Last Bits from IFWE 2016

I’m attending the IFWE 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX and this is my last blog post, wrapping up my learning. Here are some snippets from the last sessions I attended.

15 Tips When Working With New Technologies and Learning Ideas

Description: After working with faculty and technology in a variety of positions in Distance Learning, this presenter has discovered 15 tips on how to work with all these new-fangled learning techniques and/or technologies. Come join us to learn!

Presented by: Diana Amis (University of Texas at San Antonio)

This session was targeted to those who might get frustrated or overwhelmed with new tools and technologies. These 15 tips help you tackle something new in a logical manner: 

  1. Breathe!
  2. Patience is a Virtue
  3. Fresh Set of Eyes
  4. Take a Brain Break
  5. Stressing out is not worth it
  6. Time Management
  7. Chunking
  8. Bridging the Gap/ Filling a Need
  9. Baby Steps
  10. If all else fails, ask questions
  11. Communication
  12. Support – call the company
  13. Trial version – test it out
  14. Contact Info for the company
  15. Does it apply – do you need it?

A Matter of Trust: Technology and Privacy in eLearning Environments

Description: This session will discuss educational privacy issues online, with a brief overview of relevant federal and state laws. A possible framework within which to address privacy – and to contribute to an environment of trust – in our online distance courses and communities will be proposed and shared.

Presented by: Susan Stephan (Nova Southeastern University)

This was a great session that I decided not to blog because we had such interesting discussions about things that don’t have a black/white answer. It was really interesting to go to this session on the same day that I attended the learning analytics session. The unique angle that Susan brings to the idea of privacy issues is the trust side. The learning exchange is really a matter of trust between the institution, the faculty, and the students. I learned about a few issues that I’m going to go back and check out. I also really enjoyed the conversations on whether or not it matters that our privacy is so eroded. Fascinating!

Delivering Innovation and Entrepreneurship to the MENA Region

Presented by: Meghan Kent (Stanford University) and Ireen Massis (Stanford University)

Description: During 2015 – 2016 Stanford University designed and delivered a curriculum in Innovation and Entrepreneurship to promote gender equality in the labor force in the MENA region. The curriculum was distributed virtually, allowing for unlimited scale of and the highest possible impact to the region. During this session we will share the initial needs, survey results from the pilot program, and our own observations, obstacles, and solutions. Furthermore, we will share our findings from women who have taken the course and the impact that it has had on their academic, personal, and professional lives.

This was a fascinating project. They basically had a specific course that they wrote so that faculty in UAE could use it as a “course in a box” – it was a course on innovation and entrepreneurship. The cultural differences made the project an interesting process journey – lots of learning shared out of that. 

Women & Gaming: Educational Gaming for All

Presented by: Amber Muenzenberger (Triseum, LLC) and Shawna Fletcher (Texas A&M University)

Description: Gaming has grown immensely over the last decade, including using games for education and professional development. There are a growing number of gamers around the world, including women. Join the conversation of gender roles in gaming, ties between gaming and elevated interests STEM careers, and inclusion of gameplay in education.

Amber sure has some good work going on! She’s at Triseum – and they’ve built two cool education games – Arte Mecanas – an art history game; and Variant – coming soon – that teaches calculus (aligned to AP too). These are for the college level. Interesting data and experiences shared on how males and females are playing games – how much time, what devices, etc. What a powerful discussion among the women attending. 

Wrap Up

So, wow, IFWE! First time. It happens every two years. It’s time to plan for 2018! Mark your calendars. It’s an amazing experience – networking, support, life coaching, great e-learning!

A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Analytics

I’m attending the IFWE 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX and live blogging sessions. One more session till lunch! Be sure to follow the #ifwe2016 hashtag on Twitter if you want to learn about what else is going on here!

Presented by: Mindy Menn (Texas Woman’s University)

Description: What do novices need to know about learning analytics? How can learning analytics be leveraged to improve online programs and students’ experiences in online programs? Find out during this session addressing the basics of learning analytics.

Learning Analytics Introductions

Foldable note taking from

Foldable note taking from “To Engage Them All” blog

Interesting bits from the introductions. Someone wants to understand better the difference between learning analytics and analytics. One institution is starting a learning analytics committee. One instructional design specialist does analytics as well as instructional design. Someone from Penn State is working on a custom dashboard of learning analytics. Another person is looking at how to give faculty learning analytic data to empower them.

