New Online Course Offerings for the Summer

Arts & Sciences at William & Mary has expanded its undergraduate online course offerings for summer 2015. During last year’s second summer term, Randy Coleman and Till Schreiber taught our first fully online summer courses. Students rated their overall learning experience favorably in those courses as indicated by a student satisfaction survey. Randy and Till enjoyed the experience and are offering the same online courses again this summer.

Thanks to the support of Dean Griffin, three more more faculty members will be teaching online courses this summer: Peter Kemper, Jacquelyn McLendon, and Iyabo Osiapem. Our online course development team, consisting of John Drummond, Rachel Kleinsorge, April Lawrence, and myself, have assisted each with the arduous task of converting a face-to-face course into a fully online one. Here’s a breakdown of which courses each professor will instruct:

W&M Undergraduate A&S Online Summer 2015 Courses

Summer I

  • AFST 306 – Topics in Africana Studies: Cultural Identity in Nature Writing – Jacquelyn McLendon
  • CS 301 – Software Development – Peter Kemper
  • ECON 102 – Macroeconomics – Till Schreiber

Summer II

  • AFST 205 – Intro to Africana Studies – Iyabo Osiapem
  • CHEM 414 – Biochemistry – Randy Coleman
  • ECON 102 – Macroeconomics – Till Schreiber

Course Revisions from Last Summer

Randy and Till’s courses have undergone revisions since last summer’s versions, including updated videos to reflect current data, additional discussion forums, and revised tests. Minor revisions were made to the courses in terms of navigation, structure, and accessibility. William & Mary branding was also incorporated into the design of both courses.

Similar to last year, Randy and Till’s exams will be proctored online. This year we’re using a service called ProctorFree – an automated exam proctoring solution that uses special software to monitor events, behaviors, and patterns typically associated with cheating. ProctorFree integrates into Blackboard to streamline the exam taking process. Prior to enrollment students were made aware that a proctoring service would be used in these courses.

Our online course development team made revisions to the online course template. This template is used as the initial structure for online courses in Arts & Sciences and the School of Education. The template follows Quality Matters standards and contains an orientation module that covers academic support, student services, and technical requirements and support. All students are required to complete the orientation module at the beginning of the course.

Orientation-Module-Screenshot

Screenshot of the “Orientation to Online Learning at W&M” module in the online course template.

Course Development

In addition to revising Randy and Till’s courses, our team began working with Peter, Jacquelyn, and Iyabo at the end of January to develop their online summer courses. Individual and group meetings were conducted several times per month throughout the spring semester. Each professor was given an e-learning kit to create digital content. They kept their students in mind as they planned activities and decided on assignment deadlines. Their goal has been to maintain rigor while providing enough flexibility to accommodate students’ varying schedules. Peter, Jacquelyn, and Iyabo are excited to begin and can’t wait to meet their students online. Our team appreciates our colleagues who have supported our efforts during this process.

A similar student satisfaction survey as last year will be conducted in order to help us evaluate the effectiveness of each course.  Check back later this year for an update on our progress!

Join This Summer’s W&M Blackboard Basics Class

The best part of my job is Blackboard outreach. I love showing professors new ways to use this powerful tool. But while it’s fun, one-on-one support doesn’t reach many people. That’s why I’m offering a Blackboard Basics class this month. Designed to cover every aspect of a W&M Blackboard course, from creating your course to [...]

Continue reading...

Two Opportunities for Exploring Open Educational Resources at W&M

openva_W&M

OpenVA 2.1 and OER Adoption Grants With the hubbub of this semester’s end upon us, I’m happy to announce a couple of ways you can already begin thinking about next semester. Both opportunities surround open educational resources (OER). OER are free, open, customizable, and high quality alternatives or amendments to traditional textbooks. By promoting greater [...]

Continue reading...

Integrating Technology Needs with Classroom Design, My Current A/V Adventure

Schenectady, New York. A section of a blueprint reading class at the Onieda School, 1943

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8d20063/

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about audiovisual technology these days. We’ve been going through some changes in Academic Information Services, most notably the retirements of director Gene Roche and Classroom Support manager Myron Hall. As Chaucer might say, however, time, tide, and building construction wait for no one. As the construction of [...]

Continue reading...

Quality Matters Orientation — Improving Online Courses

Quality Matters Logo

All William & Mary faculty and staff are invited to attend a Quality Matters Orientation session! During each orientation session, Instructional Designer Ali Briggs and Academic Technology Specialist April Lawrence will explain the Quality Matters program and how the rubric is typically used during course design and review. Orientation Session Times and Locations Monday, March 30th from [...]

Continue reading...

Accommodating Different Needs in Blackboard

test availablity exceptions

I have a disability and I’m fairly open about my needs. It’s hard not to notice the font size on my monitor or the special lighting in my office. But not every accommodate is that obvious, in fact, the easiest accommodations in Blackboard are a little tricky to find. Test Availability Exceptions Blackboard added a [...]

Continue reading...

Revisiting OpenVA 2014 — Bringing the Conversation to W&M

Following up on my post from October, I’d like to take the opportunity to reflect upon the topics discussed at the OpenVA 2014 meeting, how they reflect some emerging trends in academic technology, and plans to host an OpenVA event here at W&M. The meeting was hosted by Tidewater Community College (TCC) at their Virginia [...]

Continue reading...

A Brief Guide to Basic Technology Planning for Oral History Projects

Using audio only.

Over the past few months, I’ve been working with some folks on planning an oral history project. In doing that planning, I realized that there are many decisions to make about technology before even embarking on any of the interviews themselves. Whether your oral history project is one that you are doing yourself for your [...]

Continue reading...

Ten Ways to Overcome Barriers to Student Engagement Online

Let the screen be the only thing that separates you from your students.

Student engagement is a concept often discussed in education and an abundance of research exists on the topic. Student engagement is something instructors want to see and feel in their classrooms. Generally, student engagement tends to be viewed as the level of interest students show towards the topic being taught; their interaction with the content, instructor, [...]

Continue reading...

Four Planning Tips for Hosting Remote Guest Speakers

Don't worry, it doesn't take this many people to help you connect with a remote guest speaker!

It seems that everyone I talk to at William & Mary has amazing personal connections. Each faculty member seems to have at least one, but usually many, superstar advisors or academic colleagues that they keep in touch with. Students have parents and family members working in all sorts of interesting and influential positions. We are [...]

Continue reading...