Tutorials, Workshops, and More!

Author: eschudel (Page 1 of 30)

Camosun Faculty Story #2: Kelly

Kelly is a faculty member teaching in the English Department at Camosun College. While she was not teaching when other instructors pivoted from face-to-face to online last March (has it already been a year?), over the summer she moved all her courses for fall into an online format, what she calls the steepest learning curve she’s faced since she began teaching.

I agree about that steep learning curve, since Kelly only really used D2L for posting grades and as a repository for some content before COVID. “I wasn’t even accepting assignment online,” Kelly notes. “Obviously it’s been a huge amount of work, [but] it’s also been really interesting to learn how to adapt that style of teaching to the content that I teach and to my style of teaching and my philosophies about connection which are a very strong part of my teaching.” And Kelly persevered, working within the new format while keeping the focus on what is important to her teaching. “It took me two months of full-time work to write what you see on D2L for each course, but I’m teaching people to be readers and writers. That’s my job.”

The brain of D2L, as Kelly puts it, presented one of the biggest challenges for her. Making edits and adjustments on Rubrics, for example, can drive one to distraction. “I spend so much time on formatting that it’s harder to develop new content.” Definitely one of the downsides to creating online content: making sure that the writing is clear, and also that visual design of pages are accessible. Kelly worries sometimes that the time it takes to put her existing content online makes it harder for her to find time to bring new research and innovation into her material.

Another challenge Kelly mentions, which will not be a surprise to anyone, is that she finds her synchronous sessions draining, wondering if anyone is out there. While attendance is high in her Collaborate sessions, “they will not use their cameras even when they have them…so that’s a bit alienating.” But she notes that the advantage to using Collaborate is that you can record the sessions for students who miss, or who need to go back and review a session. Not something you can do as easily in a face to face setting.

One of the upsides to moving her discussion-heavy courses online, Kelly says, is that she feels “connected to [her] students in a new way, and maybe a more thorough way” now. Through the online, text-based discussions, “they have to engage in the material in more than a superficial way,” which has also helped Kelly grade the discussions in a way she couldn’t before when they were more ephemeral. In fact, she says “the first time I opened the discussion and saw the level of work that was happening there, the amount of thought, I was blown away, and I still get so excited when I read those to mark them.” The students are learning without her jumping in all the time – learning from each other. That is one of the huge rewards from this experience.

The biggest takeaway from this experience for Kelly, as well as some advice she would give to new faculty, is “that if you know what your philosophical goal is with a course, you can make any method of teaching meet that goal,” but you have to know your goal first. Identify what is important to your teaching and then look for help with that, rather than asking undefined questions about the tools in D2L, etc. Ask yourself “What are your absolute must-haves of the tools that are available – really work hard on what you need and get that core down,” especially because you will be spending a lot of time planning and then getting things up and running (Kelly notes that she is grateful she had uninterrupted time for development, unlike some faculty who were teaching online for the first time in the Spring while also developing courses for the Fall.) Finally, organize your content. Kelly recommends thinking in terms of weeks instead of classes to make it easier for students to know where they are at in the course.

Will Kelly continue teaching online once COVID has run its course and classes can return to face to face? Well, yes, she hopes she can in some way. While grading assignments online is a lot of work, she has seen the benefits to her, for example, being able to check back on a student’s progress, and for students as well, having all her feedback in one place. But what really has convinced her is the learning she has observed in her online discussion forums – instead of being focused on how to get a B in class, students are more “focused on communicating clearly to other people and [responding] to what they’ve heard.” They can also go back to re-read those discussions when preparing for the next assignment, and “I don’t know why anyone would give that up!” Right now, Kelly’s vision for the future is to do exactly what she is doing now, except her Collaborate sessions will be face to face: do what needs to be done face to face, and what works online, online. But definitely some face to face because both Kelly and her students are yearning for that connection, of human faces and campus life. And that’s a nice hope for the future: the best of both worlds.

Camosun Faculty Story #1: Debra

Debra is a faculty member in the English Language Development (ELD) area here at Camosun College. I have had the privilege of working with her in bits and pieces over the years before COVID, but until last March/April, she was really only using PowerPoints and videos in the classroom, and using D2L minimally, mainly the News tool – “I was using that just to give them homework and make announcements.”

Imagine suddenly being faced with teaching completely online having not really used any online teaching tools before. It’s not a stretch of the imagination for many faculty members we in eLearning have been working with over the past almost a year. Debra herself “was certainly frightened of the technology and having to use the technology in such a different way…I didn’t have any idea how to use Collaborate, or I how to use most of the tools in D2L.” But, she overcame her fears and, coming back from vacation early, attended as many eLearning workshops as she could And most of all, she took the time to practice with the technologies, with her colleagues in ELD – peers supporting peers.

And it wasn’t only faculty supporting each other. Debra tells me that her first time teaching online went better than she expected because “[she] had done a lot of preparation and went in there believing [her students] were probably just as frightened of the experience as [she] was, and … [they] basically supported each other through the experience.” Like many faculty, Debra and her students were used to being in a face to face classroom where students “presume that you have a certain command of the situation.” But in this new world, “I knew that they really weren’t expecting me to have the same level of competence with the technology, and that took some of the pressure off.”

Debra says there wasn’t one moment that stood out for her during her first online teaching experience, but points to her students’ progress, as well as their positive feedback for her around the content and the delivery of the course as factors that made her feel good about the experience. In spite of everything, students were making good progress. And with regards to the fear of cheating which haunts many instructors during these online teaching times, she says that even though “I didn’t have the same control over their output, I did see them making progress. They couldn’t have cheated their way through to the outcomes that I saw at the end of the course. I did challenge them if I believed they cheated and I asked them to resubmit the work. But my main concerns were, are they turning up? Are they participating? Are they making progress? And that’s what I focus on.”

As for one thing she didn’t expect from the experience, Debra says she was surprised how much she enjoyed it. “Lock-down was a very isolating experience…so, having that contact with [students] every day, I felt less isolated … And I enjoyed the differences. It was a different experience and it was interesting and it was stimulating, and that’s why it was challenging.” And that challenge has, by pushing her out of her comfort zone (which is something familiar to her having done freelance work all over the world) reinvigorated how Debra feels about teaching. “I was afraid, but I decided to accept the challenge and I’m glad that I did.”

As for Debra’s vision for the future of her own teaching after everything that she’s learned over the past several months, she is currently preparing quizzes and other online materials, and planning to ”make much more use of technology than I did before…I might do a lot more online marking than I’ve done and I know I’ll make more use of technology.”

When I asked if she has any advice she would give colleagues, or any new faculty members who are suddenly having to teach online, Debra recalled an old joke: “How do you eat an elephant? One mouthful at a time,” something a friend told her a few years ago when she faced other life-altering challenges. “I think that taking on a big challenge, that’s the only way to deal with it. If you try to envision the whole problem as one problem, the whole situation as one…it’s too much to deal with. But if you just break it down and take it a step at a time, it isn’t.” And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? Supporting each other, and taking one step at a time.

Next for Debra, however, is a break. She finishes her Scheduled Development time at the end of February, and then will be off on vacation until she teaches this spring. This year I hope she gets a complete break and comes back refreshed, ready to meet her new students without panic, and with confidence.

