Sunday, March 12, 2006

my first week!

I have been so consumed with facilitating the workshop that i have had little time to bolg... the first week is over. It is going great. There are now 51 participants signed up to the course. It is amazing. They are from all over the US. It is such a cool feeling to be connecting with all these amazing people. I am having trouble with course management in moodle... it is hard to keep the discussions straight. there is no way to sort the discussion , to mark items read or unread, to track where you are, to collapse /expand threads... it is really easy to loose a post in there... also, i am just not comfortable with how thing functions. there seem to be no course management tools... i just today found the journals from 9 of the participants, even though i had checked that area religeously every day... it is just not clear when new stuff is posted or where. and tracking is a probelm.

I think students were overwhelmed with the scope of the course. I need to make it clearer that the course is a model and illustration in addition to functioning as a place to interact and do activities... but as it is not for credit or certification and it is for only 3 weeks, participants need to just participate to the extent that they want or are able and to see it as a model full of ideas and suggestions to learn from...

I opened up module 2 yesterday ... very exciting... i had to finish and redo half of the audio commentary files... to change them from mp3 files to wav...i also had to finish the teaching presence presentation today... it is not a great as my ID one... but it is done.

I am having trouble with the fact that the course is not for credit or certification... the motivation and leverage i would have with that would change the dynamics significantly in the course. As it is... i can't really do student led discussion there is no motivation for students to do that... so the result is that it is heavily on me to interract. I am going to try to get the students to interact more with each other in module 2 we shall see.

I am surprised that there are so many support folks vs faculty participating. My assumptions were new faculty with no online experience, and experienced faculty that wanted help, i did not at all envision folks that supported faculty taking the course. it kinda changes things for me and the course...

i am loving this. it is soooooo much fun.

: )

Monday, March 06, 2006

it has begun!!

i am so excited... i haven't slept yet. i am exhausted, but i just finished my first day in the live workshop. It is so awesome to see all these people from all over in my course. I am thrilled. this is going to be so much fun.

I am having trouble figuring out whom i have responded to in the moodle discussion interface... there is no real way that i can see how to tell what is new and there is no ability to collapse and expand threads...

i have to go eat and go to bed... i can't wait till tomorrow night. I will be peeking during the day, but not back in to respond till the evening as i planned : )

it starts today!

once again i have been up all night working on my course.

At the last minute i realized that the assignment activity could be accomplished using the forum feature. Given the inablilty of moodle to do a multipart paragraph assignment... i need to be able to attach a file, post a document, and post response to a posted document... voila!! the forum will do. So i have been up all night reviewing the course, making sure the instructional cues are all there and accurate, tweaking everything, and changing the assignments to the forum feature. I have left the old assignment designed in the assignment feature, but have hidden it from the students. I have done that in a couple of places in case i need to quickly change to another way of doing something.

I am very excited, nervous, extited, exhousted... and the course is not quite done... there are a couple of breeze presentations that i am hoping to still add and i still need to change the assignments in the modules 2 and 3 (which i have closed for the most part) to the new format if it works as i hope/think it will. I have left modules 2 and 3 open, but closed documents inthe modules from student view so that students can get a view of the overall structure of the course as a preview and have left open some activities in those modules that are ok to have open from the beginning. But i want to have new stuff for the participants at the beginning of each week, so that is the main reason for closing off most of the content documents in modules 2 and 3.

did i say i was excited?!!!

Friday, March 03, 2006

sound advice

I conducted several interveiws with faculty and added the files for the workshop participants to be able to observe some exemplar courses "with commentary."

