Archive for the ‘education’ Category

I was actually searching for tutorials to help me better construct online courses. But came across this very fun 3-minute music video about the realities (?) of teaching online. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


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Northeastern State University’s Center for Teaching & Learning will host two screenings of the documentary Waiting for Superman in early March. All those interested in the education of American students are invited to attend and join in a discussion of the issues it brings up.

NSU President Don Betz suggests that this film (and one shown last month–Race to Nowhere) would be excellent vehicles to begin a collaborative campus/community conversation about the future of education and our role in it. Thus far, he has been correct in his assessment, as the first film was well attended and has resulted in positive community conversations and collaborations.

Each event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

The first screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 7th in the Webb Auditorium on the Tahlequah campus.

The second screening will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 10th in the Broken Arrow Auditorium on the Broken Arrow campus.

Following the 102-minute movie, administrators and educators will join in a discussion of the realities and potential reform of contemporary education.

According to the director, Waiting for Superman is a “deeply personal exploration of the current state of public education in the U.S. and how it is affecting our children.” The film has been nominated for and won numerous awards for best documentary, including the Academy Awards, Critics’ Choice, and Sundance.

For more information about Waiting for Superman, visit http://www.waitingforsuperman.com/

For more information about the NSU screenings and discussions contact Linda Summers (summerla@nsuok.edu or x6455) or Chuck Ziehr (ziehr@nsuok.edu or x2065).

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Due to unusual (but lovely ;-) weather the Tulsa Metro area is experiencing (1/3 of the United States, actually…), the free screening of the film Race to Nowhere on the Broken Arrow campus of Northeastern State University, originally scheduled for this evening, has been postponed.

It will now be shown on Thursday, February 17th beginning at 7:00 p.m. If you’ve not already, you can reserve free tickets online at http://www.racetonowhere.com/epostcard/3983

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Thank you to Dr. Chuck Ziehr for composing and sharing this exceptionally well-written and explicitly detailed update on CTL. I especially like how he acknowledges the past, incorporates the present, and looks to the future.

It’s pretty incredible to see all the many issues CTL has been addressing over the past few months. We may have a small staff, but we have an exceptional one :-)

And the Steering Committee is pretty incredible, too. Thanks to each of you for the time and effort you so selflessly give in your service towards the continued improvement of the Teaching & Learning process at NSU and the communities it serves.


NSU Center for Teaching and Learning:  CTL Update,  February 4, 2011

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has undergone a number of changes over the past few months, while continuing its mission to foster a culture of excellence in teaching and learning, and more changes are on the way.  This update is designed to provide an overview of these changes and ongoing efforts and outline some plans for the future.

About 10 years ago the Center for Teaching and Learning was created to help the NSU faculty integrate technology and pedagogy.  The focus on the use of technology in teaching and learning continues and is being enhanced, but the mission of CTL is expanding beyond technology to include a broader emphasis on greater collaboration, innovation, and support for all aspects of teaching and learning.

Organization and Personnel
The Center for Teaching and Learning is a function of the Office of Academic Affairs and is supervised by the newly-created position of Assistant Vice President for Teaching and Learning (AVPTL); all CTL personnel report directly to the AVPTL.  After the former CTL Director (Jym Brittain) left NSU in Spring 2010, Dr. Tadlock appointed the CTL Steering Committee (CTLSC) to provide input and advice.   The formation of CTLSC resulted in sunsetting of two existing committees: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning committee and Distance Learning committee.  This semester we have been able to add a half-time Teaching & Learning Fellow, Linda Summers (Library faculty), who will work on various initiatives including Quality Matters and a film/discussion series to promote university/community conversations regarding current issues in education; we hope that this half-time Teaching & Learning Fellow position will be available for other faculty in the future.  We are in the search process for a full-time Online Instructional Designer, who should join CTL later this semester to assist faculty in the development and enhancement of online and blended courses. The search for a permanent AVPTL is underway.

