Tuesday, December 22, 2009

ANGEL Upgrade Dec. 28-30

ANGEL 7.4 UPGRADE ANGEL will not be available from Monday, December 28 (midnight) to Wednesday, December 30 (5 pm).

These outage dates may coincide with when your grades are due, so please consider this when working on your grades.  When the upgrade is complete, the new ANGEL address will be https://elearning.kumc.edu, dropping the "/angel" part.  Please update this new address in your bookmarks.

Several short online videos, covering the major changes in ANGEL 7.4, are available at http://www2.kumc.edu/ir/tlt/angel/74videos/.


Posted at 03:46PM Dec 22, 2009 by dgustafson

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ANGEL System Change - December 21

On Monday, December 21 at 6:45 am, Angel will switch to the new University CAS (Central Authentication System) server at https://cas.kumc.edu

Favorites or Bookmarks that link directly to the old CAS address (my.kumc.edu/cas) may no longer work following this change. We recommend all users bookmark Angel at: https://elearning.kumc.edu/ANGEL

Otherwise, users should not notice this change and all users should continue to login to Angel with their Novell username and password as they have in the past. Students and faculty can also access Angel through myKUMC at https://my.kumc.edu


Posted at 03:13PM Dec 16, 2009 by pwilhauk

Friday, December 11, 2009

Too Many Clicks: Your Course May Have Folderitis?

A common complaint we hear from our students is that it takes too many clicks to get to their online content. Although a certain amount of clicking is necessary, we've found poor instructional design and organization are at the root of many complaints. At one extreme, deeply nesting content in folders may give the appearance of organization, but this practice actually makes it more difficult for students to find and access content because so many folders must be clicked to get to a needed document or assignment. At another extreme, no folder organization means few clicks, but this approach also makes it difficult for students to find content because they must scroll through a long list of content items.

Balancing depth and breadth is the key. If you only have one or two items in a folder, consider moving those items into the parent folder. For example, instead of having a Readings folder with two journal articles, move the articles to the parent folder containing the other coursework. Sometimes, we see a Readings folder which has within it a Required Readings subfolder and a Recommended Readings subfolder, both having one or two articles in those subfolders. To improve student access to these items while still distinguishing required and recommended readings, you could simply parenthetically append the phrase "(Recommended)" to the end of recommended readings titles and move all the reading items out of the deeply-nested folder structure.

The worst cases occur when courses are organized by content/assignment types, like putting all discussion forums in one folder and all quizzes in another folder, etc. From the student perspective, they have to traverse multiple folder structures to access all the content for a single week or unit. It is much better to organize course content by weeks or units. By putting all needed items in a single folder arranged in the order students would most likely need to access items, you not only reduce clicks, but you also provide a straightforward learning path for your students to follow. For example, when students open the Unit 2 folder, they see everything they need to do for Unit 2 and simply need to work through those items from top to bottom (i.e., read those two journal articles, answer that question in the discussion forum, submit the short reflection paper into the dropbox, and take the formative quiz).

The following is a short video illustrating these ideas:

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

If you are having troubles viewing it here, you can also see this video at http://screencast.com/t/N2ZmZTdkNz

If you think your course might have folderitis and you'd like TLT to help you reorganize your course, please contact us at tlt@kumc.edu or (913) 588-7107.


Posted at 10:59AM Dec 11, 2009 by dantonacci

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New eLearning Specialists Join TLT

Teaching & Learning Technologies welcomes two new staff members!

Clay Threlkeld is the new eLearning Specialist for the School of Nursing.



Susan Bailey is the new eLearning Specialist for the School of Medicine.



We are excited to have Clay and Susan join our team.


Posted at 07:00PM Oct 04, 2009 by sgerald

What new DEVICE is in the hands of nursing students and faculty?


