I am at the Sloan-C conference on Online Learning in Orlando this week. I am attending all sorts of fascinating presentations and workshops and I want to pass at least some of the information on to you. Today I am at a workshop on emerging technologies....
Adobe Acrobat lets you embed little tiny audio files in pdf files. So you can read your student's papers and comment via audio on their work. This of course requires that you own Acrobat Pro, which he thought was around $60.
The speaker's (Phil Ice) research suggests it saves about 60% of overall grading time. He also had research suggesting learning outcomes were significantly improved. The other reason to add audio comments on student work was some research quoted that showed learning improved when two senses were involved in the learning process (audio and visual). I will try to track that down as well.
Another way to do this is to record your grading session in Elluminate (we have a license or Elluminate V-Room is the free version) or in Adobe Connect (Connect Now is the free version). This also works well, but is a little bit more challenging for students to manage. I think you could also do this in Voice Thread, but haven't tried that yet. (VoiceThread.com, also has a free version).
Adobe's new product is Buzzword. If you have used Googledocs this is significantly snazzier. Buzzword.acrobat.com. If you want to send me your email address (to Lisa.Cheney-Steen@cccs.edu) I will add you to a document so you can see how it works with sharing turned on. (Side note -- there are two paths to collaboration -- wikis and web-based document management systems. They may be going to the same place, but are taking different routes. Wikis are very simple to use and have built in discussion tabs and version tracking. Buzzword concentrates on giving you the ability to build a document that you might print -- easy to add images for example. We have a wiki available for your use also -- students.ccconline.org or faculty.ccconline.org.)
Other Powerpoint Type Presentations
Slide Rocket is an online powerpoint presentation with a free version. You can find it at www.sliderocket.com.
Keynote - Terry Anderson of Athabasca University
Athabasca is Canada's online university. Here are the slides up on Slideshare already - http://www.slideshare.net/terrya/sloan-2008-presentation-720143.
Tonight Terry included some research on the efficacy of distance learning, synchronous versus asynchronous models, and the relative importance of different types of interaction (student/student, student/teacher, and student/content). Student/student turns out to be very important and it might be true that if you get one type right you might be able to sluff a bit on the other two.
Oh and slide 6 gives you the reason eLearnng is so popular right now. Completely wortyh the entire presentation just for that slide.
More tomorrow -- it's dinner time here.