Here are some ways to apply what you've learned ...

Professional Development
  • Design a web page or site:

If you would like to create a web page or an entire site to support your classes, you will probably need a bit of support to accomplish the task.  

Check to see if your college provides on site training in web page or site design.  

In addition, find out if server space is available for your page or site.   You won't find it hard to use the software, but you'll need a little help in learning how to put the pages you create onto your campus web server.  The files are not unlike those you create with your word processor or other software running on your PC, but to be visible to the world, they must reside on a server, not on your personal computer. 

For help making your site an effective instructional tool, we recommend taking a training workshop at your campus or, if none is available, try the @ONE workshop entitled "Using a Website to Support Instruction".  Information about upcoming @ONE training events is available on the @ONE consortium web site at http://one.fhda.edu.  (See also their list of conferences:  http://one.fhda.edu/resources/conferences.htm). This consortium is funded by a state grant administered by the California Community College Chancellor's Office.  In addition to @One, the CVC regional centers and the California Virtual College Professional Development Center http://www.pdc.cvc.edu may be able to provide support your efforts.  

For those who prefer to learn at home and place their materials off campus, numerous books are available.  Two good online training resources are:

  • Course management tools (Jennifer Merlic)

Find our what course management software, if any, your college is using. 

Also find out if the package your college uses is available for supplementing campus-based courses or only for distance education.  Your local distance education and/or academic computing office should be able to provide this information.  If your college is using a course management package that is available for your use, set up a development account with the office that administers the software.   If your college cannot provide you with a development account, you can get one on most vendors' sites.  For example, try: 

WebCT:  www.webct.com
Blackboard:  www.blackboard.com
Prometheus:  www.prometheus.com
eCollege:  www.ecollege.com

For those of you using WebCT or BlackBoard, try these getting started tutorials provided by the University of Waterloo http://ist.uwaterloo.ca/~chappell/LT3/WCMS/.


In the Classroom
  • Tools that improve communication (Jennifer Merlic)

If you have discussion software available at your campus, create an assignment for your students requiring them to use the discussion board.  You'll need to come up with a relevant discussion topic, and be sure to make it very focused--if it's too broad, you may find the discussion heading in a direction that takes the students away from your course content.  Give them a timeline for making their own posts, and announce  your own schedule for checking posts--i.e.  every morning by 10:00 a.m., MWF evenings, or whatever works for you.  Stick to the schedule you set for yourself so you can monitor how the discussion is going.  Often times, you'll need to insert posts to keep the momentum going, resolve questions that arise, and steer the discussion in the direction you think will be most productive.  Assign a few points for the assignment--even extra credit points, or you'll probably get poor participation.  Finally, take some time to reflect upon the discussion after it occurs and make some notes about how you'd like to change the assignment next time you teach the course.  Note also that you can save a particularly good discussion and post it as a resource for future classes.  

  • Tools that Increase Student Access to Learning Resources (Jennifer Merlic)

Find your textbook's publisher's website and browse for both your discipline and your particular textbook.  See if you can find supplementary materials that you and your students might find useful.  Try matching the resources you find to your course calendar--you might find a resource to accompany each topic on your course outline. These URL's would be a great addition to the course calendar you provide your students.

Consider creating a homepage where you can post your own resources for your students.  It doesn't have to start out with a wealth of information--even just a page that lists your contact information and syllabus is a very good start.  Remember that your homepage can grow slowly, with you adding content bit by bit as you find resources that you really like.