Maryland Distance Learning Association

Breakout Session Descriptions

сумасшествие вокруг марихуаны киномюзикл 2005 MDLA Spring Conference Session 1

Debbie Ezell
Adam Fantom
Richard Smith
Harford Community College

Design Fail? Learning Environment Modeling (LEM) Can Help!

We’ve all been inspired at some point to completely overhaul our course design in order to improve student outcomes. Why then does intent sometimes fail to take flight?  What happens if the objective is not achieved?  We’ll show you how to efficiently navigate each twist and turn along the course redesign and/or refresh process using a set of tools and techniques to transform the student learning experience.

Mike Stein
Howard Community College

Choose Your Own Adventure with Google Forms


In this session led by instructional designer and Google Certified Trainer Mike Stein, participants will learn how to create scenario-based Google Forms that allow students to choose their own adventure in order to complete a story or case-study. Google Forms branching capability allows creators to send users to different sections of the form based on certain input by the user. Participants will be asked to think about a specific lesson that lends itself to using a scenario and will be led through the development of a flow-chart for organization during the first half of the session. After completing a working flow-chart of their scenario, participants will be walked through the process of translating their flow-chart to a Google Form. Finally, participants will be instructed how to share Google Forms and participants will be encouraged to test out each other “choose your own adventure” scenarios and give and receive feedback on their work. Why "Choose Your Own Adventure"? Learners learn best when they have a safe environment to make mistakes and receive immediate feedback. Google Forms' branching capability will allow faculty to create their own scenarios and anticipate common mistakes that learners make and show them the results of those mistakes without fear of punitive measures. Learners are allowed to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes and in fact are encouraged to explore all options in order to see the consequences. Choose your own adventure stories and scenarios can be used across all disciplines, but are especially relevant for those in Health Sciences, History, and other disciplines that already use case-studies. Join Mike Stein in this hands-on interactive session to learn how to engage your students online!

Sarah Felber
University of Maryland University College

Fantastic Feedback, Less Stress

The feedback students get on their work is key to their learning, but feedback in an online environment can cause a great deal of stress for both faculty and students. For faculty, there are concerns about the time it takes to communicate effectively with students at a distance. In addition, there is the physical stress of typing extensive comments on assignments. Students may be overwhelmed by receiving papers full of corrections, and feel discouraged by a perceived tone of disapproval from their professors. Conversely, assignments returned with vague or sparse feedback can leave students feeling bewildered. In this presentation, I will cover written and audio feedback strategies that faculty can implement to reduce the stress of giving and receiving feedback in an online setting. Supported by both research and personal experience, these feedback strategies include ways to make feedback easier for faculty to provide, less intimidating for students, and more conducive to learning and improvement. While the presentation will focus on providing feedback to writing assignments, it can be adapted for use with a wide variety of assignment types. Specific tools demonstrated will include the autocorrect feature of Microsoft Word and the Loom Chrome extension.

Michael Mills
Montgomery College
David Buck
Howard Community College

Implementing OER Together: A Collaborative Approach

Montgomery College and Howard Community College have each embarked on aggressive campaigns to reduce the cost of education to their students while at the same time maintaining high levels of academic quality.  Their recent collaboration has produced a professional community around the adoption and implementation of OER. Montgomery College has saved its students more than $1 million through its MC Open initiative, offering more 330 Z-course sections to approximately 6,000 students each semester.  In the fall of 2017, HowardOpen supported over 22 faculty who employed OER in their courses, saving approximately 2,200 students over $300,000. An additional 35 faculty have indicated potential OER usage, which would impact approximately 3,600 students, saving them close to $997,000.  In this joint presentation, participants will hear how both schools have focused on student success, professional development, and barriers to success.  In addition, participants will learn about national outreach efforts by the presenters using a Twitter chat and an upcoming OER podcast.

John Bone
Allegany College of Maryland

Flex Courses - Students Choose How They Attend Class - Multiple Modalities

No longer are students locked into a specific delivery mode, face-to-face or online. Students choose how they attend, face-to-face, online (synchronous or asynchronous), or a combination. Highlights and challenges of development/delivery of a Computer Literacy course shared. Flex course delivery could be a solution to low-enrollment courses. A PowerPoint will be shared with an overview of the course development, and implementation processes along with data from the multiple modalities delivery compared traditional face-to-face courses in the form of student outcomes as final grades. Challenges of course development and implementation will be discussed. Additionally, administrative decisions that lead to the development of the flex course will be shared. Audience participation will be encouraged by an audience response system, either clickers or cell phone application participation in the form of outcomes of the course, research of the multiple modalities concept, and the student survey responses.

sion 2

Sandra Long

Creating Engaging Content with Storytelling and Scenarios

Creating Engaging Content with Storytelling and Scenarios is a two-part presentation. In the first half, I will demonstrate how UMUC has used scenario-based projects to engage students. I will also cover some storytelling and narrative techniques that can help make almost any educational content more engaging. I will show some sample scenarios that have been used in actual courses (text-based scenarios, branching scenarios, and video). I will also discuss which types of assignments work best with these approaches. As part of the presentation, we will look at different techniques and software that can be used to create scenarios, including free products like Google Slides and Twine, as well as some paid options. We’ll also discuss sourcing images and art to help content come alive. The second part of this presentation will allow each participant to workshop an assignment from his or her own course. Each participant will take a few minutes to independently (or in small groups) draft some ideas for turning an existing assignment in his or her course into a scenario that makes use of storytelling techniques. Each participant will then be able to share his or her work with the group and get feedback on how to further develop or refine the concept.  Participants do not need to bring a laptop or tablet to the session, but it may help them to more quickly draft some preliminary thoughts on creating their own scenarios.

Ruddhi Wadadekar
University of Maryland

Technology and Tools for Online Teaching

I would like to demonstrate two tools that can be used for online teaching. Screencastify and Voicethread. Screencastify is a screen sharing recorder, which can be embedded as a video and Voicethread is a tool where students and instructors can upload photos, PowerPoint and submit audio/video comments


Wendy Torres
Coppin State University

Innovate with Accessibility in Mind

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about "11 percent of the Higher Education students in the United States have some kind of disability. " In addition, the center found that out of that 11% of the population, 60% to 80% of disabled students in Higher Education never disclose their disabilities to their professors /administrators. That is a significant portion of the population. Creating an accessible information technology environment ensures that all the content is available to everyone and therefore, non-disabled students can also benefit from its use. Participants in this session will define what accessibility means, learn what the law says about accessibility, and will identify key accessibility components for documents. Participants will learn how to start building their courses with accessibility as a forethought as opposed to an afterthought. If faculty members create accessible content from the onset of their course creation, they eliminate a lot of the barriers that prevent disabled students from fully participating in a course. Best practices for online course development and creating accessible course content will be discussed.

Francine Toliver Edwards
Delaware State University
Tonya Brown
Baltimore City Community College

Educating Digital Natives: The Challenges of Educating a Connected Generation in an Online Environment

While most K12 through college students have a level of familiarity with technology most students are not fully taking advantage of technology to supplement their education. Further, educators who do embrace technology do so from a perspective that demonstrates a belief in device agnosticism and a similar belief about the user. Engaging digital learnings has to be grounded in more than just the inclusion of technology in the classroom. It involves educating students on how to adopt technology that will meet their educational needs and making the necessary adaptions to enhance learning. Participants attending this session will maximize their interactive experience by bringing a laptop and should create accounts on and

Dr. Bannan
Breakout Session Info to be Determined

Session 3

Edward Schelb
Prince George's Community College

Keep Calm and Carry On:  Quickly Convert a Face-to-face Course to Online Format

There are a number of reasons why an instructor might need to convert their face-to-face course to online without a lot of lead time.  This can include a last-minute change in delivery format, campus closure due to weather, or another type of unplanned event.  To avoid a severe disruption to learning and to support faculty who may need to convert their classroom-based courses quickly, the Teaching and Learning Technologies unit decided to create a solution to support faculty’s G.O. (Go Online) Kit! 

