Our final unit in this course is obtaining the "Quality Matters" certification.  Quality Matters is a rubric to help guide instructors in creating online courses that meet certain criteria of course design.  The instructor may use the rubric to check various elements of their course design, or they may have their course reviewed by a panel of three certified peer reviewers.  Points are given for various elements and the course must obtain a score of at least 85% to receive a Quality Matters seal.

As more and more courses are offered online, I feel the Quality Matters rubric is a valuable tool to keep course design in check.  There are many effective instructors teaching online, but the structure of the course (such as ease of navigation, means of communicating with students, etc.) could be improved.
I have to admit I was pleased with the process of turning PowerPoint images into an iMovie.  I have done this before, and did learn some new strategies for setting up the movie before importing the images.  

I ran into some problems with the transitions automatically changing my image length.  When I changed the length by clicking on the gear icon, it wouldn't save.  I looked it up online and found that if  you just double-click on the image, a yellow box appears around the image.  You can grab a "handle" on the right or left side and change the length.  This worked fine.

Another student enabled Closed Captioning.  Since we had uploaded our audio script I thought I would add Closed Captioning also.  This is a great feature that I really didn't know existed!
For this week’s assignment, we were to save our audio narration text (from the PowerPoint project) as a Word document.  This text would then be uploaded to Turnitin, a plagiarism detection program.  As we wrote our script, we used citations and references just as we would for any other writing assignment.  So, by running the paper through Turnitin we could quickly detect any missed citations or questionable wording. 

Once we uploaded our script to the Turnitin prompt on our class website, it only took a short time to receive the results.   Turnitin gives you a color-coded similarity index based on a percentage of text/phrases that was found to have a match elsewhere online.  When you click on the color code a match appears in a new window with the text and website that was found to be a match.  Turnitin is simply a text-matching tool; it is up to the teacher to determine if there was plagiarism involved.

My script only had two similarities show up, both of which were common phrases that would not be considered plagiarism.  So I was good to go!

I was impressed with Turnitin and would recommend it to any instructor.  As a student, I liked having the ability to double-check my references and citations this way, and think it would be a good idea to allow students to use it as well.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to use this tool, as I will give more thought to citations and references the next time I write a paper or article.

The following are my reactions to the questions regarding our Turnitin experience:

1.  What color was your similarity index block?
            -My similiarity index block was blue

2.  What percentage was your similarity index block?

3.  What were your top two matches?
            -#1- Richard Mayer's professional title:  sbbtonline.org (1%)
            -#2- "If you have any questions please feel free to contact me..."   

            www.aspelleleather.com (1%)

4.  What are your thoughts on how Turnitin worked for you?
            -I think it was great. Both of my detected texts were not anything            

            plagiarized but I know it only detects similar text, not actual plagiarism 

5.  What are the positives and negatives of this technology?
            -Positives- that it is an effective tool to prevent plagiarism and it does 

            give the teacher the ability to prove students did or did not use their 
            own wording
            -Negative- I can’t think of too many except the teacher may not want to         

            address plagiarism

6.  Do you plan to use plagiarism detection with your students?
            -if I were in a teaching situation and gave students a lengthy writing 

            assignment I would definitely consider Turnitin