Tag Archives: elearning

FYE Game Site & Student Tech Survey

In this update….

Info on the FYE Game, the Student Technology Survey, and the eLearning Orientation Reboot.

FYE Game Site

If you attended the Convocation session on the FYE Game, please find that here:

FYE Game screenshot

You can now request your copy of the FYE Game site!  How?  Follow these simple directions:

  1. Email ITS at:  elifacultysupport@tri-c.edu.
  2. Ask to be added as a faculty member in the 2016 FYE Game course site.
  3. Login to Blackboard, and use the Course Site Request System to request your own copy!
  4. May the odds be ever in  your favor.

We are currently incorporating the feedback from the session, so those Softchalks will be updated till end of day Friday.  Don’t worry, that’s all in the cloud, so it won’t impact your ability to have a current copy of the course.

Student Technology Survey

If you weren’t at the Student Technology Survey session with Professor Sam LiPuma and myself, of course you missed the social event of the season, but you also missed hearing the sometimes unexpected but always illuminating results of the 2015 college-wide survey of students about technology!  Check out the presentation below:

Student Tech Survey


eLearning Orientation Reboot in Course Button

Have you seen the eLearning Orientation Reboot?  Check it out!  It can help prepare your students to be successful in their online and blended/hybrid courses.

We also put it into a course site via a button!  It comes with 5 quick accompanying quizzes to test students’ knowledge in 5 domains:

  • Managing Your Time Well
  • Being a Successful Student
  • Being an Online Student at Tri-C
  • Using Blackboard
  • Computer and Internet Basics

Students get digital badges when they hit 80% or above in the quick quizzes.

Do you want your very own button?  Email elifacultysupport@tri-c.edu and ask to be added to the 2016 eLearning Orientation Reboot course as a faculty member.  You can then copy the entire button into your courses!

Have a great start of term!



A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Microsoft Store

We’ve been blogging about success rates for online courses for the past few days.  And wouldn’t you know it…

So I’m at the Microsoft Store attempting to get my Surface Pro 3 updated because it is not behaving properly.  I strike up a conversation with a woman in a similar situation and – I am not making this up – it turns out she is a Tri-C student, graduating this May.  She asked me what I did at Tri-C, and when I told her I worked in the online division, hilarity ensued.

Her reasons for choosing online:

  • Saves time
  • Works with her schedule
  • As a busy mom, that’s important!

Another Tri-C success story!  Congratulations to Rebecca who will graduate in May!

2 New Free QM All-Day Trainings: Applying the Quality Matters Rubric

Sharing two opportunities for participating in the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric workshop through the Ohio QM Consortium.  Please contact Sasha Thackaberry at Sasha.Thackaberry@Tri-C.edu in order to get your workbook if you register.

Note that you will need to register per the directions for each training.  Lunch is provided.  Faculty are eligible for Service Credits (consult the catalog,) and adjunct faculty can receive 3 SEUs.  Please contact your Adjunct Services Office for details on how to process this.

University of Cincinnati

Seats Available: 15

Date:  Friday, September 18, 2015

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Check-in at 8:45 AM)

Location:    University of Cincinnati Clermont College, Room 150 McDonough Hall, 4200 Clermont College Dr., Batavia, OH.  Maps and driving directions will be provided in a future email.

Registration:  Please e-mail Sue Trakas at sue.trakas@uc.edu and indicate your name, college/university, and phone number. Registration deadline is Friday, September 11, 2015.

Kent State University

Date: Friday, October 2, 2015

Time: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Location: Kent State University – Kent Campus (Kent, Ohio)

Seats Available: 10; Registration closes 9/21/15

Registration: To register online please go to http://bitly.com/kentqm

You will be sent an email one week prior to the workshop to confirm event details including parking information. If you have any additional questions, please contact Jason Piatt at

Virtual Student Services & Social Media Work for Student Success

Virtual student services and social media increase the GPA and persistence of Tri-C students!  That’s the data talking – check out the specifics below.

Did you know that Tri-Cs Title III grant created an ecosystem of support for online students that supported face-to-face students as well?  eAdvising, eLearning Orientation, online tutoring and other services have increased the GPA of students participating and supported completion and success.  Check out what virtual student services can do!

Tri-C leveraged a League for Innovation grant to explore the use of a Facebook App to improve student engagement.  Student persistence and GPA improved.  Of students who used the app (8,661 enrolled):

  • “Active Users are 26% more likely to persist to the next semester compared to non-members of the App.
  • Passive Users are 65% more likely to persist to the next semester compared to non-members of the App.”  (Rios-Aguilar & Deil-Amem, 2014, p. 9).

The study was funded through the League for Innovation by the Gates Foundation with researchers from University of Arizona and Claremont Graduate University.  In other words, it’s legit!  Check out the presentation we shared at the Learning Summit 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Considering moving from Blackboard

Stay informed this summer by “Following” our blog at eLearningandinnovation.com.  We’ve convened the Taskforce and are working on the Needs Analysis.  We’ll be conducting demos, creating a rubric, and exploring in sandbox environments this summer, and making a “down select” to reduce the options to 2 systems in August.

Let us know what you think!  Though we’ve completed the surveys, focus groups and interviews, there’s still ample opportunity to provide feedback.  Check out this page to fill out a feedback form.  Have a great summer, and stay in the loop!  – Sasha

Are online courses more effective?

The Department of Education’s analysis pointed to blended learning–a combination of online and in-class instruction–as the most effective teaching method, which has since been echoed by the findings of Marc Loudon, a professor of medicinal chemistry at Purdue University, who once doubted the effectiveness of online coursework. Loudon examined the performance of 226 organic chemistry students in fall 2009. Those that engaged in online homework on top of their class lectures and textbook homework had a full-grade higher average than their peers who studied without the aid of the online tool.

Loudon, who authored the textbook but had no hand in the creation of the online material, checked to see if the students who did the extra work online were more driven, or perhaps better students overall, but found no correlation between their organic chemistry grades and those they’d previously received in general chemistry. “Students are highly engaged when they work online because they get instant feedback,” he says. “The degree of benefit surprised me–I hate to admit it. The study convinced me of something that I didn’t believe would happen.”

via U.S. News & World Report

Welcome Back

Things have been hectic around Tri-C as we all prepare for the new semester. Students have been waiting in line to register for classes and buy books, while faculty have been preparing materials and furiously building online courses. Here at the Office of eLearning & Innovation, we’ve been working to provide outstanding faculty and student support for Blackboard. We’ve also been working on some fantastic new things for the coming year, which will culminate in our transition to Blackboard 9.1 over the next two semesters (keep checking the blog for more details!).

While we were on holiday break, I came across an article about teachers in Madison, Wisconsin. It was essentially about how some educators were using technology in meaningful ways to improve the learning experiences of their students. But there was one passage that stood out to me:

I have a student who misses a lot of school. But I’m aware of her presence online at night, keeping up with the class, and doing her work. In the past, this is the kind of student who would just fall behind, and be at a real risk for failure.

via The Cap Times

This quote came from an Algebra II teacher, who uses an online course to help teach her class. It’s amazing, isn’t it? This one student went from drop-out risk to active participant, purely because she had the ability to access the course from any place with a Wi-Fi connection.

eLearning courses are having a dramatic impact on education, and have made courses available to students who may not be able to regularly come to a campus and meet in a face-to-face classroom. Students with jobs, with families, with responsibilities, or with a simple preference to work at their own pace, are now all being served by Web-Based and Hybrid courses.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more success stories, statistics, infographics, videos, App reviews, and some other great content that will be new to the blog this year. But for now, as the first day of the semester begins, I’d like to simply wish you luck. May the bookstore have all your books, may your syllabi be error-free, may your room assignments be correct, and may your first day (online or face-to-face) go beautifully.


