COVID Remote Teaching – Remote Support from eLearning at GVSU

Faculty, as you continue in delivering your courses through remote teaching, we’re here to help!

Here are the top 4 ways you can connect with us to receive assistance:

1. Drop-in Today | Tuesday, March 17
The eLearning team will be available to assist with Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate, Panopto, and remote teaching questions until 4 PM.

  • ALLENDALE: Please SIGN UP for a Consultation
    Drop-in location – 4402 Kindschi Hall of Science (KHS)
  • PEW GRAND RAPIDS CAMPUS: Please SIGN UP for a Consultation
    Drop-in location – DEV A, Steelcase Library Knowledge Market

2. Email Us | bbadmin@gvsu.edu
Send an email to bbadmin@gvsu.edu and include as much detail as possible. We will respond as soon as possible via email or a live Blackboard Collaborate session to work with you.

3. Call Us | (616) 331-8526 | 9 – 5 Monday through Friday
If we are unable to take your call, please leave a message and we’ll get back with you as soon as possible. Your phone message is monitored by bbadmin@gvsu.edu. 

4. Visit our Support Web Pages

We’re here to help!


Stay Updated with the Latest Info and News from eLearning
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2020 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program – Now Accepting Submissions

ATTENTION GVSU FACULTY!

We know you are awesome!

We know you have a high quality course!

ecp_winnerBlackboard is now accepting submissions through April 1, 2020 for the 2020 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program. The Exemplary Course Program gives awards for high quality courses! Professors Julia VanderMolen, Cheryl Kautz, and Szymon Machajewski from Grand Valley State University have received the award in the past!

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VIEW the Blackboard Exemplary Course Video

Submit your course for an Exemplary Award before April 1, 2020


The Exemplary Course Program began in 2000 with the goal of identifying and disseminating best practices for designing high quality courses. The core of the program is the Exemplary Course Rubric, which defines key characteristics of high quality courses within the framework of Course Design, Interaction and Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support.

The Exemplary Course Rubric is offered under a Creative Commons license, and we encourage you to reuse and remix it as part of your own discussions on quality course design.

 

 

 

Meet the NEW eLearning and Emerging Technologies Team!

As GVSU looks to the future, eLearning and Emerging Technologies is building up and aligning services, support, and structure – targeted to scale up digital learning options for learners.

We partner with YOU to create programs, courses, certificates, and digital experiences to support student success. In addition, we collaborate with the Office of the Provost, Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, University Libraries, and Disability Support Resources to ensure we provide wrap around services and encourage high impact practices.

Our eLearning and Emerging Technologies team specializes on the following 5 key areas as we focus on accelerating digital transformation at GVSU.

Ven diagram with Instructional Design, Technology Showcase, Blackboard, Teaching with Technology, and Digital Studio

The eLearning team includes 15 staff and 15 student assistants on mission to support faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning.

With over 150 years of higher education experience in leveraging technology in teaching – we’re here to help faculty deliver the next generation of teaching and learning…

  1. David Nivala, Instructional Technology Project Specialist
    David is located in Lake Michigan Hall.

    David holds an MA plus 20 credits in Educational Administration. He has been immersed in educational technology since 1993 in California and Michigan, became an instructional designer in 2010 at a local 4 year university and joined GVSU in 2020.

    As a teacher, school administrator and instructional designer, David has always been focused on student success. Learning objectives, student engagement and authentic assessment are of particular interest to him. He has also planned and implemented a wide range of subjects in faculty and staff development. Away from work, David enjoys kayaking, mountain biking and snow skiing.

  2. Jeanne Smith, Instructional Technology Project Specialist
    Jeanne will be starting on March 12, and be located downtown in the Center for Health Sciences.

    Most recently, Jeanne Smith worked as a Learning and Development Specialist at the Michigan State University and as a member of the Spectrum Health/MSU Graduate Medical Education program. Formerly, Jeanne was an Instructional Design Specialist working at GVSU from 2007-2013. Jeanne has an M.Ed. in Educational Technology from GVSU, B.S. in Business Administration from Aquinas College, and was a participant in the Program for Educators in Health Professions from the Harvard Medical School, Macy Institute.

