This week you will be orienting yourself to the MALAT/DipLAT Learning Ecosystem, which includes WordPress, where your courses are, and the course companion Moodle, which is the learning management system (LMS) used at RRU.
This Week’s Live Web Conferences
LIVE Wednesday, April 1, 12:00 pm (noon) to 1:00 pm Pacific: Program Overview Collaborate Session
Meet program faculty and staff, and review your program from start to finish. Learn more about the networks that you will be building throughout your program. Learn about the role of a cohort representative.
Join us for this session in Collaborate Ultra via the Moodle site. The participant link is found here (click on Join Session):
Participant Link (Instructors and MALAT/DipLAT Learners) | Guest Link also available
You’ll notice that for both the Online cohort and the Blended cohort, the Collaborate Ultra (Class) hyperlink takes you to April’s The Link Moodle shell. This is because both cohorts share this Collaborate space, as the two cohorts join together in LRNT523.
All Collaborate sessions are recorded and will be saved here. In the MALAT and DipLAT programs it is your responsibility to listen to the recording in a timely manner if for some reason you are unable to attend the synchronous session.
Activity 1 | Orientation to RRU Online Learning – Collaborate Ultra, WordPress, and Moodle Refresher
The objective of this activity is to introduce you Collaborate, a web-conferencing tool, and to WebSpaces powered by WordPress (we’ll just call it WordPress), the tool hosting your course sites and your personal blog sites. We’ll concentrate on the course sites in WordPress; you’ll learn more about your own sites later. And you might want to refresh your memory as to how to use Moodle, RRU’s online learning platform, which will provide a few important functions for each of your courses.
- You’ll be using Collaborate during the two weeks of The Link.
- It is important that you familiarize yourself with WordPress and Moodle, as you will be using them for your first course/s (LRNT521 for the Online cohort, and both LRNT521 and LRNT522 for the Blended cohort).
Part 1: Collaborate
Review the Collaborate instructions.
Part 2: WordPress
In your first course you will learn to configure and create content for your own WordPress site. For now it’s important that you explore the components of a course WordPress site. The Link site is similar in most respects to a MALAT/DipLAT course site. Explore the site, particularly the parts listed below.
- The main menu is at the top of the page – check out the links, and note those that take you to the Moodle site or to other websites.
- Recent blog posts from your instructor will appear in the ‘Instructor Posts’ widget in the right margin of the site. Select a blog post and read it.
- At the bottom of blog posts you will usually be able to add a comment. Post a comment on one of the instructor blog posts.
Part 3: Moodle
If you need to refresh your memory, spend some time in this self-paced orientation to Moodle provided by Student Services’ LaunchPad.
Activity 2 | Creating an Online Presence
Part 1: Creating/Updating Your Profile
You learned how to create/edit your Moodle Profile in the LaunchPad course.
Now, personalize it a bit more by doing these 3 things:
- Write a short paragraph that describes you, professionally (your experience and skills, and perhaps even your educational background).
- Add a short paragraph that describes you a bit more personally (such as where you are from, where you live now, your interests, etc. – things you are comfortable sharing).
- Upload a photo (most people upload a picture of themselves, but if you prefer, you can use a photo of something else to represent you).
Keep paragraphs to approximately 100 words each.
Note: This profile will be available from within all of your RRU courses in Moodle. You will be able to update it at any time.
If you want to have an image represent you in any WordPress site (including when commenting on course sites and on your own site) you need to set up a Gravatar. Gravatar – the ‘Globally Recognized Avatar’ – is a system that will link your avatar with many different types of social media. To use Gravatar you need to set up a WordPress.com account (you don’t have to set up a blog, just the account). You can find out more at Gravatar. If you want to create a Gravatar, have an image you want to use, and click the ‘Create Your Own Gravatar’ button when you are ready. You may want to wait to do this when you get your own WordPress instance in LRNT521.
Part 2: Video
Let’s use some multimedia…
Use your camera, phone, or whatever technology you prefer to record a short (2- to 5-minute) video that expands upon and enhances what you posted in your profile. Alternately, use an application like Powtoon, or another application of your choice. Here is a list of Tech Tools to consider. Some starter ideas for what you might show and tell (Don’t try to do them all):
- Show us around your favorite room, park, town, school, or yard.
- Tell us what motivated you to enroll in this program. Your personal statement might be a great place to look for ideas.
- Tell us what your fellow students might need to know about you.
- Introduce us to your favorite book or movie, and share how it made an impact on you.
- What are some of your goals for the next 2 to 5 years?
Make sure your presentation is posted somewhere that gives you a link you can share in the Moodle Getting to Know You forum. Videos can be uploaded to YouTube, for example. Powtoon recordings will stay on their server.
Post the link in the Moodle Getting to Know You forum with a quick note answering this question: Did you try a new application, or is this something you have done many times before?
Part 3: Who is Who
Let’s talk. View your colleagues’ profiles and posts in the Getting to Know You forum (the forum link is above, in Part 2). Reply to several of them with an observation or question. Read, and possibly respond to, the replies to your own post.
Part 4: Who are We?
Think about what you have learned about your colleagues in the Moodle Getting to Know You forum (the forum link is above, in Part 2). What are the similarities and differences you observed? What are likely to be our strengths as a group?
Summarize your reactions by posting a brief paragraph or two in the Moodle Getting to Know You forum answering, “Who are we, as a cohort?”
Activity 3 | Creating an Annotated Bibliography of Virtual Team Resources
Being able to be an effective virtual team member is a skill set that is essential in the knowledge age, and it is a key component of the MALAT/DipLAT experience. Each course you will take in your program will have a team assignment that will require you to connect, collaborate, and create a final product. Communication style, collaboration approaches, and strategies and methods for building relationships are all essential components of effective virtual teamwork.
This activity has been designed so that you can continue to build your existing expertise in working in virtual teams. We also want you to have the opportunity at the front end of your program to search out and critically examine virtual team resources that might be useful to you as you move forward in your learning and your work.
Activity 3 Task: In your teams please create an annotated bibliography of your team’s top five resources that would be useful when working in virtual teams. The resources your team identifies are not meant to be technology tools, but rather process-based and peer-reviewed resources that you find in the library database or other academic search engine (i.e. Google Scholar). The resources that you find need to speak to the ways in which you can increase your own personal and team effectiveness working in virtual teams. Summarize the articles as much as possible.
To find your team, go to the Moodle site main page. On the right you will see Course Community, and under that, My Teams.
- For tips on team writing, see Team Writing.
- The Writing Centre has this link to Writing an Annotated Bibliography. Use Example 2 for this activity, and summarize the articles. Please note, the writing style of the MALAT and DipLAT programs is APA 7th edition. You are expected to use the APA 7th edition style in all of your writing in the program. The annotated bibliography should be formatted in APA style, in Times New Roman font, and double-spaced. You can find out more about APA style at the RRU Writing Centre.
- Moodle Ask a Librarian Forum: For support, searching tips and tricks, and answers to any questions you may have about your individual or team research, you can ask a librarian using this forum.
Activity 3 Process:
- To complete Activity 3 your team will need to use the assigned virtual collaboration tool (see table below). Please use only the free version of the tools.
Team Tool How To Video A Google Docs How to use Google Docs for Collaborative Work B Basecamp Basecamp Help C Slack Using Slack D Samepage Samepage Overview E Trello Using Trello F Asana How to Use Asana
- Use the Moodle Virtual Team Resources Discussion Forum to connect with your team members and get set up to work as a team using the tool you have been assigned (in the table above). Keep in mind that as part of this activity, your team will also be creating a one-paragraph summary (maximum 125 words) of your team’s experience using the tool assigned.
- You could also use one of the four Collaborate Ultra Group Rooms.
- In your team, decide on a process for completing the annotated bibliography.
- Some past teams have done some initial sharing/brainstorming, and then gone off individually in the library database or other academic search engine (i.e. Google Scholar) to find their best five “working in virtual teams” resources. They have then come together again as a team to report out and determine which ones will make the team’s top five. From there they have then discussed how to do the creation of the final document, etc.
- Other teams have scheduled a time for an initial synchronous session to plan and then review the final product.
Choose an approach that works for your team and meets your team’s needs – you will have lots of time to use other approaches as you move through this program.
- Upload your team’s final annotated bibliography (with an APA-style cover page), and the one-paragraph summary (maximum 125 words) of your team’s experience with the virtual collaboration tool you used, to the Moodle Forum for Posting Your Annotated Bibliography by the date listed in the Schedule.
- Over the course of your program, take some time to review the documents that have been uploaded by other teams into this forum, as they will provide a wealth of resources for you as you move forward to working in a variety of virtual teams in and beyond your Royal Roads program. You have access to The Link throughout your program.
Activity 4 | Resources
Part 1: Week 1 Review Resources
Please ensure you have reviewed the following resources: (links to each of these can be found on the Moodle Resources page):
- the School of Education and Technology (SET) Tech Tools webpage and the Cohort Rep Terms of Reference pdf
- the Student Services Overview PowerPoint, the Services for Students webpage, and the Indigenous Education and Student Services video
- the RRU Student Rights and Responsibilities webpage, the RRU Policies and Procedures webpage, and the SET Program Guidelines pdf
- the RRU Academic Regulations webpage, the Life of a Grad Student video, the Accessibility Services PowerPoint, and the Financial Aid and Awards video
Part 2: Week 1 Checklist
Complete the Moodle Week 1 Checklist/Quiz. Access to Week 2 activities will be available once this checklist is complete.