Course Materials: Requirements
Your instructor will be sending out periodic class updates to review important course information and assignments. Please read these carefully. If you have questions, please reply to these updates for clarifications or questions. These ANNOUNCEMENTS will come through your university email account. You can set your email preferences in Canvas. These announcements will also be posted in Canvas.
Since this is an online course, much of the sharing and discussion will happen using the Canvas online learning environment. However since you'll be experiencing many different technologies in this course, be sure to read the activity guidelines carefully to determine where projects should be shared.
We'll be using the university's Canvas system to share assignments and ideas. Go to http://Canvas.iu.edu and enter your login and password to enter the system. Inside Canvas you'll find the following elements for our course:
1) The ANNOUNCEMENTS is the place where I'll be posting assignments, due dates, assignment ideas, and debriefing each assignment.
2) The DISCUSSIONS area is where you'll be sharing and discussing your assignments.
3) The GRADES is a place where you can track your progress. I will be posting grades and comments in this area.
4) The PEOPLE shows the class list. You may wish to update your personal profile.
5) The SYLLABUS shows our course syllabus and website.
6) The CHAT area can be used by anyone who would like a "real time" conversation with the instructor or a classmate.
This class is intended to be a practical approach to the skills needed by today's information technologists, media specialists, librarians, and educators. Whether you're interested in the role of the school media specialist, public librarian, or another type of information technologist, this course is designed to be flexible enough to address the varied needs of students.
Keep in mind that this class contains students with a wide variety of educational, work, life, and technology experience. Try not to compare yourself to other students. Instead, focus on your own strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to email your instructor if you have questions or concerns about the specific projects and how they can better fit your professional needs.
Let's get better acquainted. These introductions will help you get to know all of your classmates.
Your first assignment involves posting some information about yourself and getting to know your classmates. Some people like to share photographs, personal websites, favorite movies or books, family information, or other tidbits that will help the class get to know you. This is important because you'll be involved in lots of online discussions. This is all done in Canvas so "outsiders" won't be able to see the information.
Enter the Canvas materials, choose the class page. Click on the Introduce Yourself discussion (Located within the Forums section). Post a new message.
Introduce yourself to the class. Put your name in the subject of the message. Include a little personal and professional information about yourself, as well as the reason you chose this course and how you feel about online courses in general. This will be a good chance to share a little about your interests and expertise with libraries, management, leadership, and collaboration. Tell us what drew you to the library media professions and explain what has led your interest in the school library field.
Also, tell us what makes you laugh and how you like to spend your spare time (like you have spare time). If you know how to use HTML, you may wish to insert a photo or favorite website. If you need help, check the "Help" discussion for the directions.
When you're done entering the information, click SEND to post your message.
During the first week of class, read the messages posted by classmates. If you want to share something you have in common or ask a question, enter information below the message in the area that says REPLY TO MESSAGE. You should post at least one response or observation. This area is also a place to go if you have questions. Find someone you think shares your interests, email them and introduce yourself personally. This contact may be helpful later in the semester as you have questions about the course.
The biggest drawback to an online class is the lack of face-to-face communication with your instructor and your peers. I'll be sending out weekly course updates that will hopefully help you feel connected to me. I'll be reading your assignments which will help me feel connected to you. We can email personally whenever you have something you'd like to share or discuss. I'll provide information in the weekly update / emailed messages. It should still take less than 24 hours for a reply. During the course, if you feel that a more direct communication exchange is needed, contact the instructor to set up a 'chat' session.
You will be sharing many projects during the semester. Sometimes I'll indicate where they should be stored. At other times, you'll have a choice. The course materials also provide links to free storage space for resources such as videos. Rather than relying on university space, it's a good idea to start thinking about long-term storage of assignments that you might eventually wish to place in your professional portfolio.
You may wish to share your projects and get feedback from classmates before submitting to your instructor. Classmates can help identify typos and missing elements that can impact your grade. By reading the projects of others you can often find ideas that might enhance your own project. Remember this is not a competition, all projects are graded with the same checklist.
Use the following resources to explore sources of web space.
1. Canvas. Provides space to store assignments.
One option is to simply attach the file to a message posting. This is fine, but the file wouldn't be available outside Canvas if others wish to see it. For example, you might want to share it with a prospective employer or friend. Some assignments must be available on the web. For this type of sharing. use the IU Box storage area.
2. IU Box. All students have access to IU Box. This is a flexible storage space similar to DropBox. This is a good place to store large files. You can set permissions to ensure others have access to your documents.
3. Personal Space. Use your own personal or work web space. Most local service providers provide space for personal pages.
4. Free Web Space (Great choice). Use free services such as Google Sites and Weebly for your own personal site. If you need additional ideas of locations for free space, contact your instructor.
This course contains requirements in the following three areas. A schedule of the due dates is listed in the course calendar.
- Professional Toolkit (3 separate components, 15 points each for atotal of 45 possible pts. - 45% of grade)
- Decision Point Discussions (6 separate tasks, initial posting & response / reply, 5 possible pts. each - 30% of grade)
- Reality Check (25 possible points - 25% of grade)
You will spend much of your of your course time exploring the materials provided in the Resources sections of the website. Unlike a book that contains a clear beginning, middle and end, the course materials are much more flexible.
All of the course materials are in the website called School Media. I suggest you move systematically through the materials using the menu headings and the Course Guide. You could easily spend endless hours of content exploration. Below are some guidelines that will direct your attention. Please read the guidelines carefully.
Each informational page is divided into as many as five sections:
- Basic Information. Provides course content and links.
- Words of Wisdom. Highlights the work of a practitioner or notable person
- Check Your Understanding. Reviews content and provides an activity to check your learning
- Make It Real. Makes a connection to a practical application of the content.
- Read More About It. Provides additional resources to learn more about the topic.
Read. In many instances, the materials will direct you to READ. This means that you should literally read the article itself. These are recommended readings that will help you understand the course content. You aren't required to read the links associated with the article, but you should read the article itself. The details are probably not as important as the overall issues presented. In many cases, reflective questions or activities have been provided to guide your reading. Then, ask yourself: Why were we asked to read this article? What are the key ideas that I should add to my "professional bag of tricks"?
Essential Readings. An eye graphic in front of the word READ means that this is an essential, required article. At times, you may become overwhelmed by all of the course readings. If you get behind, focus on the "eye - essential" readings and skim the other READ articles.
Notable People. A notable people graphic in front of the word READ means that this is a name your should know. Be sure you know the key ideas, topics, and literature related to this person.
Practitioner. A practitioner graphic indicates practical ideas and insights from a person currently "in the trenches."
Skim. Sometimes you'll be directed to skim an article. In this case, the details of the article aren't important. Instead concentrate on identifying the main ideas. In many cases, these are alternative sources or other views on issues already presented in other articles.
Explore. In many instances, websites are provided on a single topic. Many of these websites contain multiple pages and links. Rather than examining all the items in-depth, spend a few minutes with each resource and determine it's personal and professional value.
You'll find colored boxes throughout the readings:
- Experience Boxes. I have lots of experiences to share. You might call them observations or rantings, but I call them reflections on life. These are noted in salmon colored boxes. There's usually a story followed by a question to promote your own personal reflection.
- Activity Boxes. Most pages on the course site contain yellow activity boxes. These are intended to help you analyze and apply the content provided on the page. Many times you'll be asked to read an article or explore a link. Then, do some brainstorming, writing, or thinking. It is suggested that you spend a few minutes with each activity; however, you will NOT turn in these activities for a grade. Think of them as reflective questions or activities in a textbook. They may give you ideas for discussions or projects. These "yellow box" activities often overlap with course assignments that are required.
Read More About It. At the bottom of most pages, you'll find a heading marked Read More . . . with a list of additional readings and websites. You aren't required to read these, however they may be useful as you complete activities and projects. Many of the course assignments ask you to cite professional resources and these are good resources of information.
On-site versus Off-site. As you explore the School Media site, you'll notice that some readings refer to on-site versus off-site materials (referring to the websites for course materials). On-site materials are those housed on both the eduScapes website. The off-site materials are linked to the work of others. If you can't get to an off-site article that says READ, notify your instructor so it can be update or removed.
In most cases, off-site links are not marked. For example, you might be reading a sentence and notice a hot link. This hot link is probably an off-site article that expands on the idea presented in the sentence. You may or may not use the link depending on your interests. Lists of off-site links with supplemental materials are also not indicated as on or off-site. If you're not sure, just look at the URL and you can see whether it's an IU or eduscapes address or not.
Final thoughts. Some people new to the web-based learning environment underestimate the importance of spending time with the course materials. Think of the readings as a substitute for the traditional class lecture. The time you would normally spend driving back and forth, attending a class and reading the out-of-class textbook materials, should be used exploring these pages. Enjoy!
After reading all of the requirements, proceed / return to Course Guide.