Leading edge certificate (LEC)

About Me

I am a college instructor currently working with Sheridan College. I have taught college students for over 13 years. I teach mathematics, chemistry, education, business technology, computer applications and personal finance. I am very good a what I do both from a teaching standpoint as well as a design perspective. I have been teaching in the online environment for over six years. As indicated above, I am not only an instructor but I am an instructional designer as well.

I have a BS in mathematics with a minor in chemistry. My first MS degree is in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in math and chemistry. My second MS degree is in Online Teaching and Learning. I am beginning my third MS in Human Computer Interaction Spring 2013. I am working on a certificate in Design Communication Arts (Graphic Design) from UCLAx. I plan to finish Summer quarter 2013. I also have certificates in the following online teaching & learning (graduate), technology skills (graduate), social media and web 2.0, and web design & development. I am currently working on the following certificates leading edge, online teaching (graduate), innovative educators advanced studies, design communication arts, and human computer interaction (graduate).

As you can tell, I am all about learning, but more than anything the more I do to be a student the more I can help my students. I have a natural ability to design courses from the perspective of my students which allows me to create well designed and interactive courses.

Online vs. Blended vs. Face-Face Venn Diagram

Collaborative Presentation of Web 2.0 Tools


In your group, you will create a Google Presentation highlighting some Web 2.0 tools. Use email, Skype or other messaging to determine who should create the Google Presentation and invite the other team members as collaborators.

Each group member must create one or two slides showcasing a single Web 2.0 tool (other than Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube) that can be used to support the curriculum. Remember that a Web 2.0 tool is one that allows users to create and share content online. The slide(s) must include:

    • A short description of what the tool does, with a link to its homepage.
    • A suggestion of what level of Bloom's Taxonomy the tool best supports.
    • A statement of how the tool could be used to support student learning.
    • An image or screen capture that shows the tool.
    • A link to a sample product you create using the tool.
    • The name of the person who created the slide.

After the slides have been created, each member of the group will go in and review the slides created by all other members of the team. In the speaker notes for each slide, comment on the pros and cons you see for that particular tool. Consider the following in your critique:

    • What are the relative pedagogical strengths and weaknesses for the technology tool?
    • Where in the curriculum can this tool best enhance student learning, productivity, or creativity?
    • Does this Web 2.0 tool simply add "flash" to your curriculum, or function as an add-on assignment?
    • Are there a reason and a purpose, tied to learning objectives, for the use of this Web 2.0 tool?

Share the presentation with your LEC instructor.



I found it interesting that Lisa went straight for Google Docs and I went for Wikispaces. They are both collaboration tools. For me, since my students aren't required to have a Gmail account, Wikispaces is a great alternative. I've used Wikispaces for over 8 years with the online environment. I find that it is a very solid platform.

Creating the slides was a great refresher on why I use the tools that I do. Going through I remember that we want students to be at the top of Bloom's pyramid is half the battle. Actually getting students to be creative and applying that knowledge is the other half. For me, using Wikispaces get students to come out of their shell and be more creative. When they are obtaining feedback from their peers directly on their work, it is easier to make changes and understand why the suggestions were made.

In the beginning, I participated in making the changes to the wiki, but slowly remove myself. This gives the students the confidence they need to work independently without the aid of the instructor.

Designing an Online Discussion


For this portfolio assignment, you are to design a relevant discussion prompt that encourages students to think deeply and critically about a topic. Your discussion prompt should refer students to prior learning or knowledge, and should pose a clear question for them to respond to. This assignment requires the following three pieces:

    1. The discussion prompt.
    2. Discussion board guidelines/expectations for your students.
    3. Rubric



The following indicate that a chemical reaction has occurred:

      • a color change
      • formation of a solid
      • formation of a gas
      • emission of light
      • emission of absorption of heat

Reflect on your own life and daily habits to find examples for each of these. You will need to:</p>

      • Take a picture of each example.
      • Embed your pictures into your posting.
      • Include a write-up for each picture.
          • Tell us which property your picture is showing.
          • Why you chose to use the particular picture.
          • How it relates to you.

Try not to duplicate examples of another student.</p>

Your initial posting is due by Thursday. Please respond to a minimum of two others (outside of your original thread) on two different days by Sunday.

When responding to others, remember that your response needs to promote critical thinking. Remember that your response needs to continue the conversation rather than end it. A suggestion is that your response should be about 50-75 words and ask a question of some kind. Remember to monitor your original thread (you must answer questions that are asked).


In order to build a sense of &quot;community&quot; in the online environment, it is imperative to create discussion questions that are open ended. Students like to participate, but not at the risk of duplicating one another. For this discussion question, it teaches students practical application of chemistry. Having each student submit pictures also allows for students to some what interpret their ideas. Most students have access to a cell phone with a camera on it. This allows for an easier integration to the online environment.

Giving the students the rubric for grading, prior to the discussion is a must. Students must know what they are being graded on. The rubric is posted to the student's grade when the discussion ends. It is easier to grade individual categories than try to "guess" at an overall picture.

Finding a process that works is vital in the online community. Getting students to collaborate online is often more difficult than face to face. Having suggestions on how to respond to their peers is one way to encourage social interaction online. Also, having deadlines as well as how often the student has to commit to being online increases the participate during the discussion rather than all posting at one moment.

Establishing an Accessible Social Presence


For this portfolio assignment, you are to create a video or screen cast that can be used in your educational setting. This could include welcoming new students to your online course, introducing them to a new learning unit, or another area related to your practice. The video should be a maximum of 3-5 minutes in length.

Make sure your video:

    • is captioned.
    • includes a transcript.


The transcript is actually upload to YouTube so that it may be chosen as an option when playing the video.

I am also including it here.


One of the very first things you are going to need to do is sign up to give your oral presentation in lab. Uh. I want to walk you through how to do that and make sure we're all on the same page. When you first login you'll be here on the announcements page. You're going to click right here where it says "Laboratory Oral Presentation Sign-up". This will take you to a blog that I've created for the whole course. You're simply going to click on the blog and it will open up. Now what I've asked that you do is that you are not going to add any entries. This is very important – do not add a new entry. You're actually going to want to edit this blog posting on your own. Now if you want to make sure you know which experiments they are, you need to refer to your lab manual. And I'm sorry but two of you will have to go the very first week which is the second week of classes. To edit this there is a little arrow here, you're going to push it. It gives you and edit and then it will open it up inside the text editor. And all you have to do is click on where ever you want to sign up for and place your name in here. And when you are finished just make sure that you click the "post entry". And when you do that it'll go back and it'll show you this sign-up sheet. Now if you have any major questions, make sure you click on the comments and you can leave a comment for me. Uh. And I'll make sure I get that. This is a grade, so please make sure that you do this and you do it in a timely fashion. And make sure you check the deadlines for that timeline.


It is extremely important to have close captioning on your videos. YouTube offers a great recognition closed captioning which is usually accurate. So, for the average user with too much to already complete, this works very well. Transcriptions are very beneficial for accessibility. While it is not difficult to create one, it is very time consuming. For most educators, there plate is already full and normally an IT department will take on this responsibility. I know that, I do not ever have enough time in a day for my regular duties, and adding a transcription of each video would be daunting. While I say this, it does not make it right. What I've done in the past, is if I have a student who has accommodations then I work directly with that student to meet the accommodations. Usually if I have a deaf student, s/he has an interpreter and they have always interpreted an videos which do not have captioning - which is rare these days.

Designing a Comprehensive Assessment Plan


Develop a comprehensive assessment plan for a relevant unit in a course you may teach online or blended using at least one of the Web 2.0 tools, LMS tools, self-evaluation tools, peer evaluation tools, etc.

    1. Provide a detailed overview of the unit including objectives, standards and activities.
    2. Identify at least 3 formative assessments you would utilize and explain how each would measure progress toward mastery. Please consider the readings on page 2 and 3 in addition to your personal/professional experience.
    3. Explain three different methods of teacher feedback, including ideas on what the students will do with the feedback.
    4. Design a summative assessment rubric with at least 3 levels and 3 or more criteria to evaluate.
    5. Create and/or provide at least one student work example/sample of the summative assessment.


Unit 1 (excerpt)

    • Objectives:
        • Distinguish between physical property and physical change.
        • Distinguish between chemical property and chemical change.
        • Apply laboratory experience.
    • Standards:
      • Not applicable
    • Activities:
      • ALEKS homework folder information
      • ALEKS initial assessment
      • Assigned reading
      • Discussion boards
      • Quizzes
      • Blogs
      • ALEKS homework

Formative Assessments

    • Wiki lab reports
      • Using Wikispaces, students will post a rough draft of their experiment for the current week.
        • Measuring progress - Instructor will provide comments to help organize and restructure draft. Students responsible for understanding what was performed in lab.
      • Discussion on physical property, physical change, chemical property, chemical change
        • Measuring progress - Students will be able to give examples of each. This will aid in interpretation during lab for lab reports.
      • Data tables will be utilized to interpret data.
        • Measuring progress - Students will be able to analyze experimental data with the aid of a data table. Interpretations should adhere to definitions learned in the discussion board.


    • Peer review - Students will use critiques from the wiki to construct final version of lab report.
    • Responses to student discussion. Students must respond to two other students about information provided in discussion. Instructor will moderate, as needed.
    • Feedback in given as annotations. Students will take feedback and apply correction to future data tables.

Summative Project

    • Students will chose one experiment to present an Oral Report through video. Students who did not post an oral report (in the given week) will be required to critique the video for correctness.


Example of Student Work


I am not used to creating "lesson plans." An entire unit for me, consists of about 30 assessments of one type or another. Attempting to single out and create an assessment directed at a single "topic" was very difficult. Formative and summative assessments are extremely important in the online environment. It is necessary to look at what students are mastering for each assessment; however, actually breaking it down at the college level doesn't seem necessary.

Online Course Syllabus

Note - all links and information current as of this course in 2013.


    1. Develop an online course syllabus.
    2. Include the following elements in your online course syllabus
      • Contact: How do students communicate with instructor.
      • Policies: What are your policies for submitting assignments, late submissions, grading, course participation.
      • ADA Compliant Design: Did you adhere to online accessibility elements addressed in Module 5.
      • Academic Integrity: Did you address academic integrity.
      • Online Interaction: Did you provide details about how to interact with the content and with other students (including discussion board guidelines).
      • Technical Requirements: List of technical requirements to successfully access the course.

Below is an example of a listing with links to all browser requirements of the LMS and any downloads required for embedded objects, such as videos, pdf, etc. that students will need to access.

The list might include the following:

Player and Reader Download Links

Browser Download Links


CHEM 1000: Introduction to Chemistry

Semester: Spring 2013

Course Number: CHEM 1000

Credit Hours: 5.0 Lecture: 4.0 Lab: 3.0

Class Time and Location: This is an online course. No campus attendance is required.

Instructor: Amy Graff

Office: Off campus

Office Hours: Online, scheduled as needed

Emergency Contact: TBA

Communicating with the Instructor

There are two ways that you may contact me:

    1. Text messaging: You are welcome to text message me with any questions or if you need immediate assistance.
    2. Sheridan Email: When I have an important message for the entire class, I will send it both as a class message and Sheridan email. I will not send email to external email accounts, such as Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail, and I will also not reply to email received from external accounts. My email address is @sheridan.edu. If you send me email, sign your message with your full name and put CHEM 1000 in the subject line.

To access your email from any computer, go to the Sheridan main page, http://www.sheridan.edu, and then click, MyCollege. Log in with the same user name and password you use to log in to Blackboard, and then click the WebMail tab.

Course Information

Difference between online and face-to-face courses: The following will help you when studying and completing an online course. Many of the subtleties that we have in a face-to-face course are lost online. This link will help&nbsp;to see the difference in online learning and face-to-face learning. The next link shows a great breakdown of current face-to-face practices and how they compare with what we will be doing online. If you have questions, remember to always ask.

Purpose: CHEM 1000Introduction to Chemistry is a required course for several majors and can be used as a laboratory science elective. The course is also taken as a prerequisite for CHEM 1025, Chemistry I, and CHEM 2300, Introductory Organic Chemistry.

Catalog Description: This one-semester course is intended primarily for those who have not had high school chemistry or who feel they need a review. Chemical concepts introduced include atomic theory, chemical bonding, gas laws, stoichiometry, types of chemical reactions, chemical equilibrium, as well as a brief introduction to nuclear chemistry and organic chemistry.

Prerequisites: MATH 0930 Intermediate Algebra or MATH 1000 Problem Solving with a grade of "C" or better, or placement into a higher level mathematics course.

Co-requisites: None

Required Materials

    • Tro, Introductory Chemistry. 4th Ed. ISBN: 9780321741493
    • Sacks, O. Uncle Tungsten. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001. ISBN: 978-0-375-70404-8
    • ALEKS – http://www.aleks.com
    • Scientific calculator (non-programmable, non-graphing)

Course Objectives

Upon completion of CHEM 1000 Introductory Chemistry, the student will:

  • Identify the terms, basic principles, and concepts used to describe the nature of chemistry as a discipline of science, including an understanding of the processes of science inquiry, especially the goal of developing models to accurately predict natural phenomena.
  • Demonstrate chemical laboratory skills including the use of appropriate technologies to obtain, record, and analyze chemical information.
  • Integrate some chemical principles and concepts, as well as incorporate them into explanations and solutions to chemically related problems occurring in science and daily life. This will involve exploring the characteristics of matter and energy; analyzing the relationships between elements, atoms, and compounds; exploring concepts of atomic structure, bonding, inorganic compounds, periodic trends, the mole, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, equilibrium, gas laws; and considering topics in nuclear and organic chemistry.
  • Perform the necessary mathematical calculations needed to solve basic chemistry problems. This will include a working understand and use of the metric (SI) system, dimensional analysis (unit conversions), precision, accuracy, significant figures, scientific notation, and multivariable relationships.
  • Communicate basic chemical concepts to peers in written and oral forms.

Course Outline

Please see Syllabus link for complete course outline.


The following are the possible methods used in this course:

    • Exams
    • comprehensive final exam
    • lab report for each laboratory investigation
    • discussion board
    • group work
    • wikis
    • blogs
    • ALEKS homework

Course Requirements

    • Unit exams
    • Comprehensive final exam
    • Projects
    • Weekly laboratory experiments and reports
    • Activities
    • Blogs
    • Discussion Boards

Testing Procedures

Students will be required to have a proctored final exam. It will be the student&rsquo;s responsibility to make proctor arrangements as posted on the course Announcements.

