Archive Version of e-Notes

September 2008 e-Notes

Volume 3, Issue 2

iTunes U at NAU

In partnership with ITS, the e-Learning Center is pleased to announce NAU's presence on Apple's iTunes U. To use iTunes U, first install iTunes software on your computer. The software is available as a free download for both Macs and PCs at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/.

Currently, NAU's podcasts require logging in using your NAU UserID.  Eventually we hope to also have podcasts available publicly through the iTunes store.

Here are some highlights of iTunes U at NAU:

  • NAU faculty and staff can create and easily share audio and video podcasts.
  • Podcasts can be made available to the entire NAU community, to students enrolled in certain courses, to employees in specific departments, or to the public.
  • Studio time and equipment for recording podcasts can be reserved through the e-Learning Center and the Cline Library.

A number of faculty are already producing podcasts for use in courses this fall, and several departments are also beginning to create podcasts for training staff members and for spreading the word about the departments' services.

t4: Tuesday Tips on Teaching with Technology

t4: Tuesday Tips on Teaching with Technology, hosted by John Doherty and Wally Nolan, ELC's two instructional designers.

This series approaches technology from a pedagogical perspective, offering instructors practical techniques and hints on ways to use technology efficiently and effectively in their courses.

 

How Do I...?

How Do I...?, hosted by Sharon Gorman, one of ELC's instructional technologists.

This series gives instructors "just-in-time" answers to common questions about how to do common tasks in Bb Vista, Elluminate, TurnItIn, and more.

For more detailed information, see http://itunes.nau.edu, or download the podcast available at iTunes U @ NAU. We also offer these workshops on iTunes U and podcasting:

 

  • iPod & iTunes
  • iTunes U @ NAU -- An Introduction
  • iTunes U -- Creating Audio Podcasts with Audacity (Windows)
  • iTunes U -- Creating Audio Podcasts with GarageBand (Mac)
  • iTunes U -- Uploading and Managing iTunes U
  • Podcasting

Check our training schedule for workshop dates.

What's Happening

e-Learning Showcase Fall 2008

Join us for the Fall 2008 Showcase: Tools and Approaches on Thursday, November 6, from 10am to 3pm in the Cline Library, Room 200. Using iTunes U in courses to support student learning, using digital databases to enhance courses, hybridizing in-person courses effectively, and increasing effectiveness and response rates of online course evaluations are the four content topics covered in this fall's showcase. Attendees may attend all or part of the event. Register now on our website. Lunch will be provided at the event.

Director's Note

Don Carter, Director of the e-Learning Center

Greetings to everyone new to the e-Notes newsletter, and welcome back to faculty after a long short summer. The startup of fall courses and support calls on the ELC help-line indicate growing interest in e-functions for supporting teaching and learning. As you become more familiar with those functions and possibilities, please do call on us for consultation, training, or help.

Two new initiatives were piloted over the summer and are ready for fall implementation. These are the "grade upload" from Bb Vista directly into People-Soft and the iTunes U podcasting site at itunes.nau.edu; details about both of these are included in this newsletter.

We have some new faces in e-Learning and one recently departed familiar face. Fred Ami, our Administrative Assistant and cheerful face and voice to greet all of you, has moved on to new endeavors in the Office of the VP for Research. We appreciate all the work he did and the positive way he represented e-Learning. We welcome our newest staff: Lynn Lesko, Tracie Hansen, and Melissa White.

e-Learning Tidbits

Grade Import Tool

This summer, a new feature in Peoplesoft (LOUIE) rolled out. The Peoplesoft Grade Import tool allows you to import your students’ grades directly from your Blackboard (Bb) Vista grade book into Peoplesoft.

This new feature in Peoplesoft will save time and effort in posting your grades at the end of the semester. The instructors who used the tool this summer gave the Grade Import Tool thumbs-up reviews:

“It was successful, made grade entry much easier, and I will use it again in the future. It is a very nice feature.”

“The grade reporting feature is excellent. Very easy to use, far more accurate than me transcribing my grade book to the PeopleSoft roster. Thank You!!!!”

The steps in using the Grade Import Tool are easy:

  1. Create a column in your Bb Vista grade book with “Semester Grade” as the title.
  2. Release your grade to your students.
  3. In the Peoplesoft Grade Roster, select the “Import Vista Grades” button.
  4. Check for accuracy, and then approve your grades.

It’s that easy!

You can read more about the new Grade Import Tool at the Peoplesoft Grade Import Tool tutorial.

Recognition

Dawn Armfield

Dawn Armfield
In July the e-Learning Center said goodbye to Dawn Armfield, who is beginning her doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota. Dawn joined ELC in 2005 and served as the primary instructional technologist for faculty in the College of Arts & Letters. An accomplished photographer and frequent blogger, Dawn was an early adopter and skilled user of Web 2.0 technologies. She'll be studying communication and rhetoric in the realm of social networking, and we wish her well.

