February 27, 2005
COURSES: Free Course Content
The Sofia (Sharing of Free Intellectual Assets) initiative, launched in March of 2004 under the leadership of Foothill Community College, has the goal of publishing community college-level course content and making it freely accessible on the web.
Sofia is modeled after MIT's OpenCourseWare initiative, but at the community college level. Courses submitted by faculty members on a voluntary basis go through peer-review, repurposing, and QA before being posted to the site.
Content for eight courses is now available online through their course gallery: Creative Typography, Elementary Statistics, Physical Geography, Enterprise Network Security, Introduction to Java Programming, Introduction to Macromedia Flash, Musicianship II, Webpage Authoring
Each course includes readings, assignments, exams/quizzes, discussion area, etc., as well as a course syllabus, including suggested grading and a suggested schedule for course delivery.
(link via cogdogblog)
September 29, 2004
RESOURCES: Teachers' Domain
Teacher's Domain, which presents a digital library of multimedia resources, standards, and lesson plans for K-12 on a small range of topics in life science, physical science, engineering, and the civil rights movement, is a good example. I was interested enough by the tour (no registration required) to check it out further but was soon disappointed.
While the library resources themselves are useful and well organized, the registration and login process can be frustrating, and the process of creating resource folders and sharing them with students and colleagues is unnecessarily complex. Navigation through these folders and groups is not very intuitive, and the "help" function is something less than helpful. To make matters worse, the server is sluggish and tends to serve up lots of error pages.
While this might be a useful resource for those who want to organize materials for themselves for classroom use, I wouldn't suggest sending students to this site for independent online work.
(link via Educational Technology)
September 23, 2004
RESOURCES: User Experience
September 17, 2004
WRITING: Guidelines and ResourcesTo supplement my writing workshops, I've beefed up my student resources links to include some great sites on:
August 17, 2004
RESOURCES: Research on Distance Education
From the Spring 2004 issue of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, the article Ten Efficient Research Strategies for Distance Learning is a good resource for anyone who's new to distance education and is looking for a way to get up to speed/keep up with important developments in the field.
Most useful are the listings of academic journals and Web portals, but those new to online research may also benefit from the basic information on how to search library catalogs and online databases. There are some obvious omissions, however... for example, I wish the authors had added a list of key online education blogs and a description of how to use news aggregators.
(link via Great Links!)
A shout out to the husband ... in addition to his regular theater-and-culture blog Superfluities, George has now started ArtsBlogging, an experiment in collaborative blogging where arts bloggers can connect on cross-discipline issues and share resources on technology and culture tailored to their needs.
As George writes:"Romantic tradition has it that artists are alienated not only from our culture but from each other, and despite the explosion of information technology in the past twenty years I can’t say that personally I feel any less alienated than I did in 1984. Blogs have the potential to provide the communication and communion missing from the fragmented cultural milieux in which we’re all participating. Now, at least, we can be alienated together."
July 17, 2004
RESOURCES: Free On-line Resources for Teachers
From TechLearning, here is an interesting list of free resources for teachers. Highlights include links to the Hot Potatoes suite of programs for building simple interactive tests and Mark Damon's modifiable PowerPoint games (Jeopardy, Who wants to be a millionaire, Hollywood Squares, and the Weakest link).
(link via Educational Technology)
July 09, 2004
RESOURCES: Other PlacesSample courses. The Open Learning Initiative is an interesting project from Cargnegie Mellon to provide online courses and to build a community of use. Check out the first courses available - introductory courses in Economics, Statistics, Causal Reasoning, and Logic - which include simulations and other interactive components (the logic course was unavailable when I looked at this).
(link via OLDaily)
Using Flash. A good introductory article from Learning Circuits on using Flash animations to author e-learning.
Plagiarism. The CBB Plagiarism Resource Site is a collaborative project by Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin Colleges to build a clearinghouse for resources and news on this topic, including an online quiz to test your plagiarism IQ.
(link via Kairosnews)
July 07, 2004
RESOURCES: Course Design & Development
These Web design guidelines from IBM provide a basic introduction to the topics of site structure, navigation, text design, and visual layout. On the same site, the section on Design concepts gives a basic introduction to the topics of user-interface and user-experience design, as well as some basic principles of good site design.
- This brief article by Stephen Downes provides a good definition and overview
- This tutorial from Webmonkey is a good place to start if you're new to IA, particularly the lessons on Site structure and Visual design.
- AIfIA (The Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture) provides a host of resources, including a Design tools section that includes sample process maps, content development spreadsheets, wireframe templates, and other development tools.
July 05, 2004
RESOURCES: Articles of Interest
Some articles of interest from the June issue of the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks:
- (My) Three Principles of Effective Online Pedagogy. A very useful article by the winner of the 2003 Sloan-C award for Excellence in Online Teaching.
- Cost-Effective Distributed Learning With Electronic Labs. Investigation into the use of simulations as a replacement for work in a physical electronics labs.
- Solving the Laboratory Dilemma in Distance Learning General Chemistry. This paper describes introductory chemistry courses that feature laboratory experiments that students can do at home, using materials readily available from local grocery and hardware stores.
- Experimental Online Case Study for a Breakthrough in Student Engagement: Focus Group Results. Evaluation of a "real-time case" case study approach in which a case writer stationed at a real-life company published case installments weekly on the Web throughout a 14-week semester, allowing students to view and study the company-building process as it happened.
- Faculty Self-Study Research Project: Examining the Online Workload. Describes a project in which six faculty members teaching courses through the Penn State World Campus conducted studies of the comparative workload in the online environment.
RESOURCES: Costs of Course Development
July 03, 2004
RESOURCES: Assessing Readiness for Online Courses
A few people in the class have mentioned that they'd like to have some guidelines for how to prepare learners for the work involved in taking courses online. The following resource provide some helpful tips and student self-assessments:
- Online Learner's Guide. Attractive, interactive assessments from Northern Arizona University for first-time online learners. The program returns a list of suggested resources to review based on learners' answers to the self-assessment questions.
- Is Online Learning for Me?. An interactive self-assessment pretest from the eModerators website (you can access the entire student-readiness tutorial here).
- Becoming A Successful Online Student. Advice and tips from the Indiana College Network.
- Study Strategies for Online Courses. Useful tips from a past issue of the Learning Center Newsletter.
- Online Course Readiness Assessment. Concise list of assessment questions for potential online learners from the University of Montana.
RESOURCES: Blog Essays
Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs
This online, edited collection explores discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. Essays analyze and critique situated cases and examples drawn from weblogs and weblog communities. The collection takes a multidisciplinary approach, and contributions represent perspectives from Rhetoric, Communication, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Education, among others.
July 01, 2004
RESOURCES: Instructional StrategiesThe following resources may be helpful in thinking about issues related to strategy and media selection
- Designing Instructional Strategies for the Web. (Word file) A very useful template form for conducting training-of-trainers in instructional strategies that is designed to be used in a workshop setting along with content on Virginia Tech's Web-based Instruction page. (You may also want to take a look at their Teaching Models page for a review of some key issues related to teacher-centered vs. learner-centered models and strategies)
- Instructional Strategy Exercises . Interactive practice on choosing instructional strategies from Dr. Albert L. Ingram's course on Instructional Design
- Instructional Strategy lesson from the Instructional Technology master's program at Virginia Tech
- Developing an Instructional Strategy (Powerpoint slides), from Barry Williams of PSU, which contains some useful information on designing strategies for attitudinal objectives
- The Learning Strategies page from Big Dog's ISD resource, particularly the "Instructional Strategy Selection Chart"
June 30, 2004
RESOURCES: Ed-Tech News Reading ListChris asked about the news sources I rely on for information about education and technology...In addition to the sources listed here, I also review some subscription and "old media" resources, and I periodically conduct Lexis-Nexis and other database searches on select topics as time permits (if you're enrolled at NYU in a degree program, as opposed to taking classes as a nondegree student, you have access to a variety of online resources of this type through the "Research" link on NYUHome).
