Elon Technology Blog

Real-time conversations with Moodle Chat: Part 2

Emoticon imageI’ve always enjoyed using forms of instant messaging because it’s quick, non-invasive, and informal. Moodle chat is a type of instant messaging and is especially well-suited for short messages, unrehearsed exchanges, office hours, meetings, question and answer sessions and test-preparation. Earlier this year we posted information about using chat for synchronous communication, ideas to incorporate it into teaching, and how to enable it.  In further exploring the Moodle chat feature there are two things you might find useful.

Continue reading »

Posted in Instructional Technologies, Moodle, Moodle Musings, Teaching and Learning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Real-time conversations with Moodle Chat

Collage of IM slangForums are the heart of communication in an online course because they provide the primary synchronous and asynchronous method for interaction. Instructors can create as many forums as needed for instruction.

Chat is a secondary mode of communication, typically synchronous, which provides instant feedback.  Unlike asynchronous forums that encourage learners to take time to compose thoughts before responding, chat rooms are informal places where learners follow the conversation on screen as it unfolds, much like observing a face-to-face conversation.  Text contributions are typically concise, written in an informal tone, often lacking appropriate grammar and filled with abbreviations such as: Continue reading »

Posted in Instructional Technologies, Moodle, Moodle Musings, Teaching and Learning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Questions from our faculty about Moodle

Teaching and Learning Technologies taught an online course titled, Making the Most of Moodle. The course covered topics such as:

• adding files
• assignments and feedback
• course communication
• grades
• quizzes
• groups

The faculty enrolled in the course had a forum they were encouraged to post questions to anonymously; facilitators responded within 24 hours.

This blog post reflects a few problems faculty were having with drag and drop, adding files, opening links in a separate window, and backing up the grade-book. Dan Reis, Instructional Technologist, researched the questions and responded to the forum.

Q. I can’t drag and drop in Internet Explorer. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

A. Drag and drop is not compatible with Internet Explorer. If you use Firefox 5 (or later) or Chrome 12 (or later) you will be able to use the drag and drop feature.

Q. I have figured out how to add files but this method is particularly slow. Is there a way I can add several files more quickly?

A. If the files you want to upload are in one folder on your computer, you can Zip that folder and upload all the documents inside the folder at once. To do this, you must create the zip file on your computer first, then add that zip file into a Moodle folder and unzip it. The important part is creating the folder on Moodle and adding the zip to the folder ( not in a topic area). Once it’s inside the folder, click on the Menu icon and select “unzip.”

Q. How do I add links that will open up in another window rather than inside Moodle?

A. To create a link that opens in a new window, highlight the text you want to make into a link. Then click on the “Insert/edit link” icon. Then, paste or type the link address in the “Link URL” box. Then, to get the link to open in a new window (or tab), under “Target”, choose “Open in a new window (_blank).”

Q. If I backup a course with all defaults, is the grade-book backed up?

A. Yes, but you must decide whether or not to include existing student data in the backup. When performing a backup, the only parameter you should change is to not include user data. If everything else is left as-is, the grade-book will transfer properly.

Posted in Instructional Technologies, Moodle, Moodle Musings, Teaching and Learning, Technology@Elon, Trending @ the Service Desk | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Moodle wiki

Post-its on a wallA wiki is a collection of collaboratively authored web documents. Wikis were named from the Hawaiian term “wiki wiki” which means “very fast.”   Indeed wikis are a quick method for creating content as a class, group or individual.  Wikis don’t have a center of control but rather the community edits and develops content directly in a browser, without any knowledge of HTML.   A wiki is created with a front page and authors add subsequent pages by creating links. Continue reading »

Posted in Instructional Technologies, Moodle, Moodle Musings, Teaching and Learning | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Online alternatives to cancelling class

IMG_2307When inclement weather, illness, or travel requires you to be away from campus, consider using online alternatives to engage students in the work of your class.

