Archive of ‘distance learning’ category

condensed semesters

Austin, A., & Gustafson, L. (2006). Impact of Course Length on Student Learning. JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS AND FINANCE EDUCATION, 5(1), 26–37.
Condensed or time shortened semesters are becoming more common as more non-traditional students seek higher education. Many universities now offer full semester courses over two or three weekends. Also, inter semester courses of one to three weeks are also becoming popular as university administrators seek to find ways to increase student enrollments. While there is much anecdotal evidence that grades during summer semesters tend to be higher than during the fall semester, we must ask if condensed semester courses actually provide students with the same learning experience as a traditional 16-week semester?
Overall we find that there is a significant improvement from taking shorter courses that cannot be explained solely by student characteristics. Using a very large database and by using more robust models this study provides more definitive results than have been achieved in past studies. Compared to a sixteen week semester, there is an improvement at 8 weeks, 4 weeks, and 3 weeks. We also find that those benefits differ, peaking at four weeks. 10 This complements the results of Scott (2003) who finds that classroom relationships and classroom atmosphere are two important factors that explain why performance is better in intensive courses than the traditional format i.e. there is a better bond between teacher and student when they meet every day than just two or three times a week. While 4 week and 3 week sessions both meet daily, the three week session, with just 11 teaching days, may be to short a time span for that bond to fully develop. More importantly, we also find that the improved grades are not meaningless – they do reflect greater learning.11 We find that the grades given for a shortened intensive course have the same significantexplanatory power for future performance as those earned during a traditional 16 week semester. This combats the popular perception (among students anyway) that the bar is lowered in some manner during the shortened sessions. This is clearly not the case as we find no evidence of any correction for those grades. There are some obvious policy implications from this study. Universities wishing to maximize learning with limited resources might consider changing their course structure from predominately sixteen week to four week semesters, a more modular system. A full semester load (12 hours) can be taken in the same time (16 weeks) by taking a traditional semester, or 4 four weeks sessions. Both cases would involve the same amount of class time per week, and so the modular structure would place no additional burden on a student.
Jaschik, S. (2008, March 28). Students Prefer Intensive Courses. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/03/28/intensive

net neutrality and education

3 Ways a Net Neutrality Repeal Might Impact Universities

The impending change in internet regulations could be detrimental to the quality of education students receive.
Meghan Bogardus Cortez , Jan 11, 2018
https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/01/3-ways-net-neutrality-repeal-might-impact-universities

1. Technology that Increases Access Hits the Slow Lane

Innovations in videoconferencing and lecture capture technologies have allowed universities to provide flexible learning experiences to students no matter their location. However, if internet service providers are allowed to create “fast lanes” and “slow lanes” of access, experts worry these learning experiences will be in jeopardy.
“slow lanes” of internet access could make it difficult for students to access cloud software or applications without hitting data caps.

2. Inhibit Ability to Research and Access Materials

a 40-page commentary to the FCC explaining how a repeal would hurt universities, eCampus News reports.

“Institutions of higher education and libraries depend upon an open internet to carry out their educational and civic missions, and to serve their communities,” reads the commentary.

“almost everything” relies on the internet in higher education. Students use it for research, to take courses and turn in assignments while faculty use it for research and to create lesson plans. Roberts says his library needs it to archive and preserve materials. Slower internet could inhibit research and access to library resources.

3. Increased Costs Without Increased Educational Experiences

high cost of attending a university might see a bump without net neutrality.
slower internet access would actually degrade the quality of education offered for a higher cost.

++++++++++++++++
more on net neutrality and education in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=net+neutrality

Online Students Need More Interaction

Online Students Need More Interaction with Peers and Teachers [#Infographic]

New research shows online learners are seeking more interaction, mobile device support and career services.

university administrators want to make sure their courses are up to standards and their students are supported.

new report from the Learning House and Aslanian Market Research measures the opinions of 1,500 online students regarding everything from course satisfaction to study methods

institutions need to more clearly share the positive outcomes that come with completing degree and certificate programs online.”

online courses would be better if there was more contact and engagement.

online students

++++++++++++++
more on online students in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=online+students

brain research distance ed

The Implications of Brain Research for Distance Education

Katrina A. Meyer
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership
University of North Dakota
katrina_meyer@und.nodak.edu

posted on FB in 2013 https://www.facebook.com/plamen.miltenoff/posts/10100455869591041

The brain is actually three brains: the ancient reptilian brain, the limbic brain, and the cortical brain. This article will focus on the limbic brain, because it may be most important to successfully using interactive video or web-based video. The limbic brain monitors the external world and the internal body, taking in information through the senses as well as body temperature and blood pressure, among others. It is the limbic brain that generates and interprets facial expressions and handles emotions, while the cortical brain handles symbolic activities such as language as well as action and strategizing. The two interact when an emotion is sent from the limbic to the cortical brain and generates a conscious thought; in response to a feeling of fear (limbic), you ask, “what should I do?” (cortical).

The importance of direct eye contact and deciphering body language is also important for sending and picking up clues about social context.

The loss of social cues is important because it may affect the quality of the content of the presentation (by not allowing timely feedback or questions) but also because students may feel less engaged and become frustrated with the interaction, and subsequently lower their assessment of the class and the instructor (Reeves & Nass, 1996). Fortunately, faculty can provide such social cues verbally, once they are aware of the importance of helping students use these new media.

Attachment theory also supports the importance of physical and emotional connections.

As many a struggling teacher knows, students are often impervious to learning new concepts. They may replay the new information for a test, but after time passes, they revert to the earlier (and likely wrong) information. This is referred to as the “power of mental models.” As explained in Marchese (2000), when we view a tree, it is not as if we see the tree in our head, as in photography.

The coping strategies of the two hemispheres are fundamentally different. The left hemisphere’s job is to create a belief system or model and to fold new experiences into that belief system. If confronted with some new information that doesn’t fit the model, it relies on Freudian defense mechanisms to deny, repress or confabulate – anything to preserve the status quo. The right hemisphere’s strategy is to play “Devil’s Advocate,” to question the status quo and look for global inconsistencies. When the anomalous information reaches a certain threshold, the right hemisphere decides that it is time to force a complete revision of the entire model and start from scratch (Ramachandran & Blakeslee, 1998, p. 136).

While much hemispheric-based research has been repudiated as an oversimplification (Gackenbach, 1999), the above description of how new information eventually overwhelms an old world view may be the result of multiple brain functions – some of which work to preserve our models and others to alter – that help us both maintain and change as needed.

Self-talk is the “the root of empathy, understanding, cooperation, and rules that allow us to be successful social beings. Any sense of moral behavior requires thought before action” (Ratey, 2001, p. 255).

Healy (1999) argues that based on what we know about brain development in children, new computer media may be responsible for developing brains that are largely different from the brains of adults. This is because “many brain connections have become specialized for . . . media” (p. 133); in this view, a brain formed by language and reading is different from a brain formed by hypermedia. Different media lead to different synaptic connections being laid down and reinforced, creating different brains in youngsters raised on fast-paced, visually-stimulating computer applications and video games. “Newer technologies emphasize rapid processing of visual symbols . . . and deemphasize traditional verbal learning . . . and the linear, analytic thought process . . . [making it] more difficult to deal with abstract verbal reasoning” (Healy, 1999, p. 142).

 

++++++++++++++++
more on distance ed in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=distance+education

proctoring ideas

Digital Proctoring

I great exchange on ideas regarding digital proctoring in the Blended and Online Learning listserv:

STUDENTS

David Huckleberry

Coordinator of Digital Instruction – Physics & Astronomy

Purdue University

Office = PHYS 176

525 Northwestern Avenue

West Lafayette, IN 47907

dhuckleb@purdue.edu

++++++++++++

Proctorio

Scott Robison, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Digital Learning and Design
Portland State University

Portland, OR 97201
503-725-9118
@otterscotter
+++++++++++++++++
At University of Wisconsin – Superior – we have stopped offering proctoring for students.  Faculty, however, have come up with a way for online testing. They ask student to use Kaltura tto record their face and part of the test and then post the video in the dropbox.

Rebecca Graetz, EdD

Instructional Program Manager II

UW – Superior

rgraetz@uwsuper.edu

++++++++++++

ProctorU, an online proctoring service, with online courses that offered online exams and BioSig ID for courses that did not require exams.

Kelvin Bentley
Email: timelord33@gmail.com
Twitter: blacktimelord
++++++++++++++

+++++++++++++
more on proctoring in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=proctoring

Low Morale of Online Faculty

Here’s what some of the faculty who agreed to have their comments posted had to say about what lowers their morale:

  • Sean-David McGoran noted that students allowed to bully faculty, repetitious and unnecessary training and unreasonable deadlines at final and midterm examination time can be demoralizing.
  • Linda Chilson said that pay, curriculum that doesn’t make sense, student behavioral issues and school districts funding unnecessary training are issues, as well as lack of support for out of the box thinking.
  • Leah Murray noted that micromanaging every little detail is demoralizing – and understandably added, “why not teach the class yourself if you are going to pay that much attention“. She also noted that lack of positive reinforcement and others taking credit for work you did is troubling.
  • Mary Kay Westgate-Taylor cited poor new faculty orientation, unclear expectations, micromanagement and lack of support from administration regarding student issues as concerns.
  • Dr Steve Woodsmall noted open admissions – too many graduate students who aren’t able or willing to do graduate level work or have a sense of entitlement (paying tuition guaranteeing a degree) and complaining when they receive clearly deserved failing grades causes low morale.
  • Quiana Bradshaw noted that schools acting like adjuncts don’t matter causes low morale. Adjuncts often work hard with no promotional opportunities with no mentoring or encouragement, and only veteran individuals offered promotions. Not including adjuncts as part of the team or micromanaging adjuncts with reports and comments is concerning.
  • Jeanie Rogers-Street noted that education not being the driving force of education (instead, finances being the main focus) is a cause of low morale.
  • Christina Krepinevich Houston noted rude emails from supervisors as a cause of low morale.
  • Stacie Williams commented that supervisors or administrators with a lack of experience in curriculum design and hiring skills dismissing the experience and knowledge of instructors is demoralizing.
  • Traci Schneider Cull noted that not having support from online higher-ups or fixing issues in courses/not responding causes low morale.
  • Nicki Favero Puckett cited continuous increases in workload without additional compensation as a cause.
  • Terri Hennessy Craig stated that severely under, or unprepared, students and canceling classes (particularly without notice) is a cause of low morale.
  • Maria Toy noted micromanagement and an increased workload with no additional compensation as a low morale cause

++++++++++++++

this conversation continues in this LInkedIn discussion group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2774663/2774663-6341436320048648193

+++++++++++++++
more on online teaching in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=online+teaching

online program evaluation

company or group who is doing online program evaluation?

this information is extracted from the Blend-Online discussion list

Colleagues,

Do you know any company or group who is doing online program evaluation? Our school is seeking a consulting group to come to review our online programs and identify areas relate to online learning that we need to improve.

Thanks,

Carrie Halpin, Ph.D. Professor/Instructional Designer & Technologist eLearning & Instructional Technology (eLIT) Virginia Western Community College 3095 Colonial Ave. SW, Roanoke, VA 24015 Office: Brown Library 102 Phone: 540-857-6636 Fax: 540-857-6138 Email: chalpin@virginiawestern.edu

Quality Matters will do course reviews.  iDesign
iDesign will do both of those things using a fee-for-service model versus a revenue-sharing model like Academic Partnerships or 2U. I have no personal experience with any OPM, but iDesign is the only one I know of that offers that ala carte type service.
Andrea MacArgel
 Instructional Designer Center for Learning and Teaching
 Binghamton University LN 1324A (607) 777-5099 Schedule a meeting with me at http://doodle.com/macargel  http://www.binghamton.edu/clt

Damon Osborne, Ph.D. Associate Vice President for Online and Alternative Delivery Programs Shafer Library | Findlay, OH 45840 419-434-5978 Office dosborne@findlay.edu

+++++++++++
more on evaluations regarding online teaching in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=online+evaluation

policies online program

How did your institution decide which courses should be converted or designed to be blended and or online?  Did you have a particular process, form, or department who made those decisions?

Dana Gullo, M.S.I.T. Senior Instructional Designer  York College of Pennsylvania 441 Country Club Road Office: PAC 181C York, PA 17403

Hi Dana:  Here at Albright College we have 2 processes. For the traditional program, faculty must get the course approved by the dept chair before it can be offered online. I just need an email from the chair before I will sign a course development agreement with them. Payment is another story. Normally there is a development stipend but if the faculty member wants to keep sole ownership of the course, no stipend is paid. If the administration feels the course would not get good enrollment, they can also decide to not give a stipend. Courses in the traditional program can only be offered online during J term or summer, not fall or spring. For now.

For the non-traditional program, the Director of the program gives approval for courses to be offered online and they can only be gen eds which are offered online here. But if they are designed for the non-traditional, they will need permission to be offered online on the traditional side.

Sounds confusing but we are only in our 3rd year of online courses. There are many more processes and procedures we have developed. If you want to chat, email me off list.

Michele Mislevy Director of Digital Learning & Innovation Information Technology Services
Albright College 610-921-7542

+++++++++++++

At Binghamton University, academic departments decide if a course should be offered in a blended or online format. There is no process or form that I am aware of, unless individual departments have one. We do not have a separate online or distance learning office that oversees all online courses like some other universities. LMS support is provided by ITS; pedagogical support is provided by the Center for Learning and Teaching.
Most of our online courses are offered in the winter and summer terms. I believe there is only one certificate program in the social work department that is fully online, everything else is just individual courses. This is changing now, as our nursing school is deciding to create some online programs.
Andrea MacArgel
 Instructional Designer Center for Learning and Teaching
 Binghamton University LN 1324A (607) 777-5099
+++++++++++++++++++

++++++++++
more on online learning in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=online+learning

faculty training for online teaching

he EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group Listserv

Quick poll – do you require your faculty to be trained how to teach online before they are allowed to teach an online course at your institution?

Kristen Brown, Assistant Director, UofL Online

YES. Our faculty are required to complete two classes. One on using the LMS and the other is a 5-week moderated course called Teaching Online. Both courses are offered online.

Linda C. Morosko, MA   Director, eStarkState Division of Student Success

Chad Maxson, EdD │  Dean of Online Learning, Olivet Nazarene University │ Center for Teaching and Learning One University Avenue │ Bourbonnais, IL  60914

Gina Okun Assistant Dean, Online Berkeley College 64 East Midland Avenue, Suite 2 Paramus, NJ 07652

The online academic program director (i.e. MBA, M.Ed.) and I meet with each new instructor to go materials that cover providing instructor presence and best practices in general. I also ask that they sign something that lists 14 online teaching practices we expect as an institution. They also have to complete some LMS training so that they can post announcements, participate in discussions, and manage their gradebook.

We are currently designing a more formal 6 hour online training that is required.

Course design is separate and that’s a 16 week process with our designers.

Tex Brieger  Director of Distance Education (814) 871-7134

Absolutely.  Also, we give them a stipend to attend the training and develop and online course.

Linda S. Futch, Ed.D. Department Head, Course Design and Development Center for Distributed Learning University of Central Florida

I think the bigger need is for ongoing training for recertification to teach online as technology and online pedagogical models evolve over time.

Kelvin Kelvin Bentley <timelord33@GMAIL.COM>

At Suffolk yes, we do.  Over time that went from essentially “how to make the LMS work” to a Faculty Academy where faculty spend an entire semester working as a cohort to examine online pedagogy and best practices.  The latter works much better for sound course development.

Doug Kahn College Assistant Dean for IT Operations Suffolk County Community College 533 College Road Selden, NY 11784

I can’t speak of other accrediting bodies, but SACS-COC is fairly clear in its documentation that faculty should be adequately trained before teaching online. Prior to my arrival at U of R in 2015, I worked for 20 years at E. Carolina U. which has a large assortment of online programs and courses. I assisted in the process of designing several online training modules that were to serve as “basic training” (with assessments) for online instructors…directly due to needing to meet accreditation guidelines. As part of documentation for reaffirmation/reaccreditation, had to provide documentation showing that faculty had successfully completed the training. I believe it is required to complete every three years.

Michael Dixon, Assistant Director Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology University of Richmond


I wish we did, but we do not.  We run up against contract issues with.  Certainly, this could be changed with institutional will but would require a shift in how our agreements with the faculty union.

TRAVIS FREEMAN, MFA  EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPER FACULTY AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT CENTRE (FCDC) Office Location: 113 McCaul St, Room 501 T 416 977 6000 x3358 E tfreeman@ocadu.ca

+++++++++++++++
more on online teaching in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=online+teaching

1 2 3 12