Do You Want to Become a Forum Activity Master? Here’s What You Need to Know

forumsDid you know that forums can be used for many different types of learning activities? Sure forums can be used to get students communicating and interacting via postings, but they can also start meaningful discussions to help students grasp new concepts and engage with their course work.

With a little bit of planning, you can stimulate student learning and add variety to your class with forums. In this post, we’ll share some tips to help you become a Forum activity master.

Selecting a Forum Type
Forums can be used to help students to develop a sense of forum iconcommunity, demonstrate knowledge about key concepts, build a consensus, and reflect on materials that they have worked with outside of class. It’s important to choose the type of forum that makes sense for the activity you are asking students to complete. The CLE has five forum types, each with a slightly different layout and purpose:

  • A Single Simple Discussion
    Only one topic, started by the instructor, is allowed. This is best suited for short-term, focused conversations.
  • Each Person Posts One Discussion
    Each student may start one new topic. Students are not limited in the number of replies they can post within those topics.
  • Q and A Forum
    An instructor posts one topic, for example, posing a question to students. Students must post their response before they can view other students’ responses.
  • Standard Forum Displayed in a Blog-like Format
    Allow multiple topics listed with the most recent topic at the top of the page and replies behind a link. Students may start new topics in this format.
  • Standard Forum for General Use
    Allow multiple topics arranged in a threaded conversation. Students may start new topics in this format.

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Tips for Creating a Multimedia Project


Multimedia-Blog-Icon1Have you ever had a great idea for creating a multimedia project, but didn’t know where to get started? No need to worry, the Learning Tech Group’s got you covered! Here are some tips for how to go about planning and creating an effective project while using the Library Tech Commons resources.

Develop a plan
Before you begin your project, you’ll need to come up with a plan. Start by defining your goals for the project, the message you would like to convey, and remember to keep your audience in mind.

Consider how you will deliver the project and choose the media that best coveys your message.  If you’re not so sure which media to use, schedule an appointment with the Learning Tech Group to get some guidance during this step. Once you decide which media you will use, then determine the necessary skills and resources needed to complete the project, and how much time will be involved.

Use the Tech Commons Resources
The Tech Commons offers audio and video equipment and workstations equipped with an assortment of multimedia editing applications. Learn more about how you can use these resources to create your projects below: Continue reading

CLE Help for Students

UCSF students workingIn preparation for the Fall 2016 quarter at UCSF, the Learning Tech Group has been busy developing CLE support resources for new and returning students. Below is a short video covering frequently asked questions from students, as well as links to support documents designed to set students up for success in the UCSF CLE.

Are you a faculty member or support staff for a course that uses the CLE? Feel free to add links to these resources in your CLE courses or email this blog post to students. As always, contact us with any questions or feedback, or just leave a comment below. We’d love to know what you think, or if there are other topics you think we should cover.

CLE FAQ Video for Students

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New Equipment for Loan!

equipment items collageThe Library Tech Commons Team is very proud to offer a comprehensive collection of video and audio equipment for loan, free of charge, to UCSF students, staff and faculty. Our equipment is used ever day for a variety of projects, including interviews, medical demonstrations, and even student skits. We listened to your feedback, and have added new items to the collection!

Among the new additions are a state-of-the-art LED light kit, two new digital audio recorders, a dual wireless mic kit (yes, mic-up two subjects at the same time!), and high-quality handheld mics and a shotgun mic for advanced users. For each new item, there is also an accompanying online help document to get you up-and-running quickly: Continue reading

Customize Your CLE Course With Course Formats

collapsed topics image introThe CLE is used across UCSF for Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy education and much more. Each school and department has their own unique needs, and faculty can choose from a number of course formats to customize the layout of their CLE course to best meet these needs.

If you have used the CLE, you are likely familiar with the Topics course format, the default in CLE courses. While the Topics format and the other five course formats are awesome, we want to take this opportunity to highlight one of our favorites – the Collapsed Topics course format.

You may have read about the Collapsed Topics course format in the CLE Improvements for Fall 2015 blog post. We have been busy getting to know the new course formats and documenting use cases, best practices, and instructions for using each.

Let’s take a closer look at the Collapsed Topics course format: Continue reading