Watching a Lecture on iPod Touch

Over 120 juniors and over 25 faculty are walking around with either an iPod Touch or an iPhone. The School of Nursing adopted the iPod Touch device for this year's incoming juniors. Previously, the recommended device was a PC-based PDA. Since the digital publishing company SkyScape provides the Nursing Resource package for students to download using an Apple Application for iPod Touch or iPhone, students can be seen across campus perusing information loaded in their SkyScape APP on their iPod Touch - like 'Davis' Drug Guide', 'RxDrugs', 'Taber's Dictionary' and other medical applications available for download from the iTunes store. Another student might be seen checking their GroupWise email or watching a POCiT video on 'Drawing Blood from a Central Line'.

If you'd like to consider using mobile devices in your school or department, speak with your TLT Liaison to get the scoop.


Posted at 06:41PM Oct 04, 2009 by sgerald

iTunes University Now at KUMC

Faculty are now creating podcasts of their lectures and using the KUMC iTunes University (iTunes U) store to deliver their content. For a guided tour of iTunes U, head to the link below.

http://www.apple.com/education/guidedtours/itunesu.html

Since the School of Nursing has begun to use iPhone and iPod Touches for educational use, students are able to download and listen to lectures directly from their device. All students have the ability to subscribe to their course and faculty are able to record their lectures or create their own videos using Camtasia Relay, a screen capture and audio recording software.

The following video is a screencast of how you would expect to use iTunes U within your course.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

If you are interested in using iTunes U in your course, contact TLT.


Posted at 06:18PM Oct 04, 2009 by sgerald

Friday, October 2, 2009

ANGEL Assessments: Best Practices to Ensure Reliability and Security

ANGEL's assessment tool provides a plethora of settings, which can be overwhelming for any user setting up an exam or quiz. The following is a document to help you when working with assessment settings.

For 'A Guide to ANGEL Assessment Settings, Best Practices to Ensure Reliability and Security' in online test delivery, you can view the document below, or click on the link to download the tutorial that will provide step-by-step instructions for ANGEL Assessments and rationale on how, when and why to choose specific assessment delivery settings in an online learning environment.

This document is a Best Practices guide and may or may not apply to all courses' and all instructors' needs. This document will explain all the settings available to you in the ANGEL assessment settings, and the best practice for each setting. Contact your TLT Liaison for assistance in configuring settings in assessments for your specific course needs.

A Best Practices Guide to ANGEL Assessment Settings


Posted at 03:56PM Oct 02, 2009 by sgerald

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Open All ANGEL Advanced Settings


As faculty, have you ever asked yourself, "Why doesn't ANGEL just open those advanced settings automatically?" or "Why do I have to keep clicking on that Advanced button?"

You may be excited to hear that you now have that option, if you are willing to give up some descriptive text as well. The following video will explain. This video does contain audio, so be sure your speakers are turned on.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Click here if you'd like to view a larger version of this video.


Posted at 09:19PM Aug 19, 2009 by sgerald

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tracking must now be enabled to see Activity


After a recent upgrade to ANGEL, changes were made to the default user tracking settings.
"Activity Logs" Reports now only contain Login and logout information.



If faculty want to see any other activity on these specific reports, they must enable "User Tracking" in the settings for each individual content item in Lessons.




Posted at 12:48PM Jun 30, 2009 by dgustafson

Monday, June 29, 2009

Internet Explorer 8 and ANGEL 7.3


Internet Explorer 8 is now compatible with ANGEL with a few exceptions:

1) Users who have chosen auto spell check in ANGEL email Preferences are not able to send mail.
Email can be sent when this preference is disabled.

Click on Preferences in Email



Uncheck automatically spell check messages before sending box and click Save



2) Instructors cannot use the Enter Grades by User feature in the Gradebook.
This results in an error.
Workaround: Click View all Grades and then click on students name.


Posted at 11:29AM Jun 29, 2009 by dgustafson

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Angel Issue/Workaround - Grade Submission for Dropboxes [RESOLVED]


This problem has been fixed with the July 2009 ANGEL update, applied 7/29/09.