It worked great. I had a script. I made mp3 files, i edit the files, i uploaded and linked them. It is so cool... however. I used 2 different software to make the files. One was the sound recorder that come standard with windows. and the other is a cool little freeware called audacity... they both work pretty well... easy to use.. the sound recorder is a little clunky cuz you have to keep pressing pause to continue... meaning you can just keep talking.... that is why i switched to audacity...

everything looks great... however, when i linked the files, the ones i made with audacity work a little different than the ones i made with sound recorder ... i don't like it. It could cause confusion and the interface is a little different. What i found is that audacity saves a mp3 files, the sound recorder files are .wav files... the links to those files look a little different... in the mp3 files a little slide bar is added next to the link that is not there with the .wav files... i don't like it. but i don't think i will have time to fix... maybe. i really don't like it.

notes from the edge

From: []
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 1:54 AM
To: Kathleen Ives
Subject: questions
Hi...i have been playing around in my sand box trying out different things.
1. how do i edit the news forum after the 5 minutes has elapsed.?
You cannot edit the news forum. Once something is sent/posted that's it.
2. how do i change the dates in the news forum if i don't want those dates to appear... i want to lay out the forum with some standard announcements... about what that area is for, how to get technical help and about (not) using email for communications...
News forum is a template, unfortunately. You cannot customize it. I would suggest under you compose a text/web page with that info.
3. how do i stop this thing from sending email from the news forum or any of the forums...
The news forum is a mandatory subscription, if you will. Anyone who enrolls in the course, will receive notification when someone posts to that forum With regards to other forums, remember the other day when we 'went' in to the forums to 'toggle' yes/no to be subscribed? If you toggle to 'no' you will stop receiving email notifications.
4. where are all your standard sloan and moodle documents? i am working in the sandbox and don't see them in the files area .
When I 'collapsed' your sandbox, they went away. In settings, if you re-set number of topics to 14, they will all come back. Conversely, you can go to the 'other' copy of the course and view them there.
5. what are the folders currently in the files area? i cant figure that out
The only folders I have populated is Moodle/Elluminate Live Overview -- a page I use to tell people about Elluminate Live and something called Text Box issue that I 'keep' there but do not physically put into the workshop. Some people have issues with the text box in Moodle and this is a sheet I refer to when I am troubleshooting their problems.
6. how do participants add their profiles to the people section/block?
I have 'enrolled' a 'fake' student in your course. When you do that you will see an administration box on the 'left' side where an individual can edit their profile.
have to go to bed now. talk to you tomorrow.
Hi Alex
Just checking in to see how you are feeling and at this juncture, to see if you think you can meet the February 10 content deadline. Our marketing team is going to kick in next week with regard to publisizing this workshop.
It looks like you've made a reasonable start. Let me know. I start to move into my 'heavy' production mode next week as we will soon have a series of workshops (yours among them) in the February March April time frame running concurrently.

Oh yea... and how do you attach files to a page and how do you do more than one... i have these MP3 files that i want to have next to the link to the courses and i can't figure out how to do that. also if the multipart form the way i want to use it is not possible then i am going to have to send them word files i think... i need to talk to you about these assignments and how best to do them in moodle... it is driving me nuts.

Please see below. I use Moodle very simply and have no experience with some of the activities you are using! That being said, I have gone on the Web do do a search to see if I can help you. See below.
Kathleen S. Ives, D.M.
From: []
Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 4:22 AM
To: Kathleen Ives
Subject: more
Oh yea... and how do you attach files to a page and how do you do more than one... i have these MP3 files that i want to have next to the link to the courses and i can't figure out how to do that. also if the multipart form the way i want to use it is not possible then i am going to have to send them word files i think... i need to talk to you about these assignments and how best to do them in moodle... it is driving me nuts.
You can only attach 'one' file to a page in Moodle.
Hey Kathleen:
How do you delete test documents? for example i created a test journal entry to see how that works in module 3 and now i can't get rid of it. I need to create some of these activities not only to see what they do but also to be able to write the instructions and create models for the students. As near as I can figure, you cannot delete an entry. You will have to delete the journal and then re-create.
How do i create a multipart assignment that i can make visible to the class an assignment with multiple parts like a short answer quiz but that has no right answers and can be seen by all in the class..
I cannot find the answer to this. I will keep on looking.
How do i make the private folder activity work. I want to make a private space for me and each student. a discussion forum that only the student and i can see... been trying some stuff but it is not working.
Never used it but here is a resource:;
how do i create an activity where the student find online resources and build an annotated bibliography of web links.
I would use a Wiki -- is this a collaborative activity i.e. all students are collaborating?
I need you to look at what i have done so far and tell me what you think. I am not sure i am doing things as best as they could be, but it is what i have been able to figure out... it doesn't all make sense to me yet, but i am getting better at the stuff i have been using. What do you think?
Alex... I will look at this afternoon. I have enabled Keith and John Bourne as facilitators so they can look as well and offer feedback.
There are some documents in there, i put them under MISC. that i don't know what to do with or what they are for. Please explain.
Lets chat. I worked on the course 17. 5 going on 18 hours straight... i am not kidding. i am so burnt i can barely think and still have a half hour drive home.
: ) me
"Kathleen Ives"
the workshop

