Thoughts at a Conference – Texas Distance Learning Association, Day 4 – 4/10/2015

The last day of the Texas Distance Learning Association conference today.  There are two morning sessions and then the closing lunch/meeting.

Getting the Band Together for Ongoing Course Development

Presenters – Beth Dolliver, Nirisha Garimella, and Francis Choy – Instructional Designers – Collin College

Looking at the major members that are necessary for course development – teachers, students, and technology

Course Design and Student Anxiety –

What is anxiety in an online course?  How can instructors tell if a student is anxious?  Are there strategies to share with students?

How to tell if students are anxious – ask a large number of questions; they seem to quit participating; they quit submitting assignments.

Purposeful Design –

Design toward the student learning outcomes – are you aimed at the goals you are trying to reach?  If you are trying to teach critical thinking, then multiple choice is not what you should be using.  You really have to decide that if you are going to emphasize critical thinking, you have to actually do it.  You can’t just pretend that something you were using before actually promotes critical thinking.  You need to think about real course design in terms of learning outcomes.  That is always one of the frustrating things I see, when we say we are going to test something or emphasize something and people change almost nothing and say they were already doing it.

Again, that fundamental issue came up – we don’t have instructional designers, which makes a lot of this difficult to deal with, as I have to do whatever I do on my own.

Getting student feedback –

One thing I could use is surveys (esp. SurveyMonkey to get anonymous responses) – get immediate responses and ability to change problems on the fly.

Some people use anonymous discussion forums in the course itself – so students can raise issues without putting their names out there.  We can see the names, and the students need to know that.  So, I don’t know about using this, but it is an interesting idea.  Of course, I don’t know if Moodle does this anyway.

Appy Hour: Share Your Favorite Educational Apps

Presenter – Anne Herndon – Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

  1. Scholly – database app to help students search for scholarships that separate by parameters and then give a list of scholarships to apply to.
  2. Wonderlist – creates lists of what you need to do and check them off as you do them.
  3. CloudConvert – will take pics of documents  or items and send it as different formats to people – allow students to turn in assignments without needing to have the apps.
  4. AudioBoo – for creating podcasts – 10 minutes free

And that’s the end of the conference.  Lunch and final meeting is next.  Thanks for reading.

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About Scott Williams

I am an educator, community-college instructor, thinker, husband, parent of four, student of life, player of video games, voracious reader, restless wanderer, and all-around guy.

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