5 Tips to Enhance Active Listening in Online Learning

Listening skills in the digital learning environment are essential to student engagement with and mastery of course content. In their latest blog post, NovoEd shares 5 ways to enhance learner listening in your online courses:

  1. Establish your visibility
  2. Provide feedback
  3. Make space for communal discussion
  4. Establish clear learning objectives
  5. Link subject matter to prior knowledge

For more information about the role these strategies play and how to implement them, visit the full article: 5 Tips to Enhance Active Listening in Online Learning by NovoEd

Shine the Spotlight on Your Best Practice

Have you visited the Quality Matters Showcase of Best Practice recently? If not, you’re missing out on some great ideas and tips. The Showcase highlights courses that have met QM Standards in official QM course reviews. Specifically, the videos highlight the best practice(s) used in a course to help it meet a Specific Review Standard from the QM Rubric.

What ideas have you implemented to meet QM Standards? Share them with the QM Community! Submit a video for the QM Showcase of Best Practice. Here’s how:

  1. Create a short video (five minutes or less) that shows how you met a QM Specific Review Standard.
  2. Upload your video to YouTube and add closed captioning.
  3. Double check your captions!
  4. Fill out the Showcase of Best Practice Submission Form.
  5. Finally, QM will review your video, add some keywords so it can be found via search, and post it!

Feel free to contact Karla Morris at OLITS for any assistance with this process!

Whoa! You’re Halfway There!

On November 15, 2017, the Instructional Design Team at OLITS presented as part of the Quality Matters Success Stories webinar series. They shared how an effective QM-based course template can help put you on the path to course certification.

The recording of “Whoa! With a Template You’re Halfway There” is now available for viewing. You may also access the PowerPoint of the presentation.

If you have any questions about incorporating the template into your course in Canvas, or about Quality Matters in general, contact your Instructional Designer at OLITS today!

The Quality Matters Success Stories webinar series is offered once per month – free to QM subscribers. It features institutions sharing strategies and resources for creating high quality online courses. Visit the QMSS website to view upcoming topics and register for free.

Canvas Webinars

From PowerPoint tips to engaging today’s digitally distracted learners, Instructure sponsors webinars on a variety of teaching and learning topics presented by leading experts to offer free professional development to those using Canvas.

Other popular topics include sessions on flipping the classroom, supporting at-risk students, integrating third party tools such as MyLab and McGraw Hill Connect, and using Canvas analytics.

To browse the archive of recorded webinars, or view upcoming topics, visit the Canvas Webinars webpage.

Streaming Feature Films in Your Online Course with Swank Digital Campus

Have you ever wanted to use a full-length feature film as instructional material for your online course, but didn’t go for it because of copyright worries?

Well, worry no more! The USF System has a subscription to Swank Digital Campus. This is a streaming film service that integrates with Canvas and allows us to rent feature films for students to view in our online courses.

The selection is vast! From classics, to foreign films, to movies just released on DVD; you name it and they’ve probably got it!

Screen shot of swank website

So this means you can stream all eight Harry Potter movies for fun, right?

harry potter saying you wish

I do wish! But understandably, no.

Here are the criteria for use of the films:

  • Priority is given to online courses
  • Student enrollment should be over 50
  • There is a maximum of 5 titles per course
  • The film(s) must be used as instructional materials for a course activity

There is some flexibility with these guidelines, so talk with your Instructional Designer about  your specific goals.

To view a list of currently available titles, visit the USF Libraries Swank Rental Listing. If the title you are looking for is not listed in the current rentals, you can search the Swank Digital Campus Catalog to see if your desired film is available for rent.

Once the tool is integrated into the course, students will be able to visit the “Course Reserves” link on the left menu of your course throughout the semester. The films you have rented will be linked there and can be viewed upon signing in with a USF NetID and Password.

Also, all of the films through this service have Closed Captioning to improve accessibility (Karla approved!).

To learn more, or to integrate this tool into your course, contact your Instructional Designer at Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services.

 

Atomic Learning: Online Technology Tutorials for Students & Faculty

As we get further into the semester, students may find themselves in need of training on certain software programs to be able to complete major course activities and assignments such as creating presentations with Prezi or analyzing data using SPSS. When it comes to facilitating that participation and grading assignments, faculty may want a refresher on those programs or how to use certain feedback features in Canvas.

Through the USF system subscription to Atomic Learning, all members of the USF St. Petersburg community have unlimited access to online tutorials for commonly used web and software applications. These online training resources teach you “how do I do that” through a library of thousands of short, easy-to-understand tutorial movies.  Topics include Microsoft programs, Adobe programs, Apple programs, Canvas, mobile apps, and much more.

To access this resource, log into Atomic Learning using your USF NetID and password.

Once logged into the Atomic Learning site, you will be able to browse or search for specific programs.

searching atomic learning

After finding the program you wish to learn more about, click on the Series Title to view the available tutorials.

al_prezipage

Then click on the title of the tutorial to load the video and learn more about the topic.

al_editor

For more help with getting started, view this text getting started guide (PDF) or video orientation.

If you have trouble with accessing this resource, contact the USF System Help Desk at 813-974-1222 or help@usf.edu.

If you have any questions about how to best use this resource for you or integrate it within a course, contact Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services at 727-873-4409.

 

 

Higher Retention and Better Student Success? Yes Please.

In Higher Ed we are constantly trying to find ways to help students be successful while also trying to increase enrollment and retention. With budget and time constraints it can be difficult for universities and professors to achieve these goals. Universities are trying to tackle these problems with what may seem like unconventional approaches.

Successful Students

Successful and Happy Students

An article from Inside Higher Ed chronicles the efforts at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to break the “Iron Triangle”.  The triangle they are referring to is the balance of quality, cost, and access. It often seems that one of the three parts of the triangle has to be sacrificed. UNC Greensboro is challenging that assertion with a project they have been running the past two years called CRAFT.

 

CRAFT is short for create and curate Content, Replace lectures with Active, and Flipped, Team-based learning. Specifically the project focused on general education courses and courses with high rates of students withdrawing or receiving low marks. They have had positive results and found that this format allows for more students to be enrolled in the class as well.

 

This type of strategy certainly seems like it could help bring quality, cost, and access together without the need for one of them to sacrificed. This is Higher Ed, however, and nothing is quite as simple as it sounds. Developing these courses takes a lot of time and support. It would be asking a lot of a professor to use the CRAFT method on their own.

 

The bigger message of this article, however, is that you can serve more students, retain more students, and help lower achieving students be more successful with a focus on active learning. When students are actively involved in the learning process they are more likely to be successful. There is research to back this up as a report from the National Academy of Science shows. They examined 225 studies and found that 3500 more students would have passed if active learning was used in those courses. That is certainly compelling data.

 

It can seem daunting when considering how to start or increase active learning in your courses. The good news is that here at USFSP, OLITS is here to help. We offer trainings on active learning and can help you add active learning to your courses. Check the OLITS Professional Development website to see when upcoming trainings are available or schedule an on-demand training with us. If you want to learn more about active learning, check out this blog post by our very own Otis Wilder.