Course Content

Discussion Board

    • You are responsible for making an initial posting each week.
    • Your initial posting needs to include information you have learned from your readings as well as information from your own experiences.
    • Remember that these are your own responses so you should be responding in first person – that means you are giving an opinion.
    • Once you have made your initial posting, you will need to respond to a minimum of <strong>two</strong> others on two different days.
    • You are not required to read all of the postings in the discussion board. Choose a few (3-5) each week to focus on.

When responding to other students, remember that you should be using examples from the book, articles you have found or your own experiences.

    • When responding to other students, remember that their opinion is as equally important as yours.
    • Please refrain from derogatory comments and/or try not to destroy the platform the student you are responding to has created.
    • Discussion board postings&nbsp;will be worth 10 points each.

When making a posting, please do not just give an "I agree" posting.

    • This includes "I agree" with another sentence behind it.
    • There is no substance to the post and other students have no idea what you are really saying.

When responding to other students, please remember that you need to be promoting critical thinking. This can occur in two ways:</p>

    • You may ask a question about the posting you are replying to
    • You may expand on the subject in which the poster originally spoke of

NOTE: Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are all very important. Your postings need to use proper English as well as proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. If you have trouble with any of these, you may want to type your post in Word first and then copy and paste it into the discussion board.

There is one discussion board that is for questions (Q & A Forum) and there is also a discussion board that is just for you to chat and get to know one another in (Sci Fi Lounge).


Etiquette for the discussion boards is very important. Please click on the link to understand what is meant by online etiquette.

The Core Rules of Netiquette also offers a more in depth outlook at the rules for communicating online.

Blog Criteria

Students will keep a blog of their experience in this course. There are many free blog sites available. Many students like http://www.blogger.com. Others enjoy http://www.pbworks.com. Which ever site you choose is your choice. If you already have a blog and wish to add to it for the course then that will work. Students may not use online communities that they are a member of – i.e. MySpace, Facebook.

Blogs will be used to help you organize thoughts about the course as well as major points about what you have learned in the course, how you can apply the knowledge to yourself and your field. Other assignments may also be included within your blog throughout the term. Blog will be due each Sunday at 11:59 pm.

How to submit:

    • Click on the indicate assignment in the Learning Module link.
    • Include the web address in the comments box. Remember to give your blog a title the easily identifies it for this course if you are using the blog for personal use as well. If you think I might have a hard time finding it, and then please include the title as well.

Projects may include

    • Elemental Brochure
    • Reading Assignment - Uncle Tungsten
    • Reading Assignment - "Carbon"
    • Carbon Footprint
    • What's That Stuff Paper


Discussion Board, exam meetings, quizzes, projects - 20%

Unit Exams - 30%

Blog - 5%

Homework - 10%

Laboratory Reports & Wiki Requirements - 20%

Laboratory Oral Presentations - 5%

Final Exam (Cumulative) - 10%

A = 100-90

B = 89.99 - 80

C = 79.99 - 70

D = 69.99 - 60

F < 60

Technology Requirements

Expectations of participants in this course include a general knowledge of computers, file management, word processing, and the Internet.

All students who are new to using Blackboard or are taking their first online class from NWCCD are expected to complete an Orientation to Online Learning prior to beginning this class. Students need to meet the minimum computer literacy expectations as well as the minimum technology requirements.

Go to the Distance Learning website for more information (http://www.sheridan.edu/distance/).

  • Access to ALEKS and the World Wide Web are required.

Please refer to NWCCDs minimum technical requirements for online courses Web page for additional information.

Course content will be delivered in multiple formats, including but not limited to: document, video, and audio media formats.

Hardware Requirements

    • A live Internet connection (preferably a cable modem or DSL)
    • A monitor capable of displaying 800x600, but Blackboard is best viewed at 1024x768

Software Requirements

    • Windows or Mac
    • Office 2010/07
    • Quick Time
    • Adobe Acrobat Viewer


All students should perform the required downloads that are necessary for the computer hardware and software owned. Please read the download information carefully when choosing what version to download.

General Information


Assignment deadlines are 11:59 PM Mountain Time on the day specified. Assignments submitted after the week in which they are assigned will not be accepted. NO EXCEPTIONS! Please do not submit assignments as email attachments unless instructed to do so.

You may work ahead on assignments when available except for group projects and discussions. Those must be complete during the week in which they are assigned. No credit will be given for either early or late postings.

Instructor Availability

I will do my best to respond to you within 24 hours (weekends may occasionally be an exception).

Distance Learning

Students who have questions with Blackboard should first ask in our Q & A Forum or email the instructor. Brown the Online Student Resources Web page for Blackboard FAQs, How-to-videos, and other resources.

Technical difficulty questions with Blackboard, Outlook Web Access, or MyCollege should be directed to ITS technical support staff at:

    • Sheridan: 307-674-6446, ext. 2600
    • Gillette: 307-686-0254, ext. 2600
    • Others: 800-913-9139, ext. 2600

Help Desk hours

    • Fall - Spring: 8am-9pm Monday-Thursday and 8:00am-5:00pm on Friday
    • Summer: 7:30am-5:30pm Monday-Thursday

Student Information Network – http://www.sheridan.edu/site/student-information-network.

