Category Archives: Course Information

Assignment for Thursday, July 3

Hello! This fourth week of Summer B will be a little different – it is the first week that we don’t have a short assignment due, so I want us to spend some time preparing for future work.

First, look at the assignment instructions for Analysis of a Teaching Tool – respond to that page with your choice of tool (due by midnight on July 3). Your analysis will be due the following Thursday, July 10.

Second, begin looking at resources on the how/why of flipped classrooms and lessons – I have included a link in the assignment instructions, and I have tagged links on Twitter with our class hashtag #WUwrit510. Since this is the major assignment in the course, I want us to be prepared before we tackle it; many of you may not teach in online environments, but may instead focus on blended or mobile learning in more traditional classrooms. And this is a great tool/method to be aware of!

So, by midnight on July 3, I want you to create a small or “baby” version of a flipped lesson plan. One way to start may be to take a PowerPoint presentation or Prezi that you already have and record your voice over it – creating layers, additional instructions, further explanations, etc. In fact, the newest version of Microsoft Office actually asks if you want to start Camtasia (a recording software) when you open PowerPoint. Or, you can start by using a screencapturing software like Jing or Screencast-O-Matic, the latter you can use on their website without downloading. You will need a microphone, which you can buy rather cheaply at various stores or can borrow from the lab in Withers.

The choice will likely be determined by what kind of lesson plan you want to create – do you want to give students a similar experience to a lecture (slides with explanation), or do you want to walk students through a process (library research, thesis statement as you type, etc)?

Many of your free accounts on WordPress may not let you upload these creations to your blog, but you can create a YouTube channel or upload to a site like Vimeo that will then allow you to embed the link in a post/page. You can also post it to Blackboard.

Twitter hashtag

As I mentioned, all of your posts have great initial questions and comments about the course content and potential research topics. Reading through your blogs last night inspired me to find a way to pull outside information into one place.

There are several ways to tag information for this class (including social bookmarking platforms like Delicious), but I am choosing to do Twitter – both for its ease of use and for the research I have seen people posting links to in recent weeks. For example, many of you have asked about student retention and ability in relationship to online classrooms, and I’ve seen several articles in the last day or so that I think you would find useful. Research even indicates that shy students and “at-risk” students benefit from social media such as Twitter because they can ask questions or talk about what they are learning in a less threatening environment; teachers are now tweeting reminders about deadlines and office hours with greater effect than email. Using Twitter outside of the class means that you can follow certain educators, administrators, or even organizations (like NCTE or CCCC) for their help and insight into topics that are important to you.

Therefore, I have created the hashtag #WUwrit510 that I will use to retweet or tag things that will be relevant; if you have an account, you can follow me (@scsrhetoric) or you can tweet questions or comments to the class using that same hashtag.

For those who don’t have a Twitter account, it is free and easy to setup/use. Please be aware that Twitter is public, so if you want to create a disposable account for this class, that is fine! Disposable simply means creating a new account with an alternative email address or a pseudonym as your username. As long as I know who you are (which you can tell me in an email or in the Blackboard discussion forum)…

Or, as another option, you can use a website with archiving ability to search the history of a particular hashtag, like Tweet Archivist.

Public domain image of a computer and coffee cup

You’ve reached our class website…

Hello! This week begins our journey into exploring online teaching environments; while we can’t possibly cover everything in nine weeks, I hope the textbook and related topics provide an introduction to ideas that you can use in your own teaching/education.

As I’ve explained over email, this is the space I will be using to post information about the syllabus, course policies, assignments, due dates, and reading schedule. Also, once you email me with the links to your own blogs, I will place them here to the right, under “Class Links”! This way students will have access to everyone else’s blog (I will explain how you can add your own links as well).

In Week 1 of Summer B, I want you to get familiar with this site and our space in Blackboard. Questions can be asked by clicking “Leave a reply,” or you can email me. I also plan to have online office hours under the Skype username writ465professor.