Resources for faculty teaching math courses

Category: Distance Learning (Page 2 of 3)

Onboarding your students for a smooth online class experience

Onboarding your students for a smooth online class experience
Fri 8/14/20 and 8/21/20, 2 pm – 3:30 pm,
Facilitators: Samar ElHitti, Bruce Kan
In this session we take a look at your class from the students’ perspective and discuss important interventions you can implement that can lead to a smooth semester.

Resources

Zoom Videos of Workshops (the password for these zoom videos has been distributed separately by the Math Dept):

Handout: Onboarding your students

Exams in an online environment

Exams in an online environment
Fri 8/14/20 and 8/21, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm,
Facilitators: Samar ElHitti, Bruce Kan
In this session we discuss techniques for effectively giving exams to your students including oral defense sessions and other strategies to promote academic integrity and critical thinking. Emphasis on Blackboard, Dropbox and WeBWorK.

Resources

Zoom Videos of Workshops (the password for these zoom videos has been distributed separately by the Math Dept):

Handout: Exams in an online environment Handout

Workshop: Getting started on the OpenLab with Math Dept Model Courses

Getting started on the OpenLab with Math Dept Model Courses 
Fri 8/14 and Fri 8/21, 10 am – 11:30 am, Facilitators: Jonas Reitz, Kate Poirier
Interested in teaching on the OpenLab? This 90 minute session will explore the features of Model Courses, designed and customized for select courses with built-in resources for distance learning (MAT 1275/1372/1375/1475/1575/2680).   This session has an associated online module “Math Model Courses.”

Zoom Videos of Workshops (the password for these zoom videos has been distributed separately by the Math Dept):

Agenda/Outline

Model Course Module part 2: Cloning a model course

Module: Getting started on the OpenLab with Math Model Courses
Part 1: Before you begin
Part 2: Cloning a model course
Part 3: Customizing your course
Part 4: Updating Posts
Part 5: Updating other elements of your course

Model Courses have been peer reviewed to meet recommended Distance Education and Continuity Best Practices and are considered an open education resource (OER) that lets others use, edit, and remix the material. You need an account on the OpenLab before you begin, and you should be logged in to your account (Join the OpenLab).

Note that an abbreviated version of the steps below, along with general information about Model Courses at the college, can be found in Working with Model Courses.

1: Select a model course from the list on the previous page and click on it (you may wish to right-click and open the link in a new tab, so you can continue to refer to these instructions).

2: In the model course, scroll down the page until you see the heading “Sharing” in the right hand sidebar (about halfway down the page). Click the link “Clone this Course” to start the cloning process.

3: Complete the page, titled “Create/Clone a Course, Step One: Create Profile and site” by filling in information as follows:

  • Create New or Clone Existing? In this box, the second option “Clone an Existing Course” should already be selected, and “MAT XXXX Model Course” should appear in the box next to it. If so, leave this area alone.
  • Course Name (required). Type in a name for your course. You can use any name you like but bear in mind that students will be using the name to identify your section – we suggest including the course number, section number, semester, year, and faculty name. For example “MAT1375 D011 Precalculus Fa2020 Reitz”
  • Course Description (required). Replace the description (which is about the Model Course, and is aimed at faculty) with a description of the course you are teaching. You can use the description from Course Catalog if you wish.
  • Sharing Settings. Click the box if you’d like other people to be able to clone your course, once you have created it.
  • Faculty/Primary Faculty. You OpenLab name should already appear here, below the box. No need to make changes.
  • School (required). The boxes for Arts & Sciences and Mathematics should already be checked. No need to make changes.
  • Course Information. Fill in the Course Code, Section Code, Semester, and Year.
  • Site Details. The checkbox “Set up a site” should already be checked. The option “Name your cloned site” should be selected.
  • Name your cloned site: This can be a short version of your Course Name (above), but remove spaces and change to lowercase: “mat1375d011fa2020reitz”
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page (past the copyright note) and click “Create Course and Continue”

4: Complete the next page, titled “Create/Clone a Course, Step Two: Privacy & Member Role Settings” by filling in information as follows:

  • Privacy Settings: Course Profile. Use this box to choose privacy settings for your Course Profile (Public is selected by default).
  • Privacy Settings: Course Site. Use this box to choose privacy settings for your Course Site (“Public/Allow search engines” is selected by default – this setting makes it easiest for students to find your site and for you to share work that you and your students are doing with the world.)
  • Member Role Settings:
    • You will need to change first setting, “Course members have the following role on the Course site”, to “Author” (select “Author” from the dropdown).
    • The other two settings can be left alone.
  • Scroll down and click “Next Step” to continue.

5: Complete the next page, titled “Create/Clone a Course, Step Three: Avatar” as follows:

  • The avatar is a visual image that represents your course on the OpenLab. You can skip this step (or come back and make changes later), but we highly recommend changing your avatar to help students identify your section.
  • Click “Choose File” to select an image from your hard drive, then “Upload Image”.
  • After the image uploads, you will have a chance to “Crop”, or select a portion of the image to display. Drag the corners and edges of the box to change the selection, then click “Crop Image”.
  • Click “Next Step” to continue

6: Complete the next page, titled “Create/Clone a Course, Step Four: Invite Members” as follows:

  • If you wish, you can search for your students names and invite them to the course. Alternatively, when you are done setting up your course you can simply send your students an email with a link to your course (you will need to get their email addresses from CUNYFirst).
  • Click “Finish” to continue.

Congratulations – you have cloned a model course! Right now, you are looking at the Course Profile page – you may not use this page much, unless you want to change any of the settings that you selected in the process above (to change the settings, click “Settings” in the menu on the right). Most of the action during the semester will be in the Course Site – you can reach the Course Site by clicking the link “Visit Course Site” on the right. Go and explore!

Model Course Module part 5: Updating other elements of your course

Module: Getting started on the OpenLab with Math Model Courses
Part 1: Before you begin
Part 2: Cloning a model course
Part 3: Customizing your course
Part 4: Updating Posts
Part 5: Updating other elements of your course

Most of the remaining items are updated through the Dashboard. You can access the Dashboard (if you are logged in) by clicking on the name of your course where it appears in the black bar at the very top of the screen. The Dashboard is like a behind-the-scenes control panel for your site. Feel free to explore – the main Dashboard Menu appears on the left side of the screen.

  • Site Header. This is the image that appears at the top of your site (currently just a plain solid color with the Course Name in a black box). You can use the same image that you used for your Avatar (while cloning the course), or choose another one.
    • From the Dashboard, go to “Appearance > Header”
    • Look for Current Header displayed on the left – click the button “Add new image” underneath it.
    • On the following screen, select “Upload Files” (just underneath “Choose Image”)
    • Click “Select Files” and find the image on your computer (or drag-and-drop onto the page) to upload the file.
    • Click the green “Select and Crop” button at the bottom right.
    • Crop the header image however you like by dragging the corners and edges of the rectangle, then click “Crop Image”
    • Finally, click the green “Publish” button at the top-left to save your changes.
    • Then click the small “X” to the left of the “Publish” button to return to the Dashboard.
  • Site tag line. The tag line appears under the Course Name in the black box in the header area of your site. It currently reads “Faculty Name | Section | Semester” – we suggest you replace it with your own Name, Section and Semester information.
    • From the Dashboard, go to “Appearance > Customize”.
    • Select “Site Identity” from the menu on the left.
    • Here, you can change your site Title and Tagline.
    • Finally, click the green “Publish” button at the top-left to save your changes.
    • Then click the small “X” to the left of the “Publish” button to return to the Dashboard.
  • ABOUT statement (sidebar). This is the text that appears on the main page of your site, on the top of the right sidebar. Right now it reads “Faculty: Use this widget to share your name, office hours, contact information, and a brief paragraph about this Course.”
    • From the Dashboard go to “Appearance > widgets.”
    • On the right side of the screen, click the box labeled “Sidebar” (it should expand).
    • Inside the Sidebar, click the first box “Text: About.” The box should expand to show you the text of the ABOUT statement. Go ahead and replace the message with a message of your choice.
    • Click the green “Save” button to save changes.

Congratulations – your Course Site is ready!

As you make your final preparations for the semester, please keep in mind the following resources. Good luck!


Model Course Module Exit Survey

To confirm completion of this module, or provide feedback, please complete the form below.
  • How helpful did you find this module?

Model Course Module part 4: Updating Posts

Module: Getting started on the OpenLab with Math Model Courses
Part 1: Before you begin
Part 2: Cloning a model course
Part 3: Customizing your course
Part 4: Updating Posts
Part 5: Updating other elements of your course

Posts are similar to pages, but are for used for posting new information throughout the semester (like discussions, assignments, class agendas, and so on). Posts appear in “blog” format (newest posts at the top) on the Home page of your site. You will be creating many posts throughout the semester, but we have included a few posts to get you started.

Click “Home” in the menu to see all posts together. You can use the “Course Activities” menu to view certain categories of posts – for example, selecting “Course Activities > Discussions” will show you all the Discussion assignments that have been posted.

