Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Office 2007 Add-In

Screenshot showing the plug-in for searching

There is an add-in for Microsoft Office 2007 that helps you search for commands, options, wizards, and galleries. Type in what you are looking for and the available commands show up to "click."

Find the add-in at:

and go to the right panel under TRY IT to download the add-in to your computer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ensuring Online Course Quality Experiences

The following is a list of Needs that should be discussed when designing online programs and courses.

Need: Student Preparation

  • Technical preparation (IMS use, homework file uploads and naming, network use from on/off campus, common quirks and workarounds)
  • Self-motivation and responsibility
  • Access to hardware / software

Need: Support Services to Students

  • Technical help
  • Library services
  • Tutoring (online services versus on campus services)
  • Advising and registration (online program plans that show sequence for completing all online)
  • Marketing and promotion of available online courses
  • “One-stop” contact for students needing help; standard answers, tracking, and forwarding issues
  • Feedback mechanisms to students (after registration, after “certification,” new opportunities and courses, etc.)

Need: Faculty Preparation

  • Technical training
  • Pedagogy and instructional design training
  • Assessments for online
  • Communication strategies for online courses
  • Best practices

Need: Course Offerings

  • Suitability of course and content
  • Strategic importance of online courses (what are the institutional reasons for offering online courses)
  • How instructors are recruited (and which incentives are provided to course developers?)
  • Courses which support lifelong learners (continuing education in addition to program completion)
  • Integration with customized training and workforce development offerings

Need: Course Design

  • Standardizing navigation, location, and document naming
    (Syllabus, Course Schedule, Grading Rubric for ….)
  • Accessible (508 ADA)
  • Rigor
  • Assignment descriptions and grade assessment
  • Tracking of students (demographics, preparation, and performance in courses)

Need: Feedback and Improvement

  • Faculty self-assessment
  • Peer review
  • Student surveys
  • Dean’s review