Mindy had a really cool colored folding paper strategy. 5 sheets of colored paper, spread them apart and then fold so you have 9-10 layered and colorful places to write. This page has an example – scroll down.

Learning Analytics Definition and Limitations

  • It’s measurement, collection, analysis, report of data
  • It’s about the LEARNERS
  • We want the learners to benefit
  • “spot hidden trends and predict outcomes”
  • “organize, store and mine data to improve teaching and learning for all students” – it’s not just the at-risk students – it’s for everyone – including the bored students
  • It is a research domain and a field
  • It overlaps with other fields – computer science, machine learning, statistics (lots of different regressions to predict relationships), big data, etc.
  • It cannot make taking action easier
  • It won’t be a magic solution
  • It can never perfectly predict anything – remember your stats class!

Learning Analytics Questions

Some examples of things that we can look at with learning analytics…

  • What registrar/institutional data provides insights to students’ progress?
  • How does student’s video watching correlate with their course success?
  • How does the time submitted compare with course performance?
  • How does success in a specific course correlate with degree success?
  • What are online learning behaviors and what do they tell us? When do they login? When do they logout? What do students click on?
  • Who talks to who and how many responses in discussion forums?
  • What signals do we have in courses where we might need to update something in the course? or to send students to a service to assist them with their study skills…

People who are interested in it….

  • Learners – they are concerned about how we analyze their data, but also the data can be used to help give advice to them or to help them improve their practice
  • Instructors
  • Administrators – academic analytics are a little different – learning analytics is purely on the learner; academic is more about the whole university
  • Researchers

Resources

What Next?

It’s important to know what your question is – which depends on your role… the stats people who can help you are going to want to know your question. So you need a narrow question. Not just to track and know everything!

Takeaways

I guess I really am doing learning analytics with my recent publications:

This is a huge area of interest to me. What data do we have? How can we collect it? How can we track it over time? How can we use it to monitor and improve the success of our online courses and programs? And how do we do it well and ethically?

Cowboys and Cats: Herding Instructors (to show presence) Without Getting All Scratched Up

I’m attending the IFWE 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX and live blogging sessions. The bagels and croissants are yummy!

Presented by: Samantha Penney (Indiana State University)

Cats and Cowboys are our roles as faculty and instructional designers. We are the cowboys herding the cats, faculty, to add instructor presence in their courses. We will discuss the cat’s characteristics and how we can use design to help herd them in the direction our trail boss wants.

Samantha is being super creative – as we come in – pull a cat or a cowboy out of a bag. What will we do?? I sense something creative coming!

Of course, she starts off with the Herding Cats video – love that video!

Definition of Instructor Presence

Community of Inquiry is the theory – teaching presence. (Anderson et al 2001; Davis & Roblyer 2005, Sheridan and Kelly 2016) – a sense of social and cognitive presence – how you tie that into the classroom – do students know you are there and are guiding their learning? being responsible to establish

What are Cats Like?

CartoonStock.com

CartoonStock.com

  • independent
  • they don’t care
  • they are opinionated
  • self-centered
  • social
  • hunting
  • balance
  • good at jumping
  • stretchy

What are Faculty Like?

  • Independent
  • Authority
  • Solitary
  • Sense of Ownership
  • Great Balance

Faculty may not always understand why faculty presence is so important.

Another great video for cat herding is the mythbusters video on the cat corral.

Kitty Treats

Interesting discussion around what “treats” can persuade faculty to be present in their online courses…

  • An empty box is so fun for a cat. How can we start instead of pushing a tool or strategy, but ask questions to find out what faculty want to do and what dreams they have.
  • Hearing from colleagues – faculty like to hear from each other
  • Food for workshops
  • Feedback sandwich: positive, negative, positive
  • Online teaching certificate course – with a stipend – requires meeting with an instructional designer
  • Tools like Softchalk etc.
  • Research that supports the best practices – nice overview and collection in this lit review by Chakraborty and Nafukho (2015)
  • An interesting set of roles of being present: facilitator, mentor, devil’s advocate, moderator, repository, etc. Question posed – how can we help take some of these roles off the shoulders of our faculty – ideas included co-teaching, adding resources to help reduce questions from students
  • Faculty want to play with tools at their own pace  – open workshops to play with a tool at their own time with someone on hand in case of challenges

Takeaways

Remember you are a cat also! We all need herding at one time or another. Remember how that feels. No one likes being herded!

