Online Learning Resources
Distance Learning is a planned learning or teaching experience that frees participants from having to be in a fixed location (e.g. a physical classroom) or a fixed time.
On these pages I have assembled Distance/Online Learning resources that may be of use to DePaul University students, staff and faculty. We attempt to use online learning extensively in the Driehaus College of Business. There are three types of online classes you are likely to encounter:
- Online: A course in which 100 percent of the regularly scheduled classroom time is replaced by online activities. The final exam or student project/presentations may take place entirely online, on campus, or at a proctored location. Your syllabus will indicate which options apply.
- Hybrid: A course in which 50 percent of the regularly scheduled classroom time is replaced consistently by online activities. The face-to-face meetings typically occurring weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. The eleventh week is either the final exam or student project/presentations. Schedule is adjusted for summer classes.
- Web-enhanced: A course in which some of the regularly scheduled classroom time is extended with online activities.
In the Driehaus College of Business, online, hybrid and Web-enhanced classes are delivered through our Learning Management System (LMS), which from 2000 to 2010 was Blackboard, but is now Desire2Learn. Once a student registers for their course and the quarter begins, they are able to login to the LMS and view all of their course materials.
Most fully-online courses are taught in an asynchronous fashion. Asynchronous means that the students do not have to be online at a specific time. Students can progress through weekly content at their own pace. However, there may be weekly deadlines and assignments to complete.
The technology requirements for online learning courses are:
- Frequent access to a computer that connects to the Internet.
- A working e-mail account that is checked regularly (and that is updated in Campus Connection).
- Access to a software suite such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point). If a student does not have access to Office, they can download a free, open source alternative such as Open Office http://www.openoffice.org that provides the same basic functionality.
- The ability to view video files, either in a streaming (Flash) or downloadable (QuickTime, iTunes. 3GP) format.
- Administrator access to a computer to install software (if required).
The syllabus will specify the exact requirements for a particular course.
Resources For Students
Resources For Staff and Faculty
Business Technology Center (BTC)
The Business Technology Center (BTC) collaborates with Information Services to implement University-wide initiatives within the Driehaus College of Business. The BTC provides faculty and staff with resources to meet technology needs.
Also known as IS. Responsible for the university’s hardware, software, network infrastructure and telecommunications systems. This short video provides a short overview of classroom technology:
Faculty Instructional Technology Services (FITS)
FITS (previously IDD) collaborates with faculty from all schools and colleges to design, develop, and implement effective instruction. FITS Consultants provide specialized support to each of DePaul’s schools. FITS has a blog which can be found at iddresources.org
FITS has a dedicated consultant to the Driehaus College of Business (Josh Lund ) who has an office on the 12th floor of the Lewis Center. His contact information is:
Driehaus College of Business Video Projects
The Driehaus College of Business has a dedicated video producer (Theophilus Jamal) who collaborates with faculty to create educational video resources. His contact information is:
Recommended Tools and Technologies
Each month, I promote informal, internal presentations focusing on educational technology and best practices for online and hybrid/blended learning. More information and the option to RSVP can be found on the Technology Tuesdays page.
Our Learning Management System (LMS) is Desire2Learn. There are multiple overlapping ways in which faculty obtain D2L training:
- Videos and handouts. FITS and Teaching Commons have collaborated to create a series of extensive videos and handout at: http://teachingcommons.depaul.edu/Technology/D2L/index.html
- Workshops. FITS schedules a series of dedicated D2L workshops. You can sign up of these at http://fits.depaul.edu/workshops/Pages/default.aspx
- Driehaus College of Business “Desire2Learn for the Busy Professor” sessions. Offered four times a year. RSVP via the Technology Tuesdays webpage.
- D2L Community. You can create an account at https://community.desire2learn.com and read D2L’s online documentation and tutorials.
iTunes U is one of the methods we use to distribute downloadable video. Certain of our Business faculty have used this tool to create introductory videos :
For Business course we have found that students prefer to be able to watch and/or download short video lectures (ideally no longer than 15 minutes in length). We either film in dedicated facilities, or faculty can use tools like Panopto (PC, Mac, iOS and Android), Camtasia (PC and Mac) or ScreenFlow (Mac only) to create their own video. Streaming video is hosted through Panopto (replacing Ooyala) here at DePaul. Panopto is a web-based tool that allows you to record, host, and share audio and video files. It is fully integrated with D2L. Both instructors and students have full access to Panopto.
Instructions on adding Panopto to a D2L course and embedding video s have been shared through DePaul’s Teaching Commons .
DePaul has a long history of videoconferencing (pre-1999). The university has equipped several dedicated room and has portable units. Our preferred system is Polycom these units work via IP (free calls over the Internet) or leased lines (calls have a per-minute cost). The university has invested in high-definition (DVD quality) units at several of our campuses. DePaul is part of Internet2 (http://www.internet2.edu ). This infrastructure provides a guaranteed connection to other institutions on Internet2.
Our LMS is supplemented by Blackboard Collaborate (known as Online Classrooms at DePaul).Online Classrooms are a synchronous learning/webinar tool (video, audio, whiteboard, shared screen), which allows faculty and students to interact from anywhere with an Internet connection. Communication scales down to 56K modem use (and telephone). Online Classrooms are integrated into Desire2Learn.
Secure Online Testing
RPNow is used to secure online exams. Meet with James Moore for more information.