Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Videos for Intros to Essays

Yesterday, I spent about three hours with Mike and Terence from IDEAL, shooting videos for my intro-to-essay segments. I was hoping for a sunny day so we could shoot outside, but it was cold and rainy. Hence, a lot of inside shots.

Once Terence and Mike edit the videos and create the final cuts, I'll be posting them to my Blackboard classes (yes, I'm going to use them both in my online and f2f classes) and to this blog.

I'm really excited to show the diversity of my assignments through the videos. And I hope to inspire my students with the videos. Perhaps the most inspiring one will be for Essay 3--Proposing A Solution. I really want this essay to become one that students can understand that their essay writing actually can make a difference. The topic I chose to focus on in the video was the problem domestic violence in Wood County. A friend and colleague of mine suggested I ask Mary Ann Robinson, the Domestic Violence Specialist for the Wood County Sheriff's Office, to be in the video. I learned a lot from her yesterday, and I think my students will too. If my students can see some of the possible solutions the citizens of Wood County have proposed and how those solutions are making a difference, I think they will feel more empowered in their essay writing and take the assignment more seriously and actually turn it into something that could make a difference in their communities! I have to say, I was empowered as a citizen and teacher by listening to Mary Ann. She really helped me see that all of us can make a difference.


The Online Class is almost completely uploaded. The podcast lectures are recorded and uploaded. The weekly schedule is filled in, and the videos are shot. The one thing left to do is get the portfolio forms uploaded and record an explanation of the portfolio process.

I'm super-excited!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Imperfections in Podcast Recording...

As I was recording some podcast lectures today, my dryer buzzed, my floor creaked, and I stuttered a couple of times. I did rerecord some pieces that sounded "off," but I kept the buzzer, the floor creaking, the sound of me pressing buttons on my computer because I think these imperfections make the lectures more like my f2f lectures. There's always outside noises and other disturbances and who doesn't stumble over their words every now and then? I think it lets my students know I'm human, not just a random voice in a computer.

I guess we'll see if I still feel that way after I listen to all of them again before posting them to iTunes...

An Online Library Assignment?

Background info: BGSU's General Studies Writing Program teamed up with the Jerome Library to better assist first-year students with finding sources for their essay. Therefore, first-year students are required to complete a Library Tour and quiz, in order to demonstrate they know how to do academic research.

My challenge: The ENG 111 Library Tour is to be done in person at the Jerome Library, and I want to keep the requirements of the online class exactly the same.

My solution: I refer online students to the Jerome Library's Virtual Tour and Distance Education page then using the same tour created by the acting chair of the Library Teaching and Learning & First Year Experience, I replaced questions to be answered in person with questions that can answered by viewing the Virtual Tour and Distance Education pages. At the end of the activity, students are to complete a multiple choice test in Blackboard that is very similar to the bubble sheet f2f students must fill out and hand-in to their instructors.

I'm a little concerned there may be too many steps for students to follow, but my rebuttal is that the f2f students have many steps to follow as well, so actually the online Library Assignment does replicate the same work level as the f2f Library Assignment.

I plan to report my findings on this assignment once it is completed in the online class.