The Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT) is, in my humble opinion, the premier association for instructional designers. My professors in my doctoral studies had been promoting this professional organization and their educational technology standards to their students. I finally attended the AECT conference last year and was blown away by the professional level of everyone I met and how cordial they were to newcomers. This year, their 2018 conference will be held in Kansas City, MO from October 23-27 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. I’ll be there, so let me know if you plan to attend. For AECT members, I placed my slides and research paper on the new conference online portal.
This time around, I’ll be presenting on my latest research and giving a workshop on the Online Community of Inquiry Syllabus Rubric that I co-developed with Dr. Van Haneghan. It serves as a great collaboration tool to provide feedback to instructors and for syllabi content analysis for action research. Here’s my schedule:
Wed, Oct 24, 9:00am to 12:00pm, Marriott, Room-Bennie Morten B
Use of Online Community of Inquiry Syllabus Rubric for Course Developers and Collaborators, Drs. Rogers & Khalsa
Google Suite, along with the Chrome browser’s Omnibox and useful extensions, can be used to enhance the teaching of all learners with universal instructional design principles. Google Suite is the new name for these features: Google Apps (Docs, Forms, Sheets, Slides), Classroom, and Drive. This blog focuses on the use of technology to augment instruction through differentiation via scaffolding, formative assessments, and student collaboration. Google professional development opportunities and teacher resources are also addressed.
There are several efforts to design education with universal design in mind. Palmer and Caputo (2003) proposed seven principles for universal instructional design (UID): accessibility, consistency, explicitness, flexibility, accommodating learning spaces, minimization of effort, and supportive learning environments. The UID model recognizes those needs for course design. Its main premise is equal access to education and extends this to all types of learners and not just those with disabilities. For example, all learners can benefit from multi-modal lessons. Palmer and Caputo’s principles should be kept in mind as you develop differentiated instructional learning scenarios with Google Suite. See my blog post to learn more about universal design.
My College is a Google Apps for Education campus, which means we have unlimited storage on our Drive and seamless access to Google Suite through our school Gmail. Speak with your Google Suite administrator to learn about the features and functions of your access, as some institutions like my alma mater block YouTube and Google+.
The following scenarios address possible technology solutions for teaching all learners. For instance, scaffolding supports different learners’ preferences, as well as the needs of lower performing students. Formative assessments are important to obtain ongoing feedback on student performance; use these often. They can be formal or informal (practice tests, exit tickets, polls). Formative tests promote active learning, which leads to higher retention of information learned. Use the following list to add your ideas and scenarios for differentiated lesson planning.
Google Tools & Features
Your Ideas & Scenarios
Provide visuals for structure, context, or direction & just-in-time definitions
Google Drawings, Docs’ Explore tool, & Drive
Students make their own graphic representation of a concept or complete guided tasks with the frame provided by an instructor.
Provide authentic speaking practice prior to oral test/presentation
Google Docs’ Voice Typing, Chrome Browser’s Omnibox for a timer, & Drive
Students work individually or in small group turn-taking voice typing their scripts/stories on Google Doc within a timed parameter on a split screen.
Check for comprehension to obtain data to drive instruction/remediation
Google Forms, Sheets, Classroom, & Drive (Alternative: Google Slides new feature allows for asking questions & polling question priority live from slide.)
Students take a quiz on Google Forms to demonstrate knowledge after a lesson (exit ticket) or homework. Instructors receive Form responses in a Google Sheet. Sheets has Explore tool for analyzing data for visual display for data-driven discussions among teacher cohort/supervisors. Auto import grades from Forms to Classroom gradebook.
Students use app with embedded choices to check their own grammar
Free Chrome extension, Grammarly and/or app
Students correct errors in their first writing drafts on the app or within online writing platforms (e.g., wiki, blog, or email). Grammarly is also available for MS Office and Windows but not for Google Docs. Use its app to check Docs or other writing formats by pasting content to New Document.
Hi/low peer collaboration and/or tutoring
Google Apps, Classroom, & Drive
Students share settings on project Docs, Drawings, etc. to collaborate via text comments or synchronous video chat sessions.
