online

Using Real-Life Clients in the Classroom

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On 2/24/19 at 1:15pm, I presented at the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference with the Session Using Real-Life Clients In The Classroom at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury, NC. This was co-presented by Carla Osborne of Wake Technical Community College

 

Using Real-Life Clients in the Classroom

At this event, we discussed the ability to work with clients in our classrooms, from beginning to end. This process included setting out the fear involved with

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you for attending our presentation this afternoon. I’m attaching the videos that were in the presentation with a short description:

Baking and Pastry Arts Introductions

Since the student chefs are on another campus, this was our way of introducing them to the graphic design students:

https://youtu.be/huIHq1LyMjk

Client/Media Relations – Summer Session 2017

We have fun in our department and for this video we roped in one of our Networking instructors as the client:

https://youtu.be/ECISRiKKaS0

Client/Media Relations – Summer Session 2018

For this video we recruited a theatre student from NCSU to play the part of the client for Beet Box:

https://youtu.be/PZnMa59Z9KM

Design Apps III

In this short video Julie Evans introduces the rebranding assignment for Joe Van Gogh

https://youtu.be/0uVLMGwcWeE

And here’s the interview with the owner:


We hope you found a few tips you could implement in your own classes. Please reach out if you have questions or if you would like to share your experiences with working with clients in your classes.

Taking Your Seated Classes Online: An easier transition than you think

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On 3/6/19 at 9:00am, and then again at 10:30am on 3/8/19 I presented at the North Carolina Computer Instructor Association Conference Session Taking Your Seated Classes Online at East Carolina University’s SCITech Building in Greenville, NC. This was co-presented by Tyler Dockery and Carla Osborne of Wake Technical Community College.

Taking Your Seated Classes Online:

An easier transition than you think

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Q&A

How can you handle Attendance in the online environment?

Since students in an online environment might login and logout without contributing and demand that they are counted as attending, we suggest working differently. Base your attendance on turning in all work for the week. Since students have 7 days to complete assignments and materials, failing to present all or part of the course materials is a conscious choice on the part of the student.

If a student turns in all assignments and participated in discussions (regardless of grade), mark them as attending. Failing to complete one or more item in the week deserves a tardy.

What if you do not have ZOOM

Zoom is a free technology, and it allows you to record up to 40 minutes in the free version. Some people use Microsoft Teams, which also has video content. I have access to MS Teams, but honestly I don’t have as much experience with teams to know how it works.

What if you have good content, but its not Closed Captioned?

Some people find they can reach out directly to the video owner and ask for them. On youtube, you can ask the owner to open Community Contributions, and allow you to add in the captions that you’d like, but you can also use https://amara.org to create a closed caption overlay of the original video without breaking copyright. You will have to caption it yourself, but its a small price to pay for good content.

How do you determine the first dates in your classes?

At Wake Technical Community College, we have a course entry quiz which must be taken. The quiz is set for adaptive release, and once the quiz is taken, the plagiarism agreement is shown. Once the plagiarism agreement is submitted, then students can enter the class. This is not used everywhere though.

Some school use the first  assignment submitted as the entry date, but this causes a great deal of work on the part of the teacher, hunting down student by student in several areas just to get an answer. One instructor noted that she got tired of hunting and created her own entry material. Several other teachers followed her path once she displayed how easily it could be used.

 

 

How To Teach Graphic Design Online 2019

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On 2/23/19 at 10:15am, I attended the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference Session How To Teach Graphic Design Online at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury, NC presented by Alison Consol and Julie Evans of Wake Technical Community College

Online teaching requires a different approach to bring in students and create the kind of t=virtual communities to help create a strong cornerstone of community and a presence which could be maintained in the course. You will have to anticipat the questions before they happen, because “writing is the new coding”. YOu need to have as much instruction and examples that you can to inspire but not allow materials to be copied. Students and millenials want the immediate feedback, timely materials in the gradebook, and discussions should be meaningful and relevant. Attendance can be difficult, so setting attendance to project deadlines is the easiestt way to accomplish this.

There are 452 active students at WTCC in the GRD program. Students take online and seated classes, although some are wholly online. How can we create a class which guarantees as similar or analog class online.

Certifications

Graduates in the program at WTCC earn 5 certifications as they complete the degree. These certificates allow students to be motivated to continue in the classes, and be used as an advising tool These certifications are a nice way to keep students moving forward, but it also allows students from different degrees and those working in the field to step forward and take part. Over time, we see the rates of graduation and completions rates getting higher. Depending on the amount of time it takes a student to move forward, these certifications allow student numbers to maintain a level of completions which is asy to push forward to the next certification and stay motivates.

EPIC

As part of our QEP program, all students have a mandatory E Learning Intro course. A student must complete this class before they can register for online courses. Students come to class with LMS learning, assignment materials standards, etc. so this is very helpful. EPIC removes barriers where every course maintains a similar look and feel, and EPIC allows teachers to get up to date.

The Human Element

We include welcome and weekly videos. We use ZOOM to assist with the idea of the teachers presence. The need to know who their teacher is and how to contact them. It seems like an increased distance in the online classes. We have a youtube channel for the department. These weekly videos are all conglomorated in the same place. Having this repository is easy to use, and can be pulled as needed from their classes.

Required Supplies

Checklist Documentation is added to classes to keep information on the forefront. Art supplies, software, digital cameras, hardware, reliable high speed internet, etc. Having those supplies in the bookstore allows students with financial aid to get it day one. We keep 2 chapters in PDF form in each class, so that students without books can get up to speed. Hardware is a student priority and concern. We have opportunities on campus. If the student isn’t prepared, we have to have a meeting.

Attendance

Structure is important, and offers consistency. Assignments are presented in a linear fashion. Failing to complete all tasks result in a tardy. Completing everything by deadline is full attendance. Missing the assignment results in an absence.

Structure

Welcome in week 1, tasks for the week, lecture materials, discussions, and finally assignments with examples. People cannot follow long pages of text, so including materials in a consistent fashion makes it easy for people to know where to go and what to do. We use icons and avatars to chunk materials and keep the visual presence for students.

Student Collaboration Online

WIkis, journals, google docs, forms and surveys, flipgrid, voicethread. There are lots of different ways to create the community and allow students to introduce and respond to one another. We use peer review such as behance, flickr, wordpress blogs and personal websites. Students need constructive criticism and they need to develop the thick skins which can easily allows students to improve and be ready for the workforce. Discussion topics are great for shared experiences and group projects. Use testing like DISC assessments or Myers-Briggs testing to find out their types.

Web-Based Tools

Starfish is a nice way to alert students if they are in danger of failing. An ILC on your campus is a great resource. Compututor is a fantastic resource for our online students with texting, screensharing, and email.

REMIND.COM is a great resource. Social media is also a fine way to keep everyone on track, allows people to interact and network. We encourage them to use the student social media for professional purposes only. We use ZOOM to interact with students, and adobe SPARK is making a great deal of use.

How about the design process?

Original work only, plagiarism agreements, sketching, and feedback are part of every procject process. We have an assignment area and discussion board. This allows students to show to the instructor as well as the class. Finalization in situ is part of each process.

Portfolio online

Its a beast. As the culmination of their work, students have to begin with a single idea. and think about how the end user will interact with thier materials.

Assessments

Grades are based on PERFORMANCE. WIP, reflection and peer review in discussion boards allow students to get feedback. Inline commenting in blackboard with rubrics allow for stronger content. BLogs and reflective journals for self-assessments.

Good Rubrics

Begin with a set of best choices. Drill down from there to create a general rubric for creative projects that you can use as a go-to. Showcase this early and allow the students to see this rubric. THey’ll know what theyll be graded on and how.

Portfolio is a high-touch environment. Allowing online students to attend seated courses is a fine method for assisting students. Online meetings are great, and full size print.

Summary

An online class should be enjoyed. Its a journey, and we have to show that we are there and we can assist them become successful. We give visual attention via video and video meetings, but its a constant improvement model. Having a set of standards are especially helpful to us.

 

Q&A Session

How do you handle group video meetings? It creates community, but what about those who do not wish to meet.

Zoom is used, and it records the session. If you don’t want in, no harm no foul. Its recorded and you can watch it the next day. Pop it on your account and its ready.

 

Do students know they might have to have the meeting?

The ELI course says that you may have to attend on-campus testing or use recording to meet the needs of the class.

 

What about students who cannot visit?

We work with them to mail materials.

 

Has online impacted seated?

Some classes have removed entirely to online. Online students are a different population. It impacts enrollment, but it is really about convenience. Some population will only work partly with online classes. Online students also come from out of city and out of state. Completion has actually increased because they have time management issues, and having access to one online class allows them to continue on their course.

 

Using Metacognition Strategies to Increase Student Success and Completions

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At 1:50pm on 10/19/2018, I attended the professional development session: Using Metacognition Strategies to Increase Student Success and Completions presented by Denise Barton, PhD, as an ongoing pathway of professional development in an online class at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC.

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Using Metacognition Strategies to Increase Student Success and Completions

So, I’ve got a bit of a confession to make. I have been using metacognition to support students in improving their work in several of my classes, in helping them understand how to draw and design more effectively, and helping them to listen better during student and faculty critiques.

There are some videos shown in this course while I haven’t seen, along with the share and pair exercises listed on the video website, so this should be a great experience.

This course teaches you about metacognition, and while reviewing our thoughts and feelings on our progress, and how we might improve this (ah.. ah… get it!?) we can always feel free to email me at Denise Barton to gain assistance answering any questions we may have. I have also heard that perhaps in summer 2019 they might be offering a metacognition professional development course for faculty who want to use it to improve their teaching and students’ learning. Guess I’ll have to wait and see.

 

How to get the most out of studying

There are 5 videos located at This website (text url: https://www.samford.edu/departments/academic-success-center/how-to-study).

After I viewed each one, I took a break before taking any notes to ensure that I heard all the information.

Developing a Mindset for Successful Learning

This video gives an overview of the information presented in the video series. The information is organized into 10 Principles of Effective Studying that students should understand if they wish to maximize learning from their study time

Beliefs That Make You Fail…Or Succeed

The first video examines common mistaken beliefs students often possess that undermine their learning. The video tries to correct those misconceptions with accurate beliefs about learning.

What Students Should Understand About How People Learn

The second video introduces a simple but powerful theory of memory, Levels of Processing, that can help students improve their study.

Cognitive Principles for Optimizing Learning

The third video operationalizes the concept of level of processing into four principles that students can use to develop effective study strategies.

Putting the Principles for Optimizing Learning into Practice

The fourth video applies the principles of deep processing to common study situations, including note taking and highlighting while reading.

“I Blew the Exam, Now What?”

This video addresses what students should and should not do when they earn a bad grade on an exam.

 

Final Thoughts on Metacognition

It was a little exciting to revisit this work. I incorporate this into my classes, but its always nice to see the great effect this can have on students and other individuals. I felt this was great training, and I’ll be incorporating more of this in my classes.

Motivation In Online Environments

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On 9/24/18 at 5:45pm, I attended the Excellence In Higher Education Virtual Conference Session: Motivation In Online Environments presented by Dr. John Fisher of Utah Valley University

 

Most students come with associates degrees, and they offer a program in law enforcement and emergency leadership. Most of these courses will be online. They have recently started work in emergency management and leadership. Roughly 10% sign up for these upper-tier courses but never start. To get to the meat of the issue, he polled and openly asked questions to find what motivated the students to start and succeed.

What motivates the student or us? SDT sets us in motion and motivation to succeed.

So how can we support the SDT students?

by connecting with students we can establish the interpersonal relationships that emphasize choice and flexibility. Dr. Fisher talked about the “emotional bank account” that is built through these close personal connections. Often, it takes a whole lot more deposites than withdrawals. In most cases, more must be put in before others are willing to take from it.

 

THis chart, built by Chen & Jang shows a different set of motivations and learning outcomes.

Need is a strong effect, and needs satisfaction was positive – or less negative really- for final grades.

When we support autonomy, we see a greater understanding and success on the part of the student. As students needs were satisfied, they felt more positive.

WHile we feel that we can often give cop-out answers like: “Here’s the number to technical support, they’re much better…” but that’s not a very supportive answer.

Students who would take online courses again said they would do so because of the flexibility. Those who would not said it was because they did not get the interaction with the professor that they desired.

MOre men are taking online courses. This is an odd set of numbers. Is it because more men are coming back? it may be because job services, it is unknown

As you can see in these numbers, flexibility remains high.

