Category Archives: Uncategorized

Coffee Check-ins: Fridays this Fall, 10-11

photo of a coffee cup with meme text: "Hello dark roast my old friend."

Pull up a virtual chair and a real coffee (or drink of your choice) every Friday this fall for a check-in and chat hosted by your Instructional Design Services colleagues. There’s no formal agenda! Just drop in to talk through what’s on your plate and your mind. We’ll have a chance to check-in if there’s a goal you’d like to accomplish: sometimes saying it out loud can help, and maybe so can the colleagues around you.

Just want to converse? Missing the hallway/watercooler/coffee shop line? We have space for that, too.

Add this meeting to your calendar for a reminder every Friday (including Zoom link), and we’ll see you there!

Friday Discussions, Session 3: Course Design and Layout

We had a great Friday Discussion last week that centered on course design and layout. 40+ people were in attendance! Up for discussion–One of the regular themes in online student feedback is that consistent course design across online courses is essential to their success. 

We jumped right into the thick of things and took at look at the ID Services OSCQR course templates in action. Several instructors so kindly shared their courses with us and we were able to address the following questions:

  • Is the course design intuitive and easy to navigate?  
  • Is the course cluttered with a lot of various files and links?  
  • Are the instructions on what the student is to do clear?  
  • Do all the links in the course work and provide for easy navigation back to the course? 

As promised, here is the link to the Session 3 presentation
Note: We cannot provide links to the courses that were used in the demo.

Other resource links from the presentation:

Be sure to join us this Friday, May 22, 1-2pm, for Session 4: Building Interaction in Your Course. You can also join us for our Instructional Design OPEN Office Hour. Join the Zoom Meeting

10 [way-to-simple] steps to course development

I really like simple lists.  Maybe a way oversimplified list with links for additional details if I would like to venture down that path and learn more.  I don’t have to click all the links – just the ones I want.  I have not found much in the “simple” category lately, so I guess we try and build our own!  You may not be developing an online course, however, you are developing online components of your course regardless of modality.  

What’s the difference between a remote, hybrid, and online course?  IMHO: Interaction.

Best practices in teaching don’t change based on modality – they are still the same.  How you achieve them might differ based on modality.  With this in mind when you review online course design best practices, read them with a lens for your modality.  Do the recommendations make sense for your course?  Not sure – let us help you decide.

Remote/Hybrid/Online Course Development in 10 steps:

STEP 1: Brush up on my Moodle skills.
STEP 2: Review and spend time with the IDs OSCQR Top 15 best practices in course design.
Step 3: Meet with an instructional designer to develop a Personal Development Plan (PDP) on course design and training needed to teach.
Step 4: Complete a course planning worksheet (note this can be used in your syllabus).
Step 5: Ask the ATC to import the IDS Moodle course template.  Use the template material and fill in the blanks where needed.
Step 6: Complete Getting Started Course Development checklist and follow the steps on building introduction through week 1 of course.
Step 7: Meet with an instructional designer to develop a Personal Development Plan (PDP) on course design and training needed to teach.
Step 8: Following your format of week 1 – develop weeks 2, 3, …. Following OSCQR top 15 as a guide.  It’s ok if your course is not 100% complete before week 1, as long as week 1 is ready by week 1!  🙂
Step 9: Meet with an instructional designer to seek feedback and assistance.
Step10.  Ask students for feedback in course design (maybe weeks 2, 5, & 9)

“How-to” do steps 1-10 [in a Google doc] – current how-to steps 1-3.  4+ coming soon

Step 11 (after the dust settles): Improve! 

What do you think?  Interact with us in the comment options below!

Let’s Discuss! Announcing our Friday discussion series

drawing of multicolored balloon bundleYou’ve likely already seen this on our Web site or thrilled to the news in the Lane Weekly, but in case you’re a blogs-only kind of person, ta-da! We are announcing an upcoming series of Friday discussions/webinars to help faculty think about the different ways we’re handling online teaching and learning in these weird times.

We’ll meet online from 1-2 p.m. every Friday, starting this week (5/1) for these discussions. Bring your lunch! Or your pet! Or your pet’s lunch (maybe keep that one off camera)!

You’ll see a preview post before each session here, including some good reference material for the topics we’ll cover. If we have slides to share or other content that gets collected during the discussions, we’ll also use this as a place to post those. We’ll be talking about:

  • Remote Teaching (what does it mean, and how is it different/the same)
  • First week/getting started strategies
  • Design and layout to promote student success
  • Building interaction into your course
  • Creating engaging courses
  • Crafting online assessments

So sit back, relax (and if you manage this, let us know how!), and get ready to chat every Friday during Spring term.

