Distance Education Roundtable Notes from AALL Annual Meeting

Organized and lead by the RIPS-SIS Distance Education Committee

Below are bullet pointed notes from the Distance Education Roundtable Discussion from this year’s AALL annual meeting, as taken by Sarah Hooke Lee. The notes provide a good overview of the discussion as well as many useful tips and ideas. If you have questions about the discussion please email Jennifer Wondracek or Shawn Friend.

  • Terms of Service when first sign up – make students agree to not violate Copyright law!
  • Experience with Distance Education
    • Jennifer Wondracek at U. Fl:  I have taught ALR in person and on-line. Went from 15 to 24 students in ALR. (Less sections as we now teach in 1st year program.) Online version has had 20 students plus 4 open for emergency 3Ls who don’t have enough credits to graduate or mental health emergencies. We use Coursera at U. F. all 4 successful courses on MOOC.  (My MLS U Wisc Milwaukee on-line.)
    • Shawn Friend at FL Coastal : Class taught-one hour on-line class about on-line research. ALR in person so far, move on-line. Previously taught at community college. Got MLS on-line.
    • Shawn Friend at FL Coastal: We get more negative evals from students in on-line classes. If don’t respond fast, include weekends, get negative evals.
    • Jennifer Wondracek at U. Fl: – I e-mail weekends and nights. Her students WORK weekdays. I help them on ref Qs for their jobs – helped my evals.
    • Larry Ross at George Washington, – Face-to-face class evals tend to be better. They want lots of interaction, even idle chatter, so they feel paid attn to. Vimeo videos to put a face before them to humanize instructors. Pass on Supreme Court news or blogs.
    • Jennifer Wondracek at U. Fl:I don’t script videos – mistakes in. Skype with them, take phone calls – I’m there for them!
    • Raquel Ortiz – opportunities for interaction needed; see Blue Paper from Working Group for Distance Education.
  • Tools
    • SCORM compliant? (Sharable Content Object Reference Model e-learning stds) These instructors aren’t using it formally. Tools to track if watching your video, when log in and out, are they taking quiz – so know doing what they say they are. Costly, takes time. Sakai charges per log-in.
    • Blackboard has back-end functionality – show if students logged in. (at Concord we now have our own platform)
    • Camtasia 8 has SCORM feature on how long played video. Daily reports.
    • Quiz w/ question couldn’t answer right unless watched video. Honor Code I certify that I watched the video.
    • Kyle Courtney – In my 4 credit on-line course I need to know if really watched, did the work; not in my MOOC course. I’m certifying.
    • All CMS systems show if clicked on things, logged in, where went. Some data.
  • Methods
    • Journals – Pushback, Students hate to do them. Forces them to do the work and can tell. Write the process.
    • U F: No actual research Week 1 – Do only PLANS first week.
    • Journals critical tool though disliked. Some students engage with it and get it. Lets me differentiate students – did they just find it in Google? You’re making me write a whole page? Yes I am! I give them prompts – or you can use your own law review problems or an actual internship problem or a moot court problem – individual attention. They like journals better.
    • Ask Mindmap and Qs – how do court rules relate to statutes?
    • Give Bluebook abbreviation for 14 things – ask is it primary or secondary? Federal or state? Which branch of gov’t is it from? Tests a lot of things and easy to grade!
    • U. Fl: List of resources – pick one, you’re  the teacher today on this resource and teach the class. Learn how to look over resources. Next class, hw = pick 2 you heard about and tell me about them. In teaching it in 5 minutes or less, You can try Jing, other teaching resources, collage softw, Prezi, P’point, their choice, to use it to explain to class how the systems work. Laptop requirement so they have video, or at least slides with text. Students love this assignment.
    • Meg Butler – Research Plan – Best was Internet, Hamline librarian called Megan let me use it, research problem. Opposite side of pre-thinking, research jnl.
    • Rubric very detailed – required mult items, at least 2 x, show it in the 1000 word paper. Word limits. Loose points if don’t meet it, one at mid-point.  Plan OR the journal in paper to get points.
    • Kyle Courtney – Peer grading along the way, read and comment.
    • “Group assignments?” On line forums and in-class exercises can help each other. Don’t get graded individually. Short papers. Forum discussions on readings – Must make at least one substantive post and one substantive comment. Not just “I agree.”  Suggested or min and max word count. If you don’t talk, don’t get credit for that week. If miss 2+ weeks, I’ll fail you.  Or counts in participation rate. Like a check mark in the 10% or 20% participation requirement.
    • **Shawn Nevers and Mary Whisner articles are  good – students like them.
    • Municipal ordinances were new to them – importance hit home on illegal if they don’t pick up after their dog.
    • Application not just comment on the readings – find a weird ordinance and tell us. Find a law now proposed in state/fed and how long it’s taken, steps. They pick what look at.
    • Miss a deadline – lose 50% of the points.
    • 3 points on each h/w assignments. Final assignment 60% grade.
    • One minute after deadline, lose the 5 points. Judge can’t give you an extension if you didn’t contact judge in advance!
    • Policy document – sign it, honor code, deadlines, expectations, how to file extension request. Or Quiz- must take over and over til 100% right answers or can’t advance to content in course.
    • CMS: lessons in different folder, assignments in different folder and can close it once due.
  • Platforms
    • People seem to like Coursera courses better than EdX (sciencey)
    • Peer assessment – hard on Blackboard, TWEN. Blog feature of Sekai (open source, several use it) – open to write whatever they want, flexible. Not locked down like Blackboard or TWEN.
    • Used: Sakai, D2L (desire to learn), formerly TWEN
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