Category Archives: Design Matters

Instructional Design, topics, strategies and resources

Certificate in eLearning Design and Development for Community College Educators

Register Now!  Renton Technical College is offering a Certificate in eLearning Design and Development which starts January 13, 2016.  This fully online six-course certificate aims to prepare you to design and teach eLearning courses by focusing on eLearning design principles, alignment principles, building community, and creating media and incorporating technology.  Both new and experienced faculty will benefit.

Check out this video for more information:

Cost: $215 per course.

There are two enrollment options:

  1. Fast Track: 9-month completion: Take two courses at a time for completion in 9 months
  2. Relaxed Track: 21-month completion:  Take one course at a time for completion in a little less than 2 years.  Non-certificate students who choose to take single courses should enroll in this option.

Further information can be found here. You can enroll here.

Questions? Contact coordinator Liz Falconer,

CEAL “On Air” in November and December

cat_webinarLive webinars – they can rock or they can not rock so much..

You get the headphones on, settle into your favorite chair and…you might learn something new OR you might fall asleep.

So when CEAL says we’re going “on air” in November to try something new in our world of professional development, we’d like to think it will rock, totally. Plan to join us in person at the Fort Steilacoom Lava Java or by Blackboard Collaborate for some short but  sweet webinars on a variety of topics – tech, teaching  and otherwise – on these selected dates in November & December:

Tuesdays – Fresh Tech Webinar: 2:30-3:30 PM (FS Lava Java and online in Collaborate)

  • November 3 – The Cool Tools Report; Tips and Tricks with Canvas Gradebook and Calendar work together; Canvas Q&A (time permitting)
  • November 17 – The Cool Tools Report; Taming Canvas Quizzes and Quizbanks; Canvas Q&A (time permitting)
  • December 1 – The Cool Tools Report;  Fancy Canvas Navigation; Canvas Q&A (time permitting)

Thursdays – Design Matters Webinar: 2pm – 3pm (FS Lava Java and online in Collaborate)

  • November 5 – UDL – Universal Design for Learning
  • November 19 – Designing accessible images
  • December 3 – Designing accessible documents

Thursdays – Social Animal Webinar:  3pm – 4pm  (FS Lava Java and online in Collaborate)

  • November 5 – Create a Personal Social Learning Network; Curation and sharing tools
  • November 19 – Twitter and Blogging
  • December 3 – LinkedIn and Facebook Pages and Groups

How Can You Find the Webinar?

The session room is now open! To practice early or join us in a session,  following this link:

Join the CEAL On Air Webinar Here

Need lessons on how to use Collaborate? Feel free to stop by the Lava Java or contact Kyle Peirson at for a quick tutorial on how to set up your computer and headset/microphone to join a Collaborate session.

IGNIS Webinar Series – Two Sessions on Accessibility

Don’t Miss These IGNIS Webinars in May 2015

You are invited to join Alissa Sells and Jen Whetham from SBCTC as they host two upcoming IGNIS webinars on accessibility.  All IGNIS webinars are delivered on Collaborate and sessions are recorded and posted on the ATL blog.

Follow this link to join IGNIS Webinars via Collaborate

Live Sessions Coming Up:

May 21, 2015 IGNIS webinar promotional image of Terrill ThompsonThursday, May 21st, 2015 at 2 pm
Making Accessibility Accessible
Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington

  • Join us in celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day.  Terrill will talk about how to make the process of accessibility more accessible to faculty.  Come learn some tips on making your course more accessible and much more!

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 at 2 pm
5 Steps to an Accessible Syllabus
A Faculty Learning Community Presentation by Shoreline Community College

  • As a follow-up to “Making Accessibility Accessible”, please join us for this special hands-on webinar where you’ll learn how to make the various features of a Word document accessible using your course syllabus as an example.  It’s BYOS…bring your own syllabus!  Participants will be given work time during the webinar to start making changes to their documents.  If you missed Shoreline’s Accessibility retreat in February, you won’t want to miss this session!”

If you can’t make it to a webinar, no worries – they are recorded!

Follow this link to view past IGNIS webinars on the ATL blog site

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






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 ( or 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?