Sharon Guan

Manipulating Learning with Tools and Rules

Three months ago, I published a blog entry called “Summer Math Class with Khan Academy: A Case of ‘Manipulated’ Learning”. Ever since then, I have tried a few more rounds of manipulation on my IRB-free research objects—my two kids. As a proud mother of manipulation, I’d like to report on a couple of cases of manipulating learning—and behavior—with tools and rules.

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Melissa Koenig

Creating Safe Environments for Difficult Conversations

A few weeks back I attended the Fall Forum on Teaching and Learning. This year the theme was Race & Social Identity. This is obviously a very important topic—especially given  the polarizing climate that we currently find ourselves in. The Keynote speaker, Terrell Strayhorn, spent a fair amount of time talking about how to create environments in our classrooms that are safe and welcoming for students who come from diverse backgrounds of experiences.

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Lori Zalivansky

Crowdsourcing: Good or Bad?

The first episode of Wisdom of the Crowd premiered on October 1st and I had to check it out. Being a lover of crime procedurals and someone who works to bring content to the masses through the use of online platforms, I thought this show would be right up my alley.

The main concept of the show is that a Steve Jobs-like character (Jeffrey Tanner played by Jeremy Piven) has decided to take crowdsourcing to the next level by creating an app, called SOPHIE, where people around the world can share and evaluate evidence to help solve crimes—more specifically to help solve his own daughter Mia’s murder. Everyone has a phone these days, and everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves, so why not create a platform where people can connect with each other and help solve murders without leaving the comfort of their homes?

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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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