Community webinars in September

August 12th, 2011
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Starting in September, you will be able to benefit from our Community webinars.

2nd Sept (16.oo -17.co GMT) English360 – the basics :

  • Browse content
  • Create course
  • Duplicate content
  • Use course with learners

Register for English360 - Community webinars in Webex,   on Eventbrite

13 Sept Sept (14.00 -15.00 GMT) English360  - Online / blended course design

  • basic guidelines
  • adding structure
  • allowing for flexibility
  • ongoing course design issues
  • folders and task patterns

Register for English360  - Course design in Webex,   on Eventbrite

29nd Sept (10.00-11.oo GMT / 12.00 – 13.00 CET) Giving learners feedback at a distance

  • negotiating correction strategies
  • monitoring performance
  • reviewing learner submission
  • giving feedback
  • feedforward strategies

Register for English360 - Giving feedback in Webex,   on Eventbrite

Before you join the meeting, please click here to make sure that you have the appropriate players.

For further information, please contact teachersupport@english360.com

Looking forward to meeting virtually!

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News & Updates – managing “noise” online

September 9th, 2010
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With the constant stream of information that flows in on a daily basis managing this never-ending overload and carefully selecting what it is that you really want to read or find out about has become an important 21st century skill.  This applies whether you are keeping track of your social media feeds or are a teacher managing multiple courses online.

To help get more out of Twitter and channel the tweets I want to keep track of, I use Hootsuite .  With its powerful dashboard I can view the information I’m interested in more efficiently via tabs and  columns as well as check multiple accounts e.g vale24 or vale 360

hootsuite-dashboard

Other educators I know are keen users of TweetDeck which is also a “fast and easy way to experience Twitter”.  I also find Netvibes fantastic for collecting my favourite online content and accessing it all in one place from any web browser. I use it to aggregate news feeds, blog feeds, social bookmarks e.g. what my followers on Diigo are saving or talking about, secondary pop mail accounts I have and of course Facebook updates.

When using a web-based platform as an integral part of a teaching/learning programme, the same need arises. How can I be more productive and keep an eye on everything that is going on?

There is a lot to track when you use blended or online solutions for teaching; if you are overseeing or tutoring on multiple courses, you might need to access multiple course forums to post timely replies to learners. You might be receiving learner responses to your private feedback on their tasks or assignments and need to know whether comments have been added to pages that you have set up to increase learner interaction and exchanges. Obviously, going into each course to monitor this activity can be incredibly burdensome and time consuming for the busy educator so we are pleased to announce that we’ve just released a new widget on English360 which allows users to select their preferences for receiving these types of notifications.

For a school owner, that might involve tracking school memberships and new courses being created by school teachers. For teachers working collaboratively, receiving notifications on content that has been added, removed or published on the courses being designed can be extremely helpful in keeping everyone up-to-date on changes.

All users can modify and select their own preferences from their profile area by clicking on the Edit Notifications sub-navigation tab. The “News & Updates” notifications can be received directly on the platform from the Dashboard widget or via email.

notifications-settings

Select what suits you best and then enjoy your “News & Updates”. Let us know how you manage your streams of information, it’s interesting to compare notes.

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Adding spokes to the wheel

March 4th, 2010
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Here are some new features which have recently been released to help you develop and deliver your blended learning courses.

  • You can create tests by enabling or disabling the “clear answers” function – this means learners can only submit their work once and the activity you create can be a test. Note that you can choose this setting at page or course level simply select “Allow” or “Do not allow” multiple attempts on course settings or when you publish a page. Do you allow learners to resubmit work or do an exercise again? What do you think is the best balance for self-study activities?

Save as draft or Clear Saved answers

  • You can now hide a folder if you are developing learning material within it and you are not ready to use the tasks or exercises with learners. If a folder contains only draft pages (i.e. there are no published items) then the folder will not show up for your learners – learners can happily get on with the activities that you have published while you prepare the upcoming tasks in private. Note: any co-moderators of the course will still be able to view the folder.  Do you find that most of your courses are designed as you go along,  to allow for a more flexible training program?

Folders containing draft pages are hidden from learners

  • The “open essay” item now has a toolbar! The rich text editor allows learners to add colour and different font types. Learners can also highlight words, or add an audio or image file from their hard disk. They can also add hyperlinks or videos, making essay submissions much richer, and appealing to a wider range of learning styles.  Here’s an example:

New toolbar for essay submissions adds colour and extra media

There are many other small enhancements we have made, to make your experience smoother, and we will be rolling out some additional features soon. Hope you are enjoying the platform.

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