2012 Southeast Regional Conference Wrap-Up

The 2012 Southeast Regional Conference held at UW-Whitewater on January 11, 2012 was a success. A total of 86 attended, which included 16 speakers from UW Colleges, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Whitewater.

A myriad of active learning best practices were shared in the use of interactive activities and games, student-created video, ePortfolio, social media, and mobile technology for teaching and learning. The keynote and sessions on mobile learning and planning for the future of education was given by Dr. Curtis Bonk, an expert on active learning. Many of the comments included that there was “tons of good information” and ideas that were “very valuable and thought provoking.”

Thank you to all of you who were able to attend the 2012 UW-System Southeast Regional Conference. We hope you found inspiration and information to help promote active learning.

A special thanks to the wonderful presenters, the conference committee, sponsors, and many others who worked behind the scenes to make this conference a success.

A list of presenters along with the schedule, session recordings, and session presentations are available at: http://geturl.uww.edu/18s

If you attended and still haven’t taken the survey, please provide feedback at: http://geturl.uww.edu/182

Conference Committee:
• Karen Skibba, Conference Planning Chair, UW-Whitewater
• Pat Eaton, UW-Parkside
• Karla Farrell, UW-Colleges
• Amy Mangrich, UW-Milwaukee
• Renee Pfeifer-Luckett, UW-Whitewater

Conference Sponsors:
• UW System Learning and Technology Development Council (LTDC)
• UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center
• UW-Milwaukee Learning Technology Center
• UW-Parkside Learning Technology Center
• UW-Colleges Central IT
• UW-Whitewater College of Letters and Sciences

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Karen Skibba at skibbak@uww.edu.

Invited to Attend Two UW-Whitewater Second Life Sessions

UW-System faculty and instructional staff are invited to participate in two free Second Life “in-world” workshops featuring speakers who are experts at using Second Life for education. See details on sessions and registration.

The sessions are funded by the UW- System Learning Technology Development Council Curricular Redesign Grant awarded to UW-Whitewater. The grant supports exploration by faculty into the educational advantages offered in the virtual world of Second Life for teaching and learning. UW-Whitewater faculty and staff members working on the grant project are using a learning community model to explore and experience how the virtual world can enhance teaching and learning. To learn more about the learning community, please join us and attend our UW-System Presidential Summit session on Friday, April 15 at 8:30 a.m. Seven of the learning community members will be there to discuss and show how: “Second Life Faculty Learning Community Spurs Imagination.”

You may participate in one or both of the following sessions. To register, sign up at: http://geturl.uww.edu/0ud

A Second Life account and an avatar are required to participate. SLURL location and other participation information will be e-mailed to those who register.

Date: April 19, 2011
Time: 8 a.m. to 9:15 (CST)
Title: Virtual Worlds: What are the best uses? Where do we go from here?
Speaker: AJ Kelton, Director, Emerging Instructional Technology, College of Humanities & Social Science at Montclair State University; founder and current leader of the EDUCAUSE Virtual Worlds Constituent Group; and Founder and Chief Moderator of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable.

Description: Join distinguished Second Life expert AJ Kelton (also known as AJ Brooks in Second Life) for an informal discussion on virtual worlds, including what to expect, how to make use of the medium, and how to move forward working in a virtual environment. AJ will share what he has discovered from his own teaching experiences and the instructors he works with at Montclair State University. He will share best practice examples and then open the discussion for questions.

Date: May 3, 2011
Time: 8 a.m. to 9:15 (CST)
Title: Tools to create engaging and experiential learning in Second Life
Speaker: Cheryl Davis, Technology Consultant, Hazelwood MO School District and Instructor, Fontbonne University
Cheryl is an advocate for using Second Life in both higher education and middle/high school levels. She teaches several graduate-level courses at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO about digital and social technologies in the Master of Science in Computer Education Program. These include several courses on how to utilize Second Life for teaching and learning. She is also a Curriculum/Technology Consultant for the Hazelwood School District in Florissant, MO.

Description: Cheryl will discuss and show how she uses Second Life in her classes to create engaging and experiential learning. She will also provide a tour and demonstration of at least 10 practical educational tools available in Second Life. Most are free and will be offered to session attendees. Cheryl will also discuss the use of a few free simple scripts that can be modified to create simple games and activities in Second Life.