so.... do you think i should do this in march?

I think this is looking really great.
Organization flows
One page at a glance links are nice that you don't have to scroll through
Lots of information for the participants to draw upon
I think participants will come away with a good sense of how to move forward with online course development
I think your roundtables are going to be incredibly powerful -- see my note about bios below -- I definitely think we should highlight these...
Things to consider:
Typically our workshop participants don't have a lot of time to spend; some of them end up being 'lurkers' -- come in -- suck down the information, but do not participate
FAQs should set participant expectations about time commitment: i.e. two hours per week?
With each assignment, maybe suggest a couple of readings in case a participant 'hits a wall'?
That being said, I recommend scaling down the activities a bit, for example, make the journaling optional. I say this because depending on the size of the group, giving useful feedback may become incredibly time consuming for you. What will the students expect in the way of feedback? I also think that out of all the activities, this will be the one that slides. I'd leave it in -- just make it optional for the student.
I'd much rather see emphasis placed in the discussion forums (ask a question) -- where the participants can share with each other and you as well as the round tables
Question: are roundtables made up of SLN faculty only? I ask because most of the workshop participants will not be using the SLN platform. Suggestion: if SLN only, make sure the forums are platform independent and/or solict Blackboard/WebCT instructors
Do you have the faculty members lined up? If so, we should add bios and make sure they are comfortable with Elluminate Live
We should let the participants know, up front their will be two 'live' sessions -- in fact, I might want to add that to the marketing pages on the Sloan-C site
I am going to want to add some Sloan-C information -- about Sloan-C -- I can do that when you are done
Where are all your 'files' going to be placed at the bottom of the page for each module? I ask this -- because I have never figured out a way to 'file' them. If you 'hide' the topic area, the participant will not see the information when they click on Module One stuff, for example.
- That's it for now. In my opinion, this is a 'go'!

I just sent you feedback. I have a meeting at 10 -- other than that I am free.
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 8:12 AM
To: Kathleen Ives
Subject: RE: the workshop
hi i am here all day... have a meeting at 2 that i can't get out of. any time before then would be awesome.
me : )

I do. I think the workshop is nicely organized. I started going through, and was pulled away to work on something for John. I will jot down some thoughts and email you. Are you available tomorrow?
Kathleen S. Ives, D.M.

Hi Alex
I have placed URLS for the 'Live' Elluminate Sessions in your sandbox under Topic 21. Place them where you think they work best.
I have a work/study student coming in to assist me with the workshops I am developing. She is going to start proofing and testing links. I can have her go through your workshop as well if you like. Let me know when might work.
I think you are traveling this week. Let's touch base when you get back.

From: []
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 10:43 PM
To: Kathleen Ives
Subject: stuff
Hey Kathleen:
i am going to be out of the office this week, but not out of touch. I will be working on my course. So if you need me just email.
I want to check with you on the dates for the workshop. can you confirm them for me? Also, when should each week start and stop, monday or friday? Also, when should the breeze presentations be scheduled in terms of dates? I haven't done them yet but i will.
Workshop starts Monday, March 5. I will send people an enrollment key that Friday, March 3 so they can familiarize themselves with Moodle, Elluminate and workshop materials prior to official start date. I would like to get the Breeze presentations into the workshop by early next week at the latest - Monday/Tuesday.
Also, the elluminate dates, when should those be? I want to get the dates and events down.
The Elluminate sessions are scheduled Friday, March 17 and Friday, March 24 -- 2pm-3pm ET. If you could give me a blurb about each of them as well as the bios of the participants, I will publisize.
Also, is there anything i need to have or know about the elluminate sessions?
Let's you and I do a 'dry run' so I can familiarize you with the technology/process.