Resources for Digital Literacy Skill Training
Did you know that Google provides lesson plans for information literacy?
Do you need to teach your students how to refine their web searches? See Google Support.
Internet Safety Tip- Recommend that students use incognito browsing on Google Chrome when conducting searches to reduce their digital footprint. See Google’s YouTube playlist, Digital Citizenship and Security, and their training site for more information.
Accessibility Resources for Assistive Technology
ChromeVOX – Google’s screen reading extension for the Google Chrome browser and the screen reader used by Chrome Operating System (OS).
TalkBack – This is Google’s screen reading software that is typically included with Android devices. Due to the design of Android and its customizability by hardware manufacturers, TalkBack can vary and may not be included on some Android devices.
Screen Magnifier – This is the screen magnification software included with ChromeOS. The magnification function in ChromeOS doesn’t have a unique product name like other platforms.
Hey, Google – This is Google’s personal assistant, which is available in the Google Chrome browser, ChromeOS, and many Android devices.
I’m enjoying the challenge of guest blogging for the Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education’s (AACE) new blog, the AACE Review. AACE is the professional organization that produces the LearnTechLib database and several educational research journals (i.e., International Journal on e-Learning, Journal of Computers in Math and Science Teaching, Journal on Online Learning Research). It hosts several educators’ conferences that I like to attend such as the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) and the World Conference on eLearning (eLearn). See images of my past involvement with AACE.
SITE 2017 in San Antonio, TX
eLearn 2014 in New Orleans, LA
SITE 2017 in San Antonio
So far, I’ve blogged about these educational technology and learning topics:
As for this Teacherrogers blog, I haven’t slowed down on my writing. I recently updated the page on my teaching philosophy, added my research statement, and a page on my Google Map project. These are the static pages at the top of this blog. You may have noticed the new award for landing in the top 75 blogs on Feedspot on the topic of educational technology. I was actually #58! Thanks for reading and sharing my blogs. I’ve been blogging here since 2011, and it serves as my knowledge base that I’m continuously updating, as I learn from and share with educators at my college and peers worldwide.
This year, I’m celebrating my 5th anniversary as an instructional designer (ID). Prior to this career path, I was an educator for 18 years, so the transition was not difficult. As I reflect on the success I’m enjoying at Spring Hill College (SHC) now, I want to acknowledge the invaluable practical experience gained as an instructional designer during my doctoral program at the University of South Alabama (USA). I had a graduate assistantship with the Innovation in Learning Center (ILC) at the USA for 2 years.
Besides benefitting from tuition remission and a stipend, the apprenticeship provided me with the opportunity to work beside skilled IDs, collaborate with a dozen of my classmates, and interact with faculty and students to address their needs. The assistantship purposefully had us cycle through various project teams, train-the-trainer sessions, and production tasks. Specifically, I was able to add these experiences to my resume:
Assisted the director of online learning with designing, developing, and delivering professional development and teaching tips for faculty to support student online learning via Sakai learning management system (LMS);
Moderated and maintained the online competency-based certificate course for faculty (Sakai 101: The Basics Online) and the orientation course for students (USAonline Student Course);
Supported the LMS administrator by answering technical calls from faculty and students; and
Served on the accessibility, resources, and USAonline teams to produce corresponding questionnaires, job aids, video tutorials, and reports (to include photography).
This apprenticeship grounded my doctoral studies, as I was able to think of developing trainer scripts based on Gagne’s 9 events of learning. See my previous post on a Pixlr workshop training plan. Additionally, the formal and informal interactions with my peers provided opportunities to learn from each other, as the ID program is an interdisciplinary one. For example, my peers had advanced degrees in engineering, English, math, sociology, and IT. Many of my peers and co-workers from the ILC continue to shape my understanding of ID today through networking, professional development, and subject matter expertise on research interests.
