What to Expect When You Are Expecting an ARC

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May ARC is May 17-20

The May sessions of the Academic Resources Conference (ARC) will focus on advanced information on a wide variety of topics, and like always the events are free and open to everyone. You can see the full schedule and add sessions to your Outlook calendar here. We think instructors will be especially interested in the topic of online proctoring privacy, and we will present on both privacy and with human procotoring (Monday) and privacy and with AI-based proctoring (Thursday).

Integrated Sessions!

All ARC sessions can stand alone, but several of them are designed to fit together to tell a larger story if you want more:

  1. Proctoring: Monday, May 17 at 9:00 and Thursday, May 20 at 9:00 we will hear two perspectives on online proctoring and privacy.
  2. Ultra: Tuesday, May 18 at 9:00 hear about Blackboard Ultra from a Blackboard representative then stay for a 10:00 session on Ultra course conversions, Ultra data, and your own Ultra plans. Then on Wednesday, May 19 at noon, hear a panel discussion from other WSU professors who have been piloting Ultra.
  3. Infographics: Tuesday, May 18 at 11:00 learn how to use PowerPoint to create infographics and then at 2:00 that same day learn how to ensure those infographics are accessible. Finally, we also suggest the LinkedIn Learning course called "Design Your First Infographic" to get you started.
  4. Accessibility: Thursday, May 20 at 11:00 learn about the university's accessibility auditing process and come back at 1:00 to hear how to answer the question "Is This Accessible?"

And there are more! We worked hard to bring you the "next level" in your training journey, so after the conference, please let us know how we did!

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Retention Center, Rubrics, and Goals

At 10:00am each day of the May ARC, we are offering a block of "Rapid Sessions": three related topics covered in one 50 minute session.  On Monday, May 17 we kick off our Rapid Sessions with a discussion of some less commonly used tools in "old" Blackboard: the Retention Center, Rubrics, and the Goals Tool. All three of these tools are also available in Ultra, so learning about them now will give you a leg up when you adopt Ultra for your own classes too.  Add Rapid Session #1 to your calendar.

Taking Proposals for August ARC

As soon as the ARC21May closes up shop on the 20th, we will begin the planning for ARC21Aug in earnest. If you would like to suggest a proposal topic, you can do so by filling out this form. We will have a heavy focus on Blackboard Ultra training along with topics to help on-board new instructors in August. We are also very interested in panel topics, "rapid sessions" (15 minutes on a single topic of interest), and positive, supportive messages for other instructors.

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Classroom Management

On May 20 at 10:00am, please join the ARC for a Rapid Session focused on classroom management.  First you'll hear from Carolyn Shaw on in-person classroom management after COVID and then listen to Neal Allen discuss what to do when ideologies clash in the classroom. The session will end with Carolyn Speer talking about the university's Freedom of Expression curriculum that you can add to any class.  Add Rapid Session #4 to your calendar.

Beyond the Discussion Board

Online and hybrid courses rely on interaction between students and their instructors and students and their peers. But making the magic happen can sometimes be a struggle.  If you would like to explore ways to increase interaction beyond the discussion board, come hear Mary Morriss speak at 2:00 on May 20.  Add "Beyond the Discussion Board" to your calendar.

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Porcaro Leading Book Discussion

When Mark Porcaro read the book Super Courses, he knew it would be a perfect choice for an ARC book discussion. Thanks to the University Libraries, we were able to get an ebook version too! So the ARC session at 2:00 on Monday, May 17 is a real labor of love across campus. Click here to get the book (you will need to login with your WSU credentials) and join us next Monday for the discussion. Add the book discussion to your calendar.

What Gamers can Teach Us about Video

If we offered a "coolest session title" award, it would surely go to John Hammer for his Monday, May 17 11:00 session called "What Gamers Can Teach Us About Streaming and Recording Interactive and Engaging Lectures." This should be a fun one! Add What Gamers Can Teach Us to your calendar.

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Four Days, Four Panels!

Our lunchtime panel series was so popular in January that we decided to make it a permanent feature of the ARC. The panels in May are all at noon:

What is an Accessibility Audit?

Maybe you've recently attended a conference like OLC Innovate (not too late to register to view the recorded sessions!) and have heard about a cool new tool or app that is free to use and seems to solve a problem for you and you want to adopt it. But did you know you need an accessibility audit before you can use it in your classroom? Thankfully, this process is easy, and the University's accessibility auditor can tell you all about it on Thursday May 20 at 11:00. Add Accessibility Auditing Process to your calendar.

