Still love Jing – annotation tool

It’s the start of the semester and every once in awhile Blackboard drops something you find very useful. Here’s how you can go find it and turn it back on. That is, unless it’s deprecated. Ouch.

Fun with banners

Joanne Healy, School of Education, likes the banners I make.

Here’s the latest batch… her requests are fairly open-ended, so I can find the right mood to fit the need.
Our department has access to a Shutterstock account. That and regular CC0 images make creating banners easier.

Social Development Assessment and Intervention

Early childhood special education
Helping Children Succeed


Assessment of Students with Exceptionalities



Guide students through your course

Guide students through your course verbally and visually. Whether your discipline is highly visual or not, using a picture to show the student where they are in the course or semester is helpful. You might want to use a quick video to show students how to navigate your course shell. If that’s not in the works consider providing a course calendar and course map. Both have value. Calendars are fairly easy to create while adding a course map can show how assignments flow from the topics you are delving into.

Take a moment to grab pen and paper, crayons, your laptop or whatever tools are at hand. Ask yourself what visual maps you use most. Use one of them as a template for what you build and deliver to your students.

Goals & outcomes

In the same way that the 12-week visual of when items are due clearly shows the student what is coming up and what type of assignment it is, the course map shows the student where to place her focus. Add functionality: display your learning goals. If this sounds familiar you might have built your course using a framework like Understanding By Design. There are steps in this process where you make sure each course element has a purpose. If you’ve inherited your course from someone else, you may need to do a map for yourself as much as for your students.

“Course mapping, as a step in the curriculum mapping process (Jacobs, 2004), offers faculty new pathways to meet shared outcomes. The five principles of curriculum design (Fink, 2003) inform the development of learning experiences that are structured in such a way that they scaffold student thinking and progressively move them toward the desired course outcomes.”1

Course map

Why are you having the student perform this activity? Is it in direct support of one of the student learning outcomes (SLO) or course goals? Course maps visually represent the course.

The course map helps you plan to teach what matters most to you. It can help the student understand how a particular activity or assessment works toward meeting the overall course goals. “The goal is to provide assessments and feedback that align and are sequenced or scaffolded along with the other course components (Meyers & Nulty, 2009).”2

The course I teach has learning outcomes set by the department. That meant it was important for me to make sure the activities and assessments I put in place were in line with those goals. I use a list on the website to advise students how course activities support these goals, but a visual would be better.

Last semester several of my students wanted to know how assignments and activities were integrated. One student wrote, “some items are escaping me, I’d like a bit more about the big picture here, are we working towards a final single product? Should every week tie in somehow other than the skill in using the technology?” My response was way too wordy. Not all assignments build upon earlier ones, but many do. A picture is better explanation than words alone.

Visual of how assignments line up


I’ve used other graphics to show students what they were learning and building along the way. Not all have been successful. I’d say this is an iterative process but it is well worth your time!



  1. Fink, D.L. (2005, August). A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning.
  2. Caruana, V. (2015, July 6). How a Course Map Puts You on Track for Better Learning Outcomes.

Additional ideas

I indicated that I provided a very wordy response. Here it is,

“Here is how Assignments for Weeks 8, 9, and 10 either work together or don’t”… and then I wrote it all out.

Navigation (#11) make a page with navigation that includes three total pages. You can reuse previous pages (color.html, images.html etc.) You will need to update those pages so that ALL THREE pages have consistent navigation.

  • Assignment 12: This assignment is new but you’ll come back to it when working on assignment #21.

Week 9

  • Assignment 13: liquid.html — brand new!
  • Assignment 14: skeleton.html — brand new, but you use the content you created for liquid AND add more content.

Week 10

  • Assignment 15: Client #01 is a draft layout for your client based on your first meeting. This is a brand new assignment in a series of assignments for your capstone project. YOU SHOULD HAVE a client in week 7-8 or be trying hard to find one!
  • Assignment 16: Your write-up is based on your client meeting. But your page should be accessible (Week 8’s lecture items) and the images should be sized/saved appropriately (weeks 4 and 7 lecture and practice materials).

More visuals?

Course calendar image

calendar visual

Previous layout of all modules – not a course map per se, but close.

Module layout

Better Tests & Quizzes


Needed: note-taker
Goals: driven by your discussion


Please add your ideas!
On the iPad click the ” + ” near the bottom left to add.

Made with Padlet

How do you know?

You have to have Flash installed (allow use)
Students practicing language

Joanne Healy is using VoiceThread and the students love it.

Too small for normal relaxation

Too small for normal relaxation

This is a miniature sock monkey knit done on sock needles.

I’ve created this post to help students with adding images to WordPress pages. Also to uncover what absolute paths look like versus relative.

When you are using WordPress to add media to your page or post you go through a series of steps where you choose the image from your computer or from another source. Then WordPress builds the img src path and code for you.

On my own server I might use the following code to display a photo of a sock monkey.

<img src="images/sockmonkey.jpg" alt="A sock monkey knit on sock needles">

On the WordPress post, I’ll let WordPress build the link for me. It will look something more like this:

<img src="" 
alt="A sock monkey knit on sock needles">



If you are using GIMP, you’ll need to EXPORT your image (versus save or save as). Go to the File menu and choose Export or Export As. Then save your image as a gif, jpg or png depending upon the type of image you just made.


Make your own (A)

Some of your posts just should not have (visually and creatively speaking) a massive title. See this other post without a title.


Make your own

Last June I thought I’d just make all of Aedan’s baby food…

ED432Carrots-steam250 ED432CarrotsAbove250 ED432MostOfTheStoryCarrot-250s

That worked really well for a few months. Then somewhere around Thanksgiving or a wee bit later it became more important for him to have more solid food.
Still, I’m making quite a bit of his food, just not all.

Stretch your legs!

In response to M3 blog assignment. What is it about animals with dolls?

Kitty with doll

You need to practice adding images. There are several ways to do it.

  • use an image you own the rights to, or use an image that is copyright free or has a Creative Commons license like
  • set up the image to be aligned to the left or right
  • have your blog text flow above and below the image.

The image shown here is prevalent on the web. I did an image search to determine the owner and found it in thousands of places (so says Google). I did track down at least one person who claimed to be the owner–online; that person was making this image freely available. I’m not sure I trust it, but there you go. The image I uploaded is the copy of one posted to Deviant Art. “Cute Kitty by gemeh.”