A Dozen Resources We Love: Minnesota eLearning Summit

10 Aug

by CEI staffers Mary Jetter, Bob Rubinyi, Sandra Ecklein, and Susan Engelman

The Minnesota eLearning Summit was held on July 29 and 30 at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.  The over 400 attendees had more than 80 presentations to choose from on topics that ranged from MOOCs to access for those with disabilities to open educational resources.  Inspired by Ann Flandrey, Alison Link and Cris Lopez’s session “ 5 Words You Never Thought You’d Hear at the eLearning Summit: The Cognitive Science of Clickbait,” we’ve gathered together a small sampling of what we learned at the conference – and are thinking to implement in our own work.

(Note: All links included here will connect you to an electronic record of the sessions title, abstract, presenters’ names & contact information.  Many, but not all, of the presenters have also made their presentations materials available through these electronic records)

  1. We humans love lists!  Believe it or not, deep learning can arise from lists and by presenting information in lists, you can counteract hyper reading.  Here’s a question: would you rather read a top 10 or top 11 list? Research has shown that we are more drawn to lists that contain odd numbers.  Learn more about lists and “clickbait” here.
  1. Brad Hokanson and Jody Lawrence gave suggestions for assignments to help students think outside the box and expand their creativity in  their presentation “Mixed Marriage: Integrating Massive Online Courses with Degree Program.”  Doing Something Different (DSD) could be as simple as taking a different route home from work.  For more about DSD assignment set up, including peer feedback, see slides 18-31 from an earlier presentation, and/or visit recent video samples.
  1. In “Flying Weasels and Snoring Hummingbirds: Techniques to Discover and Critically Read Quality Images,” enthusiastic librarians Jennifer Hootman and Greta Bahnemann from Minitex highlighted the many free online databases of images that are available to us and presented helpful search techniques.
  1. When a departmental meeting was cancelled due to bad weather, Lyn DeLorme came up with the idea of video postcards to get training materials to faculty in her department.  In her presentation, “Video Postcards: Training at the Speed of Sight,”   she demonstrated  how to produce, edit, and distribute a quick training video via email.
  1. Among the many great points in David Wiley’s keynote “Making Teaching and Learning Awesome with ‘Open'”  was the idea that education equals sharing: Sharing what you know, providing feedback, offering encouragement, and transmitting your passion – each also helps in sharing who you are. If there is no sharing, there may be a lot of other things going on, but it’s not education.
  1. In their presentation “Creating and Expanding Presence and Community in the Online Classroom” Renee SB Cedarberg and Carol Lacey offered suggestions including having the instructor create a video or audio recording introducing herself/himself (including sharing some personal information); having the instructor do a “virtual tour” of the online course site (screen recorder); and linking to current news articles that develop during the course,
  1. Stephanie Platteter and Bob Stine opened their session, “Should We or Shouldn’t We? Assessing the Feasibility of Online Degree Programs” by dispelling the myth of “if you build it, they will come.” They suggested that academic leadership needs to go beyond traditional research methods of focus groups, faculty opinions, industry experts, and student feedback to answer three main questions: Is there an opportunity for sustainable demand? (Market Analysis), Can we manage the program effectively? (Internal Preparedness) and Is it financially viable? (Financial Analysis)
  1. Tracy King and Maureen Holtzman provided attendees with a visual design checklist in their presentation “Learning Design for the Engaged Mind.”  Along with “visual design sins,” they gave tips on how to design for memory, clarity, and meaning.
  1. Want to learn more about “Accessibility and Universal Design in Online Learning”?  Check out the resources provided by Scott Marshall, Sara Schoen, and Kim Wilcox.  Included are scenarios, a Moodle site that will help you create an accessible course, and an abundance of other resources.
  1. Mary Rowan and Nima Salehi shared their experiences “Using VoiceThread to Enhance Learning”.  Their website provides examples of how they have done exactly this with samples of instructor and student presentations as well as support guides will be provided through the presentation website.
  1. Learn how to “YouTube Your Course” with  Susan Tade and James Ondrey. They shared tips and tricks on how to deliver your course video content via YouTube, either on its own or through an LMS.
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  2. Did you miss the summit but still want to learn more?  Many presenters generously shared their materials online for further exploration and follow up.

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