Student and Faculty are geared up to help you with questions on Blackboard, Email, WebAdvisor, Printing, downloading files, MAP Works, wireless and any other aspect of your college experience.

Student Info Net Hours

    • Mon - Wed – 8:00am-5:00pm
    • Tues - Thurs – 8:00am-7:00pm
    • Fri – 9:00am-5:00pm

For issues occurring after help desk hours, students and instructors can submit a Helpdesk Request ticket. After hours tickets will likely not be addressed until normal business hours unless it involves major system functionality.

If you are having difficulty with a hardware item on your PC, please contact the appropriate technical support telephone number for the vendor or manufacturer.

Software installed on your PC at the factory may be covered by their technical support staff. Third-party software (either off-the-shelf or downloaded) will require that you contact the software developer directly.

Attendance Policy

Students must complete weekly assignments in Blackboard and meet participation requirements described for the discussions, exams, laboratory reports, blogs and projects.

Standard of Conduct

Part of preparing for the teaching environment is learning to conduct yourself in a professional, business-like manner. Professional conduct includes doing assigned work, meeting deadlines, participating in online discussions, and completing all the required elements of the course. Part of the value of a college education is the freedom to explore different viewpoints and perspectives, and this freedom carries with it an obligation to respect everyone in our online classroom and the variety of ideas and opinions that might be expressed. Specifically, this means that we will not discriminate against, intimidate, or ridicule others. We will maintain an environment of mutual respect and courtesy. If at any point during the semester, you feel that our online classroom environment is inappropriate or uncomfortable, please contact the instructor with your concerns.

Academic Honesty Statement

Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity. Academic honesty means performing all academic work without lying, cheating, deceit, plagiarism, misrepresentation, or unfairly gaining advantage over any other student. Violations of academic honesty are in violation of District standards for student conduct and shall result in disciplinary action. The work you submit for this online course must be your own. Dishonesty, cheating, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the college are regarded as particularly serious offenses. Cases of dishonesty will result in a grade of "zero" for the assignment, and may result in an &quot;F&quot; for the course. It is your responsibility to read and fully understand Sheridan College's Student Conduct and Discipline found in the Series 5075 (Student Conduct and Discipline) of the NWCCD Policies and Procedures manual. Please ask me if you have any questions about collaborative work, plagiarism, or other issues related to academic honesty.

Dropping a Class

It is your responsibility to understand the college's procedure for dropping a class. If you stop attending this class but do not follow proper procedure for dropping the class, you will receive a failing grade. The last day to drop a class is April 10.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

NWCCD provides confidential assistance to students with a documented disability in its effort to comply with the regulations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. NWCCD Strives to ensure effective access and services for students with disabilities in order to maximize independence and encourage their integration into diverse learning environments that are usable, equitable and sustainable. Students with disabilities who seek support services and accommodations should contact the Student Success Center (located across from the library in the Griffith Memorial Building, x2701) to set up the initial interview.

Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class must contact the disabilities services coordinator on their campus as soon as possible to ensure such accommodations may be implemented.

Intellectual Property/Copyright

There is a great website at the University of Texas that gives a crash course in copyright. Please take a moment to learn about what copyright is and what you may and may not use.


Plagiarism is defined above, but The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill has created a great resource for information about plagiarism. If you are unsure or just need a refresher, then please take a few moments to read the information.

Academic Support Resources

Sheridan College and Gillette College each have a Student Success Center and Writing Center that provides tutoring and writing center assistance to enrolled students. We have partnered with Smarthinking to provide an additional layer of tutoring and writing center assistance for students. NWCCD has also partnered with Turnitin.com to assist students and faculty with plagiarism prevention.

Each college has an on-campus library (Sheridan and Gillette) as well as online access to the library catalog and databases. Most online material may be accessed from any computer with internet access.

Student Support Resources

NWCCD has a series of Student Checklist Web pages where you can find Admissions, Financial Aid, Advising and Assessment, Registration, Business Office, Bookstore, and Housing information.

Click here to view Blackboard's accessibility standards statement.

Copyright Statement

This online course may contain copyrighted materials that are used in compliance with U.S. Copyright Law. Under that law, materials may not be saved to your computer, revised, copied, or distributed without permission. They are to be used in support of instructional activity as part of this course only and shall be limited to the duration of the course, unless otherwise specified by the instructor or owner of the material. You may only download or print materials at the direction of your instructor who knows which materials are copyrighted and which are not.

Please refer to Series 3013 (NWCCD Copyright Policy) for institutional copyright information.

Syllabus Addendum

I reserve the right to adjust this syllabus at any time during the semester. I will let you know if changes are made.


Creating an online syllabus isn't too tedious. For the majority of colleges &amp; universities, there is a template which allows for ease of incorporation of required material. Rarely have I taught at a university that does not have some &quot;required&quot; information.

