You are invited to participate in Quality Matters at Tri-C. There are two different opportunities:
- Submit your course for QM certification. We still have a few slots left for certification for this year. Contact Sasha at Sasha.Thackaberry@tri-c.edu.
- Join us for a FREE, day-long training – Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR).
Both opportunities offer a great way to get involved in Quality Matters. They either showcase your existing course or allow you to learn new skills to further develop
your online and blended courses.
The Applying the Quality Matters Rubric is Friday, March 27, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Metro Campus in TLC 153. This professional development opportunity is eligible for two (2) service credits, or one (1) workshop credit for the adjunct stipend. Lunch is provided. Register here.
What is Quality Matters?
Quality Matters (QM) is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning. The program features:
- Faculty-centered, continuous improvement models for assuring the quality of online courses through peer review.
- Professional development workshops and certification courses for instructors and online learning professionals.
- Rubrics for applying quality standards to course design.
Sasha (contact me at Sasha.Thackaberry at Tri-C.edu if you’re interested in sending a course through the review process)
What have you been up to for Open Education Week? Or even “What is Open Education”?
Open Educational Resources, or OER, are free, openly licensed resources that anyone can use to learn for free. The vast majority of the time you can also “rip, remix and burn” them – in other words, pull them down from online, make changes,and republish them with citation. OER is in alignment with the mission of access of community colleges, and its use is expanding geometrically within the field!
Check out this great, short video that explains the basic concept:
Are you on Twitter? A Twitter event has been going on for OER, a non-stop, 24 hour online discussion! Use #AllAboutOpen to check it out:) #OpenEducationWk
Also, check out the Open Educational Resources page on this site: http://elearningandinnovation.com/pilots-and-initiatives/open-educational-resources/
What has been going on with the LMS Review? Great question! We are currently in the sandboxing process. That means the nearly 40 member Taskforce and an additional 24 faculty are in all three potential systems, trying out features, interacting in courses, and testing. These three systems are Blackboard, Canvas and D2L/Brightspace.
What’s next? On Thursday, February 26th the Taskforce will make a recommendation for a system. That recommendation will then proceed through the internal committee process for funding – the Technology Governance Steering Committee is involved, then a Board committee, and finally it will be presented for Board approval in the March 26th meeting.
Questions? Contact your campus faculty communication contact:
- West – Professor John Kerezy
- Westshore – Professor Matt Piero
- Metro – Professor Pat Stansberry
- East – Professor Angela Mensah
All meeting minutes and info is posted on this blog. Click on the LMS Review tab in the upper right-hand corner, or hover over it to see the subpages.
Thanks! – Sasha
The new Babson Study – Tracking Online Education in the United States, indicates that over 70% of Chief Academic Officers say online learning is critical to their long-term strategy. Even more, 74.1%, rated learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to face-to-face courses.
Online is still growing at a much greater rate than face-to-face college enrollments. There was a 3.7% increase in the number of distance education students, which accounts for almost 75% of all enrollment growth in higher education in the US. That includes in the average a 7.9% decrease in online enrollments at for profit colleges. At public colleges, the percentage of growth is even higher – 4.6%.
What concerns remain? Only 28% of academic leaders believe that their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy” of online education.
Retention and success metrics remain a persistent challenge, though many studies including the US DOE’s own research, has concluded that online courses are as effective as face-to-face courses. Community College students face specific challenges in online courses, with retention rates lower across the board.
Tri-C students who take one or more online course graduate in greater percentages than those who do not, a trend that has been widening over the past few years.
Find the full Babson report here: http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/read/survey-reports-2014/
Find the accompanying infographic here: http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/report/2014SurveyInfo.pdf
Are you a faculty member at Tri-C? We want to hear from you about your needs regarding preparing students for success in online and blended classes. Take this SHORT, 9 minute survey to help us help your students before 11:59 PM on Monday, February 9!
This survey asks if you feel your students are prepared to take online and blended courses, if you would like an optional assessment that you could use in your Blackboard class, and if you feel that short, self-graded lessons on success skills for online learning would be helpful to prepare students.
We will be using these results to plan for new resources for student success online, so we want to hear from you! 30% of Tri-C’s FTE comes from online and blended classes, and over 2/3 of all Tri-C students are in Blackboard every semester, so student preparation for learning in a digital world is crucial for retention and graduation!
