Saturday, February 18, 2017

UW-Stout Online Newsletter

Did You Know . . .
The offices of Stout Online and Graduate School got a new home in early November 2016, just in time to celebrate Stout Distance Learning Week.
Our new address is:
First Bank & Trust Building
200 Main Street East

Menomonie, WI 54751
All staff phone numbers and email addresses remain the same.

Picture of Stout Online and Graduate School staff in front of new location

CI Graduates' Stories Shared
Among the graduates attending the fall 2016 commencement ceremonies were three CI graduates, each with a special story to tell.
Christine Brown and Shelena Brown, first-generation college students, juggled family and work commitments while earning their undergraduate degrees — Christine in career, technical education and training, and Shelena in management. Their mother/daughter relationship made their accomplishments even more special.
Mary Rahman crossed the stage twice: first, to receive her degree in management, and, then, to accept her husband's degree posthumously.

Spotlight Feature 

Ann Vogl

Reference/Distance Learning Librarian
How long have you worked for the university and in what capacity?
I have worked at UW-Stout for almost 4 years as the reference/distance learning librarian.
In what ways do you support the CI programs?
I reach out to students so they have the support they need to find, access, evaluate and use information for their research. Hopefully my emails have helped. I have been embedded in some classes to lend research support at the time of need and also can provide live library orientations. It can be a challenge to navigate the library resources and I try to make sure distance students and instructors know the library staff is available to help.
What other professional information would you like to share?
I was an accountant for 10 years before I received my master’s degree and switched careers to become a librarian. I have worked in libraries now for 11 years. It was a good career change.
What place in the U.S. would you most like to visit and why? 
Alaska — I like to be outdoors and in nature and I’ve heard Alaska has beautiful, pristine natural areas. I’ve been told it is so awe-inspiring every other place in the U.S. pales by comparison.
What are five goals on your life’s to-do list?
(1) Try to keep an open mind. (2) Try to not make the world worse. (3) Live mindfully. (4) Start a green/sustainable cemetery. (5) See a rhinoceros in the wild before they are all gone.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Get to know a librarian. It can make your life easier.

Helpful Tips, Strategies and Methods to Becoming a Successful Online Student
This is the first in a series of five mini-articles to help you succeed.
Find a balance in your work, life and school commitments

  • It is best to plan fully when thinking about adding online education in your life. Consider that a single online course will take 6-10 hours per week.

  • Incorporating family and friends into your pursuit of an online education will be helpful in many ways.

  • If you are a working student, you may find it helpful to talk with your supervisor.

  • Remember to give yourself a break, allowing yourself time for other things you enjoy.

Instructional Designer eTips
Jamison Patrick, Stout Online's instructional designer, and his ID team members offer helpful tips for online instructors.

This issue's eTips were compiled by Tatjanna Williams, student-member of the ID team.
10 Ways to Conduct an Effective Online Discussion
  1. Forum rules and topic instructions should be clearly explained on the front-end of the discussions.
  2. Make certain all students feel comfortable sharing within the group, which includes establishing online etiquette.
  3. Encourage students to be both active and consistent in their contributions.
  4. Provide questions on different knowledge levels.
  5. Occasionally include multimedia at the beginning of a discussion to encourage a higher level of content-learner engagement and peer-peer interactions.
  6. Instructors should strike a balance between too little and too much participation in discussion topics.
  7. Model the type of contributions you want from your students when monitoring discussions.
  8. Interject new ideas (with questions) into the discussion IF the dialogue becomes too agreeable between peer learners.
  9. Provide feedback when grading discussions, so students can further explore areas they may have missed in dialogue.
  10. Instructors should go out of their way to provide positive, personal feedback to every student at least once or twice during the duration of the course, to instill a heightened sense of identity/confidence within the learner. 

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