Online Learning

GVSU Celebrates National Distance Learning Week with Faculty Appreciation Breakfast

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GVSU will be celebrating National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) from November 7-11, 2016 to recognize the continued growth and value of online and hybrid learning at the university. NDLW is organized by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) and serves to highlight the successes and value of distance education.

To celebrate and to recognize faculty at Grand Valley State University, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team along with the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center (FTLC) have organized a breakfast on Wednesday, November 9, 2016!


THANK YOU GVSU ONLINE/HYBRID FACULTY – PLEASE JOIN US FOR BREAKFAST!

We know how much work it takes to develop and teach quality online/hybrid courses and we appreciate the work of YOU, the faculty here at GVSU. Join us and allow us to treat you to a breakfast in honor of National Distance Learning Week!

WHAT:  National Distance Learning Week – Faculty Appreciation Breakfast

WHEN: 8:30am – 10:30am on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 (Please stop by anytime.)

WHERE: University Club – Pew Campus

WHY: For an informal meet, greet, and eat – to appreciate YOU, our online and hybrid teaching faculty.

This event is sponsored by the eLearning and Emerging Technologies department including the IDeL (Instructional Design for eLearning) team and the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center.

RSVP: Please RSVP!


Grand Valley State University offers a wide array of courses and degree programs in the online and hybrid format with over 150 courses and just over 4,500 total student enrollments in distance education courses as of the Fall semester 2016. This represents a  105% increase in enrollment since 2012 with 16% of students at GVSU taking at least 1 online or hybrid course.  Most students are from Michigan, however, we do have students from states such as Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Washington, and also internationally.  Online and hybrid learning is an important flexible learning option at the university.  In addition, over 500 faculty have been certified to teach online/hybrid courses through the Foundations course that is offered through IDeL and the FTLC.

According the 2014 Survey of Online Learning, Grade Level: Tracking Online Education in the United States, there are more than 7.1 million higher ed students learning online with 33% of all higher ed students taking at least 1 online course.  In addition, 70.8% chief academic leaders are now reporting that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy for their institutions, which is an all time high.  This connects to GVSU’s 2021 Strategic Plan as well in the following areas:

Strategic Priority 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 3.D.2: At least 30% of undergraduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and formats, such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for undergraduate courses for Fall 2014 is 6%.

Objective 3.D.3: At least 30% of graduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for graduate courses for Fall 2014 is 25%.

If you are interested in learning more about teaching and learning online, check out the eLearning and Emerging Technologies and IDeL websites along with the online/hybrid education faculty resources site at GVSU and the Faculty Learning Communities offered through the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center.

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Online & Hybrid Learning Expands @GVSU

Grand Valley State University currently offers 6 online (100% of the courses are online) and 23 hybrid (at least 50% of the courses are in the online or hybrid format) programs.

The online programs are offered by:

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Education
  • Nursing

The hybrid programs are provided by:

  • Community and Public Service
  • Education
  • Health Professions
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Nursing

Online and Hybrid Enrollment at GVSU Up by 17%

Flexible learning options at the university continue to grow as more faculty become certified to teach online and as more courses are offered in the online and hybrid modality.

Online and hybrid enrollment expanded this year by 17% (from 2015) to include over 3,800 enrollments in online and hybrid classes at GVSU.

In addition, 14% of all students at the university are enrolled in at least 1 online or hybrid class.

The online/hybrid courses were taught by 136 faculty in 150 courses, representing 11% of the classes at the university.

Students at GVSU take a blend of face to face and online/hybrid classes with some students residing in other states and even overseas. Learning online is growing nationally as well, with over 5.8 million students taking at least 1 online course (which amounts to more than 1 in 4 students) according to the Babson Survey Research Group.

“The trend of increasing distance education enrollments in the face of declining overall higher ed enrollments suggests an important shift in the American higher education landscape, with contemporary learners leaning in to online options,” said Kathleen S. Ives, chief executive officer and executive director of the Online Learning Consortium. “The majority of academic leaders recognize this and understand online learning is critical to their institutions’ long-term strategy.”

GVSU Strategic Plan

As indicated in the Babson survey above, eLearning (online/hybrid) is critical to an institutions long-term strategy.  In fact, the 2016-2021 GVSU Strategic Plan includes a priority statement for expanding the number of courses offered in the online and hybrid format.

Strategic Priority 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 3.D.2: At least 30% of undergraduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and formats, such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for undergraduate courses for Fall 2014 is 6%.

Objective 3.D.3: At least 30% of graduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for graduate courses for Fall 2014 is 25%.

eLearning and Emerging Technologies Provides Faculty Support

With the growth in eLearning nationally and locally at the university, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is here to provide support to faculty at GVSU that are interested in creating and/or teaching an online or hybrid course.  Faculty learn how to prepare, design, and teach an online or hybrid course through a Foundations of Online/Hybrid Course Development workshop which is facilitated by 3 instructional designers in the IDeL group.

