Third time may be the charm. Once again, the Ministry has put out a call for proposals. Want to collaborate on designing a new online course for province-wide delivery? Inspired to develop an online module to be shared across the province? There is one week left to submit a proposal.
Worry not - you don’t have to go it alone! There will be opportunities to collaborate on the course or module development. Please consult the information previously circulated (and included here for your convenience) to know how to frame your exciting offering. If you have questions or concerns with the initial proposal to your Associate Dean or Manager, feel free to contact Dan McKerrall.
Here is the previously circulate information:
Call for Proposals
October 16th, 2015
Want to be more creative in your classes?
IAHS Monday 28th Sept. 2-4pm Rm 145
The Art of Creative and Innovative Teaching provides a fun overview of creativity as it applies to the art of teaching by exploring types of creativity, the impact of creative climates, champions and killers to our profession and how you can insert creativity into your activities. Current research on creativity in schools will be referenced.
Check out the CTL Calendar and join us for a workshop!
September 21st, 2015
While recently exploring a lynda.com course on Conflict Resolution, I naturally went down the rabbit hole and started chasing links and supplemental information.
I came across and interesting blog, themuse, and the article, “The one question all successful people can answer immediately”. At first, I did expect something a tad more profound, but realized the question was actually very keen and probing.
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
Serial entrepreneur, Tina Roth Eisenberg, says that all the most successful people she’s met have been able to answer this question immediately: John Maeda, who led the MIT Media Lab and Rhode Island School of Design, responded with “curiosity.” Maria Popova, who curates the popular Brain Pickings blog by reading 12-15 books a week, said “doggedness.” Eisenberg’s own superpower? Enthusiasm.
Knowing your superpower means you know yourself well enough to have a focus, and that’s the same competitive advantage that makes you so great at what you do. It’s the quality you’re most proud of, the one thing that makes you stand out, and what gives you an edge over everyone else.
So, if you haven’t ever considered what your superpower might be, do!
September 11th, 2015
Digital skills and citizenship
Even if they are not directly addressed in your courses’ learning outcomes, digital citizenship and digital skills are often core to your courses. Students arrive with a variety of experiences with technology and many need to boost their skills to be successful in your courses, college, and in the workplace. Mohawk College has two, new resources to meet students’ (and potentially your!) development needs.
The Digital Skills Toolkit was developed as an open, in-house resource to train on foundational computer skills and competencies. It is an open offering in eLearn@Mohawk and available via the Collaboratory. The main concepts are also supported through f2f training compliments of the Tech Bar. Make sure to highlight this resource to students who lack basic computer skills - so integral to success at college and in the workplace.
Departments from across the college have combined forces to bring you lynda.com. This online repository of high-quality videos offers scaffolded training on hundreds of technology and educational technology topics. lynda.com’s modular, accessible content satisfies your students’ “point of need” learning and allows for that wonderful serendipitous discovery as well! College departments are collaborating to bring your students playlists (curated videos) on a number of high need topics, but feel free to create your own or challenge students to create them for their peers. Access this wonderful resource at www.mohawkcollege.ca/lynda using your college email and password.
Feel free to use lynda.com for your professional and personal development needs as well! From its courses on Instructional Design and the Neuroscience of Learning to Digital Photography and Photoshop, you can learn anything, anytime, anywhere.
Feel free to contact your CTL or Library with any questions or concerns.
Graphic source: Daily Genius
September 1st, 2015
You CTL is collaborating to share quick tips and information that will jumpstart a successful semester start. Whether it’s a few truths to put you in the proper frame of mind compliments of Beloit College’s annual Mindset List, a short article to share, or a course checklist, these should be posts of interest to new and seasoned instructors. Enjoy!
Beloit College’s Mindset List
We have edited the longer list down to our favourite fifteen, but you can access the list in its entirety here.
New Mohawk students arrive from work, high school, university, and beyond. We remain open to all their experiences and perspectives. However, the majority of students still come from high school directly and the list may assist.
Students heading into their first year of college this year are mostly 18 and were born in 1997.
