Abram Anders

Research, Media, Flows, Etc.

Category: Syndicated (page 1 of 3)

My faculty fellowship project focused on a course redesign for FMIS 3141: Business Communications. Business Communications is a required course for all majors in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). My goal is to rigorously teach specific skills and relevant domain knowledge while also situating these learning experiences in the context of building technological and social networks that will support life-long learning and professional development.

My course design facilitates a community supported and student-directed approach to developing personal learning networks (PLNs). Student progress is supported through a custom-designed course site and community blog: BCOM Commons. It is supplemented with a range of virtual collaboration and social media tools including the UMN Google Apps. Through participatory learning activities, students share resources, publish portfolios of communications work, and develop a foundational online presence. More significantly, these online activities are designed to facilitate networking experiences and interactions with real-world professionals, LSBE alumni, and potential employers.

The digital story that documents this fellowship project focuses on student outcomes and student voices. These students describe themselves as being excited and motivated by learning experiences that connect them with professional contexts and contacts. They express appreciation for support in engaging with multimedia, social media, and virtual collaboration tools. They admit to being a little nervous to present themselves publicly online and to engage established professionals in networking assignments, but they say they are glad to have help and support as they approach these new and exciting challenges.

They say they have learned much and that they will continue to work on their professional development and grow their professional networks. These are students I believe will adapt and succeed in the face of whatever challenges and opportunities the future holds for them.

You can learn more about my course redesign project from this presentation video and you can find out more about my recent pedagogical research and work with technology-enhanced education on my research blog: abramanders.com.

Google Apps at the U : UMNews : University of Minnesota

Check out this article about Google Apps at the U : UMNews : University of Minnesota. Here’s a couple quotes the used from me:

“When you can find ways to support students interacting meaningfully—which is not easy—but when you can achieve that, you reach an almost exponential growth in the quality of content and the specificity of the feedback they’re getting.”

“For example,” says Anders. “I set up (Google) chats while students are giving presentations. I’ll immediately ask students to give kudos—what is something this student did well? So they’ll give a presentation, sit down, and they’ll have 10 comments about things they did well. That kind of feedback, I think, is really a game changer for the levels of engagement and the kind of motivations needed for students to do well and improve.”

Read the full article for some interesting facts, figures, and perspectives on UMN’s use of Google Apps.

Discussion and Chat Tool Round-up

I was just asked by a colleague to suggest some tools for online discussions and/or live chats. She, like me, is beginning to explore hybrid learning and looking for tools to support out-of-class interactions.

Here’s the list I put together.  Please share your suggestions/opinions/reviews in the comments.

Moodle (LMS) based tools:

Google Apps based tools:

Other/3rd Party Tools

  • TodaysMeet (http://todaysmeet.com/): A free 3rd party tool; you can embed simple chat into a website with automatic expiration dates; great for feedback and easy to use.
  • Tricider (https://tricider.com): Similar to Google Moderator; collect ideas vote for the best ones
  • PollEverywhere (http://www.polleverywhere.com/): a tool for “polling” an audience; they can respond via website or text message.
  • VoiceThread (http://voicethread.com/): asynchronous group chat around media artifacts and presentations, some very interesting applications
  • Mural.ly (http://beta.mural.ly/): white board and chat space for brainstorming and project design
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