Explore Second Life with the Roadside Philosopher Pamala Clift

UW-System faculty and instructional staff are invited to participate in free Second Life “in-world” workshops with the Roadside Philosopher Pamala Clift (aka Patricia Murphy, Rockcliffe University Consortium, in real-life). Pamala, a researcher and autodidactic observer of psychology and anthropological interactions, will lead three virtual sessions dedicated to the Second Life learning experience. With thousands of hours invested in virtual worlds, along with the input of her international group known as “The Roadside Philosophers,” she has examined the impact of the virtual world on learning and perception.

The sessions are funded by the UW- System Learning Technology Development Council Curricular Redesign Grant awarded to UW-Whitewater to explore the educational advantages offered in the virtual world of Second Life for teaching and learning. UW-Whitewater faculty and staff members working on the  grant project are using  a learning community model to explore and experience how the virtual world can enhance teaching and learning.

You may participate in one, two or all three of the following sessions. To register, sign up at: http://geturl.uww.edu/0s5

A Second Life account and an avatar are required to participate. SLURL location and other participation information will be e-mailed to those who register.

Monday, Oct. 18, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Engagement Level of the Virtual Environment

Pamala Clift will present the need for understanding current educational point-in-time and target market’s perceptions. She will elaborate on the traditional mindset conversion over to digital with all of its difficulties and enhancements. A focus will be on methods for dealing with different learning styles in order to encourage interactions that aid in true memory retention. She’ll lead a group discussion on differences in perception and how that may influence acceptance of Second Life as a learning tool.

Monday, Nov. 8, 4:30 to 6:30 pm
Conducting Group Facilitation

In this nuts and bolts session, Pamala Clift will share what she has learned about methods for circumventing the lack of non-verbal cues to get understanding and participation. Topics include how to conduct a class, what to expect and how to maintain a measure of control when in reality you do not have face-to-face contact with the students. This is a “what to do and not to do” class with as many of the practicalities and tips and tools for best practices.

Monday, Nov. 22, 4:30 to 6:30 pm
State of Being Psychology and Relationships within a Virtual World

This presentation will focus on team building, personal relationships and perspectives. The goal is to prepare instructors for proper social media conduct within the Second Life environment. Topics will include: (1) What to be aware of and how to handle the glitches that might cause harmful reactions, and (2) Turning the social media component into a motivation factor for engagement in virtual world education.

Karen Skibba Attended QM Conference Thanks to LTDC Professional Development Grant

Thank you to the LTDC for the professional development grant to attend the Second Annual Quality Matters Conference held June 11-13 in Oak Brook, IL, at the very unique and beautiful Hamburger University on the McDonalds Corporate Campus. We didn’t have time to clown around at the conference but instead networked with many others’ who are utilizing Quality Matters and attended many useful sessions.

My goal for attending this conference was to investigate how other universities implement Quality Matters and to learn best practices. Leif Nelson from Green Bay also reported on the same conference so I will not repeat the same useful information he shared since we did attend some of the same sessions. By the way, I did attend Leif’s very useful session on his online Applying the Rubric course, which I highly recommend.

Following are a few highlights from two sessions I found provided useful information.

Keynote presentation by Penny Ralston-Berg, Instructional Designer at Penn State World Campus: “Do quality standards matter to students?

The answer was “yes, quality matters” based on student feedback. Penny conducted a survey that was taken by over 2300 students from 31 intuitions from 22 states.

The top factors that student said influenced quality are instructor-related (highest rated), course design, learning materials, clear expectations, student interaction, feedback, delivery and flexibility. Penny found an interesting finding that students highly rate some of the standards that are not required 3-points standards by Quality Matters. Some of these included the importance of sharing personal insights and experiences beyond the readings and “I gain knowledge and skills that I will use after the class is over.” The findings also indicated that relevance and alignment were more important than any specific media, tool, or delivery mode.

For more details on the survey in addition to suggestions Penny shared for addressing the students’ feedback, go to: http://www.slideshare.net/plr15/QM2010Keynote

Half-day preconference session “Building Your Hybrid Course” conducted by Rhonda Spells., Director eLearning Services, Prince George’s Community College.

This was the first time this workshop was offered by Quality Matters. Rhonda said that a hybrid course should be organized like an online course, by modules, so both the face-to-face and online time have equal importance for students. Both components also need to refer to the opposite component. Good quote: “Worrying about seat time is worrying about the wrong end of the student.” Instead she said it is important to focus on learning instead of room scheduling.

