John Gieger

Technology Habits of Ineffective Instructors

I recently stumbled across a blog post about the 7 habits of highly ineffective developers and couldn’t help but see direct connections to the challenges people encounter when thinking about using educational technology. Like developers, instructors (and instructional designers) face all types of challenges. Understating yourself and being aware of these challenges can help make the most of your time, energy, and resources—as well as lead to better results.

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Alex Joppie

Making Your Course Mobile Friendly

Responsive D2L interfaceIn fall 2017, DePaul upgraded our installation of our learning management system, D2L, to the “Daylight” interface. One of the primary reasons D2L underwent this design overhaul of the entire system was to implement a principal called “Responsive Design.”

Responsive Design is a method of web design whereby developers build one version of a website that is designed to adapt and scale to whatever device it is accessed from. This is in contrast to the early days of smartphones, when developers would create a separate “mobile” site, which you would be redirected to if you were accessing it from a smartphone or tablet. Instead, there is only one version of the site, but the elements move, resize, and adapt depending on the size of the screen the site is viewed from.

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Elisabeth Ramos-Torrescano

Provide Easy Access to Academic Support with Widgets

I dropped my oldest son off at college in August. Man, that was a tough goodbye. So many unknowns and questions, like, will he survive? Of course he will. However, one area that I probably overcompensated for in high school was reminding him (fairly often) to talk to his teachers, go to the writing and math centers—basically utilize all the academic resources possible. Did he? Not really, unless he was desperately trying to climb out of a hole.

So, would this continue in college? It couldn’t. If it did—well, he might end up back at home.

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Veronica Johnson

What’s All The Buzz About Quality Matters?

Quality Matters LogoRecently I had the opportunity to network with a lot of online faculty and instructional designers at the Distance Teaching & Learning Conference in Madison, Wisconsin.  When I informed many of them that I was a certified QM reviewer, they instantly became intrigued. A couple of instructors even asked if I thought the program was beneficial and worth investing the time and money into. 

Whenever I develop a course or complete a major revision for a course at DePaul, I use the Quality Matters rubric to evaluate the work I have done. As a result, some of those subject matter experts have become intrigued about Quality Matters as well.  By the end of this blog, you will be able to determine if Quality Matters is a program that best suits the needs of the people in your workplace.

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Dee Schmidgall

Make Your Online Course More Accessible

Go to any online learning conference and you’re sure to hear concern about universities being sued for web accessibility issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Making your course site accessible can feel overwhelming, but let’s take a look at a few ways you can make some progress.

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Josh Lund

Ditching the Laptop for a Tablet: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Some folks out there would say that a tablet can do what a computer used to, and others argue that while they are always improving in capabilities, tablets are still not occupying the same space in terms of computing power. Desktop computer sales in general have been on the decline for several years now, and tablets keep trying to further bridge the gap. As someone who spends many days testing, evaluating and re-evaluating software and hardware, this situation begs me to answer the question: can I really ditch the laptop?

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Bridget Wagner

Bullet Journaling and Tracking Daily Productivity in a Support Role

If you use Pinterest, or have a fascination with office supplies, you’ve likely heard of bullet journaling. If you haven’t, you can learn all about it here. There’s even a bullet journaling blog,  The Bulletjournalist.

If you aren’t a Pinner or Office Depot regular, bullet journaling is basically a fancy way to make and keep to-do lists. There are hundreds of ideas as to how you can keep a bullet journal and use it to organize your life, but I’ve found the idea of habit trackers the most useful—both in my work and personal life.

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Sarah Brown

Upgrading to New Digication in Autumn 2017-18

Digication homepage for WRD 103 portfolio

Last summer, DePaul surveyed all faculty to solicit feedback on our two primary learning management systems (LMSs): D2L and Digication. Faculty told us that, for the most part, D2L is meeting their teaching needs.

The feedback on Digication, our ePortfolio tool, told a different story. Faculty voiced frustration with both the lack of upgrades and the usability challenges of creating well-designed portfolios. So, the Digication Steering Committee reviewed nine other digital portfolio platforms, as well as the planned upgrade to Digication, to determine which platform would best meet our needs moving forward.

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Jan Costenbader

Too much Technology?

Let me begin by saying that I have been a geek and technology freak for more years than I care to remember. In 1967, I wrote an undergraduate paper for a History of Mathematics class that dealt with computer generated music compositions. In the 80’s, I wrote for Nibble magazine (Apple II). I worked for Apple for 11 years. I always have the latest beta and bleeding edge software on my phone, watch and computer. My work involves helping faculty develop and deploy courses using technology. All that said, I worry about our students and if they are relying far too much on technology and less on critical thinking skills and the ability to estimate and solve problems.

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Cari Vos

Tried and True Technologies, Part 1: Microsoft

In my college English 101 course I was assigned to write a persuasive essay. Initially, I wanted to write a paper about the purpose of technology. I started doing research, but couldn’t find anything helpful. So I abandoned that and picked a different topic. Lately, I’ve been thinking again about it. In my role here at FITS, I try to find ways to make technology help our office do tasks smarter, faster, and more efficiently. These tasks often take me back to tried-and-true technologies from Microsoft.

One of my projects lately has been working with the Global Learning Experience team, preparing for the upcoming Global Learning Conference in October. This was my first time being on the development side of a conference; let me be the first to say that it is no easy task. My role was specifically on the technology end.

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