Using Screencast videos in my course

I made an introductory video for my online course.  I chose to do this because I always

Each semester I spend a lot of time explaining things via email to the students who cannot find things in the course or who do not complete the steps they have to complete so that their quiz will open.  In the long run, I think the video (edited again) would be more beneficial to the students, reduce my frustration, and be well worth the extra time I would spend getting it into better shape. Also, as I was doing this, I thought that short videos throughout the course might be helpful as well.  Before I actually attach a video to my course, I will need to woodshed it a bit more.

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Ten Simple Steps Toward Universal Design of Online Coursesed

As I plan the redesign of my online course (which will take place summer of 2015), I am search for new information.  This is a great outline for thinking about designing.  Each of the 10 steps are explained and contain examples and additional links.

Step 1: Develop content first, then design.
Step 2: Provide simple, consistent navigation.
Step 3: Include an accommodation statement.
Step 4: Choose CMS tools carefully.
Step 5: Model and teach good discussion board etiquette.
Step 6: Use color with care.
Step 7: Provide accessible document formats.
Step 8: Choose fonts carefully.
Step 9: Convert PowerPoint™ to accessible HTML.
Step 10: If it’s auditory make it visual; if it is visual make it auditory.

Site Link:

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Looking for a way to use Polldaddy

I found polldaddy in the admin page.  I am thinking I could create an assignment with a poll. I might have to buy hosting to upload media.  It is  a thought.  I love having this site as a clearing house for ideas, and, since I teach for multiple universities, it is a great way to keep track of my ideas.

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Five Alternatives to the Talking Head Video for MOOCs & Online Courses

  • The optimal video length is six minutes or shorter
  • Videos produced with a more personal feel could be more engaging than high-fidelity studio recordings
  • Khan-style tablet drawing tutorials (screencasts) are more engaging than PowerPoint slides

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Poll Everywhere

Using cellphones in the Classroom

Poll Everywhere is a tool that can be used both synchronously and asynchronously.

A synchronous use in in the traditional classroom, especially large classes, would be to poll students during a lecture.  After presenting a segment of your lecture, take a poll to assess whether the majority of students understood what was presented.  The text/quiz questions could be incorporated into a PowerPoint at specific points in the lecture. There are some students who would be more likely to answer via a text than exposing themselves in the classroom.  As long as you have a strict rule about when phones are out and when they are put away I do not think they would be a distraction.

I also think  Survey Monkey would also be great asynchronous tool.

The tool could be used asynchronously in an online course by have the students respond to a poll by a specific due date.

I have found that most of my students have much larger text packages than minutes on their cellphones.  There are a number of very inexpensive unlimited services available now.  Making sure your student population has a plan that would facilitate using this technology is something one would need to be sure of before requiring excessive use of texting in coursework.

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Using Synchronous Tools in Online or Traditional Courses –Google Hangout

Google hangout

For my synchronous session I chose Google hangout. I have used Blackboard Collaborate for my Chicago City College courses (with varying amounts of success).

I think Google hangouts would be excellent for online office hours and small student projects.

This is an assignment I used to do in my MWF Face to Face class (see below).  I think a Google hangout would be perfect way for me to introduce this assignment into my online course and my current one day a week course. My Thursday night course consists of commuters so practicing together in a group would be a problem.  The problem could easily be solved with a closed hangout group –me included of course.


  • Once we got to the Classical period, students were put into groups of 5 or 6
  • Each group was given a musical form (theme and variations, rondo, strophic, or verse chorus)
  • They were required to make instruments from materials they found or bought—no ‘real’ instruments allowed.
  • They had to create a specified number of measures.
  • If there were students in the class that played instruments and usually there were (MTSU has over 350 in their marching band), I would put one musician in each group.
  • They were given a month to complete this project—meanwhile we studied musical forms and listened to classical music in class.
  • They would then perform for the class.

The students had a great time and actually had a better understanding of form.

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Speedy Beet- RadioLab

“There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit.”

This is an entertaining look at Beethoven’s use of the metronome. Jad talks with Alan Pierson, Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, about the fact that neither of them really like Beethoven’s Fifth. They discuss the use of Beethoven’s metronome markings and the fact that Beethoven was actually deaf when the metronome was invented (1817).   This podcast can be used as an adjunct to understanding that tempos feel and sound different in different spaces.  Beethoven would have only heard tempos in his head. With the metronome he went back into his symphonies, and marked them with tempos that are shockingly fast — so fast, in fact, that most conductors simply refuse to play them at these tempos.

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Stravinsky’s – The Rite of Spring

I have included two links:

1. This is a great explanation of the first performance of this seminal work.  The work is placed in context of the early 20th Century. It includes interviews with some of the first dancers.  I am always looking for a good way to engage students in this work.Orchestral version (BBC Proms 2013 – François-Xavier Roth conductors) :

2. This is the ballet with the original Nijinsky choreography and orignial costumes.

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50 Great Voices: NPR

Hear the stories of awe-inspiring voices from around the world and across time.

50 vocalists are profiled in this great series from 2010. Each voice/career is analyzed and an especially important track is played. The singers are from all parts of the world and all styles.

This would make a great online asynchronous  discussion exercise for my students. They could choose one or two singers and discuss why they like these singers using the terminology we are learning.  Since most of my classes have about 25 students, each student would have a broad range from which to choose two singers (with instructions to choose an artist no one else has already chosen).  Once they have discussed their choices, I would have them post a singer they think should have been chosen for the list. By referring to the link below, they would then justify why they think their choice should have been on the list.

Here is the link outlining how the voices were chosen. Click

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The Next-Big-Thing in Online Education…Learning in Real Time

Posted on March 9, 2014, this article examines both the benefits and challenges of implementing these tools in an educational setting.  It also examines how to begin, specifically with analysis. What is the pedagogical goal and which technology is best suited to the goal.

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