  3. Barbara Stevens, Instructional Technology Project Specialist
    Barbara’s office is located in the Kindschi Hall of Science.

    Barb Stevens has been working in higher ed since 1998 and in online education since 1999. She has experience in instructional design, course development as a subject matter expert, managing faculty, and teaching, both on campus and online. She has experience working with faculty from a multitude of disciplines at both the undergrad and graduate levels. She lives in Kalamazoo with her husband and two Yorkies.

  4. Stephanie Webber, Instructional Technology Project Specialist
    Stephanie is located downtown in DeVos on the Pew Campus.

    Stephanie Webber joins Grand Valley State University with a background in operations management, project management, and instructional design solutions.Prior to GVSU, she worked as a Project Specialist for Davenport University serving clients around the globe to develop innovative training solutions. She has a passion for cultivating the next generation entering the workforce and enjoys mentoring young students.

    In her spare time, Stephanie is a hospice volunteer, violinist, and martial artist. She completed her undergraduate degree in Business Administration at Grand Valley State University with an emphasis in business management. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning. Through her professional practices, she aspires to consistently exceed the expectations of those around her.

  5. Justin Melick, Instructional Designer
    Justin was promoted to Instructional Designer from his prior position as Digital Media Developer. Justin will be located downtown in DeVos on the Pew Campus.

    Justin joined the eLearning team in 2014 and holds master’s degrees from Grand Valley State University in both Educational Technology and Adult and Higher Education. Prior to coming on board at GVSU, Justin taught social studies at the K-12 level. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member in Grand Valley’s College of Education since 2018, teaching and developing courses in educational technology.

  6. Noah Campbell, Digital Media Developer
    Noah comes to us as a former eLearning Digital Studio student assistant and most recently a graduate assistant in the College of Education. He will be replacing Justin Melick, and his office will be in the Kindschi Hall of Science.

    Noah is a Graduate student in the Educational Technology Master’s program, set to graduate in December 2020. He has been working with the eLearning department since 2017 through the Digital Studio. His goal is to help faculty and staff by creating videos and other digital content to fit their course needs, and is thrilled to be able to get a job that will allow him to do this so early on in his career.


What is an Instructional Technology Project Specialist?

The specialists will be responsible for working collaboratively with faculty, subject matter experts, instructional designers, digital media developers, and cross-departmental stakeholders in leading the design, development, and on-time delivery of quality digital learning experiences.


Top 10 Digital Learning Support, Services, and Resources at GVSU

Our goal is to help ensure GVSU’s digital learning experiences are designed in alignment with a cohesive and consistent learner experience, focusing on best practices, quality frameworks, and high impact teaching practices.

We’re here to help! Here are the Top 10 Digital Learning Support, Services, and Resources offered by the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team.


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The mission of eLearning and Emerging Technologies is to support faculty, contribute to teaching excellence, and to enhance student success through:

Top 10 Digital Learning Support, Services, and Resources at GVSU

We’re here to help!

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gvsu.edu/elearn

Goal: To ensure degrees, programs, micro-credentials, courses, and digital learning experiences are designed in alignment with cohesive and consistent learner experience best practices and quality frameworks.

We are here to help faculty transition courses from in person to online, while supporting faculty in the delivery of high quality – high impact digital learning experiences.

 

IDeL – Instructional Design for eLearning (gvsu.edu/idel)

  1. Instructional Design Expertise and Support
    IDeL includes 4 instructional designers (Glenna Decker, Kim Kenward, Matt Roberts, Justin Melick) who specialize in designing online/hybrid teaching and learning.
  2. NEW! Instructional Technology Project Specialists (ITPS)
    NEW! To more effectively prioritize support in the creation of digital materials, 4 ITPS positions (David Nivala, Barb Stevens, Stephanie Webber, Jeanne Smith) have been created! The specialists will be responsible for working collaboratively with subject matter experts, instructional designers, digital media developers, and cross-departmental stakeholders in leading the design, development, and on-time delivery of high-quality digital learning experiences.
  3. Foundations for Online/Hybrid Course Development
    Learn how to design, build, and teach the next generation of education. Learn more: www.gvsu.edu/idel/foundations
  4. Online/Hybrid Faculty Learning Communities (FLC)
    Faculty are encouraged to join an FLC to make connections, learn best practices, and to find additional support and resources. Learn more: www.gvsu.edu/idel/flc