The thing that’s clear is that instructional design and online course support is hugely about support and persuasion. And it takes relationship building to be a team between the online design expert and the subject matter expert.

Nice hands-on creative playing, Samantha!

Leave No Student Behind in Cyberspace! Innovative Strategies for Online Teachers

I’m attending the IFWE 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX and live blogging sessions. It’s Thursday morning, and sunny and cool in San Antonio!

Presented by: Kenyatta Phelps (Lone Star College – University Park)

Description: Are you stuck trying to find ways to improve your online classes? This session is designed to provide educators ideas on how to build an inviting learning space for their online classes using discussion forums tool. The presenter will show attendees how to incorporate OER and apps into discussion forums.

Social presence

  • You aren’t just overseeing – you are engaging with the students.
  • Social presence in discussion forums can build community, encourage deep reflection and learning, develop analytical skills, encourage the student to be the teacher/expert, and to have them apply concepts directly.
  • Give the adult learner opportunities to share their professional experience with the course.

Overview of Strategies

  1. Online learning activities need to be aligned to the outcomes.
  2. The discussion forums are assessed as formative assessments.
  3. Ways to get students to develop critical thinking skills – podcasts, questions, debates
  4. Collaborative learning – promote student interaction and interdependency… case studies, brainstorming, study rooms online, clarification of information
  5. Icebreakers – introduction activities – using video & audio
  6. Interactive lectures – micro lectures – short bits – we start online with PowerPoint “I won’t judge, that’s where we start, but it’s time to expand”
  7. Student feedback – ask students for feedback about the assignments, the assessments, the course, ask for feedback in a fun and engaging way
  8. Game-based learning – simulations, adventures

Specific Strategies

When students email you a lot, it’s because you’re not clear. Need more specifics added to the course if you are getting too many emails with questions about the course.

Include video clips within the discussion forum – and then set up very specifically what the students are supposed to do and when to post etc.

Transcripts for video clips – accessibility.

All Readable – A tool she uses for resources – like transcripts of videos etc – that allows for annotation etc. – this is a cool site for discussing right on top of the text…

Set up a scenario – embedded in real world – and have students work on that concept… i.e. scenarios from a work situation where they have to decide if these scenarios are ethical or not; using the group feature in the LMS discussion forum

Give students tools like MindMeister to do brainstorming activities

Use a whiteboard tool to have students share short answers to different things (embedding Padlet will work for this too)

Keep the tools within the LMS – but you can do that by embedding things

Use Animoto to create a video to introduce yourself (Soundcloud for audio) – hearing a voice makes you feel real to the students

There are poems and books and speeches in Spotify as well as music… can embed in the LMS for your students… (students will have to get an account though – but you can have them do that at the beginning of class); presidential speeches are in there too!

iTunes U is another great source of free lectures and content (but you can’t embed it; she tries to keep everything inside the LMS)

NPR recordings and podcasts (she teaches sociology)

Screencast-o-matic to record SPSS tutorials

She uses Google Forms for an “exit ticket” – asking students what they learned in class today – if they have any questions. Very quick feedback ending that day/session/module. Nice idea! With a catchy thumbs up/down graphic.

Padlet for thoughts on the course – they can put their name or not – and they can see what everyone else says. This takes an open and courageous teacher!

Polleverywhere for polling. Can be embedded in your LMS (but it’s too small – so she uses Padlet more)

Easy way to bring in social presence – ask them who their favorite musician is and why – put it in Padlet

Audience member has a final project where students create a digital quilt to synthesize their learning in the course…

Game: Playspent – for students learning about poverty

Rice University’s CSI Forensics adventures

Create a discussion forum for “study room” or “student cafe” – create a place for students to talk to each other. She has a photo with the discussion forum to make it more inviting and friendly.

HaikuDeck – another presentation tool

Takeaways

Her specific Padlet strategies were a big hit!

