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Distance Learning Workshop Advanced Session

MeI am assuming that everyone in this session has some solid background on the technical aspects of Blackboard and the Control Panel so I want to discuss more advanced, creative and innovative (proactive) strategies for engaging your online students. For the most part this is going to be a hands on session. Please keep in mind that I don’t have all the answers when it comes to online teaching because there are so many variables and diverse teaching styles, however I have been teaching online consistently for over 10 years and I know what WORKS and what doesn’t work when it comes to teaching both totally online courses and hybrids. We also want to keep in mind that true online distance learning has only been used as a viable instructional delivery method for less than ten years. Just think about what the possibilites for sharing knowledge and education will be in the next ten years with the rapid development (evolution) of technology and methodology in this global (post-information) age we live and work in.

CommunicationCommunication and Instructor Feedback are Key!

Effective communication (and timely and constructive feedback) are keys to quality online learning. This is GOSPEL! It separates online courses from correspondence courses, turning passive learning into active learning. Let’s face it…we can’t take what works in the classroomtraditional classroom environment and use that same methodology into an online course. This will NOT work.

Teaching online demands a completely different approach (pedagogy) and the first step is to realize that we are no longer talking heads in a room filled with neat rows of students sitting at desks waiting for the teacher to fill them with KNOWLEDGE. Those days are over and the sooner we as educators come to grips with this reality the better. We are facilitators – guides so to speak, on this journey through our course material. Students can (and should be empowered) to play an intergral (active) role in the learning process.

digital mediaDigital media and global communication networks are providing educational opportunities for “other” ways of thinking about teaching and learning to evolve. Never before, in the history of education, were such powerful tools available to change the relationships between learners, teachers, knowledge, and evaluation (assessment). Digital systems (technologies) now provide exciting opportunity for the development of learning environments over instructional environments, to change the concept of time and space in education, and to view and challenge traditional environments found in higher education.

Instructors can no longer rely on the archaic industrial age educational model to teach students skills they’ll need to succeed and thrive in a highly technological, creative and entrepreneurial (global) work environment.

This can no longer be accomplished with yesterday’s teaching methods.

The didactic talking head standing in front of neat rows of students imparting knowledge on a given subject is no longer effective or viable when compared to the way global businesses and industries conduct business over and through complex and secure digital networks.

Business and industry have embraced and continue to harness a variety of sophisticated communications and educational technologies such as video conferencing, Podcasting, streaming video, interactive online forums, blogs and digital informational / educational media (content) exchanges like Curriculum Pathways and Itunes U.

The web provides a vast amount of information for instructors who truly understand how to apply, channel and integrate this vast (constantly growing) web content into their courses. web graphicDistance learning provides the best (and most flexible) instructional environment for connecting and exposing students to the resources (and information) being generated exponentially around the world.

This is a very exciting yet intimidating and challenging time for educators. If we don’t aggressively retool mentally and technologically we are going to eventually become obsolete and other forward thinking educational venues will fill the void we leave, due to being left in the dust by the rapid growth and evolution of technology and web culture.

The sense of urgency is high and now it’s a matter of breaking out of the outmoded industrial model, in and beyond the information age and into the creative, conceptual age where we can educate and train our students in the technologies being used in the global marketplace. Educators no longer have a strong hold on the knowledge anymore. We have to accept this reality. Students can go anywhere in the world to obtain the information (education / instruction) they need to succeed in the fluid global marketplace.

Recognizing (and adapting to) these changes in society (and education) is an absolute MUST if we are going to remain a viable and competitive force in higher education.

Wheew! So………..

If you spend some time researching Online Teaching Best Practices from a variety of college you will realize they are ALL saying basically the same things.

Helpful Hints

17 Tips of Successful Online Teaching

Mercy College Best Practices

Journal Article on Online Best Practices

More Good Online Teaching Tips

More Best Practices

Online Course Design

Now for some Technical Stuff

Why Should I Use Podcasts in my Online Courses? What is a Podcast? What is an Enhanced Podcast?

How do I produce a Podcast?

How do I edit my audio once I record my lecture?

How do I get my podcast on the Blackboard?

How do I put images and video in my Podcast?

What is Itunes U and how can use this technology and content delivery system in my online courses?

Podcasts Graphic

How to Produce a Podcast

Hands On Time!!hands-on

Let’s Produce one. Let’s Edit one. Let’s upload and link it to your course.

You all NEED to DOWNLOAD this FREE Software to edit your Podcasts.

Audacity Icon
Audacity Free Download

Check out CCC’s Itunes Site! Click ITunes and do a Podcast search – check out some podcasts!

CCC Itunes U


6 comments on “Distance Learning Workshop Advanced Session

  1. Don Staub
    January 26, 2007

    Can’t wait until this afternoon’s session, Patrick.
    You are boldly taking us where we have never gone before. Thanks!

  2. Joe Poletti
    January 27, 2007

    Patrick, thanks for keeping me in the loop. Clearly we are on parallel pathways and can find efficiencies via communication and collaboration. This morning, I found a perfect example of Re-usable Learning Objects. Dr. Scott McLeod’s blog Dangerously Irrelevant features his 7-step (60-90 minute) “unit” on future-ready schools. Kick the tires on it (his podcast compliments his slideshow)…

  3. Patrick Keough
    January 28, 2007


    I think it is crucial for us to keep a dialogue going between our local college (CCC) and area High Schools. Maybe it is up to you and I to be the catalyst for this exchange of ideas. I don’t think there has ever been a time where educational issues have melded (and the lines have blurred) as far as the technological and cultural challenges we as educators face between K-Post-Graduate levels. I have checked out this link and plan to spend more time exporing McLeod’s Blog later today.

    more later…


  4. William B. Robinson IV (Rob)
    February 2, 2007

    Since I have stumbled across your blog, I am enjoying reading how you have stepped up to the challenge to provide training and leadership in moving you staff forward with technology in the classroom. Yes, the challenges are many and it is encouraging to see such enthusiasm in your fellow colleagues as they vow to improve their own personal teaching styles. As soon to be graduate of the Masters of Instructional Technology program at ECU, I have already seen many college professors, instructors, and teachers turn their nose up to what technology can do for their classroom and what distance education can provide for their own field of study. Many believe that technology is just a gimmick and are resistant to change. It is so refreshing to see a community college take such large steps to provide to their students and staff the tools and skills that will take them farther in education than they have ever gone before.

    I look forward on seeing how your Title III grant is used to help your staff improve their own personal instruction. I hope you keep everyone posted of your progress. Just the integration of Podcasting is a big step for many who admit to being challenged in technology. I’m proud in having Carteret Community College in my hometown and a part of even my own educational experience. Good luck!

  5. ccctitle3
    February 2, 2007

    Thanks for the positive feedback Ron. CCC is really working hard upgrading and retooling all aspects of it’s online courses, in addition to being committed to giving our faculty the professional development they need to be excellent (innovative and creative) online instructors. As you know, we have so many more technological tools at our disposal for delivering education and instruction via the internet. It is just a matter of getting students and teachers to become more proficient and skilled with these new methods of communication such as podcasting and streaming video. Feel free to stop by for a visit so we can discuss this some more.

    Patrick Keough

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This entry was posted on January 25, 2007 by in Distance Learning.
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