Tidbits, Resources, and Discussion for ELI Faculty

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Personal Learning Environments

Educause has just put out a new "7 Things You Should Know About..." document, this time about "personal learning environments," which are a way of designing instruction so that students control the collection of course materials and how they learn from them. You can find the short document here. It's an interesting concept... do you see this kind of structure working in your courses? Can you imagine teaching this way? Are you teaching this way already?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2009 Innovators Awards from Campus Technology Magazine

Campus Technology has just announced the 2009 winners of its Innovator Awards. You can see and read some details about the winners--in categories like social networking, ePortfolios, immersive learning, and more--here. (You can also see past winners on the right side of this page.) Take a look and see if you get any bright ideas about things we could do--and note that the VCCS is one of the winners!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some summer reading on DL

The June issue of the online Journal of Online Teaching and Learning is now available here (click "Current Issue" on the left). There are lots of interesting articles, including several on preventing plagiarism and other cheating in online courses and lots of case studies and research projects about using particular technologies (podcasting, gaming, student collaboration tools, etc.) in teaching online. Take a look and see if you get any new ideas for your ELI courses! (And notice the call for papers for the winter issue at the bottom of the page--perhaps you'd like to write something about what you're doing in your course. We've got a lot of great work going on at ELI!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Using Kindles in Online Classes

Have you tried the Amazon Kindle yet? Do you know if any of your students are using them in your classes? (There's even a new, larger version specially designed to display textbooks.) Some schools have been experimenting with having students try them out; this article describes one faculty member's plans on this front (and also includes a link to descriptions of some other experiements). What's interesting is that one would assume these types of experiments would happen at institutions with wealthier student bodies (I've never heard of a community college providing all its incoming students iPods to listen to lectures, for example, but plenty of four-years have), but in this case, the student body sounds like it has much in common with our own. What do you think? Could you see this working for our students? Do you see benefits of using the Kindle in your teaching?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Enrollments: Who's in Our Classes?

As you know, we saw phenomenal growth at ELI this summer (about 14% higher than last summer's enrollments--and still counting!). Are you noticing anything in particular about the nature of the students we have enrolled? I'm curious whether we're seeing simply greater numbers of the same types of students we always get, or whether we're seeing new categories of students altogether.

One noteworthy thing I can see from the administrative side is that enrollment patterns are unusual--really slow enrollments in some of our core courses that normally fill rapidly (and that we staffed up for) and really high enrollments in some courses that are usually quite small. It will be interesting to see whether these patterns are just artifacts of the summer population (more transient students, who have different needs than our fall/spring population) or if they continue into the fall.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blackboard and Web 2.0 training opportunities

Did you see Cathy Simpson's recent email listing TAC's training opportunities for the summer? Check out the listing and registration info here if you missed it. There is lots of great stuff available, from podcasting, Wimba, or online photo training to advanced Blackboard tools like Safe Assign (the plagiarism detector) and StudyMate. I hope many of you will take advantage of the offerings!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Myths and truths about community colleges

Beth Harper and I are teaching a graduate course on the community college beginning today. (I asked you for reading recommendations for this course a while back, so this may sound familiar.) We'll be teaching mostly K-12 teachers, and some education policy folks. What are the things you'd most like people like this to know about community colleges, our students, our faculty, etc. when they leave the course?