In addition, digital media and technology support is provided by a digital media developer, 2 eLearning and instructional technology specialists, and 2 system analysts that work with the university’s Blackboard learning management system.  Blackboard support for faculty is provided by the eLearning team including 2 graduate assistants through seminars, email, phone, and office consultations.  Online readiness for students, along with a variety of student services are also offered by the university, including the GVSU IT HelpDesk.

How can the eLearning team help YOU? Please reach out and let us know!

eLearning is a movement elearning

Ten Ways to Use Video in Your Classroom

This year’s Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) conference was filled with three days of intense, hands-on learning experiences centered on the practice of integrating technology and learning.

Presenting at the conference was Jason Valade, Customer Success Manager at TechSmith on “10 Ways to Use Video in Your Classroom”. Jason is a former elementary school teacher and Technology Lead whose love for “all things” video led him to TechSmith and their Customer Success Team.

During the session, Jason ran down his favorite top 10 uses for video in education and showed examples of how both video novices and experts can easily create video content to enhance instruction and engage students.

Tech Symposium

  1. Flip a Lesson

Rather than using class time to introduce new content, record a series of short videos that students can review on their own and then come to class prepared to extend the learning.

  1. Teach when you are Absent

Unable to attend a class, create a video review of that day’s related topics and assignments.

  1. Personalized Feedback

Use a desktop recording application to capture annotations and your voice as you provide feedback on assignments or use a document camera to record your voice while you manually mark up a printed assignment.

  1. Parent / Community Classroom

Post a video update for parents or the community by recording a PPT or Google presentation with the latest class information and achievements.

  1. Stop Repeating Yourself

Don’t keep responding to the same old questions over and over again, create a library of short how-to videos that can be used year-to-year.

  1. Give a Course Overview

Great at the beginning of the semester or when starting a new topic.

  1. Introduce Yourself

Build instructor presence and community. Perfect for online classes.

  1. Walk through Materials

Create a tutorial to review a complex procedure, demonstrate a process or solve a problem.

  1. Authentic Assessment

Let students storyboard, shoot and edit a video for review by the entire class.

  1. Filming Experiments

Use for review, as part of a quiz or other assessment.

Video recordings are quickly becoming a key component in any classroom, whether it’s face-to-face or online, video can be the catalyst that spurs a student’s imagination and learning.

Video Reflective Journals

Literature has shown that critical thinking enhances the learning process and that reflective practices enhance critical thinking. Together, better connections and meaning can be drawn from course materials and subjects, leading to enhanced understanding and a more satisfying learning experience for students.

For Grand Valley State University Professor Michael Ricco the use of Video Reflective Journals or “VRJs”, as he and his students like to call them, can easily bridge this gap. Offering faculty a better understanding of individual student needs and interests while providing students with a lifelong learning artifact that they can continuously return to for inspiration, the “VRJ” model has proven to be a valuable tool for both teacher and student.

See the entire interview.

To learn more about Video Reflective Journals, including an overview of the student survey data collected by Professor Ricco, plan on attending the 15th Annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium on Wednesday, March 23, from 1-4pm in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons on the Allendale campus of Grand Valley State University.

GVSU to celebrate National Distance Learning Week on November 13, 2015

GVSU will be celebrating National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) from November 9-13, 2015 to recognize the continued growth and value of online and hybrid learning at the university. NDLW is organized by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) and serves to highlight the successes and value of distance education.

To celebrate and to recognize faculty at Grand Valley State University, IDeL in the eLearning and Emerging Technologies group, and the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center (FTLC) have organized a breakfast on November 13, 2015!


THANK YOU GVSU FACULTY – PLEASE JOIN US FOR BREAKFAST!

We know how much work it takes to develop and teach quality online/hybrid courses and we appreciate the work of the faculty here at GVSU. Join us and allow us to treat you to a light breakfast in honor of National Distance Learning Week!

WHEN: Please stop by anytime between 8:30am – 10am on Friday November 13, 2015

WHERE: 119E DEV

WHY: For an informal meet, greet, and eat. This event is by the staff of IDeL (Instructional Design for eLearning) and the Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center.

RSVP: Please RSVP!


Grand Valley State University offers a wide array of courses and degree programs in the online and hybrid format with over 150 courses and just over 3,500 total student enrollments in distance education courses as of the Fall semester 2015. This represents a 91% increase in enrollment since 2011 with 12% of students at GVSU taking at least 1 online/hybrid course.  Online and hybrid learning is an important flexible learning option at the university.  In addition, over 500 faculty have been certified to teach online/hybrid courses through the Foundations course that is offered through IDeL and the FTLC.

According to the most recent report and 2014 Survey of Online Learning, Grade Level: Tracking Online Education in the United States, there are more than 7.1 million higher ed students learning online with 33% of all higher ed students taking at least 1 online course.  In addition, 70.8% chief academic leaders are now reporting that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy for their institutions, which is an all time high.  This connects to GVSU’s 2021 Strategic Plan as well in the following areas:

Strategic Priority 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 3.D.2: At least 30% of undergraduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and formats, such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for undergraduate courses for Fall 2014 is 6%.

Objective 3.D.3: At least 30% of graduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for graduate courses for Fall 2014 is 25%.

