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
online learning attitudes
Students match their preference for hybrid learning with a belief that it is the most effective learning environment for them.
Despite the fact that faculty prefer teaching in a hybrid environment, they remain skeptical of online learning. Nearly half do not agree online 45% learning is effective.
Students asked what technologies they wish their instructors used more, and we asked faculty what technologies they think could make them more effective instructors. Both agree that content and resource-focused technologies should be incorporated more and social media and tablets should be incorporated less.
more on the use (or not) of ed technology in the classroom 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
The emergence of the chief online officer position at many institutions is strong evidence that online education is becoming more mainstream
Revenue generation and tuition
most responding institutions have online program tuition rates that are aligned with standard tuition or that are higher. Those higher tuition rates ranged from 12 percent of private institutions to 29 percent of four-year public institutions, and lower than standard tuition rates ranged from 3 percent of community colleges to 37 percent of private institutions. None of the larger online programs reported tuition rates for online students that are lower than standard tuition rates, and 20 percent reported higher tuition rates for online study.
Forty percent of chief online officers in larger programs larger programs use instructional design support, and 30 percent use a team approach to online course design. Ten percent outsource course design.
This kind of course development is in stark contrast to practices of chief online officers in mid-sized and smaller programs. Among the smallest online education programs, 18 percent of chief online officers expect faculty to develop online courses independently, and 53 percent treat instructional design support as a faculty option. This means that a combined 71 percent of smaller programs do not mandate the use of instructional design specialists.
In 13 percent of mid-sized programs, faculty are expected to develop courses independently, and in 64 percent of mid-sized programs, they are free to choose whether or not to involve instructional design specialists, yielding a combined 77 percent of programs that do not require the use of instructional design expertise.
Teaching, learning and technology
The CHLOE survey also asked chief online officers to name three technologies or tools they consider most important or innovative for their institution’s fully-online programs. Eighty-one percent first listed an LMS, while others named audio and video conferencing and lecture capture. The technologies most-cited for second- and third-most important were conferencing, video and lecture capture software. (see Plamen’s effort to start faculty discussion on lecture capture here: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/coursecapture/)
“There was no sign of much-hyped innovations like adaptive learning, competency-based education LMS solutions, or simulation or game-based learning tools,” according to the study. “Such tools may be in use for specific courses or programs but based on responses to CHLOE, these have yet to achieve institution-wide adoption at any scale.” (see Plamen’s efforts start a discussion on game-based learning here: https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=game-based+learning
more on online ed in this IMS blog:
Creating Collaborative, Interactive & Engaging Online Learning Environments with Shindig
Shindig Interactive Video Chat for Canvas LMS, February 6, 2:00 – 3:00pm (EST)
Shindig recently announced its integration with Canvas by Instructure, bringing the former’s video chat platform to the learning management system.
Attend this webinar to learn how instructors can instantly schedule, customize and launch Shindig sessions directly from within the Canvas LMS, as well as automatically add the video chat sessions to students’ schedules.
Learn about the positive impact of collaborative and interactive learning environments on student success first-hand from educators and instructional technologists from leading universities. This session will highlight different use cases Shindig can be utilized for, including course delivery, office hours, guest speakers, workshops and more.
Early adopters of the Shindig platform will also be sharing highlight videos of their use of the platform and answering questions attendees may have.
Shindig Early Adopter Guest Speakers:
- Michael Angilletta, Professor & Senior Sustainability Scholar, Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs, Arizona State University
Note: Watch the brief tutorial video, Canvas for Shindig
The Shindig Canvas plugin is available for free on a public GitHub Repo. Once the plugin is installed in the university’s LMS, IT administrators can contact Shindig for an API key to enable the creation of on-demand Shindig sessions in Canvas. The company is offering each Canvas client institution 10 free Shindig sessions of up to 1,000 attendees.
First-time users: upon entering the room, click “Allow” to the Flash prompt requesting access to your webcam. (Chrome users may need to click Allow a second time).
Note: The Shindig app currently only supports interacting with the featured speakers through text. To fully enjoy the Shindig experience and be enabled to ask video chat questions of the speaker or video chat privately with other participants, please log in from a computer with webcam and microphone capabilities.
In 2007 The Sloan Consortium ( presently the Online Learning Consortium) asserted that when 30-79% of class content is available online that is a blended learning class.
entire report here: http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/blending-in.pdf
Choice within Online Content
Another often referenced definer of Blended Learning is The Christensen Institute. Student control of Time, Place, and Path are important in this definition.
more on blended learning in this IMS blog:
more on online learning in this IMS blog
Discussion on the EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Group’s listserv
develop anonymous mid-course student evaluations allowing students to reflect on course and progress and informing instructor about what is working or not in the course.
– what is working well for you in the course?
– what is not working well for you in the course?
- What is helping you learn?
- What is hindering your learning?
- What suggestions do you have to make the course better for you, your peers, or the instructor?
Katie Linder Research Director Extended Campus, Oregon State University 4943 The Valley Library Corvallis, Oregon 97331 Phone 541-737-4629 | Fax 541-737-2734 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the University of Illinois, we have been using Informal Early Feedback as a way to gauge information from our students to help improve the courses before the end. Here are a couple of links to our site. The first is the main page on what IEF is and the second is the question bank we offer to faculty. This is a starting point for them, then we meet with those who want to work on tweaking them for their specific needs.
* About IEF: https://citl.illinois.edu/citl-101/measurement-evaluation/teaching-evaluation/ief
* Question Bank: https://citl.illinois.edu/citl-101/measurement-evaluation/teaching-evaluation/ief/ief-question-bank
If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask.
Sol Roberts-Lieb Associate Director, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning Pedagogy Strategy Team and Industry Liaison UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
more on student evaluations in this IMS blog:
Discussion on the EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Group’s listserv
I head an instructional design unit and we’ve been noticing that instructors with no experience in online teaching seem to struggle to teach in a blended environment. They get easily confused about 1) how to decide what content is best suited for in class and what goes online and 2) they also have difficulty bridging the two modalities to create a seamless and rich learning environment.
Rema Nilakanta, Ph.D., Director of Design and Delivery Engineering-LAS Online Learning 1328 Howe Hall 537 Bissell Rd P 515-294-9259 F 515-294-6184 W http://www.elo.iastate.edu
Oregon State University has a hybrid course design program that is a partnership between OSU’s Ecampus and our Center for Teaching and Learning. You can find quite a few resources here: http://ctl.oregonstate.edu/hybrid-learning
Shannon Riggs Director, Course Development and Training Oregon State University Ecampus 4943 Valley Library Corvallis, OR 97331-4504 541.737.2613
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D. Director of Strategic Partnerships Online Learning Consortium Office: (781) 583-7571 Mobile: (913) 226-4977 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.onlinelearning-c.org Skype: mathes.olc
You might find my recent book The Blended Course Design Workbook: A Practical Guide to be a helpful resource. Each chapter has a literature review of the relevant research as well as activities to guide faculty through the various components of blended course design. You can read the first chapter on the fundamentals of blended teaching and learning at the publisher website. The book also has a companion website with additional resources here: http://www.bcdworkbook.com.
Katie Linder Research Director Extended Campus, Oregon State University 4943 The Valley Library Corvallis, Oregon 97331 Phone 541-737-4629 | Fax 541-737-2734 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @ECResearchUnit & @RIA_podcast Check out the Research in Action podcast: ecampus.oregonstate.edu/podcast
more on blended learning in this IMS blog: