the Open Syllabus Project
Why are professors hesitant to share their syllabi? “My guess is that folks are worried that it will get critiqued in ways that they’re not comfortable,” Becker says. “Some professors aren’t as confident in their teaching as they are in their research.”
The public website of the Open Syllabus Project does not give access to individual syllabi and does not say what professors are teaching which texts. Instead, it lets users search aggregate information drawn from the collection.
Online Learning’s ‘Greatest Hits’
Robert Ubell (Columnist) Feb 20, 2019
dean of web-based distance learning
Learning Management Systems
Neck and neck for the top spot in the LMS academic vendor race are Blackboard—the early entry and once-dominant player—and coming-up quickly from behind, the relatively new contender, Canvas, each serving about 6.5 million students . The LMS market today is valued at $9.2 billion.
Digital Authoring Systems
Faced with increasingly complex communication technologies—voice, video, multimedia, animation—university faculty, expert in their own disciplines, find themselves technically perplexed, largely unprepared to build digital courses.
instructional designers, long employed by industry, joined online academic teams, working closely with faculty to upload and integrate interactive and engaging content.
nstructional designers, as part of their skillset, turned to digital authoring systems, software introduced to stimulate engagement, encouraging virtual students to interface actively with digital materials, often by tapping at a keyboard or touching the screen as in a video game. Most authoring software also integrates assessment tools, testing learning outcomes.
With authoring software, instructional designers can steer online students through a mixtape of digital content—videos, graphs, weblinks, PDFs, drag-and-drop activities, PowerPoint slides, quizzes, survey tools and so on. Some of the systems also offer video editing, recording and screen downloading options
As with a pinwheel set in motion, insights from many disciplines—artificial intelligence, cognitive science, linguistics, educational psychology and data analytics—have come together to form a relatively new field known as learning science, propelling advances in a new personalized practice—adaptive learning.
Of the top providers, Coursera, the Wall Street-financed company that grew out of the Stanford breakthrough, is the champion with 37 million learners, followed by edX, an MIT-Harvard joint venture, with 18 million. Launched in 2013, XuetangX, the Chinese platform in third place, claims 18 million.
Former Yale President Rick Levin, who served as Coursera’s CEO for a few years, speaking by phone last week, was optimistic about the role MOOCs will play in the digital economy. “The biggest surprise,” Levin argued, “is how strongly MOOCs have been accepted in the corporate world to up-skill employees, especially as the workforce is being transformed by job displacement. It’s the right time for MOOCs to play a major role.”
In virtual education, pedagogy, not technology, drives the metamorphosis from absence to presence, illusion into reality. Skilled online instruction that introduces peer-to-peer learning, virtual teamwork and other pedagogical innovations stimulate active learning. Online learning is not just another edtech product, but an innovative teaching practice. It’s a mistake to think of digital education merely as a device you switch on and off like a garage door.
more on online learning in this IMS blog
Weakest students more likely to take online college classes but do worse in them
Protopsalt is is a professor at George Mason University, where he directs Center for Education Policy and Evaluation. He previously served as a senior official in the U.S. Department of Education.
The paper, “Does Online Education Live Up to Its Promise? A Look at the Evidence and Implications for Federal Policy,” was also written by Sandy Baum, an economist at the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization.
At four-year universities, students with high grades often did just as well in an online course, but those with low grades suffered more. Another 2017 study of students at a for-profit university which offers both in-person and online classes found that students who took an online class not only got lower grades in that class but also in future classes. Online students were more likely to drop out of college altogether than similar students who attended in-person classes.
The question is whether we should keep expanding online learning, with generous federal subsidies, to the most vulnerable students before colleges have tested and proven they can educate them adequately outside the classroom.
more on online learning in this IMS blog
Building a Learning Innovation Network
a new interdisciplinary field of learning innovation emerging.
Learning innovation, as conceptualized as an interdisciplinary field, attempts to claim a space at the intersection of design, technology, learning science and analytics — all in the unique context of higher education.
professional associations, such as POD, ELI, UPCEA, (https://upcea.edu/) OLC (https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/), ASU GSV (https://www.asugsvsummit.com/) and SXSW Edu (https://www.sxswedu.com/) — among many other conferences and events put on by professional associations.
A professional community of practice differs from that of an interdisciplinary academic network. Professional communities of practice are connected through shared professional goals. Where best practices and shared experiences form the basis of membership in professional associations, academic networks are situated within marketplaces for ideas. Academic networks run on the generation of new ideas and scholarly exchange. These two network models are different.
“Learning Experience Design™ is a synthesis of Instructional Design, educational pedagogy, neuroscience, social sciences, design thinking, and User Experience Design.”
The Process: ADDIE Vs. Design Thinking
more on LX design in this iMS blog
when the option between taking a course online or in-person is provided, studies show students are more likely to stay in college.
Since the early days of online instruction, the response of many new instructors has been to figure out how to transfer elements of their face-to-face class into the online format. In response, education technology companies have been quick to create products that attempt to replicate in-person teaching. Some examples include learning management systems, lecture capture tools, and early online meeting systems.
online proctoring systems, such as ProctorU or Proctorio, replicate a practice that isn’t effective in-person. Exams are only good for a few things: managing faculty workload and assessing low level skill and content knowledge. What they aren’t good at is demonstrating student learning or mastery of a topic. As authors Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt discuss in their book “Assessing the Online Learner: Resources and Strategies for Faculty,” online exams typically measure skills that require memorization of facts, whereas learning objectives are often written around one’s ability to create, evaluate and analyze course material.
Authentic assessments, rather than multiple choice or other online exams, is one alternative that could be explored. For example, in a chemistry course, students could make a video themselves doing a set problems and explain the process. This would allow instructors to better understand students’ thinking and identify areas that they are struggling in. Another example could be in a psychology course, where students could curate and evaluate a set of resources on a given topic to demonstrate their ability to find, and critically analyze online information. (see Bryan Alexander‘s take on video assignments here: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=bryan+alexander+video+assignments
more on online learning in this IMS blog
more on proctoring in this IMS blog
Ace of All Trades: New Research Looks at Evolving Field of Instructional Design
They lurk behind the scenes of a rapidly growing number of courses at colleges and universities, yet instructional designers are an elusive bunch. Their field is exploding—The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked it as one of the top 10 trends in higher ed this year—as more institutions pursue online and blended-learning offerings. But there hasn’t been much consensus on the role of instructional designers across institutions.
estimates at least 13,000 professionals are in the field at higher-ed institutions. Findings provide a glimpse of who instructional designers are:
- The average age of IDs is 45 years old
- 67 percent are female
- 87 percent have master’s degrees
- More than half have teaching experience
IDs reported that their duties vary from day to day, but that their work generally fits into four buckets: design (e.g., creating new or redeveloping old courses); management (e.g., overseeing projects from cradle to grave); training (e.g., helping faculty use new technologies); and support (e.g., providing timely help for LMS questions from faculty).
more on ID in this IMS blog
VR Review: Here’s How Oculus Quest Compares With Go — Apps and All
When the Oculus Go was first released, the educational apps were limited.
many more educational apps flooding the Oculus Experiences market
The Oculus Quest is mainly being marketed as an all-in-one VR gaming system, but I see much potential for classroom lessons.
The Oculus Go delivered a VR view, but the Oculus Quest provides us with interactions.
One major difference between the Quest and the Go is the lack of motion sickness with the new device.
The 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) provides mobility for the student to walk forward, backward, left, right, jump up and squat down. In other words, they can move around just like they would in real life.
The affordable starting price of $399 for 64 GB is comparable to other classroom devices, such as Chromebooks, laptops and iPads.
between the Quest and the Go is the high cost of the apps. By contrast, the majority of my Oculus Go apps were free.
more on Oculus in this IMS blog
The Babson Survey Research Group, an organization that tracks online enrollment, notes that between 2012 and 2016 the percent of online enrollment in universities increased 17.2 percent while overall enrollment decreased.
more on online learning in this IMS blog
My Note: synchronous vs asynchronous; Adobe Connect vs Zoom. Also Flipgrid for asynchronous videochats.
From: EDUCAUSE Listserv <BLEND-ONLINE@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU> on behalf of Celine Greene <celine.greene@JHU.EDU>
Reply-To: EDUCAUSE Listserv <BLEND-ONLINE@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 2:38 PM
To: EDUCAUSE Listserv <BLEND-ONLINE@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: [BLEND-ONLINE] Advice for Synchronous Online Classes Using Zoom Meetings?
Our school is transitioning from using Adobe Connect to using Zoom Meetings for synchronous online class sessions, of which most of our online courses schedule at least a few times each term. So after years of “controlling the user experience” with the Adobe Connect layouts and relying primarily on text chat, we are heading in the direction of screen sharing with the enhanced social and community-building experience of video “taking over” chat. Some people are very excited about this move, given the popularity and ease-of-use of the Zoom platforms. Other people are a little more wary – especially when it comes to large (e.g., 40 to 200+ students) classes.
Please share your thoughts and experiences on what faculty and students should be aware of when using Zoom Meetings (not the webinar) for a synchronous class session. Here’s some of the things I was curious about…
- Do you have a set of “instructions” or recommendations for students — e.g. so they see the chat as it happens?
- Are there any best practices in terms of meetings set-up that you recommend for your faculty? (Mute participants upon entry, always show meeting control bar, etc.)
- Have there been some scenarios that have been fantastic or some that have been horrible for using Zoom?
- Is there a class size where the number of participants starts negatively impacting the learning opportunity? (i.e., I realize Breakout rooms are an option but also not appropriate for all situations, such as having a guest speaker come in to have an interactive Q & A or having a software demonstration.)
- Are there any major “fails” you’ve learned from or, alternately, success stories?
- Are your students required to have Zoom accounts?
- Do you have a method for tracking attendance?
Thanks for your input! – celine Celine Greene Instructional Technologist Center for Teaching and Learning, JHSPH http://ctl.jhsph.edu
more on synchronous learning environments