Your Breeze presentation is loaded and ready for you to move where you see fit. You will find it residing in 'topic 10. I have listened to the first 15 minutes -- will finish up this afternoon, but it sounds great.
Live sessions:
Could you send me a blurb about each live session so I can post info on the website? Also the panelists' bios. (I did not see them with in the body of the workshop).
Are you comfortable with targetting this Friday with regard to sending out the 'enrollment' key for the workshop -- so participants can get in and familiarize themselve with Moodle, course materials or do you want to wait until Monday?
Let me know.
Hope your daughter is feeling better.
my presentation does not display right for me.... the words fall off the slides. help!! why is that happening. when i look at the powerpoint this is not the case, when i look at the breeze that i published from that ppt, the words fall off the slide.
I don't know how i sent this to you... what is it that i need to send to you for you to get this.... when i did this my computer hung, i had to end task and i have no record in my email of this having been sent or of it having bounced. was it the zip file? or was it the ppt file? I have at least one other breeze that i want to do so i still need to know how to get it to you.

View the presentation in the workshop. It looks fine! Go to topic 10 in your workshop where it is temporarily housed until you (or I if you want) move it someplace else.
If you want to publish your next presentation to the Breeze server instead of sending me a zip file, I am attaching more detailed instructions.
p.s. don't forget to answer my previous questions!
From: []
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 4:09 PM
To: Kathleen Ives
Subject: Re: Updates
what is weird is that the thumbnails for me show all the text on the slides, but the presentation slides themselves are not displaying correctly for me.

At this juncture, I do not have time to troubleshoot, unfortuately, since I am in the midst of our peak workshop activity! We will be opening the workshop up in four days. I would suggest we scrap the Breeze and hopefully figure out what is wrong by the next session. Right now, I think our best game plan to get the rest of the information populated, and the workshop thoroughly proofed and tested.
We probably bit off a bit more than we could chew for this first go around.
From: []
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 4:56 PM
To: Kathleen Ives
Subject: RE: Updates
it does not look fine to me. I am viewing it right now and from my computer all the text is not displayed on the slides... for example i am currently viewing Slide #9: at the top it should say "what works?: LD design for the online classroom"... for me the word "classroom" falls off the right of slide... it should fit right in the yellow box... but on the slide i am viewing it does not. it extends on behind the bullet and obscured by it and off the slide so that i don't see the whole word "classroom".
There is a big What works? in grey mid slide on the slide but all that shows is what works without the ?
the list of best practices fall off the right side of the slide... meaning i don't see the entire text block... eg. #6 all i see on the slide is "detailed instructions for each learn" the point is cut at that point in the word.
i am concerned about this...and don't understand why i can't see it properly in breeze... it looks fine for me in my original ppt file.
hey.... does that mean that you can also see the problem i describe now... it is not just me?
In the mean time, I have reworked the original ppt file and republished and it looks better. i would like to give it a try, can i email it to you?
I am working on getting the bios and pics of the guest faculty and would like to hold til monday to be sure we have enough time to finish and test everything. is that ok?
Kathleen: you can have your student start checking links in the course. I think i just need to add the remaining bios, and the teaching presence breeze, which i am still working on.
Can you rename the sandbox? or how is that going to work. I am concerned about links breaking in a move to another moodle space.
How many people are signed up for this workshop?

