Archive for September, 2011

The Benefits of Online Teaching for Traditional Classroom Pedagogy: A Case Study for Improving Face-to-Face Instruction

Friday, September 30th, 2011

by Mischelle Taylor Stone, Suzanne Perumean-Chaney: Merlot JOLT

Much of the literature concerned with online education has focused on the development and implementation of strategies and techniques for improving learner outcomes. Other studies have examined the varying levels of expertise both students and instructors possess in using online technology, or how courses delivered in traditional classrooms can be modified for online delivery. Missing from the literature has been a discussion of how teaching online can inform traditional classroom pedagogy. This paper details the authors’ experience with the development and delivery of an online statistics course. The pedagogical and practical benefits of teaching online are identified, and specific suggestions are made for how instructors can use these benefits to improve their traditional classroom pedagogy.

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol7no3/stone_0911.htm

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Designing and Orchestrating Online Learning Discussions

Friday, September 30th, 2011

 

by David L. Baker, Merlot JOLT

This author’s position is that asynchronous online discussions face an array of resolvable pedagogical and course management challenges. Online discussions can transform mere course chatter into a cyber forum of student-centered learning through meticulous planning, designing and orchestrating. After introducing common issues, a literature review summarizes the contributions that online discussions bring to distance learning. The author then addresses pedagogical and managerial issues that plague online discussions with strategies that instructors may readily employ. In the pedagogical realm, these include insights on organizing online discussions, using groups to facilitate interactions, establishing discussion parameters, and ensuring that the course syllabus introduces online discussion details. In the managerial realm, approaches are offered regarding overseeing discussion windows, using icebreakers, assessing student performance, ongoing communications, maintaining an online presence, netiquette, and a variety of other online discussion tips. In support of online instructors, the article weaves in relevant literature with the hard learned lessons from the author’s ongoing attempts to improve online discussions. It concludes by urging instructors to cultivate improvement continuously through candid self-critique supplemented by student feedback.

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol7no3/baker_0911.htm

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Strategies for Success for Online Co-Teaching

Friday, September 30th, 2011

by Michelle Scribner-MacLean and Heather Miller, Merlot JOLT

A co-teaching online environment has the potential to help more efficiently meet the needs of online learners and provide greater satisfaction for instructors. A well-trained pair of instructors can complement each other, meeting student needs in a timely manner, as well as providing students with the opportunity to view topics from different perspectives, and to gain more in-depth feedback about their work. Specific strategies for a successful online co-teaching experience, including: how to create a successful online learning community; achieve effective course management; provide systematic, in-depth assessment of student learning; and providing timely feedback will be addressed. Methods to improve upon one-another’s teaching strengths will be introduced as well as building community between your peer co-teacher and students.

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol7no3/scribner-maclean_0911.htm

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Online Learning: Student Perceptions of Teaching Presence, Social Presence and Cognitive Presence in a Virtual World

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

 by Ross McKerlich, Marianne Riis, Terry Anderson, Brad Eastman: Merlot JOLT

Presence – or having a sense of active participation – in distance education has increased with the expanding use of and affordances of communications technologies. Virtual worlds have been on the forefront of popular and education technology in the last three years and innovative methods of teaching and learning are emerging in these contexts. Using the recently validated community of inquiry (COI) instrument, this study focuses on students’ perceptions of teaching, social and cognitive presence in virtual world contexts. The authors examine whether the COI Instrument can effectively be applied to virtual world learning events. The results are exciting: in a diverse sample, virtual world learners perceive teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence.

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol7no3/mckerlich_0911.htm

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Learning Outcomes Associated with Group Assignments

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

by Carol Schmer, Peggy Ward-Smith, Jane Peterson; Merlot JOLT

A research study was conducted to determine if required participation in group assignments impacted learning outcomes in a nursing theory course. Students enrolled in a required online masters level nursing theory course completed course assignments individually, or within groups, dependent upon the course section. The data collected consisted of responses on a non-graded multiple item test intended to assess knowledge related to nursing theory content, administered after course completion and grade notification, and self-disclosed demographic data. Data were collected from 23 volunteer graduate nursing students. Results demonstrated theory knowledge is not affected by group assignments as long as the course content is consistent, learning outcomes are not affected.