 

 

Moving into a Brave New World: Interviews with Camosun Faculty – Introduction

March 18th, 2020. For me, this day will forever mark the day we all went home and entered a new world, an unknown world, a world where we all had to reimagine our work and home lives. None of us knew how all-encompassing this new world would be for us, yet here we are, almost one year later, still standing (or sitting, as the case may be…)

For me, the first weeks I spent in this new world are now a blur as the college pivoted and everyone moved online. Then April hit, and a new term was fast approaching. We in eLearning began to offer workshops – workshops up the wazoo. In the old world, there were no workshops planned for April, but in the end and on the fly, in the four weeks in April we ran 20+ workshops for faculty on D2L, Collaborate, Kaltura, facilitating online learning, creating online community, online assessments, and accessibility in the online classroom. At the end of every day, every day being 10-12 hours long (workshops, consults, emails…), I could not think or hold myself upright. Yes, it was exciting to help faculty and run workshops with 20-30 people in them (people now know who we are!), but exhausting. And not just because of those endless consults, workshops and emails, but also because I heard their stories. Faculty in tears trying to get things ready for spring and afraid they couldn’t do it. Faculty worried because they didn’t know where they could turn for help. Faculty up for the challenge, but not knowing how they could get everything planned to the quality they expected from themselves.

Then, the spring term began, while workshops, consults, and meetings continued to keep faculty supported, while planning ahead to the next day, week, month, and term.

I have to tell you, and I am not trying to sound trite: faculty at Camosun are all heroes. From the faculty members who pivoted into remote panicked instruction in March (believe me, this was NOT “online learning”), to faculty who gave up vacation, Scheduled Development, and other plans to get their spring and fall courses ready for online instruction (some of them developing 2-3 courses in weeks, when it takes 2 months or ideally more to develop ONE online course – I don’t have to tell you it is not a simple matter to take a face-to-face course, even one you’ve taught multiple times, and put it into an online format), to faculty who spent (and continue to spend) many additional hours every day continuing to develop their courses while they taught, while trying to support their students, who also didn’t sign up for this. And in addition to all the amazing faculty I am privileged to work with and support, I have to take a moment to acknowledge my colleagues in the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning – I am not sure I would still be here without you having my back.

And now, almost one year later, I want to tell the stories of our faculty to the world. So, I am embarking on a new series of posts where I will present interviews with some of our faculty at Camosun College. You will meet amazing instructors from English Language Development, Nursing, Business, English, Anthropology, Psychology, Statistics, Child, Family and Community Services, Hospitality, Trades, and many, many more – I am adding every day to the list of folks I will be talking to this term. I want to thank all of them for agreeing to share their experiences, both highs, and lows, with me and with the world.

Stay tuned for my first faculty interview post next week. And if you teach at Camosun and would like to share your story, contact me at schudele@camosun.ca.

Digital Detox Reblog (and lots of food for thought around Microsoft for education)

I needed to reblog this post, because:

  1. I love Dr. Brenna Clarke Grey’s posts about anything
  2. because if you haven’t already started following the Digital Detox, you need to, and
  3. because of the discussions in our unit and institution around making Microsoft Teams more available for students, and integrating it within our LMS.

To be honest, I still think it’s a good idea to build access for students into our Teams (and to also integrate it with our LSM) as we are struggling, as other institutions are, with finding good tools to support online student to student engagement and collaboration. But…well, read for yourself:

Digital Detox #4: Habits, Data, and Things That Go Bump in the Night: Microsoft for Education

 

Captioning for Teaching & Learning Video Resources

What are Captions?

Captions are the text that is synchronized with the audio in a video presentation. Captions are important when people need to see what is happening in the video alongside a text-based alternative to the audio information.

What should you include in captions?

  • ALL speech content
    If there is speech that is not relevant, it is usually best to indicate in brackets that it has been excluded from the captions. Example: [A & B chatted while slides were loading]
  • Descriptions of relevant non-speech audio are also usually provided in brackets in your captions.
    Example 1: [doorbell rings]
    Example 2: [example of music by XXX plays]Background noise that doesn’t have any contextual relevance can be left out of your captions.

Who Needs Captions?

