Author: Abi Johnson

What is Gamification?

We know that there are benefits to harnessing certain elements of games in learning, and we know that there are more and less ideal ways to implement games in the classroom. We also know that there are two common terms for this implementation: gamifying and gameful learning. So, what’s the difference between the two? Deterding, Dixon, Khaled, and Nacke attempted… Read more →

Gamifying/Gameful Learning: Do’s and Don’ts

Gamifying learning and its young, hip child gameful learning are interesting ideas, often executed poorly. We know that the point of including game-like elements (or games themselves) in the classroom is a way to increase motivation and utilize implicit learning skills. What are the basic do’s and don’ts of incorporating these ideas? Do: Use games the way you would assigned… Read more →

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TechSmith Relay Upgrade – Integration, Quizzing, and Analytics, Oh My!

The upgraded TechSmith Relay carries with it a slew of new features, as well as performance improvements on the features you were accustomed to! Some of the features we’re most excited about are Blackboard integration, quizzing, and analytics. For beginners, start by watching the video, “TechSmith Relay in 1 Minute,” then return here to dive in. TechSmith Relay is now integrated… Read more →

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Help Your Students Develop Personal Responsibility – with Tools You Already Use

The ability for students to benchmark their performance against that of their peers can lead to greater self-awareness, increased effort, and personal achievement. A Blackboard Blog post highlights the use of a tool developed by the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The tool, called Check My Activity, is intended to encourage students’ personal responsibility for learning by allowing them to… Read more →

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Captions as Universal Design

Increasingly, studies are being released that suggest that video captions help more than just D/deaf or hard of hearing students.* I recently watched a webinar on the “e-accessibility” movement at the University of Cincinnati that focused heavily on captioning and made captions the first step to a universal design environment for students. So how can captions help all types of… Read more →

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On UC Berkeley and Accessibility Solutions

In September 2016, UC Berkeley made news for considering taking down their free MOOCs rather than making them accessible.  The full Department of Justice letter cites Berkeley for inaccessible links, videos without captions, lack of alternate text on images and visuals, poor formatting of documents, and using inaccessible websites. UC Berkeley responded with a statement of their own, claiming that… Read more →

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Blackboard Discussion Boards

Blackboard’s Discussion Boards are a great place to build community among your students and to mimic face-to-face classroom discussion in hybrid or online courses. The asynchronous nature of online discussions allows students to reflect on their responses before posting them and can help more reserved students feel comfortable participating. A Forum is a site where instructors and students can hold… Read more →

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Accessibility Checklist – Start Here!

Text and Textbooks/Readings Is your adopted textbook available in a digital format? Is your course pack available digitally, or have you informed your students which books you took chapters from and the original page numbers? Are your syllabus, journal articles and other text content arranged in one-column formats, and saved as Word documents or accessible PDFs? Are you using 12… Read more →

Vista Higher Learning & Blackboard Integration Guide

Why? This guide will show you how to link your Vista Higher Learning course Supersite with your Blackboard course. This allows your rosters to stay in sync and allows students to easily access their Supersite assignments through the Blackboard course. Not only does this method contribute to students’ feeling of consistency across their courses but it also helps ensure that… Read more →

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Online Accessibility Basics

When most people think of accessibility, they might think of something like a wheelchair-accessible bathroom stall, or a ramp instead of stairs. When we talk about online or web accessibility, we have other considerations to keep in mind: tasks which one user might take as second nature are very difficult or impossible for another user. The best way to accommodate… Read more →