Online, in the classrooms, and behind the camera.

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?

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!




Richard G. Bush, Ph. D.

Executive Director, eLearning Services


September 8, 2015
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on How does eLearning Services communicate?

How does eLearning Services communicate?

What information does eLearning Services provide, why do you want to know, and where can you find the information?

eLearning Services strives to provide quality services in support of faculty and students achieving University and personal academic goals. To accomplish this there are several resources currently in place to communicate information to assist with learning more about Blackboard, teaching and learning strategies, and staying in the loop through social media. The current resources include:

Method of Communication Purpose, Communication Timeline
eNewsletter Topics include teaching strategies and techniques to build your tool chest with effective teaching practices and Blackboard functions.
Distributed mid-month during the Fall and Spring semester.

Past issues are available on the eLearning LTU webpages. Newsletter/Blog

eLearning LTU Webpages The eLearning Services Webpages (www.ltu.edu/elearning) provides information supporting the use of classroom technologies, multimedia content, and course development services. This includes:

•Design, develop, and manage LTU online programs

•Provide second-level support through the Help Desk for campus-wide applications•  Coordinate with IT services to provide third-level support for campus-wide technology applications

•  Plan and conduct individual, department, and campus-wide training sessions

•  Coordinate the implementation of new and upgraded campus-wide technology applications

•  Consult on the development and use of other eLearning tools and resources

•  Design of effective evaluation and assessment methods

eHelp www.ltu.edu/ehelp
eHelp is a one stop source for instructions and documentation to help you navigate the computing environment at Lawrence Tech.

This includes: Blackboard, LTU eMail, Password Management, Helpdesk, and more.

Facebook Group page “Lawrence Tech eLearning Services
Updated weekly with links to the eLearning Newsletter and images of Media Pro filmed events.
Twitter @LTUeLearning
Updated weekly

Retweets from the LTU Twitter handle, links to professional articles with technology and academic themes

YouTube LTU YouTube Channel
Updated on a regular basis by Media Pro as recorded material becomes available

Events recorded by Media Pro Services are available on the private LTU YouTube channel


eLearning Services strives to continually improve and learn more about concepts and services that can help you to achieve your academic goals. You will receive a survey mid-September requesting feedback on the topics you are interested in learning more about and the method of distribution that works best for you. The data collected will be used to identify topics and methods of distribution supporting your academic goals. The results will be published in the October eNewsletter.

course dev-02

September 8, 2015
by eLearning Staff
Comments Off on Reflective teaching strategy: Using a “Course Objectives Checklist”

Reflective teaching strategy: Using a “Course Objectives Checklist”

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

  • Confucius

Often times we are given a course to teach and the previous instructor’s syllabus. And, there isn’t even time to review the course objectives to see if they align with the rest of the course. We may be also teaching the same course however we don’t necessarily reevaluate our course objectives. Reflective teaching can occur through reviewing one’s course objectives and then assessing what can be done differently. Each course will approximately have 6-10 course objectives. For each objective, ask the following questions:

  • Is it aligned to your class sessions’ sub-objectives, lectures, activities, assessments?
  • Does it describe what students will learn and be able to do?
  • Is it measurable?
  • Is it realistic? Challenging yet achievable?
  • Does it require appropriate levels of thinking and learning for the level of the course?
  • Is it clear and understandable to students and instructors and stated in student terms (e.g. At the end of this course, you should be able to…)
  • Does it have an appropriate level of generality?
  • Does it lead to authentic and motivating tasks?
  • Does it allow for flexibility?
  • Is it consistent with the goals of the program curriculum?
  • Are you iteratively reviewing it based on student input? Assessment results?

For example, let’s say your students report back that they didn’t feel that they successfully mastered collaborating in teams and that was one of your objectives. Could it be that maybe your objective doesn’t meet the first item on this checklist? What about other items on the checklist? Now, ask yourself – what can be done differently?

If you’re new to this or want to find out more, please feel free to contact eLearning@ltu.edu with subject heading “Course Design.”  A Course Developer that liaisons with your college can work with you and/or your department to refine those objectives so that they are aligned with your course.

campus announcements-02

April 16, 2015
by eLearning Staff

Juggling end-of-year tasks

Throughout the semester faculty email questions on how they can capture information from Blackboard because colleges have to provide information regarding program performance, student learning outcomes, examples of student’s tests, assignments and other course work to present for accreditation purposes.

Examples of the questions that we receive especially near the end of the semester and before the current semester courses become unavailable in Blackboard are:

  • “Is there a way to download and save test questions from Blackboard into a Microsoft Word or PDF file?”
  • “Is there a way to capture and save students attempts on tests and grading (such as high pass/low pass)?”
  • “We have accreditation upcoming and part of the requirements is showing graded tests that students have taken and statistics related to those tests. How can I provide this information before the Blackboard courses become unavailable?”

eLearning sends an all-faculty email at the end of each semester that provide inks to our eHelp website on documentation to capture current course content, copy and save student information such as course grades, assignments and submitted projects; HOWEVER, this semester we are offering you a chance to bring your questions and participate in a “hands on” session that will demonstrate the process of capturing and saving current course information from Blackboard before courses become unavailable.

Don’t miss the opportunity to bring your laptop and questions and join us!

When?   May 12, 2015 (Tuesday) at 11:00 am until…

Where? Help Desk Conference Room C202

Why:     Prevent migraines, cold sweats and panic attacks!!!

course dev-02

April 16, 2015
by eLearning Staff

Supplement courses with professional resources

Lawrence Technological University provides access to a valuable professional instruction resource, lynda.com. Students, faculty, and staff have access to the resources using their LTU Network Id. The instructional material provides a wealth of information in the categories of developer, design, web, photography, education, 3D + animation, audio + music, technology tools, and business. The instruction is available from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Lynda.com instruction material can be used to supplement curricula, lectures, and the development of new skills.

As a faculty member is there a specific topic you have identified students struggle with in your course and extra practice or supplemental material would help students? Students can be directed to use lynda.com to complete specific instruction outside of the classroom. This provides the opportunity for students to learn and practice new skills in preparation for an upcoming assignment and classroom material. Finding material to supplement student experiences can be challenging. Adult learning is a multidimensional phenomenon. Learning can take place in various contexts. Implementing various instructional strategies can encourage reflection and dialogue internally or as a group enabling learning to take place.

To get started you will want to access the Lynda.com resources. This information is available on the ltu.edu/ehelp website. Following are some suggested approaches to include professional instruction resources in your class. Begin with a selected topic to identify instructional material you want students to learn more about. Using the software option to “share” you will be provided a link to share with students. Introducing this course resource to students can open the opportunity for additional resources the students may choose to complete.

Some examples for integrating lynda.com instruction and exercise tutorials in the classroom:

  1. A business course requires students to understand and apply Return On Investment (ROI). The instructor of the course has provided chapter problems to solve and has worked through the problems in the classroom. Students have requested additional knowledge. Lynda.com provides several instructional videos on the subject of ROI. The instructor assigns students two specific instructional Lynda.com videos to complete before the next class session. Students are also assigned an out of class exercise to post to a Discussion Forum to share what they have learned and where there are still gaps in knowledge to complete current and future course assignments. The instructor will use the discussion information to follow-up in the next class.
  2. Students are learning about 3D printing and use of AutoCad’s 3D Modeling Tools and Functions. The instructor assigns students several Lynda.com instruction videos on this subject to be completed for the next class. This will help the instructor to engage the students in understanding the fundamentals of the AutoCad 3D functions and demonstrate how these functions are applied for an upcoming assignment and in practical applications.
  3. Design students will be presenting their design assignments in a couple of weeks. The instructor wants to introduce presentation tips to gain knowledge in the important aspects of the art of persuasion that help the client to see the possibilities of the students design. The Lynda.com instruction video(s) on this subject are assigned for out of class homework and the class time is used for students to discuss how they will apply these skills in their presentation.
  4. A set of students are struggling with use of proper grammar and this is affecting their written assignments. The instructor assigns students several grammar instructional videos available in Lynda.com and requests the student to submit a certificate of completion for their student files.

