Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Professional Development - What is required?

Hi Everyone-

I've received several requests for information concerning the CCCOnline training policy. Here's what we ask:

Before you teach a course you must complete the Getting Started online workshop. All of you on this list should have completed that already.

Sometime during the first year of teaching for CCCOnline (earlier is better) you must complete the Managing Discussions online workshop. You only have to take it once, but you are always welcome to re-take it at any time. The workshop has changed over the years and varies with facilitator also.

Also sometime during the first year, but not the first semester you teach, you need to take what is now Teaching with Vista 101. If you took either Survival or Next Steps you're finished with this requirement also.

Most of you have long completed those initial workshops. As an on-going instructor with CCCOnline we ask that you complete one professional development activity each year. That activity can be one of the online workshops, attendance at the fall faculty conference, one of the synchronous sessions offered via Elluminate, or a discipline team meeting. The training directors are also working on some self-paced online workshops to round out our offerings. in addition, you can let us know that you completed a relevant training activity somewhere outside of CCCOnline.

The other half of this discussion is the challenge of managing on-going professional development in your field. Unfortunately we can't send everyone to conferences or workshops in their discipline. We do however offer a $300 stipend to anyone who puts together a presentation to your peers on knowledge gained at one of those conferences. You can present from within your faculty lounge, via Elluminate, or at the fal faculty conference. We hope that helps to defray some of the cost of staying current in your field.

Hope this makes everything clear. :^)

Correct Registration Link

Hi Everyone-

Once again I forgot that I can't copy directly to the blog from my MS Outlook account. It messes up all of the links whenever I do that. So... the correct link to the training registration form is http://cccs-lms.ccconline.org/RegistrationForm/.

You can also get to the form from the faculty tab on the website.

Sorry for the confusion!

Managing Discussions Workshop

Just as a side note -- This workshop is required for all first year CCCOnline faculty. It's also a great chance to spend some time with Alice Bedard-Voorhees who is facilitating it from her new home with the Colorado Mountain College!

Managing Discussions Workshop

The Discussion area of your online course is the online classroom…the place where you and your students exchange ideas, ask questions, solve problems, work together. How do you manage this important aspect of your class?

The following questions are addressed in the workshop, and more!

  • What type of question should I ask to get students to participate?
  • What do I do if my students don’t participate?
  • How much am I expected to participate in discussions?
  • How do I grade discussions?
  • What is the Virtual Speakers Bureau, and how do I use it?
  • It takes so long to grade student discussions. Is there anything that can help me manage my time better with this task?

In the Managing Discussions Workshop, you’ll discover ways to help you get students interacting, understand the CCCOnline expectation for faculty involvement, and develop solutions to common discussion issues (such as the quiet student, the chatty student, difficult students and more).

What you will get:

  • Information on theory and best practices for setting up and facilitating online course discussions.
  • Instructions on using Vista Discussion Tools.
  • Help with discussion problems, an introduction to the Virtual Speakers Bureau and an explanation of CCCOnline’s Quality Assurance expectations for faculty.

Sign up today!

What: Managing Discussions Workshop -- CCCOnline training workshop

Format: Facilitated, not self-paced. Be expected to spend at least an hour a day or more in this workshop.

Where: All Online

When: August 13th-24th (next session is September 10th -21st)

How: Register at http://cccs-lms.ccconline.org/RegistrationForm/

Facilitator: Alice Bedard-Voorhees, Ph.D.

For more information: Training@ccconline.org


CCCOnline Faculty Professional Development Requirements:

Before you teach: Getting Started

Your first year: Managing Discussions

Late in first year or early in second: Teaching with Vista 101 (Next Steps and Survival fill this also)

Every year afterwards: Some professional development activity -- an online workshop, Elluminate session, discipline meeting, the faculty conference, something you found outside of CCCOnline offerings. We're also working on developing some just-in-time self-paced workshops.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Training News!

Hi Everyone-

The Training Directors have been working hard on some re-development work in the workshops. One goal has been to split the Next Steps workshop into two parts, now called Teaching with Vista 101 and Teaching with Vista 201. (Feel free to offer us more creative names.) 101's focus is teaching tools while 201 now contains the course development tools. It's best to take them sequentially, but not required.
Teaching with Vista 101

Sign up by August 7th.

Vista Next Steps has been retired. Its progeny are Teaching with Vista 101 (TwV 101) and Teaching with Vista 201 (TwV 201).
The focus of TwV 101 is teaching and facilitating tools, tech tips, and teaching tips.

  • What: TwV 101 - CCCOnline training workshop Where: All Online
  • When: August 13-24 (next session is September 10-21)
  • How: Register at http://cccs-lms.ccconline.org/RegistrationForm/
  • Format: Facilitated, 2-week self-paced
  • Time: 1 hour a day or more in this workshop
  • Who: Instructors who have been teaching in Vista for one or two semesters

Discussions are optional. But, if you have a specific problem area, bring your questions for class discussion, as we all learn from the experiences of others.

