UWA Online Blog

Course Spotlight: The Flipped Classroom

Traditional learning methods are being favored less and less over new and innovative teaching strategies—including a concept called the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom refers to the inversion of the traditional classroom, which involves teachers lecturing and students completing homework outside of the classroom. Instead, in the flipped classroom, students view short video lectures at home before coming to class to complete exercises, projects or other activities.

In “The Flipped Classroom,” a continuing education eLearning course offered through the University of West Alabama Online, participants will learn how implementing the flipped classroom method can turn a dull classroom environment into a vibrant and thriving one. The course will not only define a flipped classroom and illustrate how it can be effective, but it will teach educators how to apply the technique in their own classrooms.

This one-month course is divided into the following four units:

Unit 1: Understanding What a Flipped Class Is

  • How the flipped classroom changes the way we teach
  • What paradigm shift will need to take place in a flipped classroom
  • How students can relate to the flipped classroom

Unit 2: Exploring the Benefits of a Flipped Classroom

  • How the flipped classroom can benefit the instructor
  • How the flipped classroom can benefit the student
  • How the flipped classroom enhance and expand the learning endeavor

Unit 3: How to Design Your Own Flipped Class

  • Tools you will need to help flip your classroom
  • Tools you will need to help flip your online class
  • The process of setting up your flipped classroom
  • Flexibility needed in developing a flipped classroom

Unit 4: Successful Flipped Classroom Examples

  • Success stories from instructors who have benefited from flipping their classrooms
  • Success stories from students who have benefited from a flipped classroom
  • How the learning process comes alive and flourishes in a flipped classroom

By the end of the course, participants will have a better understanding as to how a flipped classroom can benefit both the teacher and the student. They will also know how to identify and obtain technologies that can aid in creating a flipped classroom and will be able to cite real-life scenarios in which flipped classrooms have been successful.

The Flipped Classroom is one of three courses required to earn a Certificate in Blended Instruction from UWA Online. This course is being offered June 5 through 30, Aug. 7 through Sept. 1 and Nov. 6 through Dec. 1!

To register for this or other UWA Online Continuing Education eLearning courses, visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/!

10 Useful Continuing Education Courses for Teachers

It has been said that teachers are doing a disservice to their students if teachers themselves do not continuing learning throughout their careers. While some topics like math and science can seem concrete (2+2 will always equal 4), as technology evolves, the methods available to teachers to relay information is ever changing. In order to be able to teach students the most relevant material in the most effective manner, continuing education courses through the duration of a teaching career are deemed not only helpful, but necessary. At the University of West Alabama Online, our eLearning program features a selection of continuing education courses for teachers that apply to a variety of educator needs. Here are 10 useful continuing education course for teachers to give you a taste of what UWA Online has to offer!

  • Harassment, Bullying & Cyber-Intimidation in Schools: This course will define and discuss the personal, social and legal ramifications associated with sexual harassment, bullying and cyber-intimidation. Participants will be exposed to preventative strategies, as well as strategies for addressing a harassment, bullying or cyber-intimidation situation.

 

  • UWA’s Using Social Media to Improve Communication Efforts: Examine techniques and practices that can help you facilitate using social media as a means to communicate with parents, children and the community as a whole. Participants will create a social media toolkit that can be implemented in their districts or schools.

 

  • Developing Hybrid Courses: Participants will learn how to combine face-to-face engagement with online tools to effectively deliver content to their students. Teachers will get a feel for how a hybrid course can expose them to a larger audience and allow them to convey their lessons in innovative ways.

 

  • Educational Technology 101: Educators will learn about the most cutting-edge technology available to teachers and how to productively implement various technology materials into their curriculums. Topics include blogs, podcasts, digital storytelling, virtual field trips and more.

 

  • Effectively Using iPads to Transform the Classroom: This course will focus on the importance of using iPads to achieve classroom goals and teach students real-world technology-based skills. Teachers will become familiar with a host of apps relative to teach English, math, science, social studies, heath and the arts.

 

  • Best Practices for a Successful Middle School Classroom: Designed for teachers of grades six through eight, this course will focus on how to develop and manage a thriving junior high or middle school classroom. It will cover a range of topics, including Common Core standards, time management, behavioral issues common to that specific age group and how to capture and retain student interest.

 

  • Google as a Classroom Tool for Learning (K-12): Educators will learn how to use Google products and services to their advantage in the classroom. Participants will create a Google account and will practice navigating through the interfaces of various Google products in an effort to improve communication, collaboration and engagement.