The idea of embedding each tool / resource so that students are all in one place in the LMS.

Promising Partnerships: Connecting Student & Academic Affairs Support Services

I’m attending the IFWE 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX and live blogging sessions. This one is the last one I attended yesterday.

Presented by: Jessica Burchfield and Stephany Compton (Texas Woman’s University)

Description: As online and hybrid course offerings continue to rise, innovative solutions are needed to support college student persistence. This session will discuss how Texas Woman’s University is developing programs and increasing access for students through academic & student affairs collaborative programs and initiatives.

The Challenge

  • Students lack a feeling of connection to the university.
  • Students lack a feeling of value – how does this service or live connection impact me?
  • Students struggle with multiple roles and too much to do.

Strategies

  • eLounge: a live webinar time (using Blackboard Collaborate) for students to come and learn about different things – like graduation – the most popular topic for student to attend. Other topics include:
    • Financial aid
    • Budgeting / financial wellness
    • Volunteering
    • Student organizations
    • Non-traditional student resources
    • Commuter and parking tips
    • Scholarships for non-traditional students
    • Connecting through Facebook (connected faculty and staff through FB)
    • CARE office provides resources
    • Recorded elounges are on YouTube here
  • Honor Society – providing an online student society
    • recognition for academy rigor
    • Epsilon Omega Epsilon Online Student Honor Society (they are working on making this a national organization)
    • They have an online induction service via Blackboard Collaborate (family members are cheering on in the chat during the ceremony)
    • They did an overhaul of their online programs this fall to ensure that every program is very interactive and allows students to feel connected 
  • TWU Library Lib Guides
  • Services and staff available online
    • Guides, email, chat, texting, ask a librarian – people available
    • A wellness challenge for online students
  • Graduate Recruitment
    • One topic per email – targeted emails
  • “Pioneer Camp” online
    • It’s kind of the new student orientation – they offer it online as well – even for commuter students in on campus courses
    • Getting acclimated with the university; talking about TWU traditions; breakout sessions to talk to people in the same college/school; school spirit
    • Modules in a Blackboard course; but some live sessions too
    • Training on the LMS as well, but embedded into the activities learning about TWU and getting to know each other, talking about their fears of online learning, etc.
    • Co-curricular experiences
    • I’m thinking of how the concepts of the Jazz workshop could be applied to designing a really rich experience.
    • Adults at every level – doctoral, masters, undergrad, all participating in the same orientation.
    • Berkeley’s theme for their orientation is called Road to Success.
    • The orientation has sample courses as well so they can learn how this might works.
    • Another attendee includes “early access week” where the students have access to the courses a week ahead of time.
  • Smarter Measure – this tool helps students assess their skill level and readiness for online learning (they have volume discounts for students)

Tweeting Teachers and Pinterest Professors: Social Media Lessons from a Community of Educators as Learners

I’m attending the IFWE 2016 conference in San Antonio, TX and live blogging the sessions I’m attending.

Starting off today with a preconference session by Stephanie Thompson, PhD, Faculty and Course Lead who teaches for Kaplan University. Contributors for this session included Barbara Green, Teresa Marie Kelly, and Josef Vice, other Kaplan faculty.

Faculty Driven Learning Communities

The idea is that faculty can learn together online, because it might be hard to travel to attend conferences – and social media can be a way for doing that.

As we do introductions, I think it’s so interesting what makes people come to a session. I’m mostly interested in the social media side – but the faculty development / professional learning idea is really critical too – and I’m looking forward to seeing how social media can connect faculty for learning.  

This is a cool graphic shared from EdSurge Guides – to help focus on the idea of personalized learning / personal learning networks – driving your own learning. I am so fascinated by the change to self-driven learning – in the context of thinking about our self-paced courses – which often are looked at somewhat askance – but really, the Internet allows us to learn at our own time and with the people we choose. That’s a different type of learning!

Things to Learn About

One comparison that Stephanie is making is the difference between Career Development and Professional Development. That career development is more about learning how to climb the ladder – leadership training, learning how to be a department chair (thinking of CIC’s workshop on that), support for research publication. But professional development is more life long and focuses more on teaching. So what all do faculty need to learn about?