CTL Personnel:

Interim Assistant Vice President for Teaching & Learning:  Chuck Ziehr [through July 31, 2011]

(A122, ziehr@nsuok.edu, ext. 2065)

Coordinator of Academic Services (full-time CTL):  Kip Finnegan

(WEBB 617, finnegac@nsuok.edu, ext. 5854)

Assistant Coordinator of Academic Services (half-time CTL):  Rick Shelton

(BALB 132, sheltorw@nsuok.edu, ext. 6630)

Administrative Assistant (full-time CTL):  Stacy Thompson

(WEBB 610, thomps30@nsuok.edu, ext. 5855)

Teaching & Learning Fellow (half-time CTL):  Linda Summers

(BALB 133, summerla@nsuok.edu, ext. 6455)

Student Assistants (part-time CTL):  Kyla Eden, Brandi Ross, Sarah Taylor, Amy Wilbins

CTL Steering Committee (CTLSC)

EDEN, Kyla, Undergraduate Student

FINNEGAN, Kip, Assistant Professor, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

FULLER, Danny, Technology Specialist, College of Business & Technology

KELLER, Cari, Professor, College of Liberal Arts

KOZLOWSKI, Gene, Professor, College of Business & Technology

MCKEE, Earlena, Assistant Professor, College of Optometry

MOODY, Judy, Assistant Professor, College of Education

PARROTT, Martha, Associate Professor, College of Science & Health Professions

SHELTON, Donna, Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts

SHELTON, Rick, Instructor, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

SUMMERS, Linda, Instructor, University Libraries [CTLSC Chair]

THOMPSON, Stacy, Administrative Assistant, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

THORP, Zac, Library Technician III, University Libraries

WHITLEY, Vanessa, Science Lab Manager, College of Science & Health Professions

WOODS, Evelyn, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs

ZIEHR, Chuck, Interim Assistant Vice President, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

On-going Stuff

Kip and Rick continue to provide one-on-one assistance (or workshops upon request) in the use of Blackboard (learning management system), ITV faculty orientation, multimedia classroom orientation, smartboard training, multimedia production support (including podcasts and Camtasia), CheckBox (online surveys), and EvaluationKit  (online surveys).  The Center for Teaching and Learning provides service learning grants, teaching and learning fellowship grants, and online and ITV course development compensation.  The CTL website provides a number of online resources, application forms, and contact information at http://academics.nsuok.edu/teachingandlearning; this webpage can be accessed from the NSU homepage under My NSU—Faculty & Staff Links—Center for Teaching and Learning (under NSU).

New Stuff

  • Wimba provides “interactive technologies such as voice, video, podcasting, instant messaging, application sharing, polling, and whiteboarding.”  These capabilities may be accessed via the Communication button in Blackboard.  An introduction to the use of Wimba may be found in the Wimba LiveBinder developed by Rick Shelton http://livebinders.com/play/play/57757.
  • Quality Matters “is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components.”  The centerpiece of Quality Matters is the QM Rubric based on research-supported and published best practices which provides a set of standards by which to evaluate the design of online and blended courses.  We have 12 NSU faculty members undergoing training now to become QM peer reviewers (and more will be trained later).  The new Online Instructional Designer will help faculty to develop effective online and blended courses which will reach the nationally-recognized QM standards.  For more information about Quality Matters and online course development check the Online Teaching LiveBinder developed by Rick Shelton http://livebinders.com/play/play/58273
  • iTunes U – NSU has joined this distribution system as another means of providing and accessing audio and video content to a wider audience.  More about this capability will be forthcoming soon.
  • OpenCourseWare Consortium – This is yet another collaboration of higher educational and associated organizations that NSU has joined to distribute and access educational content.  More about this capability will be forthcoming soon.
  • Blackboard 9.1 — We will migrate to version 9.1 (from 8.0) this summer with 9.1 being the operational version of Bb running at NSU at the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester.  More information and training for this migration will become available later this semester and summer.
  • Campus Conversations and Collaborations on Teaching and Learning – CTL will host webinars, forums, learning communities, films, speakers, and debates/dialogues to address current issues and trends facing us in higher education and to develop a culture of sharing innovative ideas and best practices in the public endeavor of teaching and learning.
  • Help Desk – CTL is working with Information Technology Services (ITS) to develop an even more effective one-stop contact source for the NSU community when there are technology-related questions or problems.  NSU faculty and staff are asked to call the familiar 5-6-7-8 extension to report technology problems or to ask technology-related questions.  ITS will handle hardware issues and campus-standard software issues.  Questions related to using technology in course design and delivery will be handled by CTL; the Help Desk will create a work order and transfer such calls to CTL.  Details and procedures of this collaboration are still being worked out.
  • CTL webpage – The existing webpage will be enhanced and expanded to provide more information and greater resources for teaching and learning, including online tutorials for Blackboard 9.1, Wimba, Quality Matters, and designing online courses.  Given our very small CTL staff most of this expansion will have to wait until the new Online Instructional Designer is onboard in order to re-distribute the various demands on staff time.

Please let us know if you have questions or if you have suggestions for how to make CTL more responsive to your teaching and learning needs.

Dr. Chuck Ziehr
Interim Assistant Vice President for Teaching & Learning
Email: ziehr@nsuok.edu
WWW: http://arapaho.nsuok.edu/~ziehr/

***  NSU:  “Gather Here. Go Far.”  ***

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Northeastern State University’s Center for Teaching & Learning will host two screenings of the documentary Race to Nowhere in early February.

Each event is free and open to the public.

The first screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 7th in the Webb Auditorium on the Tahlequah campus. Reserve free tickets for the TQ screening at http://rtnnsutahlequah.eventbrite.com/

The second screening will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 10th in the Broken Arrow Auditorium on the Broken Arrow campus. Reserve free tickets for the BA screening at http://rtnnsubrokenarrow.eventbrite.com/

Following the 90-minute movie, students and educators will join in a discussion of contemporary education and the cultivation of creativity in schools.

According to the publisher, “Race to Nowhere is the only film that shows what is actually happening to our kids as a result of current policies and practices obsessed with testing, performance and competition rather than meaningful teaching and learning.”

For more information about “Race to Nowhere,” visit www.racetonowhere.com/.

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Thanks go to Kyla Eden for taking these highly descriptive and detailed meeting minutes :-)

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Minutes of the meeting:  January 14, 2011

The Center for Teaching and Learning Steering Committee met on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 3:00pm in Tahlequah (WEBB621) and via ITV from Broken Arrow (BALB105).
The following attended:

  • Linda Summers
  • Rick Shelton
  • Donna Shelton
  • Vanessa Whitley
  • Evelyn Woods
  • Judy Moody
  • Earlena McKee
  • Cari Keller
  • Kyla Eden
  • Kip Finnegan
  • Chuck Ziehr
  • Gene Kozlowski
  • Stacy Thompson

Absent with notice:

  • Martha Parrott

The meeting was called to order by Linda Summers at 3:00pm.

E-course compensation application evaluation:

Stacy Thompson gave an overview and general information about the e-course compensation application evaluations, specifically regarding the timeline.

  • Applications are graded on a twenty (20) point scale.
  • Each application has two evaluators, unless it is necessary to bring in a third evaluator (in instances where the scores are severely different).
  • The monetary amount of the grant is $1,800.00.
  • It is suggested that the decision for funding should be limited to, but preapproved for, those applicants who score an 80% or higher overall.


  • Documents should be e-mailed or otherwise delivered to Stacy Thompson by the Friday, February 4, 2011, so that the process can be finalized during the next CTLSC meeting, which is Friday, February 11, 2011.
  • Linda Summers agreed to send out an e-mail to committee members, reminding each of the February 4th deadline.

There is much discussion about whether or not to make the grant more exclusive.  This would be called the “Innovative Teaching Grant.”  Compensation could be made more competitive to promote excellence.  Because grant applications are increasing and award money is not, it is suggested that applicants be made to show innovation in teaching in order to receive the grant.

There is much discussion about the monetary amount of the grant, and how many classes the account can handle.  It is suggested by several that the amount of the grant should be decreased to accommodate more classes; it has been equally suggested that the grant amount is increased to increase exclusivity, meaning that fewer classes would be compensated.
Specifically, Rick Shelton suggested that the grant be increased to $2,000.00 and only compensate 25 courses.  Chuck Ziehr suggested that the monetary amount of the compensation should be decreased in order to extend the grant to more courses.

It is further suggested by Rick Shelton that the Quality Matters rubric should be applied to online as well as face-to-face courses.

There is much discussion on the application process and/or nomination process for the grant.  It is suggested that three application methods be made available to apply for future grants from CTL:

1.       Self-apply

2.       Nominated by colleague

3.       Nominated by student.

It is suggested that the policy containing the rules and regulations for this process should be considered and written over the summer.

A motion was made by Donna Shelton to vote on funding for applications receiving a score of 80% or higher.
Motion seconded by Judy Moody.
There is discussion on the topic . . . vote taken:
Motion to vote on funding for applications receiving a score of 80% or higher passed unanimously.

Recommendations for the Task Force on Online Education:

Cari Keller, a member of the Task Force, gave an overview of the document “Recommendations from the Task Force on Online Education.”

Issue #1:

  • The focus of the Task Force is to encourage a continued access to instructors who are qualified to teach online.
  • Issue #1 is related to online courses, online general education courses, and compensation in general.
  • No recommendations are made regarding Issue #1.

Issue #2:

  • A major concern with the document is the idea of “lowering the amount of money for course compensation, yet raising the bar for the course.”

Gene Kozlowski makes a motion to recommend keeping the course compensation amount at $1,800.00.
Donna Shelton seconds.
Much discussion about the topic . . . vote taken:
Motion to recommend that the course compensation amount be left at $1,800.00 passed unanimously.

Issue #3:

  • It is suggested that the online evaluation is flawed:

o   There is a low response rate from students.

o   Two extremes are present in the online evaluations that are completed:

§  A high or superior rating based on the student’s general acceptance of the professor

§  A low or negative rating based on the student’s dislike of the professor.

  • It is suggested by Gene Kozlowski that faculty be encouraged to give their own evaluations instead of, or as well as, the CTL evaluations.  He stated the method used in his online classes, which produces a higher amount of productive evaluations. He proposes that the faculty who are interested in giving their own evaluations should use the survey server, Checkbox.
  • A question is raised as to whether or not the problem with the CTL evaluations is the questions asked, or the method of delivery.  It is decided that the context in which the evaluation is given (face-to-face vs. anonymous) impacts the yield. Specifically, return rate is higher when the instructor being evaluated is involved in the delivery process and students understand the relevance of the evaluations.
  • Therefore, the committee recommends that the process by which evaluations are presented to online students should be revised; focus should be placed on getting a better response rate for the evaluations.

Kno Tablet:

Linda Summers tabled this issue for the next meeting, due to the amount of time left in the meeting and the amount of issues still left to discuss.

Currently in CTL:


  • Wimba Pronto is live, although one tab is not installed.  This program is capable of making multi-person video calls.
  • Wimba Suite is installed, but is only active in the faculty learning space.
  • Currently, there has been no testing in actual classrooms.
  • The full version of Wimba will be made to download, and pushed to the whole university.

There is much discussion regarding the issue of students with no computers or internet access at home.

**There will be a demonstration of Wimba on Friday, January 21, 2011 from 10:00am – 12:00pm in Broken Arrow BALB 110.  Demonstration will be given by Rick Shelton.**

Quality Matters:

  • Funded and ongoing.
  • A question is raised on whether or not to promote Quality Matters at this point in time.  It is decided that we should wait until we know more about the program.
  • The program is scheduled to be introduced Fall 2011 semester.

Blackboard 9.1:

  • Upgrade scheduled for Fall 2011.

AVPTL Search Committee:

  • Meets January 27, 2010 at 3:00pm.
  • There are 26 candidates in the pool.

Chuck Ziehr committed to sending monthly updates via e-mail to the University Community.

Online Instructional Designer Search Committee

  • Meets Thursdays at 3:00pm
  • Several applicants did not meet minimal education requirements, so were eliminated. The pool still contains a number of qualified candidates.

Tabled Until The Next Meeting:

Due to time constrictions, Linda Summers tabled the following business:

  • Official Description of CTLSC for website
  • Discussion on committee matters:

o   What the committee is doing right,

o   What the committee could be doing better,

o   And suggestions on how to improve the committee.

Meeting is adjourned by Linda Summers at 5:00pm.

The Center for Teaching and Learning Steering Committee will meet again from 3:00pm – 5:00pm on Friday, February 11, 2011 in Tahlequah: WEBB621 and Broken Arrow: BALB105

Minutes taken and prepared by:
Kyla D. Eden

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