 

  • Improving Your Students Test Taking Skills: In addition to helping teachers understand concepts related to standardized testing, this course will show teachers how to help students prepare for tests and take steps to improve their test taking strategies.

 

  • Preparing Students for the Common Core Assessments: This course will help teachers understand the Common Core Assessments and their impact on teaching strategies and curriculum design. Participants will learn how Common Core affects the way lessons should be developed and taught and will acquire methods for helping students prepare for the Common Core Assessments.

 

  • UWA’s K-12 There’s an App for That! Acquire knowledge of app-based tools that can help you in various aspects of the classroom. This course will introduce participants to apps that can improve parent and colleague communication, increase student engagement and enhance organizational methods.

 

This list features only a sample of the many continuing education courses for teachers available through UWA Online! Each of these courses counts toward either CEU or PLU credit. Because they are all available in an online environment, teachers can benefit from the flexibility of being able to earn their CEU and PLU credits around their already busy schedules.

To register for any of these or other UWA Online Continuing Education eLearning courses, visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/ and click the “Education” tab on the left side of the screen!

7 Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day 2017

Though many of us make it a point to let our mothers know how much we appreciate them throughout the year, having a specific day set aside to reiterate the idea never hurts. If you haven’t already started planning what you are going to do for your mom this Mother’s Day, here’s your reminder that you have exactly one week to do so! Mother’s Day 2017 is Sunday, May 14, and here we’ve shared a few good ideas for how you can show your mom that you think she’s incredible.

  • Cook her brunch. Sunday brunch is never a bad move! Instead of fighting the crowds going out to eat for the holiday, plan and cook a special brunch for mom at home. She’ll appreciate the effort you put into a home-cooked meal.
  • Take her on a hike. Getting outdoors does the body good, and going on a hike or even for a walk in the park can also give you and your mom the opportunity to spend time together while taking in nature’s beauty.
  • Relieve her responsibilities. On Mother’s Day, your mom should have the opportunity for some down time (if not down time all day). Take any responsibilities you can off her hands—whether it is running errands, cooking, cleaning, babysitting the dog, etc.
  • Offer to complete a home project. Along the same lines, you could go above and beyond taking care of her daily duties and offer to help with a home project that has been on mom’s to-do list for a while. This could be painting a room, clearing out the garage or creating a new flower bed in the yard.
  • Make her something. From the macaroni necklaces you made when you were a kid to now—nothing handmade from her children ever gets old to mom. Tap into your creative side and paint her a picture, make her a spring wreath or even snap a photo on your iPhone and put it in a nice frame.
  • Pamper her. In addition to homemade gifts, pampering also never gets old to moms. Give her a gift certificate for a massage or pedicure (or take her to get one), or gift her some of her favorite bath or beauty products.
  • Simply spend time together. If all else fails, spending some quality time with mom is a gift that you know she’ll love! Watch a movie, play a board game, reminisce with old pictures—or any other activity that you and her both enjoy.

The UWA Online Continuing Education program wishes all of the moms out there an (early) happy Mother’s Day 2017!

To view our course offerings, or to register for online courses, visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/!

Course Spotlight: Powerful Presentations and Effective Speaking Techniques 1159

You cannot underestimate the power of public speaking—especially in a business setting. From presentations to sales, speaking appears as a form of communication across a variety of business venues. In Powerful Presentations and Effective Speaking Techniques 1159, participants will learn how professional speaking, presentation and sales techniques can positively affect the success they experience in their careers.

Powerful Presentations and Effective Speaking Techniques 1159, a continuing education eLearning course through The University of West Alabama Online, will teach students skills like voice and speech basics, proper breathing, diction and enunciation and how to craft and deliver creative presentations confidently. Course participants will also learn how to speak in front of audiences of varying sizes including one-on-one conversations, small groups, large audiences and tele-seminars and webinars.

This one-month course is divided into the following four units:

Unit 1: Getting Started Right

  • Specific strategies to calm your nerves and overcome the fear of speaking
  • Master the critical: first five minutes of every presentation
  • How to create thought-provoking questions to enroll your audience
  • The power of speaking in benefits
  • Learning the “what’s in it for me” for your audience
  • How to tailor each presentation for different audiences

Unit 2: Correct Vocal Production and Vocal Health

  • Vocal production: correct breathing, grounding and voice basics
  • Vocal exercises for diction, resonance and vocal placement
  • Vocal health: how to speak correctly and never lose your voice
  • Grounding and centering before every presentation

Unit 3: Advanced Presentation Techniques

  • Effective storytelling
  • Keeping your audience active and engaged throughout your entire presentation
  • The importance of “state changes,” especially during longer presentations or trainings
  • How to use accelerated learning techniques

Unit 4: Putting It All Together

  • How to create a specific structure for every presentation
  • How to apply all these techniques across different mediums
  • How to successfully conclude your presentation and lead your audience to the next step

By the end of this course, participants will have gained confidence in public speaking, have a template designed for presentations and trainings, know how to apply practices related to vocal health and vocal production and have an overall better grasp on how to effectively communicate a message to an audience.

Powerful Presentations and Effective Speaking Techniques 1159 is one of three courses necessary to earn a certificate in Presentation Skills from the University of West Alabama Online. This course is available June 5 through 30 and September 5 through 29.

To register for this or other UWA Online Continuing Education eLearning courses, visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/!

 

5 Reasons to Consider Continuing Education During the Summer

Depending on their age and life stage, summer means different things to different people. When you are a kid in school, it can mean freedom from responsibility and days spent playing outside or swimming in the pool. When you are in college, summer is not entirely as carefree as when you were a kid, but you still get a sense of excitement for the season, even if you are working or taking classes. When you are an adult, summer may not mean any more to you than sweltering temperatures and a more expensive power bill to run the air conditioning. However, as life is generally a little more lax in the hottest season of the year, it’s a great idea to consider continuing education during the summer.

At The University of West Alabama Online, our Continuing Education eLearning program is ongoing throughout the summer and offers a variety of online courses that serve to both educate and entertain. Here are a few reasons why you should consider continuing education during the summer!

  • To get ahead. Continuing education eLearning is a great way to advance yourself in your career or your specific field of study. If you are in college, taking eLearning courses during the summer can help you get ahead on a certain topic or skill before your fall classes. If you are in the work force, continuing education during the summer can give you the career boost you need for the promotion or new position you have your eye on.
  • To start a hobby. Continuing education eLearning is not just for those looking to enhance their careers. We offer hobby-driven courses that exist simply to stretch your mind and entertain your brain. Check out our course list to see what your next hobby could be!
  • To give a gift. If you have a recent graduate in the family or know someone who just loves learning, continuing education during the summer can be a great gift idea. We offer gift certificates for our courses that are available for purchase on our website.
  • To set (and achieve) a goal in a set timeframe. In general, most of us think of summer as three months: June, July and August (though the weather in the South may feel like summer for longer). If you have been thinking about earning a certification or completing a course from UWA Online, summer is a great time frame to dedicate yourself to achieving that goal before the busy start of fall and the holiday season.
  • To beat the heat. What’s one of the great things about UWA’s continuing education eLearning courses? They are all online! That means you have an excuse to spend more time indoors in the air conditioning and less time sweating in the summer heat!

Whether you’re considering continuing education during summer—or any time of year—we encourage you to take a minute to see what we have to offer! Check out our course offerings, and register for courses at https://uwa.augusoft.net/.

 

10 Great Gifts for College Grads

May is a day away, and that means that graduation is on the horizon for college students across the country—including the University of West Alabama! As students trade in their class-going garb for caps and gowns, loved ones and friends are looking for ways to celebrate their soon-to-be grad’s achievements—beyond just a hug and a cheer as they walk across the graduation stage. If you are looking to honor your favorite college graduate this month, check out UWA Online’s list of great gifts for college grads!

