enews Softchalk

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Sue Evans

From the Chief Chalkie - May Highlights from Around the World

Hi Chalkies! Wow, this year seems to be going by so quickly. Spring is turning into summer and the weather is definitely heating up. We've had some exciting things happening at SoftChalk recently, particularly in other countries! The first-ever SoftChalk Day took place in Dubai, we won a Learning Impact Award at the IMS Global conference in Toronto last week, educators on different continents are CONNECTing and we just released a case study from the University of Manchester.

As you can see SoftChalk is already going global... where to next? Stay tuned to learn more about where we're headed. (You'll be getting an email from us soon - hint, hint!) For now, don't miss these global highlights by checking out the full stories below.

-Sue Evans, SoftChalk CEO

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Bronze Award

SoftChalk and KCTCS Win 2012 Learning Impact Award

SoftChalk, in collaboration with the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS), won a bronze Learning Impact award from the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC). SoftChalk and KCTCS were chosen as winners for the revolutionary Learn on Demand program offered through KCTCS Online.

Learn on Demand offers an affordable, accredited education with both full courses and bite-size courses called "modules." Course Leaders/Developers use SoftChalk to easily create and share content for the modules. Using SoftChalk allows for mini-assessments throughout the module that help students bring their level of knowledge to the mastery standards. Modules are about 3-5 weeks long. Students can start on the schedule they choose, but modules build toward complete courses for accredited and affordable degrees, certificates and diplomas. Many courses address workforce needs for business administration, information technology, nursing, industrial maintenance technology and general education.

Last week, SoftChalk and Paige Brooks–Jeffiers of KCTCS, attended the Learning Impact Conference in Toronto, Canada, where they showcased the entry for judging. At the end of the conference, the team was named the winner of the Bronze Learning Impact Award! Both parties involved are very proud as the award program recognizes only the most outstanding applications of technology that address significant challenges facing the global education and training industries.

Click here to download a one-page PDF that summarizes our entry.

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SoftChalk Day in Dubai

On March 21st of this year Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) Dubai Men's College (DMC) held the first-ever SoftChalk Day! The event included an online training webinar by SoftChalk's Director of Learning Services and a Meet the Chalkie! showcase where DMC educators shared their lessons and best practices for developing online courses with SoftChalk.

SoftChalk Champions at Higher Colleges of Technology Dubai Men's College

HCT DMC has a site license for SoftChalk's content authoring solution so the main objectives for this event was to let the faculty and staff know SoftChalk is available and to introduce the DMC SoftChalk champions to the college. Vaishali Patel, the organizer for the event, said that SoftChalk Day was one of the most popular professional development events of the academic year. A valuable outcome was that many of the attendees were interested in the content the champions showed during the showcase and their content is now being shared and repurposed among colleagues at HCT DMC!

If you would like to learn more about hosting a SoftChalk Day at your institution, please contact us (christian@softchalk.com) to discuss how we can help make your event a success.

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Content Creation Solution for University of Manchester Students

Our latest case study explores how the University of Manchester in the northwestern UK, provides students with opportunities to produce original scholarly work while contributing to their communities. All Faculty of Life Sciences final year honors students complete a capstone project focused on different areas, including lab-based, education, and science and media communications; a portion of these students complete eLearning Projects.

eLearning Project students create educational resources around a particular science subject area, designed in conjunction with a faculty advisor. They come to SoftChalk after identifying learning outcomes, compiling research and determining the right combination of software to achieve their goals. Though students may use a variety of tools to develop learning materials, lessons are increasingly delivered in SoftChalk because of its ease of use, portability and compatibility with other tools. "Rather than worrying about the technology, they get on with the content," says Ian Miller, eLearning Manager for the Faculty of Life Science.

Read the full case study to learn more about how Manchester University students are using SoftChalk.

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CONNECT Enabling Educators Across the World to Share Content

World Map

Marilyn Larsen, an associate professor at College of the Mainland and the 2012 2nd place Lesson Challenge winner, has shared over 40 lessons and learning activities in the SoftChalk CONNECT Learning Object Repository. Another SoftChalk user, Nora Nineachtian of Dubai Men's College, found Marilyn's Linear Equations in Two Variables lesson on the site, downloaded it and started using it with her students. Nora and Marilyn started communicating via email during the process and were impressed by how easy CONNECT made it for them to share and collaborate. This story warms our heart because this is why we built CONNECT!

Doesn't this story make you want to join in on the fun? Get your free account on CONNECT today and start sharing and discovering high quality, useful content.

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Online vs. Face-to-Face Library Instruction—What Works?

Julie Nichols and Kristin Johnson, Librarians at Northeast Lakeview College, have found that moving their library's traditional face-to-face instruction to online modules provides 24/7 point-of-need access to the materials students need to complete their assignments. In a recent blog post, Nichols and Johnson discuss the online instruction pilot program and how it will be used to assess the differences in student learning in traditional instruction sessions versus online modules. Learn more by reading the full blog post and watching their archived Innovators Session.

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Webinars Resources Available to You 24/7

Quick Tour Video Tutorials
Within minutes, you can master SoftChalk by viewing our step-by-step Quick Tour video tutorials. These videos are short, sweet and focused so you can pick and choose just the ones you need to get your e-learning content online quickly and easily with SoftChalk. http://softchalk.com/learn-more/video-tutorials.

Short Courses
Check out our FREE online training sessions! SoftChalk Short Courses are live, one-hour training webinars, conducted online by a SoftChalk instructor. The courses typically include a presentation and examples, as well as an opportunity for you to ask questions and receive assistance from the instructor. For more information or to register, go to http://softchalk.com/learn-more/short-courses.

Innovator Sessions
SoftChalk’s Innovators in Online Learning webinar series highlights educators who are using SoftChalk in innovative ways. Take a look at what all the excitement is about by checking out some of the previously recorded sessions or sign up for an upcoming webinar. http://softchalk.com/learn-more/innovators.

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