Monday, August 14, 2017

Reflection of 2017 COLTT Conference

Reflection of 2017 COLTT Conference by Carl Kinney

The fact that this conference is so well organized and in our backyard, is one of the reasons I've attended for the past several years. As always every presentation provides good insights and you come away with at least one nugget of information that you didn't have before you attended. The presentation that I want to highlight this year is "Bringing the Right Instructional Tools to the Job" by Dr. Vivian Shyu, Assistant Professor, C/T from CU Denver.

At CU Denver they conducted a project that taught the same course in 3 different formats (F2F, Online, and Hybrid), during the same semester and by the same professor.

In all three formats they had students rate the same 27 course elements. In this presentation they made it interactive by having participants go to and actually complete a portion of the survey.

Hello COLTT Participant!

Here, you will be completing a portion of the survey that the students filled out.

Please fill out this information as you PREDICT students would report.
You will act and answer as a student in one of the FORMATS as assigned below.
If your LAST NAME begins with:

  • A-G = Traditional F2F (meet in person 2x/week; 30 in-person meetings)
  • H-N: Hybrid (meet ~ 1x/week; 10 in-person meetings; 60% of instruction is online)
  • O-Z = Online (meet 0x/week; NO in-person meeting; all instruction is online)

Some of the results/findings from the project:
  • Hybrid/Blended might be the best
  • Interaction is Critical
    • Teacher presence
    • Teacher to student
    • Student to student
    • Student content interaction - engagement with the material
  • Students generally prefer F2F. This is mainly because of the interaction and guidance.
  • Students like online flexibility, but see it as disconnected.
  • Summative assessments with Hybrid showed the biggest improvement, but also started lower.
  • Half the students in the Hybrid course didn't realize they were signing up for a Hybrid course or what it meant.
  • With F2F students struggle with, do I go to class or do I use Canvas?
My reflections regarding the findings:
  • I believe Hybrid/Blended courses are an aspect of learning that we haven't explored enough. I'm not sure what percentage of our courses are Hybrid, but I am thinking it is very low.
  • Interaction being critical is not new, but we need to work on making sure that our online courses are designed in a way that creates the opportunity and encourages all the aspects of interaction.
  • I think having standard formats really helps with the guidance.
  • Even though they were very clear on the different formats: Online = 100% Asynchronous, Hybrid = 60% Asynchronous, and F2F = 100% Synchronous, it wasn't clear to the students. I'm concerned that Regis doesn't have consistent criteria for what is considered "Online" or "Hybrid". This can really add an aspect of confusion for the students.
  • We really need to pay attention to the fact that F2F students struggles with when and how to use the LMS. My suggestion is, if it is a F2F class, course content in the LMS should be considered supplemental material and only required if the facilitator specifically refers to it. In a F2F class the LMS should be used for assignment submissions, grading, and communication as determined appropriate by the facilitator of the class.
I am happy to discuss any or all of the above in more detail.  Just let me know.

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