Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Another view of MOOCs

Online Colleges recently compiled this infographic on MOOCs titled The Dark Side of MOOCs. The overall grade for MOOCs at this early stage appears to be something less than passing. However, as you review the graphic, keep in mind the following:

  • MOOCs bring higher education content from leading institutions (Stanford, MIT, Harvard) to the masses at low or no cost;
  • MOOCs are paving the way towards competency-based degree and certificate programs, something that the DOE has recently supported.
  • MOOCS could be the start of a smorgasbord model for degrees and certificates: students take MOOCs for free from any offering institution and then earn credit through competency-based exams at their home institutions. CSU Global recently became the first institution to award credit for a MOOC.
Thanks to OnlineColleges.net for making this graphic available through a Creative Commons license. The full sized graphic is also available.

The Dark Side of MOOCs

Monday, April 22, 2013

eLCC 2013 Conference Summary

Guest post by Sally Cordrey, Support Specialist, CPS Learning Design, Regis University

eLCC 2013
Blended Format and Flipped Classroom - Kristen Rivedal
-         NPR recording 2 yrs ago. “Don't lecture me”
-         "Snacking" is now what is chunking video in tasty bites instead of one long lecture.
-         Use sources like kahn academy and then focus on students questions in classroom
-         Students didn't know they are in a hybrid
-         Good f2f teacher works better than technology
-         Felt rushed in classroom
·        Think of it as an online course with a f2f component instead of a f2f with an online component
·        Explain to the student why we are doing this? Get the maximum potential of this format.
·        First night in computer lab. Get students up to speed on technology, system requirements and all questions and meeting dates clarified.

D2L upgrade - Kristin Rivedal
Planning/Determine training needs
- prior to the upgrade: show-n-tell
- after the upgrade: hands-on
- Inservice day, open labs for faculty to come to ask questions and try it on

-         8 hours became 24 hours
-         calendar was turned it off because it was hanging up the opening of the course.
-         content previewer did not work, have students, faculty download content
-         quizzes in Chrome don’t work

icons are now dropdown
Update at top
Save is now only at bottom

Communication Plan
Teachers need to vent, be prepared: have elevator speech ready for “Why we are doing this?”
Kristin is available for questions and advice, tutorials on their website publicly, for students – Front Range Community College
MOOC panel: Survivors, Thrivers, and Skeptics
Kathy Keirns, DU; Sherry Jones, ACC; Nate Wadman, PPCC; Alice Bedard-Voorhees UCD; Peter Jeschofnig, CMC

xMOOC - video, quiz, structured
cMOOC - community, interaction, purpose is to share, develop, exchange knowledge (social media part of it)
gMOOC - game-based MOOC

Nate - dozens he signed up for. Diverse quality. looked at navigation, videos, lurk, what others are designing.
lit says 2-20% complete course.

High dropout rate reasons: takes too much time, too basic, too complex, hidden cost ($150 textbook) 

Kathy - did Coursera - univ. has to pay money to put it on. finished this one feel like she got more out of it. 5 instructors from scotland, learned a lot, google hangout every week, good instructors, actual masters courses, got Coursera Certificate. free. But now the Coursera certificate costs $50 at end.

Reasons why MOOC? Philanthropic, knowledge for all, advertising for taking real course.

Alice - ACE (American Council of Education) is reviewing MOOCs to decide if credit can be given for these. 5 have been accepted. New model for equating knowledge for credit. (Ask Fran what she thinks of this...)

WCET talking points on MOOCs - two page guide questions to ask for universities before offering one.

Presentation includes MOOC bookmarks:

144,000 largest mooc

Hybrid at ACC mooc May 28-Aug 20. Real class that will study the mooc. This will also be a flipped classroom.

Challenging the Myths and Succeeding at Multi-Generational Teaching
Lisa Ortiz, Metro, teaches MM, Graphic Design

Teaching Strategies
Pitfalls to avoid:
- don't ignore the differences
- don't try to appeal all to the same assignment

Good information about strategies in how they learn and how to give feedback, how they behave in the classroom and why

·        Retired generation is the fastest growing population using the internet
·        Gen X - keep wanting to know "WHY?"
·        Millennial/Gen Y - don't tell me, don't show me, CONNECT ME!

