FREE Web Accessibility MOOC for Online Educators

wamoeMany eLearning educators are eager to learn how to make their courses more available to students who struggle with web accessibility issues. This free MOOC, sponsored by the Instructional Technology Council, Portland Community College, and D2L, provides a FREE professional development opportunity to help eLearning professionals meet the challenges of improving accessibility in online learning.

Specifically, the following goals are to be achieved by course participants:

1. Build a personal knowledge base in web accessibility for online education

2. Create accessible photo images, diagrams, and charts for online courses

3. Create accessible audio and video components for online courses

4. Create accessible HTML content pages for online courses

5. Create accessible course content in other formats

Successful participants will have the option of receiving an electronic not-for-credit completion certificate from D2L at the end of the course.

Registration is open from March 6 until April 16, 2015.  The course is limited to 500 registrations. For more information and to register, go here.

Renton Technical College – Certificate in Adult Education

RTC CertficateThis affordable 8-week online program allows New and “Still-Feel-New” faculty to get the basics they need in their first years of teaching. This two-part series focuses on teaching necessities such as syllabus writing, finding and choosing materials, class planning, and outcomes and assessments. It also covers classroom management, communication, and engagement with diverse adult learners.  Participants will have a valuable opportunity to network with other faculty across the system as they build their skills.

 Exploration I: The Teaching Mindset from June 1 – 28, 2015

  • Construct a Pathway to Success
  • Teach Smarter, Not Harder: Planning and Assessing Learning

Exploration II: Your Classroom from July 6 – August 2, 2015

  • Find your Footing: Teaching Practices and Classroom Management
  • Connect with Intent: Cultural Diversity and Student Engagement

Courses cost $280 for each Exploration or $560 for the complete Certificate.  Each Exploration is 4-weeks long and student time commitment is approximately 3 hours a week per course (6 hours weekly).  For more information about this program and how to register, go here. 

 

Reading Apprenticeship Training in April 2015

A reminder to all of the free “Reading Apprenticeship” training coming up on two consecutive Fridays – April 17 and April 24, 2015.   Total training time is 6 hours in a 2-day format.

2 HALF-DAY WORKSHOP FORMAT

Friday, April 17 at Puyallup CTR 250
Friday, April 24 at Fort Steilacoom RAI 241

both sessions are from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
(You must attend both days to complete the 6 hour training)

Space is limited!  Register at https://piercecollege.wufoo.com/forms/reading-apprenticeship-training/

Why Reading Apprenticeship (RA)?

  • RA is a conceptual framework to help post-secondary students develop their academic literacy skills across all disciplines.
  • RA routines are meant to provide students with strategies to make meaning of the texts used in your classroom (“texts” can include anything written, visual, or auditory, such as textbooks, essays, poetry, charts, diagrams, music, and more).
  • Research has shown that learners in RA classrooms improve both their content knowledge and their reading comprehension skills (see www.readingapprenticeship.org for more details on these studies).
  • This training will provide you with hands-on routines that you can use in your classroom to develop your students into expert readers in your discipline.

Are there other training options available?

Yes! If you can’t attend a face-to-face training, you may be able to take an online or face-to-face course through WestEd; see here for details: http://readingapprenticeship.org/professional-development/. We will also keep you informed of other training opportunities at Pierce.

Can I include RA as part of my SIP?

We think that’s a great idea! Speak with your dean for more information.

I’ve attended RA sessions at in-service days, Targeted Skills Training, etc. Is this training appropriate for me?

Yes! This training will be useful whether you’re a newbie or if you have some knowledge of RA routines.

Trainings will be limited to 35 participants, so we recommend that you sign up as soon as possible!

Questions?  Contact Zoe Fisher at zfisher@pierce.ctc.edu for more information.

All the colors of the rainbow…

…cannot be seen by some. Roughly 1 in 12 men, and 1 in 200 women are born colorblind; they do not see an absence of color. Instead they see with a color deficiency, so it can be a challenge to discern between hues or shades.

Why does this matter for anyone except those teaching in the Arts? Take a look at your online materials. If you’ve chosen different colors of text to add some flair to your syllabus, assignments, or reply-alls, there could be a viewing issue. If important links or dates are highlighted to bring attention, make sure that it’s not actually being missed instead!

This accessibility website is made for just that, to check your color use and make sure it’s view-able to all!

Below is a preview of the site. You choose your color from the wheel on the left. Your chosen color is displayed on the right, with a quick review of its universal acceptability . At the bottom of the page, your chosen color is shown through the filter of a color-deficient perspective. Experiment with foreground and background colors to see all the combinations and possibilities.

color wheel http://gmazzocato.altervista.org/colorwheel/wheel.php

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Presentations… A Time Saver

Time. . . A constant challenge. Instructional preparation, professional development and collaboration, excellent instruction, quality formative and summative assessments, availability for office hours, emails, phone calls, colleagues, paperwork, record keeping, attending meetings, providing resources, the list of “things” goes on and on.

How do we balance everything and still have sanity? That IMG_1366surely is a plurium interrogationum (a loaded question).  In order to even have a chance at answering that question, we must break that complex question down. Let’s start in the classroom.

Many instructors are now using discussion forums to help students introduce themselves. This technique allows students to connect with the instructor and each other in new and interesting ways, while saving precious instructional class time. This idea can also be translated to other areas of your course.

An as instructor, I have often considered different ways to deliver content to students effectively and efficiently. One way that I have found to do this is student presentations, but not in the traditional sense.

Traditional student presentations work like this; (1) The student prepares and then presents their content, (2) The instructor assess the content, and (3) The audience sits and listens.

There are, however, several problems with traditional presentations. They require plenty of time for each student to present (instructors often must use several of their class sessions to allow each student to present). They require time for feedback from peers and the instructor. Even when peer feedback is assigned, it is often weak because some students have a difficult time listening to a large number of peer presentations in one sittings and begin to quickly tune the information out.

Rather than these types of presentations that instructors and students alike have sat through for years, I have found that virtual presentations work much better. They allow students to present on information related to course content and receive quality peer feedback, all outside of class time. They also allow students to build their capacity to leverage technology to impact their learning.

Here are four easy steps to execute virtual presentation:

1. Assign a topic
The topic should intentionally connect to course objectives and content and have a distinct purpose. For example, students might synthesize and explain their findings and discuss how they plan to use the information in the future.

2. Specify Guidelines
Details on length, presenter appearance, and audience engagement are crucial in order to facilitate good virtual presentations. With the amount of technology options available, it is also important to provide some expectations and boundaries.

3. Provide a virtual place to share presentations and give feedback
As mentioned above, virtual presentations allow students the opportunity to efficiently receive peer feedback and learn from each other. While instructor assessments are important, peer feedback gives students a different perspective. Using Canvas, instructors can specify criteria for peer reviews through a discussion board forum, for example, so the presenter can easily receive feedback from their presentation. Again, all this is done outside of class, giving the instructor more time during class to instruct.

4. Reflect
A full class discussion, high-lighting key points, provides an opportunity for students to share their thoughts and for the instructor to check for understanding and assess if the outcomes were met.

Virtual presentations have worked well in my courses, but I am always looking for other technology tools (www.slideshare.net or www.prezi.com for example) that can help students meet the course objectives and beyond. What other websites, tools, or techniques have you used to allow students the chance to present their work and get quality feedback from their peers, without losing quality in-class time?

QM Regional Conference In Seattle – April 9-10, 2015

2015-NW-Conf-banner-600w

Join your colleagues for the 

QM Works in the Great Pacific Northwest Regional Conference
Location: Doubletree Seattle Airport in Seattle, WA
Date: Thursday,  April 9 – Friday April 10, 2015

Why attend? Presentations and workshops planned will include:

  • Strategies and applications for meeting QM Standards 
  • Getting institutional buy-in for QM adoption 
  • Research, examples and takeaways from institutions and faculty using QM 
  • Findings related to the impact of QM at the institutional level

Ready to lead the charge to ensure quality matters in education?

Follow this link for more event information and to sign up for the conference. 

Got Questions? Contact:

James Johnson
Interim eLearning Director

Pierce College District
(253) 964-6377 //JBLM (253) 964-6567

February OER Training Course Available from SBCTC

oer

How to Use Open Educational Resources”

This training begins on Monday, February 23, 2015.

This two week course is fully online and asynchronous, providing participants with information and experience in adopting and integrating open educational resources (OER) into their pedagogy. In addition to discussing the concept of OER and open licenses, participants will also practice locating and sharing open educational resources.

This is a fully facilitated training that will produce an official certificate to the participants upon successful completion.  Participants are expected to spend 10 hours to complete the course. This training is FREE for anyone in the WA CTC system.

For those who would like more information from a participant perspective, Read messages to the next class from previous participants.

Interested?

Follow this link to the training website to register.

Technical difficulties in registration?  Please contact wa-online@sbctc.edu.

Questions about the training content or schedules?  Please contact Boyoung Chae at bchae@sbctc.edu.

Free IGNIS Webinar Series 2015 Kicks Off Feb 5!

IGNIS LogoJoin hosts Alissa Sells and Jennifer Whetham from the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges for the 2015 series of IGNIS online webinars. This popular webinar series is a fully online format featuring local and regional faculty and other experts who present on a variety of topics related to teaching, assessment, technology and all things community college. These webinars are free and there is no need to sign up before attending.

Been There, Done That!

This Thursday, February 5 at 2PM, Alyson Indrunas, Director of eLearning and Instructional Design from Everett Community College will talk about the challenges and triumphs of her online teaching career so far. Always entertaining and insightful, Alyson will  reveal the “Four Things I Did Wrong as an Online Teacher.”

Don’t miss it! 

The IGNIS webinars are delivered in BlackBoard Collaborate sessions and there is no need to register or sign-up. Just click the “Join Us in Collaborate” link below to join the webinar.  The IGNIS Collaborate room is open 24/7 so you are welcome to test your connection anytime before the scheduled webinar.  A headset/microphone is recommended for optimal audio quality.

Hope to see you there!

To access the webinar follow this link:

JOIN US in COLLABORATE

New To Using Collaborate?

Follow this link to a very helpful resource for how to prepare your computer to use Collaborate. (thanks to Shoreline Community College eLearning department). Be sure you have the latest version of JAVA on your computer*.

http://www.shoreline.edu/elearning/collaborate.aspx

*Chrome browser on a MAC does not support use of the JAVA applet required to access Collaborate webinars. BB Collaborate recommends using FireFox or Safari browsers on a MAC.

Free workshop February 19 – 20: Making Online Course Content Accessible

Do you want to make your online course content accessible?

Do you feel overwhelmed about where to even begin?

Shoreline Community College’s Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on Accessibility is offering a FREE hands-on workshop “Making Online Course Content Accessible” on February 19 and 20, 2015 at Dumas Bay, Federal Way, WA.  This workshop will assist participants on how to:

  • Make your syllabus and other documents accessible
  • Caption your video and audio content

Reserve your free spot now!  Free overnight accommodations are also available on a very limited basis.

Contact Amy Rovner @ arovner@shoreline.edu or (206) 547-6937 to reserve your spot!

  • What:  Making Online Course Content Accessible” facilitated by Shoreline Community College FLC on Accessibility
  • When:  Thursday, February 19 and/or Friday, February 20, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Daily)
  • Where:  Dumas Bay, Federal Way, WA

 

Data, Engagement & UDL – Main Topics of Faculty In-Service on Feb 21

CEAL is reminding everyone that Adjunct Faculty Day,  planned for Saturday, Feb 21 at Fort Steilacoom campus,  is fast approaching with a full day of professional development planned for faculty at Pierce College.

Registration for this event is open to all Pierce faculty, however only part-time/adjunct faculty are eligible for a stipend.

Follow this link to register

Session Information

Morning activities begin at 9:00 am with presentations and discussions centered around student engagement and student data at Pierce College. Pierce College Director of IR, Erik Gimness, Research Associate, Carly Haddon,  and Director of Educational Outcomes and Effectiveness, Allison Sieving will be on hand in morning sessions to facilitate discussions and activities that will specifically be looking at Student Engagement data and Course Completion data. They will also be demonstrating use of our new Tableau dashboards, tools designed to help faculty filter student data and identify opportunities for growth/improvement. Other topics include discussions around constructs of engagement, the relationship of engagement as a concept to our work as practitioners, and opportunities for inquiry and research.

Candyce Rennegarbe

Candyce Rennegarbe will present on UDL framework & strategies for student engagement and success.

In the afternoon, CEAL is excited to have Candyce Rennegarbe who will lead discussion and activities on the topic of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Universal Design for Learning is a proven framework that can be utilized across all programs and courses – even across institutions.  UDL is good teaching and happens both in the upfront design of courses and in the engaging opportunities of active learning classes.

Candyce will introduce the brain based UDL framework and provide examples, resources, and take-away strategies on UDL that have been successfully applied at a post secondary level to:  increase teaching effectiveness, improve student outcomes, and meet the needs of diverse learners.  Her goal is to make this an interactive afternoon where good teaching ideas are shared.

More About Candyce and Universal Design

For the past six years Candyce coordinated a campus wide UDL Project at Tacoma Community College where she worked with over 100 faculty members from all disciplines, as well as the Board of Trustees and Student Services. She recently retired from her TCC teaching position as a full time faculty member in the Transitional Studies Program teaching reading and English and Adult Basic Education.  Throughout her 18 years at TCC, she facilitated trainings in Washington state and nationally on UDL, learning disabilities, testing, brain based learning, and establishing a system for at risk learners to become more successful.

Check out these links to related UDL videos highlighting work Candyce was involved  in at TCC.

Title:  Christie Fierro    UDL and Communication Class

http://youtu.be/9TFMXvgL_aI

This five-minute video illustrates Ms. Fierro applying UDL strategies with her TCC Communication’s Class

Title:  Universal Design for Learning – TCC

This five-minute video features students from TCC’s UDL Project in Year 2 talking about their success with UDL