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Week 6 Blog Post- Plagiarism and Cheating

According to Kier (2019) plagiarism is an equally difficult issue to battle within post-secondary school, whether it is brick and mortar school or online learning. 

By doing a quick search, many options came up for the search terms “plagiarism detection tools for online instructors.” One that made its way to the top of the list, and it pains me to say this, is Grammarly. Grammarly comes up on ads every single day and time that I play a video in my classroom. I was under the impression that it was best for students to use Grammarly since it could help students with their writing. However, apparently, Grammarly offers a premium plan for online instructors to use to help online instructors detect plagiarism. Our school, Walden, uses SafeAssign. I have a feeling they all work in a similar way. It seems like many of these are easy to use. 


According to Palloff and Pratt (in Walden University, LLC, 2010), cheating and plagiarism are more common than we know about. Online instructors have to be aware of this and know how to create tasks and assignments that can help reduce the need to plagiarize. Palloff and Pratt (in Walden University, LLC, 2010) shared that there are even instances where students, yes, you heard it correctly, are not aware of their own cheating or plagiarizing. This happens especially when students take and use their own past works. The assumption is that students may not really understand fully what cheating and plagiarism are and what they mean. Kier (2019) also agreed that this accidental plagiarism continues to exist, despite the best laid plans to help mitigate it. 


In my opinion, watching a brief discussion, like the one between Palloff and Pratt (in Walden University, 2010) can really go a long way with new online students, or students in general. Hitting the key points about what cheating and plagiarism are and sharing how to avoid plagiarizing might be a well-situated investment for an online school or a school offering online courses. 


Palloff and Pratt (in Walden University, LLC, 2010) suggest that online instructors work to make assignments as authentic as possible. Doing so will eliminate the need to cheat. It is helpful to design tasks that will challenge them and allow them to use critical thinking skills. It also boils down to knowing your students. The more familiar an online instructor is with their students and their quality of work, the easier it is to spot plagiarism and help students understand it. 



Amanda Valente 

Kier, C. A. (2019). Plagiarism Intervention Using a Game-Based Tutorial in an Online Distance Education Course. Journal of Academic Ethics, 17(4), 429–439.

Walden University, LLC. (Producer). (2010). Plagiarism and cheating [Video file].

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Week 5 Blog

Multimedia and Technology:

According to Mast (2022), multimedia and technology have the power to impact students in virtual learning environments by allowing them to feel less distant and isolated from their peers.   Richardson (2015) reminded me that my learners are online and using digital tools, mostly without help or instruction. It is my professional duty to coach them and show them how to be responsible digital citizens (ISTE, 2008a). Through the course materials and other resources, I have a deeper knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning with respect to integrating technology.  Throughout this Master’s, I have learned about a plethora of Web 2.0 tools that are suitable for the classroom. According to Akbulut, Atlinisik, and Tatli (2019), Web 2.0 tools are easily integrated into the classroom, are easy to use with most interfaces seen in schools, create a blended learning environment, increase the level of learning, increase students’ active participation, gives learners the opportunity to create and edit content, create collaborative and interactive learning environment, gives the possibility to reach the masses, and supports learners critical thinking skills. It is hard to imagine that tools like this exist and that they can be brought into the classroom so easily. 


Palloff and Pratt (in Walden University, LLC, 2010) shared that Web 2.0 technologies are ones that require student collaboration in either synchronous or asynchronous classrooms. Furthermore, Web 2.0 technologies must allow for user-generated content. 



As with anything else, it is important for an online instructor to make certain considerations before mandating technology in an online classroom. Some factors include: access to broadband internet that might support these tools; keeping in mind student abilities and needs; user frustration and a learning curve; data, security, and privacy. 


Palloff and Pratt (in Walden University, LLC, 2010) shared students in rural Arkansas may have exceptionally slow internet access and therefore some of the Web 2.0 technologies that a course instructor may choose will not be able to be accomplished. The example was in rural Arkansas, but truly a student anywhere can have internet issues or troubles. This should be considered. 

Next, making sure that students’ needs are being met and their ability levels are challenged in just the right ways with Web 2.0 technologies would also be important to consider. Not all students have the same level of engagement with learning and the same would hold true with students using and learning new Web 2.0 technologies. 