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol7no3/schmer_0911.htm

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Instructor’s Online Learning Discussion Forum Effort: Is It Worth It?

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

by Michelle Cranney, Lisa Wallace, Jeffrey L. Alexander, Laura Alfano: Merlot JOLT

The popularity of virtual education resulted in institutions seeking best practices as a guide to providing a quality education to online students. The purpose of this retrospective, correlation study was to examine online instructors’ discussion forum participation, including time spent on a weekly basis overall in the course and number of posts to discussion forums, to determine if there was a positive effect on students’ overall discussion grades. The study included 10 purposively selected courses. Statistics were used to define the sample population. Statistical calculations indicated no correlation between the numbers of posts to the discussion forums to student grades, but a positive correlation exists between the amount of time spent by the instructor in class to higher discussion grades earned by students. The findings of this study will help to identify criteria that educational institutions can use to develop best practices for online instructors.

http://jolt.merlot.org/vol7no3/cranney_0911.htm

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Amazon’s Kindle Fire; At $199, finally a viable college tablet

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

By Zack Whittaker, ZD Net

Amazon’s next-generation Kindle, the “Fire” has been announced and demonstrated this morning. Finally, college students have a cheaper iPad alternative. Finally — at long last, something to appease the student market. Priced at $199, the Android-powered tablet is the next-generation Kindle, boasting a 7-inch, colour display with Wi-Fi connectivity — but without a camera, microphone, or a 3G connection. The last three points alone — if anything — bolsters the impending relationship between the upcoming tablet and college students. Though 3G is not a necessity for a college-focused laptop, Wi-Fi functionality often designated to campus and the college library is a must. But the killer feature here is the price: at $199, it is a viable competitor to the iPad in at least student circles.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/amazons-kindle-fire-at-199-finally-a-viable-college-tablet/12971?tag=content;siu-container

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Online Learning: Can Higher Education Be Fixed? The Innovative University

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

by Steve Denning, Forbes

For years critics have raised alarms about higher education: rapidly rising tuition costs without corresponding increases in value, a trillion dollars of student debt, compromised access, country club tenure for academics, decreasing relevance of tuition to the real world, among other issues.Now Clayton Christensen, the father of the theory of disruptive innovation, and his colleague, Henry J. Eyring, in The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out (Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series) (Jossey-Bass, 2011) tell the stories of two very different universities—Harvard and BYU-Idaho—and how they are addressing innovation in higher education. In particular, the book advocates that colleges and universities embrace online education. It argues that online technology makes a college or university vastly more attractive to a wide subset of students. It gives many people a second chance at learning – i.e. those who cannot afford a traditional college education, those who do not have the flexibility to take part in a full plate of coursework, and late bloomers or dropouts who have fallen behind and now have the chance to catch up. But online learning doesn’t just offer cheaper education for the masses. It improves the student learning experience across the spectrum by allowing students to learn at their own pace and on their own timetable.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/09/23/can-higher-education-be-fixed-the-innovative-university/

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Online learning opens doors to workers

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

By Jeff MacKinnon, Calgary Herald

Tyler Boldt is about to complete the four-and-a-half year pursuit of an important goal. The former hockey player won’t hold a trophy aloft when all is said and done in a couple of months, but something of more value – a college degree and the fulfilment of a deal with his employer. Boldt is finishing up the final two courses of a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Athabasca University. He began the degree four years ago at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., while he was coaching a junior team in nearby Chase.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/jobs/learning+opens+doors+workers/5453237/story.html

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More UK students considering online learning to avoid higher tuition fees from Universities

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

by the Interactive Design Institute

The Government’s decision to allow universities in the UK to set their own levels of course fees has had an unexpected knock on effect for providers of distance learning. As the dust begins to settle on the furore surrounding many universities plans to increase course fees to the maximum level permitted, distance learning organisations look poised to cash in – literally. Established companies such as the Interactive Design Institute have remained largely unaffected by the scrabble to establish record levels of tuition fees across the UK’s higher education sector. “The cost of providing higher education courses need not be prohibitive” according to Michael Stewart, director at IDI, “Distance learning providers are able to deliver many of the same courses and online degrees with the same high levels of student support but at a fraction of the cost”.

