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Online Learning

Explorers OLC

Explorers-Online Learning Community serves faculty who have less extensive or no experience with online teaching, but are interested in investigating different types of online courses (fully online, hybrid, web-facilitated), viewing models of such courses, and learning about enterprise instructional technologies provided by the university (such as Canvas, Collaborate, Respondus).

Below is a list of past meeting topics. Click on a topic to view the recording:




February 13, 2015: Knowledge Transfer in Online Discussions
Jackie Krause (ITAM) presented a research study and proposed techniques for developing discussion prompts that promote knowledge transfer in online discussions.
January 30, 2015: Searching and Using Digital Library Resources
Michele Reilly and Elizabeth Brown (Library) provided tips and tricks for searching with the new library OneSearch tool and using digital library resources in multimodal courses.
November 21, 2014: Student Acceptance of Canvas
Laura Portolese Dias (ITAM) presented a study of student acceptance of Canvas, using acceptance factors (including perceived usefulness and ease of use) and demographic factors (age, race, gender, and education level).
October 10, 2014: Using Respondus to Proctor Online Exams
A demonstration of how to use Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor to address issues of academic integrity during online exams. (This session was not recorded.)


May 16, 2014: Online Course Development Best Practices
Joe Johnson (English, Faculty Fellow in Multimodal Learning) presented 10 best practices in online course development and provided a longer handout report (PDF).
April 25, 2014: Reducing Online Teaching Workload
Mike Lane (Multimodal Learning) presented strategies for reducing faculty workload in online courses, focused on authoring, teaching, course revision, and institutional support.
March 7, 2014: Fair Use and TEACH Act (Note: recording ends abruptly in middle of presentations. View her PDF slides for additional tips and resources.)
Geri Hopkins (Instructional Design Librarian) presented on Fair Use of classroom materials online and the TEACH Act, which aims to balance copyright use for both owners and users.
February 7, 2014: Group Collaboration Using Google Docs
Bruce Palmquist (Physics) demonstrated his use of Google Docs, Google Forms, and simulations to facilitate group work, collaboration, and peer evaluation in his online Astronomy course.
November 15, 2013: Effective and Engaging Online Discussions.
Chris Schedler (English, Director of Multimodal Learning) and Joe Johnson (English, Faculty Fellow) provided practical tips for making online discussions more effective and engaging.
October 4, 2013: Canvas Evaluation
Chris Schedler (English, Director of Multimodal Learning) provided an evaluation of our Canvas learning management system pilot, including results from the faculty and student satisfaction surveys.


May 10, 2013: Using Wikis for Student Research
Stefanie Wickstrom (Political Science) demonstrated her use of student-constructed wikis to present research findings in upper-division major courses.
April 12, 2013: Faculty Perspectives on Canvas Pilot
Faculty from multiple departments shared their experiences piloting the new Canvas learning management system, differences with Blackboard, and new features in Canvas.
February 22, 2013: Enhancing Student Feedback and Evaluation
Joe Johnson (English) demonstrated his use of screencasting, track changes, and rubrics to enhance student feedback and evaluation.
February 1, 2013: New Blackboard Tools
Delayna Breckon (Multimodal Learning) introduced new Blackboard tools for course organization and communication: Calendar and Instant Messenger.
November 16, 2012: Using Social Media for Teaching
Bruce Palmquist (Physics and Science Education) demonstrated his use of Twitter for student reflection on assigned readings.
October 19, 2012: Waypoint Assessments
Bret Smith (Music and Assessment Coordinator) introduced Waypoint Assessments for creating interactive rubrics linked to learning outcomes, with digital markup tools, and comment libraries.


May 25, 2012: Connectivity as Collaboration
Provost Marilyn Levine shared her vision of "Connectivity as Collaboration" through new learning technologies.
April 6, 2012: Learning Modules
Cheri Johnson (Sociology) compared the use of Learning Modules vs. Content Folders in Blackboard to organize an online course.
February 17, 2012Jing Audio Feedback
Lori Braunstein (ITAM) and Fen Wang (ITAM) presented on the use of Jing screencast software to provide audio feedback on student work in order to improve assessment in online courses.
January 20, 2012Academic Dishonesty in Online Courses
Presentersdiscussed how to address academic dishonesty in online courses through online testing options, LockDown Browser, plagiarism-detection tools and tutorials, and writing draft/revision process.
November 18, 2011: Was Elluminate Now Collaborate
Delayna Breckon presented on the use of Collaborate for real-time web meetings, synchronous online classes, virtual office hours, collaborative team projects, and presentations by students and outside experts.
October 14, 2011Blackboard 9.1 New Features
Faculty who developed pilot courses in the new system showed how Blackboard 9.1 offers new tools for organization, interaction, and integration of media into your courses.


May 13, 2011Team-Building in Online Courses
Faculty viewed a webinar from the Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series on  online team-building and group work and then discussed strategies for implementing collaborative work in online courses.
April 22, 2011Discussion Board Part II
Cheri Johnson (Sociology) presented on practical applications for effectively using the online Discussion Board. You may also wish to view her discussion board guidelines and rubrics.
February 25, 2011: Online Assessment
NaomiJeffrey Peterson (Educational Foundations and Curriculum) presented on classroom-level online assessment, including strategies and best practices, assessment literacy, and online assessment..
January 21, 2011Discussion Board Part I
Cheri Johnson (Sociology) presented a case for using the Discussion Board to engage learners in online courses through public and anonymous forums. You may also wish to view her Training Notes as a supplement to her presentation.
November 19, 2010Online Course Types and Models
Jane Chinn presented an overview of the different types of online courses (fully online, hybrid, web-facilitated) and Chris Schedler (English) presented one model of a fully online course.