What One Associate Professor Has to Say About Atomic Learning

Melissa Kagarise, an Associate Professor at Saint Francis University, was a speaker at the OLC Accelerate conference this last fall. Her LIFESAVERS for Teaching Online session was a huge hit! In her session, she also mentioned Atomic Learning being one of those lifesavers. Here is what else she had to say:

"I implemented the Atomic Learning videos last semester into my Curriculum Development for Health Programs course last semester.  I really liked the ability to select various segments of the video and require students to complete each for points. We use blackboard and integrating these into the grade book was seamless.  Students provided favorable feedback on the content of the videos and I will be working to incorporate additional videos into my other courses. 

The content was relevant and provided the opportunity for me to better engage students in the material."

Melissa Kagarise DHSc, PA-C, CLS
Associate Professor
Master of Medical Science/Master of Health Science Programs
Saint Francis University

The Best Holiday 'Card' That You'll Get This Year -- Really

In place of a traditional holiday card, we’ve written twelve insightful articles. This is our 3rd annual 12 Days of Learning, and each year we keep making it better and better. Feel free to share this resource out with your faculty and staff. These quick reads cover a variety of topics and are perfect for personal professional development!

To view the articles by clicking the image below or visit: http://www2.atomiclearning.com/twelve-days-of-learning.

9 Ways to Improve Your Online Instruction

This article is based off of the course Teaching Online and Hybrid created by STARLINK Training Network, an agency of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, and available on Atomic Learning.

Whether you are a novice just starting out or an experienced online instructor looking to enhance your skills, these nine suggestions may help you to improve your online instruction.

Let’s jump right in:

  1. Identify your Teaching Style
    When it comes to teaching, try to figure out what you do best and what you feel most passionate about in a face-to-face environment. You can then try to adapt that into an online course.
  2. Know Your LMS (Learning Management System)
    Whether your campus uses Blackboard, Brightspace, Canvas or others, get comfortable with the learning management system you have access to. Knowing what your LMS is capable of and what you can do with it can help make the most of your time.
  3. Utilize a Mentor
    Find a fellow faculty member that is already familiar with creating courses online. They may be able to give you tips and tricks that they learned along the way, as well as ideas on how to get started or improve your current courses. There is no need to reinvent the wheel every time.
  4. Be Consistent
    Ensure your online course covers all of the same learning objectives that would be covered in a face-to-face course. Meaning, some of your projects or assignments may have to be adjusted. If you would, in a face-to-face setting, typically have students watch a video and encourage open discussion afterword’s, use that same method by posting a video and starting a discussion thread online to better emulate the face-to-face environment.
  5. Create a Welcoming Online Environment
    Consider using message boards, discussion threads, and instructor news areas to help students feel welcome and comfortable in your course. When developing your course, ensure that course materials are easy to find and easy to access to help students navigate the course successfully.
  6. Convey Expectations
    Be sure to clearly define your expectations to your students, beyond a list of “do this, this, and this.” Try outlining them in a way that explains how to be successful in the course. Encouraging time management and critical reading can help limit distractions, which can be common issue for students in the online setting.

Key Takeaways from OLC Accelerate 2016

Guest blog post from Deb Meester, Senior Director of Sales and Service at Atomic Learning.

I’ve been attending higher education conferences for almost 9 years now. In that time, I’ve attended close to 100 conferences. While we all know conferences are a great place to learn and collaborate with others, at every conference I’ve attended, including OLC Accelerate this year, I heard a number of people say that one of the main reasons they come is to visit the exhibit hall.  They want to connect with their existing vendor partners, but they also want to learn about other resources that can help.  On my flight home from Orlando to Minnesota, rather than concentrating on the 6 plus inches of freshly fallen snow that I was going to be flying into, I thought about the conference and what we heard in the exhibit hall.   