If I didn’t have this well-rounded training and hands-on experience along with my doctoral coursework, I probably wouldn’t have had such as good start at my current workplace. For example, I was the first ID hired with a degree in the field at SHC. The previous person serving in the capacity of ID was actually the learning management system administrator and instructional technologist. All of the framework for collaborating with instructors as the ID (e.g., Online Course Design Guide, benchmarks, needs assessments, knowledge management, training), needed to be created from scratch. These documents initially relied on my ILC work experience but have since shifted to include the mission and identify of SHC. Nevertheless, I’m forever indebted to the ILC and my cohort of peers during my graduate assistantship!
I just completed free professional development offered to educators on Google Apps for Education to become a Google Certified Educator. Level 1 is on the fundamentals of Google Suite (Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, & YouTube), Google Classroom, and Google Drive. It’s a competency-based, self-directed learning program.
I’ve been using Google Apps since 2009. This training was a great way to learn about the latest updates to the Google Suite of tools. Additionally, it made me think about different ways that technology can help solve various teaching issues, save resources, communicate more with parents, and increase student collaboration.
Initially, I thought I’d be able to complete the 13 units for Level 1 in a few months. However, my work, service, and research took priority, and I ended up doing this training a little bit over time. It took me a year! The self-tests are challenging even for a more advanced user like myself. The exam is performance-based, so make sure you review all the units carefully.
I plan to continue through the training levels to become a certified trainer. I’m a trainer at my College on a wide range of technology and pedagogy, and can’t wait to start sharing what I learned with the faculty and staff. I’ve already emailed the librarians several tech tips that they might use. My two biggest takeaways would be the powerful potential of Google Groups (e.g. staff-instructor, trainer-staff, or student-teacher interactions) and the advances that have been made in Google Classroom (too numerous to mention).
I encourage you to check out their Training Center. The certifying exams are inexpensive (e.g., $10 for Level 1). They provide a certificate and a digital badge. The certification only lasts three years. I think at the current rate of technology advancement that is fair.
Quality Matters™ (QM) is a peer-review process for providing feedback and guidance for online course design. According to the QM website, it originated from the MarylandOnline Consortium project in 2003. They received a grant from the US Department of Education to create a rubric and review process based on research and best practices. In 2014, it became its own nonprofit organization. Through a subscription service, the organization now provides training, resources, conference events, and research collaborations. They currently have 5000 QM certified reviewers to assist subscribers with the peer review process of their online courses.
Who uses it?
QM provides specific rubrics and guidelines for the quality assurance review process for K-12, higher education, publishers, and continuing education programs that offer distance education. QM has a new program to bring the rubric and process to students. The QM process is specifically for hybrid and fully online courses; it’s not for web-enhanced face-to-face courses. QM currently has 900 subscribers. Subscription prices are adjusted to the size of your online programs.
How does it work?
A subscribing institution (or individual) requests a QM review of their course and submits an application. QM recommends that you familiarize yourself with the rubric through the training process in advance of the review. They also recommend that the course for review not be new—that it has been through a few semesters to work out the bugs. A QM coordinator for your course assigns you a team of reviewers consisting of a team leader and two other certified peer reviewers, one of which is a subject matter expert. They read your self-report about the course and review your course using the rubric and guidelines. The rubric covers these general standards: 1. Course Overview & Introduction, 2. Learning Objectives (Competencies), 3. Assessment & Measurement, 4. Instructional Materials, 5. Course Activities & Learner Interaction, 6. Course Technology, 7. Learner Support, and 8. Accessibility & Usability. The team contacts you with questions throughout the 4-6 week process. Then they present you with your evaluation with time to address any major issues before finalizing the report.
What are the benefits?
Those courses that pass the review process receive recognition on the QM website. Even if you meet the standards, the peer reviewers provide you with recommendations for further improvements. Instructors can use this feedback for other courses they teach or debrief with colleagues about it. This serves as an ongoing continuous improvement process. This is something that institutions can promote to their clients and instructors can add to the curriculum vitae. From personal experience in becoming a QM certified peer reviewer, I can attest to the benefits of knowing the best practices and accessibility requirements for online course design. It has helped me to become a better online instructor and provided me with a wealth of knowledge for my work as an instructional designer. I’m grateful to the Innovation in Learning Center at the University of South Alabama for training me on the QM process and providing the opportunity to become a certified peer reviewer.
“The more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled.― Paulo Freire