  • Gift cards. These colorful plastic pieces are a go-to gift for many for good reason. Your grad can pick out exactly what he or she likes, but you can avoid gifting straight cash, which may end up being spent on your grad’s celebratory food and bar tabs (rather than a tangible, memorable item).
  • Investment money. Gifting your grad stocks or other forms of investments is a great way to give him or her something to fall back on financially. It’s also something your grad would probably not have thought of doing off the bat right out of college, so it puts her or him ahead of the game.
  • Help with a down payment. Moving from the dorms or college apartment to an adult living situation may not be something your grad can afford right away, but by pitching in on a home down payment or offering to pay first month’s rent, you may be able to skip the step of having him or her move back home right after graduation.
  • Home goods. Leaving college means also time to leave the posters and hand-me-down couches behind for more sophisticated furnishings. From kitchen tables to vacuum cleaners, you can help your college grad by gifting practical items for use in his or her new living environment.
  • Professional clothing. A solid professional wardrobe is a must-have for any college graduate entering the career force. Staples like suits, heels and loafers and even a briefcase or work bag can help create a polished look for your grad to take to interviews.
  • Resume service. You grad’s resume will need to stand out from competitors when securing those interviews, and a professional resume service can help that happen. A paid resume service can create updated and contemporary documents to ensure that a resume lives up to today’s standards.
  • Smartphone or tablet. An updated smartphone or tablet can also help your grad seamlessly enter the professional world by equipping him or her with the latest technology. It is critical for today’s job applicants to be technologically savvy and connected, so having these tools on hand can help your grad excel in those areas.
  • A one-of-a-kind piece of original artwork is a gift that your grad will cherish and that he or she will be able to appreciate day in and out. You can purchase a painting or sculpture or if you are the artistic type, consider creating one of your own.
  • Your grad’s new career could take him or her anywhere, so a new set of sharp-looking luggage can be a useful and luxurious gift. If your grad is moving far away from home, gifting luggage that he or she wants to use could be incentive for a visit more often!
  • A trip. The interim period of time between college graduation and a person’s first day in an adult job is the ideal time to travel. Congratulate your grad for all of his or her hard work by planning a trip to the place you know her or she has always wanted to visit!

Ultimately, as your graduate steps off the graduation stage and into the real world, advice and support is the best gift you could offer. However, any one of these great gifts for college grads could be a welcomed bonus to say, “Congrats!”

Though UWA students are graduating soon, UWA Online Continuing Education has courses that are ongoing throughout the summer and fall! Check our course offerings here: https://uwa.augusoft.net/.

Course Spotlight: Google Analytics 1219

As a business, you can’t track how many people watch your television commercial—but you can track how many people visit your website. Welcome to the world of web analytics—and specifically, Google Analytics.

Google Analytics 1219 is a course designed for the non-technical user and will focus on fundamental web analytics techniques using the world standard—Google Analytics, which is a free online tool. Course participants will gain a better understanding of a website’s traffic, learn how to calculate return on investment for web advertising and get insight into converting website visitors into tangible sales volume.

This one-month course is divided into the following four units:

Unit 1: Key Analytics

  • Importance of tracking your website
  • Introduction to Google Analytics
  • Installing Google Analytics to your site
  • Learning from visual analytics
  • Key analytics you should be reviewing weekly

Unit 2: Understanding Your Website Visitors

  • Understanding your website traffic
  • Understanding your visitors
  • Turning visitor traffic into profit
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) primer
  • Understanding search engine traffic
  • Determining high value keywords for SEO

Unit 3: Key Techniques

  • Creating and using goals
  • How to build an abandonment funnel
  • Optimizing your site based on funnel feedback
  • Creating and using campaign tracking

Unit 4: eCommerce and ROI

  • eCommerce tracking
  • Calculating ROI from online advertising
  • Custom reporting
  • Creating and using advanced segments
  • How to track across multiple domains
  • How to become a Google Analytics Certified Partner

By the end of the course, students who have successfully completed Google Analytics 1219 should have a general understanding of web statistics and search engine optimization, will feel comfortable installing and using Google Analytics and will be able to use the information collected to enhance a website’s ROI. Google Analytics 1219, which is one of three course required to earn a Certificate in Google Tools from the University of West Alabama Online, is being offered June 5 through 30 and September 5 through 29!

To register for this or other UWA Online Continuing Education eLearning courses, visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/.

The Equipment You Will Need for eLearning

For some students, part of the excitement that coincides with the “back to school” time of year is getting to go shopping for new school supplies—from books and binders to pens and paper. The appeal is starting the school year fresh with a new arsenal of tools in tow. For eLearning, which relates to courses, discussions, assignments and tests happening all online, having the right equipment is equally—and perhaps even more—critical to completing a class successfully. The equipment you will need for eLearning goes beyond what you need for a class you attend on campus, but as long as you have these basic hardware and software tools on hand, you should be in a good position to thrive in an eLearning environment.

Add these items to the list of the equipment you will need for eLearning!