Digital Studio (gvsu.edu/elearn/ds)

  1. Multimedia and Digital Media Development
    Media-rich instruction can help solve instructional problems, enhance learning, and support student success. The Digital Studio promotes the creation of digital learning experiences for faculty.
  2. Lightboard
    This exciting technology was custom built at GVSU, and it combines a whiteboard-like experience with visibility of the instructor, resulting in highly engaging course content. Lightboard videos can be easily integrated into Blackboard and placed online. Learn more: http://www.gvsu.edu/elearn/lightboard

Atomic Object Technology Showcase (gvsu.edu/techshowcase)

  1. Innovative Emerging Technology
    The showcase provides faculty, staff, and students with an immersive and engaging environment to: interactdiscoverlearn, and share how innovative emerging technologies can enhance teaching and improve student learning at GVSU. Check out the latest at: http://www.gvsu.edu/techshowcase

Teaching and Learning with Technology (gvsu.edu/elearn/help)

  1. Teaching and Learning with Technology
    Save time, increase your efficiency and effectiveness, better communicate with your students, easily share content, and provide timely feedback to students with a variety of technologies.Blackboard is GVSU’s enterprise learning management system, providing a consistent user experience for students as they access digital resources. In addition, resources such as online proctoring tools such as Respondus LockDown Browser/Monitor, and Blackboard Ally help to ensure content is accessible.

    Further, all students are provided a tutorial and Online/Hybrid Orientation to learn the basics of how to be successful at GVSU. Here is a complete list of Grand Valley’s Enterprise Instructional Technologies.

    The eLearning team of instructional technologists provide support to faculty in individual consultations, seminars, email support, and web resources. Learn more at: http://www.gvsu.edu/elearn/help

Get Plugged In

  1. Seminars
    In addition to individual consultations and email support, training opportunities are offered through a wide array of seminars. Registration is available through the Sprout: http://www.gvsu.edu/sprout
  2. Contact Us

GVSU Accessibility Tool provides Students with Flexible Content Formats

Students at Grand Valley State University can now access course materials in a variety of ways – to best meet their needs!

With Blackboard Ally, content uploaded by faculty is automatically converted and optimized for:

  • Tagged PDF
    Structured PDF for improved use with assistive technology
  • HTML
    For viewing in the browser and on mobile devices
  • ePub
    For reading as an e-book on an iPad and other e-book readers
  • Electronic braille
    BRF version for consumption on electronic braille displays
  • Audio
    MP3 version for listening
  • BeeLine Reader
    Enhanced version for easier and faster on-screen reading

“Accessible content is better content for all students, supporting inclusive education at GVSU.”

Ally scans content and auto-magically converts it to different file types, and in addition, the tool can be used by faculty to help them determine the level of accessibility of the content uploaded into Blackboard.

Without Ally, students who required content to be converted into new formats had to put in a request with GVSU’s Disability Support Resource office. However, now with Ally, students have faster and easier access to alternative formats of their course materials.

“Students can download a course document into an audio version and they can listen to it during their commute to campus or while riding the Laker Line to downtown.”

GVSU and the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team strives to provide student centered services such as Blackboard Ally to support teaching and learning.

Learn more about Blackboard Ally at GVSU

Learn more about Alternative File Formats in Blackboard Ally

EDUCAUSE Study of Faculty, Students, and Information Technology

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EDUCAUSE has recently released the “2019 Study of Undergraduate STUDENTS and Information Technology“, along with it’s pair the “2019 Study of FACULTY and Information Technology“.