Explore Lynda.com and learn more about the instructional videos available to faculty and students to increase skills in selected topics. Using your LTU network login Id and Password you can access the material.


April 16, 2015
by eLearning Staff

Faculty Spotlight: Online teaching success in LLT6013 Literature of the Built Environment

Could you be a sceptic about teaching online courses? If you are ‘not so sure’ whether this type of delivery could work for you take a look at one of our own faculty members after teaching online!

Dr. Margaret Hadley has taught literature, art history, architectural history, philosophy, and Honors English composition in the FacultySpotlight_DrMargaretHadleyCollege of Arts and Sciences and the College of Architecture and Design at Lawrence Technological University. Her course, LLT6013 Literature of the Built Environment, was recently developed for online delivery in Fall 2013 and she taught it in that format Spring 2014 and is currently teaching it online. Initially, there was a bit of resistance to developing and teaching this course online, however, later it became apparent that it too can be taught online and with quite a bit of success. At the end of Spring of 2014, when asked – what really worked well in your LLT6013 online course?, Dr. Margaret Hadley had responded:

“The results were well aligned with the most important learning goal. Students focused on producing original written work and over half of the class developed research projects that could be revised for publication. This corresponds almost exactly to prior sections of the course on campus and demonstrates that the rigorous academic level graduate classes should exhibit nationwide was effectively maintained using this online interface.”

Dr. Margaret Hadley designed her course using learning modules, making it easy for students to follow sequentially the activities for each Module. She introduced each Module with a brief overview, objectives and a checklist. There is a lot of reading in the course, however, this course is very interactive.

One of her students said in the midterm evaluation that this is, in fact, one of the most interactive online courses he or she has ever taken. Dr. Margaret Hadley’s student evaluations are consistently way above average and include testimonials such as this one.

Well, how does Dr. Margaret Hadley do it? She has timely, frequent, meaningful and thought-provoking responses and interactions with her students on the Discussion Board. In each Module, she individually asks students to provide her with feedback and she interacts with them on an individual level via reflections and feedback on coursework. She engages her students on an inquiry adventure, which is relevant and which prepares them for the real-world – among other things, in her course, students learn to articulate a compelling, substantive, thesis-driven argument in writing thoroughly supported by textual and visual evidence. In summary, she is testament to the saying that it’s not the delivery method that makes a difference whether a student learns; it always was and always will be the mark of a good teacher.

dr larry 2-02

April 16, 2015
by eLearning Staff

Dear Dr. Larry

Dear Dr. Larry is a regular column. Faculty and students can submit questions to Dr. Larry by emailing elearning@ltu.edu. Dr. Larry will answer each month with leading-edge, witty, insightful responses.

Dear Dr. Larry,

The trees are budding, the birds are singing and spring is in the air! While I’m thrilled that the semester is almost over, I have to admit my to-do list continues to grow. Students are submitting their projects, final exams are fast approaching, and my department is reminding me of all the house keeping things I need to do before summer break. I need HELP juggling all these tasks!


Franticly Juggling

Dear Juggling,

Yes . . . it is that wonderful/stressful time of year when all you see is the mountain of work standing between you and the promise of summer. I’m sure you’ve heard to adage, “plan the work then work the plan” but it works. Here are some tips to help get you over the mountain.