To make changes to a post, click the light grey “Edit” button just underneath the post’s title (the Edit button will only appear if you are logged in). This will take you to the Edit screen. You can make changes by typing directly in the page. When you are finished, be sure to click the purple “Update” button in the upper right to save your changes.

List of Posts to update:

List of posts to update (while all of these posts appear on the “Home” page, this list is designed to follow the “Course Activities” dropdown menu):

  • Course Activities > Class Agendas > Class 1 Agenda (Example)
  • Course Activities > Announcements > Welcome Students
  • Course Activities > Discussions > Discussion: Introductions & Mathography
  • Course Activities > OpenLab Assignments > Assignment Instructions > Assignment: Crowd-Sourced Exam Review
  • Course Activities > OpenLab Assignments > Student Work > Student Post (Example)
  • Course Activities > Surveys & Quizzes > Student Survey

Model Course Module part 3: Customizing your course

Module: Getting started on the OpenLab with Math Model Courses
Part 1: Before you begin
Part 2: Cloning a model course
Part 3: Customizing your course
Part 4: Updating Posts
Part 5: Updating other elements of your course

Now that you have a course site of your own, you will need to make it your own. You are the administrator of this site, which means you can make changes to just about anything. Take a look around! The site comes predesigned with pages for common information like the Syllabus, Grading Policy, and so on, which will need to updated for your section. It has some example assignments, which you can choose to use (in which case you should update them to fit your section) or delete. Finally, it has a number of built-in resources, including links to the Course Hub, Help and Support materials, and more, which you do not need to update (unless you wish).

The following steps will take you through all the places on the site that require your input and customization.

Updating Pages

Pages are for used for static information (things that are not likely to change much over the course of the semester). To make changes to a page, go to that page (use the menu) and then click the pencil-shaped button that appears in the black bar at the very top of the page (the pencil will only appear if you, the admin of the site, are logged in). If the pencil button doesn’t appear, find the word “Edit” either directly under the page title, or at the very bottom of the page content – click “Edit” to take you to the Edit screen. You can make changes by typing directly in the page. When you are finished, be sure to click the purple “Update” button in the upper right to save your changes.

Faculty: Keep an eye out for grey informational boxes like this one at the top of each page. They are intended for you, the faculty member, to help you customize your course. Be sure to delete these boxes when you are done updating a page, so your students don’t see it later. For help working with OpenLab Course sites, visit OpenLab Help.

List of pages to update

List of pages to update (these appear under “Course Info” in the dropdown menu):
  • Course Info.
  • Syllabus
  • Grading Policy
  • Schedule
  • Contact Info & Communications

Model Course Module part 1: Before you begin

Module: Getting started on the OpenLab with Math Model Courses
Part 1: Before you begin
Part 2: Cloning a model course
Part 3: Customizing your course
Part 4: Updating Posts
Part 5: Updating other elements of your course

This 5-part module is designed to take you through the steps of cloning a Math model course and customizing it for use in your own section. Note that a great deal more information about each step of the process (as well as many additional resources introducing various aspects of the OpenLab) can be found on the Teaching With The OpenLab site (links to resources will be provided throughout the module).

Resource Alert: Teaching With The OpenLab

Before you begin:

Depending on your prior experience, some or all of the following resources may be helpful.

Next, collect the following materials and information:

Essential information (you’ll need these to get started):

  • Course and Section Number

Required materials (but you can get started without them):

  • Image(s) for use as site header and/or avatar
  • Your course syllabus, grading policy, and so on
  • Any other course materials you would like to make available to your students

Online assignments: delivering, collecting, assessing and returning

Online assignments: delivering, collecting, assessing  and returning
Thu 8/13/20 and Thu 8/20/20, 2 pm – 3:30 pm
Facilitators: Samar ElHitti, Bruce Kan
In this session we cover how to use technology to distribute work to your students, as well as collecting them back and grading them. Emphasis on Blackboard, Dropbox and Notability.

Resources

Zoom Videos of Workshops (the password for these zoom videos has been distributed separately by the Math Dept):

Handout: Online Assignments: Delivering, Collecting, Assessing and Returning Handout

Video (feel free to share with students): How to convert jpegs into one PDF

Hosting your online course

Hosting your online course
Thu 8/13 and Thu 8/20, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm,
Facilitators: Samar ElHitti, Bruce Kan
In this session, we cover where to house your online course, including lecturing (synchronous vs asynchronous) and office hours, along with other technologies that support effective online instruction and communication. Emphasis on Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Zoom.

Resources:

Zoom Videos of Workshops (the password for these zoom videos has been distributed separately by the Math Dept):

Hosting Your Online Course Handout (Session 1)

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