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5 Tools for Building a Next-Generation 'Hybrid' Class Website

5 Tools for Building a Next-Generation 'Hybrid' Class Website
[Nicholas C. Martin is a visiting professor at American University and the United Nations University for Peace. He is also co-founder and president of TechChange, an organization that trains leaders to leverage emerging technologies for sustainable social change. TechChange specializes in creating “next-generation” e-learning content, tools and communities. You can follow him on Twitter at @TechChange. Last month, I co-taught a course at American University’s School of International Service entitled ”Applications of Technology for Peacebuilding.” Prior to the course, we created an online social learning community in Drupal with a number of innovative features. Once we got the Drupal site up and running we began creating and embedding various tools to support the learning process. If you’re interested in seeing some of these tools in action you can view a sample TechChange Unit. What We’re Working on Next: Photo provided by Nick Martin. Return to Top

10 Questions to consider Ten Questions to consider when redesigning a course for hybrid teaching and learning A hybrid or blended course, by definition, reduces face-to-face "seat time" so that students can pursue additional teaching and learning activities online. To be successful, a hybrid or blended course requires careful pedagogical redesign. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. A Framework for Teaching with Twitter Faculty are increasingly experimenting with social media, and it’s exciting to find more and more courses incorporating Twitter, a ProfHacker favorite. Just last week on ProfHacker Ryan provided an excellent introduction to Twitter, while earlier in the summer Brian reflected on his use of Twitter in the classroom during Spring 2010. As we gear up for the Fall 2010 semester, I wanted to revisit the idea of teaching with Twitter. I’ll address my own pedagogical use of Twitter in a future ProfHacker post, but for today I want to share a general framework for Twitter adoption in the classroom, originally sketched out in late August 2009 by Rick Reo. In the process, I adapted Rick’s original matrix, re-imagining the vertical axis as a spectrum of conversation, ranging from monologic to dialogic, and redefining the horizontal axis as a measurement of student activity, ranging from passive to active. How about you?

Challenging the Presentation Paradigm: Prezi With the semester creeping closer and closer and many of us frantically prepping new classes (or doing vital updates to existing classes), the topic of lecture slides invariably crops up. Are my slides really that useful to my students, or are they just a crutch for me? Should I use my old slides (with necessary minor updates)? Should I throw my slides out, and try something completely new? We are all aware that using lecture slides comes with some pretty problematic baggage. But let’s all be honest here, its unlikely that we’re going to completely change the way in which we deliver lectures. In the spirit of these questions, Prof. First up is Prezi ( Coming from a little start-up in Hungary, Prezi is a web app (Flas/Flex based) that lets you author and deliver what they call “zooming presentations.” Because Prezi is a web app, all of the presentations you create are stored (and accessed) online. Prezi isn’t without its drawbacks. Have you tried Prezi?

Hybrid Courses: Faculty Development Suggested Topics There are numerous topics that could be covered in a hybrid course faculty development program. Typically, faculty have to modify their approach to teaching, manage their own and students' expectations regarding hybrid learning, integrate face-to-face and online teaching environments, learn new communication skills, develop new ways to assess student learning, master new technologies, and much more. A list of all the possible topics for an effective faculty development program would be very long. However, based upon experiences of the UWM Learning Technology Center, the following is a short list of a dozen primary issues and topics, which should form the core of any program preparing faculty for hybrid teaching. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

The Social Compass is the GPS for the Adaptive Business Brian Solis inShare286 Over the years, I’ve written extensively about the need to extend opportunities in social media beyond marketing and customer service to set the stage for the social business. I believe that the impact lies beyond the socialization of business; it introduces us to a genre of an adaptive business, an entity that can earn relevance now and over time by listening, engaging, and learning. In October 2009, I worked with JESS3 to visualize corporate transparency and authenticity for the release of Engage. In the process, I realized that those two words, transparent and authentic, didn’t carry tangible business value to leaders and decision makers. Please, before you think about engaging in social media, I need you to do two things…be transparent and authentic in all you do. Got it? While the words carry great importance, in all honesty, it’s our job to define the role of transparency and authenticity in business. Exploring The Social Compass Center: The Brand Halo 1: The Players - Poster

Reflections on Teaching with Social Media As I’m a little more than a month out from the semester’s end, I’ve been reflecting on different aspects of the semester: things that worked well, things that didn’t work at all, and things that could be tweaked for the future. In particular, I’ve been musing on how I integrated social media into my classes. My classes tend to be fairly technologically heavy for a number of reasons: my own research revolves around the use of technology within narratives; I believe that teaching humanities students to use different tools in the classroom teaches them transferable skills; and I like to experiment with how technology can change the classroom space. In other words, I use technology in the classroom for thematic, practical, and pedagogical reasons. That being said, I used more social media this semester than I have previously. Twitter In three out of the four classes that I taught this semester, I asked my students to use Twitter. Wiki I tend to use a PBworks wiki as my LMS of choice. Zotero

Online Mind Mapping and Brainstorming - MindMeister A Social Network Can Be a Learning Network - Online Learning By Derek Bruff Last fall, for my first-year writing seminar on the history and mathematics of cryptography, I posted my students' expository-writing essays on our course blog. The assignment had asked students to describe a particular code or cipher that we had not already discussed—how it came to be, how it works, how to crack it, who used it. They described more than a dozen codes and ciphers. About a week later, one of my students arrived at class excited. Online Learning: The Chronicle's 2011 Special Report BROWSE THE FULL ISSUE: News, Commentary, and Data BUY A COPY: Digital and Print Editions at the Chronicle Store Research by Richard Light, the author and Harvard University scholar, and others indicates that when students are asked to write for one another, they write more effectively. Since my course blog was on the open Web, my students' work could be seen by others, including Google's indexing robots and the cryptography researcher. Social bookmarking. Back channels.

From Classroom to Online, Think “Transform” not “Transfer” by Jane Bozarth “Find out which aspects of the classroom program are most successful ... and which aspects fail. Talk with learners and the classroom instructors, and review any evaluation or follow-up data they are able to provide.” Converting an existing classroom course to an online format can be a tricky, time-consuming undertaking. The easy way out — simply moving the content and lecture portions to an electronic means of delivery — is what leads to e“Learning” at its worst: slide after slide of bulleted information and loss of engaging activities and the contributions of individual instructors. What’s a better way to go? Cut-n-chunk This is a good time to reexamine purpose, intent, and objectives. What’s working? Find out which aspects of the classroom program are most successful — and which aspects fail. Inventory your assets In examining the existing classroom program don’t overlook the assets associated with it. Example: Equal employment opportunity training program (Text adapted from Bozarth, J.

elearn Opinion Articles | Digital Delights | Although I love online teaching, I've always been very grateful about the fact that my job allows me to teach both online and face-to-face courses My experiences teaching in both online and more traditional classroom environments have made me a better teacher, because what I learn from my students in one environment naturally informs what I do in the other environment. Yet despite how much I enjoy working in the online environment, there are times when that can get very isolating. Generally, during the academic year, I might have one full semester where I only teach online courses. The following semester, I might teach mostly online and then teach one classroom-based course. I've also realized that teaching online has given me a better understanding of the many ways in which I can attempt to explain information to students, and I take this understanding with me now wherever I teach. About the Author Dr.