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From the Marygrove College Educational Technology Services Department Volume 5, Issue 3

Fall 2010

Current & Emerging Technologies

by Gwen Little

Quick Response Codes Have you ever wanted your own personal barcode to send to employers or others who ask for redundant information that can be found on a business card or personal website? With a barcode, a quick scan would replace the monotony of completing forms, submitting hardcopies or sending an email with directions on how to access the information.

Inside this issue:

Faculty Spotlight


Teaching & Learning Online


Consultant’s Corner


Timely Topics


STIC Workshops


In 1994, the Quick Response Code (QR code) was introduced in Japan. The QR code is a twodimensional barcode consisting of text and URLs which directs users to sites where they can learn more about an object or place. (This is also called mobile tagging.) QR codes carry information in both horizontal and vertical directions. The squares seen in the bottom left, top left and right corners are locator patterns. When seen in print, QR codes can be small in size

aspects of QR codes is the link between the physical and virtual worlds by providing on the spot access to online resources for objects and locations. Pertaining to the educational environment, QR codes can be Smartphone scanning a posted next to Quick Response (QR) Code artwork or in for integration into an image in theatrical programs. Instructors magazines, newspapers or may assign students to post to clothing or enlarged to fit on forums in order to discuss what billboards. they’ve viewed or heard. QR codes can be seen as the link For users who wish to create a between physical and virtual QR code, simply input data in a worlds by providing on the spot QR generator which produces access to online resources for the code. The code can then be objects and locations. displayed electronically or in print. QR generators are For more information on QR available free online. codes or QR generator visit the websites 2d code and One of the most important BeQRious. 

Student Tech Talk

by Jennifer Meacham

Evaluating Websites as Resources As you already know (or are soon to learn), the very best sources for any research project are found in scholarly works like books and journal articles. So, while it may be tempting to simply Google your topic, the sources you find may not give you the accurate information that is an absolute must for college-level work. But which websites can you trust, and how do you know? Before you decide to include a

web site in your list of works cited, ask yourself a few basic questions: Who created and maintains the site? What, if anything, makes this person or group an expert on the subject? What is the source of the site’s information? How upto-date is the information, or can you even tell? The thing to remember is that anyone can publish practically anything on the internet, from verifiable facts to someone’s

point of view, to flat-out lies. Ultimately it’s up to you as a researcher to evaluate just how good it really is . . . or isn’t. But you don’t have to go it alone! Check out this website evaluation tool on the Library’s (always reliable) website. Use it to assess the value of a particular site as a possible source. Hopefully it will help you decide if a website is worthy of a place in your bibliography.

Marygrove Monitor

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Faculty Spotlight The Faculty Spotlight of The Marygrove Monitor is a place to highlight the innovative ways in which Marygrove faculty are using technology in their courses. This month’s Spotlight focuses on Chenfeng Zhang , Ph.D., Associate Professor of Educational Technology and Coordinator of Masters of Education in Educational Technology. Describe the ways in which you have integrated technology into your courses.

“We should not use technology for the sake of using it. It must serve a meaningful purpose, either to help teachers teach or help students learn.”

I am teaching educational technology courses in the M.Ed. in Educational Technology program, such as EDT 640 Technology Tools for Teachers, EDT 688 Current Issues in Technology and EDL 518 Technology for Administrators. I also teach EDU 330/530 Technology in the Classroom for the teachercertificate program. For any courses, integration of technology does not start from using the technology tools, as many people may think. It starts from the design of the course. We should not use technology for the sake of using it. It must serve a meaningful purpose, either to help teachers teach or help students learn. In the design process of a course, I first study the state or national standards the course needs to cover and consequently, the student learning outcomes the students need to demonstrate. Then, I decide what technology tools would help instructors to better present the content and for students to better achieve the learning outcomes. For online courses, the most critical issue is the interaction

between teachers and students, and among students themselves. In my teaching, I create opportunities to enhance the interactions. Before the online class starts, I send out emails to students, informing them how the course will be conducted and to see if they have any initial questions about the course. When the course starts, during the first one or two weeks, I invite the students who are not comfortable or confident to take online courses to my office and go over the class website and the session procedures with them. I encourage students who have any questions, from technical to content, to ask their peers, the instructor, and go to the STIC lab for help. In my online courses, I design as many discussion topics as possible. Students need to post their own thread and respond to at least two other students’ posts. I also redesigned the Discussion Board on Blackboard so students can submit their assignments there as well as view all other students’ assignments and comment on them. In this way, students build an online forum where they can share ideas and learn from each other. Another critical issue of the online course is that all sessions for the course should be consistent in style and format. There will be an easy flow of the course and students do not need to wonder where to hunt for information they need. For each of my online sessions, students can find the following: Essential questions of the session; Student learning outcomes;

Topics, Learning Materials; Learning Activities; Assignments; And Attached files. What did the students think of these experiences? The students love to take the online courses, even those students who at first found it confusing and frustrating. Students love the opportunities to interact with the instructors and fellow students. They also like to post their comments on other students’ assignments and discussion topics. Whenever they have problems, they know I am always there for them. Students love the design of the course for each session and they feel comfortable that once they know the format and style of one session, they know they would not worry about the rest of the sessions. What are some of the lessons learned from these experiences? Interaction, interaction and interaction. This is critical for the online course. Instructors should design more ways to enhance the interaction. Another lesson is that instructors should be prepared for any kind of questions, ranging from where to find a certain file to why they cannot post a file. Repeat your instructions whenever possible because not all students pay attention to each word you say. What are your plans for the future with regard to technology integration? Always be prepared — for new technologies, for new standards, for new ideas, for new applications and most of all, for changes. 

Volume 5, Issue 3

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Teaching & Learning Online

by Linda Brawner

Organizing Your Blackboard Content In this installment of T&LO, some tips to organize your Blackboard content to make your course structure more student friendly. With the launch of Blackboard 9, the power to customize the presentation of online course materials increased significantly. Never before in the history of the Learning Management Systems were so many tools available to enhance the delivery of online content. This increased ability to customize makes it more important than ever to design your online or web enhanced courses so that content is easy to find, navigation is intuitive, and the placement of tools fits logically with the design of the course. Creating a student friendly course structure requires some upfront planning.

menu provides a visual representation of the organization of your course. Three common approaches for organizing are chronologically, by content type and by subject. Chronological Organization Figure 1 below shows an example of a course menu arranged in chronological order. In this arrangement, each content area contains a week’s worth of readings, assignments, and discussion forums, CHAT sessions, assessments and other materials. A Course Information section contains the course policies, a syllabus, as well as other information students need to get started. A Helpful Links section has been included with links to IT support and information about the STIC.

The words Unit #, Chapter #, or Lesson # can be substituted for Week # in this arrangement. Content areas can be created ahead of time, made unavailable and then made available at the appropriate time. In Figure 1 above, weeks 1-3 can be created and made unavailable until needed.

Organization by Subject Area In this arrangement, each content area represents a specific subject, and contains everything students need learn about the subject including lecture materials, readings assignments, and discussion forums. Figure 3 shows a sample of a course menu structure organized by subject.

Organization by Content Type In this type of arrangement, related types of content are grouped together in a content area. Students know if they are looking for a lecture, to click on the Lectures link for a Reading, they click on the Readings, link, etc. A content area can contain multiple items and multiple folders. (See Figure 2, below.)

Figure 3: Model Course Menu Organized by Subject Area

Before making the course available to students, it’s a good idea to test your structure to ensure it works the way you intended. Turn off tools that aren’t being used so students don’t run into any dead ends.

To begin this process make a list of the type of content you want to make available to students, for example: syllabus, lecture notes, readings, PowerPoint presentations, etc. Then think about the kind of content structure you might best use to accommodate your content. All discussions about course organization start with the course menu. The course

Figure 1: Model Course Menu Organized Chronologically

Figure 2: Model Course Menu Organized by Content Type

A student friendly design will help students spend their time engaged in learning, and increase the likelihood of a positive experience for everyone. 

Consultant’s Corner The STIC’s Student Consultants are an integral part of the operation of the lab. They provide computer support and knowledge in other subject areas.

Consultant: DeVante Taylor Major: Computer Information Systems (CIS) What made you choose to attend Marygrove? I wanted to attend a school that I knew would provide me with a good education. I plan on majoring in CIS because during high school I learned a lot about computers and I wanted to continue learning in college. I like the way Marygrove does what it can to

provide a great learning environment for its students. I believe that I will be able to accomplish great things here. Why did you apply to work in the STIC? This position will allow me to use the knowledge of computers I gained during high school. I entered the OTECH program in high school which allowed students to spend half of the day at their home high school and half at

the Oakland Schools Technical Center in Royal Oak. I obtained many Microsoft Office certifications at the technical center. In February I became Master Certified in Microsoft Office 2007. When I was looking through the workstudy job postings the STIC job stood out to me. I saw that they would like someone knowledgeable in Microsoft Office applications, and I knew that I would be a good fit for the consulting position.

STIC Workshops Word 2007 - Basic Tues., Oct. 5, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Wed., Oct. 6, 6 - 8 p.m. Word 2007 - Intermediate Tues., Oct. 12, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Wed., Oct. 13, 6 - 8 p.m. Word 2007 - Advanced Tues., Oct. 19, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Wed., Oct. 20, 6 - 8 p .m PowerPoint 2007 - Basic Tues., Oct. 26, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Wed., Oct. 27, 6 - 8 p.m.

PowerPoint 2007 - Intermediate Tues., Nov. 2, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Wed., Nov. 3, 6 - 8 p.m. PowerPoint - Advanced Tues., Nov. 9, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Wed., Nov. 10, 6 - 8 p.m. Excel 2007 - Basic Tues., Nov. 16, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Wed., Nov. 17, 6 - 8p.m.

Excel 2007 - Intermediate Tues., Nov. 23, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Wed., Nov. 24, 6 - 8 p.m. Excel 2007 - Advanced Tues., Nov. 30, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Wed., December 1, 6 - 8 p.m. SPSS for Beginner’s Mon., Oct. 18, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Mon., Nov. 15, 6 - 8 p.m. PowerPoint 2007 - Quick Learn Mon., Nov. 8, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 11, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

All workshops are FREE to Marygrove students, staff, and alumni, but seating is limited! Please call 313-927-1582 to reserve your seat.

Timely Topics

by John Stabile

Microsoft Word Templates for Math Help If you’re a teacher, tutor, parent, or caregiver who is always looking for ways to help kids with their math skills, there are some free resources from Microsoft Office. Word 2007 has a multitude of templates – eight of which are related to Math. Some of these have been submitted by users, so they are not guaranteed by Microsoft. There are Addition, Multiplication, Squares, Cubes & Square Root tables as well as practice sheets that are ready to print. Here’s how to see what is currently available:

1. 2. 3. 4.

Open MSWord 2007 Click the Microsoft Office button Select New On the left side, scroll down to More Templates 5. In the More Templates section, scroll to and click Math and science tables 6. Click on the featured items in the center section to see a miniature version on the right side. 7. Click Download; the template is ready to use/edit as needed. Save it and enjoy the free time you just saved by creating one yourself!

There are also flash cards, printable on compatible Avery products. Follow the above steps and choose Flash cards in Step 5. Check back periodically to see if additional templates have been added. If you have a template you would like to share and have a Windows Live account, go to From the templates category, choose Education Collection; go to the More Resources category near the bottom center of the page and click Submit a template. Follow the steps to submit – and let us know if you get published! 

Marygrove College Educational Technology Services Department Website: Linda Brawner Director

Jennifer Meacham Reference & Instructional Technology Librarian II

Gwen Little Technical Training Specialist II

John Stabile Technical Training Specialist

The Marygrove Monitor is a publication of the Department of Educational Technology Services. The mission of the ETS department is to provide technology training and support to students to enable them to succeed at Marygrove and beyond, to assist faculty in successfully integrating technology to enhance the teaching and learning process, and to help staff develop and improve the technology skills necessary to increase productivity. Physical facilities are located in the lower level of the Library, and include the Faculty Technology Center (FTC) and the Student Technology Instruction Center (STIC). Services provided include access to computer workstations, numerous workshops, individualized tutorials, and useful training documents. ©2010 Marygrove College