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This is a wonderful resource for anyone just wanting to learn more…

TED Blog

Much ado has been made in recent years over the quickly rising cost of healthcare in the United States. But the cost of college tuition and fees has skyrocketed at nearly twice that rate. Going to college today will cost a student 559% more than it did in 1985, on average.

In an exciting talk given at TEDGlobal 2012, Stanford professor Daphne Koller explains why she was inspired — alongside fellow professor Andrew Ng — to create Coursera, which brings great classes from top universities online for free. Coursera classes have specific start dates, require students to take quizzes and turn in assignments, as well as allowing professors to customize their course into online chunks rather than simply recording their lectures.

When she spoke at TED Global, Coursera offered classes from four top colleges — Princeton University, the University of Michigan, Stanford University and the University of…

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SyllabusI am working with the departments to make sure that their course syllabus is available online through the departmental website. As I am thinking on working on this project I was wondering is a Syllabus that hard?  A recent post on Faculty focus “What Does Your Syllabus Say About You and Your Course?is quite interesting and points out some good parts of a syllabus. I am sure most of us think we have included anything and everything the student need to know about the course down in our syllabus. But have you ever wondered how long the syllabus should be?  Here are some resources that can be very handy:

  1. Writing a Syllabus – Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence
  2. The Syllabus – Enhancing Education – Carnegie Mellon University
And there are many more…
But some of you are wondering why am I talking about syllabus writing? Wasn’t the are of interest was posting the syllabus online? Yes it is … but yet is also critical to have a well written syllabus. So open up your syllabus and check out the components and make sure you got it all and showcase it for the world to see and learn..
Happy syllabus writing to all…

Online Course Structure

I created this a long time back. I am a visual person and I understand things better by seeing then just by hearing. So I did this image representation of the course structure to make it east to understand by both Faculty and Student how the course navigation is going to work in Blackboard LMS

Developing Online Course

I know many of us wonder how to get started with the process of an developing online class? Some faculty will come and tell me I have been teaching this class for the past 4 year face 2 face what do I need to do to teach it online. Couple of things will help them to get started. I give them a checklist of things that they need to make sure they have when they are teaching online. The checklist is adopted from: Southworth, H, Cakici, K, Vovides, Y, & Zvacek, S (2006). Blackboard for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley Publishing, Inc..

A Blackboard Course-Building Checklist


As you’re developing your course in Blackboard, a handy-dandy checklist might be just the thing to keep you on target. The checklist can give you at least a head’s-up to what you might have forgotten, or give you an idea of something that you might want to add later. We include references to chapters that provide instructions for how to get certain aspects into your course. Have fun!


  • Post a “Welcome to the Class” letter.
  • Post a reminder about the first assignments due.
  • Post a message about how you plan to use Blackboard.

Faculty and staff information

  • List your title.
  • List your e-mail address.
  • List your phone and fax numbers.
  • List your office location.
  • List your office hours.
  • List your contact preferences.
  • Post a photograph of yourself.
  • Post a link to your personal Web page.
  • List other instructors’ contact information.
  • List your teaching assistant’s contact information.
  • List guest lecturers’ contact information.


  • List class meeting days and times.
  • Post the course description.
  • Post the prerequisite course list.
  • Post a reading list.
  • List requirements and deadlines.
  • Add notes about graded events or items.
  • List learning objectives.
  • Post your grading policy.
  • List your course expectations.
  • List your paper and project turn-in procedures.
  • Post instructions for navigating the Blackboard course.
  • List outside learning resources.

Course content

  • Consider learners’ learning styles.
  • Decide on a course structure (sessions, topics, and modules, for example).
  • List corresponding Content Areas on the course menu.
  • Post materials in the appropriate Content Areas.
  • Create subfolders where appropriate.
  • Describe the subfolders below the title.
  • List outside Web links where relevant.
  • Double-check completeness of materials.
  • Assessment
  • Post assignment-submission procedures.
  • Ensure that assignments match the course objectives.
  • Post due dates.
  • Ensure that quizzes and tests are written.
  • Enter automated feedback.
  • Choose assessment settings.
  • Add additional graded items to the Gradebook
  • Split learners into project groups.


