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Putting Current Events in the Classroom

As Instructional Designers, we spend weeks or months working with Subject Matter Experts and Programs to ensure that courses have everything students need. We work on alignment and learning outcomes, and we carefully construct modules so that the content is current, robust, and presented in the clearest way possible. What happens though, when a portion…

Treasures & Tips at the UNE Library

How well do you know the UNE Library, and the many resources available there? Recently, I visited the UNE Library website for the same reason that many of us do: to search for journal articles. I was pleased to find full-text access to most of the articles that I needed. This was not a big surprise; what really…

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Making Text Look Normal in Blackboard

Have you ever pasted text into Blackboard and found that it just doesn’t look right? It might be that the font has changed, weird symbols have replaced some letters, background colors have suddenly appeared, or your spacing and lists are all wrong. It can be maddening when all you want to do is paste a…

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Articles We’ve Been Reading – 3/23/18

Every now and then, we like to draw attention to the links to the articles that we instructional designers have read and found interesting during the previous few weeks. The opinions expressed in these articles don’t always reflect our own. Rather, we share them because we think they compel conversation, which we’re happy to have with our readers in the…

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Accessibility Helps Everyone

One of the pillars of Universal Design Language, or UDL, is the idea that when you develop your instruction and assessments so they are accessible to a wide audience, including to those with sensory impairments, the results benefit everyone. This dynamic exists across modalities, such that the more we design for students with certain sensory…

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Fostering Growth Mindset in Grad Students

“People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are set in stone – they have a certain amount of intelligence and nothing will change that. The opposite of this is the growth mindset – people see their qualities as things that they can develop through effort and practice” (Gallagher, 2014, their emphasis). According to…

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Authentic Learning and Assessments: Readying Online Students for the Real-World

Last week at UNE Online’s first ever Online Learning Symposium ( https://www.instagram.com/p/Bea2jgjH8If/ ) , I had the opportunity to share our goal of creating learning experiences and assessments that are not only rigorous and research-based, but also authentic to real work and real life, so that when our students leave us, they have the tools to…

webinar

Webinar – Inline Grading with New Box View

The most recent update to Blackboard, over break, included an update to its inline grading functionality. To cover the new features in this tool—which allows for student work to be read, graded, and even commented on within Blackboard, without forcing you to download—we turned to our fearless peers, Susan Graham-Rent and Susan Hyde, who delivered…

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PDF Editing and Accessibility

PDFs (Portable Document Format), with their platform-neutral openability and read-only format, have become one of our most useful tools for saving and sharing documents, and are a common feature in online as well as face-to-face courses (read this article for more on the interesting history of PDFs). However, they can present challenges for some users, especially…

The New Box on the Docs

Online and face to face faculty are likely familiar with the Crocodoc inline grading tool, licensed for use by Blackboard. For a number of years, this third-party cloud-based document conversion system was the tool used to record faculty’s annotations of student’s digital work to provide them with detailed and relevant feedback as if they were…

webinar

Tools for Office Hours – Blackboard Collaborate

Last week we covered Appear.in as a tool for conducting online conferences. This week we’re going to go over the same steps for creating persistent and scheduled online conferencing spaces, but with Blackboard Collaborate. The differences between Collaborate and Appear.in make them both useful, we think, for different applications. Appear.in is very simple and easy to use, but…