Saturday, December 14, 2013

Adapting Ordered Sharing for Adobe Connect Breakout Rooms

TLT FridayLive participants shared their thoughts on the Fundamental Questions related to using ”breakout rooms” in online sessions.
What do you most what to gain:
  • providing the shy / quiet folks with a smaller group to talk
  • less pressure to speak in front of everyone else
  • brainstorming and planning for sharing back
  • Giving folks the opportunity to contribute in small groups when they don't feel comfortable sharing in large groups
What do you most cherish and not want to lose:
  • still allow the kind of dialogue that emerges in f2f small groups
  • communication and relationship...  
  • Ability for students to feel connection and responsibility for their ideas and contributions to a community understanding - weaving back into larger class/group.

Breakout rooms offer an opportunity for dialogue. “Through critical discourse, students convert surface knowledge to deep learning by connecting new ideas to their existing framework, creating new patterns, dissecting principles, and ultimately constructing meaning for themselves” (Dailey, 2011, p.21).  Helping students learn at a deeper level is well worth the effort. Ordered Sharing, offered by Caine Learning Center,  is one instructional strategy that can be used to that end. Below are the some ideas for adapting this strategy to an Adobe Breakout Room environment.

First we applied the lessons we learned in using Adobe Breakout rooms in general, see this blog post for more information. Three key elements for success are:

  1. Allow more time than you think for the activity.  
  2. Practice makes Progress, each web-conference platform is different and has it’s own operational nuances.
  3. Verbal and Written Instructions; review prior and have visible in the breakout room.
Image created in Stipple

  1. Identify a participant who will serve as the group’s time keeper. Make them a presenter before starting the breakout rooms.
  2. Set up the breakout room layout. In the layout below, a campfire image was uploaded into a share pod. Directions were created in PowerPoint and uploaded into another share pod and the reflection question was upload into a third share pod.

Ordered Sharing Breakout Room Layout
  1. Introduce the slide drawing tools and allow participants time to practice.  This could be done as an icebreaker at the start of the session.
  2. Introduce the topic.
  3. Review the directions: visual and verbal. Explain the reason the ordered sharing activity is being used. Ordered sharing is another way to listen and think together through dialogue. Encourage participants to listen fully without commenting in any way, observing their thoughts and the thoughts of the group, suspending their assumptions, refraining from imposing their views on others, and avoiding suppressing or holding back their thoughts.
  4. Give participants an opportunity to reflect.
  5. Change to the breakout room layout and explain that this is the layout they will see in the breakout room. Review directions including how to activate their microphone in the breakout room. Explain that the campfire image provides the context, a setting for the group to talk together. Identify the time keepers.
  6. Evenly distribute participants into rooms or manually move participants.
  7. Provide a warning that they will soon find themselves in a breakout room. Start breakout sessions.  
Check in on the groups and assist with any technical challenges. Based on progress, determine when to close the breakout rooms.  Give the groups a 2 minute warning, 1 minute warning and then announce that they will be returning to the main room.

You might decide to ask the groups to report out in some way and or to debrief the Ordered Sharing strategy.

Caine, R. N., Caine, G., Kimek, K. J., McClintic, C. L., & Costa, A. L. (2009). 12 brain/
bind learning principles in action. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Dailey, B.A.M. 2001. Creating Significant Deep Learning Experiences: The Cross Papers Number 14. Phoenix, AZ: League for Innovation in the Community College.

Friday, December 06, 2013

"To MOOC or Not to MOOC? Is that the question?" Implications for successful experienced faculty

The TLT Group will talk about MOOC today, Friday, 12/6/13, 2:00 PM ET. Register Here for this free event.

This article "MPPCs for PD: Will massive open online education revolutionalize professional development?" talks about MOOCs for teacher professional development.  The TLT has offered two MOOCs for higher education faculty and will be offering two more next year

  • Seven Futures of Education schMOOC, Jan 14 - February 22, 2014 Register Here
    You can join in the planning of this MOOC, Dec 10 and 17 (4:00 PM ET)
  • Teaching Online for Beginners, Spring dates TBD


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Experimenting with Stipple

I have been experimenting with Stipple. Ilene Frank connected me with this resource as a way to cite photos.  It has many other uses as well.  In the example below, I created a Stipple to promote an new TLT event, "Seven Futures of American Education schMOOC." Please let me know what you think of the Stipple I created and with Stipple in general.