One thing I’ve noticed in my years in the exhibit hall is that attendees at the booth will “tell you how it is”. It’s not uncommon for us to hear “yeah, our university doesn’t do that, but we should” or “we aren’t that efficient” or “our faculty don’t do that” and more.  And this year at OLC was no exception. There were some consistent themes or concerns I heard throughout many of our conversations:

Why College Students Need Atomic Learning

Here is a quick video on how students can benefit from Atomic Learning. With the new LearnIt. DoIt. ShareIt. ProveIt. format of our content, students are able to not only learn from best practices, but apply that learning to their lives. They can see how others would approach it, and even document their learning to see how much they've retained. Check it out!

If you campus is not already using the Atomic Learning solution, you need to be. Request more information to learn more.

12 Days Until the end of the Year – Make them Count!

With the holidays fast approaching and the year coming to a close, it can be hard to find time for professional development. We’ve made it easy for you to get the most out of the last 12 days of 2015!

Take a look at these twelve, quick and helpful articles on critical topics facing education.  Whether you read one-a-day or take them in all at once is entirely up-to-you.

Are Your Instructors Struggling with Having to Change the Way They Deliver Courses?

Atomic Learning helps faculty members and instructors to not only gain confidence with technology, but also ensure their instructional practices are relevant to today's learning environment.

Are faculty using relevant tools/resources to communicate with students on your campus?

Atomic Learning offers resources to help, including:

Prepping for Returning to Campus with #ALsummersession

Ready or not, the new semester is ramping up. Want to make changes to your courses before students converge on you? Now’s your chance!

To get started, simply login using your institution's method of access and check out the links below!

Facilitating Online Courses in an LMS Workshop
Looking to move your course online? This resource focuses on the unique challenges of online education, walks through course development from beginning to end, and includes both theoretical guidance AND practical tips and tools.
Learn about Facilitating an Online Course

Learning Management Systems (LMS) Training
Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle... there are a whole host of LMS systems out there, each with a slew of features that are underutilized. Find out what you DON'T know about your campus LMS with online resources on many of the most popular systems.
Learn about available LMS Training

Effective Presentations Workshop
There are some really bad presentations out there, but yours won't be one of them with the help of this online resource! In it, you'll see why color is important, why big photos are good—why clip art isn't—how to utilize storytelling, and more!
Learn about Effective Presentations

Not an Atomic Learning subscriber? Request more information.

This article is a part of an Atomic Learning special blog series dedicated to keeping the learning going all summer long by helping you learn something new with quick personal development tips!

Keeping Up with Changing Technology

Technology updates and new releases don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, the changes seem to be happening more frequently. Staying on top of it all can be difficult, but it doesn’t always have to be.  Having a resource to rely on can help. See how these two colleges in particular are working with Atomic Learning to make change easier.

UMASS Boston:
“Atomic Learning is helping us keep up with the ever-changing technological landscape,“ said Paula Dinneen, Instructional Designer at UMASS Boston. Dinneen shares how their campus streamlined the transition to a new LMS and supports effective online instruction with campus-wide online training.

“Moving 1200 courses from one learning management system to another presented us with an incredible training challenge,” said Dinneen. “We not only needed to move those courses, but we needed to train our faculty and students on how to use the new learning management system. Atomic Learning provided us that {training} solution.”

Watch this brief video to learn more about how UMASS Boston is providing LMS training to both faculty and students as well as providing effective online instruction resources.

Eagle Gate College:
“Before utilizing Atomic Learning in my online courses, many of my students were having difficulties grasping new technologies. Mastering software programs was a daunting task that made the learning process frustrating and dissatisfying,” said Heather Austin, Visiting Professor at Eagle Gate College.

Austin went on to say, “Atomic Learning has been an amazing asset to both my students, and me. Since integrating this tool in my classroom, my students are more confident than ever using technology.”

Read her guest blog post.

How are your faculty members staying up-to-date on technology?  What training challenges are you facing with faculty and students? Visit www.atomiclearning.com/highed to learn more on how your campus can have a resource to rely on through changing technology.