Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Faculty Online Readiness Tool, developed and hosted by Penn State University

Thinking about teaching online?  Take a few minutes and use the online tool linked at the end of this post!  This tool allows you to self-assess readiness to teach online by asking you to reflect on your skills in three categories:  Technical Competencies, Administrative Competencies, and Pedagogical Competencies.  Enter your name and email address on the first page to begin using the tool.

Items within the first category will appear on the left; click one box in each row that best describes your experience level with that particular item.  When all of the items for the first category are finished, click on the next long box below to open the next category.  When you are finished with all of the items in each category, click “Finished”. 

The tool will display your results on the screen, and you can scroll through them to briefly review – however, the type is small and the recommended online resources are not hyperlinked on these screens.  Fortunately, the tool will email you the same summary, in a readable font size and with hyperlinked resources!  The emailed, hyperlinked results are a valuable resource, for either individuals seeking to build their skills or people with extensive online teaching experience, seeking a brief refresher of best practices.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What changes are we likely to see in the near future of technology and learning in higher education?  Click through this link to view an excerpt from 'Lessons from the Virtual Classroom: The Realities of Online Teaching,' by Rena M. Palloff & Keith Pratt, eds. Second Edition, via the 'Tomorrow's Professor' eNewsletter.  

A sample:  "Because the most effective way to achieve learning outcomes in the online classroom is by using active learning techniques, students are encouraged to become empowered learners.  Today's technologies promote the ability of learners to significantly contribute to and co-create their learning experiences.  More fully engaged, active learners are likely to bring new demands to the learning situation and will not be able to return to business as usual in subsequent learning situations, face-to-face or online."

Monday, November 11, 2013

On Tuesday, November 5, personnel from the Library, Continuing & Professional Studies, and the Learning & Technology group viewed a webinar on copyright law.  The webinar was given by Joseph Storch, Associate Counsel of the State University of New York, and offered through PaperClip Communications.  Storch summarized the “Fair Use” conditions under which copyrighted materials can be used without violating copyright law.  When determining whether material could be used fairly, one should consider:

1.  The purpose of the use – it should be for education (commercial or nonprofit),

2.  The nature of the copyrighted work – the more creative the work is, the greater degree of protection it enjoys,

3.  The amount and substantiality of the work – the more of the work that is used, the greater the degree of protection,

4.  The effect upon the potential market for the work – the more of a potential negative effect on the market, the greater the degree of protection.