Captions provide comprehensive access to the audio content in videos for students who:

  • Are deaf or hard-of-hearing
  • Are in a noisy environment and can’t hear the audio
    OR
    Are in a very quiet public environment and can’t play the audio
  • Are not a native-English speaker and need written-word format to support understanding

“As a student, I need captions when I watch videos from my instructor because…”

  • “They use a lot of scientific terms and/or proper names that I haven’t heard or seen before”
  • “The audio in the recording is fuzzy/muffled/poor and it makes some of the material really hard to understand”
  • “They have an accent and I don’t always understand what they are saying”
  • “I have to share my space with other people and I can’t always play or hear the audio when I need to watch the content”
  • “They speak too quickly for me and I miss important information”
  • “I have a hearing disability and captions are the only way I can get the content my instructor is talking about”

Types of Videos Faculty are Creating & Uploading to Kaltura (My Media)

Faculty creations include videos of:

  • Introduction to instructor
  • Demonstrations of course concepts (how-to, hands-on, practical examples, etc.)
  • Mini-lessons / mini-lectures
  • Presentations (e.g. narrated PowerPoint)
  • Interviews / Guest Speakers

Commonly asked question: “Should faculty upload recordings of live-class Collaborate sessions to My Media?”

  • It is not necessary for students’ review purposes to upload recordings of your live-class Collaborate recordings to your My Media. Students can access class recordings directly from the Collaborate section on your course site or via a direct link to the recording.
  • Suggestion: only upload the recording of a class Collaborate session if you need to provide an improved version of the recording by adding captions – and can commit the time to editing any major errors created by the auto-captioning.

How Do I Provide Captions with My Videos?

Always Available: Auto-captioning in Kaltura (My Media)

When you upload video files to Kaltura (My Media), Kaltura’s captioning algorithms automatically generate captions for your videos.

However, it’s important to know that components like background noise, proper names, specific terms/jargon, and variations in pronunciation can present challenges for these algorithms. Sometimes those challenges result in errors. The auto-captioning in Kaltura is approximately 70% accurate, which is comparable to the auto-captioning in YouTube.

You will need to edit your auto-captions. Because auto-captions may include errors that will negatively affect students’ comprehension, you should be prepared to review and edit the auto-captions before you publish your video to students. This is especially important when your video is the primary or sole means by which students get this particular content; they will have no other text-based representations of the concepts or terminology to refer to for comparison.

Available in 2021: (Some/Limited) Captioning support through eLearning

If you are creating teaching & learning video resources for your course(s), you may be able to access some professional captioning support through eLearning.

The budget we have to pay for this service is limited, so we will begin by considering teaching & learning projects that meet the following criteria:

  1. Video is a re-usable and/or shareable learning object; video is not limited to one single course offering. For example:
  • Demonstrations of course concepts (how-to, hands-on, practical examples, lab demos, etc.)
  • Mini-lessons / mini-lectures / presentations (e.g. narrated PowerPoint, Kaltura Capture video; max. 30 minutes)
  • Presentations (e.g. narrated PowerPoint)
  • Interviews or Guest Speakers
  1. Video is authored by the instructor.
  2. The audio quality of the video is reasonably high. e. the spoken word can be understood without having to work too hard to hear it.

Additional consideration will be applied to teaching & learning videos created with the assistance of Camosun’s Audio Video Services.

Out of scope: We will not be able to provide professional captioning support for recordings of live-class Collaborate sessions, or student assignments.

Wondering if your videos might be eligible for some professional captioning support?

If you are creating teaching & learning video resources for your 2021W course or are planning to develop video resources as part of your Scheduled Development plans, you may be able to access help with creating accurate captions.

Please contact Sue Doner [doners@camosun.ca] and Bob Preston [prestonb@camosun.ca] with your inquiries.

 

How to Release an Individual Submission Assignment to a Specific Group of Students in D2L

If you are an instructor in a D2L course site containing multiple instructors where each instructor is responsible for a specific group of students in the course, or if you are working in a D2L site with merged sections where you want to create separate assignments for each group/section’s students, this post is for you!

In this tutorial post, we will cover the steps involved with setting up Release Conditions in an assignment when you want an Individual Assignment Type assignment folder available only for a specific group of students (you will need to create Groups in your D2L course first to use this feature – see the various Groups tutorials for more information.)  For more general information about Conditional Release see the Conditional Release – Setting up Release Conditions tutorial under Course Admin.

