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COBL - Center for Online and Blended Learning
ISSUE 15 - September 2009

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Table of Contents:

Section 1 - News and Updates

Section 2 - The eCorner - Articles, Ideas, and Innovations in ONLINE Teaching and Learning

Section 3 - Training and Development

NOTE: This Newsletter utilizes some of the latest technology - Best viewed with the Firefox web browser and the newest Flash Player

BGSU e-Learning News and Updates

Letter from the Director

Greetings and welcome to the 15th edition of the Center for Online and Blended Learning eLearning newsletter!

Where did the summer go?

Did you know that the summer semester is the most highly enrolled semester for online courses at BGSU? Traditionally, the summer semester has been a time for students to take a break from their educational pursuits. However, more frequently, summer has become an opportunity for our residential students to continue their education while they are away from campus and may accelerate their time to graduation.

Summer online courses continue to serve our full time online students and non-traditional students as well by providing web-based courses year round. This past summer, nearly 5,000 students enrolled in BGSU summer online courses. Typically summer courses fill as soon as they are scheduled and the demand has grown every year since online courses began! This year’s enrollment represents a 15% growth from summer 2008.

The demand for online education continues to build during the academic year as well and the experienced staff of the Center for Online and Blended Learning is available to assist faculty, departments, and colleges in the design and development of online and blended programs.

We hope you will visit us this semester in our new location in 104 University Hall and we look forward to working with you in the development of online and blended courses and programs.

Questions? Information needed? How to get started?
Contact: Connie Molnar, Director, Center for Online and Blended Learning; 419-372-6792

COBL and AT Offices Have Moved to University Hall

The Center for Online and Blended Learning (COBL) has moved! We are now located on the first floor of University Hall in Room 104. In addition to our office space in University Hall 104, the Center for Online and Blended Learning shares a learning lab and meeting facilities with Academic Technology (AT), also newly located in University Hall Room 112. Please contact us by phone at 419.372.6792 or by email at to schedule an appointment in our new location!

Vice Chancellor Visits BGSU

The Office of Academic Technology and The Center for Online and Blended Learning hosted a visit by Dr. Barbara Gellman-Danley, Ohio Board of Regents (OBOR) vice chancellor for academic affairs and systems integration on July 22nd. Dr. Gellman-Danley and two of her staff, Stephanie Davidson, associate vice chancellor for program development and approval, and Thomas Bordenkircher, associate vice chancellor for academic quality and assurance, met with President Cartwright and various campus leaders to discuss the expansion of distance education initiatives and the innovative use of technologies in teaching and learning.

During her visit, Dr. Gellman-Danley stressed that distance education contributes to the University System of Ohio's strategic plan by providing access to a quality education for students who cannot easily travel to a campus to attend classes due to a job or life circumstances.

Dr. Gellman-Danley highlighted the new opportunities available for educational access through the growth of online course and programs and emphasized Chancellor Fingerhut's expectation that campuses will utilize technologies to respond to the needs of students.

Both Dr. Bruce Edwards, Vice-Provost for Academic Technologies and Connie Molnar, Director of the Center for Online and Blended Learning, have been appointed to the Ohio Strategic Planning Committee which the chancellor calls "The BIG Idea Group" and Dr. Edwards has been selected to co-chair a sub-group of the committee on "Professional Learning, Assessment and Quality Assurance." The committee is charged with creating a strategic plan and set of recommendations for the growth of distance education across the state of Ohio.

Quality Matters Fall Seminar and Training Dates

Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components. Sponsored by MarylandOnline, Inc, Quality Matters has generated widespread interest and received national recognition for its peer-based approach to quality assurance and continuous improvement in online education. BGSU, through efforts of the Center for Online and Blended Learning, is a founding partner of a state wide consortium of 35 institutions who are implementing Quality Matters for the state of Ohio.

Quality Matters Informational Seminars Offered
October 29, 2009 - 11:30-1:00
- University Hall 112

The Center for Online and Blended Learning will be hosting informational seminars about Quality Matters™ during the fall semester. The seminar, “Introduction to Quality Matters at BGSU” will be presented by Connie Molnar, Director of the Center for Online and Blended Learning, and Julie Matuga, Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Development. The seminar will provide an overview of Quality Matters as well as information on how your department can get involved in obtaining Quality Matters recognition for online courses and programs and in how faculty can become Quality Matters national peer reviewers for online courses.
Seating is limited; early registration is recommended. Contact the Center for Online and Blended Learning at or 419.372.6792 to register.

BGSU Quality Matters Peer Evaluation Training
October 13, 2009 - 9am-4pm

The next Quality Matters Peer Evaluation Training is scheduled for October 13th, 2009. This all day training consists of learning about the usage and implementation of the Quality Matters rubric, a rigorous set of criteria based on current standards and best practices in the design and development of an online course. Faculty who complete the training can opt to take a certification exam and become national Quality Matters online course peer reviewers. This is an excellent professional development activity for faculty who teach online or who want to teach online. Seating is limited in this training to 10 BGSU faculty (additional seats are reserved for faculty from other participating institutions). The training will run from 9-4 and includes lunch. Contact the Center for Online and Blended Learning at or 419.372.6792 to register.

Fall Presentations: Building Online Programs
Look for dates to be announced soon !