Third, it is important to consider that if a student has not used a particular technology before, there might be some push-back or resistance. At the very least, if there is no pushback, there is likely to be a learning curve. I had this experience with Adobe Captivate applications. I have never once used Adobe before, other than Acrobat Reader for PDF’s. It was a challenge to say the least for me to learn the technologies required and then to create with them as well. 


Finally, it is important to consider and protect student data and privacy while using these technologies. No students’ privacy or data should be compromised because of a Web 2.0 technology that they were required to use for a course. 



Evaluating user accessibility and usability is imperative to the online learning experience. The end goal would be for students to walk away with a positive learning experience. According to Cooper, Colwell and Jelfs (2016) usability is the extent to which a system can be used by individuals and achieve its purpose. Furthermore, usability and accessibility are indefinitely linked (Copper, Colwell & Jelfs, 2016). Pedagogical effectiveness of e-learning systems are directly impacted by usability and accessibility (Cooper, Colwell, & Jelfs, 2016). Online instructors might want to consider the special needs of students and how large the learning curve will be for students to become familiar with the technology they are requiring. Therefore, it might be better to have a variety of options or leave the option on which technology to use up to the students. If students are more comfortable using a certain technology and can achieve the same end goal, it might be a better result in the end. An online instructor can ask the student to get approval first on their selected technology. 


According to Betts, Riccobono, and Welsh (2013), there are over 1 billion people in the world today with a disability. That number is staggering and many of these individuals are working in online learning environments. Just like in a physical classroom, online learning environments have to meet students’ learning needs and accommodations (Betts, Riccobono, & Welsh, 2013). That is why it is important to know your learners and know the technologies you are choosing to employ during a course to make sure that it is a match. 

Appealing Technology:

One Web 2.0 tool that I would like to bring into my classroom is blogging. First, I would like to, as Richardson (2010) suggested, begin by having learners find and start reading meaningful blogs to them. I would like them to create a log of which ones they visit, how often, and what they learn and like about the content. In the second phase, I would like to create a classroom blog and have my learners comment on it for various reasons and at various points in the year. Finally, I would like to have learners set up their own blogs about a topic they are passionate about. Of course with anything new, there are potential roadblocks to implementation. One roadblock I see is that my learners may come across inappropriate content when researching and reading their personal interest blogs. I can overcome that by letting the parents and my administrators know my plans for blogging and when an issue arises, I can model and teach my learners appropriate strategies to navigate away from that kind of content. ISTE (2008a) shared that this is a way to model acceptable digital citizenship. I can also teach my learners how to comment appropriately on my classroom blog and share with them examples of constructive, helpful, and useful comments. Through blogging my learners will achieve many of the ISTE standards (2008b) such as: empowering my learners, digital citizenship, knowledge constructor, creative communicator, and global connector. With the three phases of blogging I plan to use in my classroom, learners have the potential to achieve 21st century skills like creative and critical thinking, collaboration, communication, media literacy, information literacy, flexibility, and technology literacy. Finally, with blogging, I will be able to facilitate and inspire creative learning, design and develop digital age learning experiences, model digital age work and learning, and promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility (ISTE, 2008a). Blogging will be my first Web 2.0, major technology shift, endeavor. I know that making this change is the first step in the direction I want to take my classroom and my teaching. 

In closing, I learned a tremendous amount from this course and one tenet of that learning is discovering that I am never done learning. My eyes have now been re-opened to a new “school” of thought with regards to education and educational experiences. It is time to make changes not only for myself, but for my learners.


Akbulut, H. I., Altinisik, D., Tatli, Z. (2018). Changing attitudes towards educational technology 

usage in the classroom: Web 2.0 tools. Malaysian Online Journal of Educational 

Technology, 7(2), 1-19. Retrieved from:

Betts, K., Riccobono, M., & Welsh, B. (2013). Introduction to the Special Section on Integrating Accessibility into Online Learning. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17, 1–5.

Cooper, M. , Colwell, C., & Jelfs, A. (2007). Embedding accessibility and usability: considerations for e-learning research and development projects. Research in Learning Technology, 15(3).

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2008a). Standards for 

students. Retrieved from:

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2008b). Standards for 

teachers. Retrieved from:

Mast, K. (2022). Multimedia in e-learning: How it benefits, how it detracts and dangers the cognitive overload. University of Arizona. Retrieved from:

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd 

ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Richardson, W. (2015). From master teacher to master learner. Bloomington, IN: 

Solution Tree Press.