  • Decide on your personal communication comfort level.
  • Create Lightweight Chat sessions.
  • Create Virtual Classroom sessions.
  • Create discussion forums.
  • Decide on forum settings.
  • Plan Chat and discussion topics.
  • Consider how to encourage learners to communicate online.
  • Consider how to assess online participation.
  • Give project groups communication tools.
  • Create at least one forum in the group discussion boards.


  • Create an online course evaluation.

Life Cycle of a course

As you start developing on online, you go through 3 stages of developmental process. Stage 1 is before the course starts, Stage 2 is during the course or you can say actual online teaching process and stage 3 which is after the teaching is over. The first stage comprises various parts. As a start up process you need to create a course shell requesting the campus course management system administrator. Then if the process is not automated you need to enroll the user manually to your course. You can do this at the beginning or wait till you are done setting up the rest of the course. In the process of creating a course you need to decide on the course environment, choose your course and communication tools, post your course materials and pre-assessments for the course. The stage 2 is a long cyclic process where as an instructor you will continue to update the course content, assessing and grading and communicating with students. Once the final grades are submitted please remember to export/archive your course. For the next term make sure you update and review your course before starting to teach.

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education 2010 (Mar 12, 2010 – Mar 13, 2010)

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education 2010 (Mar 12, 2010 – Mar 13, 2010)

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference 2010 is a completely in-world conference on … virtual worlds, best practices and how they are used in education. It is not uniquely focused on Second Life however obviously there is a very strong SL bent to the conference owing to where it is being held.

Website URL :: http://www.vwbpe.org

Unlike a number of other conferences this one is BIG – it is also FREE with the expenses for the conference being paid for through sponsorship. When I say big I mean like 1700+ people in 2007 and 3600+ people in 2009 and we are expecting 5000+ for 2010.

This year we are upping the ante.

* The conference is going to be 48 hrs from 12:01a on March 12 to 23:59p on March 13.
* The conference is going international with active representation on the proposal committee from around the world
* Through generous support by a number of organizations we’ve managed to obtain 20 sims to accomodate the conference
* We are hoping to have transcription services available for those with hearing imparements, and
* We are hoping to be able to broadcast at least 40 hours of live video (flash based) to the web along with another 8-10 hours of HD video (QT) Treet.TV has gone through a major revamp of their website so if you want to see video from last year the new link is http://business.treet.tv/shows/bpeducation/episodes.

The Call for Proposals has been out for awhile but the February 15th deadline is quickly approaching for submissions.

To get information on submitting use this link http://bit.ly/2010_Proposals and get your submissions in early to the peer review panel.

For those that want to pre-register for the conference (registration is not a requirement btw) you can use this link here http://vwbpe10.eventbrite.com/ (if you had visited this link before today the donation piece has been removed as it required at least a $1 minimum – that has been removed) pre-registrations gives us an opportunity to get an idea of numbers plus it provides a receipt for your organization to show that you are attending a registered event if you need it for attending the Friday.

Information sessions will be starting next weekend. If you would like one of the organizing committee to attend your function to explain more about it please drop me a line directly at phelan.corrimal@gmail.com or info@vwbpe.org and we can get something set-up. In the meantime, sessions will be twice weekly starting next weekend leading up to the conference.

Kevin Feenan
SL: Phelan Corrimal
Executive Committee, VWBPE

You are invited to the following event:
Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education 2010 (VWBPE ’10)

Friday, March 12, 2010 at 12:05 AM
– to –
Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 11:55 PM (PT)

Location: Second Life!

For more information click here

Adding Youtube Video in Blackboard

I know for most of us when we add a YouTube video we simple add the URL to the course as an external link or as an new item. Here is another way you can actually display the content of the video within the course site without going in YouTube.com.

Just follow the steps below:

1. Find the video you want to add to your course.

2. Right next to the video you will find the “EMBED” code

3. Copy the code and go to your Blackboard course

4. Under the content area (like course documents) add a “New Item

5. Give a Title

6. Where you add content click on the icon <> and enter the embed code you copied from YouTube

7. Click submit.