Earth Science online instructor's manual

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This is an example of an instructor's manual or "road map" for an online course. It helps the instructor understand what needs to be done each week.

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Earth Science online instructor's manual

  1. 1. Instructor’s Manual for Earth Science Online (16-week version)This document gives you some helpful tips on teaching this course. It includes things toprepare before each week opens, items you might want to update as well as whichassignments each week will need qualitative, personalized feedback.Consider adding: Twitter feed, Facebook group page, a Toodleo list for those withSmartPhones.A word on announcements: I use YouTube to create unlisted weekly videoannouncements, using the built-in recorder. I’ve left my Preview Week and Week 1 blogsin the announcements as an example. Please recreate these for your own class. Here arelinks that explain how to do this: • Use Your Webcam to Record Directly Into YouTube (No Upload Needed) • How to Upload an Unlisted Video to YouTube • FAQs about Uploading Videos to YouTubePreview Week (opens 1 week before official start date of course): 1. Re-date all folder weeks to correspond with current schedule. 2. Create your own Voki to replace mine. Go to http://www.voki.com/Voki_for_education.php to create your Voki. Replace the current Voki on the last slide. 3. Post a “preview week” announcement telling folks how to get started. Explain how to get help. 4. Make course available. 5. Send out ticklers to any students who have not logged in prior to the course start. 6. Place students in small groups (and rename as you like). Groups should have ~10 students per group. Groups less than 10 tend to lack during small group discussions. Use 2-3 groups at most for a 25 student course. Check that the discussion board for the small groups is functioning and ready for week 1 discussion. 7. Check that the week 1 StudyMate is functioning and ready to roll; create a new StudyMate if old items show up & you can’t get rid of them. 8. Consider adding an Ice-Breaker assignment to encourage students to review the Our Class Wiki. This can be added in the Preview Week or in Week 1. 9. Add welcome comments to student pages in the Our Class Wiki to start building community and to get to know your students. 10. Skype is an optional activity; however, you can make it mandatory if you like. I offer my students 5 extra credit points to add me as a Skype contact to encourage them to use it.Week 1: 1. Post Week 1 Blog in morning of class’ official start date.
  2. 2. 2. Send out a reminder mid-week to complete discussion for assignment 1.2/1.2 and 1.5/1.6. The goal is to have students posting throughout the week (2-3 days participation) versus just on one day. 3. Add welcome comments to the Our Class Wiki student pages if you have not already done so. Focus on making connections with students early in the course. 4. Monitor the discussion board, and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. Instructor participation is optional, however. 5. Prepare Week 2 materials. Making the week available for preview one week early is up to you, however, many students do appreciate seeing it early.Week 2: 1. Post Week 2 Blog on Tuesday morning. 2. Prepare individual, personalized feedback on assignment 1.8; this is the big feedback item this week. I use a Word document with comments saved and copy/paste them into the students’ worksheets using the Track Changes feature in Word. It takes a little while to get used to, but it allows you to modify comments to be specific for individual students and gives them a better sense of what they did right/wrong and how to improve if necessary. 3. Provide a summary of the Week 1 discussions. I type mine up and email them to students, making sure to include all major topics discussed and to clarify any questions that remained unanswered for the group. Also, a good way to bring discussions to an end and to remind students that it is a discussion, not just a “post-and-go” area. 4. Prepare Week 3 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. 5. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 6. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion.Week 3: 1. Post weekly blog on Tuesday morning. 2. Detailed, personalized feedback is needed on assignments 2.5 and 2.6. I make screencasts for each student with www.screencastomatic.com, which allows longer than 5-min limits. It also allows for you to record your webcam and follows the mouse automatically. Post links to the screencasts as a comment to the journal entries. Email students when they are available to view. Jing is another screencasting tool you can use. 3. Prepare Week 4 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. Make sure week 4 wikis are ready. Pages should be created and ready for student editing. 4. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 5. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion.Week 4: 1. Post weekly blog on Tuesday morning. 2. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment 3.5.
  3. 3. 3. Prepare Week 5 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. Make sure week 5 cloud blog is ready. 4. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 5. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion.Week 5: 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. Students are clueless as to what to critique on each other’s resource citations; focus on this in your announcement this week. 2. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment 4.1. 3. Check Week 4 wiki pages for accuracy. 4. Prepare Week 6 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. Make sure discussion forums are ready. 5. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 6. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion.Week 6: 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. 2. Detailed feedback is focused on the Global Precipitation worksheet. 3. Check Week 5 cloud blogs for accuracy. 