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COBL - Center for Online and Blended Learning
ISSUE 11 - January 2008

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BGSU e-Learning News and Updates


Welcome to the eleventh installment of the BGSU eLearning Newsletter!  IDEAL, BGSU’s Office of Distance Education, has had a busy and productive fall semester and we look forward to the myriad of opportunities for the growth of distance education during the spring semester and beyond!

Did you know that:

Almost 3.5 million U.S. students were taking at least one online course in the fall semester 2006, a 10% increase from the previous year? *

Changing student expectations and technologies continue to drive the demand for alternative course delivery.  Through distance education, BGSU can respond to student needs, expand options for achieving educational goals, utilize the power of current technology to develop interactive, engaging, and pedagogically sound courses, and provide a means to obtaining a BGSU degree or certificate. 

Online options benefit students by providing access and convenience to education to those who cannot… or do not want…to travel to campus for all or part of their coursework.  Online options benefit the institution and support the University System of Ohio Master Plan in that increased availability and access will increase opportunity for educational attainment and expand our student population.

If you are interested in teaching online or have ideas for online courses or programs, we encourage you to contact IDEAL.  IDEAL is a resource to the BGSU community for the leadership, development, and support of distance education.  The IDEAL staff has online instructional design expertise as well as technological and pedagogical experience.  We are strongly committed to helping build high-quality, academically rigorous, interactive, and creative online courses and programs at BGSU.  

We look forward to working with you!


Connie Molnar
Director, IDEAL

Bruce Edwards
Associate Dean, Continuing & Extended Education

*Source:  “Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning”, I. Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, Sloan Consortium and Babson Survey Research Group.

Learning 2.0: IDEAL Faculty Lunch Hour Series

Are you interested in taking your online course to the next level? Then join the staff of IDEAL for the Learning 2.0 Faculty Lunch Hour Series! The series will feature informative and collaborative sessions with opportunities for faculty and staff to learn about current distance education technologies as well as pedagogical and administrative practices. Bring your lunch and interact with colleagues across campus. Seating is limited: contact IDEAL at or 2-6792 to register!

IDEAL Lunch Hour Series Topics – Spring 2008
February 13, 2008
Online Social Networking Opportunities in Education

The term “social network”, an association of people drawn together by common interests, topics, and ideas, was first coined by professor J. A. Barnes in the 1950s, who defined the size of a social network as a group of about 100 to 150 people. With the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, social networking has exploded in our society and online social networks such as MySpace and Facebook abound. In this presentation, participants will learn how Ning, a technology available for creating social networks, was used to develop a social network for online teachers, instructional designers, and others in the field of education.
Location: TBD
Time: 11:30 – 1:00pm

March 27th, 2008
Using the Creative Commons

“Share, reuse, and remix…legally”! The Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. In this presentation, learn how to change copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved." In addition, participants will gain knowledge on how Creative Commons licensed works can be used in online courses and the correct ways to attribute the items used.
Location: BTSU 201A
Time: 11:30 – 1:00pm

April 16th, 2008
Orientation to Distance Education at BGSU

This presentation is designed to provide information and discussion on the development of online and blended courses and programs at BGSU. Topics include:
* What does an online classroom look like? View a demonstration of a current BGSU online course and learn about opportunities for teaching and learning using web-based delivery.
* Where and how do I start? Receive an introduction to IDEAL including checklists for online course and program development at BGSU, an overview of the logistical process of converting a course to an online format, and information about pedagogical and technical support available for faculty.
Location: College Park, Room 2
Time: 11:30-1:00pm

Seating is limited: contact IDEAL at or 2-6792 to register!

IDEAL makes it easier to transition your face to face class to an online class!

New resource available... The IDEAL “Online Course Sample Syllabus” can be used as a template in the design of your online syllabus. The template provides a suggested outline that can help organize course content, student expectations, communication information, and technical information. It can be customized as needed specific to the course content and online delivery. The syllabus can then be easily uploaded into Blackboard as a word document or copied and pasted into the information in one of the course areas.

The Sample Syllabus is available here or on IDEAL’s web site at: (Word Doc) under the “Links to documents needed for the development of an online course” area.

IDEAL Staff Presents at 2008 ODCE Conference
IDEAL staff will be presenting two sessions at the ninth annual Ohio Digital Commons for Education (ODCE) Conference. ODCE, The Convergence of Learning, Libraries and Technology, will be held March 2-4, 2008, in Columbus, Ohio. The conference features presentations, technology demonstrations, and pre-conference workshops in the following areas:

* Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century
* Student Success
* Moving Ohio Forward
* Transforming Technologies

Michael Kudela, instructional designer, will be presenting a workshop on the “Creative Commons: Share Your Work, Keep Your Rights and Learn From Others ”. Connie Molnar, IDEAL director, and Carolyn Matzinger, instructional designer, will be presenting on “The Metamorphosis of Biology 101: Face-to-Face to Online Course Delivery”.

ODCE is a collaborative initiative of the Ohio Learning Network, OhioLINK and the Ohio Supercomputer Center/OSCnet that develops leading-edge education resources, services, and capabilities in Ohio.

In addition to presenting at the conference, IDEAL will have opportunity to attend a keynote presentation by Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut as well as participate in sessions and network with colleagues from across the state, including faculty, librarians, instructional designers, distance learning directors, professional development personnel, campus and college technology coordinators, student support personnel and others interested in technology.

Free Sloan-C workshops for BGSU faculty and staff

As an Ohio Learning Network member institution, BGSU faculty and staff can utilize a few “free” seats to attend Sloan-C online workshops. There are over 20 workshops planned for 2008 and the list of workshops can be viewed here: BGSU has ten free passes and registrants are accepted on a “first come, first serve” basis.

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) helps learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth of their online programs according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines. For more information about the Sloan Consortium, see:

Contact IDEAL at 2-6792 or for registration information if you are interested in participating in one of these online workshops.

School of Communication Studies Roundtable

The Emerging Media Research Cluster of the School of Communication Studies presents "Web-based Teaching Roundtable" on Feb 4, 2008, 10:30 a.m. West Hall 310. Five experienced faculty members of the cluster will share their web-based course teaching experiences with examples and tips on developing and running an effective online course.

Faculty participants include:
Paul Cesarini, Assistant Professor, Department of Visual Communication Technology
Radhika Gajjala, Associate Professor, Department of Interpersonal Communication
Ellen Gorsevski, Assistant Professor, Department of Interpersonal Communication
Louisa Ha, Professor, Department of Telecommunications
Canchu Lin, Assistant Professor, Department of Interpersonal Communication

Please RSVP to Research Cluster Coordinator Dr. Louisa Ha at if you are interested in attending.

IDEAL Staff Update
IDEAL will be losing a good friend and colleague in January. Garrett Whitehead, an instructional designer in IDEAL, will be leaving Bowling Green for a new position at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Garrett has helped faculty at BGSU in developing materials for online course delivery and in converting courses to an online format. In addition, he has provided technical and pedagogical support, assistance in developing and implementing online student evaluations, delivered numerous training workshops and consultations, and has kept the Ohio Learning Network’s OhioLearns catalog (a state-wide catalog of online courses and programs) updated on a semester basis for BGSU.

IDEAL extends their thanks and appreciation to Garrett for his hard work and contributions over the years and we wish him and his family all the best in his new endeavor!

Do you want to teach online but don't know how to get started?
Contact Connie Molnar, IDEAL Director at or 419.372.7900 for assistance.

Articles, Ideas, and Innovations in online teaching and learning

IDEAL Podcast #3 - Interview with Amanda McGuire Rzicznek
by: Terence Armentano
Assistant Director - IDEAL, BGSU

Listen to this lively and informative 13 minute interview with Amanda McGuire Rzicznek, a BGSU English Instructor and Terence Armentano, IDEAL's Assistant Director. Amanda and Terence discuss preparation in building an online course, interaction with students online, and offer tips for getting started.

Click the play button to listen.

Subscribe to the IDEAL Podcast Feed (What is a Feed?)
- View our IDEAL Podcast Page
Subscribe with Feedburner

Creative Commons: Some Rights Reserved
by: Michael Kudela
Instructional Designer - IDEAL, BGSU

The Creative Commons is an organization interested in the idea of sharing user created content, without giving up all rights associated with that content. Creative Commons Licenses allow creators to keep their copyright but allow other users to copy and distribute the work, provided they give the creator the credit. All Creative Commons licenses require attribution. This means that others may share your work so long as they credit the original author.

Creative Commons licenses give you the ability to dictate how others may exercise your copyright rights—such as the right of others to copy your work, make derivative works or adaptations of your work, to distribute your work and/or make money from your work. They do not give you the ability to restrict anything that is otherwise permitted by exceptions or limitations to copyright—including, importantly, fair use or fair dealing—nor do they give you the ability to control anything that is not protected by copyright law, such as facts and ideas. Creative Commons licenses attach to the work and authorize everyone who comes in contact with the work to use it consistent with the license. (Read More)

Bb Tips for a User-Friendly Online Course
Organizing Course Areas: Part 3 - Discussion Boards

by: Carolyn Matzinger
Instructional Designer - IDEAL, BGSU

So far in this series, I have shown you a few ways to simplify your Blackboard classroom, by stripping down the course menu, merging similar content areas, and transforming content into easy to read modules. If you've ever used the discussion board, you might find this article useful. Since a bulk of student interaction and learning takes place in the discussion board, it's important to pay attention to how the forums are set up. In this article, I will show you how to organize your discussion board to maximize usability and interaction. (Read More)

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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 for 3 weeks in learning how to harness the power of online instruction by participating in a completely online course via Blackboard and facilitated by a distance learning specialist. Just like most distance courses, this course works around your schedule rather than vice versa. After completing this course, you will receive an IDEAL 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 Online Faculty Training Course or for more information call 419-372-6792, or e-mail

NOTE: This course is most beneficial for instructors somewhat new to facilitation and course design in the online environment.

The Distance Learning newsletter is published by IDEAL (Interactive Distance Education for All Learners) 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