Support and Communication
Prior to the creation of Adler Online support account, the Director of Adler Online use to receive all the support and course related issues into his inbox. Adler Online support account as the primary departmental email account has helped drastically to receive, monitor, and send messages to faculty and students.
For mass communication through MyEmma, we created stationeries, email templates, and listserv. To help us evaluate the effectiveness of all communication, we use Response tools in MyEmma to review who opened, clicked, shared, signed-up or opted-out.
Currently, other departments like Marketing, Admissions, and Finance are in the process to discuss the possibility of using MyEmma for all forms of communications.
For remote training and support, we first used Nefsis, but were not happy with the results. Later, we tried WebEx and so far it has met all our needs. The response has been very positive and the quality of the webinar and providing remote support has been very successful.
Courses in Moodle
The faculty and student surveys about their experience and expectations from Moodle helped Adler Online and IT work together to improve Moodle.
After reviewing the survey, a summary was submitted by the Instructional and Multimedia Consultant:
- They want their course layout to be transferred from one semester to another.
- They would like a training seminar offered at various times to help them learn Moodle and where to find it.
- Most professors (over 50%) have used Moodle for less than 2 years with over 20% using it for the first time.
- The phrase “not intuitive” continues to come up. There are too many functions on the left side of the screen which makes it hard for them to find what they want.
- Perhaps on the log in page we could place the minimum hardware/software requirements for Moodle.
- They want clear layout and everything easily labeled.
- Collapsible sections.
- Clean up redundant links, such as multiple grade links or class participant links.
- Discussion threads are long and are not easy to read.
- Consistency between classes. Students would prefer to have all classes set up similarly to make navigating class pages much easier.
- Consistency between pages. Many students reported difficulties finding similar links on different pages.
- We need to clean up the fonts. Many students didn’t like the different sized fonts. Some students also think we should use different colored fonts for different classes or links.
- We need to make links for joining different school organizations more obviously visible.
- Use different colored links for article, discussion, and assignment postings.
- We need to figure out a way to make member profiles/email addresses easier to find. In general, student resources are found to be hard to find.
- Can we make it so that students can differentiate between read and unread posts in discussion section?
Based on the above suggestions, Adler Online and IT have decided to take the following measures:
- Upgrade the current Moodle version Premium 1.9 to Joule 1.9.
- Change the current Moodle layout.
- Design a sandbox with support resources for faculty and student and apply the same heuristics, course navigation and layout to all on-campus, hybrid and online courses.
- Create a Master Shell of all courses, so that it we can monitor changes and lock it, and submit a final list to the Moodle Administrator.
- No course will be made without the course author’s approval.
Faculty and administration though have not been asked to complete a formal survey, but are very happy with these changes.
Technology and Training
After successfully using PBworks (wiki) to conduct Adler Online strategic planning for 2011-2014, Adler Online and IT decided to use PBworks for creating Moodle FAQs. These FAQs were submitted by our Moodle Administrator, who troubleshoots Moodle issues. We realize that we need to create more content, but for now we created content for the following FAQs:
Moodle FAQ – Student
- How do I post to a forum?
- How do I attach a document to a forum response?
- How do I upload an assignment?
- Why isn’t my class showing up?
- I forgot my password, how do I change it?
- Where did my classes go?
Moodle FAQ – Faculty
- How do I make my course visible/invisible to students?
- How do I create a forum?
- How do I create an assignment?
- How do I upload a document for students to see?
- How do I make a web link available for students?
- How do I grade assignments?
- How do I communicate with students?
- My class start date is wrong, how do I fix it?
- My class has too many weeks, how do I fix it?
- How do I move items?
- How do I manage forum discussions?
- I forgot my password, how do I change it?
- There are broken items in my course; I can’t open them or view them. What do I do?
These FAQs were added to Google Sites and added to all courses in Moodle. Currently, we do not have a landing page on the Adler School website to create content, therefore the short term solution decided by IT, Adler Online, Library, and Center for Learning and Teaching was to use Google Sites.
Workshops and training for on-campus and faculty and students have not been finalized, but the following list has been submitted, which has been reviewed by Adler Online, IT, Library and the Center for Learning and Teaching:
- Moodle Introduction
- Moodle Announcements: Effective ways to create and manage announcements
- Moodle Discussions: Effective ways to create and manage discussions
- Moodle Groups: Effective ways to create and manage groups
- Moodle Assignments: Effective ways to create and manage assignments
- Moodle Gradebook: Effective ways to create and manage Gradebook
- Moodle Quizzes: Effective ways to create and manage quizzes
- Adding resources in Moodle: Course content, videos and links
Suggestion to be conducted by Adler Online
- Overview of library and its services
- Copyrights compliance
- Access overviews into its electronic holdings
Suggestion to be conducted by the Library
Technology – For both faculty and staff
- Adler school technology systems overview
- MS Word 2007: Basic to Intermediate
- MS Excel 2007: Basic to Intermediate
- MS PowerPoint 2007: Basic to Intermediate
- MS Outlook 2007: Basic to Intermediate
- MS Word 2007: Intermediate to Advanced
- MS Excel 2007: Intermediate to Advanced
- MS PowerPoint 2007: Intermediate to Advanced
- MS Outlook 2007: Intermediate to Advanced
- Beyond PowerPoint: Prezi
- Web 2.0 tools to increase interaction and collaboration
Suggestion to be conducted by IT and Adler Online
Special Topics – For both faculty and staff
- From Workplace to Playspace: Innovating, Learning and Changing Through Dynamic Engagement
- Nourishing your body: Facts and Secrets
- Effective ways to design instructions
Suggestion to be conducted by outside speakers
Currently, we do not have our own media servers, therefore Adler Online and IT decided to use Vimeo to host all our meeting archives and video tutorials. It is an excellent hosting service; administratively we only have to upload videos, and add the link to our online resources.
Our long-term technology strategy will explore the potential impact and benefits of in-house multimedia content streaming, archiving, access, and management systems deployment for access by the Adler faculty and student communities.
SMART © (Classroom) Technologies
- SMART Interactive Whiteboard overview training
- Classroom technology training (Smart systems, embedded computing, A/V resources, connectivity options for external devices, etc.)
- Classroom technology reservation and usage policies overview
- Notebook© software overview (Smart© interactive software)