Learn #Moodle #MOOC

If you haven’t participated in a MOOC (I haven’t really participated in a MOOC) and you’re interested in online course design/teaching with Moodle, this seems appropriate. The description states that is designed for “anybody who wants to use the Moodle learning platform for teaching…”

You don’t have to be a complete newbie or an expert. For instance, I know how to build courses and even do a lot of the administrative tasks in Moodle. I am more interested in the best practices that may come out of this course. In addition, I want to connect with others and I’m always on the look out for a comfortable way for me to do that.

So, you know, join us. The class starts this weekend (8/9) and I think it will be much more practical for me and a lot of other online/hybrid teachers than something like the iMoot I participated in a year+ back 🙂. It was great for developers or people that had been teaching w/Moodle for a long time – maybe I will feel more at ease there next year!

What Am I up to? #elearning #goals #projects #oredu

I stumbled onto a link to a blog that I had started a few years ago where i tried to document small health goals/victories. I didn’t get very far and right now I’m probably in a slightly worse place than when I started.

So, I’m not going to specify much except that I’d like to strap on the fitbit and see where it takes me in the next few weeks (1) – I’ve got my fingers crossed for a few more days like today, where the fog rolls in and just stays there all day. Glorious.


I’ve got 3 good locations for walking – they’re not very long [unless I can stand the monotony of the beach for longer than 20-30 minutes in one direction], but I’ll get the mileage figured out and start documenting (2). Have been good about drinking water since late April, when I had issues with elevation, walking pneumonia and my ears, but I’ll want to start documenting how much of that I’m drinking, too (3).

If you haven’t used a fitbit, before, they are pretty cool. Can track your walking, stairsteps, sleep, and you can record your food/beverage/additional activities on the iOS app or online. Once I’m just back up to maintaining a routine, I might start thinking beyond that.

In terms of my professional life, I’ve been thinking about change as well… to put it very simply, have gone through some changes recently that have prompted further thoughts about change-making. I just think the 2015-16 school is going to be my season of change. Here’s hoping (4).

There are couple of online activities coming up that I am involved in or working on (and not really affected by potential change in my life circumstances, one of the things I LOVE about online learning). I signed up for the Learn Moodle MOOC that is starting next weekend (5). The intro forums are already open though, so we can start connecting with our classmates that are from literally all over the globe.

This summer, I am also building an online class in Moodle (6), utilizing Open Educational Resources (so yes, outside of the cost of printing any needed materials, instructional materials for this class will be free or at least will be sans a $200 basic math textbook. Booya!). I’m super excited about this – I’ve found my textbook-type materials (including this workbook from Scottsdale Community College). Feeling a little pressure because I thought I would be at the halfway point now, but I feel like I have so much more to get done. Still have to build the course, align with Quality Matters, find all videos I’m interested in using. Also, if I want to make any of my own videos (and I do), I still have that to work on as well. I’m flattered that my co-workers have faith that my course is going to be great, but I’m definitely starting to feel the pressure….

That’s what I’ve got floating around in the ol’ brain – sorry to ramble. Hope y’all have a good week…

I can’t remember my password #elearning #careers #edtech #resilience


I set up a new blog a while back, but I can’t remember my password to get logged into said blog, so… we are here at this old friend, today.

Recently I completely biffed the interview for my dream job. Yep, I’ve been after this job for 4 years, but I have this uncanny ability to put immense pressure on myself and I cracked. I didn’t even get through the first question… it’s a long story. They tried to call me back, but I was a little inconsolable.

One of those rare times in life where a do-over would be most welcome, but based on how little time it took for the hiring manager to make a decision the last time I was part of one of her interview committees, I’m sure they’ve decided on someone by now. This morning it sounds like they’ve either hired someone or decided not to hire anyone. Is it bad that I’m [not so] secretly hoping for the latter?

The best I can hope for is to move on from this debacle as gracefully as possible. Fortunately, not getting that job in no way changes who I am – I am still passionate about helping students succeed, working with faculty, and pretty much anything relevant to distance learning.

So, I’ve signed myself up for a webinar (and invited my co-workers to join me), found myself some interesting reading material and put my head down, intent on keeping on keeping on.

ID Reading Conglomeration

Hi. I was looking for some things to read to better keep up with the world of instructional design. Found one massive list, so posting selections from that list and the comments on that post, as well as others… ha. There’s no rhyme or reason to any of this, yet, but feel free to click through and comment w/other suggestions. I’ll try to come back and organize at some point :).