These surveys provide insight into faculty and students – and their use of technology in education.  This research has been ongoing since 2004 with 40,000 students from 118 institutions and 9,500 faculty from 119 institutions participating in this year’s survey.

See also: GVSU participated in this research study in 2015, see: “ECAR Study of Students and Technology at GVSU


ECAR > Study Findings

While this report contains a wealth of information of value to higher ed, here are a few of the findings and recommendations from the FACULTY and STUDENT report through the lens of eLearning and Emerging Technologies at GVSU:


Key Findings

  • ECAR FACULTY > A majority (51%) of faculty prefer to teach in a blended environment that includes both face-to-face and online components.
  • ECAR STUDENT > While the majority of students (70%) prefer mostly or completely face-to-face learning environments, specific demographic factors influence these preferences. (Students who are married or in a domestic partnership, those who are independent with dependents, those who work 40 or more hours a week, students age 25 and older, and individuals who identified as having both a physical and a learning disability that require technology for their coursework all had a stronger preference for classes that are mostly or completely online.)
  • ECAR STUDENT > Labs and demonstrations, faculty/student conferences, and lectures were rated as the most preferred activities in completely face-to-face environments. (Students see in-class lectures as opportunities to engage with instructors, peers, and course content, and they see technology as a means to that engagement. The majority of students prefer some form of blended environment for collaborations or projects with peers, homework/assignment submission, peer reviewing/peer grading, exams, quizzes or tests, and asking questions.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400The eLearning team at GVSU provides support for faculty teaching online, hybrid and traditional classes. Our goal is to assist faculty in finding the correct balance of leveraging online tools and activities through Blackboard to save time and increase effectiveness. A few examples include: online content, pre-class quizzes, and communicating live or asynchronously.

At GVSU, 24.1% of students were enrolled in at least one online or hybrid course in the Fall 2019 semester. This is up from 20.4% in 2018. In addition, in the spring/summer semester, 57.8% of students were taking at least one distance education course in 2019, up from 49.7% in 2018.

See also: “Enrollments Grow in Online Learning while Enhancing Teaching Effectiveness

  • ECAR FACULTY > Many faculty aren’t using online student success tools, but when they do use them, a majority find them at least moderately useful. (This year we found that, for each tool we asked about, between 27% and 39% of faculty didn’t use student success tools, while between 15% and 27% of faculty told us that these tools were not available to them.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400While GVSU does not currently offer an enterprise early alert tool that takes advantage of data in the Blackboard learning management system such as Starfish Retention Solutions, there are tools that can be used at GVSU to monitor students.

For example, faculty can focus on student success and retention with existing  Blackboard features, such as proactively contacting inactive students, students with missing deadlines, or poor performance. Specifically, the Blackboard Grade Center shows the date of last course access for students and gradebook colors can be set to trigger alerts for faculty based on student performance.

The Retention CenterPerformance Dashboard and Item Statistics provide faculty with information about student activity as well as the ability to monitor students at-risk. Using these tools can assist faculty in determining whether students in classees are falling behind or neglecting to check Blackboard regularly. The goal is always to intervene early on, so they get back on track quickly.

  • ECAR FACULTY > Faculty’s receiving training on integrating technology in the classroom is associated with increased use of mobile technology in the classroom. (Among faculty who received professional development training on integrating technology in their classroom, fewer than half (47%) reported banning smartphones in their classrooms. Among faculty who did not receive such training, 63% banned these devices.)
  • ECAR STUDENT > Two-thirds of students agreed that their instructors use technology to engage them in class, but it is not always with the devices students already own. (Significantly fewer students said they are encouraged to use their personal technology as tools to deepen their learning. Half of the respondents said their instructors ask them to use their laptops in class, and only a quarter reported they were encouraged to use their smartphones.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400The eLearning team at GVSU provides over 20 seminars on a variety of technologies and pedagogical strategies and guidance designed to support student success each semester. Further, our team offers a yearly “Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium“, faculty consultations, Online and Hybrid Faculty Learning Communitiesweekly open office hours, and digital studio spaces are offered to faculty so that the eLearning team can “Support faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning”. To zero in on emerging technologies, we offer a dedicated space (Atomic Object Technology Showcase) to explore extended reality experiences.

