Nov 05

Getting to Know AECT Thought Leaders

Blogging the 2014 AECT International Convention.

I’m new to AECT, and some colleagues recommended that I attend the Breakfast with Champions on Thursday morning. I’m also new to higher ed educational technology. AECT seems to consider itself THE organization for educational technology and instructional design for higher education. My take is that it is much more research-based and less cool-tool-based than ISTE; more like AERA in it’s research and theory focus.

Because my training is in K12 ed tech, online learning, and leadership, I’m not yet familiar with the big names at this convention. So, I’m doing my own little investigation here to get a feel for the conversations that happen via AECT events.

So I’m listing here the names for the Champions Breakfast, and then linking to info about them, and what their main field/area of research seems to be at a quick glance. I welcome comments and corrections!

Top Professionals

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5407

Nov 04

Games-based learning for exploration and discovery

Blogging the 2014 AECT International Convention.

Preconference Workshop: Games-based learning for exploration and discovery

PresentersHannah R. Gerber, Sam Houston State University; Dodie J. Niemeyer, Sam Houston State University; Carolyn Stufft, Stephen F. Austin State University

Interesting Notes and Ideas

  • Minecraft snapshot

    Universities are starting to give scholarships for esports; the U.S. is starting to give visas to pro-gamers.

  • Watch out for gaming as a reward; students who could benefit most from this type of learning may not get to experience it
  • One way to gamify a whole course is to create role play throughout the whole course. I would love to do that!
  • Terms: Affinity space (as opposed to community of practice), paratext, metagame, ludology vs. narratology, makerspaces, machinima, fan fiction, walkthroughs, gamification, modding, edutainment, novice, feedback loop (assessment engine)
  • James Paul Gee
    • A video game is just a set of problems – you have to solve them in order to win. Connect that to problem based learning; problem posing learning – students learn to pose problems or forecast them.
    • The theory of learning behind games is quite different than regular learning. It’s much more complex than in school. If games couldn’t teach you, they would go broke. We teach the way we do because of the tests. We have to change the assessment, because it drives the teaching system. You wouldn’t be tempted to give a gamer a Halo test; if he finished the game, he already knows it. The learning system should be so immersive that the assessment is built in. Situated and embodied learning – can you DO stuff with your learning?
    • Learning – you need to be able to USE and ARTICULATE your knowledge.
  • Adaptive learning – you can’t move on until you are expert at that level. That’s a gaming concept also.
  • Games are one-on-one – the gamer is learning at their own level. It’s individualized instruction.
  • The differences of a game where the concepts are all connected in the game vs. where you answer a math problem and then get to move a car forward – but those two are connected.
  • One thing to watch out for with using off the shelf games is that students can be frustrated that the fun is taken out of the game because it’s been “school-ified”.
  • Game mechanics for gamification – feedback loops, iterative sequences for learning, levelling up with a reward system, may have real-life ramifications. Immediate feedback and self-reflection.
  • Issue of extrinsic motivation vs. intrinsic motivation. There aren’t enough studies to really say that extrinsic motivation are a detriment to intrinsic motivation.
  • The trick is really designing the curriculum around the game – and the creativity of the teacher.
  • Affinity space is the location, metagaming is the activity there, and paratext is the product of the collaboration/community.
  • There are communities around this – virtual communities, or playing with family, brothers, parents, uncles, in a real human interaction around the game. Well, of course! We have human interactions around Scrabble too! 
  • Types of writing around gaming: fan fiction, machinima, walkthrough, maker spaces.
  • How to gamify assessment:
    • health bar – to show how healthy your character is
    • a map to show where you are compared to everything else in the course
    • leaderboards?? maybe
    • XP – experience points
    • Present more challenges and opportunities to earn points
    • Quests and missions – students can choose these different goals and customize based on their interest
  • The idea of in course workshops (in the form of writing workshops) to support learning needed to be successful in the course game
  • How to do modification / modding – students can recreate parts of the class based on their interest

Resources and Links

References

Best Practice Workshop Presentation Tips

Things I noticed that worked well in how they ran the workshop.