Note that this tutorial will show how this process works in the new Assignment Creation Experience interface. If you are using the old interface, the steps will be similar, but you will find all of the Release Conditions functions under the Restrictions tab. For information on how to turn on the new Assignment Creation Experience, see the tutorial Creating an Assignment in D2L in the New Assignment Creation Experience.

For further information, please contact elearning@camosun.ca for assistance.

Steps

  1. Go to the Assignments tool in your course.
  2. Open an existing assignment folder, or click on the New Assignment button to create a new assignment folder.
  3. After adding an assignment Name, and any other settings in the main assignment creation area, click Availability Dates & Conditions to open that part of the right side panel.

    Click Availability Dates & Conditions

  4. Click Add Release Condition. Select Create New. NOTE: Once you have created a release condition, you can click Add Existing to use it again.

    Click Add Release Condition and select Create New

  5. From the Create a Release Condition pop-up, click the Select Condition Type drop-down, and for this tutorial, we will choose Group Enrolment. (For information on all the various Release Conditions, see the tutorial What Release Conditions are Available in D2L under Course Admin for more information.)

    Click Select Conditional Release and select Group Enrolment

  6. Click the Condition Details drop-down, here, a Select Group drop-down, and select the Group you wish to attach this assignment folder to. Then click Create.

    Select group and click Create

  7. Finish setting up your Assignment, and click Save and Close.

    Click Save and Close

Things to Remember

Note that connecting an Individual Assignment folder to a group is NOT the same as creating a Group Assignment folder. For a Group Assignment folder, every student in a group can see everything submitted into their group folder – it is set up for group submissions. Conditionally releasing an Individual Assignment folder to a Group means each student in that Group only sees their own individual submissions.

Once you create a Group Assignment folder you can NOT change it back to Individual. You have to delete it and start over.

eLearning workshops for Spring Schedule Development

Are you a faculty at Camosun College planning for your Scheduled Development for Spring?  Here is a list of  eLearning online learning opportunities coming in May/June 2021.

Note that we have not yet finalized a schedule, and more workshops may be added, but this will give you an idea of what you could plan for during your SD.  For planning purposes, faculty can assume that most of these eLearning workshops will be 1 to 1.5 hours, with the exception of the 5 week and 2 week  FLO courses.

Questions?  Email Emily Schudel at schudele@camosun.ca.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

D2L

Getting Started with D2L Setting Up Your Gradebook Working with Master Courses
Content Management in D2L Quizzes in D2L Advanced Quizzing
Managing Assignments Using Rubrics to Streamline Your Assessment Process
Creating Discussions Designing for Engagement: Moving Beyond Text and Images (HTML Templates)
Spring Cleaning

Accessibility

Text-to-Speech Support for Students: An Orientation to the ReadSpeaker tools in Your D2L Course Introduction to the ALLY tool in D2L: Designing for Accessibility &  Inclusion Using the Accessibility Reports in D2L: What should I do first? (And how do I do it?!)
Take the First Steps in Creating Accessible Content for your Online Classroom

Collaborate

Introduction to BBCU

 

Increasing Your Proficiency in BBCU Engaging with Students and Using Breakout Rooms in Collaborate
Supported Practice Sessions

Kaltura

Enhancing Your Courses with Video (Kaltura Intro) Going Deeper with Videos and Kaltura Creating Great Kaltura Capture Videos

Open Education/OER

Intro to Open Education and Open Educational Resources (OER) H5P Workshop
Intro to Creative Commons Integrating Creative Commons Material into your Course(s)

Pedagogy

Online Assessments FLO Synchronous (2 weeks) Ethical Dimensions of Educational Technology
FLO Asynchronous (5 weeks)
Flipping the Classroom (blended – asynchronous for  week culminating in a synchronous workshop)

 

Re-post from the TRU Digital Detox

Seems a bit lazy, but I thought this was definitely worth the re-post (or re-blog, whatever you call it – let’s call it sharing!)

