24 July 2014

Moodle Update at LCC

Lane's version of Moodle is updated periodically, and one such update took place this month. It may appear that some familiar icons are missing. However, do not worry! The functions are still available, but they are organized in a different manner. Check out Kevin Steeves' fabulous blog for details on the changes.

Photo by SomeDriftwood

29 May 2014

Grammar resources

Wow! Aliscia Niles has shared a fabulous find, Quill, which provides interactive, adaptive grammar lessons and practice activities as well as opportunities for students to engage in peer review.  Learn more about this open educational resource and its uses for instruction by reading Aliscia's blog post.

Quill by Sure2Talk

07 May 2014

Highlights: Spring 2014

The Digital Collaboration Faculty Fellowship aims to increase student success in developmental education and beyond by creating a framework and virtual space for instructors to share their instructional materials, learning objects, modules, OER (open educational resources), and pedagogical strategies across disciplines and departments.

Nineteen faculty members from four departments have participated in the project sharing well over 130 learning objects and curricular materials digitally thus far. Specifically, participants have contributed:

  • Online training for tutors,
  • Self-paced online placement test preparation resources for new students wishing to begin math or writing courses,
  • Countless screencasts, interactive web-based lessons and practice activities, study guides, Prezis, Haiku Decks, Moodle quizzes and assignments, and even entire courses, 
  • Instructional materials for use in online, hybrid and traditional face-to-face courses, and
  • Commentary on the pedagogical uses of multifarious tools in developmental education.
Learn more about the Digital Collaboration Faculty Fellowship.

30 April 2014

More SoftChalk workshops coming soon!

SoftChalk is offering some great options for training including "An Overview of SoftChalk Create" on May 6 at noon (PDT) and "TextPoppers, Images and Hyperlinks" on May 8 at noon (PDT).

View the complete schedule here!

What is SoftChalk, and what can instructors do with it?

SoftChalk allows instructors to develop interactive online lessons and practice activities for their students. These can be added to Moodle as SCORM packages that feed directly into the Moodle gradebook, albeit not 100% seamlessly.

Check out these online grammar modules to see one example of a SoftChalk lesson or the Math Placement Preparation site for another.

17 April 2014

Welcome New DIG Co-Lab Participants!

Wow! Spring must be the time to dive into new projects with renewed energy. We have an incredible group of dynamic faculty members who have joined the DIG Co-Lab Faculty Fellowship this term!

Many are making blog posts left and right, sharing materials, and helping each other. Take a look at Alise Lamoreaux's Haiku Deck explaining, "What is a Course Syllabus?" linked to her blog, Amy Gaudia's Prezi on "Calm Confident Test Taking," or Stacey Zinniker's Prezi for her own course outline.

This term promises to be a fruitful one for DIG participants!

"group brainstorming" photo by lynn Dombrowski

07 April 2014

Experimenting with badges

It's now possible to issue digital badges in Moodle, so I decided to experiment with an "English Grammar" badge in one of my writing courses in Winter. Students who demonstrated proficiency received a badge at the end of the term, and the badge became a part of their Moodle profile.

I had a good number of questions about digital badges... Did the badges motivate students? Were they more willing to complete course work? Did they care about badges? How many students would earn one?

At the end of the term, 20% of students in the course earned a badge, and I surveyed all students about their experience to learn more about their thoughts on badges. While the results were somewhat mixed, more students expressed a positive opinion about badges. Many were neutral; however, a few expressed strong opinions. Comments ranged from, "Yes -- it motivated me!" to "Honestly, I could care less about the badge system."

I will repeat the experiment this term, so stay tuned for more results.

Some results from Moodle digital badge survey

19 March 2014

Step on the gas?

What is the impact of accelerating developmental education sequences? Is acceleration effective? Do more students reach and complete college-level courses if they take accelerated courses instead of a traditional developmental writing or math sequence? It does stand to reason that with fewer exit points, students are less likely to leave the "pipeline," and according to CCRC research released this month, the answer is a resounding "yes."

This evidence supports developmental education redesign efforts underway at Lane Community College including the Academic Learning Skills Department's accelerated developmental writing sequence, the collaborative Math/ALS Math 10 + 20 = 1 term learning community, and the new math pathways endeavor, which will create an alternate pathway to college level math with a focus on statistics instead of algebra.

photo by BƐƞ