http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/171273-1316950073-more-students-considering-online-degrees-to-avoid-higher-tuition-fees-from-universities.html

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Why You Should Root for College to Go Online

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

by Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring, The Atlantic

The leading universities and colleges have seen the potential in this kind of this mix of online and face-to-face learning, and they are investing in it via internal development rather than external acquisition. As the technology matures and the proper balance and integration with the classroom experience emerges, Harvard and its peers will be leaders in online education, just as they are in traditional instruction and scholarship. For them, online learning will be a sustaining innovation, rather than a disruptive one. The real disruptive threat is to the hundreds of institutions that emulate the elite few at the top. Many of them lack the prestige to hold off for-profit competition and the money that the elites can spend on online curriculum. But their challenge isn’t fundamentally one of money: online tutorials don’t have to be expensive to be effective, as the open-to-all Khan Academy has shown. The much greater challenge for traditional universities and colleges is changing their teaching traditions.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/09/why-you-should-root-for-college-to-go-online/244834/

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Practical Ideas for Improving Student Participation in Online Learning

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

By: Maryellen Weimer, Teaching Professor Blog

I’d like to change: The number of students who just agree with what someone else posted in an online discussion. This is part of the larger problem that relates to the overall quality of classroom participation.

•Recognize that students are often afraid to disagree with each other. Address those fears with guidelines and examples illustrating constructive ways to disagree.

•Recognize that some students agree because it’s the easy thing to do, especially if they haven’t really engaged with the text. Use strategies, possibly even assignments, that get them prepared to participate in a discussion.

•Disagree, not necessarily with students, but with the theories and ideas of others in the field. Do so respectfully and constructively thereby modeling how and why disagreement is valuable.

•If some disagreeing comments are posted, call attention to them, pointing out what they contribute to the discussion.

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/practical-ideas-for-improving-student-participation/

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Tips and Tricks for Teaching in the Online Learning Classroom

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

By: Jim Harrison and J. Diane Martonis, Faculty Focus

Below are tips for being more efficient as an instructor and improving the student experience in an online forum.

Acknowledge good responses publicly – Thank students publicly in the threads for submitting good comments. This will serve to model the types of responses you expect from other students as well as give positive reinforcement to the student.

To see the rest of this good list, visit the posting:

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/tips-and-tricks-for-teaching-in-the-online-classroom/

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Should High Schools Require Students to Take Online Classes?

Monday, September 26th, 2011

By Jamie Littlefield, About.com Guide

This month, the Idaho Board of Education voted to require high school students to take two of their credits online in order to qualify for graduation. It is now the fourth state to mandate that high schoolers take at least one class through distance learning (other states requiring online coursework include Alabama, Florida and Michigan). Requiring students to learn online helps improve their technological abilities and prepares them for college (where most will have at least a little online learning) and the workplace (where virtual training is becoming more popular each year). However, it may be a hardship for students in poor or rural areas where computer and internet access is not so readily available.

http://distancelearn.about.com/b/2011/09/18/should-online-high-schools-require-students-to-take-online-classes.htm

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The Coming Expansion of K/12 Online Learning

Monday, September 26th, 2011

by John Sowash, EdReach

K-12 online education has grown at a rate of 30% annually. Hybrid classrooms (a blend of online and face-to-face instruction) has also begun to gain traction in main-stream K-12 education. Despite these indicators, two factors continue to hold back the growth of online learning at the K-12 level.

http://edreach.us/2011/09/19/the-coming-expansion-of-k12-online-learning/

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Online learning offers as much (if not more)

Monday, September 26th, 2011

by: DAVID BORNUS, Star Tribune

The world is changing; we no longer live in a prewired society where colleges act as “finishing schools” teaching table manners and deportment to impressionable youths. The modern world has become heavily virtualized, and education is no exception. The online medium actually enhances education in a number of ways. No one can hide in a virtual classroom — all have opportunity to participate and are expected to do so, and everyone has ample time to make contributions to class discussions, to look up citations and compose their arguments.Class discussion occurs in threaded discussion posts, meaning everyone participates and has time to read and respond to others, cite what others have said, look up reference material, and proofread their statements, all of which generally enhances the quality of class interaction.

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/otherviews/129995903.html

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MBA Degree Seekers Turn to Online Learning

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

By Catherine Groux, US News

More Online education has become an increasingly popular option for students at both the undergraduate and graduate level. According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, about 5.6 million students took at least one web-based class during the fall 2009 semester, which marked a significant increase over previous years. Many MBA degree seekers opt to take their classes online. recent survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) shows that the number of applicants to online and hybrid MBA programs has increased at many schools. Approximately 50% of surveyed institutions said they have seen more applicants this year over last year, while about 5% said the number stayed the same.

http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com/articles/mba-degree-seekers-turn-to-online-education_11760.aspx

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Online learning classes get Santa Monica College Corsairs on course

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

by Alyson Feldman, Santa Monica College Corsair

There is a significant difference between getting your education through online classes and learning at school. So, one ought to wonder – which is better and more effective? The answer to that is based on each individual’s learning style and preferences, but recent studies show that online classes are better than normal ones and that should be useful for students seeking a more flexible schedule. SMC’s online classes are gaining prominence, as “retention and success rates for online classes increased by nearly 10 percent over the past several years,” according to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Data Mart.

http://www.thecorsaironline.com/opinion/2011/09/15/online-classes-get-corsairs-on-course/

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Online Learning Classes Help Make Up For Cuts

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

By Nicole Winters, KELO-TV

Faced with steep budget cuts, many schools across KELOLAND are being forced to get creative when it comes to offering elective classes. Sanborn Central near Forestburg is offering online classes. Just like any high school student, Kelbi Dean spends her days in the classroom. But that’s not the only way this Sanborn Central sophomore is getting her education. “It’s pretty cool. It’s fun; it kind of gives you a head start on what you’re going to be doing in college,” Kelbi Dean said. Dean also takes online classes. This semester she’s learning about Human Development, a class her school doesn’t offer in a classroom.

http://www.keloland.com/News/NewsDetail6374.cfm?Id=120868

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The 7 Cs of Effective Communication in Your Online Learning Course

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

By Melissa Venable, Online College

Throughout your work as an online learner you develop effective communication skills when you engage in threaded discussion forums and send email, submit written assignments and give oral presentations. Communication takes place continuously with your instructor and classmates as you interact with the information presented in your course materials. More effective communication practices lead to a more effective learning process. Business students are probably already familiar with the “7 Cs” from their business communication courses, but these guidelines can be applied to a range of professional settings, including your online course. As you review the seven Cs listed below, keep in mind that they are not independent of one another, they all work together to help you communicate both in written and oral formats.

http://www.onlinecollege.org/2011/09/16/the-7-cs-of-effective-communication-in-your-online-course/

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‘Education format archaic, let’s log on to online platform’

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

BY IMRAN MOJIB, the Gulf Today

India’s Minister for Human Resources Development (HRD) Kapil Sibal has called upon Indian academicians to get ready to meet the demand of GenNext who would ask for everything online. He made the call while delivering the inaugural address at the Educon 2011 on Friday in Dubai. Dubai Knowledge Village partnered with Sakal Media Group of India to organise the annual conference on higher education that facilitates dialogue among stakeholders in the education sector as part of an objective to shape India’s higher education policy. He said that the definition of generation is changing with the time. Now, a generation changes every six years, instead of the usual 25-30 years, due to the advancement of technology. “I call myself from the Hard Copy generation, now there is a Digital World generation. Soon you will have the Video Natives – the YouTube generation. The Video Natives are going to be very smart and very impatient. Thus we need to change to meet the future requirements,” he said.

http://gulftoday.ae/portal/f4c92137-701c-4dd9-8620-7aa701956891.aspx

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