Fred Ami

Fred Ami
The e-Learning Center staff extends a heartfelt farewell to Fred Ami who was promoted as Administrative Associate for the Vice President of Research as of September 8, 2008. Fred arrived in 2002 as e-Learning Center's administrative assistant and receptionist. He welcomed all visitors with equal respect and attention despite his many administrative duties that absorbed much of his time.  Fred's sense of humor, attention to detail, and general joie de vivre will be greatly missed. We wish Fred the greatest success on the next leg of his journey.

 

What's New

Tracie Hansen, Instructional Technologist

Tracie Hansen joined the e-Learning Center in August as an instructional technologist. Tracie is a seasoned electronic media professional who has used her strong web abilities and technology skills to effectively communicate at all levels of the university, most recently within NAU’s Office of Public Affairs.

 "Having taught at NAU, and also having successfully navigated myself through a number of graduate web classes, I have the benefit of understanding both the student and instructor perspectives of the online learning environment,” she said.

As the Center’s newest instructional technologist, Hansen blends her expertise in technology, communication, and project management to help faculty who are new to the Vista environment as well as those looking to explore ways to enhance their existing web classes. She brings with her a keen understanding of higher education issues and trends, along with the proven ability to deliver on deadline…and with a smile.

Hansen is the primary contact for faculty in the College of Arts and Letters. She can be reached at (928) 523-8574 or Tracie.Hansen@nau.edu


Melissa White, Coordinator of Online Evaluations and iTunes U

Melissa White joined the e-Learning Center in September as the new Coordinator of Online Evaluations and iTunes U.  Melissa has a rich background in educational technology and will work with departments throughout the University on supporting, expanding, and improving upon the use of online course evaluations; she will also work extensively on the new iTunes U project.  "I'm excited to be working with the iTunes U and online evaluations projects," said Melissa.  "They promise a challenge I'm happy to take on." 

Melissa most recently worked with NAU’s Academic Computing Help Desk, and the e-Learning Center is excited to welcome her aboard! She can be reached beginning September 22 at (928) 523-1639 or Melissa.White@nau.edu.


Lynn Lesko, Administrative associate

Administrative associate, Lynn Lesko joined the e-Learning Center in April, and is charged with managing the department’s budget. She brings with her 17 years of experience in retail management, as well as an MBA from Strayer University.

Lesko is pursing her certificate in public management, which she hopes to complete in the spring. She also has been taking advantage of the many e-Learning training sessions available to faculty and staff at NAU.

 “It’s a nice perk to be working with such a diverse pool of talent,” she said, adding that the center’s short, focused training sessions are a great way for faculty and staff to learn new skills and explore emerging technologies.

Lesko can be reached at 523-1629 or Lynn.Lesko@nau.edu.

Assessment Corner

Assessing Student Motivation in Online and Face-to-Face Courses

How does student motivation to achieve compare in online and face-to-face courses? A recent pilot study of writing courses at NAU attempted to answer this question. Sixty-three students in three "varieties" of writing courses--ENG 105: Critical Reading and Writing in the University Community online, ENG 105: Critical Reading and Writing in the University Community face-to-face, and HON 191: Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing II face-to-face--participated in the study.  Students completed an online version of the Attitude Toward Learning Questionnaire (ATL), which measured their achievement goal orientations.

Results of the study showed that overall students had a beneficial goal profile.  Students scored highest in the mastery-approach orientation, known to be associated with positive outcomes such as deep processing of information.  At the same time, students scored lowest in work-avoidance, known to be associated with maladaptive outcomes such as little use of effective study strategies.  Students in the online courses had the most optimal achievement goal profile, scoring higher in mastery-approach and lower in work-avoidance than students in the face-to-face courses.  The small number of students in the online courses who responded to the ATL, however, made it difficult to make  generalizations based on these results.

Future studies of students' goal orientations will focus on motivating a larger number of students to participate in the research.  Workshops are currently being designed to provide faculty with strategies for promoting optimal achievement goal orientations in students, focusing on topics such as active and collaborative learning. For more information about the workshops, contact Sue Pieper, Coordinator for Assessment at the e-Learning Center. Access the full report (.pdf) of the pilot research project.

Upcoming Workshops

Web Pages with Word

Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:00am - 10:50am

iPod & iTunes

Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:00am - 12:00pm

iTunes U @ NAU -- An Introduction

Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:00pm - 4:00pm and Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:00pm - 4:00pm

The e-Learning Center offers a variety of trainings to meet your needs, including workshops on Bb Vista, technical tools, and instructional planning and design. If your schedule or location does not allow you to attend workshops in person, do not despair! We offere Bb Vista labs and workshops online and personalized workshops to departments as requested.