Monthly Archives: January 2012

From Access to Quality?

Sloan-C, a well-known organization for online learning, is offering a new workshop on online quality.  Sloan’s description for this workshop is pasted below.  Our Online Learning Task Force is addressing and will continue to do more work on ‘quality’ as it relates to online learning at ICC.  Last fall you had the opportunity to complete a survey about course development, delivery and quality assurance and we’ll share and discuss the results this spring.  We’ll be revising or at least revisiting our own course development rubric and we’ll continue to investigate other course development and assessment tools such as Quality Matters and the CA Chico Rubric.  We also have two task force members engaged in the ION Master Online Teacher workshop on quality assurance this spring.

Weigh in on this after reading the description below – what do you think?  Are we on track?  Where are we headed?  What should we be most concerned about?  What should we not allow to concern us? Is it safe/enough for us to say we’ll assign, design, develop and deliver quality education online just like we do it in-person?  Why or why not?  How are we going to know when we’re at least starting the move from access to quality?  Or should we?  Add your comments to this blog entry to join in the conversation.

Retrieved January 29, 2012 from Sloan-C:

“Online education’s first era was all about providing access. The second era is more about improving quality — not just for online education, but for all education. Unfortunately, most ideas about the cyberization of education advocate narrow, oversimplified viewpoints about how to improve the quality of online education. Online learning practitioners need a broader, unifying perspective – one that accommodates multiple perspectives and integrates these viewpoints into a larger context by showing how to move online education from access to quality improvement.”


Short and sweet; some cool ideas for discussion tips and prompts

Seriously, I can’t get enough of the good info shared by the UW-Stout eLearning program.  Two lists about discussions; one for tips on posting and one for making discussion assignments even better (I particularly like the one about having to summarize the discussion to date for the poster who comes late to the party!)

Check them out:

Noting: Hybrid Teaching and Learning breakout session, January Celebration of Learning

Here are some of the notes I captured during the Hybrid Teaching and Learning session facilitated by Jen Hopp during January Celebration of Learning January 11, 2012. Interested in more on hybrid teaching at ICC?  Contact me directly, or 694-5295

General tips and suggestions gathered from the hybrid teaching and learning session:

  • Assume students are completing online quizzes and tests in an open book environment; ask higher-order thinking/application type questions, not questions they can complete by searching for the right answer;
  • Interested in a peer review activity?  Try this activity online instead of taking as much time in class;
  • What should  you include in the in-person component of the class?  Consider the core of the course, the hard stuff and the stuff you like to teach in-person;
  • Use discussion and figure out which prompts should be done in-class and which can be better online – connect online and in-class discussions;
  • When designing online discussion prompts, be very specific about the prompt as well as the expectations for posting and student-to-student posting;
  • Don’t fall into lecture mode in class, use this time to have students discuss and work with each other;
  • Avoid a “dead” online component – a hybrid class should have an active/engaging online requirement, not just postings of documents and information with reduced in-class activities;
  • Avoid doubling or somehow otherwise bloating the content, expecting as much in-class as you expect online – use the credit hours as a guideline; for example, a 3-hour class would normally be 3 hours in class with 6-9 hours of expected work outside of class.  Or, a 3-credit hour class should take an average student 6-12 hours each week to complete;
  • Design your course in a recognizable and repeatable framework if possible; structure in units or weeks and attempt to setup a routine for deadlines, such as the day/time when assignments or discussion prompts are made available, are due, etc.  Identify the routine for students so the routine becomes a way they complete course tasks on time.

Blackboard – “The Ultimate Guide to Blackboard, 100 Tips and Tutorials”

A list of 100 ways to use Blackboard (from 2008 so some functionality may be ‘off’ due to more-recent versions of the software being released.)  Check it out when you have time!  Let the TLC staff know if you have questions or would like assistance trying something new!

UW Stout’s E-Learning Program, Scoop It

I started following UW-Stout’s E-Learning program’s posts on Facebook.  They have an aggressive social medial campaign for their program but they also post frequent and extremely useful links about online and hybrid teaching and learning.  There are more good things than I can republish and share so if you are interested, please check out their program, subscribe to their Facebook page and/or check out their Scoop It page curated by one of their program advisors:

I’ve also always been a huge fan of the 7 Principles…  Through a hyper-linking journey through the Scoop It site, I came across this ‘newer’ article about the 7 Principles and teaching online.  Please read it!  One of the authors is Kaye Shelton who is the primary author of An Administrator’s Guide to Online Education, the book we are using in the Master Online Teacher 8-week online course starting January 17, 2012.

Illinois Virtual Campus Master Online Teacher Certificate Program

IVC announces upcoming classes offered in the Master Online Teacher program as part of the Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality certificate series.  ICC faculty and staff are eligible for sponsorships to participate in individual classes and the MVCR certificate program.  Participants may also choose a tuition option to earn graduate credit.  For more information about the certificate program and classes visit the links provided in this post.  With questions about sponsorship for ICC faculty and staff, contact Patrice at or 694-5295.  Visit ICC’s Master Online Teacher page for additional information and the ICC Master Online Teacher roster:

From Scott Johnson of IVC MVCR:
As we wring out the past year, and ring in the new, remember that the MVCR schedule has a new term starting on January 17th. In addition to the standard courses, we’re featuring Global E-Learning and Quality Assurance and Accountability. Come to to see what we have now and what’s coming up soon. Call 217-333-4393 or write to for more information. We’re also on Facebook at, Twitter!/ION_UI , and Google+ at