Viewing by month: August 2009

Aug 27 2009

CoursePlus 101: Setting Up Your CoursePlus Site

In this entry in the CoursePlus 101 series, we look at how to log in to CoursePlus as a faculty member and do the initial setup for your course's site.


Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:43 AM - Categories: CoursePlus 101

Aug 24 2009

CoursePlus 101: Simple, How-To Videos for Faculty

Starting this month, this blog will become host to CoursePlus 101 — a series of simple, how-to videos for faculty who want to learn more about the various features in CoursePlus. These demonstrations will each be under 5 minutes and each show how to accomplish one task within CoursePlus.

A lot of faculty are using CoursePlus to supplement their on-site courses from the School. Many, though, either delegate working on their CoursePlus sites to their TAs or administrative assistants or use CoursePlus for a single purpose, such as posting files in the Online Library. CoursePlus has a lot more to offer, and our hope is that through this series of short, video introductions, you'll learn more about those features and will begin to take advantage of them.

If you would like to be notified of when new CoursePlus 101 videos are posted, click on the "RSS Feed" link at the top of this page to be updated via your news reader, or enter your email address in the box to the right to be notified via email.

As always, your feedback is invaluable, so please feel free to leave comments about any of the videos that are posted. If you need technical support for CoursePlus, though, please be sure to contact the CoursePlus Help Support Center!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:28 AM - Categories: CoursePlus 101 | CoursePlus

Aug 13 2009

OpenEd2009 Conference in Vancouver

After two days of attending the OpenEd2009 Conference in Vancouver, I am incredibly impressed with the vast array of new projects that are emerging in the open education field. The energy level is high, and the connections being made here at the meeting promise to produce an even higher energy level throughout the field in the months and years to come.

At least two of the sessions I attended are direct outcomes of connections and conversations that began just one year ago at OpenEd2008: Peer2Peer Univesity (P2PU) and the Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in OpenCourseWare.

P2PU describes itself as "an online community of open study groups for short university-level courses." The P2PU helps enrolled students navigate the wealth of available open education materials, creates small groups of motivated learners, and supports the design and facilitation of courses. Students and tutors get recognition for their work, and the leaders are exploring the extra step of building pathways to formal credit. You can view the session here via Ustream, and enrollment is now open for its first offering of courses.

The Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in OpenCourseWare is a soon-to-be-released document with the goal of helping OCW producers to interpret and apply fair use under US copyright law. As one of the Code's co-authors along with a group of practitioners from other institutions (Notre Dame, University of Mighican, Tufts University, MIT, and Yale), I am eager to see how its release will affect the practice of OCW production in the future. When the project began as an ad hoc session at OpenEd2008, I was very skeptical of its value and was worried that encouraging fair use in OCW would discourage the creation of new open learning object. Now, however, I'm convinced that this is an important step toward attaining OCW's full potential. You can view the session led by Lindsay Weeramuni of MIT OpenCourseWare and Lila Bailey of ccLearn here via Ustream. 


Posted by Ira Gooding at 7:50 PM - Categories: Teaching Tips | OpenCourseWare

Aug 11 2009

"Practice Leaders in Medical Homes" Training Course Launched

At the end of July, the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care, in conjunction with the Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology, launched the "Practice Leaders in Medical Homes" online training course. The course provides practicing physicians and other practice leaders with an awareness of the competencies needed to facilitate a medical home. It is an on-demand course composed of nine one-hour modules. Each module includes self-assessment questions, a short reading, a narrated presentation, a case study, a video vignette, final assessment questions, and a list of additional resources.  The Lipitz Center recruited national content experts to help develop the nine course modules.

The list of modules in the training course is as follows:

  • Module 1: Assessing Readiness to Change into a Medical Home, by Mindi McKenna, PhD, MBA
  • Module 2: Leading Change in Medical Homes, by Alan Lazaroff, MD
  • Module 3: Health Information Technology in Medical Homes, by Chad Boult, MD, MPH, MBA
  • Module 4: Interdisciplinary Teams in Medical Homes, by Ron Stock, MD, MA
  • Module 5: Communicating with Patients of Medical Homes, by Danelle Cayea, MD, MS
  • Module 6: Supporting Patient Self-Management within Medical Homes, by Margaret Gadon, MD, MPH
  • Module 7: Care Management in Medical Homes, by Bruce Leff, MD
  • Module 8: Continuity of Care for Patients of Medical Homes, by Cynthia Boyd, MD, MPH
  • Module 9: Managing the Medical Home, by David Dorr, MD, MS

Tuition for is $15 per module.  At the end of each module, successful learners will receive a certificate of completion. CME credit is also available.

For more information about this training course, please see the Web site for the "Practice Leaders in Medical Homes" online training course

Posted by Brian Klaas at 7:57 AM - Categories: General

Aug 5 2009

Teaching Naked

Do faculty rely too much upon PowerPoint and other technologies during their lectures? Have students become dependent upon PowerPoint handouts and are they now resistant to taking notes in class? These debates and concerns are often expressed here at the School and on campuses throughout the United States.

As a teaching device, PowerPoint was once a welcomed alternative to blurry overhead projectors. The flexibility provided by a PowerPoint presentation for printing, saving, and updating one’s material cannot be ignored. But after a decade of this technology, many students and professionals dread the idea of having to sit through one more PowerPoint presentation. 

An article by Jeffrey R. Young in the current Chronicle of Higher Education considers alternatives to PowerPoint in a review of José A. Bowen’s web page about “Teaching Naked” or without technology:

Mr. Bowen is a dean at Southern Methodist University and has actually removed technology from the school’s classrooms. He contends “class time should be reserved for discussion, especially now that students can download lectures online and find libraries of information on the web.” 

Here at the School of Public Health, some faculty are similarly asking students to listen to pre-recorded “lectures” before class and then using classroom time for discussion. Most report good results though there are some complaints about students not listening to the lecture as requested and thus being unprepared. However, is this any different than asking students to read an article before class? Both Bowen and others attempt to offset the preparation problem by issuing short quizzes at the beginning of every class. Alternatively, the faculty could start each class with a question and answer session. Faculty who have done this also suggest resisting the urge to re-lecture on that same content during classroom time to make up the lack of student preparation. This only reinforces the problem.

If you too decide to experiment, the Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology (CTLT) has many tools that can support this strategy. You can pre-record your lectures, either on your own or in the studio, post them on your CoursePlus site, and use the Quiz Generator feature of CoursePlus for quizzes. The Instructional Designers will also work with you to brainstorm alternative classroom strategies for engaging the learners.

PowerPoint and other instructional technologies serve many good purposes. But anything can be overused. A bit of variety keeps everyone interested.

Posted by Kathy Gresh at 4:41 PM - Categories: Teaching Tips

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