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Spire to lead “Take 5: Teaching Technologies that Work” panel at ITL conference March 4-5

(Editor’s note:  This is the second in a series about faculty demonstrations scheduled for the Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference March 4-5 at K-State. See the conference schedule and details at theitl.org.)

Lynda D. Spire

K-State faculty are sampling a variety of technologies in their daily work.  They will be sharing some of their favorites in a “Take 5” session 2:30-3:30 p.m. March 4 at Union Forum Hall as part of the Innovations in Teaching and Learning conference.

Lynda D. Spire, assistant dean for Continuing Education, is leading the discussion panel “Take 5:  Teaching Technologies that Work.”  In this Q&A, she discusses K-State’s endeavors for promoting quality e-learning and how this upcoming panel discussion introduces a range of fresh technologies for teaching and learning. 

You have been working on the issue of quality e-learning for many years.  What are some of the main lessons you’ve learned in your work?

The definition of online course quality is very subjective and even personal as every instructor brings his/her own teaching skills to the table.  Teaching in the online environment is very different and some faculty members almost immediately thrive in this environment while others struggle.  Making resources available for faculty at any level of expertise is a good solution and is the goal of the E-Learning Faculty Modules wiki. 

What is the E-Learning Faculty Modules resource?  How  do you want this to be used by faculty?

Again, needs vary according to experience, skills and expertise.  A person who has survived their first plunge into teaching online realizes that there is no single way to teach online and that there are many options and teaching tools available.  The wiki that was developed specifically for K-State instructors by other faculty, K-State instructional designers and campus experts, locates numerous resources in a central location.  While the wiki has many sections, there are the three main modules called Beginner’s Studio, E-Learning Central and Advanced Workshop that offer tools for faculty at all levels of expertise.   Helpful for newer online instructors is the Getting Started module found in the Beginner’s Studio.  This module, developed by seasoned K-Staters who teach at a distance, introduces online instruction.   Each section of the wiki offers something different and new sections and materials are constantly being developed and added to the wiki.  We like to think that the wiki is appreciated as a pressure-free location where all instructors can self-identify their level of expertise and select materials pertinent to their needs.

What is the K-State Quality E-Learning Checklist?  Would you explain how this should be used by faculty?

This checklist was recently updated from an earlier checklist and offers a more comprehensive list of elements that are found in quality online courses.  Use by faculty members teaching in an online environment provides a way to design, develop and deliver online courses of the highest quality.

What are “Take 5” features?  What are some of the topics?

The “Take 5” section is one of the newest sections on the E-Learning Faculty Modules wiki, with many of the Take 5s still under development.  This section was created to deal with rapid changes in teaching technologies and is an effort to introduce in five minute segments, new technologies and those K-Staters who use them, to the rest of the campus.  This will be a constantly growing section of the wiki as new five-minute presentations are created.  Current Take 5 presentation topics are wikis, immersive simulations, video creation, blogs, K-State Online analytics, and open educational resources.

If people want to learn more beyond the five-minute videos, where can they go to learn more about these technologies?

The Take 5s are offered by K-State experts who introduce themselves as well as their technology.  Any of these K-Staters would be happy to talk to an instructor needing more information or help.

You have set up an impressive panel for the workshop.  How did you identify the technologies and the various faculty and staff to present on this panel?

Take 5 topics and presenters were identified by asking those who work hand-in-hand with instructors in the development or delivery of courses to suggest names and topics.  Also, as conversations across campus take place, the quest for new topics and presenters is continued.  When those who do a good job using a particular technology are identified, they are approached and asked to participate.  It is a credit to K-State that members of this campus are eager to share and volunteer their time to contribute to quality instruction.

What can attendees expect from this panel discussion?

The session will start with a short video that introduces the topics and presenters and also shows some examples of the Take 5s.  The rest of the hour is devoted to a Q&A session with the seven panelists who will strive to make sure the audience leaves with an appreciation of the teaching technologies and how to use them in their own courses.

The presenters include the following individuals:

Brent A. Anders: sr. electronic media coordinator, Office of Mediated Education — (Video Creation)
Royce Ann Collins: associate professor, Educational Leadership — (E-Portfolios)
Scott Finkeldei: associate director, Office of Mediated Education — (KSOL Analytics)
Brian Lindshield: assistant professor, Human Nutrition — (Open Educational Resources)
Roger McHaney: professor, Management — (Wikis) (Immersive Simulation)
Joelle Pitts: assistant professor, Hale Library — (Search It: Library Research Tool)
Linda Yarrow: assistant professor, Human Nutrition — (Blogs)