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Summer Shorts in Instructional Technologies 2012: a Review

During the week of May 14, 2012, over 100 people participated in Summer Shorts in Instructional Technologies, a new DELTA training program. During this week participants could register for as few or as many workshops and seminars as they wanted. Held in the D.H. Hill library, these morning sessions were offered in concurrent pairs, a hands-on workshop alongside a seminar. There were a total of 20 sessions, with 68 people attending more than 1 session and 12 people attending 5 or more.

Scott Watkins leads a workshop on how to use Moodle Gradebook
Scott Watkins leads a workshop on Moodle Gradebooks.

Halfway through the week Melissa Hart of the Poole College of Management and Dianne Chapman of the College of Education gave a luncheon talk where they shared their experiences with integrating technology into their courses. Read a condensed version of their talk here. Although the structure of Summer Shorts was a shift from the Summer Institute, DELTA’s traditional cohort-based training program, many attendees said that it was well executed. They noted that being able to pick and choose only the sessions they were most interested in was a welcome change from enrolling for an entire week.

The best attended sessions were:

  • Google Apps for Educators
  • Flipping the Classroom with FIZZ
  • Moodle Course Design Techniques
  • Moodle Quizzing: Making Sense of the Maze
  • Moodle Assessment: Managing the Grade Book
  • Transitioning to Blackboard Collaborate

Anita Croasmun, instructional and teaching professor in the Department of Communication, enrolled in several offerings and was pleased to find that the program’s rollout was effective and convenient. “I found what I needed,” Croasmun said, with the “added benefit of face-to-face formats: immediate feedback from facilitators and the opportunity to share information with other attendees.”

According to Croasmun, the way the roll out of offerings started with the basics of the technologies and ramped up to more conceptual topics was very effective. Through the courses she took during the week, she was able to learn new things about Moodle and Blackboard Collaborate as well as information and strategies for course design, things which she said would help her in redesigning her online classes.

“It is no exaggeration to say that everything I experienced during the week can be applied to my current course redesign effort,” Croasmun said. “I was pleased to learn how much support faculty has from the Distance Education professionals, who not only support current online delivery systems in addition to exploring new tools and methods for delivery.”

Session topics included:

  • Blackboard Collaborate – covering techniques, applications, features, and how to adapt to the new synchronous learning management system that is replacing Elluminate following a company merger.
  • DELTA-developed tools for online teaching – covering recently completed tools including: the Flashcard Study Tool, the Virtual Viewer, the Mobile Video Tool, the Life Cycle Tool, and the MicroExplorer.
  • Flipping the classroom – outlining a new pedagogical method in which instructors are replacing lectures with short videos and opening class time up for collaboration and learning activities.
  • DELTA’s Video Conference Services (VCS) – providing a full tour of the VCS facilities used to produce and deliver media for university and state organizations. They also demonstrated the SMART whiteboard system and other services.
  • Google Apps for Education – covering the collaborative potential of the App suite (including Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Sites and Presentations) and the ways in which it can improve sharing information, teaching and research.
  • Moodle – covering everything from communicating with your online class, to managing the internal grade book, to course design techniques and more.
  • FERPA and recent legal actions – outlining recent laws and policies that impact online learning as well as information considering what is required for IT accessibility.

Read a condensed version of Chapman and Hart’s talk.

Register for other DELTA Workshops & Seminars.

View Mediasite Recordings of Summer Short sessions.