  • ECAR FACULTY > Faculty give high ratings to support services for accessibility technology, when they use them.
  • ECAR STUDENT > Only half of the students who have physical and/or learning disabilities and who need accessible technologies or accommodations rated their institution’s support positively. (Nearly a quarter said their institution’s support (21%) and awareness (24%) was poor or fair. Of particular concern is the 11% of students with disabilities who said their institution was not aware at all of their technology needs, which suggests many may experience barriers to disclosing their disability, including stigma and their own lack of awareness of available support services.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400The eLearning team at GVSU supports inclusive education through professional development for faculty in the adoption of Universal Design for Learning principles, along with specific support for accessibility with Blackboard Ally and Panopto video captioning.


Recommendations

  • ECAR FACULTY > Promote benefits and strategies for engaging in online teaching through mentoring and the creation of sustainable learning communities. Academic departments need to consider changes to their tenure requisites to reward faculty who choose to engage in course development and online instruction. (Faculty report strong preferences for face-to-face learning environments, but with increasing offerings and enrollments in online classes, institutions need to provide professional development to faculty who have the interest and skills to teach online.)
  • ECAR STUDENT > Continue to promote online success tools and provide training to students on their use through orientations and advisement sessions. (…explore the possibilities of predictive analytics with the use of success tools as a supplement to the personalized support of student advisors.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400While GVSU does not currently offer an enterprise early alert tool that takes advantage of data in the Blackboard learning management system such as Starfish Retention Solutions, there are tools that can be used at GVSU to monitor students.

For example, faculty can focus on student success and retention with existing  Blackboard features, such as proactively contacting inactive students, students with missing deadlines, or poor performance. Specifically, the Blackboard Grade Center shows the date of last course access for students and gradebook colors can be set to trigger alerts for faculty based on student performance.

The Retention CenterPerformance Dashboard and Item Statistics provide faculty with information about student activity as well as the ability to monitor students at-risk. Using these tools can assist faculty in determining whether students in classees are falling behind or neglecting to check Blackboard regularly. The goal is always to intervene early on, so they get back on track quickly.

Finally, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team, along with the Office of the Provost, Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, and University Libraries, collaborated on a new Online/Hybrid Orientation for students. This site is designed to take students through best practices in learning online, encouraging them to be mindful of time management techniques and skills for success.

  • ECAR FACULTY > Increase awareness among IT support services staff that quality services for faculty contribute to faculty’s overall ratings of their technology experiences. IT support staff are first responders to faculty technology issues and can make a real difference in faculty experiences.
  • ECAR FACULTY > Facilitate faculty professional development on integrating technology into teaching. (Promote professional development for faculty on effectively incorporating mobile technologies into their classrooms. Bans on all technology devices in the classroom will likely decrease student engagement. These bans disproportionately affect minority students and students with disabilities needing accommodations. Quash the “devices in the classroom” debate by leveraging mobile technologies in students’ hands to increase engagement and learning.)
  • ECAR STUDENT > Allow students to use the devices that are most important to their academic success in the classroom. (Provide training to faculty on the purposeful integration of student-owned technology for more inclusive, active, and engaged learning. Offer alternatives to in-class tech bans, such as involving students in the development of their class’s technology policy and designated seating for device users.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400Our eLearning and Emerging Technologies team provides a wide array of services and resources designed to facilitate digital learning at GVSU through supporting faculty in delivering high quality, innovative teaching.

We support faculty, contribute to teaching excellence, and enhance student success through:

Our eLearning team encourages faculty to review our website, follow and like us on  social media (GVSUeLearn on Twitter, GVSUeLearn on Facebook, listen in on our  teaching and technology podcast (T-Squared), read our email newsletters, and to stay up to date by viewing our gvsuelearn.wordpress.com blog highlights as well!