Check out the ID services site for Zoom information and the full schedule of events.

Help students who don’t have a computer keep up with remote learning

How do I make assignments for students if…

They don’t have a computer at home?

Many Moodle options will work through a smartphone if a student has a data plan. YouTube videos and audio recordings are all accessible over a phone. Readings that are posted in Google Docs or in the Moodle page resource format well on a phone; PDF files can be a little harder to read. Online textbooks really vary in how they work on a phone screen.

Writing assignments are more difficult to complete without a keyboard, but students can use the voice typing option on Google Docs to dictate their paper on a phone. Students can also hand-write their assignments and upload a photo or PDF of their work. Microsoft Office Lens is a free app for smartphones that lets you snap a picture of any document and quickly turn it into a PDF or even a Word Document (through Optical Character Recognition).

Moodle will accept photo uploads into assignments. If students are accessing Moodle over their phone, they can attach a photo to any assignment that you’ve set up to allow file submissions, including assignments and forums. When they click “Choose file,” they’ll see the option to turn on their camera. You’ll then receive a photo of their work.

They don’t have wifi/Internet at home?

If the student has a device (computer, tablet, phone) but no internet connection:

If they have somewhere (like Lane’s campus) where they can access the Internet once a week, you can outline a plan where they can download as much media as possible while on campus and turn things in during that single-access window as well. For example, readings and videos can often be saved for later viewing. If you need help making sure your files are downloadable, let the ATC know!

Tip: If you’re offering Zoom sessions, make sure you record these and post the link for where people can view them later. 

If the student will have no internet connection for most of the time:

If possible, provide class materials (textbook, handouts, syllabus) as a printed packet in advance or by mail. (Check with your department for information on whether this is a covered expense). Students can submit work by mail to your department or by telephone. An oral report or read-out of work over the phone could get someone through for a week or three until face-to-face class can reconvene.

You can also ask students to track their own work in a journal or log during our remote time/closure, and then evaluate that work with them when they return. This is not the ideal teaching situation, clearly, but for a temporary closure it might be enough to help a student stay in class. 

Get Ready Now: Instructor-provided resources

Even though this an evolving situation, best practices and practical supports can guide our work. The ATC and SHeD can only provide support for applications that have been adopted by the college officially.

These technologies include Moodle (our learning management system), Zoom (our web conferencing solution), and to a limited extent, Google Drive, Docs, and Gmail.

I’ve seen about a dozen great tips and recommendations come through this week so far, and I’d love it if more faculty felt willing to share what they’re doing to get ready for a potential pause in teaching/need to go remote. You can comment below or post to this collaborative Google Doc with advice, links to the guidance from your professional associations, or other tips that you want to share!

Get Ready Now: Practice Virtual Meetings with Zoom

Need to meet with your students virtually? Zoom Video Conferencing is a powerful tool you can use to meet synchronously and asynchronously. Zoom will let you share your screen, chat, and even record your meetings to be shared in real-time or uploaded later. Use these tips and tricks to practice using Zoom today.

What devices can I use Zoom on? 

  • Laptop/computer (PC/Mac) 
  • Tablet (Apple iOS, Android)
  • Smartphone (Apple iOS, Android)

Preparing for a Zoom Meeting 

  1. Download and install the Zoom Client Software (PC/Mac) or the Zoom app (iOS/Android) in advance. 
  2. Review Zoom instructions online: 
  3. Start or join a Zoom Meeting to test your computer or device’s capabilities. 
  4. Contact the ATC for training or to resolve any technical issues encountered during testing. 

Tips and Tricks 

  • Find a quiet space with strong WiFi that is free of distractions.
  • Test your headphones, microphone, and camera to make sure the class can hear and see you. More info on testing here:
  • You may need to give Zoom permission to access your camera and microphone beforehand. Typically the request for permission will appear in a pop-up window the first time you open a Zoom Meeting. 
  • Close any windows or programs open on your device that are unrelated to your meeting. This focuses  your device’s power to provide the best Zoom meeting experience possible.  
  • If you can’t use video, upload a profile image to your Zoom account, give your students something to look at while you speak. 

We’ve also got Zoom training/practice available from 12-1 on Wednesday 3/11 and Thursday 3/12 in Center 219 (ATC computer lab). Drop by!