Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Just in Time! Free Tutorials for Effective Teaching Online!

It's always refreshing to find quality just-in-time materials for online faculty. The Wiley & Sons Publishing through their "Wiley Faculty Network" have a series of tutorials on timely topics for all of us as online faculty.

The five tutorials are very short and free with registration.
Each tutorial is in Acrobat Breeze format (requires Flash plugin) and presented by Tina Stavredes, PhD. To help enourage you to use these tutorials, a general account has been established. See below for the general login account information and links to directly sign-in/access each tutorial.

General Login Info:

  • User name:
  • Password: teachme

Tutorials to Choose from:

Tip: After loging in and accessing any one of the tuorials above, you can simply copy and paste the link for a different tutorial into your browser's address bar and press the Enter key on your keyboard. That refreshes the page to the new tutorial ... no need to login again!

Thank you Phyllis Dobson for bringing this online opportunity to our attention ... they supplement our Training and Professional Development sessions very well. Register for CCCOnline Training and Professional Development and access descriptions for available sessions from:

Lisa Marie

1 comment:

Lisa Marie said...

In response to Pavla's mail reply..... it may not the most engaging content.... I agree. Auditory learners would probably like it most... the slide content is supplementary to the voice for sure. Great content nonetheless for getting the ole noggin thinking about these facets of effective online instruction... and Free! I guess I'm most impressed a text publisher is offering them ... for free ;).

Now for your question... Pavla noted: "The conclusion on the stages of self-directedness is fine, but how do we know what degree of self-directedness each student has - do they take placement tests or something? If we do not know, then how can we tweak our teaching style toward the "demographic make-up" of the class (incorrect term, should have been learning style make-up or something like that)? Any suggestions? "

You might gain some insights from this resource: C. M. Lowry's "Supporting and Facilitating Self-Directed Learning" - In particular, the article notes "whether or not learning is self-directed depends not on the subject matter to be learned or on the instructional methods used" (What is self-directed learning section, para. 2).

From this we can discern that IF students are majoring in the class' topic or a closely related topic they are more likely to exhibit self-directeness than if the course is a purely elective or 'required' course. You will know this by asking students in their introductions about why they registered for the course, how it relates to their life/career/degree plans, etc.

Though, the case may be our students typically fall into the latter category. They may not be 'interested' per se in the course topic. It is then our role to see where there is an intersect with their interests (life/career/degree) and make the connections for them with the content ... thus making it more meaningful to them... this promoting self-directedness.

Example: Back in the day I taught a history class for CCCOnline we had a project that allowed students to choose the focus. One focus was to explore a historical event or period tat related to their life/career/degree interests. Nursing students would choose healthcare items (e.g., plagues, development of public health policy, etc) while electrical engineer students (or the like-minded mechanical students) would choose weapons development, public infrastructure, and other such items. This example shows how the design of learning events can be 'open ended' around quality rubric for evaluation, but allow students the "choice" of "meaningful" focus.. thereby increasing motivation and self-directedness.

I'm not aware of any tests of self-directedness... only the observation of students and a conscious appreciation of their stated goals/interests and the course materials.

Great that you viewed the tutorials Pavla.. and offered feedback so quickly!

What do others of you think about these resources?