This link will take you to the Stipple site (


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Applying lessons from connectivist MOOCs and Udacity to TOL4B

"MOOC - The Resurgence of Community in Online Learning," by Stephen Downes, got me thinking about MOOC is relation to the TLT Teaching Online for Beginners (TOL4B) MOOCOW that just concluded.  The "OW" by the way, stands for "or whatever."    Below are some ideas I want to apply to TOL4B version 2. 

I take a performance based approach to instructional design and tried to apply Dee Fink's
Made with Paper 53
integrated course design approach to the design of TOL4B. In some respects this seems to be contrary to the connectivist theory which is the foundation of the MOOC.  I read Creating the Connectivist Course" in Stephen Downes collection "Connectivism and Connective Knowledge: Essays on meaning and learning networks " (May 20120)
 trying to understand what type of design approach Stephen Downes used in the  MOOCs he has offered.  

"By navigating the content environment, and selecting content that is relevant to your own personal preferences and context, you are creating an individual view or perspective. So you are first creating connections between contents with each other and with your own background and experience. And working with content in a connectivist course does not involve learning or remembering the content. Rather, it is to engage in a process of creation and sharing. Each person in the course, speaking from his or her unique perspective, participates in a conversation that brings these perspectives together." (pg 505)

So far I have not been able to find an answer to my question.  My sense is that a primary purpose of these early MOOCs was to create connectivist experiences and environments. There are people who suggest that connectivism is not a theory, I tend to agree.  I think it's a way of facilitating learning and designing learning environments which focuses on networking within communities of learners.

I was also fascinated by a recent article in Fast Company, "UDACITY'S SEBASTIAN THRUN, GODFATHER OF FREE ONLINE EDUCATION, CHANGES COURSE," Apparently Sebastian Thrun is not happy with the low completion rates in Udacity courses and is partnering with businesses and colleges to use the content within the framework of a course or an organization. This model will also produce revenue for the company. Udacity courses are still available for free but if you want credit or a mentor there is a cost.  Sounds like a realistic model to me.
"Udacity’s mission is to educate people so they can live a better life. In an era of declining employment opportunities in many traditional areas, we are empowering our students to acquire the necessary skills to excel in the high-growth tech industry."

The TOL4B offered 3 paths through the MOOC: guided, DYI supported and DYI unsupported. Sounds similar to the shift Udacity has made.

More thinking to do,

Saturday, November 02, 2013

TLT TOL4B MOOCOW Midcourse Feedback

I have been experimenting with Haiku Deck. Below is my first attempt. I created it using my iPad.  I was also able to add notes to each slide but I don't see them in this embedded version. I do see the notes when viewing the web version   

I don't see how to easily add audio.  You can export to PowerPoint and then use Screencast-O-Matic to add audio.

I like how easily you can add images from Creative Commons. You can also add your own images but I found that to be more challenging.

The feedback was gathered using a free assessment survey tool, TooFast,

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Saturday, October 26, 2013


This is a collection of the lessons I recently learned when preparing to use Adobe Connect breakout rooms in preparation for a small group activity which was part of the TLT MOOCOW, Teaching Online for Beginners, (10/18/13)

Three very general pieces of advice. One, give yourself lots of time for group work. Two, practice several times before using this feature. Three, take time to clarify instructions at the onset: verbal and visual.

Preparation Strategies We used breakout room facilitators.  We met several times:
·         Went over the small group activity, directions and various individual group member roles.
·         Practiced moving from the main room layout to the small group layout.
·         Work with the facilitators so they also know how to send the host a chat message while within the breakout session. 

NOTE: The best way to get the facilitators into groups is for them to be presenters before moving breakout groups. Adobe will distribute each to a different breakout room.

