[Edprof] Offer to try out online exercises at Newsroom101.com

Gerald Grow ggrow at longleaf.net
Sun Aug 1 11:25:45 PDT 2010


Former Colleagues,

If your students do not need practice with grammar, usage, spelling 
and AP style, please ignore this message.

All the best,

Gerald Grow


For Classes where Students Need to Know Journalistic Style

Are you teaching a course where students need to learn or review 
grammar, usage, spelling and AP  style? If so, please consider using 
the Newsroom101.com exercises that have been adapted for use in 
courses and are delivered through the Moodle course management system.

Using this site, teachers can assign specific units, track student 
activities, and follow student grades. Students can see their own 
grades and track what remains to be completed.

Students are required to score 90 percent in the practice exercises 
before they can go ahead. They must reach 80 percent in the periodic 
review exercises. Students can repeat the exercises as often as 
necessary, but they must practice till they can attain this level.

After a student reaches the required score on a unit, that unit 
becomes open for review by that student at any later time.

This material is meant to supplement a course where students are 
assessed on how well they integrate and apply these skills. The 
online exercises force students to do the kind of repetitive practice 
that is required in learning a new skill.

Because the quizzes require mastery, student grades will be in the 90 
percent range. The most common way of integrating the online grades 
into your course grades is to give credit on the basis of how many 
exercises students completed by the assigned time.

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Trying the Exercises

Here's how to try out the exercises:

Go to
http://courses.newsroom101.com

Register for a New Account, using an email address where you can 
receive a confirmation.

Check your email and follow the confirmation link.

Click on
Language Skills -- Try It Out, Fall 2010

If asked for an Enrollment Key, enter
tryout2010

The trial offer is good through the end of August, 2010, but only 
teachers can use it. You'll be enrolled in the class as a student for 
two weeks, so you can explore the site and decide if it you want to 
use it.

Sample the exercises. Check out the gradebook. Note that your current 
grade on any unit displays to the right of that unit on the index 
page.

If you sign up to as a teacher, you will be able to see all student 
grades plus activity reports on students. The reports can be quite 
extensive. For example, a teacher can drill down to the level of 
finding out what answer a specific student gave to a specific 
question.

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Pretest and Posttest

You won't see this, but the course includes a pretest and posttest, 
which are made active only when students are ready to take them. If 
you use the pretest, students should take it before completing any of 
the practice exercises. Students can take the pretest and posttest 
once only; they cannot repeat these for a higher score.

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Availability and Cost

I can make a set of these exercises available to any teacher for $10 
per student per semester. You'll have your own site with your own 
gradebook. Payment works best if you collect the money and send a 
single check, though we can consider other options. I can enroll 
batches of students when given the name and email address of each 
one. Students must use an email address they check.

Special note: These exercises work only if students practice them 
regularly over an extended period. They don't do much good for people 
who rush through them all at the end of the semester, so you'll need 
to assign the material and monitor it to make sure students don't 
wait and cram.

I developed and used these materials in my own courses over a 15-year 
period. A free site containing many of the exercises remains at 
newsroom101.com, where users have completed more than 3.75 million 
exercises. You are welcome to send your students to the free site; 
however, users of that site do not receive grades, reports, or 
support.

The paid site delivers the exercises in a way that makes them much 
easier to assign in courses. With the paid site, you can make sure 
students are completing the assignments.

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Contact Information

If you want to sign up a class for these exercises, just let me know.

Gerald Grow
Retired professor of journalism
ggrow [at-sign] newsroom101.com






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