  • Current computer. It is recommended that you have a computer that was purchased within the last seven or eight years to make sure that you have sufficient memory and computer processing speed.
  • Updated operating system. An up-to-date operating system is a requirement for your computer to be able to run the necessary programs for eLearning. You do not necessarily have to have the latest operating system for Windows or Mac, but if it is not the most recent, make sure it is not too far outdated.
  • Email address. Most people likely already have a personal Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail account that can be used for eLearning. If you do not, setting one up is completely free.
  • Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Office suite includes Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, which will allow you to produce documents and spreadsheets, respectively. You may also use Microsoft PowerPoint for creating presentations and Microsoft Publisher for creative projects.
  • Media player/flash player. Programs like Windows Media Player, QuickTime and Flash are necessary for streaming videos, which will likely be included in your instructional content. These are typically free and easy to download.
  • Speakers/headset. These tools are required for communication among yourself, your instructor and your classmates. You may also need a microphone to participate in audio chats and/or to record audio files.
  • Having a printer at home or in your personal work space is a convenience that will prevent you from having to visit the library to print something, which would defeat the point of eLearning in the first place.

These are just a few of the basic pieces of equipment you will need for eLearning, but you may also be required to acquire software programs that are specific to the course material. Your course instructor will give you a list of necessary supplies and should be able to answer questions about whether or not your current computer and operating systems will be adequate.

Are you interested in eLearning through UWA Online? Browse our course selection and register for continuing education eLearning classes at https://uwa.augusoft.net/!

 

UWA Named Safest College Campus in State

The University of West Alabama has another achievement to celebrate this month, as UWA was recently named the safest college campus in the state of Alabama by ADT Security.

The triumph was highlighted earlier this month on ADT’s blog on yourlocalsecurity.com. According to the site, to determine the safest school in each state, ADT tallied crimes reported by universities and then divided them into the following three categories: violent crime, property crime and violence against women. The rankings were then determined by weighing the crimes by severity and dividing the school’s crime score by enrollment to calculate total per-capita crime.

The report noted that UWA sees low instances of violent crime, property crime and violence against women. The report also cited the campus police department’s strict visitor policy, which requires infrequent visitors to visit the campus police station for a card permit. The policy requires frequent visitors to apply for a hang tag that indicates their reason for visiting campus and that lists their vehicle’s make and model and proof of liability insurance.

All schools included in the report are private or non-profit four-year colleges with enrollments higher than 1,000. The University of Alabama, which enrolls around 5,000 students per semester, earned the safest college campus in Alabama ranking to runners up Faulkner University in Montgomery and Samford University in Birmingham.

If campus safety is one of your priorities for the school you or your family member chooses, consider the safest private college campus in the state at the University of West Alabama in Livingston!

Even if coming to campus is not in your plans, you can become part of the UWA family by enrolling in continuing education courses through UWA Online! UWA Online’s Continuing Education eLearning opportunities cover a variety of subjects and interests. See our complete list of course offerings today at https://uwa.augusoft.net/!

Course Spotlight: Negotiation: Get What You Want 1212

With a class titled “get what you want,” how could you go wrong? Whether you realize it or not, negotiation is a skill that comes into play in our everyday lives—and especially in the world of business. Negotiation is about being able to balance what you want and need with the wants and needs of others—and using that knowledge to improve your chances of achieving personal success.

In Negotiation: Get What You Want 1212, students will work with a professional negotiator to learn how to plan, implement and win the bargaining process. The course will give participants the confidence they need to be able to make deals that will grow their professional networks as well as set them up for personal triumphs. The one-month course is divided into the follow four units:

Unit 1: Introduction to the Negotiation

  • Your natural bargaining style and how you can strengthen it
  • Understanding winning—the hallmarks of a successful negotiation
  • The steps to planning a successful bargaining process
  • Knowing your power source
  • Balancing firmness and flexibility

Unit 2: Option Building and Boundary Setting

  • Creating goals and priorities in the deal
  • Creating bargaining boundaries
  • How to build your options
  • How to create better options for your opponent without giving away what you value

Unit 3: Managing the Negotiating Process

  • Managing yourself
  • Managing the other side
  • Managing relationships
  • Managing communication

Unit 4: Black Belt Skills

  • Planning to give more and get more
  • Developing a BATNA and knowing when to employ it
  • Crafting the agreements and commitments
  • Diverting tricky tactics and attempts at dirty dealing

By the end of this course, participants will be able to plan and implement a successful bargaining strategy, recognize and remedy pressure tactics and other actions experienced negotiators may take against you, and create alternative strategies when a deal falls through. They will possess the knowledge to expand negotiation options and foster positive relationships while meeting the needs of themselves and others. Negotiation: Get What You Want 1212 is being offered June 5 through 30 and September 5 through 29! It is one of three courses required to earn a Certificate in Workplace Communication from UWA Online!

To register for this or other UWA Online Continuing Education courses, visit https://uwa.augusoft.net/.