Among those who have never been alive in their lifetimes are Princess Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau, and Mother Teresa.
Since they have been on the planet:
1. Hybrid automobiles have always been mass produced.
2. Google has always been there, in its founding words, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.”
3. They have never licked a postage stamp.
4. Email has become the new “formal” communication, while texts and tweets remain enclaves for the casual.
6. Hong Kong has always been under Chinese rule.
7. They have grown up treating Wi-Fi as an entitlement.
9. The announcement of someone being the “first woman” to hold a position has only impressed their parents.
10. Charlton Heston is recognized for waving a rifle over his head as much as for waving his staff over the Red Sea.
14. Cell phones have become so ubiquitous in class that teachers don’t know which students are using them to take notes and which ones are planning a party.
17. If you say “around the turn of the century,” they may well ask you, “which one?”
18. They have avidly joined Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione as they built their reading skills through all seven volumes.
27. Teachers have always had to insist that term papers employ sources in addition to those found online.
30. Surgeons have always used “super glue” in the operating room.
43. Humans have always had implanted radio frequency ID chips—slightly larger than a grain of rice.
44. TV has always been in such high definition that they could see the pores of actors and the grimaces of quarterbacks.
August 30th, 2015
Mohawk College educators demonstrate their commitment to and support of academic excellence in many ways – constantly innovating and using new platforms to engage students.
New programs like Slideshare and Prezi are becoming popular alternatives to PowerPoint. While these program are inspiring students to think outside of the box and are encouraging greater creativity, it is important to look at the impact these tools have on the broader student population.
These programs are presenting information in new and exciting ways, but have not yet been developed to ensure all users can share the same experience. The use of Slideshare and Prezi in the classroom may become a barrier to students who rely on adaptive tools, such as screen readers for the visually impaired.
Mohawk College is committed to creating an environment that is barrier free and exceeds standards of accessibility in our facilities, services and in the classroom. Creating an inclusive campus for all ensures that everyone can participate.
Should you require further information about how you can make your classroom or lab a barrier free learning environment, please contact Janice Fennell (ext. 2356) or Greg Gagnon (ext. 3554) or visit our website “Accessibility in the Classroom and Workplace”.
May 25th, 2015
Continuing our occasional series looking at Jennifer Hoffman’s blog posts “Enabling Virtual Learners By Design” Part 5 looks at designing and using usable technology.
The goal for effective online learning is to make the technological interface as transparent and permeable as possible; allowing learners to interact with teachers, peers, content and learning activities at least as effectively as in face-to-face settings. Hoffman points out that what is probably the most obvious obstacle to effective online and virtual learning is the technology - specifically software, hardware and bandwidth.
Mastering the Technology
“The first obstacle seems easy to remedy: make sure that each learner’s set up works.”
Programs typically send out hardware and software specifications to learners. Hoffman suggests that, while these may be useful for the technical support contact, they generally don’t mean much to the users.
To assist the end user, offer tips on how to test the software or system to see whether it meets the minimum requirements. For example, if a sound card and speakers are required, link them to a website that has sound so they can test their sound capabilities.
She also suggests a set of questions they can use to communicate with the help desk:
- Is my machine equipped with a sound card that allows for audio-in and audio-out? (You’d be surprised!)
- Is this BYOD?
- What is the bandwidth requirement?
- What plug-ins are needed?
- What browser version am I using?
- Are there any firewall issues (for instance, if VoIP is used) and/or website access restrictions)?
- Do I need an internet microphone?
Prepare the Learners
The next step is to ensure the learners can use the technology so as to make collaboration as effortless as possible. Providing orientation and opportunities to do practice exercises help learners acclimate to the new virtual learning space. Also, establishing ground rules for expectations and good practices; how often they should be logging in, completing online tasks before face-to-face or synchronous sessions etc.
Descriptions of the roles and functions of various components are helpful; for example, when to use email or a discussion board, or differences between synchronous and asynchonous interactions.
Tone Down the Bells and Whistles
Another thing that can be done to help make the technology as transparent as possible, is to resist the temptation to use all the bells and whistles.
