Nov 29, 2017

2017 Sakai Virtual Conference Highlights (and recordings)

Sakaiger and Apereo logo with Sakai Virtual Conference 2017


If you missed the fourth annual online Sakai Virtual Conference,  (it focuses on teaching with Sakai, learning, sharing, best practices, and community building), never fear! 

The Sakai Virtual Conference playlist of  the 2017 conference sessions are available now, on the Sakai YouTube channel. 


What were the sessions about?


There are many excellent presentations to listen to, but if you want to know what some of the popular "themes" were, here's some of the popular topics:
  • Effective Practices: What are best practices for Sakai courses? 
  • Sakai Showcase: What's coming up in Sakai 12? A Sakai Accessibility update
  • Instructional Design/Learning Analytics: Faculty Support/Statistics
  • Technical: LTI Integration and a potential App Store
  • Birds of a Feather: What tools are being worked on now? Mobile, Tests, Lessons
  • Tools: Integrating Tsugi, Google Drive, Meetings (update), and Usability Testing
  • Collaboration: Building Sakaigers (student QA teams) and ePortfolio


What did participants say they liked best about the conference?

  • "This was my first year attending a virtual conference. With all of the activities (Rogues Gallery, Meditation, Karaoke, etc.), there was a real sense of community. I appreciated that. It's easy to foster fellowship at a conference housed in a brick and mortar building, and so I really appreciate the time and thought that went into making sure this virtual conference provided a similar experience."
  • "It's hard to beat the Karaoke lunchtime session. Lots of fun and a great way to show newbies that the community works and plays together!"
  • "Good balance of presentations between hands-on technical aspects and more general teaching and learning solutions. It was easy to jump between rooms in the middle of a presentation (apologies to presenters) which is not easily possible in physical conferences."
  • "I often feel isolated on my campus, so this conference gave me inspiration and the confidence that there are others out there plugging away like me!" 

Who was there? 


  • Over 330+ instructional designers, faculty, administrators, developers and technical support folks attended the conference this year from 70 institutions from 11 countries from around the world.

Where will the money raised go?

  • Sakai development and/or enhancement projects, such as FARM

Hope to "see" you next year (the conference is usually held the first week in November).
  • FYI: If you registered early, you also received a t-shirt and a lunch gift card!

Resources:

Sakai 2017 Virtual Conference playlist
Sakai Virtual Conference web site
Introducing Sakai 11 video (2:31 min)
Sakai Project web site

Oct 24, 2017

Register now! Sakai Virtual Conference on November 14, 2017

Sakai Virtual Conference 2017 logo

Register now for the fourth annual online Sakai Virtual Conference!

The conference focus is on teaching, learning, sharing, best practices, and community building. This is a faculty-friendly event. No need to travel-the whole day's workshops will be online. 

If you hurry, you may still get the last of the "swag" if you register now, plus you can win prizes at the conference. The Sakai Virtual Conference web site has the following information posted:
  • Schedule: Seven Conference Tracks with session descriptions and full program grid
    • Effective Practice
    • Sakai Showcase
    • Instructional Design/Learning Analytics
    • Technical 
    • Birds of a Feather
    • Tools
    • Collaboration
  • Registration: Cost: $50 (Plus Group registrations available)
  • Sponsors: Longsight, Lamp, VeriCite, opencollab, entornos de Formacion, Unicon 
  • Keynote: Info Coming Soon!
There were so many excellent presentations to choose from, but if you miss any, the recordings will be provided later for you to watch.

FYI: Your registration fees are pooled and go toward development of Sakai features and enhancements.

"See" you Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Sep 18, 2017

Five *End-of-Semester* New/Classic Gradebook Tips

When it's end-of-semester grading time, where do you start?

After you've graded your student's last discussion postings, assignments, projects, papers, and/or tests, check out these five important Sakai grading tips..(if you need help with other grading tasks, see Resources below)

New Gradebook Tips

  1. What are your course letter grade/point values? At the top of the new Gradebook, click the Settings tab then Grading Schema link
    • You can change your Grade Type (click on the drop-down) and/or your Grade Point minimum's (our default grade is a "Letter Grades", based on a 10 point scale). After updates, click Save Changes.

  2. Are all the gradebook item part of your student course grade? In the new Gradebook (on the Grades tab), to the right of the Course Grade column, view each Gradebook item's "title box"; if it contains a crossed out calculator in the lower left corner of the "title box", the grade is NOT included in the Gradebook. 
    • If you need to make a change, click in the lower right corner of the Gradebook item "title box" on the drop down arrow, then click Edit Item Details
    Below a gradebook item title, an arrow points to a crossed out calculator; in the right corner, an arrow points to the edit drop-down arrow
    • After making updates (such as checking beside "Release Item to students?" and "Include item in course grade calculations?", click Save Changes.

  3. What if you missed grading an item (such as assignments or tests not submitted by students)?
    The Gradebook *does not include* ungraded gradebook items in the final course grade. Students could get a higher course grade: 
    • Be careful: Only do this after finishing ALL of your grading!
    • In the Gradebook, in the Course Grades "title box", click on the drop down arrow in the right corner, click on Set Zero Score for Empty cells. 
    • Your students grades will be recalculated.

  4. What if you need to override a student's course grade (their letter grade)?
    In the Gradebook, beside a student's name, click on the Course Grade cell drop down arrow. DO NOT DO THIS FOR EVERY STUDENT's GRADE!
    • Click Course Grade Override
    • Enter the student's new letter grade in the Grade Override box
    • Click Save Course Grade Override. FYI: If your student's grade was 89.9, and you updated the B to an A letter grade, the number grade will now display as 90.

  5. How do you release course grades to students? 
  6. At the top of the Gradebook, click Settings, then Grade Release Rules. 
    • Click the check box beside Display final course grade to students
    • Click beside Letter Grade and/or Percentage (unless using Points). 
    • Click Save Changes.

Need more new Gradebook details (and how to work with Points)? 


    Go to Classic Gradebook Tips: Click on "Read more>>" below


Sep 15, 2017

*Free* Sept/Oct/Nov MOOC's for Teachers/Educators

Here's a few free courses for Teachers/Educators you may be interested in (I don't work for these companies, I just like to learn "free").

Just like there were previously, there are courses you can pay for, if you want a certificate. But watch out for paid specializations and programs. Groups of individual courses are bundled, and available for a price. 
 If you want to take free courses, search for individual courses, don't sign up for specializations/programs. 
In fall, two rows of hardwoods facing each other

Starting Sept 18

Starting November, 2017

Resources:

Sep 13, 2017

Teacher/Instructor Myths: Video Equipment = Fantastic videos


Myth: There seems to be this idea among instructors and teachers that if there was just a room, with video equipment, at your school or college, that creating videos would be easy. You'd walk in, breeze out, and have a video you could post in your LMS or web site.

  Image: 'GCPVideoStudio2'

Reality: Sorry, it isn't so. Even at universities that do have a room with video equipment-you don't walk in and breeze out with an interesting, effective video for your course. Why not?
  1. Just like any lesson you create, you have to have a plan for what your video will contain. What are you going to discuss, show or do? Are you going to talk about yourself, your course expectations, teach a lesson about math, or show how to build a web site? Guess who has to figure this out? You.
  2. Who is going to operate the video equipment? Someone has to do the recording and editing, and at most institutions, that someone, is you. Most institutions do not have the staff to record (and do the really hard part, edit) your recording, no matter how fascinating your presentation may be. (And of institutions who do have video equipment "rooms", few if any instructors use the magic video room, even when staffed!).
  3. What about recording your class? If you have ever seen recorded classes on TV, you'll notice that they are hard to hear, hard to see, and students look like they would like to be anywhere else but there. It's very difficult to record a classroom session successfully, even with the best equipment and operators (and someone still has to edit the results...). Otherwise, wouldn't everybody do it? 

What can you do? This isn't what folks want to hear, but, you, not a mythical room, can use free and inexpensive tools to record yourself and/or your computer screen. Here are some suggestions:
  • Screencast-o-Matic: Record your computer screen or you (via webcam) or both (picture in picture); upload to YouTube.
  • Office Mix: Narrate your PowerPoints; upload to YouTube.
  • YouTube: Find closed-captioned videos and manage your videos.
  • EDpuzzle: Make videos interactive: add questions IN your videos.
Resources