Online Course Catalog

so i wanted to take a second and kindof explain to you guys a little bit what region 18 is so you can understand our position andall the things that i'm explaining today. region 18 is actually an extension kind ofof the tea except for we have no authority but we have to provide professional developmentto educators across the largest geographic region in texas that stretches all the wayfrom border cities on up to west texas where we are in midland, texas. so when we're talkingabout professional development online it was something that we had to jump into that gamepretty early on because we had to get ready to provide to these districts, especiallythese smaller schools, where they weren't going to be able to come out all the way toour education service center to receive professional

development in person. so we don't have any actual students in ourinstance. our students are actually the educators so everything that i'm going to be talkingto you about today is going to be based off our experience as delivering professionaldevelopment online to educators and k-12. some of them are retired or professional serviceproviders. we don't do a whole lot with higher education but i would assume this would workthe same for professors at your campus as well. can i just get kind of a feel of the many people in here are k-12? good amount of you guys. we have some higher ed in hereas well? a little bit. awesome.

so i'm assuming that you guys are all interestedin doing some professional development with your campus otherwise you wouldn't have shownup or you just didn't want to walk to another hotel. but whatever, i'm glad you're here. however, i can get you in the chair, right?so we've actually been doing professional development for about five years online. longerif you start to count in teleconferencing services so you may be asking yourself, whydoes this even matter? it matters because we've been epically failing at deliver professionaldevelopment online for years and now i'm going to embark that knowledge on you so that youcan take our successes and run with them and be successful.

one of the things that i kind of want to pointout before i move forward into the presentation is some of the stuff may hit home for youguys and you may be saying to yourself, well we do that kind of thing now and it's workingfor us. well it worked for us at one point too but we found things that work i want to show you the best possible outcomes from what we've got so far so that you guyscan have the same experience that we have. so i want to share some data with you guys.on my little handout – i hope everybody got the little orange speech bubble thing.there's a link on there that’ll take you to the folder that has these speaking notesthat i'm speaking to you from today, as well as copy of the powerpoint slides.

how we got there. and i'm going to do thatin a series of do’s and don’ts and or in this case yup’s and nope’s if you let's kind of go into the first stage of elearning that we hit. the first thing that we came up with was okaywe're a professional development institution. we have in person sessions, we have this knowledge.let's just record it and get it online. this was a complete failure for us. i am surethat you can imagine the various reasons why. a couple of the things, like we have thisprofessional videography, a gentleman that's here. you have to have the audience mikedup, the presenter has to be miked up and then they have to be clever enough not to stepin front of the screen or walk out of the room or take the mike into the potty or whateverit

she just read in the live chat that the personwatching the video can't even see. and we decided, okay, well we're going to get awayfrom this live chat. so we went into a new presentation software that instead of chatwe had webcams. so all of the participants had webcams. yes, i'll let you imagine. so then we hadinstances where people were doing this at home and you see their pets. but i think thatthe one that took an all time goal was we had a gold digger who was just going for it.yeah, the whole session and we caught that on tape. so i mean if you're into that thingi guess whatever. but we weren't at our esc. so the least offensive is to record a narratedpresentation. and actually if you do this

correctly, you could record a narrated documentcamera piece, you record a narrated software demonstration, a narrated presentation frompowerpoint or google slides. if you do it well this actually works right. but what we found is if you just take an inperson presentation that was designed for a three to six hour course and you go intoa narration over on top of it, people were completing the courses but 92 percent of themwere completing the course with the accountability piece in less time than what it would takefor them to actually watch the video. so that didn't work. so what did we learn about video? we wantedour faces shown because we wanted that inter

personal connection because as humans, wethink that our physical presence is the only way that we can actually connect. but videosshould really only be used to highlight key and more complex concepts. it's not to makethat connection. canvas is a beautiful thing and we’ll talkmore about this in later in the presentation. they give you other opportunities to makethat interpersonal interactive connection. that's not going to happen by sticking yourfloating head in a box in a live broadcast or recording an in person presenter, somebodythat's walking back and forth. you're not going to get that experience. also the users don't typically buy in as well.when you're having these long videos they

aren't sitting there and watching it and theyaren't retaining the concepts because they aren't paying attention. so once you get past the video sections, youthink that you can take all that you have and just build it into your corpse and that'sexactly what we did next. so we were like, okay, we've got this presentation, we can'trecord it, so what are we going to do? we're just going to take that knowledge and extractit from here and build it into a course. that doesn't work either because you've gotto consider that the presentation that you have designed is designed with those breaksas. we discussed those interactive pieces that you would do in person. they do needsome modification before you can stick them