Week 4 Blog Post

Week 4 Blog Assignment

Hello again dear readers. This week my blog is dedicated to technology. Where would an online course be with it? The online environment that an instructor creates with technology is the genesis of the entire learning experience. It all stems from this source, which is all powered by and with technology. 


 Boettcher and Donaldson (2016), also commented that the guiding themes for beginning and building an online course is to establish a presence, establish a sense of community, and create clear expectations. The following sections of this blog post will explain each theme. 



First, it is important for online instructors to establish a relationship with learners (Palloff & Pratt in Walden University, LLC, 2010). Understanding a little bit about the online learners can help establish clear and effective expectations within the classroom.  


Sull (2020) shared some tips for kicking off an online presence and sense of community. Sull’s (2020) tips are: to send a friendly/motivating/inviting warm email prior to the course; connect the course content to the real-world of employment; let students know you will share your contact information and they are welcome to also share theirs; start the course off right by addressing students by name; share a personal story that is motivating; and try to find ways to make the course fun and engaging (if possible). 


Through establishing an energetic and active presence with the above tips, it is likely that many students will be able to engage and “buy-in” to all the coursework and assignments. Boettcher  and Donaldson (2016) share that keeping online presence going throughout the course is also important with strategies like: questioning, feedback, and project coaching. Palloff and Pratt (in Walden University, LLC, 2010) shared that project coaching is a crucial aspect of an online instructor’s job. A long-term study by Powell (2003) showed that many of the students who participated in the study requested more clear and frequent communication between themselves and the instructor. It is important to remember that just because people are taking courses online, they still want to feel connected and still want to find ways to communicate with their peers and their instructor. 



Something that is unique and important about an online course is the textual nature of the announcements, directions, expectations. Setting up an online course in a logical, sequential way that is also friendly, easy to navigate, and inviting is critical. Boettcher and Donaldon (2016) shared that some essential pieces to this puzzle include a digital syllabus, discussion prompts, and rubrics. Allowing students access to these ahead of the course opening date.  The syllabus, according to Boettcher and Donaldson (2016), is where students can find the learning goals, as well as policies and procedures. All policies and procedures should be communicated with the students in one spot on the learning management system. They need to be able to refer back to these documents frequently through their coursework. With this knowledge, online learners can align their experience to the design of their course. 



Palloff and Pratt (in Walden University, LLC, 2010) shared that establishing virtual teams is one way to build community. There could be some initial resistance to teaming online (Palloff and Pratt in Walden University, LLC, 2010), but a good online instructor will find ways to deflate the resistance. Furthermore, an effective online instructor will work on finding ways to help learners communicate with each other on the virtual teams, by selecting the right “tools” for teams to use to get the job done. Again, there might be some resistance with this as individual learners may not be used to work with all team tools. One way to overcome this and create balanced teams, would be to survey the students on their readiness and experience with the tools at the start of the course. Then, the instructor would be able to balance the teams with some people who know the tools and some who do not. Even once the teams are off and running, the instructor will need to continue to support the teams by checking in, providing feedback, and coaching teams by answering their questions (Palloff and Pratt in Walden University, LLC, 2010). 



The role of technology is tremendously significant in an online course. That being said, technology can be very challenging. You want to make sure the technology you need to support the course itself is supported by you and the learners. You may want to “test drive” the technology as well to make sure. Playing around with the aspects of the tools that you are assigning students to use would be helpful. If a student has a question about the tools you are requesting they use, it would be important for the online instructor to know enough about the technology to be able to help them troubleshoot. Technology can really take a course to the next level, but it can also hinder a course and stop it in its tracks. Knowing the tools is critical to the course’s success.




Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2016). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips (2nd ed.).San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Powell, W. (2003). Essential Design Elements for Successful Online Courses. Journal of Geoscience Education, 51(2), 221.

Sull, E. C. (2020). The Beginning Connection in an Online Course: Crucial! Distance Learning, 17(3), 108–111.

Walden University, LLC. (Producer). (2010). Launching the online learning experience [Video file].


Introductions First (But Really the Second Post- Oops!)

Hello fellow EIDT 6910 Capstoners! Welcome to my blog, Frenzied Fifth. I am a 38 year old mom of two, who lives in Northern New Jersey. I am a classroom teacher, who has taught 5th grade for the last 15 years. Times are changing in the field of education and I am not exactly sure if the changes are for the better.. time will tell. This is my second Master’s program with Walden University, as my first one was in Education. I am happy to be back, but even happier to be nearly done! My wallet and bank account could use a little reprieve from these two programs. Sadly, our school district only reimburses us for a little bit of the overall costs! But, other than the expense, which is always worth it, I am excited to be on this journey with you all and complete our coursework here together! After this, we can all say, “Pau Hanna!” Thanks! ~Amanda

1 Comment »

EIDT 6510 Week 1 Blog Post

Online Learning Communities

Online learning, like any other type of learning, has its strengths and weaknesses. Well-designed online courses will likely achieve all of their targeted learning goals with a rich and engaging learning experience. Whereas, poorly planned, designed, or executed will often fall short in many ways. Conrad and Donaldson (2011) shared that engaging learning stimulates active participation, which then, in turn, leads to superior knowledge acquisition through an active online learning community. 


Palloff and Pratt (2010) shared that the elements of an online community are people, purpose, and process. With a well-established and respected online learning community social constructivism is a natural side-effect, where the individuals get transformed into scholar practitioners. Furthermore, Palloff and Pratt (2010) shared that a strong learning community is when students are engaged together, construct knowledge together, and engage in continuous reflection. With a strong online community of learners, another side-effect is increased self-direction, an increased sense of responsibility, an increased perception of learning, and the feeling that one belongs to something larger than themself (Palloff & Pratt in Walden University, LLC, 2010). 

How to Build a Snowman? No! Kinda?! How to Build a Successful Online Learning Community

Like building a snowman, to build a successful online learning community, you have to start from the beginning and get the “ball” rolling, so to speak, with introductions. Beins (2016) shared that informal communication between instructors and students and students to students is one way to begin to build a successful online learning community. In order to be able to appreciate each other’s formal communications (discussion posts and assignments), this beginning “conversation” of an informal nature sets the tone and allows each member of the community to see each other as real people (Bein, 2016). When people feel connected in an online course, it can help drive up learner satisfaction. I know that at Walden, we always begin the course by sharing in the student lounge information about ourselves and we often receive a video message from our instructor. The “small talk” supports students feeling connected to each other and their instructor (Bein, 2016). In my opinion, this is the first metaphorical “snowball.” Yet, without this foundational snowball, the rest of the snowman would not be able to be constructed. Finally, Palloff and Pratt (2010) shared that in the first two weeks of the course, it is essential to break down the isolation factor that many online learners face. Using a personal touch, like a phone call or email in the early days of course, may break down those barriers. Another suggestion is to create an orientation module that allows learners to get to know each other and also orients them to the course management system (Palloff and Pratt in Walden University, LLC, 2010.) 

Essential Elements of Online Community Building and Sustaining Them

According to Vesley, Bloom, and Sherlock (2007), essential elements of online community building include: a sense of shared purpose; a determination of boundaries, as to whom is a member and whom is not; established guidelines, rules, and policies regarding community behavior; frequent and positive interactions between members; and an established level of trust or a rapport amongst members. Palloff and Pratt (2010) concurred in this week’s video that essential elements of an online community help pull students together; allow students to explore together; allow students to co-construct knowledge together; allow students to challenge each other and draw things out of one another, and allows for social construction of knowledge. 

In order to sustain a successful online learning community, there are three significant factors: social presence; authentic learning, and interdependency (Ryman et al, 2014).  Boettcher and Conrad (2016) shares ten core principles of learning that would also contribute to sustaining an online learning community, with the learner always being at the center of the experience. Having an instructor that can do this and also support students and mentor them in personal ways, encompasses principles two and three (Boettcher & Conrad, 2016). 

Closing Remarks

Dawson, Burnett, & O’Donohue (2006) shared that a sense of community has been shown to enhance student learning. When we feel that we have a part in the process, when we feel we are more than just people behind computer screens, and have the opportunity to participate in authentic learning experiences, the online learning community can really be created and sustained. 



Amanda Valente 


Beins, A. (2016). Small Talk and Chit Chat: Using Informal Communication to Build a Learning Community Online. Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship & Pedagogy, 26(2), 157–175.

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2016). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips (2nd ed.).San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Conrad, R., & Donaldson, J. A. (2011). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction (Updated ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Dawson, S., Burnett, B., & O’Donohue, M. (2006). Learning communities: an untapped sustainable competitive advantage for higher education. International Journal of Educational Management.

Vesely, P., Bloom, L., & Sherlock, J. (2007). Key elements of building online community: Comparing faculty and student perceptions. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 3(3), 234-246.

Walden University, LLC. (Producer). (2010). Online learning communities [Video file].


EDUC 6145 Week 6 Blog Post

Issues… What Issues?

Without fail, there are bound to be issues that arise with every single project one does. The project could be a personal project, a passion project, or a professional project. It does not matter the origin of the project, issues will abound. 


Scope Creep Creepin’ In

Stolovitch (in Walden University, LLC, n.d.a) Week 5 shared that resources are indeed the lifeblood of a project. Yet, without fail, someone or something will try to take the project in a different direction. This is called scope creep. According to Ajmal, Khan, Al-Yafei (2020), scope creep develops from a lack of fully developing the scope of a project, or an incomplete definition of the scope of a project. Either definition, or any definition, has a negative impact on the resources associated with the project (time, costs, or quality of project) (Ajmal, Khan, Al-Yafie, 2020). 


Stolovitch (in Walden University, LLC, n.d.b.) shared that scope creep is a normal occurrence with a project and will happen any time new things “come up” with a project. It is important to involve stakeholders and have them overtly state what they want from the project and what the deliverables are (Stolovitch in Walden University, LLC, n.d.b.) This can ensure that the project manager does not become the scapegoat for where the project went awry. Although, according to Budrovich (in Walden University, LLC, n.d.c.) it is still possible for the stakeholders to blame the project manager and thus he/she takes the fall. I suppose this is a professional hazard that many project managers fall prey to. Realistically, I feel there is always a pitfall with every profession, and for a project manager, this is it. 

Overcoming Creep-ers..

Project managers must accept that scope creep is coming, just like John Snow said in Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming.” Once you do, you can begin to make changes and adapt. Stolovitch (in Walden University, LLC, n.d.c.) shared that at times it may be necessary to reallocate resources, but all of this should be communicated and agreed upon with stakeholders. A project manager’s job can be overwhelming, but there are strategies to help cope and manage the project and team members. Stolovitch (in Walden University, LLC, n.d.c.) shared that listing all the management tasks, ranking them, handling the top priorities first, delegating low-priority tasks to others, avoiding the desire or urge to be perfect, and focusing on the big players of the project (timeline, budget, and stakeholders) can all help bring the project manager back down to Earth and begin to adapt and overcome. 

Scope Creeping into the Pool…

Last time we were asked to explore either a personal or professional project, I examined a professional project with my job as an educator. This time, I want to demonstrate that scope creep occurs in the personal arena as well. My scope creep is an example is/was a doozy. It all began with the idea to put in an inground pool in our somewhat tight, mountainous backyard. My spouse, at the time, and I tossed around the idea of putting in a pool. We checked our savings accounts, researched the costs, called around and got some pool contractors to come out. Within a few months, we were picking out our liner and ready to break ground. We had anticipated the costs of the pool, as we felt it was reasonable. Once it all got underway, we hit some boulders… no, literally, they hit boulders. We had specifically had the pool contractor company dig some test holes in our hard to make sure this was even possible. They had determined that, yes, there was rock in there, but it was manageable. So, the first hurdle came to us with a price tag of 5K. We could either fold up the project with a ten-foot hole in the yard, or bring in a special jackhammer machine to break up the big rock they had hit. We chose the latter. There goes the budget. Next, we got back on track with the pool project, but it came time to pick out extras. We were feeling the creep- bigtime. Pool light? Heater? Timeline? Budget? So many questions swirled and the project started to take on new dimensions. 


Overall, I feel this was an easier project to manage, since the stakeholders, project managers, and the financiers were one in the same. I don’t envy project managers who are constantly forced to bounce back and forth between stakeholders and team members. Being that the pool was coming from our own budget, we had more flexibility to choose the path and what we wanted to spend the money on. I understand that a project manager does not always have that same luxury. I presume there is a lot of going back and forth between different people and elements of the project. Scope creep is real. Very real.




Ajmal, M., Khan, M., & Al-Yafei, H. (2020). Exploring factors behind project scope creep – stakeholders’ perspective. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 13(3), 483–504.

 Walden University, LLC. (Executive Producer). (n.d.a). Project management concerns: Locating resources [Video file]. Retrieved from

 Walden University, LLC. (Executive Producer). (n.d.b.). Monitoring projects [Video file]. Retrieved from

Walden University, LLC. (Executive Producer). (n.d.c.). Practitioner voices: You can’t win them all [Video file]. Retrieved from


EDUC Week 4 Blog Post

Dear Readers,

Thank you for returning to my blog to learn more about my journey with project management and instructional design. This week we heard from voices in the field that explained how critical creating a schedule for the project is. Stolovitch (in Walden University, LLC, n.d.a.) shared with us the project management is about managing people, resources (such as time) and all the related activities. Creating a timeline that has all of the project activities listed as entries and labeled with high, medium, low priority (Stolovictch, in Walden University, LLC, n.d.a.). Once the task list is completed and completed, a start date can be identified (Stolovitch in Walden University, LLC, n.d.a.). 

Be Flexible

Despite your best efforts in planning and organizing the tasks, a good project manager must be flexible and closely monitor the tasks and the timeline (Stolovitch in Walden University, LLC, n.d.a.). If changes to the project timeline or overall plan need to be implemented, it is critical to communicate the change to all members and stakeholders. One strategy before the project sets off to try to get ahead of too many changes, it is recommended by Stolovitch (in Walden University, LLC, n.d.a.) to meet with team members to clear up ambiguities. Smith (2011) shared that when it comes to juggling everything that comes with managing an instructional design project, collaborative timeline software exists to help organizations. Software like Tenrox Project Workforce Management or Intuit’s Quickbooks (Smith, 2011).  It is nice to know that there are tech tools out there that can help a project manager effectively create a timeline. 

Speaking of Tools…

On the topic of tech and tools that can assist instructional design project managers, there are many online resources that would be helpful or useful for instructional designers with regard to planning and creating a schedule. 

After conducting a web search, I found two valuable resources that a project manager could use to create a plan and a schedule. 

Resource 1:

The first resource I found is a blog – Instructional Design by Nicole Papaioannou, PhD.

Why I Like It:

First, I like this resource because it operates like a blog. The claim on the main page of the blog is that it provides a great collection of best practices, tips, and inspiration for ID, corporate training, and eLearning. This blog has extremely relevant blog post articles about current trends in instructional design. From reading several of the posts, this information could help inform my own instructional design practice, in particular planning and creating a schedule. I particularly like a post called: 7 Phrases to Stop Saying in Instructional Design. Although, at first glance, this topic does not appear to directly relate to planning and creating a schedule, with a deeper look it may. For example, instructional designers are natural fixers and overpromising, as Budrovich commented (in Walden University, LLC, n.d.b.) is something that instructional design project managers need to avoid, as it will translate to getting off schedule. For example, instead of saying, “Sure, we can add that, too,” we should say, “How does this support the performance we set out to achieve?” ( This is useful and very practical, in my opinion. Knowing how to evade certain pitfalls like scope creep can help a project manager stay on task. 


Resource 2: 

The second resource I found is also a blog: iSpring- eLearning Blog

Why I Like It:

Even though I chose two blogs for this assignment, I do really feel like each is useful in its own right. This blog caters more to eLearning project managers and instructional designers, but I think it also packs a lot of value inside as well. For example, a blog post from March 25, 2022, shares out 50+ instructional design software tools that were highly rated in 2022 ( .  This is an interesting read that shares practical tools. Trello is mentioned on this blog post as a resource that can be used to help project managers visualize the tasks. This is a free tool that would help a project manager in creating those task list entries and analyze them before setting up a start date (Stolovitch in Walden University, LLC, n.d.b.). Visuals are also great and can truly help others stay on task. 


In closing, I am sure there are a tremendous amount of other blogs, resources, message boards out there that can be useful. I tend to gravitate towards blogs because they pull in the best of news, practical approaches, and current trends in the field. 



Amanda Valente


Smith, S. H. (2011, August 1). Juggling it all: how an IT firm uses project management software to build a collaborative timeline. Black Enterprise, 42(1), 34.

 Walden University, LLC. (Executive Producer). (n.d.a). Creating a project schedule [Video file]. Retrieved from

Walden University, LLC. (Executive Producer). (n.d.b.). Practitioner voices: Overcoming ‘scope creep’ [Video file]. Retrieved from


EDUC Week 3 Blog Assignment

Overview of Thoughts:

Project manager and team communications need to run like a well-oiled machine. Stolovitch (in Walden University, LLC, n.d.a.) shared many tips for effective communication: ask for advice, meet with key players, illustrate the benefits of effective communication, probe groups for bear traps, identity problematic words and analogies, document and refine what you get from meetings, make necessary modifications, and monitor for results. Furthermore, Stolovitch (in Walden University, LLC, n.d.b.) shared that effective communication is influenced by spirit/attitude, tonality and body language, and even the personality of the recipient. Taylor (2013) also shared that having a strong communication plan is the pinnacle part of any project. It is important to have an established communication plan, format, and structure when it comes to communication amongst the team and with stakeholders (Taylor, 2013). 

Art of Communication: 

This week, we looked and heard one communication presented in several different formats: email, phone, and face-to-face. The first one I looked at was the email. I was underwhelmed by it, I have to say. There were grammatical and punctuation errors and I was thinking that email intonation, much like text messages these days, can be hard to interpret. I was reading it and thinking that it could come off a little “punchy.” Again, it would depend on the person receiving it too and their current mood and how they interpret it. The next communication was the same message but through a phone call. It seemed to have been a voicemail that was left. I did feel that the message was better communicated through the phone, but I still do not think it was the best method for this particular message since the person calling seemed to be in desperate need of data and reports from another individual. My concern with the phone call is that you never know when the person you are contacting will get back to you. Since the issue seems time sensitive, I don’t know that the phone call is the best method. I do have to say that the words used on the phone, as compared to the email, did not sound as “punchy,” as you could hear the person calling and their inflections with the message. The final communication was the same message, but done in a face-to-face setting. I think the content of this message is best delivered to the person in a face-to-face setting since you are trying to get something from them. You give them a chance to dialogue with you and a chance to respond and assist you. One suggestion that I have is to email the person or call them first to let them know you would like to set up a face-to-face about “X” issue. That would be appropriate and give them an ample amount of time to prepare face-to-face, especially if you would ask to get something from them, it might give them time to get it ready or have a plan of action when you discuss it together. I think going up to them cold, might be off-putting and there might be a little bit of confrontation or tension in the conversation. 


In an article by Reeves et al (2007), structuring communication relationships for interpersonal teamwork, otherwise known as SCRIPT, is a Canadian initiative to help improve the effectiveness of interpersonal communications. This shows that communication is an integral part of working with others and having a structure for such communication fosters quality teamwork. 


Reeves S, Russell A, Zwarenstein M, Kenaszchuk C, Conn LG, Doran D, Sinclair L, Lingard L, Oandasan I, Thorpe K, Austin Z, Beales J, Hindmarsh W, Whiteside C, Hodges B, Nasmith L, Silver I, Miller K, Vogwill V, & Strauss S. (2007). Structuring communication relationships for interprofessional teamwork (SCRIPT): A Canadian initiative aimed at improving patient-centred care. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 21(1), 111–114.

Taylor, J. (2013). Elements of a Stakeholder Communication Plan. Retrieved from

 Walden University, LLC. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Communicating with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from

Walden University, LLC. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Project management concerns: Communication strategies and organizational culture [Video file]. Retrieved from


EDUc 6145- Week 2 Assignment- Post-Mortem

Dear Dr. Pochran and classmates, 

For our first blog assignment, we are tasked with admitting our flaws and faults and conducting a project post-mortem. Greer (2010) shared that a project post-mortem is a reflective practice that allows team members to take stock at the end of a recent project and identify lessons learned, areas of strength, and areas of improvement. The goal of the project post-mortem is to not just celebrate what went well, but to take into consideration mistakes that were made in the last project, so they do not carry over into the next project (Greer, 2010). McAvoy (2006) shared that project post-mortem gives team members guidance and a chance to brainstorm solutions to problems that may again arise in the next project. I feel it is a way to be reflective and practice metacognition. McAvoy (2006) cautioned that it is imperative to remove all biases from this evaluative process of conducting a project post-mortem. Negative biases, especially, will make it hard to evaluate the project (McAvoy, 2006). Collier, DeMarco, Fearery (1996) shared that the post-mortem process must be well-defined because frank, honest, and real analysis of failure has the tendency to create a natural disincentive within the organization. However, a well understood and well outlined post-mortem process can help quell these fears (Collier, DeMarco, & Fearery, 1996). 


Greer (2010) recommends the structure of a project post-mortem to be a two-step process that involves pre-prepared specific questions about the latest project that can allow the team members a chance to think and reflect. The second step is to conduct a meeting where all team members involved can discuss the questions and work together to compose a lesson learned list. 


A project that I recently worked on was for the professional development committee that I am on for my school district where I am a teacher. As a sidebar, in my career as a teacher I have not volunteered to be on many committees, simply because I had very small children and I needed to get home to them as soon as possible when they were little. The committee was formed to plan for professional development days in the coming school year. We met several times and the committee even got pared down at one point. Our first goal was to plan for a January professional development full day for the entire district staff. The team leader, the new admin in our school, was in charge of selecting the format. She wanted to institute an ED-CAMP day. ED-CAMP is low cost, budget, bottom’s up approach to educator professional development, where the teachers participate in conference style gatherings of their choice of what to learn and then report back to the educational community in a laid back fashion ( 


The successful parts of this process included regular Zoom meetings to discuss ideas, creating idea lists as a team, communicating ideas with each other over the Zoom meetings. The successful artifacts included the spreadsheet with ED-CAMP ideas placed into categories. The activity of meeting to plan was worthwhile. It was a designated date and time each month to get together. This was successful because everyone knew when and where to meet. Having the option to Zoom into the meeting from my home was also very convenient.


This project, planning for a full day of professional development, also had several unsuccessful aspects as well. Overall, I should note that the project did not get fully actualized. We did indeed have a full day of professional development, but our plans for ED-CAMP did not come to fruition. There was a tremendous amount of “work” for teachers to do that day including: selecting a new language arts curriculum. During our meetings, we agreed upon gathering ideas from our school buildings and teams about what type of ED-CAMP sessions to offer on the PD day. I began a spreadsheet that I shared out with categories on the top. I asked teachers to inquire with their teams about possible ED-CAMP topics, as well as put their own ideas on the spreadsheet. I put my own ideas and saw a few other PD committee team members add a few. I was overwhelmed by many of the committees follow-through with adding more ideas from their school buildings or teaching teams. I was given a deadline to create a Google Form with the ED-CAMP ideas to send to the admin to approve and share out before Christmas break. I completed the deal by creating the form with the ideas we had listed. I sent it to her on 12/23. 

Because the PD day was scheduled to be in January, and we had winter break in the mix, the ED-CAMP style PD never got off the ground. We also had to begin to look at the new language arts curriculum that day as a K-8 group. This project was not that successful overall because of lack of time. To successfully get the ED-CAMP off the ground for that date, we would have needed to send out the Google Form, record the answers of our teachers, offer sign-ups for the actual ED-CAMP sessions we would be offering, set up the rooms, etc. Gathering the ideas and creating the spreadsheet and the Google Form were just the first steps in the process. I suppose the issue here was there was just not enough time built in from our December meeting to get the ED-CAMP up and running mid January with winter break in the middle of the timeline. As far as resources go, ED-CAMP is low/no cost and therefore it was not an issue. It was more an organizational issue and time issue that prevented us from being about to have the ED-CAMP on that date. The good news is that we have two more PD days this year and we are hoping to have the ED-CAMP up and running at one of those next two.


Amanda Valente 



Collier, B., DeMarco, T., & Fearey, P. (1996). A defined process for project post mortem review. IEEE Software, Software, IEEE, IEEE Softw, 13(4), 65–72.

Greer, M. (2010). The project management minimalist: Just enough pm to rock your projects. Laureate Education Ed

McAvoy, J. (2006). Evaluating the Evaluations: Preconceptions of Project Post-Mortems. Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation, 9(2), 65–72.

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EDUC 6145

Welcome to my blog! Frenzied Fifth has been a steadfast companion throughout graduate school at Walden University for me. Many of my posts are from previous courses, but I let the content linger because you just never know when something will inspire you from a previous courses, message, or reflection. My blog has an RSS feed and I look forward to following many of my classmates blogs throughout this course EDUC 6145. I am a fifth grade teacher and have been for 15 years. In light of recent changes in my persona life, I embarked upon a journey to higher education to be able to provide for myself and my two children. Although that journey is still in motion at this time, I am hopeful that with grit, determination, and class that I can rise to the top of this difficult situation and make the most of my education and life with my two young boys. I hope that I am a leader and role-model to them and that through my hard work, I am teaching them some of the most important lessons in life. Thanks for tuning in and I look forward to meeting everyone over the next few weeks. -Amanda


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