In this week’s Digital Detox post (if you don’t know about the Digital Detox, check it out), Dr. Brenna Clarke Grey talks about e-proctoring in a post aptly called E-proctoring Sucks, So Why Won’t It Go Away?

The thing I appreciate the most about her post is her comment that while she does think cheating is a problem, she thinks “it’s largely a structural problem, not an individual one,” which I completely agree with.  Automatically assuming students are going to cheat online and forcing them into invasive proctoring solutions is not addressing the larger issue(s) – we need to examine why students cheat (and yes, there are many, many reasons) and think about our institutional role in pushing them there.

So, I encourage you to check out Dr. Clarke Grey’s post, and join in on the discussion!

Digital Detox #3: E-proctoring Sucks, So Why Won’t It Go Away?

eLearning Drop-ins for Winter 2021

A new year has begun, and what?  January is almost over??  Time to set up our new term’s eLearning Drop-ins!

The eLearning team will be offering scheduled drop-in sessions for faculty needing support with D2L, Collaborate, Kaltura, Assessments, and Final Grades. Come to the sessions with your questions, curiosities, and dilemmas and we will be happy to help you with them. These sessions are not formal workshops; instead, sessions will respond to the needs of those who participate. No registration is needed.

You can join the sessions through the Collaborate link on the navigation bar in the D2L On-Demand Training course.  If you have any questions about these sessions or how to access them, email eLearning@camosun.ca.

Tuesday, February 2, 10:00-11:00 am, eLearning Questions, Curiosities & Dilemmas

Thursday, February 11, 2:00-3:00 pm – eLearning Questions, Curiosities & Dilemmas

Thursday, February 18, 2:00-3:00 pm – eLearning Questions, Curiosities & Dilemmas

Tuesday, February 23, 10:00-11:00 am – eLearning Questions, Curiosities & Dilemmas

Thursday, March 4, 10:00-11:00 am – eLearning Questions, Curiosities & Dilemmas

Wednesday, March 10, 2:00-3:00 pm – eLearning Questions, Curiosities & Dilemmas

Thursday, March 18,  2:00-3:00 pm – eLearning Questions, Curiosities & Dilemmas

Tuesday, March 23, 10:00-11:00 am – eLearning Questions, Curiosities & Dilemmas

Thursday, April 1, 2:00-3:00 pm – eLearning Questions, Curiosities & Dilemmas

Tuesday, April 6, 2:00-3:00 pm – eLearning Questions, Curiosities & Dilemmas

Tuesday, April 13, 10:-00-11:00 am – Final Exam Set Up

Thursday, April 15, 2:-00-3:00 pm – eLearning Questions and Curiosities

Tuesday, April 20, 11:-00 am -12:00 pm – Calculating and Releasing Final Marks

Thursday, April 22, 10:-00-11:00 am – Calculating and Releasing Final Marks

Tuesday, April 27, 10:-00-11:00 am – Calculating and Releasing Final Marks

Reporting Collaborate Issues (Chrome Freezing, etc.)

If Camosun College faculty are having a problem during a session in Collaborate, either in Chrome or Firefox, please do the following from within the session, while the issue is happening (or immediately after logging back in, in the case of Chrome freezing).

First:

Immediately after you encounter your issue (during your Collaborate session if possible,) click Report an Issue to outline your problem directly to Collaborate.  This will give Collaborate all the info about the session including exact time of the issue, right down to connection speed and servers involved.

Second:

Then, after your Collaborate session, email the session name and time, along with an outline of the issue, to elearning@camosun.ca and we can escalate it, if need be, with a formal support ticket. We want everyone who is having the Chrome freezing issue in particular to report it in the moment. It is best to define the issue in the little text box so they know the exact issue. This way Collaborate will be aware of exactly how often certain issues are happening and hopefully find solutions.

Thanks!

« Older posts