  • Access prior knowledge by asking for a personal definition
  • Pass out terms related to the concept on an index card and have participants in pairs write down what they know already and what they want to know about the term (tactile KWL)
  • Silent reading time adds variety to an all day workshop

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5402

Nov 03

Student Reflection

Student reflection is designed to assist students in thinking about their learning processes, their learning experiences, and their metacognition. Reflection is a critical component for teaching students to be self-directed learners. Students should reflect on the course content and it’s application to their personal and professional lives.

Dee Fink’s Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning includes a series of questions for including reflection in course design (p 19-20).

Students reflect with:

    • oneself through journaling or learning portfolios
    • others through class discussion or others outside of class
  • Students reflect about:
    • the subject of the course: what is an appropriate and full understanding of this topic?
    • the learning process:
      • What am I learning?
      • Of what value is this?
      • How did I learn?
      • What else do I need to learn?
  • Students reflect via:
    • one-minute papers
      • i.e. What is the most important thing you learned in this module?
      • What was the “muddiest point” from this module?
    • weekly journal writing
    • learning portfolios

Need more ideas for designing reflection?

Talk to your Instructional Facilitator for more ideas or assistance with applying these ideas to your course.  Find these tips and more online in the Online Course Development Support Site.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5346

Oct 31

To Tweet or Not to Tweet; Facilitating Personal Values Formation in Students in Online Religion Courses

Blogging at the Online Learning Consortium International Conference 2014

Renate Hood (University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, USA)

Notes and Thoughts

  • How to help students form personal values and built affective competencies
  • Aims at affective maturity in terms of civic and social responsibilities
  • Types of courses: value exploration courses;  cultural exploration courses; service oriented learning;
  • How important is the affective domain in online teaching? for instructors; for the job market? How important is emotional intelligence for employers?
  • How do you teach students empathy? how do you teach empathy online?
  • How do you include reflection components so that students learn to care about topics/issues like service learning, social justice, etc. without telling them to care – it’s a tendency of some institutions; how do you help them grow on their own; and then how do you do that online?
  • “All reciprocal social interactions take place in “an ecological system” within which formation must be facilitated – Lowe & Lowe 2010
  • Socio-ecology is affected by transactional distance, social presence, existing personal values, and external interactions such as mentorships
  • How do we teach students to be more empathetic to those who learn something slower than they do? who can forgive themselves if they fail? who can work with diverse others? And then how do we do that online or in distance education
  • Mentorships in smaller measures incrementally in courses vs. waiting till the practicum
  • Make use of the community at large; designing offline experiences that include family and community interactions
  • In the course design – need higher social presence and lower transactional distance
  • Include more values formation elements: collaborative learning; learner centered assignments; include a degree of creative license; what is the role of the instructor in this situation?
  • How to allow for students to be honest on what they really care about or not; netiquette is important
  • Role play sites / cartoon sites / animation / avatars – to help students wrestle with affective content and act out situations
  • The big questions are around assessment of values – psychology could help design assessments and surveys

Thought provoking session.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5398

Oct 31

Relationship Between Student Surveys of Teaching and Course Quality Assurance Components for Online Courses

Blogging my session at the Online Learning Consortium International Conference 2014

Here are the resources supporting my session

Several of the attendees in the room are also looking at the relationship between their student evaluations and components of their quality assurance process. This made for interesting discussions:

  • Ideas for refining process and research: Do an analysis to see if the questions on the course evaluation fit into the same concepts that we think we are measuring (for aligning our standards and the questions on the course evaluation).
  • Issues of measurement: What do student evaluations measure? What do the external reviewers measures? and the faculty member self-reviews? Issues with measurement of learning that happens outside the LMS – course activities in the publisher’s textbook site; live sessions; web 2.0 tools, etc.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5391

Oct 31

The Community is the Curriculum

Blogging the Online Learning Consortium International Conference 2014

Keynote by Dave Cormier

I participated in the twitter stream this morning during the keynote, which was great! But I thought I’d just collect here some resources mentioned and shared in the twitter stream that I want to keep:

Lots of fodder to think about. Loved this keynote.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5393

Oct 31

The Dangers of Standardized Online Courses: Consistency vs. Creativity

Blogging the Online Learning Consortium International Conference 2014

Melanie Kasparian, who has a very cool title: Online Experiential Learning Developer at Northeastern University, USA.

PowerPoint.

Concepts and Notes

  • Their model is “flexible yet scalable”
  • They do curated content with the one to many model – a master course that is used for multiple sections
  • They want to have a controlled environment, but not in a way that inhibits faculty
  • They leverage cognitive science principles -see Laurie’s session: Preparing Faculty to Develop Online Courses with a Learning Sciences Lens
  • Common use of chunking content; breaking up videos; what prior knowledge would students need before they do this course? where is the instructor presence? how do you design a course so that it has instructor presence?
  • Online experiential learning – is it case studies? no, actually it really is real-life experiential learning; connections to employers; the reflection piece is really important too
  • Side note/thinking: instructional designers work from theory; instructional designers curate content. The more I realize what instructional designers do, and what really good instructional designers do, like Melanie, I wonder if we are going to get to to a place where some of the best courses really are online, not f2f? who is supporting this type of learning f2f? not enough in higher ed, I think
  • Let’s assume creativity and consistency are at opposite ends of the spectrum – are they?
  • Consistency – template standard production line model
  • Creativity – it’s different each time it’s taught because it changes based on the student
  • Extreme example – wholly standardized course – it starts with best practice; updates are difficult; faculty feels disengaged; can be restricted by the LMS; how do we have faculty bring their experience to the course; how do we not demotivate them;
  • Extreme example #2 – wholly creative; non-consistent; innovative techniques for design; build the course as it goes; design tailored to faculty, authentic experience based on the student needs; confusion on the part of the learner; longer development time; lack of continuity across the program (accreditation)

Consistency is used to create the order that enables creativity.

 How? 

  • Consistency can enable creativity
  • Consistency: standard verbiage, course build, core principles (i.e. chunking, assessment of prior learning),
  • Creativity can come in how you deploy the content; navigation
  • Balancing: quality, experiential, timeline, cost, interactivity, scalable, academic rigor
  • Questions to consider further: What are additional ways to find the balance? What are some course design elements that should be standardized? What pressures have you encountered when trying to find the balance? Where can faculty add their own flair? What about assessment? can faculty adjust points and scores? but not outcomes.
  • Personal experiences – that’s where faculty can add their flair – sharing video/audio with their stories

4 ways to find the balance

  1. Have a starting point. Design principles. Standard terminology, standard look and feel, blueprint, an umbrella theme and structure
  2. Give ‘em options. Give both instructional designers and faculty options. Options on lesson delivery, suite of tools, assessment strategies, different models. Let them choose. Give lots of choice. Let them add videos, redo videos as needed.
  3. The 40/30/30 rule. 40% of the course is the core and designed with consistent rigor; publisher level quality, scalability, and revised for substantial changes in the core content. 30% of the course is flex. Tailored content, regionalism, personal tastes of the instructor, quickly changeable by faculty. 30% of the course is the teach part. Personality and context; constructive suggestions, timely feedback; instantly amenable by faculty. This part can change.
    1. i.e. The core is the Lesson; the flex is readings and media; the teach: the announcements in the course.
    2. We don’t want the core to get to the point where it inhibits creativity.
  4. Be flexible. Let’s train on critical thinking, attention to detail, problem solving, learning principles and NOT on just the tools and the blueprint and the exact way to do it. Instead, teach the instructional designers relationship building – to work with the faculty from what they want to do. Then learn what the faculty needs instead of just saying we do it this way.

Things I want to work on more

  • Articulated core learning principles (i.e. feedback to students) that guide the course design
  • Things to think about with revision process; how does it come? do you need a form? do you need a ticketing system?
  • How to allow more flexibility in some of our high enrollment classes with multiple sections

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5394

Oct 30

Death by Discussion Boards: Strategies for Thinking Outside the Box

Blogging the Online Learning Consortium International Conference 2014

Presenters: Ken Hartman (Eduventures, USA) and Kristen Betts (Drexel University, USA)

Presentation is online here.

Note: This presentation was fast paced and packed with ideas!

Why do we need more engagement?

Photo by CutePictureSite.com

How can we create more of a classroom atmosphere with different types of engagement than just the discussion boards.

Starting with the federal regulations and definitions:

  • definition that requires “regular and substantive interaction” with the teacher
  • credit hour: one hour direct faculty instruction; two hours of out of class work each week for 15 weeks
  • accreditors are reviewing the reliability and accuracy of the credit hour policy
  • students need to be engaged in your course shell in a way that accreditors can review it
    • syllabi are reviewed to check if the interactive features are required; interaction has to be required for your course not to be categorized as a correspondence course
    • in an audit, they are looking to see student logins to the classroom space; don’t just send it out on the email; get students to login to read the announcements and “show up” in class

So, how can you actually have online interaction and engagement?

Move beyond: read/watch, post, reply to a classmate. Let’s get rid of that box and think about something else. Both on campus and online courses should have

  • On-Campus Interaction: Class Discussion and Activities
  • Online Interaction: Class Discussion and Activities

Pedagogy Strategies

  • Voice comments, voice discussion (use that term instead of audio because it sounds more personal)
  • Peer/group activities
  • Individual activities
  • Rename discussions to “Discussion and activities”
  • Activities: You can give a percentage or complete or grade. You don’t have to grade everything. In an f2f class you have in class activities that aren’t graded. They just need to complete.
  • Everything has to be linked to your course objectives and learning outcomes.
  • Look for application and mastery. Align the content with career placement – what do they need to do? What are the skills that employers are looking for? Build that into your online course and face to face too!
  • Scaffold in learning the new technologies for things that they need to use the tool later – like tools they have to use for student presentations.
  • Cross reference her neuropedagogy presentation: Neuro-Instructional Design & Neuropedagogy: Reconceptualizing Online & Blended Education
  • Don’t scare online students with a voice, video, padlet; do that text based. But then have another assignment 5-10 question assignment; make sure they know the syllabus.
  • Idea: have students watch a 29 minute video on APA; and then have a quiz on it. We need this idea in our Masters programs.
  • Use an adaptive release on the syllabus quiz – picky stuff that they keep emailing about – 10 questions along – get the students to do it – they can’t see the rest of the course until they do that
  • Have one on one meetings with the student – scheduled with the teacher between weeks 2 & 5; it’s a requirement in the course; it changes everything when they experience this
  • Require the students to record two of their four required group sessions to ensure that they are showing up to their group work.
  • Reflection & Journal activiites; – mid & final course reflections – on the objectives; how have they applied or how do they see they will apply their learning?
  • Student generated content – have them present, do role plays, do a group project, record their presentation (could be recorded); their presentations are in the discussion board, which do you believe are the top two and why? – play the role of the evaluator
  • Virtual field trips – meet the author, virtual tours of organizations such as national institutes of health, ustream onsite visits locally

Technology Tools Besides the Discussion Board

  • Padlet: You can put MP4s, PDFs, a collection of comments; gives feedback to everyone in the class; one use is to put all the resources to have students access – like video tutorials on APA etc; another use is keeping ideas and resources for the next time the course is taught; padlet for peer review – each student makes their padlet and then the other students comment on it.
    • ePoster – have students make their poster presentation on padlet, including a voice recording
  • Tellagami: to give a really quick audio/video feedback to the student
  • Vocaroo: for students or teachers to present / give feedback
  • VoiceThread: – voice, video, text
  • Tip: When you use tools outside of the LMS, make sure you include it in the syllabus, announcements, etc – and that allows whoever reviews your course to know about the engagement and faculty presence included in your course.
  • Zoom: They are working on an LTI integration
  • Simulations  – like EthicsGame or Hot Topic Simulations or Ethical Lens Inventory; ShadowHealth – as a few examples
  • Apps and activities: 3D Brain App – for teaching neurocognition for nursing
  • Online flashcards i.e.  studyblue.com – have the students create flashcards and post them in the discussion board – and then pick the best sets of flashcards and why they are the best; groups collaboratively develop flashcards
  • ustream  – bring in guest speakers to your online students; stream to the campus & online students; campus/course speakers; stream it! watch the required event; then have 5-10 questions; you can’t require them to show up to a live event; but require them to watch; they have to get 100% mastery; ask 2 questions from the content; one that the speaker said, and one at the end; you have to pay attention to be able to do it – you have to get 100% to get the credit for it

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5385

Oct 30

Using U.S. News & World Report Academic Insights To Benchmark Your Online Program

Blogging the Online Learning Consortium International Conference 2014

Presenter:  Evan Jones (U.S. News & World Report, USA)

A little background on U. S. News and World Report. Their rankings are online here, and for a variety of categories, including online programs. From 1983 to the early 1990s, the rankings were reputation based. In the early 1990s they started doing statistical surveys. In 2012 they launched the best online programs rankings for a few select categories.