If you are interested in learning more, check out the eLearning and Emerging Technologies and IDeL websites along with the online/hybrid education faculty resources site at GVSU.

Design and Organization Tips from GVSU’s Blackboard Exemplary Course Award Winners!

The IDeL team held a special seminar session to highlight 2 faculty members that have been awarded the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award for their course design.  This session was also offered for the College of Education’s “Big Byte”.

Bb Exemplary Award LuncheonProfessors Machajewski and VanderMolen were highlighted in a special recognition luncheon at the national BbWorld conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2014.

The “Design & Organization Tips from GVSU’s Blackboard Exemplary Course Winners” session was delivered by Affiliate Instructor in the School of Computing and Information Systems, Szymon Machajewski and Julia VanderMolen, Assistant Professor in Allied Health.  These faculty received their award for their recognition of course quality in the design of their courses. The award in 2014 recognized 67 other winners from 43 institutions from around the world.

Key design tips:

  • Clear communication with students of what is happening now and what is coming up and when things are do.
  • Chunking content within items and folders and replicating certain blocks of content can help students keep track of the most important information.
  • Numbering sequences are also helpful in the content (1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.) to match the sections in the gradebook.
  • Links within the course to help documents for students provide timely assistance.  For example, linking to the student help area on help.blackboard.com to provide information about how to submit their assignment.
  • Quick links in the navigation panel such as “Send Email” is helpful because it is easy then for students to contact the instructor with the subject of the email indicating the section that the student is enrolled in.
  • In the gradebook changing the total to “Projected Grade” helps student to understand where they are in the course at any given time.  A “Final Grade” column is set up to show students their non-cumulative grade to help them get a better view of their progress.
  • Using colors in the gradebook provides quick and at-a-glance views of the students that may not be performing as desired.  Using a magenta color for flagging cells of higher than 100% provides the instructor with a quick way to check their work for accuracy in grading. That is, to catch errors in input.
  • Providing multiple file formats to support universal design and access to content helps students with their ability to review the content from whatever computer or mobile device they are using.
  • Learning styles may be now “lifestyles”
  • Szymon uses achievements and openbadges for students so they can export these to Mozilla Backpack. Here are some videos about using badges through openbadges.  Badges can be linked to outcomes and provide an element of incentive for students (think gamification) and then also take these achievements with them after they graduate in their Mozilla Backpack.
  • Julia uses screencast-o-matic (like Techsmith Relay) for weekly introductory videos which are part of weekly modules. Each week has a task and agenda.  There are 3 opportunities to see and hear what is due in the week.  In the course syllabus, there are also reminders of what is due and when.  There is a check list of what tasks need to be done.
  • Each week there are learning outcomes that are clearly identified to students which helps them zero in on what is due and where to focus.
  • Using Blackboard IM and Collaborate tutorials are provided to students to help them connect to live sessions.
  • Julia embeds the Google calendar in Blackboard so students can easily add the event to their calendar because all students at GVSU have access to Google.
  • Consistency is key with same font and good colors.
  • Due dates are also important to use because it helps students organize and prioritize their work across multiple classes.
  • Using the discussion board helps to build community through a “getting to know you” opportunity.

Here are a few photos from the session:

Interested in learning more? Check out the resources on the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program website.

Online & Hybrid Teaching Circles – Encourage Collaborative #EdTech Conversations

eLearning and Emerging Technologies through the work of IDeL (Instructional Design for eLearning) and in partnership with the Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center have a unique opportunity for faculty at GVSU.  The “Online and Hybrid Teaching Circles” are designed for faculty to meet and to collaborate together to enhance online and hybrid teaching and learning.

Kim Kenward, instructional designer in IDeL, helps to coordinate and lead these circles. This is the second year that a teaching circle dedicated to online and hybrid instruction has been offered at GVSU.

IDeL Instructional Designer, Kim Kenward, facilitating the Online & Hybrid Teaching Circle on Thursday, October 1st, 2015.

The “Online and Hybrid Teaching Circle” meets once a month for 90 minutes during the Fall semester to:

  • Support new and experienced online/hybrid faculty through dialogue
  • Explore best practices associated with online/hybrid teaching and learning
  • Identify emerging technological needs to support online teaching and learning
  • Share collective expertise across disciplines

It’s not about the technology… it’s about the when and the why around leveraging #EdTech to promote student engagement, enhance the quality of instruction, explore a variety assessments and feedback strategies, and finally to improve student success.

Last year, the following topics were discussed by the teaching circles:

  • Student engagement/building community/student accountability
  • Course delivery, organization, design, and pacing
  • Instructor presence and student feedback
  • Rigor and responsibilities for online students and preparing students to be online student
  • Digital media (new tools, advanced video with Ensemble, SWIVL, and video streaming databases)
  • Online discussion and alternatives to the discussion board
  • Peer feedback  and student collaboration

This year, there are 3 Teaching Circles meeting at CHS, DeVos, and the Allendale campuses.

If you are teaching online at GVSU, we invite you to join in on a conversation
about enhancing online and hybrid courses at the university!