This is one that Nicole sent to me that looks really good:
Assessing Online facilitation instrument

The sessions are available at the eLCC website: http://elearningcolorado.org/wordpress/

Friday, April 19, 2013

2013 Sloan-C Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Conference

Guest post by Dr. Karen Pennington, Associate Professor, RHCHP School of Nursing, Regis University

The Sloan C Emerging Technologies Conference in Las Vegas, 4/9/to 4/11/13, was awesome! The sessions were well planned for variety and an introduction to application of emerging technologies- serving a variety of learners’ familiarity and comfort levels with technology. Keynote speaker, Steve Wheeler from Plymouth University, UK, was exceptionally helpful in conveying perspective and appropriate use of tech in the future. The implications of the digital divide and its impact on trans-literacy in education were helpful to understanding the acceptance of emerging technologies in education. A variety of vendors were plentiful and articulate. All in all, my favorite was learning more about Merlot OER- open educational resources- and how they can interface with curriculum. I am glad I attended and have much to ponder for course development.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

eLCC 2013 summary by Nicole

I attended the eLCC Conference in Breckenridge April 10-12thand I would like to share some key take-aways from the sessions.
Regarding Online Teams:
Maxine Christenson from AIMS presented some lessons learned and advice about running online teams. She had an opportunity to teach a 5 week online course devoted to teamwork and team building. Her words of advice:

  • Be prepared to address common student concerns about working as a team
    • Common concerns include: will individual efforts be acknowledged? If a student does majority of work, will that equal a better grade? Could substandard work from an individual bring a team grade down? Will the instructor protect and intervene when there is a lazy team member? What about technology hurdles?
  • Have student create a set of ground rules, behaviors and expectations for how the team will function. Especially address how to deal with conflict.
  • Encourage students to discover their hidden strengths before building the teams.

Another session I attended was on the Five E’s of course design. This was presented by Brenda, Vanessa and Jing from CCCOnline.

The 5 E’s are: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. Here is a link to their google site that assembled with detailed information https://sites.google.com/site/elccfivees/

  • Engage: initiates learning and promotes curiosity
  • Explore: a guided journey on the topic, hands on experience
  • Explain: the students describe and explain their understanding, redirect as needed
  • Elaborate: students take it to a deeper level
  • Evaluate: produce a product to be assessed by instructor, peers, a group, or self. Quiz,exam, PBL

The next session I attended also from CCCOnline, was about Online Instructor Evaluation. They provide a week long asynchronous D2L course for faculty that is required. They also hold a 2 week workshop on the topic of managing discussions.
All instructors get evaluated every year. They use a quality assurance rubric that was originally developed by Chico State University: http://www.csuchico.edu/tlp/resources/rubric/rubric.pdf
Another facilitation instrument that they use (http://www.humboldt.edu/aof/AssessingOnlineFacilitationInstrument.pdf) really details particular tasks and skills that the instructors should be doing. The nice thing about this instrument is that the tasks are chunked by “before your class begins, during the first week, during the course, and the last week.”
The rubrics are given to the instructors upfront so they have an idea of how they are being assessed.

Other random tidbits

  • Did you know they make a typeface that is specifically designed to help people with dyslexia? It is called Eulexia.
  • Watch this really fun “Word as Image” video based on the book by Ji Lee http://pleaseenjoy.com/projects/personal/word-as-image/
  • Did you know thatHeutagogy is the study of self-determined learning? Wikipedia says, “Heutagogy places specific emphasis on learning how to learn, double loop learning, universal learning opportunities, a non-linear process, and true learner self-direction.”
Tips for Hybrids
  • Alternate courses in a program from week to week. For example, a working person only needs to come to campus one night a week, one week it would be for one course, the following week another course. One college found this to be very successful.
  • Try the approach of referring to it as “online with a F2F component” instead of “F2F with online component” and call them sessions instead of classroom or online.
  • Make sure that students are informed of not only the unique structure of the course but also the reasoning as to why this will help them learn.

Monday, April 15, 2013

ELCC Conference

I recently attended the ELCC conference and it was a beneficial conference.  The ELCC conference brings together faculty and designers to share their experiences with teaching and technology.  The most important part of the conference was the networking opportunities.  I was able to connect with Kristin Rivedal of Front Range and Nate Wadman from Pikes Peak to discuss their recent upgrade to V10.  The initial upgrade itself took longer than expected, but there were no major issues reported.  They did encourage administrators to work on the branding and for faculty to start using V10 soon as it is quite different.  In Kristin’s session on analytics was informative.  She described that analytics has always been an issue since they have been on D2L.  They have had difficulties in getting all the data they want and D2L has not been able to address those concerns.

In the session Interactive Documents for Mobile Devices, focused on utilizing Adobe InDesign to create fun and interactive documents.  The presenter had created an interactive book with Design.  The book allowed users on mobile devices to swipe to the next page.  The document contained scrollable areas within a page, dropdown menus and media.  Another session Designing and delivering engaging digital content also focused on InDesign.  The presenter was a rep from Adobe and this session was more of a demonstration.  The presenter put together an interactive slideshow.  It was interesting to see the creative and powerful solutions that InDesign offers.   InDesign is a complex program and is not an ideal solution for everyone, but as a developer it is beneficial to look at all the possibilities out there.

