to unfortunate, unplanned for events. Yes, sure you can back up a lot of your work files using the university’s personal drive for back up. But, do you want pictures of you and your date or pictures of you waking up in the morning to be out there for anyone to potentially see? Well, you might be thinking, then I’ll use my home computer and/or an external drive to back up my personal files at home. However, what about a flood, a fire, or a theft? What happens to that information then? It’s not like you can really keep it in your home safe box or in the fridge, right? Highly inconvenient. Also, you probably wouldn’t want some of your financial, legal, professional nor medical information to be lost nor loosely floating around. (Please be reminded to be careful with this type of information with any type of storage or communication!)

However, here’s what you can do to back up your digital data:

There are many cloud-based back up services out there. We recommend these two free services: Google Drive (as mentioned in the previous article) or Dropbox. If you would like other options, the following two are ~$3/month: Just Cloud or MyPCBackup, which allow for multiple computers and external drives to be backed up (This includes PCs, Macs and mobile devices.) Here are just some of the features for Just Cloud and MyPCBackup:

  • Lots of storage space
  • Fast upload speed
  • 24/7 Support
  • Automated back ups
  • Encryption
  • File sharing
  • Easy to use
classroom-tech

November 19, 2015
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on Hanging AV Cables On Cable Holders

Hanging AV Cables On Cable Holders

Do you know the one thing you can do to reduce disruptions to your lecture or presentation using the classroom projector?

Just by hanging the video and audio cables on the cable holders you are helping to prevent damage to the cables by some stepping on them or a chair rolling on top of the cable. The HDMI and VGA video cables have very fragile wires inside that can break easily if too much pressure is applied on them. Furthermore, the ends of the cables have pins that connect to your tablet or laptop and can easily break or get bent. By storing the cables in the wall cable holders after use you are helping LTU save valuable dollars in cable replacement cost and protecting the cables from damage to insure they are in top condition when you need them.

If you notice a cable holder is missing in your classroom please email me at:

cjohnson@ltu.edu and tell me the location.

dr larry 2-02

November 19, 2015
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on Dear Dr. Larry

Dear Dr. Larry

Dear Dr. Larry is a regular column in the LTU newsletter. Faculty and students can submit questions to Dr. Larry via this link. Dr. Larry will answer each week with leading-edge, witty, insightful responses.

Dear Dr. Larry,

I’ve taken to posting my handouts and lecture notes in Blackboard. I no longer have to carry them to class which is wonderful! I just click a few buttons and submit and vola’, everything my students need is there. But this week I clicked submit and get an “over quota” error. Apparently, I ran out of storage space in Blackboard. I want to use these great digital tools, but what do I do when I run out of space?

Sincerely,
No more space!

Dear No More Space,

It can be frustrating when you’re trying to post something for your class and you get this error. Blackboard gives faculty considerable space, but if you’re using publisher powerpoints, images and/or high resolution files, you will go through that space quickly. There are several ways to maximize your space utilization so you never run out of room again.   Here are some tips when managing your Blackboard course

 

Tip #1: Before even uploading the presentation open it in PowerPoint, then select File, Export and Save as a PDF. When the PDF file opens, then select File, Save as Other, select Reduced Size PDF! This may reduce the file up to 50%

Added Benefit — Tip# 1a – saving as a PDF also makes it easier and takes less time for the student to open and PDF reader is free unlike PowerPoint!!!

Tip#2: If you replacing/updating the presentation in your course – don’t just delete the original! Although you may think it has been deleted it just removes it from the course view (the document is still in course content area!) Instead, select the down arrow to the right of the file and select to “overwrite” the file. Then you can upload the revised presentation and save space!

Tip#3: Are you deleting the presentation totally? Once you select the “Delete” option – go to Control Panel, Course Content, find the presentation title and delete it from the content area (in the content area. Removing the presentation from the course does not delete it from your allotted course space!

 

Check out the articles in this edition, and, as always, you can call those nice people over in eLearning for more help.

 
–Dr. Larry

dr larry 2-02

September 8, 2015
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on Dear, Dr. Larry

Dear, Dr. Larry

Dear Dr. Larry is a regular column in the LTU newsletter. Faculty and students can submit questions to Dr. Larry via this link. Dr. Larry will answer each week with leading-edge, witty, insightful responses.

Dear Dr. Larry,

Well, it’s a new semester here at LTU! I’m so happy to see these excited students in my classes. They are so eager and anxious to do well. While things are off to a great start, I am finding one thing difficult . . . I’m trying to find the best way to get information out to my students in a timely manner. I post to Blackboard, but not everyone checks it every day. I email, but not everyone checks their LTU email address. So I end up with half my students getting the information and the other half missing it. Any suggestions for the best way to get information to my students?

Sincerely,
Trying to Spread the Word

Dear Spread the Word,

What a great question! We all stuggle with the best way to push timely information out to students. I, too, use Blackboard announcements and email but run into the same issues you mentioned. I once overheard two students talking about how one of their professors was making a last minute change to class and wanted them to bring a plastic bottle with them for an experiment. I asked how they knew that. The students said, “he just tweeted it.” They got the “tweet” immediately on their phone. Super fast; super easy.

 

This eLearning newsletter edition contains articles on using social media tools to communicate with this “always connected” generation of students. Using these tools will not only get your messages out faster and consistently, but it will make you look cool — #bestLTUprofever!

 

Check out the articles in this edition, and, as always, you can call those nice people over in eLearning for more help. They will have you Tweeting in no time!
–Dr. Larry

campus announcements-02

September 8, 2015
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on Welcome back, Colleagues!

Welcome back, Colleagues!

Dear Colleagues,

 

The energy and enthusiasm of a new academic year is upon us. Welcome back to all of you.

 

I would like to share a few items with you:

  • We are working closely with the Colleges of Architecture and Design; Engineering; and Management to move the online degree programs to an 8-week or 8-module format.  We are working with faculty to develop the new versions and piloting some this fall.  The goal will be to complete the development and launch the new format in Fall 2016.
  • We are working with the Colleges of Architecture and Design and Management to increase our contacts with prospective online students. They have helped up narrow and focus our efforts on key populations.
  • New workshops will be rolled out this year through a collaboration between the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and eLearning Services.
  • We have increased our ability to bring high-quality capture and live streaming to academic lectures and events.  Contact the media pro team at mediapro@ltu.edu for more information;

Finally, let’s all celebrate the start of another school year knowing that we are here for our students, and for the ideas, curiosity, and service they will contribute to our LTU Community and beyond.  Let us take a moment to remind ourselves and celebrate our goal to teach, to encourage lifelong learning, to have a positive impact on our communities through our research, to prepare students to be outstanding in the jobs of tomorrow, and to engage our communities through innovative and productive means.  We are here to advance knowledge for the common good and watch as that knowledge takes root and changes our world.  I cannot think of anything more important or satisfying than that.

 

Thank you for all that you do for LTU and her students.  I hope you have a great semester!

 

Sincerely,

 

Richard G. Bush, Ph. D.

Executive Director, eLearning Services