into a course and in addition to that, youwant to always make sure you're building it into a course well and you can't do that ifyou're going in with your content premade and you're just going to stick it into a course. so we have a mentality that you always wantto design your content for the course. in addition to that, as an institution, andyou should do this as well, you don't have to feel locked down but develop some institutionalstandards for your group for elearning and in our standards we covered stuff like whento use video, when to use the document camera, when to use text, when to use pictures, color,theory, how to put together a presentation. so just the basics.

so once the educator that's creating the coursegets through those pieces, they have a general idea of how to fit their content in. but aslong as you're providing them with those standards, you also have that uniformity across all ofyour sessions. and in our particular case, when we have that kind of mook like environmentwhere we have people that are coming in and voluntarily taking these courses, that meansa lot. because we're trying to make it quick and easy for the educators that are tryingto take our professional development to get in there, get the information that they wantand get back out. so if everything looks similar and if you've got a similar feel all the wayacross the board, and your content is being developed for your course and not the otherway around, you start to see this really good

feedback from your users that are taking yoursessions. so you might think finally i don't have tolisten to nicole anymore, unfortunately not. so even if you have standards, we have toconsider the adult learner. this is where it starts to get a little bit more complicated.there's a lot of different schools of thought about what can be done with elearning andhow you can make it more interesting, but the adult learner they need more. they needto have trust in you, they need to believe that you know what you're doing and in additionto that, they need to feel challenged. and they need to feel accommodated. they needto feel like if the one of the two of you is being put out, it's on our end not on theirend. so that brings us to our next kind of

pieces. my number thing that i've done since day oneis the only thing that we've really stuck our guns on is being completely mobile friendly.i have a report that we were able to pull on our users and we were able to see thatabout 78 percent of our users are accessing from the ios safari browser. not the app,but the browser. and that's because we've never built a course that used anything thatthey couldn't pull on a mobile device. another pattern that i was able to identifyfrom looking at the data is that there's key times of day when our users are accessingcontent. it usually takes place about 10 a.m. to around noon, so i'm assuming it's eitherduring conference periods or lunch breaks,

right at the end of the school day, so fromthat 3 to kind of 5 o’clock time and then from about 10 p.m at night to about 11 night so i'm assuming while they’re in bed, right before they conk out. in addition to that, there's also timing periodsin the time of the year. we have a rush, right when school starts, we have a rush right beforetesting starts i'm assuming for people trying to find intervention strategies. we have arush right at the end of the school year i'm assuming people try to get their pd over sothat they can go party all summer long. so mobile friendly is really important thatwe're accommodating our users so that wherever they’re at if they have the time and theyhave the dedication to want to seek knowledge,

we want to make sure that it's accessible. these aren't college kids, these aren't highered, these aren't the students in our course that we're teaching online that are requiredto access it however we tell them to. adult learners we have to kind of make sure thatwe're going out of our way to accommodate their needs because in reality most educatorsaren't being paid to have any sort of time or given time to participate in professionaldevelopment whether they go in person or show up online so we have to make sure that wemake those accommodations for them. the next thing that i will say is probablythe most important breakthrough hat we had is designing in 30 minute chunks and theseneed to be clean chunks. so if you have a

module and it has four pieces that are reallyinterconnected it should not take more than 30 minutes for you to get through those threepieces. what we found is that 85 percent of our userswill not spend more than 70 minutes in a course. that's a tremendous amount. so that givesthem enough to finish two sections. about 40 percent will spend even less thanthat. so you have to look at what they’re going to have time for and if you're lookingat conference periods and lunch breaks those are 55 to 45 minutes long we want to makesure that they still have time to take a potty break or do whatever it is that they needto do and as long as it's accessible than they’re going to be in good shape.

 so providing those digital souvenirs so they have a take away to go back to theirclassroom and sasynched [phonetic] as possible. if you're introducing a strategy, providea sasynched maybe half page set of instructions that they can glance at as they’re tryingto implement that strategy into their classroom. don't provide them with a free ebook that'sgoing to overload them. you can do that as well but you want to provide them with somethingthat's sasynched that's going to be useful for them as well. the final thing about considering our usersis that level of rigor of questioning. one of the things in elearning that i've kindof noticed especially in professional development

is organizations will jump into pd withoutanyone to instruct the pd so we develop courses that auto grade so that we don't have to messwith it. the problem is is that educators aren't goingto take anything away from a course where they read click, click, click, click, clickand drag and click and click some more. they need to think about it. you've got think about professional developmenton a different level than actual teaching. when we get to be adults we aren't just learning,we're being sold on ideas and the idea – imagine that your real estate agent – and they sayat the best possible thing is when the person comes into a house and they start to imaginetheir own items and furniture in that house.
what we want our educators to do is to startimagining these instructional strategies that we're delivering to them in their we have to give them those high rigor type questioning pieces and we have to come backand engage them. so these are just some of the questions thatwe provide. most of our stuff is graded on a pass fail, but if for some reason we aregrading a rubric, and i know that you can click and get to a rubric from the actualcorner of an actual session inside of canvas but we always provide it right underneathas well, so our technologically savvy teachers will see exactly what it is that we're lookingfor and we want provided back to us and we want them to think deeply.

another thing that we do with this high levelquestioning is we ask at the end of the course in a survey can we use some of your responsesto highlight these responses in a later session? because you would be surprised the kind offantastic and deep and thoughtful ideas that you get from educators who are taking yoursession. so we always want to make sure that we provide that opportunity to continue tocollect these ideas and feature them in the future. so finally you make think that our audienceis taken care of and there's one last piece and i kind of hinted to it already, buildinga community. a community inside of canvas is absolutely essential.

