Does Presence Equal Progress? Tracking Engagement in Online Schools
Embracing online school requires a new mindset, as well as new criteria for measuring academic success—measures that take into account the nature of teaching and learning online, the types of students online schools serve, and the unique ways in which those students learn.
Teachers interact with students during synchronous learning sessions, and they connect one-on-one through calls, online chats, texts, and interactive whiteboard sessions.
Accountability measures must adapt to and reflect a self-paced, competency-based learning environment. A traditional one-size-fits-all rubric does not translate cleanly with respect to online schools.
more on online engagement in this IMS blog
Embedded Librarianship in Online Courses
This class will start with simple ways librarians may embed their skills remotely starting with the LMS especially through the use of portal tabs, blocks, eReserves, knowledge bases, and student/faculty orientations. We’ll then move on to discussing how to bring the traditional face-to-face BI session (which librarians know so well) into the online class through the use of team teaching, guest lecturing, and conducting synchronous workshops. We’ll explore in the 3rd week how the librarian can become more influential in online course design and development. The session concludes with an examination of the ways librarians can evaluate whether or not their virtual efforts are impacting student access to library resources as well as possible learning outcomes.
more on embedded librarianship in this iMS blog
OPINION: Arne Duncan, the fallible narrator
OPINION: Arne Duncan, the fallible narrator
Aaron Pallas weighs in on Arne Duncan’s “How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation’s Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education”
more on RTTT and NCLB in this IMS blog
|This presentation reports the findings of a scoping review of the construct social presence. The methodology follows the design for scoping reviews as advocated by Arksey and O’Malley (2005).
A scoping study is desirable because by synthesizing the research literature the opportunity to identify practical guidelines for the development of social presence is facilitated. A two-stage screening process resulted in 105 studies identified for inclusion with data extracted using a standardized form. A descriptive numerical analysis and qualitative content analysis for those studies included was undertaken. Results from the manuscripts, screened for inclusion and synthesized from the data extracted in the scoping review, provide strategies for the structuring of social presence; the potential benefits of effective affective communication in an online environ; and an overview of the evolution of the construct social presence. Future research that links both the theoretical and empirical frameworks that validate social presence across a variety of online and e-learning environs is recommended so that best practices for excellence in higher education can continue to be made possible.
When: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 – 11am to 12noon Mountain Time (Canada)
Where: Online through Adobe Connect at:
Registration is not required; all are welcome. CIDER Sessions are recorded and archived for later viewing through the CIDER website. For more information on CIDER and our Sessions, please visit us at:
Please note that it is important to set up your system prior to the event. Make sure your Mac or PC is equipped with a microphone and speakers, so that you can use the audio functionality built into the conferencing software. The Adobe Connect platform may require an update to your Flash Player; allow time for this update by joining the session 10 minutes prior to the scheduled presentation.
CIDER sessions are brought to you by the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University: Canada’s Open University and leader in professional online education. The Sessions and their recordings are open and available to all, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
more on distance ed theories in this IMS blog:
Exemplary Course Program Rubric
if problems with the link above, try this one:
Course Design addresses elements of instructional design. For the purpose of this rubric, course design includes such elements as structure of the course, learning objectives, organization of content, and instructional strategies.
Interaction and Collaboration
Interaction denotes communication between and among learners and instructors, synchronously or asynchronously. Collaboration is a subset of interaction and refers specifically to those activities in which groups are working interdependently toward a shared result. This differs from group activities that can be completed by students working independently of one another and then combining the results, much as one would when assembling a jigsaw puzzle with parts of the puzzle worked out separately then assembled together. A learning community is defined here as the sense of belonging to a group, rather than each student perceiving himself/herself studying independently.
Assessment focuses on instructional activities designed to measure progress toward learning outcomes, provide feedback to students and instructors, and/or enable grading or evaluation. This section addresses the quality and type of student assessments within the course.
Learner Support addresses the support resources made available to students taking the course. Such resources may be accessible within or external to the course environment. Learner support resources address a variety of student services.
more on online teaching in this IMS blog
more on rubrics in this IMS blog
Advancing Online Education in Minnesota State
Advancing Online Education – Full Report-1s94jfi
Defining Online Education
The term “online education” has been used as a blanket phrase for a number of fundamentally different educational models. Phrases like distance education, e-Learning, massively open online courses (MOOCs), hybrid/blended learning, immersive learning, personalized and/or adaptive learning, master courses, computer based instruction/tutorials, digital literacy and even competency based learning have all colored the definitions the public uses to define “online education.”
online education” as having the following characteristics:
- Students who enroll in online courses or programs may reside near or far from the campus(es) providing the course(s) or program.
- A student’s course load may include offering where attendance is required in person or where an instructor/students are not required to be in the same geographic location.
- Students may enroll in one or more individual online course offerings provided by one or more institutions to that may or may not satisfy degree/program requirements.
- Student may pursue a certificate, program, or degree where a substantial number of courses, perhaps all, are taken without being in the same geographic location as others.
Organizational Effectiveness Research Group (OERG),
As the workgroup considered strategies that could advance online education, they were asked to use the primary and secondary sources listed above to support the fifteen (15) strategies that were developed
define a goal as a broad aspirational outcome that we strive to attain. Four goal areas guide this document. These goal areas include access, quality, affordability and collaboration. Below is a description of each goal area and the assumptions made for Minnesota State.
Over twenty percent of existing Minnesota State students enroll in online courses as a way to satisfy course requirements. For some students, online education is a convenient option; for others, online is the only option available
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation guidelines review the standards and processes institutions have in place to ensure quality in all of educational offerings, including online.
There are a number of ways in which institutions have demonstrated quality in individual courses and programs including the evaluation of course design, evaluation of instruction and assessment of student
a differential tuition rate to courses that are offered online. If we intend to have online education continue to be an affordable solution for students, Minnesota State and its institutions must be good stewards of these funds and ensure these funds support online education.
Online education requires different or additional services that need to be funded
transparency is important in tuition setting
Distance Minnesota is comprised of four institutions Alexandria Technical & Community College, Bemidji State University, Northland Community & Technical College, and Northwest Technical College) which collaborate to offer student support services, outreach, e-advising, faculty support, and administrative assistance for online education offerings.
strategies are defined as the overall plan used to identify how we can achieve each goal area.
Strategy 1: Ensure all student have online access to high quality support services
students enrolled in online education experiences should have access to “three areas of support including academic (such as tutoring, advising, and library); administrative (such as financial aid, and disability support); and technical (such as hardware reliability and uptime, and help desk).”
As a system, students have access to a handful of statewide services, include tutoring services through Smarthinking and test proctoring sites.
Strategy 2: Establish and maintain measures to assess and support student readiness for online education
A persistent issue for campuses has been to ensure that students who enroll in online course are aware of the expectations required to participate actively in an online course.
In addition to adhering to course expectations, students must have the technical competencies needed to perform the tasks required for online courses
Strategy 3: Ensure students have access to online and blended learning experiences in course and program offerings.
Strategy 4: These experiences should support and recognize diverse learning needs by applying a universal design for learning framework.
The OERG report included several references to efforts made by campuses related to the providing support and resources for universal design for learning, the workgroup did not offer any action steps.
Strategy 5: Expand access to professional development resources and services for faculty members
As online course are developed and while faculty members teach online courses, it is critical that faculty members have on-demand access to resources like technical support and course assistance.
5A. Statewide Faculty Support Services – Minnesota State provide its institutions and their faculty members with access to a centralized support center during extended hours with staff that can assist faculty members synchronously via phone, chat, text/SMS, or web conference
5C. Instructional Design and Technology Services – Establish a unit that will provide course design and instructional technology services to selected programs and courses from Minnesota State institutions.
Strategy 1: Establish and maintain a statewide approach for professional development for online education.
1B. Faculty Mentoring – Provide and sustain faculty mentoring programs that promote effective online pedagogy.
1C. Professional development for support staff – including instructional designers, D2L Brightspace site administrators and campus trainers, etc.)
more on online education in this IMS blog