Tech facilitates a return to learning in Iraq

Read Write Web

October 7, 2010

Tech Facilitates a Return to Learning in Iraq

The violence that came in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq had a double-edged effect on higher education there. Professors fled the country and the students that remained had no one to teach them. Despite pleas to return home, many have elected to remain in exile.

So now the Iraq Scholar Rescue Fund has created the “Iraq Scholars Lecture Series” to unite those expatriate scholars with Iraqi college students via technology.

The Scholar Rescue Fund, run by the Institute of International Education, helps to get endangered scholars, targeted by religious and political extremists, out of the country where they’re living and out of danger. Now they’re helping those same professors to get their knowledge back in.

Full article available at http://goo.gl/pCpK

Online school for your 13-year-old?

The popularity of distance learning is exploding, especially in K-12 education. With over 2 million students enrolled nationwide, and 25 states offering full-time online education, distance learning is becoming more important than ever. Below is the story of Lyndsey Fry, a 17-year-old who went from an online high school diploma to being accepted to Harvard. What do you think of Lyndsey’s story?


October 1, 2010

Online School for Your 13-Year-Old?

Lyndsey Fry has a message about kids who attend school online: “We’re not slackers.”

The 17-year-old hockey phenom from Arizona moved from online high school diploma to Harvard. Now her younger brother Wesley seeks a similar goal — to graduate from the same virtual high school.

“It will be a whole new experience,” said Wesley, 15, who forayed into virtual learning this fall. “I’ll miss my friends, my school. But I won’t miss getting up early, especially to catch the 6:30 a.m. bus.”

Kidding aside, the Frys’ choice of online schooling is serious stuff: The fastest-growing trend in education has more than 2 million students enrolled nationwide, said Susan Patrick, president of the International Association of K-12 Online Learning, an advocacy group in Vienna, Va. In the U.S., 32 states provide virtual learning, with 25 states offering a full-time online education, she said.

“Some people think that online learning is just a piece of software, but it’s much more than that,” said Patrick. “What we’re trying to do is to make the online option available to every student. And students are interested.”

Reasons behind the growth spurt:

  • Online education, or remote learning, offers greater flexibility for students with extracurricular demands, like elite athletes, child actors, children with disabilities or illnesses.
  • Virtual school also helps young people who want more independence with their classes, or want to spend more time with their families.
  • Remote learning provides another option for parents who want to home-school but don’t have the expertise or time to do so.
  • Traditional schools are starting to offer online courses and using their own teachers to complement curriculum.

Full article available at http://goo.gl/bMhL

Online, Bigger Classes May Be Better Classes

A new article from The Chronicle of Higher Education expands the debate on openness versus control in online learning. In it, Professor Stephen Downes of the University of Alberta shares his experience with a class of over 2300 students.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Online, Bigger Classes May Be Better Classes

Experimenters say diversity means richness

By Marc Parry

In his work as a professor, Stephen Downes used to feel that he was helping those who least needed it. His students at places like the University of Alberta already had a leg up in life and could afford the tuition.

So when a colleague suggested they co-teach an online class in learning theory at the University of Manitoba, in 2008, Mr. Downes welcomed the chance to expand that privileged club. The idea: Why not invite the rest of world to join the 25 students who were taking the course for credit?

Over 2,300 people showed up.

They didn’t get credit, but they didn’t get a bill, either. In an experiment that could point to a more open future for e-learning, Mr. Downes and George Siemens attracted about 1,200 noncredit participants last year. They expect another big turnout the next class, in January.

The Downes-Siemens course has become a landmark in the small but growing push toward “open teaching.” Universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have offered free educational materials online for years, but the new breed of open teachers—at the University of Florida, Brigham Young University, and the University of Regina, among other places—is now giving away the learning experience, too.

Full article available at http://bit.ly/bYNdFe