We want to hear from you! – Sasha
Interested in learning more about online/blended instructional design? Want to get more involved in Quality Matters at Tri-C? Check out our two new pages:
Instructional design is a critical part of a quality learning experience in an online or blended learning environment. On the instructional design page, find links to the Faculty Instructional Design Toolkit, sample rubrics, and more! On the Quality Matters page, learn about QM at Tri-C. We’ll be having an “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric” workshop later this spring, so stay tuned!
Are you a QM certified faculty member who would like to have their course reviewed this Spring? Contact Sasha Thackaberry at Sasha.Thackaberry@tri-c.edu, and we’ll get that started!
We are now running Service Pack 14 on Blackboard Learn. Here are some of the new features that are available to faculty and students.
- Faculty and Students can view Course Messages notifications on the Update page of the Global navigation menu, or via email. Use this link to view and modify your Notifications settings.
- Faculty can adjust the uppermost value on Grading Schema. and,
- Students can re-order items in My Grades and sort the display by due date and last activity.
Have questions? Drop us an email at eLifacultysupport@tri-c.edu and we will be happy to answer your question.
We are working on improved Blackboard mobile functionality so watch the blog for more updates!
Here’s your LMS Review update in under 60 seconds. Click the video below and be in the know!
The Office of eLearning & Innovation and ITS will be applying updates to Adobe Connect on Wednesday, December 17 and to Blackboard on Thursday, December 18th.
Adobe Connect will be unavailable between 5:00-6:30am on Wednesday, December 17.
Blackboard will be unavailable between 4:00-7:00am on Thursday, December 18.
After the updates, both systems will offer users some new and enhanced features. These include new ways to interact with publisher content in Blackboard, improved video and screen sharing in Adobe Connect, enhanced mobile functionality in Blackboard, and streamlined performance in both systems for the Spring 2015 semester.
Watch this blog for further information about these new and improved features!
Now (drumroll) – the results of the LMS Review downselect (we started with 5 systems and are down to 3 systems)! We have officially come to consensus. We are moving ahead with Blackboard, Canvas and Desire2Learn/Brightspace.
I am thrilled to report that all full-time faculty Taskforce members weighed in. Keeping the process focused on learning and teaching is the name of the game!
Interested in the “official” consensus tally? Find the results here: https://breeze.tri-c.edu/downselect/. Interested in knowing who is on the Taskforce? Find that list here: https://breeze.tri-c.edu/lmsreview_taskforce_membership/. Want a video overview of the process? Check that out here.
Want to look at the consensus tool we’ve used? Find that here: https://breeze.tri-c.edu/consensustool/.
Now, we’ll be entering the “Sandbox Phase”. This means that the Taskforce and an additional 20 volunteer faculty will actually go into Blackboard, Canvas and Desire2Learn/Brightspace and “play” – testing out functionality. In March, we will make our formal recommendation, based both on discussions of learning and teaching advantages, Tri-C culture, and the rubric results. (The rubric is a tool in our process, not the decision).
How can you help? How can you get involved?
- “Follow” the eLearning and Innovation blog for all LMS-related updates.
- Help us get the word out and avoid miscommunication! Send other faculty, staff and students to the blog for accurate information.
- Check out the systems yourself! We have vendor demos on the blog.
- Respond to our feedback form, which is always up: http://elearningandinnovation.com/lms-review/focus-group-dates-times/.
We have been working on the LMS Review since January of 2013. The full Taskforce was convened in May 2013. Find all our meeting notes and working information here: http://elearningandinnovation.com/lms-review/lms-process-and-documents/. What assumptions did we start with? I’m glad you asked! Find them here, or below.
There are several assumptions that are guiding the investigation into a possible new LMS implementation at Tri-C. They are:
- The current LMS (Blackboard) may or may not be the best institutional fit for an LMS. This can only be determined by a review of all feasible LMSs.
- There will not be an LMS that matches perfectly with the college’s needs.
- Only with a thorough review of enterprise-level LMSs can we determine what the best institutional fit for the needs of students, faculty, and staff will be.
- The process must be inclusive. All are encouraged to participate and provide feedback as we conduct a needs analysis, prioritize our needs, and implement a rubric-based selection process.
This process is working well because it is participatory and transparent. If you ever have questions, I am happy to answer them personally:) – Sasha.Thackaberry at Tri-C.edu.