While going online might be an obvious solution, it is important to do so while considering online pedagogy and associated technology proficiency to be successful with the transition.  Therefore, this kit helps faculty move into the online space without sacrificing teaching and learning quality. With a dual purpose, the G.O. Kit outlines a training program and best practices for teaching online, while at the same time providing instruction on how to create a viable structure on the fly.

At Prince George’s Community College, we have developed an interactive resource that leverages media and text to concisely outline steps and best practices for transferring classroom material to a learning management system (LMS), but also provides access to more robust training materials for those who want to prepare thoroughly. We have also integrated the G.O. Kit with a new online course on Blackboard essentials, which enables new faculty to envision how the basic technology skills in Blackboard can translate to online learning, both for flipping a classroom and for maintaining a learning environment during emergencies. The kit outlines basic strategies for faculty for communicating with students, translating their classroom practices into collaborative online learning, ensuring that students can access materials with off-campus technology, and adjusting assignments and grading in recognition of technological challenges.

The G.O. Kit has three sections: a Quick Start section which outlines basic Blackboard skills; a section on how to quickly assemble content, from employing textbook activities and OERs to utilizing an instructor’s existing materials, such as PowerPoint presentations; and a checklist that outlines the steps instructors should follow in preparing their online classroom. Our presentation will examine how the G.O. Kit was designed to meet our audience’s needs. We will discuss how we sought to balance long-term online strategies with the demands of a quick guide, as well as how we structured the document to be both concise and ambitious in its training scope. We will then discuss how we will disseminate the kit and incorporate feedback. Finally, we will provide a forum for our attendees to share their strategies and discuss their own experiences with systematically preparing faculty to teach in spite of emergencies. 

Dionne Thorne
Wendy Gilbert

MarylandOnline Leadership Institute (MOLLI) Information Session

The MarylandOnline Leadership Institute (MOLLI) is a four day professional development opportunity for future leaders in distance education. This session will introduce the goals of MOLLI and the benefits of participation. Former participants will share their experience and answer questions about MOLLI.

Tammy Miller
Allegany College of Maryland

What You See Isn't Always What You Get!

The initial findings of the MarylandOnline and Quality Matters research project, in which a set of online instructor competencies were field tested, will be the focus of this session. An overview of the developed standards will be presented along with the rational and purposes of the project and the subsequent discoveries. As the title of the session suggests, sometimes what you see isn’t always what you get! The findings offer very important insights for institutions of higher education which desire to support and advance quality online instruction that results in successful student learning.

Julie Grignon
Anne Arundel Community College
Courtney Sabol
Anne Arundel Community College

A Collaborative Process for Building a Model Online Course

Are you a distance-learning educator who is interested in learning about a collaborative journey taken to create a model online course?   You might be looking to discover what is most important to you when it comes to online course structure, and how establishing those values can lead to remarkable fulfillment in online instruction.  In the first part of this session, you will have the opportunity to participate in the values mining process to help discover your personal values with respect to online instruction and design.   The presenters will then share how their own values guided a collaborative process to redesign an online course that is now being showcased as a model course. In the second part of the session, the presenters will highlight some best practices and creative engagement strategies that support student learning.  The presenters will demonstrate the use of “hooks” in online instruction in order to engage learners on the topic being presented.   Presenters will demonstrate how a variety of traditional differentiated instruction activities can be modified for online classes, such as:  four choice processing tasks, choice boards, RAN Charts, and anticipation guides.  These activities allow students to access prior knowledge, connect previous learning to new learning, and can be modified for any subject matter.  You will participate in an anticipation guide activity and will be provided sample resources to take back to your own online courses. 

Nadine Edwards
Stevenson Univeristy
Alissa Harrington
Johns Hopkins University

5 ways to use Office 365 for Online Collaboration

You may already be familiar with OneDrive, but did you know the Office 365 tools include a powerful set of apps for online collaboration and creation? In this workshop we will explore five ways to use Office 365 apps to enhance your online instruction and build student engagement. This workshop will help you plan for collaborative group work that aligns with your learning goals and engages students in meaningful ways.


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