  • technology tools in teaching
  • more teaching strategies
  • providing quality feedback
  • using different resources like OER etc.
  • how to progress in their career
  • learning about advising
  • learning about supervising or leading others
  • building skills for ongoing learning
  • classroom management
  • data and assessment collection and evaluation
  • increasing content knowledge
  • tools for organizing and planning your career development
  • think about the next job you want – and then start your learning heading in that direction
  • how to build curriculum based on outcomes

Specific Strategies

These are specific professional development strategies that caught my attention…

  • Observing each other’s teaching – I love this idea. Thinking about how we could set that up so that our online faculty could observe each other’s teaching. What would it take to do that in a fully asychronous course? what kind of structures would help make that happen?
  • Requiring a certain number of hours of training – Kaplan requires 8 hours of training a year for their online faculty. What would it take to do this? Could we do it for all online faculty – both adjuncts and full time? Could it be framed to be received well?
  • Using Trello to plan career/professional development – using a tool to track your personal goals, resources, and accomplishments
  • Have an Appy Hour and have everyone connected share round robin all the different tools and resources they like and use – shared by Elaine Shuck

Forms of Professional Development

  • Open, user-generated content like blogs and wikis
  • Social networking tools like twitter, reddit, etc.; Google+ or Facebook group about a topic
  • Virtual communities – google groups etc
  • Webinars
  • Virtual conferences
  • MOOCs / open courses

Resources Shared

Places to keep learning – social media based professional development – webinars etc. – places to learn online…. These are shared by the presenter, Stephanie

Other resources and cool things shared throughout the session:

Main Takeaway

Social media and online resources allow anyone to organize, track, and design their own professional development and learning!

Disconnect and Battle Six Super Villains to Win Back Your Life

Tomorrow I’m presenting at the International Forum for Women in E-learning in San Antonio, TX with Elaine Shuck (Polycom), Amy Spath (Central New York Regional Information Center), and Roxanne Glaser (i2i Technologies and @superdoodlegirl).

This post contains the resources and websites we shared in our presentation.

Disconnect and Battle Six Super Villains to Win Back Your Life

Description: Are you trapped on the treadmill of not getting enough done? Feeling disconnected? Stressed? Join us as we discuss our battle with evil super villains: Dr. Distraction, Sir Sit-a-Lot, Captain Busyness, Ferocious Foodie, Guilty Girl, and Super-Yes-Woman. Learn how to tap into your superhero powers to recharge your work-life balance.

Disclaimer: This session is actually self-therapy or friend-therapy. We are just sharing what has worked for us. Some things are free, some are not; but almost all of them one or more of us loves.

Dr. Distraction

Fight with GOALS:

Sir-Sit-A-Lot

Captain Busyness

Ferocious Foodie

Guilty Girl

Super Yes Women

What’s Next? 

  • Find your tribe
  • Pick one thing

The Role of Social Media Tools in Higher Education

Today I presented for the faculty of Burman University in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. This post has the accompanying resources for the social media session.

PowerPoint

Examples of Social Media Use

Other Social Media Ideas

Articles and Resources on Twitter in the Classroom

LMS vs. Social Media

Issues and Challenges

Additional Recommended Reading

Bonus Idea: COIL: Collaborative Online International Learning

Blended Learning and Flipped Classrooms: Practical Strategies and Ideas

Today I’m presenting for the faculty of Burman University in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. This post has the accompanying resources.

Blended Learning PPT

Andrews Resources

Definitions

Video Resources

Open Courses and Resources

Recording and Hosting Videos

Assessments at the Door

Resources for Teaching, Active Learning, and Engagement

Accessibility

For Further Reading

Using Blogging to Contribute Expertise and Convey Credibility

Today I’m presenting a webinar for the United States Distance Learning Association National Distance Learning Week Webinar Series: Using Blogging to Contribute Expertise and Convey Credibility. This post shares the accompanying resources.

PowerPoint

My blogging history:

Tools for blogging:

Ideas for Blogging

Scheduling and Tracking Writing

Promoting and Learning

Thank you to USDLA for the great line-up of webinars for National Distance Learning Week!  the opportunity to present this session! Hope to see you, dear reader, at the following upcoming USDLA events: