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ideal - interactive distance education for all learners
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ISSUE 7 - July 2006
BGSU e-Learning News and Updates

IDEAL to present at National Conference

Director of Distance Learning, Connie Molnar, and Instructional Designer, Terence Armentano will be presenting IDEAL's Online Faculty Training Program at the Distance Learning Conference 2006 in Madison Wisconsin. The 3 week training program has been a very effective method of providing BGSU faculty with an authentic online learning experience while guiding faculty in good online teaching pedagogy and exposing them to new and emerging technologies in distance education.
In June, the IDEAL staff hosted a roundtable discussion of distance education opportunities between BGSU staff and business and education leaders from Tanzania, co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Consortium and BGSU's Continuing & Extended Education. Read full article

IDEAL welcomes new staff members
BEKA ROGERS has joined IDEAL as our administrative assistant and is ready to assist you in scheduling appointments and answering questions about faculty services offered by IDEAL at 2-6792 or <>

JEFF GRILLIOT, in his new capacity as Director of Global Initiatives, will work with IDEAL in exploring online training opportunities and degree-completion partnerships with international campuses. Jeff can be reached at 2-8896 or <>


Blackboard Updates
In the newest version of Blackboard version 7.1, several new features will be added the Discussion Board that will change the overall direction of online communication. Read full article

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

Listen to IDEAL's first Audiocast:
BGSU Professor, Dr. Barbara Toth, located in China, talks with IDEAL about collaboration and engagement efforts, via Skype. Use IDEAL's Audio player to listen to IDEAL's first AudioCast.

Skype is a VOIP tool that enables free PC to PC calls anywhere in the world. Skype and other VOIP tools can be an effective asset in the online environment. Terence Armentano, Instructional Designer for IDEAL at BGSU, used Skype to talk with BGSU faculty, Dr. Barbara Toth, for free from China about her collaboration efforts on the development of a writing center. Terence used the free audio recording program, Audacity, to record and save the conversation as an mp3

Experiences Teaching Online
By: Michael Kudela, Instructional Designer for BGSU

I have been an Instructional Designer for a few years, and this summer I was offered the opportunity to teach the 3 week Online Faculty Training Program for IDEAL.Read Full Article

Bring the Discussion Board to Life
Student interaction is one of the main components to building successful online learning environments. Student interaction in an online learning environment can either hinder or increase the success of a student in an online course. Read Full Article

Firefox as an E-Learning Tool:
Internet Explorer is the supported web-browser for Instructors to use for creating courses in Blackboard, however, if you are using Internet Explorer for general web surfing, then you are missing out on a much richer and powerful web browser called Firefox. In a previous e-Learning Newsletter, Terence Armentano, Instructional Designer for IDEAL, wrote about the Firefox web browser and provided a video tutorial on how to use it's built in RSS reader. If you don't know what RSS is, then do a Google search on "RSS" and learn. It's revolutionizing the way we receive and manage information on the internet. Though Internet Explorer is still better for working in Blackboard because that is what they support, Firefox is a better alternative to Internet Explorer for browsing the web in general for many reasons (more options, rss, add-ons, security, etc), and the following article supports that idea in the area of e-learning by explaining how one can use Firefox as an e-learning tool. Read Full Article

IDEAL's 3 week Online Faculty Training Program
THe Next 3 Week ONLINE Faculty Training Program: August 7th - 25th

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 workshop 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 workshop, you will receive an IDEAL Certificate of Training and you will 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 training program or for more information call 419-372-6843, 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 bi-monthly 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