Here are a few simple suggestions:

  • Use Moodle as a central location for students to find course information, lead and facilitate discussions, and post and submit assignments. You can also live chat with your students using Moodle’s text-based chat.
  • Use web conferencing tools like WebEx to hold class synchronously.
  • Introduce a topic/concept using video. Use Kaltura to record a quick introduction using your web cam or record your screen, and then upload the video to your course in Moodle.
  • Add audio to PowerPoint slides, and then upload your file to Moodle.
  • Select a video from the Learning On Demand site and lead a discussion in Moodle.
  • Assign Lynda Training resources to help students learn new technology skills like web design, presenting with PowerPoint, editing video, and more.

Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) can support you with implementing any of the above ideas as well as provide additional suggestions for online alternatives.

Posted in Instructional Technologies, Technology@Elon | Leave a comment

An overview of James Lang’s book on cheating lessons

Cheating Lessons cover

Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty by James Lang

I read an insightful book recently that made me stop and think. It was so inspiring that I decided to blog this fall about the topic. Academic dishonesty is brought up frequently in Teaching and Learning Technologies Online Course Design Working Group lunches and it’s a topic that many of us are concerned about.

I’ll begin the academic dishonesty blog series with a book overview of Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013) by James Lang. (The following posts will examine techniques faculty can use to deter academic dishonesty in classes as well as recommendations by our online Elon faculty). James Lang is an Associate Professor of English, and the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, at Assumption College. He also has a regular column in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Continue reading »

Posted in Instructional Technologies, Teaching and Learning | Tagged | Leave a comment

Elon Kickbox deadline extended, students have more time to submit ideas

Elon Kickbox iconWe’ve extended the deadline for the 2nd annual Elon Kickbox until after finals! We know this is a busy time of the semester and you shouldn’t have to choose between studying for an exam and applying for a Kickbox.  Applications are now due on Monday, Dec. 19 at 8 AM, AKA, after finals 🙂

Elon Kickbox is a program from the Maker Hub that gives students money ($300!), resources, and assistance to turn an idea into reality. Students of all grade levels and majors are encouraged to apply.

Learn more about Elon Kickbox on www.elon.edu/makers/kickbox and see what students made with their Kickbox last year.

Posted in Technology@Elon | Tagged , | Comments Off on Elon Kickbox deadline extended, students have more time to submit ideas

Book Review: Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching: How to “Be There” for Distance Learners

Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching by Lehman and Conceicao (2010), discusses how a strong online presence contributes to higher student satisfaction and retention.  Students often take online courses without rcreatingealizing that learning and communicating takes places very differently online.  The authors state it is crucial that instructors create a sense of connectivity and community with the students in the online environment.  The book presents case studies, activities, best practices and suggested methods for encouraging connectivity between and among the instructor and students.  It is a comprehensive guide for faculty devoted to creating an online community of learners.  For a more detailed review by Marcia D. Dixson, please read:  http://josotl.indiana.edu/article/viewFile/1840/1837

Posted in Instructional Technologies, Technology@Elon | Tagged , | Comments Off on Book Review: Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching: How to “Be There” for Distance Learners

Book Review: The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips

The Online Teaching Survival Guide by Boettcher and Conrad (2010), presents theory-based techniques for teaching online and/or blended courses.  The book reviews research in cognitive processing and learning outconlineteachingomes.  Boettcher and Conrad provide a framework of instructional strategies for designing or modifying a course for the online environment.  Included are recommended technologies to integrate with traditional pedagogy.  The tips cover course management, social presence, community building, integration of new technologies, discussion and questioning techniques, assessment, and customizing learning strategies. For a more detailed review by Shradha Kanwar, please read:  http://jotlt.indiana.edu/article/view/3367/3592

Posted in Instructional Technologies | Tagged , | Comments Off on Book Review: The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips

Elon robotics class gears up for success

img_4214The study of robotics can lead its pupils to a dozen different careers, from industrial building to the construction of humanoids, and the world is paying attention. Across the board, robotics is drawing attention both for its mainstream application and futuristic intrigue. Elon University is allowing students to get ahead of this trend, offering CSC 373 this fall. Continue reading »

Posted in Technology@Elon | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Elon robotics class gears up for success