Their thesis for rankings is to provide applicants and parents transparency into college options.

Academic Insights

Recently they started thinking that institutions might want to use this data for peer bench marking and performance assessment. This data is not  publicly available; it’s for institution use within the Academic Insights website. The online data was added in January, so this is really new.

They created it with several university teams in mind: senior administrators, enrollment management, marketing & communication, and institutional research.

The data in the site includes history USN survey data 1988 bachelors; 1994 grad; 2013 online; and will continue to have additional data added.

In the demo, we saw the different features:

  • You can create user defined peer groups to compare your data against others. The platform is built around creating peer groups and metric groups i.e. how our data compares to other schools that matter; can filter by state, name, can see +/- 10 during 2014 for example; see who is close to you; you can create as many groups as you like; then you can share this group with everyone else in your institution
  • You can make metric groups also – academics, admissions, cost, etc. and do comparisons on those metric groups.
  • You can export charts and raw data files
  • Data elements include: ranking indicator scores, raw data files
  • There’s a report card where you can make a direct comparison between one school and another school
  • You can export data to csvs of the data if you need to; there’s a download center for the Institutional Research office to look at more data
  • There’s a leaderboard view that’s a dynamic spreadsheet, can then sort metrics by metrics and see whether you are behind or ahead
  • Explorer is a user defined scatterplot with three dimensions – x, y, z

The cost is per data set, and includes full exporting; new data will automatically come in as each new year’s data is added; subscriptions are the calendar year from your subscription date.

Reflection: This is an amazing example of a data dashboard – and making data available in a way that administrators can explore their research question without having to ask anyone. It’s also a great selling point on the usefulness and importance of completing the surveys. It’s useful not just for rankings but for your own institutional learning and growth.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5381

Oct 30

Three Interesting Poster Sessions: Procrastination, Learning Database, and Moodle Themes

Blogging the Online Learning Consortium International Conference 2014

Student Procrastination in Open Testing

The University of Central Florida has a centralized testing process for lower level undergraduate courses. The study was on student procrastination in taking their test over the time window allowed for the exam. The more students procrastinated, the lower the average exam score. I found this session really interesting for the connections to the self-paced completion study that I’m working on. Studies of student procrastination where they have a choice – and the relationship to their success. Very interesting. 

Innovating to Improve Student Engagement and Reduce Instructor Workload: A Case Study of a Digital Photography Course

George Bradford from University of West Georgia has been building a tool to support reflection and student projects in his digital photography class. He is working on how to manage creative classes like digital photography where for grading, the teacher needs to review several pieces that students submit – the URL for their work and where it is in the cloud; the before and after version of the concept, the student reflection on what

Photographer: Janine Lim

Moodle Design: Photographer: Janine Lim

they learned. This is hard to keep in an LMS in an easy way to grade. Now that he’s building this tool, he’s starting to think about how that learning could be aggregated across semesters and students could learn from each other. I think it’s always interesting to see tools develop to support a more constructivist learning environment. 

Simple Steps That Make a Significant Difference: Improving the Visual Design of Your Online Course(s)

This was a really cool poster. Kristen Ferguson from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary shared how their Instructional Design team basically created a development site in Moodle for all 40+ undergraduate courses and gave them a visual upgrade with a template. Then they unveiled it to faculty and asked if they wanted to use that! Cool. I want to do that with some of our online courses that haven’t yet experienced a visual upgrade. Pretty amazing process, and completely sidestepped the whole concept of design by committee! After that, they were open to faculty requests for changes. Overall feedback from faculty was extremely positive.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5380

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