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

Updated: Five *End-of-Semester* Sakai Grading Tips

After you've graded your student's last discussion postings, assignments, and/or tests, check out these five important Sakai grading tips:

Hypothetical cladogram showing two clades (red and blue) and a grade (green).

New Gradebook Tips:

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

  2. Are all the graded items part of your student course grade? In the new Gradebook, to the right of the Course Grade, view each Gradebook item's "title box"; if it contains a crossed out calculator in the lower left corner of the "box", the grade is NOT included in the Gradebook. 
    • If you need to make a change, click in the right corner of the Gradebook item "box" on the drop down arrow, then click Edit Item Details
    • 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. 
    • 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, click beside a student's name, click on the Course Grade cell drop down arrow
    • Click Course Grade Override
    • Enter the student's new letter grade in the Grade Override box
    • Click Save Course Grade Override.

  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.

    Go to: Classic Gradebook Tips

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


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.

Sep 12, 2017

Save the Date: Nov 14, 2017 - Sakai Virtual Conference 2017

Sakai Virtual Conference 2017 logo
Mark your calendars for the fourth annual online Sakai Virtual Conference, with a focus 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. 

Last year, over 350 faculty and staff attended the conference from around the world. There were so many excellent presentations to choose from, but if you missed any, the recordings were provided later for you to watch. Plus: you'll get "swag" after you register and at the conference, you could win prizes. Finally, proceeds are donated back to the Sakai community!

The Sakai Virtual Conference web site already has the following information posted:
  • Proposals: Submit now. Due by September 29. 
  • Nine Conference Tracks: (listed on the Proposals web page with descriptions)
    • Faculty Course Showcase
    • Instructional Design/Support
    • Effective or Innovative Practice
    • Learning Analytics
    • Technical Session
    • Birds of a Feather, Lightning Talks
  • Registration: Starts Soon!
  • Cost: $50. If you are a presenter: $25. (Plus Group registrations available)
  • Schedule: Tentative list is provided.
  • Sponsors: Longsight, Lamp and VeriCite (so far).
Save the Date: Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

"See" you there!