eduCanon Premium Free for the Summer!

eduCanon is an easy-to-use app that allows you to turn any YouTube video into an interactive quiz for your students. This summer is the perfect time to check it out.

If summer couldn’t get any better, you now have ALL eduCanon premium features free. We’ve extended to you all of our features until August 30.

I know during the school year you sometimes feel like this:

dachshund spinning

BUT NO MORE. Summer is here. Time to relax and recoup.

If summer couldn’t get any better, you now have ALL eduCanon premium features free. We’ve extended to you all of our features until August 30. That means you can download any lesson from our 150,000+ teacher-created lesson database or create a lesson from scratch with higher order question types. And of course, we’ll never limit access to the bulbs you download or create.

Hopefully now you feel a bit more like this:

30k bulbs


Warning: Grading Discussions Is Bad For Your Health


Discussions can be the heart of an online class. In some cases the message boards are the only place where students can freely communicate with each other on a number of focused topics created by you, the instructor.

In the best of worlds students are engaged in lively discussions, thinking critically as well as getting to know their classmates.

Discussions can also be a grading nightmare. Imagine having 8 topics and requiring 3 posts per topic. Times that number by 30 students. Then times that number by how many classes you’re teaching that semester. You’re talking thousands of posts!

If you read and evaluated each and every post you could easily get overwhelmed and wind up like that poor cat in the picture.

Here are my somewhat controversial grading tips to make life easier. If you have an opinion or another strategy that works for you, please share in the comments section.

*Note these instructions are to be used when grading by category, but they can be modified for grading by forum or topic.

Continue reading “Warning: Grading Discussions Is Bad For Your Health”

The Great Purge starts next week

Etudes Purging & Archiving Old Sites starting July 4th
purge-maskedkillers-outside-fullNo, it’s not quite like the movie “The Purge” but starting next July 4th, Etudes will begin purging and archiving old Etudes course sites.

What will we do on July 4?

  • Keep all of 2014 and 2015 sites “live” on, including student records.
  • Archive all 2013 sites. [2012 sites were archived last year and will remain in archives for another year].
  • Purge 2013 live sites. They will no longer be accessible, but you will be able to import their content for a year.
  • Purge 2011 sites from archives. 2011 sites will no longer be available in any form.

How can you preserve the content of a course site from 2011 that’s scheduled to be purged?

If a course is older than three and a half years and is scheduled to be purged in July, you can request a development site and import its content into it to preserve it permanently. Dev Site Request:

How can you back up student records from old course sites before they get archived?

If you would like to retain student grades, course activity, or assignment submissions from old term sites, you can download the relevant spreadsheet reports from the Gradebook, Activity Meter, and AT&S.

For more information on the Etudes Data Retention Policy, please see:

Call for Proposals – Etudes Summit

etudesEtudes Summit – Call for Proposals

The Etudes Summit is a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas, knowledge, experiences and lessons learned with your colleagues in the Etudes community. The event is all about YOU – your success stories and your work with students.

Don’t wait! Submit your proposal today!

Deadline for proposals:  Sunday, July 12, 2015 (midnight)

Some ideas on themes for proposals include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Technology Innovation – Creative use of Etudes, social media, mobile devices and other software to support student learning (not limited to online teaching. Uses of Etudes and other technologies to support traditional instruction are also encouraged, as this is an area of growth and interest).
  • Student Retention & Success – What practices, techniques, methodology, or tools do you use systematically to engage learners with the subject matter, you, and each other, and for improving your retention and student success?
  • Testing & Assessment Techniques – How do you assess, measure and evaluate your students’ learning? What approaches, rubrics,  tools, and features do you rely on? Share your success stories, challenges and findings.
  • Tool demos – Showcase how you have integrated external technologies successfully with Etudes.
  • Round tables. Facilitate a round table discussion on a topic of interest. Ideal for the exchange of ideas across colleges and programs.
  • Ensuring Quality in Distance Education  – How do you ensure a quality online program? Issues in this track include processes for course and program evaluations, DE policies for ensuring quality instruction, academic honesty, student support, and strategies for addressing and meeting state and federal regulations.
  • Support Services & Resources – Student Services, Instructional Design and Faculty Services, and other Teaching/Learning Resources.
  •  Universal Access – Accessibility, learning styles, etc.

Got something else to share? What are you waiting for? Get your proposal in today.

Presenters will be notified by July 25.

Free On-Campus Etudes Training for West Instructors!

Etudes logo

Enhance your on-campus instruction using the College’s Learning Management System (LMS), Etudes. Participating in this one day instructional program will introduce you to Etude’s tools and features enabling you to develop your first web-enhanced class. Participants will work face-to-face with a certified Etudes trainer in an on-campus workshop.

TRAINING DATES 2015 Continue reading “Free On-Campus Etudes Training for West Instructors!”

Great Tips to Makeover your Online Etudes Course Site #10

10. Etudes Users Group

There is a wealth of information in the very active users group discussion section.

Any possible issue you may run into probably has a thread dedicated to it. Click the search button in the discussion section and type a few key words to quickly find your answer.

If it isn’t there, post your question and I guarantee you won’t have to wait long for a solution. It’s scary how fast the responses come. You can bookmark particularly helpful topics for future access.

Make sure it’s one of your site tabs by clicking Preferences in the upper right corner. Click the edit icon next to site tabs, highlight Users Group and click the right arrow to move it into your tabs. Join us!

Great Tips to Makeover your Online Etudes Course Site #9

9. Welcome Video

Picture meeting your baby niece for the first time. As you lean over the crib instead of a smiling newborn you see a note stating her name, email address and office hours. Bummer.

Listen up, you are a beautiful, smart, accomplished, amazing person so get out there and share you with your students! A friendly welcome video lets students get to know you and makes a human connection that is sorely missing in many online classes.

They’re easy to make with a webcam and youtube account. Or you can contact Scott in the Digital Design Studio at 310-287-4567 or myself at 310-287-4592 and we’d be happy to assist.

Here’s a wacky one I helped make for Dr. Stephanie White who teaches Sociology –