Friday, May 26, 2006

Informal Learning ~ The Power of Dialogue

Questions considered in this article -- well, in the dialogue described in the article. :) --
What habits do we need to let go of in order to have true dialogue? When does facilitation draw attention to the process or the moderator rather than furthering the inquiry? How does dialogue emerge from among a group of strangers, and what conditions are the most evocative for true inquiry? What role does individual ego play?

Also check out the same author, Jay Cross, on What Is Informal Learning?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Student Satisfaction Survey Report

Student Satisfaction and Perceived Learning with On-line Courses

This paper reports on a N.Y. Learning Network survey. It "...examine[s] factors that have contributed to the high levels of learning and learner satisfaction..." Four sections describe and explore:
  • information regarding the systemic implementation of our asynchronous learning environment
  • issues that contribute to learning effectiveness from a faculty-development and course-design perspective.
  • factors that significantly contribute to perceived learning and student satisfaction in on-line asynchronous courses...offers recommendations for course and program design based on these factors.
  • learning effectiveness at the level of individual institutions through examples from specific courses. studies present and examine important evidence relevant to learning effectiveness from a single-institution and individual-faculty perspective.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Optimizing Your Syllabus for Online Students

The authors say, You can keep your syllabus traditional, or you can make it a course map, schedule, and contract, among other things. The authors say,
"Online course syllabi serve as platforms upon which to stage, manage, or enhance your course and function as a kind of contract between you and your students. Students will most likely download, print-out and follow your syllabus like a map, using it to chart their progress in your course. It's a good idea to post a downloadable version of your syllabus, preferably in rtf format, in addition to the online version so your students can print it out easily."

On the bottom of the page above there's a link to Syllabus Writing 101, a Course & Template to guide you through making a great syllabus document.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Free PowerPoint Templates

A user forum where new templates are uploaded regularly. Free to help yourself!

Learning for Life -- Adult Education

This article asks some good questions. Although it's written about the British system, it could have easily been written about the British Columbia system where I work (and where we're experiencing cutbacks to adult education nearly every year! Some quotes from the article below; click the title to read the rest.

The national mental-health strategy highlighted the importance of adult education in promoting positive mental health; the neighbourhood renewal strategy noted the importance of learning for communities seeking to overcome social exclusion. The Wider Benefits of Learning research centre at London University has shown that taking part in learning increases racial tolerance, gives you a better chance of giving up smoking, and prolongs your active life in retirement. All in all, the case for adult learning is a powerful one. On the other hand, public provision for adults has been plummeting .....

Too often policy for adults seems to be made by sewing together what is left once young people's needs are met. ... How much public money should be used to support lifelong learning? How much should individuals pay? And how best can we make sure employers invest in their staff? Adults deserve clear answers - and there is no better time than Adult Learners' Week to secure them.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Podcast Tutorials

A long list of links to tutorials at the Podcast & Portable Media Expo website. (Click the title of this post to go directly to the tutorials page.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tools to Prevent Test Cheating

Here are just a couple of what's available. (More tools and ideas on my Resource Links page about plagiarism and also on my Quiz Resource Links page.)

SecureExam Browser: "A security application that locks down any web-based tool or platform, transforming school specific applications into secure testing vehicles. Like other Securexam applications, Securexam Browser creates a secure test environment by locking down the Windows operating system on the test-taker's laptop or desktop computer, only allowing access to the test application via our secure Internet browser. Giving exams on the internet has never been this easy or secure." Can be used with any testing situation, plus it's one of the WebCT/Blackboard Powerlinks.

Respondus Lockdown Browser: "...a custom browser that creates a secure testing environment within the WebCT and Blackboard e-learning platforms. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading."

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Now Skype offers free unlimited conference calls for up to 100 people! Read this article from Robin Good. You can join in on a Skypecast to get the feel of it (click here for links to find Skypecasts) or host your own Skypecast.

Beyond Text: using your voice online

Not only about podcasting. Includes other technologies for your courses -- voice chat, voice boards, voice email.
This resource demonstrates ways you can introduce online voice technologies into your course design and delivery and provide increased flexibility and engagement for learners. It can be used as an individual guide or as a resource for professional development and training sessions. There are three sections:
  • Case studies: See how teachers have used online voice tools to provide new learning opportunities for different groups of learners.
  • Facilitator guides: Gain an overview of online voice tools and how you can integrate them into teaching and learning. "The facilitator guides have been developed as an introduction to a number of voice tools and to model ways that you can integrate them into your teaching practices."
  • Future directions: Explore the future directions of voice online and how it may assist to promote new practices in innovative teaching and learning.

Blogging for Learning

From WWWTools For Education, an excellent page of with links, resources, and much more. Headings include: Terminology, Ideas for Content, Pros and cons of Educational Blogging, Pedagogy, Practical Treatments. Also a section of links for Adminstrators, Educators, Learners, Classes, Librarians, and several other education categories. The article quotes Will Richardson (from Webblogg-Ed) as saying that "people know what blogs are, and what they are really seeking now is pedagogy, not training. It feels like, finally, this is no longer a technology as it is another way to connect and communicate. It's feeling like in some places, at least, blog thinking is becoming embedded."

Should you buy a DSLR or Point and Shoot Digital Camera?

The article lists the pros and cons of each.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Podcasts for teaching ESL students

A list from K12

WebCT Icon Chart & Download

A handy place to download complete sets of WebCT icons. Provided by e-Learning@Ed.

Games For One And All

from TeAchnology: "Whether you're looking to use games for educational purposes or just looking for some fun, we have you covered! We constantly add new games. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a gaming console? Our games are totally free!" Their category headings are: Educational Games; The Animated Arcade; Other On-line Educational Games; Silver Membership - Make your own educational games. Online Teacher Resource

Worksheets, Teaching Tips, Teacher Resources, and Rubrics. "We provide free and easy to use resources for teachers dedicated to improving the education of today's generation of students." FREE access to:
27,000 lesson plans
Teaching tips
6,500 FREE printable worksheets
Games and Downloads
Preformatted rubrics
256,000 reviewed sites
Printable generators

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Best of History Web Sites

"Best of History Web Sites is an award-winning portal that contains annotated links to over 1000 history web sites as well links to hundreds of quality K-12 history lesson plans, history teacher guides, history activities, history games, history quizzes, and more."