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ideal - interactive distance education for all learners
ISSUE 4 - Sept/Oct 2005

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The Distance Learning newsletter is published 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.

Distance Learning, Online Learning, and e-Learning are used interchangeably in this Newsletter.

BGSU e-Learning News and Updates
"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."

  • BGSU IDEAL coordinates national collaborative project to aid Hurricane Katrina students.
    Funded by the Sloan Foundation, and in cooperation with the Sloan Consortium, the Southern Regional Education Board, the Ohio Board of Regents, and the BGSU Trustees, a project is underway to allow institutions to offer free online courses to students impacted by the hurricane. Click here to find out more about this project.

  • BGSU launches new portal. The New MyBGSU is a secure Intranet - Enterprise Portal environment that will enhance campus communications and integrate multiple administrative systems into one centralized environment. All applications and communications will take place in a secure environment, accessible by authorized audiences only. Click here for more information about the new MyBGSU.

  • Distance Learning Blog launch. IDEAL will soon be launching “BG Blocks” a “blog” for faculty who are teaching online or who have an interest in teaching online. What is a blog? The term “blog” comes from the words “web” and “log”: (web + log) – we = BLOG. A common definition of a blog is a frequently updated website with multiple contributors, consisting of dated entries arranged in reverse chronological order with the most recent entry appearing first. IDEAL’s blog is being created as an online community for faculty to exchange experiences, provide tips and support, and share ideas with other faculty. “BG Blocks” will be launched later this month. Watch the IDEAL web site ( for information.

  • BGSU Distance Learning Lunch Hour series. IDEAL will be hosting a brown bag lunch series devoted to distance learning and online education themes starting in October, 2005. For a list of session topics, click here. Soft drinks and dessert will be provided. Bring your lunch and learn about current distance learning initiatives in a relaxed, interactive environment. These sessions are free but registration is required. Contact Debbie Milligan at or 419.372.6792 to register.

  • Ohio Learning Network Presentation:
    Assessment and Student Engagement in an Online Environment
    Including an introduction to CourseCheck, a self-assessment tool for faculty teaching online
    In the last decade, new and emerging methods for delivering educational content have evolved. Distance Education; that is, education designed for delivery where students and instructors are not in the same location, is one of the fastest growing areas of “non-traditional” education. Trends driving this delivery method include changing student demographics, work place demands for education, and on

  • 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.

IDEAL's e-Learning Instructor Training Programs
ONLINE Faculty Training Program- Oct. 3rd-21st On-Site Blackboard training seminars

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.

Next training workshop- October 3rd- 21st:
Click here
to learn more and enroll in the online training program or for more information call 419-372-6843, or e-mail

Online education, once considered a fad reserved for the innovators and early adopters of changing educational philosophies, has matured resulting in an increase in the number of instructors interested in creating web-enhanced or complete online courses. Join fellow instructors by enrolling now in one or all of the 2-hour face-to-face online course-development training seminars offered by IDEAL here at BGSU. A distance learning specialist will be on hand at each of the training seminars to not only facilitate the seminars but also to answer any lingering questions you may have regarding online education.

Click here to view face-to-face training seminars and schedule for online course design.

e-Learning Teaching Strategies

An e-Learning instructional design checklist:

  • Does your module immediately capture the student's attention? (use of video, audio, game, quote)
  • Does your module explain its relevance to the learners? Does it answer the student's question, "What's in it for me?"
  • Are learning objectives presented near the beginning of each module?
  • Are learning objectives specific and observable?
  • Is the presentation of content made interesting with a variety of media?
  • Does the module provide a variety of interactive exercises beyond simple multiple-choice questions? (discussion questions, journal, live chat, etc)
  • Are the learners given the opportunity for frequent practice?
  • Is feedback on practice immediate and specific?
  • Does the module include a post-test or other final assessment?

For more assistance with the instructional design aspects of your online course, contact Debbie at IDEAL - 372-6792

Top 10 reasons to create an online course for your department

10. Online learning promotes BGSU's mission to support diversity, global understanding, and cultural competency. Imagine the discussion and dynamics of your online class with students living in Kenya, Russia, China, The US, The Middle East, and other countries.

9. Actively engage external communities with your courses.

8. Re-connect with Alumni eager to continue their education ONLINE at BGSU. A few other schools think that is a pretty good idea.
" Yale, Oxford, Princeton and Stanford universities are each providing $3 million to launch a "distance learning" venture to provide on-line courses in the arts and sciences to their combined 500,000 alumni. ." - From the Yale Bulletin & Calendar. Vol. 25, Number 5 - Oct. 6th, 2000

7. Investing time in e-Learning development includes benefits such as:
The ability to re-use content---electronic materials created for one course could be used within another.
     - Easily collaborate and develop resources with instructors who are developing similar courses.

6. Take a proactive role in the Information Age and become a leader in e-Learning pedagogy.
Discover new forms of teaching that were once thought impossible.
      - Effectively target different learning styles and increase student retention.

5. E-learning is the real deal! Observe a few other schools that think so:
       - Duke University - M.B.A.
       - California State University -  B.A. Sociology, B.S. Nursing
       - Purdue and Stanford University - M.S. in Engineering
       - Syracuse University - M.B.A.
       - Tulane University -  M.S. in Public Health
       - University of Southern California (USC) - M.A. Gerontology
       - And thousands more around the world!

4. Development stipends may be available for high priority distance courses.

3. Take advantage of the numerous resources and training opportunities that IDEAL offers to assist you and your department in offering online courses and degrees.

2. The "Time" factor for both teachers and students! Instructors and students are very busy people, so having the ability to teach and learn from anywhere at anytime is a great academic benefit. Imagine an African Studies teacher teaching from Africa. In addition, students benefit by engaging the course material at their optimal time of day, thus increasing motivation and giving them a sense ownership over their learning.

1. Extend an authentic BGSU education to people who are unable to attend the physical campus for reasons such as family responsibilities, full time jobs, disabilities, geographic location, business, and other life circumstances.

Get started today! Click Here to learn how to get your course online!
Issue 15