A Response/Grade submission for a Dropbox submission must have a numbered grade between 0-100 points.
An new error will appear if the Grade box is left empty.  The workaround is to enter a point value.




Posted at 01:30PM Jun 18, 2009 by dgustafson

Friday, June 12, 2009

Angel Issue/Workaround - Assessment Question Editing [RESOLVED]


This problem has been fixed with the July 2009 ANGEL update, applied 7/29/09.

After a recent update to ANGEL, an issue with editing assessment questions has appeared.
When a user tries to edit a Multiple Choice question, a new message will appear.
The Dialog box says "The chosen correct answer must be worth 100% of the question points"



The question cannot be saved until a value is entered in the percentage field.

To fix the correct answer value:
1. Click the "View advanced options" box in upper-right corner of the window.
2. Fill in 100 in the percent box next to the correct answer choice.


This must be done for every Multiple Choice question that is edited.

This issue has been submitted to Angel Learning for a permanent fix.
The grading of assessments is not affected by questions that have not been edited.


Posted at 03:38PM Jun 12, 2009 by dgustafson

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Watch out for Differing Security Messages in IE7 and IE8


You may have noticed when browsing to some pages in the Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser, you get a “Security Information” dialog box similar to the image below, which asks if you want to display both the secure and the nonsecure items.

IE7 Security Message

You may also be one who has received this message so many times that you automatically click “Yes” to get all the information you want. Watch out for this message after you update to Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). The question has changed, and if you would like to display both the secure and nonsecure information, you will now have to click "No" in order to achieve the same result as pressing "Yes" in IE7.

IE 8 Security Message


Why is this important to ANGEL users at KUMC?

An example of this occurs when rearranging content in ANGEL Lessons pages and also on other ANGEL pages. See the screenshots below to see the difference and how to adjust settings.

Internet Explorer 7

To display mixed content - “Do you want to display nonsecure items?”
Click Yes
If you click No or close box, you cannot rearrange content items.



Internet Explorer 8

To display mixed content  - “Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely?”
Click No
If you click Yes or close box, you cannot rearrange content items.



To set the browser (either IE7 or IE8) to not display this message every time:

Tools > Internet Options > 'Security' tab > 'Custom Level' button



Scroll down into miscellaneous section > Click Enable for 'Display mixed content' option



Posted at 05:27PM Jun 11, 2009 by sgerald

Friday, June 5, 2009

ANGEL Communicate Tab: Discussion Forums Order


Last month, TLT customized ANGEL, so discussion forums on the Communicate tab would display in alphabetical order by discussion forum name. The June ANGEL update, which we applied on 6/5/09, further enhanced these display options. To see these changes, please watch this short (2 minutes) video:

http://apps.kumc.edu/podcast/tlt/newangelcommunicatefeature.wmv

These changes do not affect how your discussion forums display on the Lessons tab, which is where most students access their discussions.


Posted at 04:05PM Jun 05, 2009 by dantonacci

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ANGEL ePortfolio Discountinued (6/30/2009)


Due to declining use, we have decided not to renew our ANGEL ePortfolio license. This tool will be available until June 30, 2009. If you have imported/uploaded artifacts or created publications you would like to save, please follow the instructions at http://www2.kumc.edu/ir/tlt/exportingangeleportfolios.pdf. For questions or problems, contact TLT at tlt@kumc.edu or (913) 588-7107.


Posted at 03:54PM Jun 02, 2009 by dantonacci

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Changes to the ANGEL system for this summer, effective May 27th


1. Because about 6% of our ANGEL users are still using Internet Explorer 6, which is not a browser version supported by ANGEL, we are going to check browser version on ANGEL login and redirect those users still using IE 6 to a screen reminding them to upgrade to IE 7 or Firefox 2+. We are NOT blocking their access to ANGEL. Those users will still be able to use ANGEL by clicking the "Continue to ANGEL without updating" button on the upgrade reminder screen. (To ensure users upgrade correctly, we're recommending they contact IR Customer Support.)

2. We're also customizing our ANGEL system to alphabetically sort discussion forums by forum name in the Communicate area/tab. This won't affect how your discussion forums are arranged in the Lessons area/tab, which is how most users access their forums. However, some courses have multiple discussions occurring simultaneously, and faculty and students in those courses like to access all their discussion forums from the Communicate area/tab, instead clicking into each forum from the Lessons area/tab. So, if you name your forums to sort alphabetically (i.e., Week 1: Skeletal, Week 2; Circulatory, etc.), those forums will be easier to find in the Communication area/tab.

3. We're also changing some file upload limits and quotas to better manage our system. Large files can be difficult for faculty and students to download. However, we know sometimes large files are needed for some courses. These upload limits/quotas can be overridden for specific courses, if you need to upload larger files than our new limits/quotas.

Specifically, the new limits/quotas are:

  • Maximum file upload size = 50 MB
  • Maximum DropBox file upload size = 50 MB (down from 60 MB)
  • My Files quota (Toolbox > Files) = 50 MB
  • ePortfolio quota = 50 MB
  • Maximum Discussion Forum file attachment size = 10 MB (up from 5 MB)
  • Maximum eMail file attachment size = 25 MB (up from 8 MB to better match GroupWise)


Posted at 10:00AM May 27, 2009 by dgustafson

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ANGEL Impact Award Winners for the Second Year


Congratulations to Dave Antonacci, Nellie Modaress, and Kathy Tally for winning the 2009 ANGEL Impact Award for Exemplary Faculty Development. Dave, Nellie, and Kathy taught TLT's 'Teaching and Learning Online at KUMC' course last fall for KUMC faculty, and also invited additional faculty from other ANGEL-using schools from around the country to participate and create a richer online learning experience for all participants.

The course focused on important knowledge and skills needed for successful online teaching. It was targeted to faculty who are new to KUMC, new to online learning, or new to our Angel Learning System. Because it was delivered completely online, each participant better understood the perspective of an online student.

The course was organized into 6 units, each lasting a week:

  - Learning Theory and Instructional Design
  - Delivering Content
  - Communication
  - Assessment and Evaluation
  - Interaction and Feedback
  - Course Management and Procedures

Additionally, each unit demonstrated best practices by including a variety teaching methods, techniques, activities, and technologies. Participants were expected to actively participate by engaging in all discussions, completing all course activities, and submitting assignments. Active participation required signing in to the course at least 2 times per week for a total of at least 2-3 hours of weekly course work. So, participants invested 12-18 hours in the course.

This course is taught each Fall semester, so if you'd like to participate in this course in any future fall semesters, contact TLT (8-7107) to be added to the course roster.

Last year, Dave Antonacci, Lisa Bittel (Physical Therapy), and Stephanie Gerald won the 2008 ANGEL IMPACT Award for Exemplary ANGEL Course. Dave and Stephanie worked with Lisa to give her course an extreme course makeover.


Posted at 01:51PM May 21, 2009 by sgerald

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

TLT to Speak at SIDLIT 2009 Conference


Each year, Johnson County Community College and Colleague to Colleague (C2C) hold a two-day conference called the Summer Institute of Distance Learning and Instructional Technology (SIDLIT.org) for both faculty and staff involved in educational and instructional technologies. This year is the 10th Annual SIDLIT conference, and will be held on Thursday and Friday, July 30 - 31, 2009 at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS.

We are excited that many of us here in Teaching & Learning Technologies, along with others from KUMC, have been accepted to speak at this conference. If you will be attending the conference this year, think about attending one of the following sessions.

Campus-wide Podcasting: Simple and Cost Effective with Camtasia Relay
Speakers: David Antonacci, Jameson Watkins, Mike Ciolek, Mark Grabendik

Choosing an ePortfolio Tool
Speakers: Nellie Modaress, Benito Berardo
 
Delivering High Stakes Assessments in a Computerized Testing Center
Speakers: Philip Wilhauk, Tim Doughty, Ron Knight, Tony Paolo

Enter Active Learning: Adding Interactivity to Your Online Courses
Speakers: David Antonacci, Tennille Fincham, Alex Olson

Spanish: Reality Online
Speakers: Nellie Modaress, Aura Morgan

To Google or Not to Google: That is the Question
Speaker: Dale Gustafson

Tweaching: Teaching & Learning in 140 Characters or Less
Speakers: Stephanie Gerald, Alex Olson


Posted at 05:16PM May 20, 2009 by sgerald

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Summer Changes to ANGEL (5/26)


We want to make you aware of three changes to our ANGEL Learning system for this summer, effective Tuesday, May 26th:

1. Because about 6% of our ANGEL users are still using Internet Explorer 6, which is not a browser version supported by ANGEL, we are going to check browser version on ANGEL login and redirect those users still using IE 6 to a screen reminding them to upgrade to IE 7 or Firefox 2+. We are NOT blocking their access to ANGEL. Those users will still be able to use ANGEL by clicking the "Continue to ANGEL without updating" button on the upgrade reminder screen. (To ensure users upgrade correctly, we're recommending they contact IR Customer Support.)

2. We're also customizing our ANGEL system to alphabetically sort discussion forums by forum name in the Communicate area/tab. This won't affect how your discussion forums are arranged in the Lessons area/tab, which is how most users access their forums. However, some courses have multiple discussions occurring simultaneously, and faculty and students in those courses like to access all their discussion forums from the Communicate area/tab, instead clicking into each forum from the Lessons area/tab. So, if you name your forums to sort alphabetically (i.e., Week 1: Skeletal, Week 2; Circulatory, etc.), those forums will be easier to find in the Communication area/tab.

3. We're also changing some file upload limits and quotas to better manage our system. Large files can be difficult for faculty and students to download. However, we know sometimes large files are needed for some courses. These upload limits/quotas can be overridden for specific courses, if you need to upload larger files than our new limits/quotas. Specifically, the new limits/quotas are:
  - Maximum file upload size = 50 MB
  - Maximum DropBox file upload size = 50 MB (down from 60 MB)
  - My Files quota (Toolbox > Files) = 50 MB
  - ePortfolio quota = 50 MB
  - Maximum Discussion Forum file attachment size = 10 MB (up from 5 MB)
  - Maximum eMail file attachment size = 25 MB (up from 8 MB to better match GroupWise)

Please contact Dave Antonacci (dantonacci@kumc.edu or 913-588-7144) for additional information.


Posted at 03:45PM May 12, 2009 by dantonacci

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Use higher screen resolution for ANGEL

A screen resolution of higher than 800 x 600 is recommended for ANGEL use.  ANGEL uses various frames that can take up screen space and limit the functionality of certain tools including ANGEL email and discussion forums.

If you cannot see discussion forum text or submission buttons, you may need to increase the resolution of the screen on your computer.  For PCs, right-click on your desktop, select Properties, click on the Settings tab and choose a resolution higher than 800 x 600.  A resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher should be sufficient. 

This setting is especially important on laptops.  Older laptop may not have a higher resolution available.  In this case, hide the left navigation "Guide" or hide the top "Banner".  You may toggle full screen mode on or off with the F11 key.


Posted at 04:12PM Apr 23, 2009 by dgustafson

Thursday, April 9, 2009

KUMC Exemplar Online Courses: Tuesday, May 5th, 12 noon - 1 pm, Lied Auditorium


Please join us for another session in which KUMC faculty demonstrate how they are using technology in their courses. In this session, see…

Edna Hamera (SoN) - Elluminate:
Edna will share her experiences using our Elluminate webconferencing system in her NRSG 848: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing II Practicum for bi-weekly student applied demonstrations.

Lisa Mische Lawson and Allison Kabel (SAH-OT) - Raptivity Interactivity:
As part of an Extreme Course Makeover, Lisa and Allison added Raptivity interactivities to improve student learning and motivation in their OCTH 725: The Research Process course. Come see how they used this new technology.

No RSVP is needed, but you can register at https://www2.kumc.edu/comptraining/ClassRegistration if you'd like to receive email reminders about this event. Questions? Contact Dave Antonacci (x8-7144) in TLT.


Posted at 08:23AM Apr 09, 2009 by dantonacci

Friday, April 3, 2009

Podcasting with Camtasia Relay


Earlier this year, KUMC licensed and began pilot testing Camtasia Relay for making podcasts. Camtasia Relay is an easy-to-use desktop application that records whatever is on your computer screen and whatever you say into your computer microphone. Once recorded, these audio and video files are automatically uploaded to a webserver for immediate online viewing by your students.

You can use Camtasia Relay to:

  • Capture your lectures for later student review, as make-ups for absent students, or to better reach online students.
  • Create short podcasts as enrichment materials on advanced or optional topics which cannot be covered during normal class time.
  • Make a screencast to demonstrate software features or provide instructions for doing a complicated task within a computer program.
  • Have your students create podcasts as an assignment, instead of a traditional term paper or group presentation.

Join us for an introduction to and demonstration of Camtasia Relay, including the pilot testing experience of several KUMC faculty who are currently using Camtasia Relay for podcasting.

Date: Thursday, April 23, 2009
Time: 12 noon - 1 pm
Location: Lied Auditorium

Bring your lunch and learn with us. No RSVP is needed. (If you'd like to get an email reminder for this session, you can "register" at https://www2.kumc.edu/comptraining/ClassRegistration, but this is not required.)

Questions? Contact Dave Antonacci (x8-7144) in TLT.


Posted at 07:58AM Apr 03, 2009 by dantonacci

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Internet Explorer 8 Not Fully Compatible with ANGEL At This Time


Microsoft has released their new browser, Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) today with many new improvements including faster page loading, ability to open recently closed tabs, and something called Accelerators to allow you to interact with selected text (for example, translate a word with one click).

We are currently testing IE8 with ANGEL so we have a good understanding of any stumbling blocks that may be in store for us. So far with minimal testing, it looks like most of ANGEL's features are working correctly in IE8, but we have found some that do not work with the new browser. For example, at this time, any course that includes Discussion Forums will have problems being able to view posts. IE8 does have a Compatibility View button, when clicked, will try to emulate their previous browser version, IE7. This may give you the ability to use these incompatible features with IE8.

At this time, we do not recommend upgrading to IE8, but if you find yourself on a computer that has been upgraded, try using the Compatibility View when in ANGEL. This may alleviate some of the incompatible features. As Microsoft and ANGEL come out with updates and patches to their software, we will be testing the features you use and will update you when these initial problems with ANGEL have been fixed.


Posted at 12:29PM Mar 19, 2009 by sgerald

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning


Although much of what is presented in this handbook has already "emerged", like blogs and wikis, this site is still a great resource for educators looking to integrate some new technologies into their teaching and learning.

http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/wikis/etl/index.php/Handbook_of_Emerging_Technologies_for_Learning

I especially like their analysis of underlying trends and classification frameworks.


Posted at 08:07AM Mar 14, 2009 by dantonacci

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Discussion Technique: Question, Answer, Comment


At our faculty workshops today, Steve Ehrmann from the TLT Group (http://www.tltgroup.org/) shared a number of useful ideas about online teaching and discussion, but one specific discussion technique seemed to connect well with our faculty. For each week/unit, each student asked one question about the course content, answered another student's question, and commented about a different student's answer. Not only is this Question-Answer-Comment technique easy to grasp and implement, but it also has students thinking about course content from a variety of perspectives and cognitive levels.


Posted at 01:51PM Mar 12, 2009 by dantonacci

Monday, January 26, 2009

Enter Active Learning: Adding Interactivity to Your Online Courses


Date/Time: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 from 12 noon - 1 pm

Location: 1023 Orr Major

Presenters: Dave Antonacci, Tennille Fincham, and Alex Olson
Description: A common criticism of many online courses is that there is limited interaction. This presentation will help you better understand the importance of interaction, and it will introduce you to several tools you can use to include interactivity in your online courses:

Quia and Raptivity for developing your own interactive learning activities
MERLOT, HEAL, and MedEdPortal for finding and using interactive learning activities developed and shared by others
Bring your lunch and learn with us. No RSVP is needed. (If you'd like to get an email reminder for this session, you can "register" at https://www2.kumc.edu/comptraining/ClassRegistration, but this is not required.)

Questions? Contact Dave Antonacci (x8-7144) in TLT.


Posted at 10:29AM Jan 26, 2009 by dantonacci

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Online Discussion Approach for Concept-Dense Courses


I ran across a study about the relationship between course exam grades and online discussion structure and participation (Young, 2008). “Discussions were structured to incorporate learning principles associated with storing information in long term memory through control processes of meaningful learning, elaboration, and rehearsal in the form of distributed practice. Results indicate that grades on discussions correlate with exam grades and students who fully engage in the discussion activities have higher test grades than students who do not fully engage in discussion activities.” (p. 217)

In addition to examining an important question, this study describes a useful approach for using online discussion, especially in concept-dense courses--that is, many concepts covered in a short time frame. “Each weekly discussion question consisted of a query about a concept or several concepts where students had to demonstrate understanding and elaborate on the concept by explaining the concept in their own words. Typically the second part of the question required the students to apply the concept to an experience in their lives and to their future professional careers, thus creating opportunity for meaningful learning and additional elaboration. Once students answered the question, they were permitted to read their classmates’ response to the question and then they were required to respond in a substantive manner to four of their classmates’ posts. The response to classmates required students to engage in distributed practice by reviewing others’ responses and to elaborate by expanding on what their classmates said. Discussions occurred weekly throughout the semester, therefore, encouraging students to engage in additional distributed practice before each exam.” (p. 219)

“For each discussion the instructor responded to each of the students’ initial posts with feedback regarding the accuracy of the content within the post. After the initial post was made, the instructor read the students’ responses to classmates but did not regularly participate in this part of the discussion. However, if students made inaccurate statements and classmates did not correct one another, the instructor did step in to clarify. The instructor also responded when students directly asked the instructor for information or a comment. Discussions were graded according to a ten-point grading rubric.” (p. 220)

If you think this approach to online discussion might be useful for your classes, please contact us (tlt@kumc.edu) or your TLT Liaison for assistance. Also, our ANGEL Learning system has the technical capability to require a student to post to a discussion forum before being able to read other student responses, which is an important requirement for this discussion technique.

Young, A. (2008). Structuring asynchronous discussions to incorporate learning principles in an online class: One professor's course analysis. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 4(2), 217-225. Available at http://jolt.merlot.org/vol4no2/young0608.pdf.


Posted at 09:22AM Jan 25, 2009 by dantonacci

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Important ANGEL Maintenance Information


Now that the semester is underway, we want to remind you of important maintenance events scheduled for our ANGEL system this semester, so you can schedule your class work around these dates and times.

  • Every morning from 3:30 am – 4:00 am, our ANGEL system is temporarily unavailable. The web services are restarted to improve system performance.
  • Every fourth Wednesday is the regularly scheduled maintenance window. ANGEL will be unavailable from 12:00 midnight until 1:00 am on that Wednesday morning. During this time, patches and updates are applied to the server.

In the event maintenance is performed outside of these times, an announcement is posted in ANGEL and in the IR Blog (http://www.kumc.edu/roller/page/irblog). Also, if ANGEL is down due to an unexpected problem, we post an IR Blog entry, so you should check the IR Blog if you can't access ANGEL.


Posted at 11:51AM Jan 22, 2009 by dantonacci