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Archive for February, 2012

Additional Quality Matters Training Opportunities in March

The University of Toledo hosted an Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) workshop last Friday, February 24, 2012. Attending were faculty from UT as well as several area institutions. The workshop introduced the Quality Matters Program and those attending were shown how to apply the QM Rubric to increase the effectiveness of their online and hybrid courses. Many of those present commented that they felt that this was one of the most important workshops they had attended and that they came away with a set of principles and tools that they could immediately use to improve their courses regardless of the method of delivery.

Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. At the heart of QM is the QM Rubric which is a set of standards (guidelines) that can be used as a diagnostic tool to facilitate the continuous improvement of online courses. While the QM Rubric was designed to evaluate the design effectiveness of existing courses, it can also be an invaluable tool to aid in the design of new courses. The Rubric itself is research-based and was developed in conjunction with best practices — and is re-evaluated/updated every couple of years. UT is just one of over 60 institutions in Ohio who are members of the Ohio Quality Matters Consortium.

Just in case you missed our workshop, there are two more opportunities in March to attend an APPQMR workshop in our area. The workshops are free, but registration is required and only 15 seats are available to those from outside the hosting institution — so please register early if you are interested.

(1) Bowling Green State University, Tuesday, March 6, 2012 from 9 am – 4  pm

To register, complete the online form at http://cobl.bgsu.edu/BGSU_QualityMatters_training_register.php.

(2) Cleveland State University, Friday, March 23, 2012 from 9 am – 4 pm

For more information or to register email eLearning@csuohio.edu.

If you have any questions concerning Quality Matters initiatives here at UT, please contact either Peter You (peter.you@utoledo.edu) or Jeff Jablonski (jeffrey.jablonski@utoledo.edu).

What is Echo360?

Learn what Echo360 is and all the features available. We are holding two seminars on March 15th.

Health Science Campus: 10 – 11:30 am in COB 2401

Main Campus: 2 – 3:30 pm in SU 2591

Join Learning Ventures and the Echo360 team to see what this great tool has to offer UT education! Register at https://utdl.edu/DL_training/. Click on “What is Echo360?” under the Hone In category.

Incorrect Course Instructors Listed in Blackboard

When Blackboard courses are created, the instructor listed in the course site is the instructor that is listed as the instructor of record in Banner.  When the instructor of record is changed in Banner after the Blackboard course is created, the new instructor is then given access to the course site, but there is no process to remove the old instructor (and their student account) from the course.  If you are the only instructor listed as the instructor of record, and there is another instructor listed, you can make the other instructor unavailable by following the steps listed below:

To make a user unavailable, go to the control panel and click on Users and Groups. Select Users. Locate the user you want to make unavailable, and click the chevron next to their username. Select Change Availability in Course. Set the availability to No and Click Submit. Please see the video tutorial at the link below for more details.


These steps can also be used to make the other instructor’s student account (the .s account) unavailable in the course site as well.

Learning Ventures and Academic Support are investigating alternate solutions for the future.  If you see a user listed in your course site, and you are not sure of their role, please feel free to contact Learning Ventures for assistance at utlv@utoledo.edu

Tech Blast: The Flipped Classroom

A lot of students go to class to hear a lecture about the topic for that day. But what do you think would happen if the students had to watch a lecture online before going to class, and then they spent class time on learning activities?

Please check out this video or continue reading for more information on flipped classrooms.


In traditional classes, students sit and listen to their instructors lecture about the topic of the day for nearly the entire class period. After the class period ends, students are then expected to work individually on homework assignments outside the class period. However, more often than not, students only retain a minimal amount of the lecture material, with students then having to “teach themselves” through their assigned homework. In traditional classrooms, technology is often seen as a distraction, with students on their phones texting and checking Facebook or playing games on their laptops, as students find other activities more appealing than listening to a lecture for over an hour.

Enter the flipped classroom, where technology is seen as a resource rather than as a distraction. Instead of spending hours completing homework assignments without any assistance or direction, students can read or watch online lectures at their own pace. Students can skip through what they already know, or revisit what they did not understand the first time. Students can formulate their own questions and take them to the classroom, which is now a collaborative learning environment.

In the classroom, students can apply what they learned from viewing online lectures, and can collaborate with other students on learning activities. With classroom time freed up, instructors can then use classroom time to assist students with questions and work individually with students at risk of falling behind. Course progress is then measured by active participation rather than static attendance. Students who miss a class period do not miss out on class lectures.

Please also visit the following links for more information on the flipped classroom.

Please share your experiences with flipped classrooms. Do you feel it is an effective teaching model or is just a passing fad? How would incorporating elements of the flipped classroom improve your teaching methods or encourage student learning? Please add your comments below or contact utlv@utoledo.edu if you are interested in using aspects of the flipped classroom in your classroom.

Welcome To Tech Blast!

Over the past 20 years, technology has transformed the learning environment, and educational technology is a trend that is here to stay.  Whether teaching fully online or in a blended or web-assisted environment, there are many technological tools that can greatly facilitate teaching, learning and student engagement.

Each session of TechBlast will detail one particular tool that instructors can use to improve their teaching methods.  Instructors are then welcome to share their comments and experiences in using technology in teaching.  Our eventual plan is to combine all of our articles and user feedback into a book that can serve as a single reference point for using technological tools in education.

As we go through each session, we welcome your comments and feedback.  Also if you have a specific tool or method you would like us to feature, please let us know.