I may have bit off more than I can chew, so help part it down, I left off [most] blogs who’s most recent entries were a ways back:

  1. Ten Steps to Complex Learning (book)
  2. Complex Learning, Step by Step (blog entry)
  3. Writing Training Materials That Work: How to Train Anyone to Do Anything (book)
  4. First Things Fast (book)
  5. Job Aids and Performance Support (book)
  6. Oh dear… 30 top online resources for instructional designers to keep up with (blog entry)
  7. G’s View of the World (blog)
  8. Big Dog, Little Dog (blog)
  9. bozarthzone (blog)
  10. Cammy Bean’s Learning Visions (blog)
  11. Discovery Through Elearning (blog)
  12. elsua.net – A Knowledge Management Blog: Thinking Outside the Box
  13. Elearning Leadership Blog
  14. E-Learning Curve Blog
  15. ID and Other Reflections (blog)
  16. Information is Beautiful (blog)
  17. E-learning and the Science of Instruction (book)
  18. Michael Allen’s Guide to E-Learning (book)
  19. Design for How People Learn (book)
  20. Gagdets, Games and Gizmos for Learning (book)
  21. The Conditions of Learning and Theory of Instruction (book)
  22. Training Complex Cognitive Skills (book)
  23. The Design of Everyday things (book)
  24. E-Learning by Design (book)
  25. What Every Manager Should Know About Training (book)
  26. The Non-Designer’s Design Book
  27. Blueprints for Complex Learning: the 4C/ID Model (pdf)
  28. …Forget What You Know About Instructional Design and Do Something Interesting (book)
  29. Instructional Design for Elearning (book)
  30. Instructional Desgin, 2nd Ed. (pdf)
  31. Don’t Make Me Think (book)
  32. Lessons in Learning, E-Learning and Training (book)
  33. Designing World-Class E-Learning (book)

That’s all for now. My current professional interest is in this list, somewhere… I haven’t honed it into a particular couple of words, and it’s slightly different but also very similar to the work I hope to be doing, soon, so I don’t want to introduce confusion somewhere, either :D. If you have other suggestions for good books/blogs/recent or not-so-recent articles, please post in the comments. Gracias.

Open Educational Resources – A Primer

Open textbooks have been discussed via email as an option for instructors at Tillamook Bay Community College. I was asked to provide a bit of a primer on Open Educational Resources and where faculty can start to look in order to explore these free resources. Here are a few questions you might have on Open Educational Resources and my attempts to provide you with some information to help you answer them. I thought I’d write it as a blog post in case others find this information useful.

What are Open Educational Resources (OERs)?

Free! Resources! To use! Open typically means that you can use, share and modify them for educational purposes with attribution (give credit where credit is due). Usually some form of a creative commons license applies. Click the link for more information.

How do I find them?

I usually stumble on to them. One website I frequent, Open Culture, has links down the right hand side to free movies, textbooks and more. Often you’ll have to look at the website for a resource (look for the badges mentioned in the Creative Commons License link above) or contact it’s creator in order to find out if it’s covered by a CC license.

When I was working at Southwestern, I was often looking for educational resources for their math instructors, and found a website called Merlot. It has resources for online learning in subjects ranging from Algebra to Sociology. Just click on “Search Merlot” on the main page and you’ll be on your way to exploring an overwhelming number of resources, depending on your subject area.

Another neat feature of Merlot is that if you click on a resource, you can get more details about whether it’s copyrighted or if it’s been created under a Creative Commons License.

Columbia Gorge Community College has put together a great page with additional resources pertaining to Open Educational Resources, including information on Quality Considerations when selecting OERs. They have also collected many links to different sources for OERs on that page.

Finally, one of my favorite resources is Twitter. Really. If you explore the #oer hashtag you can find resources, webinars and people to chat with.

Learning Online, Part 1

There’s a new term of school upon those of us in higher education on a quarter system, so I thought it might be helpful to talk about a few of thing I’ve learned in 5 years of taking online classes (and a few spent supporting students taking online classes).

When I initially started taking online classes, I wasn’t very successful even though I had been through classes where instructors used Blackboard as a resource center.

My biggest problem with online classes has always been time management (& I’ve taken a lot of online classes). So, pace yourself. Don’t wait until the last minute to get things turned in. Use a calendar… and I mean really USE A CALENDAR. Don’t just write the assignment due dates on it and never look at it, again.

Here are some tools I like (there are probably better/ different ones out there, but these have been good org tools/ friends to me).

Paper planners

Apps/ Electronic Calendars

Other Productivity Tools

Good luck!