some of these small schoolsmay only have one educator that teaches an entire subject area and i've actually seeninstances where a biology teacher at one really small school has hooked up with a biologyteacher at another really small school and they’re taking these sessions online they will re-enroll a new session’s at the same time and then they feed off of eachother’s comments without being asked to. i rarely set it up to where a peer reviewis required but on their own they’re applying. so this is a really cool example where i'veactually blued out the student’s names but
this was part of our autism collaborative.this was a compulsory course but all that we required them to do was participate inthe live chat. there was an optional discussion and every single one of the educators andthey were to respond to the discussion question, and they were go and respond to each otherand they then hooked up with each other and some of them even traveled to each other’scampuses. this is one of my pride and joy’s to seethat this was really fostered well. it was one of our first launched courses and allthe live chats that we had and made sure that i was present so i was there to support themand this is exactly what we want to see. we want to see those educators feeling like they’remaking connections and feeling like theyâ're
supported. the other key thing that you want to lookfor is giving them feedback and getting feedback from them. you can't just alone ask them topost discussions and be a phantom instructor. if you have a discussion board i always encouragemy instructors just go in and actually reply publically to the discussions instead of justfilling out the comment box on speed grader. if it is something that's going to be setup where it's not going to be publically available at least use the comment box to say somethingback to them for their thoughtful response especially when they’re giving you timeand effort beyond what is normal. you want to be able to reward them in some way.
also in every course we make sure to buildin a feedback element so that we're able to understand what it is that they liked aboutit, what it is that they didn't like about it and that doesn't have to take any specificform. we've done live chats as the feedback section and we've just point blank asked,“what did you like? what did you dislike?” as long as it's done online it seems they’rea lot more honest in nature about the way they feel about these things and we've gottena lot of positive feedback about the community parts but these courses that we have thatwe did not build the community parts in, people thought really disconnected, they felt itwas boring and honestly like if you look at the content, some of the comment in theseother non-community based courses was more
engaging and interesting but there was nohuman interaction. and that's one of the biggest things that we have missing from our pieceof education. so we want to make sure that we always put that in. and the final thing is, is that if there'sa way for you to use your reports or if you need help, don't be afraid to hit me up. youwant to celebrate your users. you'll find that you're going to have some people thatare going to be more gung-ho about pd online than others. i have some teachers that have their summerpd for this year finished in november because they were over it and they didn't want tohave to waste any of their vacation time and
they didn't want to have to come in on servicedays. so they got all their certificates off of our system which we call esu, they printedit out and handed it over to their principal and said, “here you go. thank you very much.” i try to make sure that i'm taking care ofthose guys and i provide them opportunities to come back. i also give them extra opportunitiesto give feedback, what kind of courses they want to see next. so just making sure thatyou include and reward and celebrate your users is a huge, huge deal. now if you're only doing compulsory courseswhere they have to come, that's probably a little bit more difficult because they maybe like, “yes, that was so much fun.”
but you want to do your best to try to provideanything that you possibly can. so i really went through that pretty quick.but this is all on your handout. i hope that everybody got a handout. if you have any timeplease do hit me up. i learn from networking with you guys and i would love to talk toyou guys further. and if you have questions about how we did implementation or anythinglike that, i'm happy to help or how to calculate some of these numbers or how to look up reports,please do, let me know and i'm happy to answer any questions right now if you have any. i know i'm the only thing standing betweenyou and beverages and good times. but you can endure me just a wee bit longer maybe,you know? any questions?
well thank you so much guys for joining meand i hope that this was helpful for you. and please do go and download the speakingnotes and the presentation and hit me up on twitter and via email. i really am here tosupport you any way that i possibly can and i'd love to keep this conversation going. yes? yes? audience: (inaudible) canvas, how do trainpeople how to use canvas? nicole: okay. that's actually the biggestquestion. he asked how did i train people how to use canvas as far as my instructors?and you're going to think it's really weird but i'm going to go ahead and tell you sincewe have time.
so there was a course that was sent out tome from my csm that you could download and you could upload into your [inaudible][24:47]or canvas. and i sent out an email to everyone in the company and i basically said you havean option. you can take this course that covers everything or you can come to me with yourcourse idea and we will just work on the sections that you need for your course and here's howto schedule a meeting. and it took about a year for me to really get time to meet witheverybody, because you have your – and it worked out perfectly because i promise youif you do this, not everyone's going to jump onboard and be like, oh yes, i want to gofirst, because you're going to have your gung-ho people, you middle people and your peoplethat are like the last to come.
but after the meeting and you spend a littlebit a time showing them in person, they will jump through it. and the really technologicallysavvy people went through the course and it took them 30 minutes and it was no big deal. man: gotcha. and for the users, did you justdo like a student orientation? nicole: we had a student orientation thatwe required for a little while but then we adopt the standards so the standards weremeant to kind of simplify and make things uniform and if people do have any questions– i'm assuming they’re calling the tier 1 support that we pay for. we don't have alot of tickets that come through people not understanding how to navigate a course.
the only questions that we get are about howto set up an account and that's because our stuff is all l-[inaudible][26:05] restrictedand our help desk handles those. yes? audience: [inaudible][26:09]? nicole: absolutely. if you will shoot me anemail i'll happily give you the google link. yes, ma'am? she asked, i'm sorry. just so you know thatif we can have the standards shared out and if you do email me i'm happy to share thosestandards. but definitely personalize them and make them your own because my mark isall over them since i was the only elearning
person when i made it. do you have a question right there? woman: your title was about high traffic coursesand i'm wondering have you found a magic number of the number of instructors that could beenrolled in a professional development class as students and have the discussion boardsstill be personal and vibrant? if i've got over 1,000 educators in our district, howmany online courses do i need to support with the facilitator in order to have everybodyengaged? nicole: that's a really good question. soshe asked how many – like a ratio of – okay. the students to courses? the largest coursethat we have has about 350 and because of
the way the discussion is enraged and especiallynow that they've added the reply feature where it's nested that you can enable, we don'thave a problem because people are going to look at the most recent happenings and goingson. as far as instructors on our end engaging,up and to this point there was really only one per course and that person just reallyhad to give it their all and abandon all hope of having a life. and if you have people that need lives youmay want to divide that up some. but i don't know of a magic number. that's been a greatfear of mine and i know that jeff back there in the back has heard from me and my csm haveheard from me that i'm afraid what happens
when we hit that point where we've got over1,000 people in a course. but we don't have over 1,000 people in a single course yet. we've categorized the courses and we keepthem divided up, so there's a course for digital pedagogy, there's a course for classroom management,there's a course for elementary ela, middle school ela, high school ela. so categorizationand organization, just like your shoe closet ladies, is the key to success i think withkeeping them pretty even steven. woman: so if the courses are synchronizedthen you do have to have a teacher driving the course, monitoring the discussions boards,moving things along? nicole: they aren't synchronist in that there'sdue dates but there are assignments and there
is a live person monitoring our courses. yes. any other questions? yes? okay. audience: [inaudible][28:55]? nicole: no. as far as like all of our contentstuff goes, i'm happy to announce that you will be able to purchase your own copy nextsummer. so hit me up. but now you know. well thank you guys so much for joining me.i’m so happy that you're here with me today.