Participant Orientation to New Features/Functions  Include some practice activities and or demonstrations  using features that may be new to participants such as writing on the Note Pod and activating microphones. Participants become presenters when moved into breakout groups.  This gives them the ability to use the microphone.  You may also want to develop and review guidelines for regulating conversation especially if the group is large and if many have mics such as raising your hand when you want to speak.

Activity Directions and Breakout Room Functionality    Review activity directions with the large group in addition to including a slide with those same directions which will display in the breakout rooms.  Explain how the groups were formed, random or selected.  Random is the easiest and fastest way especially for large groups. Warn the participants before sending them into groups. 

Breakout Room Layout  I like creating a separate layout for the breakout room activity that   You will need to use very large font (30 -32, at least) because the pod will be small.)  The chat pod was used to facilitate discussion for those without microphones.  The Note Pod was used for the note taker/reporter to capture the highlights from discussion.  If you include a place for the reporters name at the top it will be quicker during the report to assign mic privileges to the correct person. I am still experimenting with how to get the timer to work.  I think a countdown timer will help the groups manage their time.
what the groups will be doing.  Below is the format we used. In addition to the chat, attendee and note pod, I included a share pod where I uploaded a slide with activity directions and participant roles.

Moving into Breakout Rooms
The first step is to select the breakout view from the Attendees Pod. You will then see the number of breakout rooms.  Three rooms is the default. You can add additional rooms by clicking the  button.
The second step is to move people into the rooms. The easiest way to do this is to evenly distribute them from the main room.  To do so press this button

You can also click and drag individuals to different rooms.  This can and should be done prior to starting the breakouts.
Step three.  If you have a specific breakout room layout bring that layout up BEFORE moving into groups.  The groups will experience the layout applied before moving into groups.
Step four. When you are ready to move to breakouts, give a heads up and then press the 
button. The hosts will remain in the main room and can move themselves into various breakout rooms.  It is good to check back in the main room periodically.  If someone comes late to the session, they will enter the main room and you can then move them individually into a room.

Breakout Room Activity You may want to have a back-up reporter and several back-up facilitators just I case.

Ending the Breakout Session You have the ability to send a broadcast message that will be viewed simultaneously by all groups.  It is good practice to give a five minute and 1 minute warning.

Group Report Out When the groups report out you can open their white board while in the main room so they can refer to their written summary.  You will need to give mic privileges to the reporter.  If the reporters names is at the top of the Note pod, this will be faster.
NOTE: If you are sending the participants back to the same breakout groups, simply press the Start Breakouts button.  If you want them in different groups then press the random button.

Some Resources:

Adobe Connect Breakout Rooms

***Adobe Connect Tutorial: Breakout Rooms

Connect Guru: Adobe Connect Pro Breakout Rooms
Using Adobe Connect 9 (pg. 61-70)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

TLT MOOCow Planning: Teaching Online for Beginners for Very Smart Dummies

The TLT learning community is planning a MOOC or MOOCow,  Teaching Online for Beginners for Very Smart Dummies , October 4 - November 15, 2013. You can join the planning in a number of ways.
  • Participate in up-coming "Fishbowl" planning sessions: 
    • Wednesday, August 7, 3pm ET
    • Wednesday, August 14, 3pm ET 
    • Wednesday, September 11
    • Register
Below are my notes from the last meeting. A small group is meeting on Wed, July 31st at 10:00 AM ET to work on the outcomes.  Join us if interested,

Create unique sections that can stand alone and tie together.

Possible learning outcomes for the MOOC:
  • Establish comfort level with technology
  • Experience learning in an online environment
  • Develop or enhance some basic online teaching skills
  • Become adept at using tool and strategies to make a first course more successful.
  • Help great face to face teachers become great online teachers addressing attitudes and providing simple tools.
  • Prepare face to face teachers to transition to online teaching by giving them experiences with useful tools and strategies.
  • Increase confidence and comfort with online teaching.
  • Learner to leader.

Community. How to establish your own voice as a teacher so you can help students establish their own voice as well.  Trust.  Establish community outside the LMS shell. Community is key to retention and learning.  Comfort and trust with communicating online. Model community building in the MOOC.  Tools for class community building.  Intro of self (Use JING), ice breakers ( What is your strangest hobby? A Game. Map your location. One word describing how you feel about OL teaching), open-ended questions. Playing with technology – the classic sandbox.
Intro of self (Use JING). Elements of a good introduction. A few examples. Ask each person to create a 30 second video introduction. Include why taking the class and learning goals.

Instructor Presence.  How to be real in an online environment.  The importance of voice. Getting comfortable creating audio files and chatting in webinars. Establish voice.  A video intro of each section. Add your picture to your LMS profile.

Dealing with technology malfunctions. Brainstorm how to handle difficulties related to technology that could arise. Use the discussion board to create a community and to problem solve technical issues. Post a problem and have participants develop responses.

  • Communication.  How to ask questions that will stimulate conversation
  • How to let go of having control.  Students learn from each other.
  • Establishing trust with new faculty.
  • Changes in slide format: live versus OL where more text is needed.
  • Motivating students. Asynchronous nature and impact on discussion flow

Consider a pre-assessment to find out level of comfort and experience with technology. Identify your fears about teaching online

Develop a pre-session to “test the production path” or offer time for people to come early or stay late, drop in, open mic sessions. The purpose would be to get participants familiar with the technology being used in the MOOC such as: Adobe Connect features, Audio set-up wizard,  using a microphone, Google Community, Google site. (drop box, synchronizing calendars)

Offer private coaching with a mentor.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Building Connections VoiceThread - Week Two Summary

Voicethreads can be embedded in a blog or in an LMS.  Below is a VoiceThread I created for the CVTC Building Connections book exploration.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Start with Experience: EAT Apples and Carrots

Trey Mireles, instructor from Madison College, shared an instructional design approach during a TLT FridayLive event.  He called it EAT APPLES AND CARROTS.  By this he meant to start a learning event with an experience and then build from there in  this manner.

     E: EXPERIENCE: a common reference point
     A: APPLY: don't do for the learners what they can do for themselves and each other
     T: TEACH: debrief, correct and delve deeper
     A: APPLY: go personal, go professional, give options
     C: CREATE!

It just so happened that I was designing a workshop for faculty and Trey offered to help FridayLive participants apply this approach.  Below is my report on how the design worked.

Trey will be returning to FridayLive on May 24th and has offered to work with participants on how to apply EATAC with your content.  You can join in this "stump the chump" event by clicking here to register.  If you area TLT Member you will be able to listen to recording of both events. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Two MOOCs start this Week: April 15th

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) have been called ”the single biggest change in  education since the printing press” (Anant Agarwall, President edX). Zaid Alzagoff developed this comprehensive presentation, “Demystifying MOOCs”

Demystifying MOOCs! from Zaid Alsagoff

Educause has also assembled some great MOOC resources:

My recommendation is to find a MOOC and check it out for yourself. I have participated in 3 and have learned something new each time.  There are two MOOCs starting this week that I will be participating in.  It would be fun to have you join me.  Let me know if you will be testing the waters and we can meet to talk about our experiences, tweet me @luv2playgolf or comment below.  Up-coming MOOC information:
1. Instructional Design for Mobile Learning (#IDML13) – Free Professional Development This is a micro MOOC which means that it is focused with targeted skill building in the MOOC format. Kickoff event is 4/16/2013, 1pm CT April 15 - May 12, 2013.

Offered by the Blended Schools Network.  They will be using Google Plus and SoftTalk Cloud.  5 weeks beginning 4/15/13.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

MOOC Guidelines begin to Emerge


Amy Woodgate returns to FridayLive tomorrow, April 12th, 2:00 PM ET to continue the conversation about MOOCs. 

The #edcmooc "eLearning & Digital Cultures" MOOC is the TLT sMOOCher's second MOOC. This link will take you to the guidelines that have emerged from our previous conversations as captured by Steve Gilbert. We will continue to add to these guidelines and welcome your contributions as well. Comment below or add to the Google doc

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#EDCMOOC sounds like SOLE to me

"What is the future of learning?"  This question was posed recently by Sugata Mitra in the TED talk  "Build a School in the Cloud." Sugata Mitra supposes "Could it be that we don't need to go to school at all? Could it
be that at the point in time you need to know something you could find out in two minutes?"
I listened to this TED talk after completing the #EDCMOOC, "eLearning & Digital Cultures." During this experience it became clear to me the MOOCers direct their own learning.  This is very similar to what Sugata Mitra is proposing.
He says "Learning is the product of educational self organization. If you allow the educational process to self organize, learning emerges. It's not about making learning happen it's about letting it happen." This last phrase caused me to remember how one of the EDCMOOC teachers referred to the MOOC.  He called it "A Happening." The teachers in the MOOC truly did what Mitra is suggesting here.  "The teacher sets the process in motion and then stands back and watches in awe as learning happens." His formula is broadband, collaboration and encouragement.  This is exactly what I found in the MOOC Mitra refers to this as Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLE).  If you are interested in taking part in his research project check out the SOLE Toolkit.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

TLT sMOOChers talk about #EDCMOOC

TLT March 8th Conversation with Amy Woodgate

Below are the questions that were raised during the March 8th conversation with Amy Woodgate. Amy will return on April 12th. The conversation will continue. You can join in. Register for the event here.

Why is synchronous important?
How important is the power of voice and presence? I found the Google Hangouts in the EDCMOOC particularly refreshing, too. Do you think it was because  it was one of the few times we , as students, were able to connect with the teachers? How many attendees participated in the edcmooc hangout?  How many participants typically participate in the synchronous components of a MOOC?

What is the teacher role in a MOOC?
Although the multiple data streams from discussion boards, forums, Twitters, etc showed a very
energetic environment, I think the role of the teachers' should be explored and looked into....

How did you co-create these MOOCs?
What kind of (organisational) culture/attitude within UniEdinburgh - bottom-up/top-down, had you jumped on it and approached Coursera/did they approach you? Were there any particular champions within U Edinburgh who had imagineered UE MOOCs and how long had preparations begun prior to June 2012 sign-up? Did Coursera provide any assistance developing the courses? Do you think you got lucky with the community that formed around edcmooc? I have not experienced this with other moocs... there seemed to be some very enthusiastic students taking part who took it upon themselves to create their own spaces and build communities? I heard the MOOC on eLearning and Digital Culture deviated from the standard video lecture as the main form of delivery. Can you elaborate on the decisions that led to this? what was the reasoning behind the deviation from Coursera's standard  method of video as the main content delivery?

Where/how were the MOOCs marketed?

I would like to discuss the financial aspects of course delivery, etc. Were the faculty compensated similarly to what their participation would have been for a traditional F2F course? How much did the course cost and did student income pay for it? What % of the students do you expect will pay in the future?

How do we to get other groups, pre-college educated feel comfortable to jump in? What are the MOOC naysayers saying? What are you seeing from the exit surveys? What is the overlap between those faculty threatened by MOOCs and those threatened by online education more generally?

What are your thoughts on best MOOC practices?

MOOCers: how much time did you spend on the MOOC each week?

What is your take on assessments in the MOOC?

Can online resources like TLT be a MOOC? Could you build a MOOC around an interactive ebook that people pay for?

Did any of the "traditional" courses that were run "simultaneously" on same topic as a MOOC, did anyone observe any notable changes?  improvements, deficits in the "traditional" version as a consequence of the MOOC happening? I would love to hear more about how the MOOC changed your experience Amy as a student?

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

#EDCMOOC - sMOOChers Debrief with Amy Woodgate

TLT FridayLive!
sMOOChers Debrief with Amy Woodgate
March 8, 2013  2:00-3:00 pm Eastern Time - free to all.

Amy Woodgate, University of Edinburgh MOOC project director, joins "sMOOChers" who participated in THE INTENTIONALLY EXPERIMENTAL #EDCMOOC "eLearning and Digital Cultures,"  They will discuss their experiences, lessons learned, recommendations, druthers, things to avoid.   This is one of six MOOCs being offered by the University of Edinburgh.  Edinburgh was offering this "course" both as a MOOC and as a more traditional course simultaneously, so Amy can also compare and contrast the two approaches and how they might fit together.  We will also explore ways in which faculty  can integrate MOOCs (entirely or by selecting modules)  hosted by other colleges and universities in their own undergraduate courses. For the last 15 minutes, participants will be invited to discuss emerging plans for the TLT Group to offer a MOOC-ish experience based on John Sener's recent book "Seven Futures of American Education:  Improving Teaching and Learningin a Screen Captured World."

