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Adobe Connect. A Timesaving Tool.

Posted Thursday, March 20th, 2014 Tagged:

Special Guest Blogger

Jessa Wilcoxen, M.F.A., Assistant Professor of Digital Media

Photo Credit: Demond Meek

I started using Adobe Connect during my 2nd semester (Spring 2011) of teaching at Greenville College. As a professor in the Digital Media department, I spend part of my classes giving tutorials on how to create technical effects in relevant software. I was disappointed to find myself repeating tutorials on how to accomplish a technique to students who didn’t remember what I showed them in a previous class or who missed a previous class. When I had to take class time to repeat a tutorial, I was losing valuable class time that I could be art directing the student projects, brainstorming with them, or encouraging creative experimentation. Adobe Connect was my solution.

Using Connect Pro in the Physical Classroom

During 2011-2013 I came to each class a couple minutes early to setup the software needed to record my lecture or tutorial in real time. After class I would add the link to an online page that I shared with my students. Almost overnight this practice solved my problem of having students request that I teach techniques more than once. When students asked about a technique that I had previously taught, I often directed them to the class’s webpage that contained the recorded tutorial links.

Using Connect in the Online Classroom

In the summer of 2011, I decided to offer my first online summer class, Introduction to Animation. Since I had recorded every one of my tutorials during the previous spring semester, I simply created a calendar for my summer online students and placed each link on the appropriate date. While I still had much of the other preparation work associated with transitioning a face-to-face class to online, the piece that would have taken the most preparation time was already completed. I applied this same technique the following summer when I taught an advanced graphic design class. The spring before I recorded all of my design history lectures and shared those with my summer online students.

Features of Adobe Connect I Hope to Use in the Future

As a design professor I want to have face-to-face interactions with my students and I need to see their work in progress, as my feedback is an important aspect of the student learning process. At this midway point, I can help redirect a student down a more creative path or correct a technical issue before the project is turned in for grading. I also want to mimic the physical classroom in which the students present their final design and I deliver a face-to-face critique. In the past, to achieve web conferencing in my online class I scheduled biweekly online meetings with each individual student and used either Join.Me or Skype’s free screen sharing capabilities. I recently learned that Adobe Connect pro does not require my students to also have the software so I plan to test out this feature at my next online conferencing session.

How I Use Adobe Connect Today

After teaching at the same college for four years, I do not have any new “preps” on my schedule. With that said, when you teach in a technology field every semester will involve new tutorials and techniques. I now only record new tutorials and lectures and I keep the older links (that are still relevant) posted on my class webpage. If I anticipate having several students absent for a sporting event or college field trip, I will record that day’s tutorial as well. On snow days that are too treacherous for me to drive to campus or for my students to walk around campus, I will record a lecture from home and email my students the link. This keeps my class on schedule and no one has to venture out in bad weather.

In summary, my students are no longer asking me to repeatedly show them a technique. They are learning the material by participating in the tutorials in class and reviewing them outside of class. In return for the few extra minutes I spend setting up a recording I have gained more classroom time for me to help them develop their own creative skills and design thinking abilities.

Here is a short clip from a beginner tutorial in InDesign recorded in my Graphic Design 1 class:

Note from Rhonda:

I’d like to say a special thank-you to Jessa for sharing her insights and experience about Adobe Connect. Greenville College Instructional Technology has a limited number of Adobe Connect licenses that I administer to faculty. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more or giving Adobe Connect a try in your class.


Evaluating Web Sources for Credibility

Posted Friday, March 8th, 2013 Tagged:

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is an apt adage for plagiarism woes in higher education. What measures can faculty take to prevent plagiarism…not just catch offenders? This is a frequent topic covered by librarians and teachers alike. I wanted to share a few resources with you, faculty & students, on the topic.

First, here are a few institutional webpages on the topic. These offer much needed guidance on what students should look for when evaluating the credibility of web resources for research. Instructors can share these resources in class and teach students the best ways to find good, reliable sources. Students can use these sources to help them self-evaluate resources even as they research and write.

Checklist Image

How to Do Research: Evaluating Web Resources Guide PDF (GC)
Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask
Evaluating Web Sites: Criteria and Tools (Cornell)
Evaluating Web Pages (Duke)


Second, for those who have additional questions, did you know that you can Ask a Librarian at GC? The professional librarians are ready and able to help students evaluate website credibility and to find reputable sources. They can also provide teaching tips for faculty on the subject.

Third and finally, many of the faculty here at GC already know and use Turnitin for plagiarism detection in student work. Recently, Turnitin announced a new *free* online rubric designed to help us teach students how to evaluate the quality of web sources they often use in their writing. To learn more, read about The Source Educational Evaluation Rubric (SEER). To access the SEER rubric, you will be required to enter some information, but there is no cost.

Feel free to comment with additional tips & suggestions! I’d love to hear from you.



Online Opportunities for Students

Posted Thursday, November 8th, 2012 Tagged:

Are you a college student with a busy lifestyle? If so, finding time to get all of your courses in each semester can sometimes be a challenge. What if you could add a class or two that you can complete online, on your own time*, in your pajamas? Online classes at Greenville College provide you with this opportunity every semester!

Online classes are conducted in the Desire2Learn (D2L) learning environment, just like all Greenville College courses. So there’s no new technology for our current students to learn. Guest students find D2L easy to use, and orientation is available to assist those who have any questions.

A wide range of classes is available each semester for meeting general education requirements and teaching endorsements. Enrollment for spring 2013 is now open. Contact your advisor to discuss your options.

Interested in online classes but not sure if they are right for you? Take this self-inventory to find out. If you are self-motivated and self-disciplined, then online classes may work well for you.

*Online classes have specific start and end dates.
Instructors are free to schedule the course activities with assigned due dates.
Online students are expected to follow all such deadlines.

Visit our website for more information about Online Programs at Greenville College.

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