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Archive for October, 2010

Ohio ‘Faculty Innovator Awards’

If you would like to be nominated or if you would like support for a nomination you intend to make, please contact Learning Ventures:

Nominations Sought for Third Year of Faculty Innovator Awards
Awards Given to Faculty Using Digital Learning Materials to Lower Student Costs, Advance Learning

COLUMBUS – Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut today announced the University System of Ohio is seeking nominations from students, faculty, and administrators for its 2011 “Faculty Innovator Awards.” These awards will recognize 10 faculty members and/or teams from Ohio’s public universities, regional campuses, community colleges, and adult career centers (see map) for work they have done to introduce digital course materials in the classroom that enrich learning and make college textbooks more affordable for their students.

“Every year, these awards provide the opportunity for us to not just recognize those faculty who have gone the extra mile in using technology to lower costs for students,” said Chancellor Fingerhut, “but to also educate and inspire other faculty to follow their lead and to take those innovations and bring them into more classrooms across the state.”

Created in 2009, the Faculty Innovator Awards are part of Ohio’s effort to stimulate the creation of affordable, innovative instructional materials for students throughout the University System of Ohio. Winning faculty have used digital content (video, simulations, e-texts and journals, visualizations, etc.) into their courses in a wide array of ways, all while lowering the out-of-pocket cost of course materials for students and enriching the classroom experience. The 2010 awardees were congratulated in Columbus by First Lady Frances Strickland and the Chancellor, recognized on the floor of the Ohio Senate, and also by House Speaker Armond Budish.

This year’s nomination form, as well as information about the winners and innovations from 2009 and 2010, are showcased at Ohio Textbook HQ, an open forum for textbook solutions and discussion.

Nominations for Ohio’s 2011 Faculty Innovator Awards must be received by the University System of Ohio no later than 12:00 p.m. on November 23, 2010.

For more information, visit http://OhioTextbookHQ.ning.com.


Student Observer Program

All faculty will soon receive a notice via email about the “Student Observer Program.” This program is designed to give faculty valuable feedback about the learning environment from a trained student observer. This year, we are expanding the program in some important ways. First, we are offering at the instructors’ request video observation in which the student and faculty member will be able to discuss classroom management and presence. And second, we are involving students in the observation of online instruction (exclusively online and web-assisted), with observations reflecting different approaches to pedagogy and engagement required online. More will arrive soon, but here is the text of the description of the program that will be in your mailbox accompanied by a form for requesting observation. Finally, if you know a student who would make an ideal candidate for participation in our program, please forward the students’ name and a brief recommendation to Jeff Jablonski (jeffrey.jablonski(at)utoledo.edu), the SOP Coordinator.

How the Student Observer Program Works

  • Instructors elect to participate by filling out a request form and returning it to Christine Keller, “Learning Ventures,” MS #129, FH 3005C.
  • All faculty (tenure-track, part-time, visiting faculty, lecturers) are eligible to participate in the Student Observer Program. Observers can work with any undergraduate course regardless of the mode of delivery (face-to-face, blended, exclusively online). For part-time faculty, the request for observation must be submitted and approved by the chair of the department.
  • A student observer is assigned according to the class schedule and the observer’s availability.
  • The student observer is given the name, campus office, campus telephone number, and e-mail address of the instructor and arranges for an initial visit. The instructor is also given the name, telephone number, and e-mail address of the student observer.
  • The instructor and student observer meet to get acquainted and clarify expectations. The instructor should provide a course syllabus and any login information for online resources. The observer should be enrolled in all course-related web services.
  • The student observer visits the instructor’s class, gathers the requested information and prepares feedback for the instructor. A minimum of 3 classroom visits is recommended (or three hours of online contact). All information gathered by the student observer is confidential. No information is provided to anyone else unless the instructor specifically authorizes it. (Please note, however, that all reports are reviewed by the Student Observer Program Coordinator to ensure quality control.)
  • The student observer meets with the instructor and discusses the observation. He/she also prepares a report of typically 2-3 pages for the professor. This report may be included in a dossier, but it is not required to be shared.

Blackboard 9.1 Tips: Resetting a Student’s Test

When a student encounters an error message early in a test, all hope is not lost.  With a few clicks of your mouse, you can clear the student’s attempt so that the student can retake the test from the very beginning:

  1. Find the Grade Center on your Control Panel and click the Smart View for Tests.

    Smart View for Tests located under the Grade Center

    Smart View for Tests located under the Grade Center

  2. An “In Progress” icon will appear in the test cell to the right of the student’s name.  Use your mouse to hover over the cell.

    An "In Progress" icon in a Grade Center cell

    An "In Progress" icon

  3. A chevron context menu will appear in the right side of the cell.  Click the chevron and select the Attempt Date to view the attempt details.

    An "In Progress" Attempt

    Select the "Attempt Date" to view the student's attempt

  4. Click the Test Information link near the top of the screen.

    The "Test Information" link

    The "Test Information" link

  5. Click the Clear Attempt button.

    The "Clear Attempt" button

    The "Clear Attempt" button

  6. A confirmation window will pop open.  Click OK.

    The confirmation window.  Click "OK" to clear the student's attempt.

    The confirmation window. Click "OK" to clear the student's attempt.

Please note: once a student’s attempt has been cleared, all data affiliated with that attempt will be permanently deleted.

If you would like to walk through this or other options with someone in LV, or if you would like to share a screen with your student to confirm the error, log in to Wimba Pronto (using “Add A Tool,” choose Wimba Pronto, download the software, set up an account) and invite the student or LV staff to a chat session. Screen sharing will only work if you are not using “Lockdown Browser.”


“Needs Grading” Indicator in BB9.1 Grade Center?

Some instructors have asked us why some student attempts on multiple choice tests were not graded automatically–instead, a “Needs Grading” green exclamation mark icon is displayed where the grade should be.

LV’s instructional designer, Jeff Jablonski, did some digging here’s what he found (from Blackboard’s community support site):

“If you are seeing a “Needs Grading” indicator in the Grade Center, it means that there’s something about the tests that prevented them from being automatically graded. Generally, that would be because either a) there is a question type that cannot be automatically graded (such as an essay), or b) the instructor set a time limit on the test and the student went over the time limit, requiring the instructor to decide whether to deduct points.”

So anytime the instructor sets a time limit on a multiple choice test and a student exceeds that limit, the “Needs Grading” flag is set automatically and requires instructor intervention. The instructor must then go into each attempt where the time limit was exceeded and manually force the grading for the attempt.

For advanced users, Jeff says: This procedure can be simplified somewhat by creating a “Smart View” that filters on “Performance Criteria” where the “Status Equals” has been set to “Needs Grading.” This smart view will then show only those students whose test “Needs Grading.”