The MOOC has concluded but the learning continues. I want to share some digital artifacts created by my VoiceThread friends.  If you explore these examples you will see amazing creative examples using different technologies

Some additional resources collected along the way:
#EDCMOOC "Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Check out this SlideRocket presentation!  I love it!!!!... Made by Ary Aranguiz @trending teacher. Ary ends the presentation with this quote "We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and those fibers as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects." Herman Melville

great summary of the EDCMOOC experience by one of the instructors, Sian  Bayne. The VoiceThread that emerged organically that I have been participating in was featured. That's pretty cool. Sian's blog post Shoring the fragments of #EDCMOOC

Friday, March 01, 2013

#EDCMOOC, Being "real" in a cyberspace environment

SOME of what I am taking away from the e-Learning and Digital Cultures MOOC.

Sadly I missed the deadline for submitting. Rats! I so want the experience of critiquing to work of my fellow students.  I am happy that I can view their artifacts as I know there is much to be learned.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

#EDCMOOC Using MOOC-like resources for undergrad education

TLT Group
Looking for examples of how colleges and universities are facilitating the most effective integration of MOOCs and similar new resources into undergraduate programs that are NOT producing or hosting the MOOCs. And thereby increase the variety, quality, and quantity of undergraduate instruction available to students and alumni.

Please share your ideas through this survey.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

#EDCMOOC Being Real and in Rhythm

The MOOC was referred to as "a happening" by Hamish Macleod, one of the instructors in the MOOC. "Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Mama Cass Elliott captures the spirit of my ideas around being MOOC real and in rhythm.

Created using iPad ap Paper 53 and Snagit
I have been thinking about two things in relation to a MOOC. One is the notion of being "real" or human.  The other has to do with being in rhythm.
I have been trying to understand the rhythm of a MOOC. After two MOOC experiences, I have come to the conclusion that the learner needs to create their own rhythm.  The MOOC truly is a container in which I can create the contents to be in rhythm with my needs.

Then there is the idea of being "real."
When thinking about being "real" my mind is drawn to The "Velveteen Rabbit" story by Margaret Williams.  Figuring out how to be "real" in other words, to develop a social presence and make connections with others in an online environment takes time.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Designated Learner - Lessons from Our Last Experiment

in elearning & Digital Cultures MOOC,
Created by Felcia Sullivan
On February 6th, Penny Kuckkahn taught Robert Voelker-Morris how to use VoiceThread (VT). Robert served as the designated learner. The event took place using web-conferencing, Adobe Connect. Below are my notes from the chat on lessons learned.

Two more roles emerged:
  • Designated Follower (DF). Participants are given the choice to watch or to follow along. The Designated Follower helps a beginning learner stay with the training by asking questions from the follower perspective.
  • Designated Kibitzer (DK) adds random informative comment during the training.
Again we discovered nuances that emerged during the training that were unanticipated. For example, Robert's (the DL) specific use for VoiceThread involved embedding the VT into a learning management system. This added another layer of complexity.

We need a pre-module on how to use mics in Adobe for those who might want to use mics during the training. Suggested that some sort of training may be needed for students, maybe record a demonstration.

Sequence used in this session:

  1. Intro.context
  2. TASK for instructor/DL
  3. Others follow along AND add questions, comments, info
  4. Encourage (if relevant) all participants to have access to what was built and test it briefly.
  5. More reactions
  6. 2nd demo/task?
  7. Further comments?
  8. Next steps
The group decided to continue the learning about VoiceThread on February 20th, 3:00 PM ET. This link will take you to the registration page. Please share a link to the VoiceThread that you create in preparation for the session on 2/20 by commenting to this blog post.

I've made additions and revisions to the Designated Learner slides. Your feedback is always appreciated.