CZnzUuCt_400x400Tbe eLearning team facilitates 3 Online and Hybrid Faculty Learning Communities across all GVSU campus locations, designed to explore best practices and pedagogy in teaching at a distance, while encouraging learning from peers. Further our team provides over 20 seminars on a variety of technologies and pedagogical strategies and guidance designed to best support faculty. Finally, we offer a yearly “Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium“, faculty consultations, weekly open office hours, and digital studio spaces are offered to faculty so that the eLearning team can “Support faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning”.

  • ECAR FACULTY > Increase faculty awareness of student needs and accessibility support services, particularly among non-AA institutions. (Disability disclosure rates remain low among students, limiting faculty awareness and ability to address accessibility needs in the classroom. When faculty use accessibility support services, however, they report high levels of satisfaction with those services.)
  • ECAR STUDENT > Establish a campus community to address accessibility issues and give “accessibility evangelists” a seat at the table. Colleagues and students with disabilities can be valuable consultants who offer perspectives on the barriers they experience with tech inaccessibility in their learning environments. Partner with units across campus such as disability services, advisement, health services, and admissions to educate all students on the available accessible technology services and how to request them. Tap the expertise of teaching and learning centers and instructional designers to train faculty on the universal design for learning (UDL) framework to promote inclusive strategies that benefit all learners.

CZnzUuCt_400x400The eLearning team at GVSU supports inclusive education through professional development for faculty in the adoption of Universal Design for Learning principles, along with specific support for accessibility with Blackboard Ally and Panopto video captioning.

Enrollments Grow in Online Learning while enhancing Teaching Effectiveness

Recently, an article in InsideHigher Ed “Online Enrollments Grow, but Pace Slows” featured new federal data that show that more than 1/3 of all 2018 college and university students took at least one online course, and online enrollments have grown.

In fact, 34.7% of students have taken at least one online course in 2018, making up 3,677,689 students. Further, there were 3,259,560 students enrolled in exclusively distance education courses.

In comparison, according to the federal data report, overall enrollment in higher education was down -1.1%.

Enrollment in online courses at GVSU continues to grow as do the national numbers.

At GVSU, 24.1% of students were enrolled in at least one online or hybrid course in the Fall 2019 semester. This is up from 20.4% in 2018. In addition, in the spring/summer semester, 57.8% of students were taking at least one distance education course in 2019, up from 49.7% in 2018.

Here is a chart of the number of the unduplicated count of students enrolled in at least one online or hybrid course from 2016 through 2019 at GVSU:

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Related, in a recent “Faculty Attitudes on Technology Survey” administered by InsideHigher Ed, results indicate that professors’ are showing a steady acceptance of online learning.

In fact, professors also indicate that teaching online makes them better and more effective in their practice:

  • Three-quarters (77%) of instructors who have taught online say they have developed pedagogical skills and practices that have improved their teaching.

  • 75% think more critically about engaging students with content; 65% make better use of multimedia content; 63% more likely to experiment and make changes to try to improve the learning experience.

  • Two-thirds of instructors who had converted face-to-face course to an online or hybrid (blended) class said that they spent less time lecturing (65%) and incorporated more active learning techniques into the new course (69%).

Based on the Inside Higher Ed survey, now more than 46% of faculty members have taught an online course.

Further, for those faculty that have taught online, 61% agree that online courses can produce equivalent student outcomes.

As far as the adoption of using technology in teaching:

  • Nearly four in 10 instructors (39 percent) say they fully support the increased use of educational technologies, up from 32 percent in 2018 and 29 percent in 2017.

  • Professors who support educational technologies say they do so because “some students simply cannot attend a face-to-face class due to work or family obligations“ (64%) and “students learn better when I engage them with effective technology tools“ (57%).

  • Rated colleges positively on encouraging experimentation with new approaches to teaching (56% agree) and providing adequate technical support for creating and teaching online courses (52% agree for both).


About eLearning and Emerging Technologies

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eLearning and Emerging Technologies provides a wide array of services and resources designed to facilitate digital learning at GVSU through supporting faculty in delivering high quality, innovative teaching.

We support faculty, contribute to teaching excellence, and enhance student success through: