Archive for June, 2011

An Inquiry into Benefits of Reflective Practice in Open and Distance Online Learning

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

by Muhammad ATHAR HUSSAI, et al; TOJDE

Teaching aims at bringing behavioral change through reflection and counseling. It desires to produce dynamic, reflective and inspirational individuals who believe in guiding and counseling the ignored segments of the society. According to Sharma, R.A (1993, p.22) “teaching is a social and professional activity. It is a process of development. Teaching is a system of action which induces learning through interpersonal relationship.” Teaching and learning process requires special knowledge, skills and experiences. The knowledge, skill and experiences are prerequisite for the professional growth of an individual.

http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/tojde42/articles/article_2.htm

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A Framework for Choosing the Appropriate Open Source Online Learning Management System

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

by Ahmad Zamzuri MOHAMAD ALI, TOJDE

Fast evolving of e-learning technology has inspired teachers to adopt Learning Management System (LMS) as a platform for distance learning activities. LMS is a system used to plan, create, implements and assesses certain learning objective and majority of LMSes are web-based. Dozens of LMS product existence, either commercial or open source has provide wide choices for teachers in selecting the best LMS that suits their need. Since commercial LMSes are costly and not many teachers are willing to spend to have it, open source LMSes has become the credible substitutes to these commercial LMSes. However, based on the observation, whenever open source LMS is mentioned MOODLE will appear in most of the teachers mind. Implication of this, teachers often find themselves altering their needs to suit the LMS, not because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the only choice preferred by them. Selecting the appropriate LMS should starts with identifying the learning objectives and strategies in order to find the suitable open source LMS that will suit initial and subsequent requirements. Therefore, this paper intends to propose a framework or guideline in selecting appropriate open source products. The framework was developed based on experience, research and literature review done. This paper will also introduce some potential open source LMSes and its features that might be helpful in identifying the potential open source LMS that suits our learning objectives requirement. The features are identified by exploring the respective LMS’s test site.

http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/tojde42/notes_for_editor/notes_for_editor_3.html

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The Effect of Online Versus Traditional Learning in Achieving Competency-Based Skills

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

by Leili MOSALANEJAD, TOJDE

By rapid developing of the network technology, the internet-based learning methods are substituting the traditional classrooms making them expand to the virtual network learning environment. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of virtual systems on competency-based skills of first-year nursing students.  Materials and methods: In this quasi-experimental study, 86 freshman nursing students were recruited. Nursing Fundamentals and Skills (including theoretical and practical credits) was decided as the teaching course. The theory and practical contents were taught in one group by conventional method (face to face teaching, demonstration on moulage) and for another by virtual simulation and interactive multimedia. The two groups were the same for the content being taught, the instructor and the final evaluation. Paired t-test and independent sample t-test was used for statistical analysis.

Results: In theoretical exam, the mean score in virtual teaching group was higher than traditional group (P<0.001); however, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the result of objective structured clinical examination. Conclusions: Using virtual systems is beneficial in enhancing student learning. Both traditional and virtual methods can be used in teaching skills in nursing students; however, it seems that combination of the two can facilitate knowledge transfer.

http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/tojde42/notes_for_editor/notes_for_editor_2.html

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Local support for online learners with possible learning disabilities

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

by Torstein Rekkedal, EURODL

This article reports from a research study concerning online distance study for competence development of vocational rehabilitation clients. The students included in the study are adults with health problems participating in a rehabilitation process to re-enter into working life. As a group the students are characterized by difficulties, problems and diagnoses that for many represent learning disadvantages. The study examines the results of combining individual online distance learning with support organized by a local vocational rehabilitation enterprise. In this article student support refers to all kinds of non-academic services and help to students, and does not include any face-to-face teaching or tutoring. The amount and type of local support given and how it has been experienced by the individual student may vary between the different enterprises, dependent on their budgets, number of students in the learning room, types of programmes studied and individual needs of the local students. The study indicates that online line study with adequate local support may constitute a good solution for this target group. Both case handlers in the Welfare and Labour Administration, local counselors and the students themselves report positive experiences with the learning solution examined. Statistics on completions and withdrawals demonstrate that the group of potentially disadvantaged learners achieve well in online study when they receive sufficient social, technical and practical support.

http://www.eurodl.org/?p=current&article=428

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Dedication, humbleness, and audacity: advice from pathfinder faculty to colleagues new to online distance learning education

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

by Luis Roberto de Camargo Ribeiro, et al; EURODL

This article examines distance education (DE) in the context to which is most frequently applied, i.e., higher education, and from the perspective of some of its most important actors, i.e., teachers. This study, of a qualitative nature, was conducted at a public university in Brazil. Data were collected by means of unstructured interviews, observations, and a questionnaire with close- and open-ended questions. Since DE is a relatively novel educational modality in Brazilian public higher education, this study asked pathfinder faculty to give advice to upcoming colleagues, most of them experienced in face-to-face higher education, but new to DE. Cooperation, commitment, organization, and above all courage and humility to learn and openness to new experiences, are, according to this research, attitudes essential to novice DE teachers.

http://www.eurodl.org/?p=current&article=429

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Online Learning: New Challenges Facing Universities in the Internet-Driven Global Environment

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

by Lalita Rajasingham, EURODL

This paper explores some new challenges facing universities in a global multimediated Internet-based environment, as they seek alternative paradigms and options to remain true to their core business. At a time of rapid technological change, and contested, complex concepts associated with globalisation, knowledge is becoming a primary factor of production in a global economy. Universities face macro challenges of responding to the exponential demand for higher education, decreasing government funding, and the changing nature of knowledge, student expectations and global competition. While advances in the Internet can support constructivist, self-directed interactive learning, its implications for higher education remains complex and problematic. The paper examines potential challenges of new educational approaches within the framework of more traditional open learning and e-learning environments. The main challenge is to develop a university that shifts the paradigm from the conventional national university to a sustainable global learning system that maintains quality in teaching, learning, processing and applying knowledge to real-life problems in diverse cultural contexts.

http://www.eurodl.org/?p=current&article=430

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What does ‘online learning’ really mean?

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

by WittyKnitter, SkepticLawyer

We now have around 20 people who work on the policy and practice of eLearning at the university. And, although many of us are highly skilled techies, that’s not what we’re primarily paid to do: we’re paid to support the teaching staff and the students in their use of the eLearning infrastructures. That includes a small proportion of quite innovative stuff, but essentially we work with the average, hard-working academic, who can see a pedagogical advantage in getting their students to interact online, or to do a series of graded self-assessments to supplement the formal classes, or to do research online and learn to distinguish useful sources from inadequate ones.

http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2011/06/22/what-does-online-learning-really-mean/

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Online Learning Virtual school plan praised

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

By Joe Dejka, WORLD-HERALD

A virtual school would give students in rural and low-performing schools access to honors, enrichment and remediation courses, improving achievement and graduation rates at a lower cost than traditional classroom instruction, according to a report by the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy. Virtual schools offer other advantages over bricks-and-mortar schools. For instance, distance is no barrier, and kids learn on their own time and at their own pace, the report said. “There are no snow days — no flood days either,” said Lance Izumi, senior director of education studies at the California-based free-market institute. Izumi is a national author and researcher who appeared in the controversial education documentary “Waiting for Superman.”

http://www.omaha.com/article/20110622/NEWS01/706229881

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Let online learning, teaching begin

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

by Larry Johnston Florida Today

Have you taken an online educational class yet? If not, you are missing a golden opportunity. I was resistant when someone first suggested one for me. I am from the old-school era. Sit me in front of a chalkboard in an uncomfortable wood-bottomed chair and a teacher standing up front. Isn’t that the way learning should be? Well, no, not always. There is another way.

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20110622/COLUMNISTS0110/106220322/Larry-Johnston-Let-online-learning-teaching-begin

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Online Learning: What are educators’ professional obligations to learn from social media channels?

Monday, June 27th, 2011

by Scott McLeod, Big Think

Paul Bogush pushed back (in a nice way) on my recently-popular post, If you were on Twitter. First he wrote about how most educators are too busy to be involved in social media. Then he wrote about all of the wonderful things that happened during the time when he wasn’t on Twitter. Because he’s a good writer, Paul evoked all the right feelings in my heart and head. Of course I want to spend time with my wife and kids instead of being on Twitter. Of course I want to read books and take walks in the woods and get my job done, all instead of being in front of a screen. But even though there are only so many hours in a day, it’s still a false dichotomy. As I said in my comment to Paul’s first post, there are countless educators who are finding ways to tap into the connective and learning power of social media while simultaneously having healthy, balanced personal and professional lives. In other words, you do not have to be superhuman to do this stuff. We find time for what we think is important…

http://bigthink.com/ideas/38964

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University of Illinois Springfield online course draws big response (begins today!)

Monday, June 27th, 2011

By Chris Dettro, State Journal Register

There are no grades to be earned in a new online course offered by the University of Illinois Springfield. No credit is given. And participants can begin in the middle of the course or wherever they please. But after four days of registration, more than 2,000 people from more than 50 countries had signed up for the “MOOC” — Massive Open Online Course — that will focus on the topic “Online Learning Today … and Tomorrow.”  Visit the site http://sites.google.com/site/edumooc

http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x438674688/UIS-online-course-draws-big-response

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Now You See It (Online and Learning)

Monday, June 27th, 2011

by Serena Golden, Inside Higher Ed

The major technological changes of the past decade and a half present an array of “exciting opportunities,” Davidson argues — opportunities to promote efficiency, satisfaction and success at every stage from kindergarten through career. If we are inclined to side with the Better-Nevers, worrying that our brains never evolved for shifts of such magnitude — if kids attend to text messages and video games with alacrity, but fall behind in school, while adults feel swamped by information overload and spread too thin by multitasking — the trouble, in Davidson’s view, is not with all our new technologies, but rather with our failure thus far to adapt and restructure ourselves and our institutions. In Now You See It, Davidson gathers data and anecdotes on a wide array of topics — attention, learning, the American school system and its history, the modern workplace and how it came about — to argue that the human brain is perfectly well-suited to the digital world, if only we are willing to rethink the classroom, the workplace, and how we measure success.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/06/24/new_book_on_the_brain_science_of_attention

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Good Skills for Online Learning

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

By Lynda Lampert, eHow Contributor

Some people may believe that taking a class online is an easy way to earn a degree, but it actually takes a lot of hard work to compensate for the time a student is not in class. Online classes rely heavily on textbooks, written materials and the Internet to conduct a class in virtual space. It takes a certain set of skills to make it in this new learning arena and not everyone has these skills.

http://www.ehow.com/info_8568758_good-skills-taking-online-classes.html

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Online way of learning sees success

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

by Denise Lapish, Times-Herald

Students at the Virtual Learning Academy would be the first to tell you that this online school is not right for everyone. At the same time, each of them found that traditional school wasn’t right for them. Each of them either dropped out of or was expelled from a traditional high school. Their reasons vary, but in the end, they didn’t feel they fit into a standard classroom. The Virtual Learning Academy is a blend of educational styles. What makes it unique is that students take their classes online. What makes the academy successful, however, has nothing to do with computers. It succeeds because the teachers know them and care about them. Students understand the Virtual Learning Academy is not going to give up on them.

http://www.thetimesherald.com/article/20110619/OPINION02/106190308

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Crossing state lines via online learning gets tougher for colleges, universities

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

By Anna Mitchell, Independent Mail

For-profit college students are defaulting at double-digit rates on federally backed education loans. New federal regulations aimed at controlling the industry, though, also affect nonprofit and public institutions that offer online courses and out-of-state internships. At cash-strapped Clemson University, officials estimate they will spend tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours to comply — or risk losing millions of dollars in federal education grants and loans.

http://www.independentmail.com/news/2011/jun/18/crossing-state-lines-gets-tougher-colleges-univers/

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Learning Online: Reinventing the College Textbook

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

By Bridget McCrea, Campus Technology

Determined to make introductory college science courses more manageable for students, two professors at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, are developing a digital textbook based on the free, open-source learning management system Moodle. Jed Macosko, an associated professor of physics, and A. Daniel Johnson, a senior biology lecturer, are using a $249,348 grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges to develop BioBook–which they said they believe will be the precursor for the next generation of digital textbooks. Campus Technology spoke with Macosko to find out what progress has been made so far on BioBook, the challenges they’ve faced in developing it, and how students are reacting to it. Here’s what he had to say:

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2011/06/22/reinventing-the-college-textbook.aspx

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Learning Online: When Social Networking Goes ‘Live’

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

By Bridget McCrea, THE Journal

One doesn’t immediately connect the country of Sweden with the Midwestern state of Iowa, but for five students in Shaelynn Farnsworth’s senior English class, those ties are very strong and very recent. After connecting with a teacher at the International School of Helsingborg via Twitter, Farnsworth, a freshman and senior teacher at the BCLUW Community School District in Conrad, turned online social networking interactions into a trip of a lifetime for her students. Here, Farnsworth discusses how social networking in the classroom came full circle and resulted in hands-on learning for her students.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2011/06/22/when-social-networking-goes-live.aspx

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Illinois Cloud Consortium Online

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

By David Nagel, THE Journal

IlliniCloud, a cloud computing consortium serving K-12 schools in Illinois, is nearing the end of a pilot program testing a statewide, cloud-based disaster recovery service. IlliniCloud is a non-profit cloud computing consortium for Illinois schools operated and led by IT staffers from schools around the state. It focuses on providing computing resources to K-12 districts that they generally might not have access to–resources that would normally involve large-scale capital outlay and high levels of overhead. It comprises three data centers across the state of Illinois, offering enterprise storage and disaster recovery services to member schools, as well as IT support and services and computing hardware and applications. It launched in 2009 and now serves about 150 individual districts.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2011/06/17/illinois-cloud-consortium-pilots-disaster-recovery.aspx

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Balancing Quality and Workload in Asynchronous Online Discussions: A Win-Win Learning Approach for Students and Instructors

Friday, June 24th, 2011

by Zvi Goldman, JOLT

The challenge addressed in this article is how to achieve a win-win balance between quality and workload for students and instructors participating in asynchronous online discussions. A Discussion Guideline document including minimum requirements and best practices was developed to address this need. The approach covers three phases: design and development, setting up expectations, and launch and management. The goals of the approach, based on a commitment shared by all full time and adjunct faculty, are high quality of education as well as retention of both students and qualified instructors.

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol7no2/goldman_0611.htm

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Comparison of Online versus On-site Training in Health Research Methodology: A Randomized Study

Friday, June 24th, 2011

by Aggarwal Nikhil Rakesh, et al, BMC Medical Education 2011, 11:37

Distance learning may be useful for building health research capacity. However, evidence that it can improve knowledge and skills in health research, particularly in resource-poor settings, is limited. We compared the impact and acceptability of teaching two distinct content areas, Biostatistics and Research Ethics, through either on-line distance learning format or traditional on-site training, in a randomized study in India. Our objective was to determine whether on-line courses in Biostatistics and Research Ethics could achieve similar improvements in knowledge, as traditional on-site, classroom-based courses.

http://7thspace.com/headlines/386413/a_comparison_of_online_versus_on_site_training_in_health_research_methodology_a_randomized_study.html

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Colleges in Crisis

Friday, June 24th, 2011

by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael B. Horn, Harvard Magazine

The success of online competitors and the crisis among many of higher education’s traditional institutions are far from unique. These are familiar steps in a process known as “disruptive innovation” that has occurred in many industries, from accounting and music to communications and computers. It is the process by which products and services that were once so expensive, complicated, inaccessible, and inconvenient that only a small fraction of people could access them, are transformed into simpler, more accessible and convenient forms that are also, ultimately, lower in cost. We are seeing it happen more rapidly than one could have imagined in higher education, as online learning has exploded: roughly 10 percent of students took at least one online course in 2003, 25 percent in 2008, and nearly 30 percent in the fall of 2009. What is exciting about this emerging reinvention it that it has significant potential to help address the challenges facing American higher education by creating an opportunity to rethink its value proposition—its cost and quality.

http://harvardmagazine.com/2011/07/colleges-in-crisis

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