Another tip was to train instructors who will be teaching hybrid/blended courses to teach and design fully online courses first, then provide information and strategies for blended courses. The logic is that blended instructors need to be online, face-to-face, and blended experts. Rhonda shared a course plan for instructors to fill out before they develop a blended course that includes: face-to-face meeting times, process for what will do online and what will do face-to-face, learning outcomes, and benefits of teaching in a blended format. She also shared a module-planning sheet based on QM standards.

A couple of the key questions for QM Standards in blended courses included:

Standard 1: Course Overview and Introduction
• Is it apparent that this is a blended course?
• Are the online and face-to-face components clearly explained?
• Is it clear when and where students need to participate? Online? F2F?
• Will a student know what to do even if they miss the F2F session
• Is it clear how the online and face-to-face components are organized? The relationship between them?

Standard 3: Assessment and Measurement:
• Does the grading policy reflect the blended components?
• Is it clear where the assessments will take place? Online vs. on campus?

Standard 4: Resources and Materials
• Is it clear where instructional materials will be delivered?
• Is it clear how instructional materials and learning activities will be delivered? Online vs. on-campus?

Standard 5: Learner Engagement
• Is it clear where these activities will take place? Online or on-campus?
• Is it clear where the course interaction will take place? Online or on-campus?

Standard 6: Course Technology
• Is it clear where the student is to complete the activities?
• Is the relationship between the online and on-campus components consistent throughout the course?

There were many more workshops that shared great information. I would suggest attending the next Quality Matters Conference so we can share best practices and learn from each other.

Feel free to contact me if you would like more information about the conference, Quality Matters, or blended learning and teaching.

Karen Skibba

UW-Whitewater Campus Update: Variety of ways for faculty to receive training and support

UW-Whitewater’s Learning Technology Center is providing a variety of ways for faculty to receive technology and online and blended course development strategies.

On-Demand Workshops: Faculty who are not able to attend face-to-face workshops can view many topics on their own time with on-demand workshops and tutorials on iTunes: http://geturl.uww.edu/0pj.  Featured are faculty best practices, pedagogical strategies, social technologies, and D2L tutorials.  Some of these videos, along with LTC news, are also available on http://www.facebook.com/uwwltc.  Everyone is welcome to be a fan of our UW-W LTC Facebook for our updates.

Faculty Learn Online as a Student: This summer faculty will learn how to design and facilitate online and blended courses while participating in an online course like a student.  We streamlined the online and face-to-face workshops from what we offered last year. This summer the workshop series begins with an online component that starts May 24 and ends July 25. The online component will include both independent and collaborative work to help faculty design and develop an online or blended course using a design guide and course plan that follows the Quality Matters rubric. In-person workshops will take place June 29 to July 1 and July 27 to 29 where they will learn faculty best practices and experience various technologies to develop content and assessments, and increase student communication and collaboration.  In our publicity, we share an audio clip from one of last year’s participants that explained the value of taking an online course as a student to develop her own online course: http://geturl.uww.edu/0pi.

Second Life: UW-W Second Life Island is growing to accommodate increasing faculty interest. Our LTC has already built a variety of environments for faculty to use, including a Welcome Center, two stadium-like presentation areas, a small classroom, virtual reality room, courtroom, debate room, monastery, recreation house and a bar. Two faculty will use Second Life extensively over the summer and six more faculty so far are planning activities in Second Life for the 2010-2011 academic year.  Here is a Flicker presentation of several of UW-W SL locations: http://geturl.uww.edu/0pk.  Feel free to explore the UW-W island starting in our Welcome Center where you can transport to the other locations: http://geturl.uww.edu/0ox. Many areas are still being developed and we are consulting with faculty to explore other Second Life environments and pedagogical strategies.

Digital Storytelling: We are offering our second annual digital storytelling workshop on May 19-21 with our professional storyteller and professor Jim Winship.  Ten faculty are chosen from an application process each year to attend this popular three-day workshop. Participants receive storytelling consultation, resources for finding photos and music, and hand-on video editing training and assistance. By the end of the workshop each participant creates a compelling digital story that is two to three minutes long.  The following website shares a summary of last year’s workshop along with the digital stories developed by the faculty: http://geturl.uww.edu/0pl.

This summer we will be developing a variety of short video or tutorials that showcase faculty best practices of a variety of technologies and online and blended learning.  We will be sharing these with the LTDC ePedagogy series.  Feel free to contact Karen Skibba (skibbak@uww.edu) if you have any questions on any of our campus initiatives.