hi kathleen:
did you get the revised breeze presentation?
Got it!
Responding to all your messages now... Day from h- - -l!
I am going to publish your breeze. Check again after 12pm to review.
I will start having all the links checked.
I think that is all for now.. right?
Oh.. checking with Margie to find out enrollment numbers. Will get back to you...
From: []
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 7:12 PM
To: Kathleen Ives
Subject: RE: Updates
Kathleen: here is the revised breeze. This one should work.
i hear you!!! i was up all night working on the course and my daughter is still sick, and i have a dr.s appointment this afternoon, i haven't been to the office now in over a week and all hell has broken loose because of the organizational changes - yeow!!!!
I am thrilled you got the breeze thing. I have it parked now in module 2 where it will go. so you can update the link there.
I am thinking of keeping modules 2 and 3 closed until the beginning of each week ... what do you think? that way there is incentive to come at the beginning of each week to see what is new....If you can have it checked maybe it can even go up on Friday instead of Monday ... it looks pretty good to me. When you have a moment, i would love to know what you think.
will there be any problem because i created the course in the sandbox?? i am worried about links breaking if stuff gets moved.
your student will check links and spelling? is she reading it for clarity and consistency by any chance... ?
If there are more than 20 participants i may have to ask someone (Bill) to help me manage the course. Not sure. I am so excited.!
Thanks so much for everything you are awesome!
I still am waiting for bios from the faculty for the live event. Descriptions of event are now in the course.
I still need to work out access for the 2 newest courses for observation that i posted.
I still need to finish the teaching presence breeze...(if module 2 is closed and the breeze presentations are closed till the beginning of the second week, then i have this weekend to finish the presentation...

I saw your 3am postings!
The name has already been changed - no worries. This is the course they will 'go' to... no moving necessary. With regard to keeping sections closed, not a problem at all.
Student will check links and spelling, I will help as well with regards to clarity.
I will 'lift' your descriptions from the course and put them on our website as well!
This is going to be great!
Have Bill 'enroll' on the community site:
Email me once he has done that and I will enable him as a facilitator!

Hi Alex
My student intern is ill (maybe she has the same thing your daughter has) so I am going in and going through the workshop.
Any typos I will go ahead and fix. Anything that is related to content, I will compile a list and send to you.
I am not going to open the workshop until first thing Monday morning. That will give you (and me if need be) the weekend to clean up any last minute items.
I've gone through all the content linked to the Menu on the left side of the Main Screen, and am working my way through the next levels. Essentially, I have been correcting typos, fixing periods, caps, links, making bolding, caps consistent within sections.
Hopefully will finish up today, or worst case tomorrow am.

Alex I am editing the 'create a course profile assignment'. It states that everyone will be able to view the assignment. Moodle does not work that way. Only the instructor will be able to view the assignment. If you want everyone to view the assignment, you should create a discussion forum and have them post there. I am going to change the wording -- but wanted to give you a heads up!

I checked with our technical support person and the assignment feature works as I noted. Only the instructor and the student can see the assignment submissions. The 'group' function is utilized when an instructor sets up different assignments for different groups. In other words, one group sees one assignment, the other group sees another assignment, but they cannot see each other's submissions.
I went into the Moodle users group, and there is supposed to be an e-portfolio feature coming out in the summer that would enable students to share assignments. If that is the case, we can try this in the fall.
Martine, our tech support, suggested you use a Wiki if you wanted to 'share' but I know you hate the Wiki feature in Moodle!
I am not done editing. I have made it through Module One and Part of Module Two. I will keep plugging away although I do have a LIVE event scheduled for tomorrow pm. I also have time this weekend.
We will get there!

The intern (who is back) and I are going to continue editing this weekend. I am currently in the process of 'cleaning up' and organizing your 'holding' tanks for documents.
I might suggest you do not make viewable Module 2 and 3 until they are complete. (I know one of the bio's is incomplete, for example).
I would tell the particpants at the bottom of Module 1 something to the effect that Module 2 will be available on Friday, March 10th.
The letter giving participants access to the workshop will go out first thing Monday morning.
Additionally, I am going to put a marketing blurb in the workshop about Sloan-C publications.
I am attaching the edited version of your manual; feel free to place it in the workshop where you see fit.
More later!

notes to kathleen

i didn't realize they would be getting this as a pdf and not as a hard copy.
That is fine.