Teaching with Vista 101 is designed to prepare you for teaching with Vista beyond the basics. Specifically, TwV 101 will cover:
  • Grade Book
  • Discussions (creating categories, threaded topics)
  • Assessments (setting release criteria, grading paragraph/essay questions)
  • Assignments tool (return to student for further editing)
  • File Manager (unsubscribing files, using HTML Creator for editing links)
  • Tech Talk
  • Teaching Tips
TwV 201 will be offered later this fall. Combined, TwV 101 and TwV 201 prepare you with the skills needed to thrive in Vista! For more information on CCCOnline trainings, contact the training team at training@ccconline.org.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Save the Date!

One last post and then I swear I am finished for the day!

We have a date for this fall's faculty conference! The conference will be Friday, September 28th at Arapahoe Community College from 9:00 am-4:00 pm.

This year's theme is Beyond Migration: Oh the Places You'll Go! We have lots of ideas for presentations and workshops already. There will also be time set aside for discipline meetings so you can spend some face-to-face time with your peers. And of course we will do a call for proposals so you too can have your speaking time!

Donna Welschmeyer is the chair of the conference committee this year, so if you have thoughts on what you would like to see please email her directly at Donna.Welschmeyer@cccs.edu.

See you all there!


Update on Tonight's Maintenance

I have a little more news on tonight's downtime. This is what went out to students:

Blackboard – the company that hosts CCCOnline classes – will make some critical repairs at its facility in Virginia tonight beginning at 10 p.m. The repairs probably can be done without disrupting access to CCCOnline courses. However, there is a chance that access to courses could be interrupted briefly.

To be safe, you should NOT start a test or online assignment that you cannot finish before 10 p.m.

The maintenance period could last several hours. CCCOnline will post a notice when the work is complete. You may continue to access their courses during the work, but be prepared in case there is an interruption.

If you try to login to a course and see a message about the repairs, you have been diverted to a different page. The next time you login, don’t forget to use this link: http://online.ccconline.org.
The key point is that we may or may not be down. Blackboard is trying to do this without taking us down, but that may not be possible.

The purpose of the maintenance is to replace equipment critical to the back-up system. Right now if we go down unexpectedly we don't have a current back-up. That is a fairly critical problem.


Emergency Shut Down Tonight at 10:00 PM

Hi Everyone,

We just received this notification from Blackboard hosting:
Dear Blackboard ASP Customer:

Blackboard Infrastructure will be performing emergency maintenance beginning tonight (July, 25, 2007) at 11:59PM EDT (9:50PM MDT) and continuing through 2:00AM EDT (12:00 AM MDT). This is in response to the unplanned extended outage which occurred on Friday July, 20. Blackboard ASP will be using this time to restore redundancy to your Blackboard environment. We believe the need to perform this work warrants the work being completed tonight rather than pushing this until our scheduled window of Friday morning. Although there is a risk associated with this type of maintenance we do not anticipate there being any downtime.

As a result, the redundancy testing that was scheduled to be performed Friday morning (July 27) which included known downtime, is being postponed until a later date.

If you have questions or concerns about this change, please contact your TSM. They will be happy to assist you.

Thank you in advance,

ASP Management

I will let you know as soon as I have more information. We are also notifying students, but if you have exams scheduled to end at midnight tonight you might want to consder adding an extra day. And don't forget to breath. :^)



Real Time Field Trip!

Our Criminal Justice and Paralegal program chair, Diane VanOs, invited her Business Law students to join her on a field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to view the Titanic exhibit and talk about legal ramification of the sinking. She was very pleasantly surprised by the turn-out! In the end there were two groups on two different days, one with 19 students and one with 23. Diane commented:
It was a lot of fun and I've noticed those who attended have really picked up in discussions to me as well as to each other. Who knew?
For me this was a friendly reminder that personal contact is a nice addition to a course where possible and appropriate. I wouldn't recommend it for every course and we can't require a real-time field trip, but it is still an interesting alternative to offer students.

An alternative way to add some interest to a course is to use a guest speaker. We have a stipend to offer guest speakers ($50 per section). You are welcome to try using a guest speaker at any time.

And while we are adding interest to courses.... I know many of you teach for more than one college and are probably looking for easy ways to share content across those courses.
Slideshare will now allow you to sync audio files with your slide show. For more information see Alan Levine's CogDogBlog.


Monday, July 23, 2007

New Training!

Need an easy way to grade your assignments?

Want to make sure your students understand exactly what is required in an assignment?

How about developing a Grading Rubric [rĂ¼-brik]? A grading rubric is a set of criteria for evaluating assignments/assessments and for providing feedback.

A rubric is useful for the students so that they understand exactly what is required of an assignment and how it will be graded before turning it in. A rubric will help you, the instructor by providing an easy guide for grading the assignments.

And… Vista even provides a Grading Forms tool that will let you input your grading rubrics and then use them to grade your assignments through the Assignment tool.

What you will get from this training session:

· A virtual trip to France

· An understanding of rubrics and their uses

· What comprises a good rubric - several examples of rubrics

· How to write a rubric

· How to use the rubric within your Vista course

What: Creating Grading Rubrics -- CCCOnline training workshop

Format: Self-paced with facilitator guide

Where: Entirely Online

When: Wednesday, August 1st through Tuesday, August 14th

Facilitator: Lisa Marie Johnson

How: Register at http://cccs-lms.ccconline.org/RegistrationForm/

For more information: Training@ccconline.org