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Library Services for Savvy Instructors

Savvy instructors know how to save time and money by using the University Libraries effectively. Are you a savvy instructor? On Wednesday, May 19, Angie Paul will be presenting on "Library Services for Savvy Instructors," and you can check your knowledge and habits against her recommendations. Add Library Services to your calendar.

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Free Things Just Because You're You

From software to online learning courses, as a Wichita State University instructor, you have many things available to you for free. To help you understand what's on offer and how to access it, the ARC has added a new thirty minute session at 3:00 each day of the conference. This "Free Stuff" time slot includes:

OLC Innovate Session Recordings

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Innovate conference is gone, but not forgotten! If you never registered but a session caught your eye, it's not too late! You can register for free now and watch any session you want. In fact, we have curated some excellent options for you and are presenting them as part of the ARC in May. We are recommending:

LinkedIn Learning Challenges

We have also added new LinkedIn Learning Challenges to May's ARC. These are great opportunities to learn and get a credential that you can share on your LinkedIn profile too. All courses have a downloadable course completion certificate you can add to a T&P packet too! LinkedIn Learning is a free benefit of your employment at Wichita State, but you do need to activate it before you start taking classes.

  • Digital Citizenship by Oliver Schinkten. This course will be a review for most instructors, but it's worth your time to check it out because it would be an excellent module for many classes.  Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Design Your First Infographic with Nigel French. This is a short course (only 21 minutes!) but it goes over the theory of infographics and gives basic design tips.
  • Becoming Indistractable with Nir Eyal and Arianna Huffington. This is another short course (32 minutes) and will be invaluable for both instructors and students. Take this course for yourself now, and use this course later in your own classes!
  • Embracing Change with Mindfulness, offered by "Chill Anywhere." It's hard to believe the pace of change will be slowing down soon, and this course offers useful tools for managing change from a position of mindfulness.

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Microsoft Tricks to Change Your Life

It's so easy to overlook the power of Microsoft Office products. They are everywhere, and consequently we feel like we know how they work. But scratch the surface and you will find a whole world of functionality you've been wishing for but didn't know how to access. Want proof? Come to Ali Levine's ARC session on May 18 at 1:00-1:50. Add to your calendar now!

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Recorded Content for New Instructors 

We have not forgotten about those instructors who are new to the university in the summer term. As part of the ARC, the Office of Instructional Resources has curated all kinds of training for these new instructors, and it can be located by topic at the bottom of the ARC21May schedule page.  Please contact us at OIR@wichita.edu if we are missing something important and we'll get it added.

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The First Days of College

by J. Hadley Perkins

The hot “First Days of College” are the last thing on our minds as we finish up grading and prepare for a break. But an email got me thinking when it asked, “How will you plan for the arrival of what may be the least prepared cohort of first-year students in history?”

We can plan by seeking wisdom from past educators.  Two educators that have influenced my teaching from High School Math to College Engineering are Harry Wong and Maria Montessori.  In his 1997 book, The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher, Wong says “Student achievement at the end of the year is directly related to the degree to which a teacher establishes good control of the classroom procedures in the very first week of the school year.” Maria Montessori’s work with preschool children at the beginning of the 20th century focused on giving them a curated space to explore and make discoveries on their own. Montessori said the aim of this prepared environment was “… as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult.”

Wong’s advice is to spend the first week of school training students in simple routines and habits such as where to turn in assignments and how to put their name on their work. Montessori’s methods popular in modern day preschools rely on arranging the physical environment. In my First Year Seminar, and other courses, students still struggle with things like how to turn in assignments and putting their name on their paper. Our goal is still to help them to be independent learners. Here are some ways I have translated those ideas into my FYS class.

Prepare the environment! In person, online or hybrid, blackboard is our virtual environment.  A blackboard course shell “sandbox” allows me to arrange lessons well ahead of my live courses becoming available.  Weekly Learning Modules that are identical in structure include “Prepare” for information and tasks required prior to attending class, “Session Materials” with information to be covered in class, “Extras” for supplementary information, and a link to the Assignments folder.

Make things predictable! Regarding assignments, a pattern for due dates helps students remember. My FYS has three assignments every week.  A homework quiz before class.  Schedule and Notes every Friday and a regular assignment every Sunday.  Once the pattern is established the students rely on it, and if I deviate, they let me know.

Build Habits! One routine I implement is using the OneDrive phone app to create PDFs of handwritten work.  I post a video tutorial explaining how, then rehearse in class by having everyone take out their phones and going through it together.  Students learn quickly when this routine is reinforced by non-PDF submissions earning a zero.

The wisdom of Montessori and Wong may seem outdated or only for young children, but it absolutely works with today’s college student.  The Post-Covid First Year Cohort can be supported best by planning for something they have missed, predictability and routine.