Virtual School Meanderings

May 22, 2016

Expert Tips: How to Improve Learning in Your Online Class

From Friday’s inbox…

Distance Teaching and Learning Conference: Immerse yourself in learning. Reward yourself in Madison. August 9-11.
Expert tips: How to Improve Learning in Your Online Classes

This year’s DT&L Conference program includes many of the nation’s leading experts in distance and online education. We’ve asked a few of our speakers to share some practical and simple tips for improving online learning.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Thomas J. Tobin
Northeastern Illinois University

When it comes to accessibility, stop thinking ONLY about learners with disabilities. Think about all of your students and how they access your course materials. Give them more time for personal study through wider access to materials, interactions, and engagement throughout your course. Think of the single mother who put her kids to bed, but still wants to watch your video lecture materials. She pulls up an app on her smartphone, turns the sound off and the captions on, and the kids stay asleep. She finds an extra hour to study she didn’t think she had before. Offering just one more way to get or give information transforms “accessibility” into just plain “access” –for everybody.

Creating Online Instructor Presence
Simone C.O. Conceição
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Creating presence in an online course requires a psychological sensitivity to the dynamic interplay between our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Too often online communication focuses on the cognitive aspects of learning, while ignoring the emotional dimensions. Because the online environment is elusive, there is a need to create a sense of being “real” in a text‑based environment. Using emoticons or words that communicate a sense of excitement can help stimulate discussion and provide a feeling of being present with others.

Here’s one example: when giving feedback to students in an online forum, an unemotional and formal response might be: “Your comments were well-grounded in evidence‑based research.” Instead, consider adding a little emotional excitement by saying “I’m delighted to see that you included evidence‑based research in your posts.” Although subtle, conveying appropriate emotional excitement gives your learners an increased sense of your presence in the online environment.

Authentic task‑based learning in online courses
Thomas Reeves
University of Georgia

A common deficiency in both online and classroom courses is the presentation of content without context. One solution is to incorporate authentic, or real‑world, scenarios into the curriculum, typically by asking students to collaborate on a real‑world problem. Learners benefit by both working together to define the challenge and then preparing a plan that also documents individual and shared contributions. Through authentic tasks, students actively engage in the learning process and naturally collaborate.

While these collaborations can be brief, the best authentic tasks tend to be more complex and time‑consuming, often requiring work spread over several weeks. Remember, most online learners need considerable structure and guidance from facilitators to both successfully complete the tasks and improve their collaboration skills.

Register now for the Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin‑Madison, August 9‑11, 2016, at Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin.
Questions? Contact Kimary Peterson • kimary.peterson@wisc.edu608‑265‑4159
View in browser
This message was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com from:

UW-Madison Distance Ed Professional Development | disted@dcs.wisc.edu | UW-Madison Continuing Studies | 21 N Park St | Madison, WI 53715

March 19, 2016

Your Inspiration Starts Now: EARLY Early Bird Discount For Distance Teaching & Learning Conference

Also from Thursday’s inbox…

—Online educators—
Registration is now open!
You can register for the UW-Madison Distance Teaching & Learning Conference held August 9‑11.

Sign up by May 2 and pay the EARLY early bird fee of just $495. That’s the 2015 price, and saves you $100!

“The one conference I never miss. Madison in August is unbelievable, and the conference is always a joy.”
—John Orlando, Northcentral University
Yes, I want my EARLY early bird discount >
Big names. Big ideas.
Keynote speakers
Portrait of Richard Culatta

Technology as a tool to re‑imagine learning
Richard Culatta, chief innovation officer, State of Rhode Island and Former Director of Technology for the US Dept. of Education

Portrait of Michelle D. Miller

Getting into the minds of learners to guide teaching with technology
Michelle D. Miller, professor of psychology and co-director of the First Year Learning Initiative, Northern Arizona University

Portrait of Karl Kapp

The quest for learner engagement
Karl Kapp, director of Bloomsburg’s Institute for Interactive Technologies, Bloomsburg University, PA

Meet the experts >
Want more?
Add professional development.
Dig even deeper into content that’s directly relevant to your work with these additional options:

• Pre‑conference workshops
• Conference certificates
• Special Interest Groups

Explore a vibrant city.
Not to brag, but Madison is regularly voted one of the best places to live. And there’s no better time to be here than summer. Madison offers everything from fine dining to food carts, lakes to local shops, and gardens to galleries—all against the backdrop of a world-class university. Bring your family or discover it on your own. Find things to do >
Questions? Contact Kimary Peterson • kimary.peterson@wisc.edu @wisc.edu608‑265‑4159
View in browser

 

 

 

This message was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com from:

UW-Madison Distance Ed Professional Development | disted@dcs.wisc.edu | UW-Madison Continuing Studies | 21 N Park St | Madison, WI 53715

January 26, 2016

Final Call for Proposals

Another item from yesterday’s inbox…

— Online educators —
Call for Proposals—Closes Today at Midnight
Last chance to submit a proposal for the 2016 Distance Teaching & Learning Conference, August 9-11.

Join more than 800 online and distance education professionals for a premier conference—sharing online courses or programs, design strategies, emerging technologies, research, and more—in a vibrant city.

Tell us about your best and most innovative work
We are looking for experienced presenters to lead advanced and engaging sessions on topics such as:
Administration and management • Competency-based education • Design for learning • Evaluation and assessment • Emerging technologies • Learner support • Online educational resources • Social learning • Universal design • And more
Why present?
Have an impact and be recognized at a premier national conference

Enjoy a discounted conference registration

Explore and enjoy Madison! we’re ranked as one of the nation’s best cities to work and play.

GET STARTED >
Questions? Contact Kimary Peterson • kimary.peterson@wisc.edu608–265–4159
View in browser

 

This message was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com from:

UW-Madison Distance Ed Professional Development | disted@dcs.wisc.edu | UW-Madison Continuing Studies | 21 N Park St | Madison, WI 53715

January 22, 2016

Call for Proposals – Don’t Delay!

From Tuesday’s inbox…

—Online educators—
Call for Proposals – Don’t delay!
Submit your proposal online by Monday, January 25
Join more than 800 online and distance education professionals for a premier conference – sharing online courses or programs, design strategies, emerging technologies, research and more – in a vibrant city.
Tell us about your best and most innovative work
We are looking for experienced presenters to lead advanced and engaging sessions on topics such as:
Administration and management • Competency‑based education • Design for learning • Evaluation and assessment • Emerging technologies • Learner support • Online educational resources • Social learning • Universal design • And more
Why present?
Have an impact and be recognized at a premier national conference

Enjoy a discounted conference registration

Explore and enjoy Madison—we’re ranked as one of the nation’s best cities to work and play

LEARN MORE >
Questions? Contact Kimary Peterson • kimary.peterson@wisc.edu608‑265‑4159
View in browser

 

 

 

This message was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com from:

UW-Madison Distance Ed Professional Development | disted@dcs.wisc.edu | UW-Madison Continuing Studies | 21 N Park St | Madison, WI 53715

January 7, 2016

Call for Proposals

From Tuesday’s inbox…

—Online educators—
Call for Proposals
Submission deadline: Monday, January 25
We are accepting presentation proposals for the 32nd annual Distance Teaching & Learning Conference—sponsored by the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This event is a premier forum for distance education professionals to share their online courses or programs, design strategies, emerging technologies, research, and more.
Tell us about your best and most innovative work
We are looking for experienced presenters to lead advanced and engaging topics such as:

Administration and management • Competency–based education • Design for learning • Evaluation and assessment • Emerging technologies • Learner support • Online educational resources • Social learning • Universal design • And more

Why present?
Have an impact and be recognized at a premier national conference

Enjoy a discounted conference registration

Explore and enjoy Madison—we’re ranked as one of the nation’s best cities to work and play
LEARN MORE >
Questions? Contact Kimary Peterson • kimary.peterson@wisc.edu608‑265‑4159
View in browser

 

 

 

This message was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com from:

UW-Madison Distance Ed Professional Development | disted@dcs.wisc.edu | UW-Madison Continuing Studies | 21 N Park St | Madison, WI 53715

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