Friday, September 23, 2011

Twitter in Moodle

We just added a Twitter feed into our Moodle coursepage for Global Enterprise class, and the students really liked it. It was simple to do. Just go to, and get the code for embedding a specific Twitter account. You can use a professor's personal Twitter account, or a more general one on a specific topic that's appropriate to your class.

Then go into Moodle, and add an HTML box, and paste in the code. It looks really nice, can be color-coordinated with the design of the page, and it is a great resource for students.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fun Announcements

One of my colleagues showed me this website, and it was so much fun, I had to share it! is a shareable bulletin board that allows anyone to put up post-it notes. The website will give you a link that will be your own personal corkboard. You can share the link, or embed it into a website. I did notice that it didn't work well with IE7, but worked perfectly with Firefox.

I linked it into our Moodle LMS, and thought it looked good (see image). I'm thinking of using it to remind students about coming exams, filling out their evaluations, and letting them know about new additions on the coursepage. The students can also create one, and post reminders about the team projects, or just a 'quote of the day' for some social interaction.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Student Suggestions for Online Teams

Recently, we had some of our new graduates talk to our Thunderbird faculty about their experiences with online group projects. They had some interesting comments, and I thought I would share them with you:

  • The ideal virtual team size is 3-5 students (Shorter projects = smaller teams)

  • Give specific guidelines to teams at beginning of class that include responsibilities, grading rubrics, and technology

  • Require teams make initial post early in the week (Wednesday) to make sure discussions aren’t last minute

  • Make the Peer Evaluation worth a significant part of the grade

  • Consider doing a Peer evaluation at the midpoint of the assignment to determine whether everyone is involved.

  • Create a process that will allow a team to ‘fire’ a member that isn’t participating

  • Grade inflation and giving every post 100% does not encourage discussion

  • Consider forming teams by having students select specific topics they are interested in

  • Have more emphasis and training on team building during orientation sessions

Some of these ideas are just common sense, but it's a good checklist for any online group assignments you may considering.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

QR Codes for education

Recently I heard about an interesting technology being used in K12 education. QR Codes are those little black and white squares that can be scanned like a bar code by your smart phone.

There have been some fascinating cases using QR codes and cell phones to increase student retention of material. My favorite was an example of a language professor that typed a list of typical Spanish phrases on a handout, and next to each word she put a QR Code. When the student scanned the code, there was an audio file that said the phrase, making it easy for students to practice the correct pronounciation. Another great example is how QR Codes are being used in art galleries to allow people to scan for more information on an artwork, artist, or even a link to a website.

Take some time to think about how to use it in your classroom or your webpages. I've used it to let students scan contact information directly into their phones during orientation sessions, and for quick links to tutorial videos in training sessions.

Here's an example: