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eServices Office

Technology Enhanced Learning

An Introduction

Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies of automatically creates a website for each section of every course per term. Course template is based on the easy-to-use Quickr Technology.

If you are considering:

  • Supplementing classroom instruction with Web-based activities
  • Planning to develop a fully online course
  • Making more effective use of the official Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies course website template
  • How to obtain help
  • How to choose the most appropriate platform for your course needs
This guide is meant to provide the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies with:
  • A list of TEL features that can augment their course delivery
  • Information on the latest built-in TEL features of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies official course website
  • Resources to obtaining the best and most timely TEL instruction or help
  • A roadmap for faculty who want to take advantage of TEL features
TEL can be applied to all courses

TEL is not limited to distance education (Internet, correspondence or mixed-mode courses), but can be applied to all modes of course delivery. Naturally, it is critical for an exclusively Internet course, but it is also becoming invaluable as a means of communication with students for even for in-class courses.

For example, students can review course outlines for all Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies courses. Roughly half of Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies's course offerings provide on-line unofficial grades and over half have course notes posted on-line. Some traditional correspondence courses have incorporated on-line discussion and supplemented paper-based mail with email.

The newest mode of delivery on campus, mixed-mode, replaces some of the scheduled in-class lecture time with discussion or instruction over the Internet.

Providing course summaries on the Web via text, audio or video, on-line automated quizzes, asynchronous discussions, and broadcasting timely announcements are examples of the use of technology to reduce cost, improve communication and free up class time for academic rather than administrative issues.

TEL doesn't have to be complicated.

Pivotal to all forms of education is the creation and sharing of information. In this sense, Information Technology is a perfect fit for education.

Here are some of the highlights either built into or adapted by the official Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies course website:

  • Broadcast Email: Emailing a whole class of students with a single message, based on class lists generated from SIS
  • Viewing Class Enrolments: Faculty can determine who is in their classes, cross-referencing names and student numbers.
  • On-line Announcements: e.g. unofficial grades, exam announcements, room changes.
  • Web Links: Links posted on a website to guide students to the library and other relevant on-line resources.
  • Text Discussion: A discussion forum is a computerized bulletin board, allowing people to participate in group discussions. These discussions are often "threaded", i.e. organized so that the flow of discussion is obvious from the layout of the text.
  • Text Chat: Allowing students the convenience of instant messaging in a secure environment with only their classmates.
  • On-line Lecture Notes: Uploading of Word, PowerPoint and Excel files for easy student retrieval. Often, course materials have already been developed in one of these formats.
  • Assignment Submission: Secure and immediate submission of assignments in digital form. This has the potential to reduce paperwork (along with the potential for lost assignments) and can allow digital grading and feedback.

Customized and feature TEL workshops can be initiated from the following link:

http://maple.eso.yorku.ca/etlr

In addition, training videos and “How To” pages are available at the above website upon authentication.

The use of TEL can provide a richer learning experience for both students and faculty. Rather than trying to duplicate the in-class experience, faculty members are now harnessing TEL's strengths to create a better environment for learning. This often involves using more advanced features. The caveats are that this can often mean a greater investment of time and better computer equipment and connections for both faculty and student.

An effective combination of advanced and basic TEL features can be used for the reduction or elimination of in-class time. Not only does this free up increasingly in-demand class time, it can also free faculty and students from the constraints of time and place. This is particularly beneficial at Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, where it is not uncommon for faculty and students to be arranging their involvement with York around other commitments.

  • Quizzing: Quizzing can allow immediate feedback for students and can be counted towards grading or simply used to encourage students to study.
  • Tracking student participation: Keep track of student progress, determineneglected portions of the syllabus, and see who is really coming to class.
  • Focused application of TEL features to specific groups within classes: Break up your entire class list into small teams for focused discussions, peer review etc. By breaking your class into teams, you foster on-line collaboration and can free up time, e.g. grading a team submission rather than submissions by individual students.
  • On-line Lecture Recordings: Audio and/or video posted to the Web for any time or any place student review. This can be a great time saver for faculty who teach both in-class and on the Internet.
  • Multimedia Presentation; Chat, or Discussion: Imagine being connected to all your students and they can see what is happening on your screen, hear your voice and even see your picture, during class or played back at their convenience.
  • Podcasting: Distribution of multimedia class materials
  • Blogging: Blogging can be an augmented feature in certain disciplines that can benefit from online journals. Participation from the general public as well as enrolled students may add a new dimension to a course.

Customized and feature TEL workshops can be initiated from the following link:

http://maple.eso.yorku.ca/etlr

 

Material posted to the Web is, in effect, published.

You will need to consider the intellectual property rights of others before linking to or reposting their material. You will also need to consider the security of your own intellectual property. Linking to other websites has a second peril: the broken link. websites are constantly being revised and redesigned and a link that exists one day may not the next. Broken links on your website may reduce student satisfaction and review.

When selecting TEL features, keep authentication and identity verification in mind.

A discussion, for example, could quickly turn to pandemonium if you cannot link the words and the student. Even more importantly, consider how many marks you are willing to grant for an on-line submission, when, as they say, on the Internet, "no one knows if you are a dog".

Timing is everything.

Posting outline materials early can pave the way for a better prepared body of students, allowing class time to be spent on the heart of the matter. On the other hand, posting detailed, word for word notes before or immediately after a class can contribute to high student absences.

Frequent involvement of students (chat, discussion, quizzing, self-tests) encourages students to stay up-to-date and to study in-depth.

Advanced features call for commitment.

The more advanced features require time invested and hardware/software/connection speed for both faculty and students. The good news is that hardware/software/connection speeds get better and cheaper all the time.

Some features are considered advanced, not for their technical sophistication, but for their departure from standardized implementation. If your approach is unique, it can often be labour-intensive and require a great deal of coordination between you, eServices Office and the students.

An important consideration is that, even if student workload goes up because of technical hurdles, their interests may still best be served by adding technology to your course. Properly used, TEL features can encourage more critical thinking and help students catch themselves before they fall behind.

The success of a course depends upon sound preparation. For traditional in-class delivery, this preparation can often be done independently by the faculty member, but for technology enhanced learning, coordination with other parties, for example eServices Office (eSO), is called for.

The schedule below was drawn up by eSO. Naturally each course will require a different amount of lead time. Most notably, courses that have already been mounted and are simply being reworked for another term will require less advance work than a totally new course.

Although the timeline is not set in stone, it is our recommendation that it be considered to allow for the greatest chance of success.

The timeline below has been set up to include eSO’ monthly guidelines for the following term(s):

Instructor Access:

Instructors will be provided with access to their course websites approximately three months before the start of term. Though all websites will be created, late hirings may affect some instructor access.

Student Access:

Prior to the start of the term, the course websites will be linked from the individual course outlines. Students will be able to access public/non secured announcements and areas that you may make available. This can be useful to communicate with your students before the beginning of term or used to promote your course. The course websites will be activated for student login to secured areas on the first day of term.