SP16: Online-Hybrid-Blended Updates

General Updates for Spring 2016 Term

  1. Creating Faculty Presence in an Online Course:
    In a continued effort to enhance the online learning environment, we are working with faculty on creating and maintaining an online presence without being available 24×7!   These strategies can be implemented in both the design/development process as well as when the course goes live. This builds upon our focus last term on the Universal Design principles and specifically improving the required course overviews as a way of establishing your “voice” and presence in the course. (See examples of module overviews here.)

  2. Moodle Upgrade: We upgraded to Moodle 2.9 on December 15, 2015.  If you haven’t seen the new version yet, there will be some changes to the look and feel of the courses as well as some improvements to the gradebook. To learn more see Moodle Upgrade for Winter 2016.   NOTE: If you used the Sum of Grades aggregation method prior to this term, this method is no longer available.  Please see the 
  3. Final Course Review:  All course edits should be completed prior by March 6th.  The final review will take place March 7-18th. If you have been assigned to work with an instructional designer (ID), please consult with your ID regarding specific deadlines for your content.

Course Review & Checklist

  1. Moodle Course Template:
    A year ago, the College implemented a new Moodle course template to be used in all online, hybrid and blended courses. This template creates a common look and feel for all GSC courses including “collapsed weekly topics” to minimize unnecessary scrolling. It also includes a module for each week of the course. This will aid students in easily navigating their courses and improve navigation on mobile devices. To learn more about the required components and how to use this template, see Instructions for Using the New Moodle Template.
  1. Course Review Checklist:
    Unless your course is a brand new development, we have already imported the previous version of the course so it is ready for your review as soon as you log in. All courses have been reviewed using the Course Review Checklist. This review checklist will provide you with helpful information about updating your Moodle course including required course components and recommendations for integrating rich media to enhance student engagement. An instructional designer will be sending you a copy of your Course Review Checklist this week. It is beneficial to review this checklist while you are editing your course in order to better understand the standards and to benefit from the support and advice of your instructional designer. This same checklist will be used for the final course readiness review described below.
  2. First Course Review: February 1-10
    The online/hybrid/blended courses have all been reviewed using the standard course review checklist. An instructional designer will be following up with your course review(s), making recommendations for updates or edits.
  3. Final Course Readiness Review: March 7-18th
    All online, hybrid and blended courses will be reviewed approximately 3 weeks prior to the start of the term . The same Course Review Checklist that was used prior to the start of the course development phase will be used to provide feedback to you about your course. Please work with your instructional designer to get your course ready before March 7th.

Other Important Dates

  • School of Education master courses copied into SP16 Moodle course shells:  Mon., February 29th
  • Duplication of courses with multiple sections/same instructor:  Weds., March. 30, 2016.
  • Enrollments added to courses: prior to term start, Thurs., March 31, 2016.
  • Courses made available to students: 3 days prior to the official course start date. For example for the online courses beginning April 4th, the course will be made available on Friday, April 1st (No joking!)

Other  Helpful Web Resources:

  • IT Help: For support documentation and getting help for technical issues regarding accessing or using eLearning+/Moodle
  • Faculty Center: This website provides you with both the College’s policies and procedures that directly impact your work as a faculty member and to give you helpful resources to use in your teaching.
  • Instructional Design Center: You will find a wide variety of information including using Moodle, teaching online, recommended practices and tips.  
  • Faculty Lounge in eLearning+:  This is a forum for faculty to ask questions and discuss teaching strategies in Moodle. All current faculty has been enrolled in the lounge.
  • Universal Design (UD) for Learning: These websites will provide you with some foundational information on UD principles Usability First and

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