- Written by Dani Babb Published: 24 March 2016
The common threads and take-aways for administrators:
- Faculty don’t like being micromanaged. Hire faculty you trust to do the job, provide guidelines and training, and let professionals do their thing.
- Pay appropriately, and give notice if you are canceling a course.
- Set expectations clearly, and communicate with faculty in the same tone you’d expect; assume the best not the worst.
- Include adjuncts as part of your team.
- Compensate when job duties increase.
- Handle student issues quickly, make sure prepared students enter programs (particularly in graduate work).
- Move away from the “gotcha mentality” into an inclusive, people-make-mistakes, “we are all in this together” model.
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
company or group who is doing online program evaluation?
this information is extracted from the Blend-Online discussion list
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.
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: email@example.com
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.
more on evaluations regarding online teaching in this IMS blog
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.
Instructional Designer Center for Learning and Teaching
Binghamton University LN 1324A (607) 777-5099
more on online learning in this IMS blog
Unlocking the Promise of Digital Assessment
By Stacey Newbern Dammann, EdD, and Josh DeSantis October 30, 2017
The proliferation of mobile devices and the adoption of learning applications in higher education simplifies formative assessment. Professors can, for example, quickly create a multi-modal performance that requires students to write, draw, read, and watch video within the same assessment. Other tools allow for automatic grade responses, question-embedded documents, and video-based discussion.
- Multi-Modal Assessments – create multiple-choice and open-ended items that are distributed digitally and assessed automatically. Student responses can be viewed instantaneously and downloaded to a spreadsheet for later use.
- (socrative.com) and
- Poll Everywhere (http://www.pollev.com).
- Formative (http://www.goformative.com) allows professors to upload charts or graphic organizers that students can draw on with a stylus. Formative also allows professors to upload document “worksheets” which can then be augmented with multiple-choice and open-ended questions.
- Nearpod (http://www.nearpod.com) allows professors to upload their digital presentations and create digital quizzes to accompany them. Nearpod also allows professors to share three-dimensional field trips and models to help communicate ideas.
- Video-Based Assessments – Question-embedded videos are an outstanding way to improve student engagement in blended or flipped instructional contexts. Using these tools allows professors to identify if the videos they use or create are being viewed by students.
- EdPuzzle (edpuzzle.com) and
- Playposit (http://www.playposit.com) are two leaders in this application category. A second type of video-based assessment allows professors to sustain discussion-board like conversation with brief videos.
- Flipgrid (http://www.flipgrid.com), for example, allows professors to posit a video question to which students may respond with their own video responses.
- Quizzing Assessments – ools that utilize close-ended questions that provide a quick check of student understanding are also available.
Integration of technology is aligned to sound formative assessment design. Formative assessment is most valuable when it addresses student understanding, progress toward competencies or standards, and indicates concepts that need further attention for mastery. Additionally, formative assessment provides the instructor with valuable information on gaps in their students’ learning which can imply instructional changes or additional coverage of key concepts. The use of tech tools can make the creation, administration, and grading of formative assessment more efficient and can enhance reliability of assessments when used consistently in the classroom. Selecting one that effectively addresses your assessment needs and enhances your teaching style is critical.
more on digital assessment in this IMS blog
Designing and Developing Digital Credentials
Part 1: September 13, 2017 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Part 2: September 19, 2017 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Part 3: September 28, 2017 | 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Digital badges are receiving a growing amount of attention and are beginning to disrupt the norms of what it means to earn credit or be credentialed. Badges allow the sharing of evidence of skills and knowledge acquired through a wide range of life activity, at a granular level, and at a pace that keeps up with individuals who are always learning—even outside the classroom. As such, those not traditionally in the degree-granting realm—such as associations, online communities, and even employers—are now issuing “credit” for achievement they can uniquely recognize. At the same time, higher education institutions are rethinking the type and size of activities worthy of official recognition. From massive open online courses (MOOCs), service learning, faculty development, and campus events to new ways of structuring academic programs and courses or acknowledging granular or discrete skills and competencies these programs explore, there’s much for colleges and universities to consider in the wide open frontier called badging.
During this ELI course, participants will:
- Explore core concepts that define digital badges, as well as the benefits and use in learning-related contexts
- Understand the underlying technical aspects of digital badges and how they relate to each other and the broader landscape for each learner and issuing organization
- Critically review and analyze examples of the adoption of digital credentials both inside and outside higher education
- Identify and isolate specific programs, courses, or other campus or online activities that would be meaningfully supported and acknowledged with digital badges or credentials
- Consider the benefit of each minted badge or system to the earner, issuer, and observer
- Develop a badge constellation or taxonomy for their own project
- Consider forms of assessment suitable for evaluating badge earning
- Learn about design considerations around the visual aspects of badges
- Create a badge-issuing plan
- Issue badges
NOTE: Participants will be asked to complete assignments in between the course segments that support the learning objectives stated above and will receive feedback and constructive critique from course facilitators on how to improve and shape their work.
Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO, Credly
Jonathan Finkelstein is founder and CEO of Credly, creator of the Open Credit framework, and founder of the open source BadgeOS project. Together these platforms have enabled thousands of organizations to recognize, reward, and market skills and achievement. Previously, he was founder of LearningTimes and co-founder of HorizonLive (acquired by Blackboard), helping mission-driven organizations serve millions of learners through online programs and platforms. Finkelstein is author of Learning in Real Time (Wiley), contributing author to The Digital Museum, co-author of a report for the U.S. Department of Education on the potential for digital badges, and a frequent speaker on digital credentials, open badges, and the future of learning and workforce development. Recent speaking engagements have included programs at The White House, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Smithsonian, EDUCAUSE, IMS Global, Lumina Foundation, ASAE, and the Federal Reserve. Finkelstein is involved in several open standards initiatives, such as the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Badge Alliance, American Council on Education (ACE) Stackable Credentials Framework Advisory Group, and the Credential Registry. He graduated with honors from Harvard.
Susan Manning, University of Wisconsin-Stout
In addition to helping Credly clients design credential systems in formal and informal settings, Susan Manning comes from the teaching world. Presently she teaches for the University of Wisconsin at Stout, including courses in instructional design, universal design for learning, and the use of games for learning. Manning was recognized by the Sloan Consortium with the prestigious 2013 Excellence in Online Teaching Award. She has worked with a range of academic institutions to develop competency-based programs that integrate digital badges. Several of her publications specifically speak to digital badge systems; other work is centered on technology tools and online education.
EDUC-441 Mobile Learning Instructional Design
Repeatable for Credit: No
Mobile learning research, trends, instructional design strategies for curriculum integration and professional development.
EDUC-452 Universal Design for Learning
Repeatable for Credit: No
Instructional design strategies that support a wide range of learner differences; create barrier-free learning by applying universal design concepts.
more on badges in education in this IMS blog
College deans predict higher-ed is in for remarkable changes in 10 years
By Laura Ascione, Managing Editor, Content Services, @eSN_Laura
September 4th, 2017 New survey reveals more than two-thirds of college deans believe institutional change is on the horizon
The survey findings are from the responses of 109 deans of four-year colleges and universities in March and April 2017. Of the respondents, 61 percent were from public universities and 60 percent have been in their jobs at least five years.
Deans were divided on whether faculty members get enough support in teaching courses online–43 percent said faculty are getting shortchanged in how much help they get in rethinking their courses and teaching with technology, while 40 percent said they believe they are getting enough support and 14 percent are neutral.
One-third of deans agree online courses are comparable to face-to-face courses, and roughly the same proportion said they disagree.
Thirty-seven percent of college deans surveyed described the pace of change at their own institutions as “too slow.” Deans surveyed cite lack of money being the biggest hurdle to change, followed by resource constraints on faculty and staff and a resistance or aversion to change.
university presidents about future in this IMS blog
Nobody’s Watching: Proctoring in Online Learning
There is no single best way to handle proctoring for digital courses, as this community college system pilot discovered.
By Dian Schaffhauser 07/26/17
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 lays out the rule: An institution offering “distance education” needs to have processes in place for verifying student identity to ensure that the student who registers for a class is the “same student who participates in and completes the program and receives the academic credit.”
OLC (Online Learning Consortium) Innovate conference and shared the solution: a combination of the use of an automated proctoring application and the creation of a network of colleges across the state that would provide no-cost proctoring on their campuses for students attending any of the member schools.
put together an online proctoring working group with “lots of faculty representation,” said Hadsell, which “paid off in the long run.” Other participants included people from testing centers and learning centers. Proctorio, the proctoring solution eventually recommended by the working group, is a web service that can be deployed through Canvas and installed by students with one click
more on proctoring in this IMS blog
Quickly Dictate Notes in Multiple Languages on Dictation.io
Dictation.io is a good tool to add to yesterday’s list of free tools for dictating notes.
Dictation.io doesn’t require students to register in order to use it. It also supports more than two dozen languages. Those two aspects of Dictation.io make it accessible to students who don’t have Google Docs accounts and to those who don’t speak English as their first language.
Mic Note is a free Chrome and Android app that allows you to create voice recordings, text notes, and image-based notes
Evernote users can make audio recordings on iOS and Android devices. Follow Evernote’s directions available here to learn how to dictate a note on an iOS device.
more on voice recognition in this IMS blog
Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning
José Antonio Bowen, president, Goucher College
Technology is changing higher education, but the greatest value of a physical university will remain its face-to-face (naked) interaction between faculty and students. Technology has fundamentally changed our relationship to knowledge and this increases the value of critical thinking, but we need to redesign our courses to deliver this value. The most important benefits to using technology occur outside of the classroom. New technology can increase student preparation and engagement between classes and create more time for the in-class dialogue that makes the campus experience worth the extra money it will always cost to deliver. Students already use online content, but need better ways to interact with material before every class. By using online quizzes and games, rethinking our assignments and course design, we can create more class time for the activities and interactions that most spark the critical thinking and change of mental models we seek.
more on online teaching in this IMS blog