4. Monitor the citations as they are listed to see which students are having trouble. Do not make comments yet. 5. Prepare Week 7 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. Make sure climate wikis are ready. Add discussion to Week 7 if you like. 6. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 7. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion.Week 7 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. 2. Detailed feedback is focused on the Weather Basics worksheet and the Citation Reviews (make sure the reviews are accurate). 3. Katrina worksheet can be “checked off” or graded in more detail. 4. Prepare Week 8 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. Make sure climate wikis are ready. 5. Monitor discussion board (if you add one to Week 7) and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 6. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion.Week 8 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. Discuss Exam 1 in blog (if held in Week 9). Move this note to correct location depending on exam. I use proctored exam for the first exam and an online one for the second exam. You have choice in what you decide to do.
  4. 4. 2. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment 7.8 (freewrite journal). 3. Check climate wiki pages for parts and accuracy. Follow up as needed. 1. Prepare Week 9 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. Add discussion assignment to week 9 if you want. 4. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 5. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion if you added one to Week 7.Week 9 2. Post blog on Tuesday morning. 3. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment 8.6 (project progress report) and birth of a theory worksheet. 4. Prepare Week 10 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. 5. Monitor discussion board (if added) and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 6. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion.Week 10 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. Remind students that first paper draft and the self-analysis are due this week. 2. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment 9.2 (Investigating Volcanic Topo Maps). 3. Prepare Week 11 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. Consider making Assignment 11.4 an auto-grade assignment. 4. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 5. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion (if added to Week 9).Week 11 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. 2. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment 10.3 (Indentifying Mass Wasting Features) and on 10.5 (Final Project Drafts and Self-Analysis). Return feedback for paper drafts as soon as you can, as students need them before Week 12. 3. Prepare Week 12 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. 4. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week.Week 12
  5. 5. 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. Remind students that second paper draft is due this week. 2. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment 11.3 (Investigating Drainage Basin Topo Maps) and on 11.1 (stream patterns journal entry). 3. Prepare Week 13 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. Add discussion assignment to Week 13 if you like, possibly on topic of climate change and glacial ice. 4. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 5. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion.Week 13 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. Tell students when they can expect to receive copies of each other’s papers for the peer-review assignment. 2. Collect second paper drafts and email out to students in the class. Each student should receive reviews from at least two students in the class. Not all students will submit a second draft, try to contact these students as early as possible to get their drafts (if possible). 3. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment 12.5 (Karst Topo Maps). 4. Quickly grade and review the 12.2 Water Quality worksheets. 5. Prepare Week 14 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. 6. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion.Week 14 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. Remind students about upcoming second exam – the earlier the reminders, the better! 2. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment 13.2 (Investigating Glaciers Topo Maps) and on assignment 13.3 (personal journal entries). 3. Prepare Week 15 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. Consider updating assignments 15.2 and 15.3.Week 15 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. Add reminder about second exam. 2. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment 14.2 (Whose Beach?) and assignment 14.4 (Investigating Deserts Topo Maps). 3. Prepare Week 16 materials. Recheck links, assignment features, etc. 4. Prepare/update final course survey in the Week 16 assignments folder as you see fit for your needs. 5. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week.
  6. 6. 6. Prepare second exam, especially if you will be giving an online exam, versus a proctored exam. Online exams need to be from large question banks. Talk to Jennifer if you have questions about online versus proctored exams.Week 16 1. Post blog on Tuesday morning. Add information about second exam. 2. Detailed feedback is focused on assignment the Final Projects (use current or updated rubric in Bb). 3. Check assignment 15.4 (biome wikis) for accuracy. 4. Make sure you’re ready for the remaining exam. 5. Monitor discussion board and be ready to summarize the discussion highlights next week. 6. Monitor the soil wikis to check for accuracy. Post comments as necessary. 7. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion.Finals Week 1. Post blog with exam reminder on Monday morning. 2. Give second (final) exam. 3. Send out a whole-class email with reactions to last week’s small group discussion. 4. Post a closing blog entry to the course when grades are finalized and updated in the Gradebook and final grades have been submitted to the college.

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