I wanted to give a quick shout-out to a doctoral student of mine, Dorian Brown.  She has been selected by our IDT faculty as the outstanding doctoral student for this year.  She will be presented with the award at our university’s annual honors assembly in April. If you happen to know Dorian, please give her a big round of applause!

Here’s the official announcement from Dr. Carmen Weaver:

Honors Assembly is an annual university event in which outstanding students from across the university are recognized for their accomplishments.  Each year, IDT honors one Master’s student and one doctoral student who have demonstrated an outstanding record in coursework, research, service, and the promotion of the IDT program.

This year’s recipients are doctoral student Dorian Brown and Master’s student Raina Burditt. The awards will be presented at Honors Assembly on Sunday, April 27, 2014. Please join us in congratulating these two remarkable students.

I received an email yesterday that I didn’t ever expect:  I was notified by Slideshare.net that my content on Slideshare is among the top 1% of most viewed on SlideShare in 2013. Wow! I continue to be surprised by how many folks have viewed and appreciate my slide decks and handouts that I have put up on Slideshare.

Supporting My Course

I started using Slideshare about 5 years ago when I decided to make one of my courses, IDT 7095/8095, open source as an open educational resource.  When I decided to go in that direction I tried to make sure that all of the slides and resources I used in the course were open, available, and as Creative Commons as I could make them.  As a result of this, one of my presentations on comparing instructional design models that I use in IDT 7095/8095 continues to be very well received.  It astounds me that this presentation has over 47,000 views and almost 2,000 downloads.  I decided to do the open course because I wanted this capstone course to have more of a community feel to it.  I wanted students to get the sense that our field and our course was part of a profession that they had access to.  While the course has gone through multiple iterations over the years, the OER component has remained a constant.

More Accessible

In addition to supporting my course, I’ve found that Slideshare.net has been a good place to house slide decks to make them more accessible to others.  This is particularly true of teacher professional development and higher education lectures that I’ve participated in.  I am able to share the Slideshare.net link (after I’ve shortened it with Bit.ly) directly in my presentation, so that participants can immediately access the slides if they want.  In only a couple of instances have I found that Slideshare.net has been blocked by a school, district, or university.  In one of the cases, the university was able to have it unblocked.


I’ve also found that Slideshare.net is an easy way to embed my presentations (when I want them freely available) into my blog or courses that are housed inside our university’s course management system.

Slideshare embed optionsI like that there are options for display sizes, so that the embedded slideshow player doesn’t take up too much room; options for display without related content when I don’t want students to go down another “rabbit hole”; and options for the convenience of a shortcode (code snippet) specific for WordPress blogs, which is what I use on Viral-Notebook.com.

PDF Uploads

I did find that I needed to make a change in my Slideshare.net workflow a few years ago.  Originally, I uploaded my slide decks as the original Powerpoint files, but I don’t do that anymore.  Instead, I now upload a PDF.  I made this change for a few reasons.

First, a few years ago, I discovered from the “Related Content” channel in Slideshare.net that one of my presentations had been used unexpectedly and in ways that I considered unethical.  While I do release my presentations in general as Creative Commons licensing, this presentation had been inserted wholesale into another presentation, the attribution to me had been stripped, and the original graphic design I had created had been used throughout the entire presentation.  While I was miffed, I decided I could figure out how to handle this.  I decided to go with PDFs to take care of the problem, and now, I use myself as an example to others on plagiarism, copyright, and Creative Commons.

Second, I also found that when I uploaded Powerpoint files directly into Slideshare.net my fonts did not always stay true.  This was also the case when I began using Adobe Connect a few years ago as well.  So, because I consider the graphic design of my presentations important, PDFs allowed me to control the font issue easily.

Finally and also as a result of using Slideshare.net and Adobe Connect, I found the Web 2.0, or presentations 2.0, style of slides made my Powerpoint files very large.  This caused problems inside Adobe Connect, including upload problems, upload stalls, and errors.  So, PDF-ing the files also made it easier to reduce the file size prior to upload into Slideshare.net and Connect.

How ’bout you?

Are you using Slideshare.net or another web service to host your slide decks, etc.  How’s that working for you? Or if you’ve used one of my presentations from Slideshare, I’d love to hear what you’ve done and how you’re using it. So, let me know in the comments.  I’d like to hear what your experiences have been.

The Instructional Technology SIG of the American Educational Research Association is pleased to extend the deadline for our awards submissions. So, you’ve still got time to submit an application for one of the AERA SIG IT awards, including: Best Paper Award, Early Career Award, and Best Student Paper Award.

The deadline has been extended to **Jan. 24.** Please consider submitting!

You can read the complete submission details at https://sites.google.com/site/aera2014sigtitawards/

What's your superpower?

I would like to encourage all current students and alumni to consider nominating an IDT faculty member for the UofM Distinguished Teaching Award. This is a very prestigious honor for a faculty member, and I believe that IDT houses some of the best teachers in the university.  Here’s the info:

Again this year The University of Memphis will honor outstanding professors with the presentation of the Distinguished Teaching Award, which is funded and sponsored by The University of Memphis Alumni Association.  For faculty members to win the award they must receive nominations from other faculty, alumni, and students. The awards will be presented at the Spring 2013 Faculty Convocation.

Members of the Distinguished Teaching Award Committee earnestly solicit your nominations of colleagues deserving of the award, so that meritorious faculty can be recognized and rewarded. Please take the time to submit your nomination at the link below:

http://www.memphis.edu/dta_faculty (for faculty to nominate)

For the nominations to be considered valid, nominators must briefly provide their reasons for nominating the individual in the space provided on the on-line nomination form.

The nomination deadline is Monday, November 19. If you have questions, please contact:

Dr. Melinda Jones, ext. 2690

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Venspired.com (@ktvee) via Compfight

AECT Research and Theory Division logo

I would like to encourage you to read through the slate of awards that the Research and Theory Division of AECT will be hosting this year.  Overall, the awards receive few submissions.  So, if you feel that you fit one of the categories, I would highly recommend you submit for one of the awards.  This is great recognition for you and your university’s program.  The deadline for most of the awards is June 1st, 2012.  However, check the individual awards and contact Zeni Colorado with the email at the bottom for more info.

Dean and Sybil McClusky Research Award

This award is presented to honor the most outstanding doctoral research proposal in educational technology, as selected by a jury of researchers from the Research and Theory Division of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). For more information, go to http://bit.ly/yv42II.

Outstanding Service Award

This award recognizes outstanding service and commitment to the Research and Theory Division.  Awardees are nominated by the Research and Theory Board and recognized at the Awards Luncheon at the annual convention.

Outstanding Research and Theory Division-Sponsored Accepted Proposal

This award is given annually to honor a Research and Theory Division-sponsored convention proposal that demonstrates quality research and contributes to the educational communications and technology field.  All accepted Research and Theory sponsored concurrent proposal presentations will be considered. The recipient will be recognized at the Awards Luncheon at the annual convention.  Awardees are nominated by the Research and Theory Division Convention Planner and confirmed by the board.

Research and Theory Division Outstanding Journal Article Award

An outstanding published article that demonstrates rigor in research on an important aspect of the educational communications and technology field.  Articles nominated must have been published in the last three years in a regularly published journal relevant to our field, and should be relevant to the broad field of instructional design. Additionally, articles nominated should bring insights to either empirical research or theory development in instructional design. Anyone may submit a nomination; however, To be eligible for the award, a nominee must be a member AECT in good standing at the time of nomination.  For more information, go to http://bit.ly/ybnJAI.

Research and Theory Division Outstanding Book Award

The Research and Theory Division established this award for the best book-length publication in educational communications and technology. To be considered for the Award, a book must be concerned with the field of educational communication and technology through research or scholarly inquiry, must have a research base, and must have a copyright date of the past two years in the year in which the award is to be given.  To be eligible for the award, a nominee must be a member AECT in good standing at the time of nomination.  For more information, go to http://bit.ly/zlulZ8.

All calls for applications or nominations will be posted at the following sites:

All inquiries and applications for these awards should be submitted by email to Zeni Colorado at jcolorad@emporia.edu.


R&T Outstanding Journal Article Award

Sponsored by: AECT’s Research & Theory Division

Articles nominated must have been published no earlier than 2009 in a regularly published journal relevant to our field, and should be relevant to the broad field of instructional design. Additionally, articles nominated should bring insights to either empirical research or theory development in instructional design. Anyone may submit a nomination. Winners of AECT’s Research and Theory Outstanding Journal Article Award will be invited to deliver a 20-minute presentation during the Research and Theory Division Membership meeting about their award-winning entry during AECT’s Fall International Convention at Jacksonville, Florida on November 8-12, 2011. The winner will be recognized at the D&D and R&T Award Luncheon.

To nominate an article please prepare the following:

  1. Nomination letter with a short rationale statement of the nomination
  2. A complete bibliographic citation for the article
  3. PDF version of the journal article in the format that was published

We welcome self-nominations. Please send nominations electronically to Lisa Yamagata-Lynch by email at LisaYL@niu.edu

*Note: PDF copies of published manuscripts will be accepted as long as they retain the original published format. (Do not send a PDF file of a submitted manuscript, page proofs, etc.). Manuscripts that do not conform to these guidelines will not be considered.

Deadline is July 1st, 2011.

For additional information please contact Lisa Yamagata-Lynch email at LisaYL@niu.edu.

My Technology Tools to Support Learning course is continuing our overview of elearning this week.  But I also wanted to link elearning to some of the other topics we’ve been discussing over the semester.  As we move from using Powerpoint for presentations to building interactive learning modules, I thought we would consider what we should bring with us from presentations.  Slideshare.net, one of the Internet’s largest archive of slides and presentations, holds a competition each year for the World’s Best Presentation.  The topic for the slides can be on anything.  The winner this year, Dan Roam, built a presentation about healthcare in America, and it’s all written on napkins (sort of).  See for yourself; I’ve embedded it below.

But the second prize, “Sheltering Wings” by Sarah Cullem, and third place,  “Feels Bad on the Back” by Mohamad Faried, are also excellent as well.  These are the overall winners.  There are also winners for different categories. So, you may want to take a look at those, too.  In particular, you might want to take a look at the one for education.  Here’s the list from Slideshare:

The question…

So after taking a look at a bunch of these (and some of you may have seen them through Twitter, etc. as they came out), I’ve got some questions for you to consider.

  1. What can we learn from these presentations about how to design and develop presentations? In other words, what’ the take away for instructional designers?
  2. What can we learn about how to present a message to others, particularly when we’re not there to elaborate?
  3. How do these (or some of these) presentations echo principles of message design, graphic design, and instructional design?  Or how do they break them usefully?

Let me know what you think.  Jump in and leave your ideas in the comments below.