I have found that, especially online, you must online each and every detail in your syllabus. It is so much easier to tell as student that the answer to his/her question is in the syllabus. Since they are required to read it and usually submit a file saying they have read and understand it, there is no reason for anyone to say that they didn't know. Incorporating all of the required pieces of information makes it much easier in the long run. Once you obtain a great syllabus set up, then I reuse it each term. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel when teaching at the same school.

Reflection: iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Teaching



iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Teaching

Standard A - The online teacher knows the primary concepts and structures of effective online instruction and is able to create learning experiences to enable student success.

Standard B - The online teacher understands and is able to use a range of technologies, both existing and emerging, that effectively support learning and engagement in the online environment.

Standard C - The online teacher plans, designs, and incorporates strategies to encourage active learning, application, interaction, participation, and collaboration in the online environment.

Standard D - The online teacher promotes student success through clear expectations, prompt responses, and regular feedback.

Standard E - The online teacher models, guides, and encourages legal, ethical, and safe behavior related to technology use.

Standard F - The online teacher is cognizant of student academic needs and incorporates accommodations into the online environment.

Standard G - The online teacher demonstrated competencies in creating and implementing assessments in online learning environments in ways that ensure validity and reliability of the instruments and procedures.

Standard H - The online teacher develops and delivers assessment, projects, and assignments that meet standards-based learning goals and assesses learning progress by measuring student achievement of the learning goals.

Standard I - The online teacher demonstrates competency in using data to form assessments and other at a sources to modify content and guide student learning.

Standard J - The online teacher interactions in a professional, effective manner with colleagues, parents, and other members of the community to support students' success.

Standard K - The online teacher arranges media and content to help students and teachers transform knowledge most effectively in the online environment.

Assess your readiness for quality online teaching. Write a personalized reflection that focuses on your areas of strength and your areas of need. Support your reflection with the corresponding iNACOL standard.

      1. Think about your Learning Edge Online and Blended Teacher Certification experience.
      2. Read the iNACOL Standard for Quality Online Teaching
      3. Assess your readiness for quality online teaching in relation to each Standard.
      4. Write a personalized reflection that focuses on your areas of strength and your areas for growth relative to each of the iNACOL Standard for Quality Online Teaching.
      5. Support your reflection with specific examples from the Teacher Knowledge and Understanding or Teacher Abilities sections of the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Teaching.

In your reflection, also address these questions:

      1. How have you changed as a learner and an instructor through the process?
      2. What is your action plan for implementing changes in your teaching practice as a result of new learning?
      3. How do you plan to continue your learning about online teaching?


Rating Scale to be used:

    • 0 Absent - component is missing
    • 1 Unsatisfactory - needs significant improvement
    • 2 Somewhat satisfactory - needs targeted improvements
    • 3 Satisfactory - discretionary improvement needed
    • 4 Very satisfactory - no improvement needed.

From the link above all of the Standards and descriptions may be found. Here I will only be relaying my ratings and reflections for each standard.

Standard A - All 4s.

Reflection - Having a degree in Online Teaching & Learning, I know all of the primary concepts and structure of effective online instruction. It is imperative for me to create practices which will allow my students to have success on a regular basis. For this standard, I do not see any need for improvement.

Standard B - All 4s.

Reflection - Having taught online for over 5 years, I make sure to stay current with online learning as well as the technology used for it. It is extremely important to continually learn about new technologies and whether they are advantageous of my courses. Since I do this on a regular basis, I do not find that I need to improve in this area.

Standard C - One 3.

Reflection - There is no way for me to know all of the techniques necessary to communication with all perspectives. Teaching at the college level I have diverse students each term. The easiest way to improve this aspect is to continually learn to write instructions and responses which would not offend anyone. This is definitely something that has to be modified each term.

Standard D - All 4s.

Reflection - At the college level, my students are still learning abou time management skills. However, it not my job to monitor their daily activities. Students are encouraged to work on the course each day, but that cannot be a requirement. I try to give the best advice to improve students time management skills, but this is extremely difficult in a college setting where your class isn't the only one they are taking. In relation to help students who are struggling, this is difficult at the college level. Without a student directly asking for my help, it is likely that the struggle will go unnoticed. I try very hard to stay in communication with my students to determine their progress, but I cannot change the course for 1 or 2 who are struggling.

Standard E - Two 3s because disability services completes some aspects at the college level.

Reflection - Through the syllabus that I use in the online environment, each of the requirements from this standard are address. I have been using these comprehensive syllabi for over 13 years in both my face-to-face and online courses. If incorporated into the class, students should be able to follow suit, but that is not always the case.

Standard F - Two 3s because disability services completes some aspects at the college level.

Reflection - Much of the online environment in regard to accessibility at the college level is completed through a disabilities office. For this reason, I indicated that I need improvement with identifying students and communicating with staff because I am not required to identify my students. I do communicate with the disability office if a student has brought me a form. This area could be improved, but I'm not sure how that would work at the college level.

Standard G - All 4s.

Reflection - Providing a random block or other way to randomize test questions, allows for me to create assessments online that will ensure validity and reliability. I also have a time limit on all exams to ensure that students do not have enough time to look up all answers. I do not see, based on my answers above, that I am needing anything to improve upon in this area.

Standard H - All 4s.

Reflection - With all the years of teaching I have, this standard is one that I feel very confident with. I have incorporated all of these types of learning into both my face-to-face and online courses for years. There doesn't seem to be a reason to improve.

Standard I - All 4s or n/a.

Reflection - The only areas that would be great to expand on would be the assessment of student readiness and how the students can address that readiness. At the college level, it is the students responsibility to decide if online learning is possible. While I make every effort to help the success of my students, I cannot decide for them if online learning is what they should be doing. I try to help them based on their course loads, but often the student is always right and the instructor cannot possibly understand.

Standard J - 4 or n/a.

Reflection - I interact on a regular basis outside of the online environment. It is vital for me to learn from others to incorporate that knowledge into my courses. It is also imperative that I collaborate outside of the online environment to stay current. My students are responsible for their own learning, so I can only communicate with them in relation to how they are doing.

Standard K - All 4s.

Reflection - As an instructional designer by trade and having design over 20 courses online from scratch, the only area I would like to work on would be captioning. As a part-time instructor, I do not have the time to caption all of my videos. I let YouTube do the "self" captioning. While this isn't the best method it works. Ultimately, I would like to use Adobe Premire to create awesome videos.

Overall Reflection:

Address these questions:

    1. How have you changed as a learner and an instructor through this process?
    2. What is your action plan for implementing changes in your teaching practice as a result of new learning?
    3. How do you plan to continue your learning about online teaching?

Each time I take an online course, I learn something new. I'm not sure I've changed much as a learner. I've gained more insight about another LMS. As an instructor, taking these online courses helps me to put myself in my students' shoes. It helps me when I design and teach an online course.

I plan to incorporate each of the above mentioned changes into my teaching. Teaching is a never ending process. There is always something to improve upon. Reevaluating myself helps me learn where I need to change and what I need to do to make my online courses better each time.

I plan to continue my learn about online teaching by taking an online course each term as well as teaching online.

Reflections (general)

Activity 1.2: Personal Learning Goal

Considering the online learning self-assessment you took this week, and thinking about your reasons for taking this course, what is your highest priority learning goal for this course? What are some specific skills, strategies or tools you are hoping to learn more about?

According to the "Online Readiness Questionnaire", I know where I'm going and how to get there. I would have been concerned if I did not score well on the questionnaire since I've taken a number of courses online and taught online. Having the background I do makes me question how I work in an online environment on a regular basis. My highest priority learning goal for this course is to gain new insights on assessments, evaluations, and preparations. Since I've taught online for over 6 years, I have a great foundation, but can always learn more from others. I would like to learn more about project-based learning in the online environment, more about 508 compliance, and increase my PLN.

2.2 Reflection: Methodologies of the Online Instructor

Write a post reflecting on the following:

    1. Reflecting on the information covered in this module so far, how might your instructional methodologies need to change in an online or blended learning environment?
    2. What skills and strategies might you improve or expand upon in order to best support student learning in a blended or online environment?

When looking at transitioning from a face-to-face environment to an online or blended learning environment, it is extremely important to reassess who the learners are and how they will be accessing the content. For me, personally, there is very little that must change from f2f to online or blended. I already teach in a student-centered classroom where students interact with one another. I also use lots of technology within my f2f courses incorporating wikis and blogs into required assignment. The biggest obstacle is finding that happy medium with an online and/or blended learning environment to provide the best content to everyone without the instructor being present.

The skills and strategies that I might need to improve or expand upon would include the use of videos, written out group work and integration of web 2.0 tools. Knowing how to use these is half the battle. But being able to actually incorporate them into an online or blended environment where students understand all instructions on the first read through is often challenging.

3.2 Reflection: Using Web 2.0 Tools

Reflect upon what an activity in your classroom might look like using one or more of these Web 2.0 tools. Think about:

    • what the experience looks like for the students.
    • types of outcomes students might have.
    • how the outcome is tied to curriculum objectives.
    • what Web 2.0 tools are aligned to the outcomes and lead to higher order thinking skills.
    • kinds of directions or guidelines you will provide in order to ensure success.

Write a post that briefly describes the activity you would create and how you might minimize possible challenges students and the teacher might have to address. Make sure that your activity is aligned to a learning objective, and uses verbs from the top three levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. In a later module, this activity may be one component of a larger unit you create.

Using Web 2.0 tools is a necessity in the online environment as well as the face-to-face environment. Students can use web 2.0 tools for collaboration both within the walls of a classroom as well as online. I use web 2.0 tools to engage my students creativity. Showing students that there are applications outside of my class is much easier to do with web 2.0 tools.

My students are required to post their lab reports to wiki. Once posted, their classmates are required to comment, correct, and/or make suggestions to help each other. Through much research it has been found that students do better on assignments that they receive feedback and help on before submitting a final copy. Students who are in the online environment especially need some kind of interaction when working on assignments. Using collaboration through Wikispaces allows them to work with peers from anywhere at at time.

Objective: Students will evaluate and revise lab reports as necessary to obtain the "perfect" lab report on Wikispaces.

Student's Perspective: Easy to learn. It's a lot like using a word processing program. The comments features really help me to see what my peers are suggesting. I like that they can edit my work directly on the screen and if I need to look at the revision history I can.

Instructions: Students are required to post the first copy of their lab reports to the Wiki by Thursday. Please respond to 2 of your classmates (see the schedule) by Sunday at noon. This will allow each of you time to turn in the final report by 11:59 pm Sunday.

4.3: Social & Professional Networks

Think about how the Internet has impacted your own personal learning, communication, and sense of community. Write a new post that includes a screenshot showing your participation in a social or professional network, and a summary of how you use that network for personal or professional connections or for new learning. In your post reflect on:

    • When does the internet help your learning? When does it distract from good learning for you?
    • How might your answers to these questions be similar to or different from the answers your students might give?
    • How might you support your students in using the Internet as their own personal learning space?

When does the Internet help your learning? When does it distract from good learning for you?

Since I work in the online world as well as take my classes online, the Internet is always helping my learning. Knowing that if I need to look something up, I can just use the Internet makes learning much easier. Though, it can be distracting when I find something that I really am passionate about (web design for example) and then I spend too much time researching one concept. I'm not sure that distraction is really the right word to use simply because I'm still learning, but I've just take a particular interest in a specific topic.

How might your answers to these questions be similar to or different from the answers your students might give?

I think my answers would be different in respect to my adult learners. Many of my adult learners don't even know what a blog or a wiki is. They don't realize that they are utilized for two different purposes, overall. Though in relation to using the Internet for finding information, I think that my students and I aren't that different. While they have lots of questions, it's nice that I'm so comfortable with the Internet that I can answer 90% of the questions they ask.

How might you support your students in using the Internet as their own personal learning space?

My students tend to use the Internet more as a socialization replacement using Facebook and MySpace. They haven't learned how to build it into their academic and learning lives. Until they can decide what they want to do, they really just use the Internet when required. Of course, this aspect is different for my traditional students. My traditional students have grown up with technology, so they are able to find learning on the Internet since they used it throughout high school.

6.3: Technology and Assessment

This module has explored the use of technology tools for both formative and summative assessment. As you think about how you will implement formative and summative assessments in the online and blended environments, what are some of the factors you need to consider?

Factors to consider:

    • Allow for remediation as needed to obtain mastery (ALEKS)
    • Incorporate real-word experiences
    • Create discussions that check for understanding
    • Applications through videos
    • Design rubrics that help students with peer review
    • Create projects that appeal to the "masses"
    • Exams should utilize the random block function
    • Have exams graded as much as possible
    • Provide rubric for all assignments - as detailed as possible
    • Consider having students create ePortfolios
      • I used to do this (~7 years ago)
    • Creating authentic assessments for students
      • Apply to the real-world

7.1 Personal Learning Plan for Online Coaching

Reflect on what you learned about the Four Roles of an Online Coach from the previous page. As you complete the steps below, you will be creating your own Personal Learning Plan for Online Coaching:

    1. Create a table or use a graphic organizer to develop your Personal Learning Plan for Online Coaching.
    2. Your table/graphic organizer must include the four coaching roles (instructor, social director, program manager, and technical assistant) listed/labeled from your weakest role to your strongest role.
    3. Include a table column/section in your graphic organizer that identifies the skills for each role that you believe you need to gain or strengthen.
    4. Include a table column/section in your graphic organizer that identifies for each role how you can gain or strengthen those skills.
    5. If possible, please embed your presentation into the area specified by your instructor. If not, save your table/graphic organizer as m7last name first initial (ex. Randy Jones would be saved as: m7jonesr) and submit to your instructor or provide the link if you used a Web 2.0 tool.

This is very difficult for me to do because I excel in all 4 areas. I really do not have a weakest to strongest scale.

The four roles were equal: Social Director, Program Manager, Technician, and Instructor.

What skills do I need to gain or strengthen for each? and How will I gain this skill?

    • Social Director
      • Direct discussions, forms, synchronous and asynchronous interactions to promote the exchange of ideas and opinions
      • Utilize the discussion board on a regular basis. Create online webinars. Create "How-To" Videos for students.
    • Program Manager
      • Convey time management skills, organization, establish guidelines
      • Create a calendar for the entire term with deadlines. Provide texting option as reminder of weekly events. Organize content in an easy and readable fashion.
    • Technician
      • Expertise in the design on instructional media, understand technology tools, audio, Web 2.0 applications, video.
      • Create "How-To" videos as needed of students. Hold synchronous sessions teaching students how to use the technology.
    • Instructor
      • Create a learner-centered environment that will challenge students to interact and create their own learning.
      • Utilize interactive discussions. Present oral reports for discussion. Keep a weekly blog with required points as well as individual thoughts. Critique other student's work.