Session 9: Discussions

Online discussions are an important part of many online classes and an important part of general Internet communication. Use what you have learned from the text and your own investigation to respond to the following items.

1. Identify three different technologies that support discussions in online classes. Describe each technology in terms of its ability to support worthwhile and rewarding discussions.

2. Describe an eLearning context (type of class, students, and specific content) where you would advocate the use of an online discussion. Identify the technology you would use to facilitate the discussion.

3. Describe how you would plan for the discussion described in question 2. For example, how would you prepare students for the discussion, structure associated presentations, plan other activities that students be doing along with the discussion, and how you would ensure that the student workload was balanced and appropriate.

4. Develop a set of guidelines or policies that you would give to students to help them engage successfully in the discussion.

5. Describe and/or develop a system for assessing student participation and learning in the discussion.

6. How would you prepare the instructor for participating in the discussion?.


Session 8: Final Project

Use your blog post this week to discuss your ideas for your final project.

We have several options for our final project. I like I am going to go with option two, t0 develop a course outline for an entire online or hybrid course. This means that I will need to create learning goal and objectives, think about the technologies I would use to complete those objectives and why I would use those technologies, as well as the types of interactions students should have with other students, with the instructor and the content of the course, and finally, how I will be assessing and evaluating how well the students are completing the course objectives.

I will have to think on what my subject matter will be.

Session 7: ADA Requirements

Use what you learned from the presentation, the information in the text and other sources to answer the following:

1. What are three types of disabilities that students in a course you create might have? Explain the accommodations that you would need to provide for each.

  • Color Blindness: Use high contrast; avoid red-blue-green combinations; have a text version.
  • Low Vision or No Vision: Use high contrast; have a text version; have a user changeable font.
  • Seizures: Don’t use flickering images, high speed animations or optical illusions.

2. According to the text, what is the percentage of the population that has a visual, auditory or physical limitation? How does that compare to other sources for this information. (Please list at least one other source you found.)

  • Waterhouse sites that 1 in 5, or twenty percent,of the population has a vision, hearing or physical limitation. (p. 172)

3. Identify three factors other than the actual disabilities that exist in your student population that influence how an institution or a course creator is required to address ADA in an online course.

4. According to the text, what is “assistive technology”? Give some examples.

5. Identify and explain two different ways to check a webpage to ensure that it meets the needs of disabled students.

6. Identify two types of presentations used in online courses (for example, podcasts, PowerPoints, Videos, Slide Shows, etc.) and that you might use and explain how you can ensure that each is ADA compliant.

7. Develop a course usability checklist that is appropriate for your anticipated needs. Use the example provided in the text as a starting point and explain your modifications.

Session 6: Grading, Assessment and Evaluation

1. What is the difference between assessment and evaluation?

  • Assessment is used to determine if a learner has successfully mastered a learning objective. Evaluation includes assessment, and adds the quality of the knowledge gained.

2. What are the challenges to assessment and evaluation in eLearning?

  • One challenge to assessment and evaluation in eLearning is making sure the person completely the assessment is the person who will be receiving the grade. Another is that it is difficult to create a test where students cannot use a book, or other resources to aid them.

3. Explain the possible use of an online portfolio in eLearning.

  • An online portfolio can be used to assess or evaluate a student’s learning in an eLearning course.

4. Identify at least two ways to measure student participation in an online class and explain how you think these methods can factor into the students’ grade in the course.

5. Define peer evaluation and describe its advantages and disadvantages.

6. Describe a possible group assignment for an online class and explain how to evaluate student performance in the group assignment.

7. Create an online test.

8. Create a rubric or other grading aide for an online assignment.

Session 5: New Media

New Media One

  • Youtube
  • Youtube is a very popular website that not only allows anyone to upload and share a video, but to create and edit one as well. All you need is a computer, internet connection, and a webcam (mic optional) with some working knowledge. This allows instructors to create very rich, reusable instructional media to share with their students. Video are one-way communication, where the instructor conveys content to the student. Videos are also asynchronous, allowing students to watch them whenever is convenient for their busy schedules. Like other popular websites, Youtube also has an app that allows students to view videos on their phones, tablets and any other portable technology with an internet connection from anywhere.An alternative to Youtube is Teachertube.Teachertube was founded by educators for educators, and as such has much stricter rules than Youtube regarding what can be uploaded. It allows instructors to not only upload videos, but audio files, documents and photos as well.
  • Students are asked to listen to a podcast and answer a question about the topic of the podcast.Viewing the podcast would be simple enough. The instructor could choose to combine and audio file to a static picture or to create an entire video. Student may also post their answers in the comments section. However, students would be able to view comments from previous classes, and anyone from the general public would also be able to view the video and comment as well. Instructors would be able to post a transcript of the audio, but it would be difficult to read and watch. The instructor could also include subtitles in the video.

    I would use Youtube in this case only to view the video, and ask that students either email or blog the answer to the question.

New Media Two

  • Facebook
  • Facebook may be an ever more popular website than Youtube. Facebook is a very powerful networking website that allows individuals to share pictures, videos, and personal news with friends and family. It allows people to easily stay in touch and up to date across large distances. Facebook allows users to create groups base on interest, play browser games and create events. Facebook also allows users to post links, images and video from all over the web. In my opinion, Facebook has evolved into something too distracting for educational use.
  • Students are asked to listen to a podcast and answer a question about the topic of the podcast. Facebook would allow the instructor to upload an already made video or post a link to a video, but not create one. So the instructor would either have to use video editing software, or Youtube.  Facebook would enable to students to message the answer to the instructor, or post on a group wall. Facebook also has a chat, so that students can ask questions of the instructor our bounce ideas off of each other. However, Facebook is full of the students’ and instructor’s personal data, and not everyone has one.

    Individuals post very personal and sensitive data on Facebook, and for that reason alone I would not use it in an educational setting. Just like Youtube, Facebook has an educational alternative called Edmodo. “Edmodo helps connect all learners with the people and resources needed to reach their full potential.” (taken from Edmodo’s about page)

Session 4: Annotated Bibliography – Issues and Trends

1. Our text categorizes electronic information into four types:

  1. Textual Information
  2. Presentation Graphics Slide Show
  3. Spreadsheets and Databases
  4. Multimedia objects

Provide an example or multiple examples of effective use of each type of electronic information for eLearning. Be sure to provide specific information about what makes your indicated use “effective”. Explaining effectiveness in light of one of the media theories as presented in this session (or another media theory you prefer) is expected.

2. Our text goes into some very specific detail on the proper formatting of textual information. Explain what you believe to be the most important guidelines for your use of textual information that are provided in the text and then create a sample text document (other than an announcement) that demonstrates the best practices of formatting textual information. Be sure to explain the purpose of the document and who the intended users are if that isn’t obvious from the document itself.

3. What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous communication as it is used in eLearning and how do you choose between the two for a given task?

4. What technologies does your CMS/LMS have to support synchronous communication?

5. What technologies does your CMS/LMS have to support asynchronous communication?

6. Describe a task or assignment you could use in an online class that would use either asynchronous or synchronous communication. Explain the task or assignment, identify the technology you would use to support the activity and explain why you chose that technology. Explain what you would do to ensure that the activity was successful.

Session 3: Institutional Support for eLearning

You must post your reflections about the event, specifically you thoughts on the content, method and technology used to support the guest speaker event.

  • The two things that really jumped out at me during Dr. Jim Monaghan’s speech were the  Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the digital thumbprint.

    For people like me who love to learn and hate to go to school, MOOCs offer endless opportunities. After the presentation I Googled MOOC to see what I could find, and came up with a few sites:


    The last site may be a bit of a stretch as a MOOC, but it does show the vast amount of resources available for free to anyone with an interest and an internet connection. MOOCs are not limited to the United States. Many universities all over the world offer open online courses in several different languages. I am curious to see how funding is going to work for MOOCs. If it is free to participate, who is paying for the technology and teachers? If universities all over the world are participating, who is responsible for the quality of the course?

    The second thing that really stood out to me was the digital thumbprint. It was during the portion when Dr. Jim Monaghan was discussing some of the ways instructors of online courses can be sure that the people taking a test in an online course are the people that should be. Or, how do instructors know that their students aren’t cheating? Oddly enough, there are many different articles and websites that talk about the digital thumbprint, but not in the same way that Dr. Jim Monaghan was meaning. Most of the articles I found defined a digital thumbprint as anything a person does while connected to the internet. Investigators cam put together a timeline of a person’s whereabouts with little more than Facebook posts, telephone calls made, or internet access points. However Dr. Jim Monaghan was referring to the definition of a digital thumbprint being the habits a person uses while typing. This could be the physical way a person types (like a digital handwriting sample), the average time it takes that person to type  a paragraph, or the word and syntax structure choices  that person makes.

    I had never used talkshoe before. But I thought it handled the guest speaker event very nicely. I think it is a useful technology for having a guest speaker who may not be very comfortable with technology give an online presentation. It also offers students the chance to call in instead of having to use the chatroom. One of the other students and I had a minor technical difficulty. Perhaps we logged on too soon, and had our own little chatroom. We didn’t think anything of it until two minutes until the meeting time, and it was still just the two of us. Luckily, the fix was easy. We took a page out of the tech support 101 book and closed, and then restarted the call. Once restarted, the call connected to the proper chatroom.