Course Materials: Requirements
Keep in mind that this class contains students with a wide variety of educational, work, life, and technology experience. Try not to compare yourself to other students. Instead, focus on your own strengths and weaknesses.
I've set up a class discussion and sharing area using Moodle at my website. This will be used to share the Connections activities you complete. First, register and log into the system. Second, practice using the system by introducing yourself to the class.
Registration. To use the system you'll need to register and join the course. Use the following directions:
- Go to http://escrapbooking.com/moodle
- The first time you use the system, follow these directions:
- Click Log in in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Click the Create new account button on the right side of the screen.
- Create a username and password of your choice. Be sure to write it down. If the username has already been used, try another one.
- Enter your email address (the one you want me to use to contact you) in two spaces and your first and last name (the name you want to be called).
- Click Create my new account.
- You'll get a confirmation screen.
- Get your email and click on the weblink provided. It will open the class page. Click on the Blog class to join.
- From now on, you can login using your username and password.
Moodle contains features that are similar to Blackboard and other online courses.
The biggest drawback to an online class is the lack of face-to-face communication with your instructor and your peers. I'll be sending out periodic course updates that will hopefully help you feel connected to me. I'll be reading your assignments which will help me feel connected to you. We can email personally whenever you have something you'd like to share or discuss. I LIVE on email... in the motorhome our living room, dining room, bathroom, and bedroom are all within 38 feet, so I'm always available. When I'm "on-the-road" I'll usually provide information in the weekly update. In this case, it should still take less than 24 hours for a reply.
Introduce Yourself and Course Sharing
assignment involves posting some information about yourself and
getting to know your classmates. Some
people like to share photographs, personal websites, favorite movies
or books, family information, or other tidbits that will help the
class get to know you. This is important because you'll be involved
in lots of online discussions. This is all done in Moodle so "outsiders" won't
be able to see the information.
Enter Moodle. Click on Introduce Yourself and Course Sharing.
Put your name in the subject of the message. Include your name, a little personal and professional information about yourself, as well as the reason you chose this course and how you feel about online courses in general. This will be a good chance to share a little about your interests and expertise with education and technology. Also, tell us what makes you laugh and how you like to spend your spare time (like you have spare time).
Reply to an Introduction
Read the messages posted by classmates. If you want to share something you have in common or ask a question, enter information below the message in the area that says REPLY. You should post at least one response or observation. This area is also a place to go if you have questions. Find someone you think shares your interests, email them and introduce yourself personally. This contact may be helpful later in the semester as you have questions about the course. Always feel free to contact Annette too!
Be sure to reply to at least one message posted by a classmate.
Many students enjoy seeing the work of others to gather materials for future projects. All students are required to post a short paragraph reviewing the topic of your project. Then if you're interested, you can contact this student for more information. At the end of the semester, you can also share your project here.
Post a short paragraph reviewing the topic of your project.
Project Title. A short paragraph description of the project.
This course involves required readings, Connection activities, and projects.
Use the readings to help you with the Connection and Project. These readings/website explorations are required for your success in the course.
The readings and links will get you started. Then, complete the activity. DO NOT spend multiple hours on each assignment! You should be able to say everything in a couple paragraphs. Save your energy for your Projects.
Six Connection Activities
You must complete all 6 activities found in the CourseGuide. These assignments are used to guide your learning and encourage you to try out new ideas. These activities are intended to help you analyze and apply the course content. Many times you'll be asked to read an article or explore a link. Then, do some brainstorming, writing, or thinking. For each connection activity, you are also required to react to the posting of at least one other classmate.
The Connections activities are required, posted in the Moodle forums, and graded as PASS or NO PASS when all six have been completed.
- Your posting should cause classmates to think,
react, investigate, question, laugh, or cry. Okay, maybe not laugh
but at least stop and think, "that's interesting"... Quality
postings contain some of the following characteristics:
- References the professional literature (texts, websites, supplemental reading, additional relevant materials located by the student)
- Concise and on target (100 to 250 words), but detailed enough for understanding and meaningful application to the issue addressed
- Raises an area of inquiry or an issue in a clear manner for further discussion or debate
- Recommends a resource which helps a fellow student gain more understanding on an issue or topic
- Summarizes information as evidence that either validates (supports) or suggests a different perspective (counters) and the information is referenced; such information may or may not agree with the poster's personal opinion
- Links together several postings to suggest a conclusion, a recommendation, a plan or a broader observation that what has been previously posted on the issue or topic
- Messages are on a frequent basis across the semester so that they interact with messages from other classmates and are not bunched for delivery.
- These can be added
to the discussion of your posting or the posting of another student.
It is suggested that you go back and read through the comments and
suggestions added to your posting, but you are not required to respond
specifically these comments.
Below you'll find examples of the kinds of "responses" that will be counted. Feel free to "get into" the discussion with as many comments to your peers as you'd like.
- Act on a suggestion. For example, after reading a comment from a peer, you might decide to add an example, suggest a website address or other resource, answer a question, or clarify an idea.
- Provide feedback to others such as a specific comment or idea along with an example, expansion, or suggestion. In other words, "way to go Susie" is a good start, but won't get you a point. You could even start with "that's crap Susie", however the key is providing positive, constructive criticism or helpful and encouraging advice. Healthy debate is fine, but let's discourage mean-spirited comments.
- State an opinion and provide supportive evidence or arguments. This can be fun because it can really get a discussion going.
- Add an insight. If you've had an encounter with the topic being discussed, it would be valuable to hear your thoughts and "real world" experiences. This should be more than "I'll use the idea in class." How and why will you use the idea? Would the idea work in another area? How or why?
You are required to complete a course project. It is graded PASS or NO PASS. The topic and scope of the project is up to you. The guidelines are listed on the CourseGuide.
When you're ready to get started, proceed to the CourseGuide.