These were the questions given to students to help determine how to help. The 5th question was overwhelmingly yes! The majority of online students seem to be non-traditional students with jobs and families, etc. It is odd that online students would like to have the strong contact of a seated class, but do not/would not find time to take those courses.

While 80 students took the class, only 65 seemed ready to answer the questions

Using Grounded Theory, he created some propositions and comparisons throughout the process with 4 areas specifically looked at:

ONe thing that came up was that students needed to engage early to be successful.

Students demanded that instructions were clear, that after 16wks they faced burnout. How long can you put up with the same stuff every week. They wanted to see paced courses so there was good pacing and variety

These methods are some suggestions made in terms of assignments, discussions and group work. Not all students like group work. On the other hand, others feel accountable and working. Which is surprising. Many students prefer questions and exams to papers, so some answers are quite revealing

Again, there are several major items which are commonly said, like shorter course durations, flexible schedules, the autonomy of the schedules, constant and immediate feedback, etc. Online courses must still be rigorous, worthy of credits, and collegiate-level work. Students like structured content with variety and interesting materials.


Dr. John FisherOne of the challenges of online courses is motivation. Some students sign up for courses and don’t start. This presentation reports on a study about student motivation in online education. During a course end evaluation, students were asked the following questions. Why do students not get started in online courses? What can be done to get them started and keep working on assignments? What motivates you to keep working? How could online courses be improved so you are better motivated? Responses were gathered from over 100 students in five sections of an upper division online course in emergency services. Responses to the questions were analyzed and propositions developed.

3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community

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At 10:00am on 4/29/2018, I attended3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community, Presented by Amanda Gorman of Pressable, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community

 

WordPress Community: An entity where connection is democratized and ideas are made tangible. The community is a way for us to move from “I just want traffic” to questions like: who are these people, what do they want?

Community = Connections

We started out with the intention: Learn how to boost your SEO to build a bigger community online with 3 simple strategies:

  1. Keyword Research & Organization
  2. Leveraging Competitor Insights
  3. Writing Content that Resonates.

Intended Audience: Web designers, developers, Nonprofits. Beginner

Tending to your garden

LIke a garden, your community needs care on an almost daily basis. This “tending to”is about seeing what’s needed and then providing what is needed. What ideas are you planting in the garden? that really starts with keyword research. Knowing that this is your piece of the landscape.

How do we build a bigger online community

how do we get traffic, more conversions, more conversations? Go down your own path. Be intentional, be aware, build your own trust. These aspects will be so important an answer that you’ll want to push that first.

Be intentional

Keyword Research. This is where the ideas are planted and the SEO strategies start. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Take your time and have direction in what you’re doing. Watch those competitors and place your focus best. Client experience shows that insight into where to start can be incredibly beneficial. The rabbit holes exist, but they are not always helpful.

Core Concepts

Knowing the keywords you want to rank for vs. Knowing the keywords that are being searched. You want to be the go to person for a particular term. Wo, what is that term? The principal often has a big idea. Start with 20 keywords, expand it, then narrow it back down

“Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and takiing action. it is the impetus for creating change” Max Carver.

What does the community want and how can you expand it?

Keyword Research: Seed Keyword

The seed keywords are competitive and its good to get this before you talk with clients.

  • What are your keywords?
    • brand name
    • products or services
    • consider all possible scenarios
    • brandump words associated with your site
  • Example: Garden Center
    • garden supply
    • container gardening
    • gardening tips
    • backyard landscaping
    • gardening gifts

STEP 1: Dump seed keywords into google. See the related search terms. Perhaps you’ve forgotten catalogs, coupons, warehouses, and perhaps some of these you DON’T want to focus on

STEP 2: Working with Seed Terms build a list

  • spreadsheet in google sheets
    • ubersuggest
    • keyword tool
    • google correlate
    • google trends
    • soovle
    • answer the public: This is a great tool. When you see the same questions here you’re asking or hearing, its great to

Objective: Tap into  long-tail keyword phrases athat are specific to your audience, their needs, desires and pain-points. Remember: Seed Keyword + Modifier = Long-tail Keyword

Using tabs with Seed Keywords, we fill in the modifiers and use that to fill in the content for your site.

 

Keyword research: Google Keyword planner & The Doc

Enter your keyword findings into google Keyword Planner

  • Keyword
  • clicks
  • impressions
  • cost
  • click through rate
  • average CPC

Your seed keywords are going to be the most competitive. IDentify how much people are willing to spend. Copy/past the information into the spreadsheet

A massive document is overwhelming. Make it clear and concise.

Competitor analysis: be aware

its spying a little bit, but its more about market research, how you’ll become an authority in your niche. Its not a negative. understand your competitors so you can provide what’s missing. What can you provide that they are not?

MOZ bar is a free tool. Plug in your keyword to google, turn on the moz bar

  1. enter keyword
  2. look for one or more below
  3. review quality of content
  • pages with <20PA and DA. if less than 20, you can do a good job and get ranked!
  • ezine articles
  • yahoo! answers
  • ehow.com
  • buzzle
  • squidoo lenses
  • hubpages
  • ebay
  • wordpress.com
  • blogspot (or other free blog)
  • spammy press release sites

Let’s Have a Look at the Moz bar in action

High page authority means you won’t sneak in there. You’re not trying to beat the whole domain, you’re really only trying to have value for a specific page.

page authority are a lot lower here. This would be a great work to focus on. Gettting on the list will take time and effort, but find the gaps where you’ll fit in

Content Writing: Build Trust

have a trust mindset to build that copy. Forget the mindset of what you want, and build a connection and build trust. Be a place people can visit to get the answers they want fully and wholly.

Tips for success:

  • Write freely first
  • Use your target keyword at the beginning. don’t use more than 3 times, but have document open to the terms page, and include the related search terms, and don’t overuse or push that content or overstuff.
  • Keep your sentences concies
  • Include images, charts, videos and lists. People are also visual learner.
  • Create comprehensive content. This is key.  Rather than provide information overload with a short reply, be comprehensive. Give a full comprehensive report on each additional item

Improve Click-through rate

Quora & Udemy shows that there is a question and a need. Look at structure of content, and get inspired on how you might approach the subject. What’s missing? What questions have been asked which you can elaborate on, answer easier.

Add modifiers to your titles:

  • How to
  • the current year
  • review
  • best
  • fast
  • checklist
  • guide
  • tipseasy
  • simple
  • Use a number

Include bucket brigades: Add these headlines between content in an effort to re=catch the reader:

  • Here’s the deal
  • now
  • whats the bottom line
  • you might be wondering
  • this is crazy
  • it gets better/words
  • but here’s the kicker
  • want to know the best part?

The better you understand the content and the audience, the better you become and your website becomes. Keep People coming back to get that killer content.

Question & Answer

Content Length for a post?

500 minimum, but 1,000+ is better. better to write more and publish less than publish often but keep people reading than to publish often and not enough content

How to assist our customer?

Here’s what competitor does. it looks like… if you write this… dive deep into the specifics, and ask what they want to write about. Help them pick down to 5-10 key terms.

How much time should we expect to take building this list?

2 weeks of time. depending on the number of tabs.30 tabs might take  6 hours. Many clients only take 2 hours. From that step, its time to push the data and see how the trends show up.

What if I’m notified of a Keyword overload?

If you have too much, consider related words. Use google keyword suggest to pull secondary words and use those in the place of the oft-repeated term

What if you’re just getting started?

make connections with related industries. Life coach might find doctors and psychologist to connect with. Find a voice unfound and press into that niche. Be consistent with writing and promoting.

Other Suggestions

Brian Dean of Backlinko

 

See the whole slide deck at: speakerdeck.com/amandagorman/3-seo-strategies-for-building-a-bigger-online-community

 


Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman helps nonprofits and wellness-based businesses build thriving online communities. As a Customer Success Coordinator at GiveWP she works diligently each day to assist nonprofits in growing their communities and receiving more donations online to make a bigger impact in the world. As an SEO consultant, she’s passionate about tending to the internet like a gardener would tend to their garden, so it can become a safe and fun place to connect again. Amanda uses her SEO superpowers to help her clients better understand their purpose, their audience, and how to better reach their people. Amanda is in love with her husband Casey, her nephew Jackson, and their dog Topanga whom all live together in Rochester, New York.