The session titled “Generational Differences in the Use of Touch Screen Devices” presented findings on their research study.  This was a great session to attend after our initial mobile evaluation.  The study consisted of participants from K-12 (11 to 13), Young Adult (18 to 40) and older adults (over 70).  The data collection was conducted by semi- structured interviews and observations.  The participants owned iPads instead of android devices.  Regardless of age, accessibility and mobility were the primary reasons for owning touch screen devices.  All participants used their devices for entertainment, but varied between the age groups.  Children preferred to play games and young adults seemed to use various media and social media.  Older adults focused on reading or listening to music.  Children and young adults downloaded more apps than older adults.  Older adults were not active in sharing information about new applications.  Older adults expressed discomfort with the touch screen.  Often times they required a stylus and had difficulty using the virtual keyboard.  Older adults view apps as device specific.  They were unaware most apps were also available on an iPad and not just the iPhone.  The information in this session is helpful when utilizing mobile devices in courses, taking into the account the knowledge each generation has about mobile devices.

I attended another session on universal design and this was an informative session and was very engaging with the participants.  Universal design is the design of products and environments usable by all people to the greatest extent possible.  This is important as all students learn differently some are visual learners and some learn best by reading information.  They provided 3 principles for universal Design.  1) Provide multiple means of representation.  Students with language barriers may not understand all the words.  Provide text with images or symbols to assist with instruction.  2)  Provide multiple means of action and expression.  This is the how of learning.  Try to provide different options for action, expression and communication.  3) Provide multiple means of engagement, the why of learning.  Students need to be able to see the relevance of the material.  Take an assignment for example.  Instead of providing students all the required criteria provide guidelines and allow them to choose the subject.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Great ideas coming from the Sloan-C Emerging Technology Conference


Thumbs up to an excellent Sloan-C Emerging Technology conference held this past week in mid-April. The conference was notable primarily for the number of sessions dealing with the application of cloud-based tools within existing learning management systems. A number of options were presented in various sessions that offered possible solutions for the enhancement of course activities using free or low-cost learning technology alternatives.

A common buzz phrase heard in multiple sessions was content curation, a technique for gathering, filtering and presenting information relating to a topic or theme. Content curation as a learning tool is notable for two reasons: first, it makes students responsible for discovering knowledge resources; and second, forces students to sift through and validate information resources before presentation to a group.

Content curation isn’t just about the content but also about the content format. The presenter emphasized the importance of displaying content in mobile-friendly formats. PDF format is recognized by virtually all devices. Students might also use Google Drive which is supported by all browsers. Video can be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo and linked within LMS systems.

But what conference review would be complete without a rundown of the latest featured apps.
A number of tools were discussed including:
·         Screenchomp: a free iPad whiteboard app for creation and annotation of images. Available from iTunes
·         Show Me: a free iPad whiteboard similar to Screenchomp
·         Explain Everything: a free iPad screencast and whiteboard app.
·         Other apps for curation include
o   Diigo: bookmarking site
o   Netvibes: dashboard for social media monitoring
o   Feedly: RSS reader (replaces the former Google Reader)
o   Evernote: organizes random notes and ideas

In the session Go Mobile or Go Home, the emphasis was on the integration of mobile-friendly course content. Here, the presenter had created an online course within iTunes U. iTunes U provides up to 20 gb of space, sufficient for even the most media-intensive course. Within the course, the presenter had integrated video, text and other media types. The course main page featured an index of topics including links to the syllabus, weekly content, and supplemental materials. The presenter used GoClass to push content to the mobile devices of students. GoClass is available for both iOS and Android.

MERLOT - Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online TeachingThe session titled BYOD and Integrating Mobile Learning on Campus emphasized the ease by which mobile-friendly content can be developed and used. The session was presented by a representative of MERLOT, the highly regarded repository for open educational resources (OER). The presenter offered suggestions to institutions interested in adopting OER on a large scale including creation of a business and development plans as well as faculty stakeholder commitment. MERLOT offers assistance for institutional adoption of OER to partner institutions. Individual membership is free. The presenter also provided several resources for OER materials:

A separate session offered by another MERLOT rep focused on the MERLOT web page/website builder. Pages can be made public and is highly recommended since MERLOT is based on open resources. Each page has a unique URL and can be linked to from anywhere on the web.

I also had several great discussions with RHCHP Nursing faculty between sessions. One of particular note dealt with the use of cloud-based learning resources. This got me thinking about a hybrid LMS model combining the LMS with 3rd party apps. There is certainly no shortage of free or low-cost cloud-based apps available to faculty for the enhancement of student learning. However, the LMS (currently D2L) provides that all-important common classroom look-and-feel. Is it feasible to combine the two? Students would log in to D2L and enter their course. From there, faculty would use their choice of 3rd party applications for the performance of specific tasks. For example, faculty might use Google Drive for uploading of assignments, Diigo for the web content exploration, ShowMe for student presentations, Google Forms for quizzes, and so forth. This would also give faculty alternative learning tool resources to counter short-term LMS failures.

There would certainly be a number of concerns but it's an idea worth further exploration.