Vol. 1, Issue 1, March 2006

What's New

The Instructional Media Lab, an in-house facility where faculty can create multimedia projects at NAU, is now available to interested faculty. Contact Stephanie McCarthy at 523-8997 to schedule your Lab time, available in three hour increments, Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Hardware and software training and assistance is available if needed.

What's Happening

e-Learning Center Showcase, March 31, 2006
Cline Library, Room 200, 10:00am - 3:00pm
Title: "Faculty Reports from the Field"

Faculty report on teaching experiences using technologies including Bb Vista and how they address the issue, "Why I did this in my course".

e-Learning Center Institute, May 22-25, 2006
College of Business Administration Building

The keynote speaker, Dr. Charles Dziuban, Director, Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness (RITE), University of Central Florida, will address the issue of blended learning in higher education and the effectiveness of distributed learning and its effect on the rest of the University on Monday, May 22nd at 9:30am in the Auditorium, Room 101, College of Business Administration Building.

Dr. Brian Lamb, Emerging Technologies Coordinator in the Office of Learning Technology at the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Alan Levine from Maricopa County Community College District will provide the closing address about social software on Thursday, May 25th at 9:15am in the Auditorium, Room 101, College of Business Administration Building.

Please see our web site for complete schedules and registration.


Bb Vista Implementation and Migration

Bb Vista

NAU has implemented a new enterprise level web course management system, Bb Vista, to replace the aging WebCT Campus Edition (CE) product. Campus Edition will continue to run parallel to Bb Vista until the end of summer 2006 while courses are moved to Bb Vista. The Campus Edition system will not be available for teaching classes after summer 2006 and, starting in fall 2006, all online classes will be taught in Bb Vista.

SBS pilots Bb Vista during Summer 2006

Social and Behavioral Sciences have chosen to be a pilot college in the move to Bb Vista. During Summer 2006, all SBS online courses will be held in Bb Vista and all face-to-face courses will have a Bb Vista shell.

Migration

At the end of Summer 2006, the old WebCT Campus Edition system will phase out. Campus Edition courses need to be converted to function on the new Bb Vista system.

If you have an existing Campus Edition course that you wish to "migrate" to Bb Vista, please complete the migration request form for each course you wish to migrate. Migration requests should be made during a period of time when you will not be modifying your course but as far in advance of the end-of-summer deadline as possible.

When the migration is complete, you will be sent email notification with an attached migration report describing some of the changes made to make your course work properly in the Bb Vista system.

If you will be unavailable during the summer but will be using WebCT in fall 2006, we recommend that you request migration and sign up for training now, during the spring semester.

Training

In order to use Bb Vista effectively, the e-Learning Center strongly encourages you to attend our new Bb Vista training workshops. We expect that instructors will be pleasantly surprised by the many enhancements in Bb Vista and that this system will be easier to use, more powerful, and more reliable than Campus Edition.

We offer trainings for Bb Vista in Bb Vista Basics, Assessments, Assignments, Communicating with Students, Managing Your Course, Organizing Content, and Teaching in Bb Vista. In addition, we offer several labs to give you hands-on time with instructional technologists to work on your courses.

Director Don Carter

Director's Note

E-Notes is produced by the e-Learning Center (ELC). ELC is the reconfiguration of the Center for Research, Assessment, and Development of Learning in Electronic Environments (CRADLEE) and the Center for Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL). ELC collaborates with the Cline Library, Faculty Development, Academic Assessment, Distance Learning, and ITS in focusing on technology in classroom enhancements while also partnering with Teaching and Learning for projects and support teams. We hope this newsletter and the ELC web site, http://www.nau.edu/elearning, will be informative resources for the NAU community.


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS DATE AND TIME
The e-Learning Center offers a variety of training to meet your instructional needs, including training in Bb Vista, technical tools, and instructional planning and design. The full training schedule is located on our web site.
Blogs - Learn how to build your own blog with free tools such as Blogger. 03/07/06 1:00pm - 2:00pm
03/27/06 10:00am - 11:00am
iPod & iTunes - Learn about legal music downloads and the music player everyone is talking about. 03/09/06 9:00am - 10:00am
03/30/06 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Create Web Pages with Word - Build accessible, clean, and easy web pages by using Microsoft Word. 03/10/06 and 03/22/06 9:00am - 11:00am
03/28/06 2:00pm - 4:00pm
RefWorks Citation Management Software - Explore how you and your students can manage citations using RefWorks. 03/15/06 9:00am - 10:00am
03/30/06 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Tablet PCs - Learn the advantages of a Tablet PC over a laptop. 03/15/06 9:00am - 10:00am 03/30/06 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Integrating Primary Source Materials - Learn how to use archival materials such as photographs, manuscripts, oral histories, digital exhibits, and more to bring a course to life. 03/09/06 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Effective Test Questions - Learn how to create better test questions that encourage thinking, discourage cheating, and help your students learn. 03/30/06 9:00am - 10:00am

What's new with assessment?

Classroom response systems (CRS), also known as clickers, have been a growing trend among departments and colleges, chiefly science and College of Business courses.

Mark James, assistant professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department, uses the clickers to initiate student interaction on a question he poses to the class. After discussing a question with their neighbors, students key in the response they think is correct.

In classes where clickers are used, the instructor can pause during lecture, pose a question, and know in an instant if students are grasping the concepts. If students buy their own clickers, the system keeps track of each student's response pattern for the duration of the course.

In a recent e-Learning Center study of two lower-division astronomy courses, we found that students felt very positive overall toward the use of CRS in these large lecture courses. They seemed to benefit most when the professor displays questions on the large screen and works through sample problems. More than 80% said that they would like to use clickers in other classes that they are taking.

For more information about using clickers in the classroom, contact Paula.Garcia@nau.edu.

Recognition

Senior Brendan Healey was the winner of an iPod mini in an anonymous drawing of NAU students who responded to a survey from the a picture of Brendan Healeye-Learning Center. The survey was the second in a series that asked students about their impressions of Bb Vista, the new course management system used in online and hybrid courses. The survey was sent out via e-mail to over 1,400 students; nearly 300 students responded. The survey asked questions about the functionality of key Bb Vista tools and features, and about online teaching and learning practices.