Can you have this added to the manual .pdf on the inside front cover?
©Alexandra M. Pickett. This manual may not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from the author.

Also, can you have the word Draft taken off the front cover and instead put Sloan-C workshop. It is no longer a draft... that was just for you until edited and printed, or in this case pdf'd.

Thanks for all your hard work. I will be reviewing this weekend and will close module 2 and 3. I also am still working on the teaching presence breeze presentation. it is in module 2 which will be closed so there is time, right? It really needs to be in there.

I am very concerned that students will not be able to see eachothers assignments. i think i need to use the wiki so that they can see each other's assignments.

I may need to talk to you over the weekend. send me your home phone.

what is the test student username and password ?


I have moved the companion publication information into the workshop information section. You can see the document listed in the workshop information topic and linked to from the workshop information section block (course summary).

I also clarified the spaces where the hypertext documents are stored (meaning stuff in all topics below topic #4). I want participants to ignore the topics below topic 4. that is why i have added back the REM (remark) tag. I have added a label below topic 4 that explains that the stuff in the topics below 4 are "for document storage-only". All the documents in topics below topic 4 are stored there (moodle does not allow me to hide them with out disabling access ). Participants should interact with topics 1-4 only and with the workshop information documents. I can't prevent them from seeing them down there or clicking on them, but i want them to know that they are just stored there and to ignore them.

I took the label course summary off the "course summary" block, because that is not what i am using that section for.

I also took off the words URLs that had been added to the extra topics labels, because that is not what they are, and not how i am using them.

I also removed the workshop links at a glance topic label that had been added because that is not something i want. I want the participants to interact with topics 1-4, only as i have laid them out.


Should i open the modules on the monday of the week or on the friday before?
module 2open on the 10th rather than the 13th?
module 3 open on the 17th rather than the 20th?
That would give more time for module 3...
what do you think?



i just noticed that i am using both a wiki and an journal for the private folders section of my course. I need to use one or the other not both.

I think i will use the wiki, just to test that out as i am using the journal in another area... i have the journal placed and turned off just incase i need to switch it from the wiki for some reason.
any thoughts on this? have you used either feature? does how i have them set up look right? I have not tested as a student... i either don't have or misplaced the test student's username and password... let me know what you think about this.



so my course is going to start on Monday... i heard that there were 32 signed up for it at the beginning of last week!!!

Kathleen and an intern at Sloan have been reviewing and editing. They made some changes. I had to fix some stuff... Feels kind of weird having someone else in my course making changes. Especially when the changes seem to indicate that they are not getting it... hmmm. I really appreciate them fixing type-O's and typography stuff... for consistency. And Kathleen is reading for clarity and i really appreciate that too.

i am still concerned about the reflecting pool activity.

I am not confident that i know exactly how the journal functionality or the wiki functionality is going to work.

I have not gone in and tested yet with a student identity. (i confess - this is not good - so do as i suggest, not as i do).

I have the private folders set up as both a wiki and a journal. not sure which is best. i am going to use the wiki to test out that function... as i am using the journal for the reflecting pool activity.

I am not happy with either completely. I want to be able to attach files, reply to posts/have a discussion, add subject lines, and neither feature allows those things... have it be private between me and the student, or viewable by all students... no easy way to create instruction documents within the journal or wiki... and it seems to not let me create my own documents and you can't delete things you create unless you delete the whole thing.

I just found out today that you can't set the assignment form to allow all students to see attached files to the assignment forms. It seemed like you could and then Kathleen told me today that in fact you can't....That sucks because i want the participants to view each other's posted assignments so they can get ideas from each other and it is a motivational thing. I am not sure how i will address that flaw. I think i need to use a wiki, but you can't attach files in the wiki ... and you can't discuss.. maybe i am not getting this wiki thing... clearly not.

in the wiki and the journal you kind of have to keep a running document it seems... or delete text each time you post... i am not really getting it. the wiki versions, the journal does not... i am not feelin it...I will have to test it out and see how it works with the participants.