You can view my blog subscriptions for Online Ed through Bloglines at http://www.bloglines.com/public/joanne
Other resources I generally check out through RSS feed include (in no particular order):
June 29, 2004
RESOURCES: Bloom's Taxonomy
When writing objectives, teachers and trainers too often focus on measuring only low-level cognitive skills (listing, memorizing, restating, etc.).
These resources, compiled by a former course participant (thanks, Kathy!), focus on providing tools to help craft objectives on each of the six levels within the cognitive domain (from simple recall to complex analysis and evaluation) identified by Bloom.
- Explanation of Bloom's Taxonomy
- Suggestions of tasks that coordinate with Bloom’s Taxonomy
- Good set of question words to use to elicit higher order thinking skills
- Decent explanation of learning domains
- Good handout and handy resource
- Explanation and sample questions
June 27, 2004
RESOURCES: Interface Design
User Experience Design.
Semantic Studios's Peter Morville describes a "user experience honeycomb" to help define priorities and move beyond simply designing for accessibility.
On Sitepoint, Subha Subramanian does a nice job of giving an easy-to-read introduction to this key interface design topic.
Syntactic vs. Visual Knowledge.
As a followup to the Forum question about WIMP, I found this article from Juan C. Dürsteler of Inf@Vis! comparing the different types of knowledge a user needs to interact with a graphical vs. a command-line interface.
June 22, 2004
RESOURCES: Course AnalysisIn addition to the excellent site from Big Dog's Bowl of Biscuits, you might find the following resources useful:
- How much will this all cost? This interactive web estimate generator from EEI Communications is a fun (!) way to get a ballpark estimate of the cost of a site at the very earliest stages of course development.
- Process overview. While you're at it, check out some of EEI's excellent content on their multimedia process and web-development process. These are short, simple and graphically interesting...each is a good tool for describing the steps of the process to others in your organization.
- "Human obstacles." This article from a past issue of ASTD's Learning Circuits describes some of the perceptions and obstacles to overcome when instituting elearning.
June 20, 2004
Quick interactivity. Adding a user poll is one way to add quick interactivity to a Web site.
Pollhost is one such free hosted service that allows you to add up to 30 polls at a time to your site. I've now added a poll to the left-hand column of this blog so you can test out the service.
June 18, 2004
Ever ask, "What's a Wiki?" The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning defines Educational Wikis in this paper.
Here's an interactive, flash-based learning style assessment from EnactCorp.
ASTD Learning Circuits presents an article on how to use collaboration to help learners feel more "connected" to elearning
In the June issue of DEOS News (in PDF format), James Tyler describes a California State University study to assess the level of acceptance by campus students of online course packets in support of a blended (classroom/online) course.
June 15, 2004
MIT's OpenCourseWare: This is a free and open educational resource that allows you to view more than 700 available courses from 33 disciplines and all 5 MIT schools.
June 11, 2004
RESOURCESFree e-learning resources from the June 8 Online Learning News and Reviews newsletter:
Additional resources from the Penn State DEOS-L list:
- http://www.elearnspace.org, a free resource on e-learning, knowledge management, and technology.
- http://www.downes.ca, a blog containing an array of content on technology and learning trends.
- E-learning accessibility links:
June 09, 2004
Here are some resources for those of you who want to check out some other blogs...
- "Edublogs" (http://webtools.cityu.edu.hk/news/newslett/edublogs.htm), on the educational applications of Weblogs
- Slashdot (http://slashdot.org/), billed as "News for Nerds," is one of the best known
- Schoolblogs (http://www.schoolblogs.com/) focuses on using blogs in schools (be sure to check out the links to students sites under "class weblogs")
- Globe of Blogs (http://www.globeofblogs.com/) provides links to blogs grouped by topic, author or area of interest
- The Weblog of the New York City Writing Project is another good example