Tips and Practices for Creating Effective Online Learning Experiences

office-272813_1280If you have an hour, you will enjoy spending it going through this BB/QMa Conrad presentation on Tips and Best Practices to Create Effective Online Learning Experiences. It’s straightforward and clean, and addresses the following concepts:

  • The Instructional Design Process (Formulate Objectives/Competencies>>Develop Assessment>>Specify Content and Strategies>>Choose Tools)
  • tips on dealing with each
  • the 21st Century Learner skills
  • 10 Core Learning Principles Guiding Design
  • 10 Best Practices of Online Teaching
  • 4 phases of a course

If an hour is too daunting, I have an easy alternative for you, the slideshow presentation.


Any time you have an idea or a question that others might benefit from learning about, shoot me an email and we will make it happen!


Another Safe Source of High Quality Copyright-Free Images



It’s amazing how generous people can be with their creations! Pixabay is a website which hosts and allows you to download high quality images that you can use and reuse any way you want! They don’t even require attribution, although that is always nice to mention. If your students are creating web pages or any other publishable materials, they may want to explore this site. The only caution is that you will also see “sponsored images” – they are clearly marked, have a watermark, and are NOT free, but they already went out of their way to make it very obvious, so there is really no confusing them!

What is Pixabay? Read the FAQ.

And just a nice touch, you can always buy your favorite volunteer photographer a coffee (donate to the site).

I have written about using Google search to find copyright-free images in the past. Remember this blog is filled with invaluable tips, so set aside time to explore it!

Bringing stories home using maps

There has been this trend to map either individual stories or certain events, or works of fiction to bring them to life in geographical terms.

The most obvious ways to use this would be to have students map out stories of their clients, clearly refugees, immigrants, and those who have moved a lot are best suited for this type of product. Alternatively, social services may be mapped in an area in this way as well. Finally, there are already maps that can readily be used in certain courses with a historical perspective.

The American Revolution from Heganoo

100 Years of Unrest

Bringing local awareness: Mapping Gunfire near DC Schools

Bringing international awareness: Mapping the Syrian Civil War

What other ideas may you have for your online and on-campus courses?

How to replace a file in Blackboard

This week it’s an easy tip for those who often update their forms or other files in Blackboard.

The first impulse is to go and edit the item/page and upload a file and link it. As a result, you will end up with two files in the file structure, the old one and the new one (however, if you keep the title the same it’s possible to overwrite the file on the upload). In addition, if another instance of linking to the same file exists, you will have to replace it as well (unless you overwrite it on the upload). Also, there may be a remainder of the old link next to the new one.

Do I have an easy solution for you! Instead, don’t edit the item/page in Blackboard, just go ahead and overwrite the file as shown in this silent, but eloquent nonetheless!, tutorial below.

As usual, you are most welcome with followup and questions as well as ideas! Just shoot us an email.

Overwrite a file in Blackboard