I just completed my Blackboard Academy certificate on Fundamentals of Digital Teaching and Learning, and thought the course was well organized and an excellent and up-to-date review of the topics, which include: > What we know about learning > Introduction to digital teaching > Digital teaching approaches and the LMS > Designing e-learning courses > Developing e-learning content > Principles of learner assessment and feedback The instructor, Cynthia Crenshaw, was super engaged and encouraged me to get the most out of the course.
I was asked to take the course to learn more about the Ultra Base Navigation which the College is in process of transitioning to; additionally, I was pleasantly surprised at how the course served as a review of ideas and practices that I am quite familiar with in my daily work. The timing was interesting too—to take a course during an avalanche of work associated with helping an institution transition from in-person to remote learning is a bit crazy! So I started looking at the course as a resource to help in the planning of workshops, in the curating of content to support new-to-online instructors, and in many other ways in my daily work. The discussion posts from other participants contained valuable insights, ideas, and links to resources. Taking the time to post my thoughts in the Discussion forums served as a welcome reflection time too. I used the assignments to review a course I am designing, and found the prompts useful in that process.
This week Steven and I met up for a virtual hallway chat with Eamonn O’Laocha a Douglas College Faculty Member in the Department of Business Management. Among other things, Eamonn is working with the Douglas College Facilitating Faculty Online Group and kindly shared some of his observations about the challenging path facing faculty. In addition, Eamonn spoke to some of the work he is doing to address tech inequity and access to education.
“What would you do if you suddenly had to deliver your face-to-face class online, and with minimal preparation time?” This was the question Michelle Jickling, Instructional Designer and E-Learning Developer for Douglas College’s Training Group, and Steven Bishop, Douglas College Learning Designer, discussed in the first of a series of episodes exploring digital literacies.
We used Blackboard Collaborate online meeting software to model the solutions we were proposing, since we were both at different locations. Here are the topics, images, and links discussed during the session: Top Five Essentials for going from face-to-face course delivery to online delivery:
Organize and collate the (existing) essential deliverables into a logical pattern (e.g., navigation information, weekly content folders, and assessment descriptions).
Decide what kinds of communication are most practical (e.g., course messages, email, synchronous online meetings, and asynchronous discussion forums).
Work backwards from the (existing) means of assessment to develop the assessment tools, Grade Center, and communication of grades and feedback to students.
Set up the course for basic delivery (e.g., create content areas, folders, items; upload files).
Deploy Blackboard tools as appropriate for all of the above.
Student communications: synchronous meetings may be limited due to bandwidth, or access to reliable online services.
Means of assessment: other than proctored examination, Blackboard assessments would primarily be useful as open-book quizzes and formative assessments.
Instructional presence: an essential consideration not addressed in the list above.
Michelle Jickling, who is currently working as an Instructional Designer and eLearning Developer with the Training Group at Douglas College, and I sat down for a conversation about the essentials of helping subject-matter experts and instructors with course development. We specifically addressed some of the initial concerns with translating the expert’s knowledge to an online environment, such as the Blackboard LMS currently used by the College.
Our discussion touched on:
Starting from scratch: storyboarding, assessing learning needs, organizing existing content, reviewing the learning goals
Meeting desired outcomes vs. delivery of information
Scaffolding into advanced knowledge
Iterative processes and updating content
Synchronous and asynchronous modalities – how best to meet the student where they are
Modern educational and life challenges for students
Relevancy in course design and assessments
Balancing an expert’s knowledge with time constraints (the 80:20 rule)
We would like to acknowledge that we live, learn, work, and play on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Peoples of the QayQayt and Kwikwetlem First Nations.