Hoffman says make sure that any tools used support the learning objectives rather than flaunting the technology. In other words, if you include something because it’s ‘cool’ rather that because it’s useful, you should take it out. This is especially true of features that use a lot of bandwidth as many learners still have limited access to that particular resource.
But no matter how popular the latest tool or technology, keep in mind that our mission is to build well designed programs that effectively meet… objectives.
Other posts in the series can be found at these links
Part 1 - It’s not about the Technology
Part 2 - The Secret Sauce
Part 3 - Cooperation, Coordination, Collaboration
Part 4 - Creating a Blend
April 7th, 2015
Did you miss the GIFT conference in February? Would like to see the sessions you attended again? Maybe there were sessions you really wanted to attend happening at the same time?
The GIFT Conference is now Online.
Videos and notes from the conference are now available in a GIFT eLearn course available for self-registration.
To register for the GIFT eLearn course: click on “Self Registration” in the navbar; click on “GIFT (Great Ideas for Teaching)” in the list of courses; then click on the “Register“ button.
The GIFT course will appear in you “Employee” Tab under “My Courses”.
March 24th, 2015
The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario has just published a new online guide “Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practitioner’s Handbook” . The aim of the Handbook is support the development of Program-level assessment.
Ontario’s colleges and universities have made strides in developing learning outcomes, yet effective assessment remains a challenge. Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practitioner’s Handbook is a step-by-step resource to help faculty, staff, academic leaders and educational developers design, review and assess program-level learning outcomes.
The handbook explores the theory, principles, reasons for and methods behind developing program-level learning outcomes; emerging developments in assessment; and tips and techniques to build institutional culture, increase faculty involvement and examine curriculum-embedded assessment. It also includes definitions, examples, case studies and recommendations that can be tailored to specific institutional cultures.
The handbook was developed by Educational Developers and curriculum experts from universities and colleges across Ontario, including Mohawk College.
The full handbook can be found here - “Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practitioner’s handbook”
March 18th, 2015
In an article in Faculty Focus entitled Three Critical Conversations Started and Sustained by Flipped Learning Robert Talbert of Grand Valley State University suggests for conversation starters, not just responses to common student complaints about flipped classes.
Talbert writes that it’s easy to get defensive in the face of unhappy students, but their objections can open the way to conversations about fundamentals of teaching and learning that students may seldom consider.
His suggested conversation starters for common complaints are:
- Student comment: “I wish you would just teach the class.”
- Conversation-starter: Why do we have classes?
When students raise this concern, it is an opportunity to have a conversation about why classes meet — or for that matter, why they exist —in the first place. When students want the professor to “just teach”, the professor can pose the following: We can either have lecture on basic information in class, and then you will be responsible for the harder parts yourselves outside of class; or we can make the basic information available for you prior to class, and spend our class time making sense of the harder parts. There is not enough class time for both. Which setup will help you learn better?
- Student comment: “I learn best through listening to a lecture.”
- Conversation-starter: How does one learn?
Talbert responds to this with a question: “What are the three most important things you have ever learned? Here are my three: speaking my native language, feeding myself, and going to the bathroom. When the student comes up with his or her list, I follow up: How did you learn those things?”
- Student comment: I shouldn’t have to teach myself the subject.
- Conversation-starter: Why are we here?
In the flipped classroom, students are expected to gain fluency with basic ideas in preparation for class time, rather than as the result of class time. It is easy for a student to see this as self-teaching and respond negatively. A variant of this is, “I’m paying you to teach me!” At its core, this is not an issue about who is paying whom, but about the purpose of higher education. We might approach the student simply by asking: What is the purpose of college? Why are you here?
These questions are so basic: “What are classes for?”; “How do you learn?”; “Why are you here?” that our students, and we ourselves, may not think about them until the established patterns of educational behaviour are challenged and disrupted. What would happen if we started having these conversations in all our classes; flipped, face-to-face and online? Wouldn’t considering what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and why ultimately benefit students and teachers?
You can read the full article at: Three Critical Conversations Started and Sustained by Flipped Learning
March 2nd, 2015