  1. Be sure you have clearly communicated expectations and due dates to your students.
  2. Use the submission and grading features in Blackboard to manage and score assignments.
  3. Use Blackboard to give your exams if possible; it will score many answers for you.
  4. Set aside time to capture student work, your grades and your entire Blackboard course so you have a complete archive.
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate

eLearning is hosting a workshop on Tuesday, May 12 to help you with saving/archiving work. Bring your laptop and let those nice people in eLearning help you get some things crossed off your list.

Dr. Larry


eval and assess

March 20, 2015
by eLearning Staff

Student evaluation mid term survey data

Now that I have the data, what’s next?

While student evaluation semester survey data is primarily summative for the university, the survey data can serve as formative for the faculty member.  The assumption is that by reflecting on the student feedback faculty teaching will improve, therefore impacting future survey results. Faculty using feedback to evaluate their teaching effectiveness and course content tend to improve.

Using the Lawrence Technological University Student Evaluation Survey questions the faculty member can develop a personal strategic plan.  A plan geared to assess teaching skills for identification of what is working well and opportunities for improvement provides the opportunity to concentrate the application of your talents and abilities. Clear goals can help you to organize your time, access resources to support your goals, and measure success.

You can begin by developing your teaching and course goals for each of the student evaluation survey questions and identify how you support this criteria. For example, how can you identify where in your course you demonstrate “the course is well structured with clear objectives and requirements.”  What evidence do you have for meeting this evaluation criteria? Looking through the students’ eyes how is the information communicated to them, where are they directed to find this information, and how are they expected to use this information? Are the weekly course modules and course assignments designed to support the documented course objectives and requirements? You will want to review each of the student evaluation survey questions and complete this type of documentation for each survey question.

After evaluating your class in the proposed method set some goals and prepare a plan to reach them.  This may include following through with some immediate updates to your course and preparing for more substantial changes for implementation in the next semester. Think about the level you want to reach or maintain and keep working the plan each semester.  With a plan you can reach out to resources provided by the University impacting teaching effectiveness and course content.  University resources include eLearning Services and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Setting personal performance goals for your role as an instructor with the University can help to maintain control of your destiny. eLearning Services developed the form “Faculty Plan for Course Revision and Teaching Enhancement” to assist with reflection and planning for success in the classroom. Using this form, you will record a plan for improving course content, and enhancing teaching effectiveness. This document can also be used to plan for a visit with an eLearning Services course developer to learn more about tools and strategies to enhance your course.

course dev-02

March 19, 2015
by eLearning Staff

Getting started with SOTL

Are you interested in finding out more about upcoming Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conferences? There are opportunities for local and virtual presentations as well as available assistance to help you write and present at SOTL conferences.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

eLearning Services encourages faculty members to submit to scholarship of teaching and learning conferences and journals, especially interdisciplinary and collaborative work. SOTL conferences are venues for sharing teaching and learning research and best practices, for peer learning, and for networking. Conference attendance and proceedings may be used for faculty teaching portfolios, a springboard for faculty peer-reviewed publications, as well recruiting for a particular Lawrence Tech University college or program.

Upcoming Conferences

Below are some conferences that were previously attended by LTU faculty members. The conference calls for proposals usually become available approximately 4-7 months prior to the actual conference. At this time, a partial travel expense honorarium is not available; however, it may become available in the future. To save on associated costs, faculty may also consider presenting virtually or attending local conferences.

If you would like to add an upcoming conference, please email the details to elearning@ltu.edu. To be informed of upcoming academic and professional conferences based on your research interests, you may subscribe to this free Web-based service which forwards calls for papers to your Lawrence Tech e-mail address: ConferenceAlerts.


If you would like assistance with submitting a proposal to one of these or other SOTL conferences, you may email Marija Franetovic mfranetov@ltu.edu to set up a time for an initial consultation. She is available to guide you in the process of brain-storming teaching and learning topics within your discipline, writing and presenting to a particular venue, and in the overall logistics. As an additional resource, you may refer to the New Media Consortium 2015 Horizon Report for a review of upcoming trends in teaching and learning with new media and technologies.