Online 101: Building a High Quality Online Curriculum
Introduction for chairs, directors, and interested administrators to the technological and pedagogical building blocks for designing and delivering sound, successful online and blended programs.

Carpe Diem: How to Migrate and Create Programs for Online/Blended Delivery
How to negotiate the BGSU processes and protocols, OBOR standards, staffing, funding, and marketing options for migrating existing face-to-face curriculum or creating a new curriculum for online/blended delivery.

COBL's Assistant Director Presents at Conference
Leveraging Open Source to Create a Web 2.0 Learning Landscape

The Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning in Madison, WIisconsin is recognized internationally for the quality and integrity of its program. Each year the conference provides an exchange of current resources, research, and best practices from around the world that are relevant to the design and delivery of distance education/training. Terence Armentano, assistant director for COBL, gave a 45 minute presentation on how he leveraged open source technologies to create BLOGS.BGSU.EDU, a web 2.0 learning landscape at BGSU. His presentation focused on web 2.0 technologies in higher education, the importance of an open source platform, and the creativity that can be unlocked when a community is empowered to create blogs, micro-blogs, podcasts, portfolios, websites, and more.

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Do you want to teach online but don't know how to get started?
Contact Connie Molnar, COBL Director at or 419.372.6792 for assistance.

Articles, Ideas, and Innovations in online teaching and learning

Bb Tips for a User-Friendly Online Course
Working with the Assessment Tool

by: Michael Kudela
Instructional Designer- COBL, BGSU

It is the start of a new fall semester and everyone is getting back in gear. So, now that you are settling back in, I would like to take some time and cover a few ideas that will help make your semester run a bit smoother.

Many faculty are starting to go online with their tests and quizzes. They like the idea that the Blackboard Assessment Tool provides multiple options such as random questions from a question bank, time limits, and date restrictions. If you are thinking about using the assessment features in Blackboard, it is a good idea to prepare an Example Quiz.

Click to Read More

BLOGS.BGSU a Digital and Educational Revolution at BGSU

by: Terence Armentano
Assistant Director - COBL, BGSU

There is a lot more than meets the eye to BLOGS.BGSU.EDU, the homegrown blogging platform developed by COBL's Assistant Director, Terence Armentano. Blogs and microblogs such as Twitter have taken the world by storm. Why? Because they blast open the floodgates of communication. They give everyone a voice and anyone with an internet or even a mobile phone connection can listen in and talk back. Upon closer inspection of BLOGS.BGSU, one will notice it is not just about new technology, it's about a movement, a change in thinking, a paradigm shift, a leveling of the proverbial playing field. It's about what happens to a university when everyone has a voice. For the first time in history, we can leverage the collective intelligence of the university to potentially solve greater and more complex problems in the world. Think about the following scenario: Everyone at the university has unique life experiences and varying degrees of expertise in life.

Click to Read More

Top Teaching Tools for Online Courses

by: Carolyn Kraut
Instructional Designer- COBL, BGSU

It's easy to get caught up in all the bells and whistles that encompass emerging technology. I'll be the first to admit that when I first hear about a new tool, I spend a lot of time exploring what it can do. That's not always a bad thing, as long as I remember the task at hand... HOW CAN THIS BE USED IN AN ONLINE COURSE? But more importantly... IS THERE A NEED FOR IT TO SUPPORT LEARNING OUTCOMES

Click to Read More


by: Dr Bruce L. Edwards
Associate Vice Provost for Academic Technology

Put simply: Online learning is alive and well at BGSU! BGSU has witnessed steady, healthy growth in online and blended enrollments and expansion in program development over the past decade, and especially over the past three years. This follows national and state trends, and speaks of both our continuing student demand (both nontraditional and residential), and the maturity and quality of our delivery systems. BGSU in a short time has become a state leader in the delivery of online and blended coursework.

Click to Read More

Sign up Today for Fall Sessions!


What BGSU faculty are saying:

  • “All of it was valuable.  Perhaps most useful was seeing what could be done, the detailed instructions, and being in a position of being forced to complete assignments........seeing it through the eyes of the student.”

  • “Overall, I found this extremely valuable and will recommend it to colleagues.”

An online course is much more than a repository of information. It is an interactive, collaborative, and informative method of instruction. What better way to learn how to teach effectively online than to experience it from the student's point of view. Join your colleagues in learning how to harness the power of online instruction by participating in two courses offered completely online via Blackboard and facilitated by a distance learning specialist. Just like most distance courses, these courses work around your schedule rather than vice versa. After completing both courses, you will receive a COBL Certificate of Training and join the ranks of other leaders in e-Learning at BGSU as a member of the BGSU e-Learning Colloquium.

Click Here to learn more and enroll in the COBL Online Faculty Training Courses or for more information call 419-372-6792, or e-mail

NOTE: These courses are most beneficial for instructors somewhat new to facilitation and course design in the online environment.

The Distance Learning newsletter is published by COBL (the Center for Online and Blended Learning) to provide faculty with current news and initiatives in online learning at BGSU. Each newsletter will contain online pedagogy articles, training and workshop dates, online teaching tips, online teaching resources, and interviews with BGSU faculty or staff who teach online.

"BGSU is accredited from the North Central Association for its distance learning programs at BGSU and has also been granted the "Best Practices in Student Services" designation by the Ohio Learning Network."

Issue 15