2013 eFellows Program Call for Participation Workshop

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EdTech is hosting an eFellows Call for Participation
Workshop on Wednesday, March 21 in Engineering
Management 103 at Noon.
This is primarily aimed at potential candidates who
were unable to attend the first workshop opportunity at the recent Teaching and
Learning Technology conference. However, it
is open to any instructor who wishes to apply
.

If you are interested in redesigning your course to take
advantage of new technologies to improve student outcomes, or simply to reach
more students, then this workshop may be for you.

This workshop will unveil the newly expanded Missouri
S&T Provost’s eFellows Program for 2013. The eFellows Program is designed
to incentivize and support faculty to redesign courses using best practices for
teaching methodologies and technology for blended or online delivery. 

Mini-grants are available to support the redesign process as
well as focused support and instructional design expertise from Educational
Technology. Participation in this workshop is required before applying to
the 2013 eFellows Program. Program materials and application packets will be
distributed at the workshop.

UM eLearning Sponsors “eLunch @ S&T” on September 30

elearning-initiative.png
University of Missouri System eLearning will be sponsoring “eLunch @ S&T” on Friday, September 30, 2011 from noon to 1:30 p.m. This will take place in the Carver/Turner Room of the Havener Center.

S&T eMentors will be discussing techniques and technologies they are using in their classes to improve student learning. The eMentors will also provide advice and suggestions for incorporating technology into a course. After two short presentations, there will be time for discussion and questions.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, September 27 to chris@umsystem.edu.

Teaching and Learning Technology Conference 2011 – REGISTRATION OPEN!

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tlt-logo-01-ad.png
Registration for the Teaching and Learning Technology
Conference 2011 on March 10 and 11, 2011
is now OPEN!

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Eric Mazur
Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and
author of Peer
Instruction: A User’s Manual
.

Please send an email to edtech@mst.edu
(with subject line of: REGISTRATION – Teaching and Learning Technology 2011)
and include the following information:

NAME
(First and
Last)

EMAIL ADDRESS
(e.g.
joeminer@mst.edu)

# ATTENDING
(if you plan on bringing someone besides yourself, please let us know so we
have an accurate count)

ORGANIZATION
(e.g.
school, department, or institution)

SCHOOL TYPE

(if applicable–4 year, 2 year, K-12, Community College, Other)

PHONE NUMBER (area
code + number)

Details about our conference can be found on the conference
web site:

http://edtech.mst.edu/events/tltconference2011/index.html

We look forward to seeing you at our conference in March!

SLOAN-C: The Promise and Practice of Blended Learning

sloan-c.png Presenter: Dr. Joel Hartman, University of Central Florida

Dr. Hartman was our opening keynote speaker for the recent Teaching and Learning Technology Conference at Missouri S&T. Now he is the plenary speaker for the SLOAN-C Blended Learning Conference & Workshop in Oak Brook, IL, just outside of Chicago.

Blended learning has been going on for centuries. Chalk technology is just one form of blended learning. Why do we think blended learning is different? The web is interactive, engaging, ubiquitous, asynchronous, rich in multimedia resources and constructivist. To this, we have added deeper institutional engagement, instructional design, faculty development, assessment, and communities of practice. The web is just one platform upon which blended learning activities are built.

How do we define blended learning? Blended learning courses combine online and classroom learning activities and resources in an optimal way to improve student learning outcomes and to address important institutional issues. In other words, blended learning is the space between fully face-to-face and fully online courses. There is a continuum between the extremes, within which blended learning fits.

It has the potential to impact any and every student, any and every instructor. It is both outward and inward facing. It also involves student-centered technologies which requires an institutional approach in order to apply the techniques effectively for maximum benefit to the students. Blended learning can also improve the efficiency of classroom space. However, it is sometimes not possible to recapture the classroom space for other classes. Final exam times may also conflict the classroom utilization.

One way of blending is to divide a large class into smaller groups so that only a small subset of students meet face to face at any one time. Online activities provide the additional resources to meet the needs of the larger group. This can also go in reverse where several small groups may be combined into one large blended course.

Blended courses may meet online and face-to-face for specific course content. They may meet F2F early in term, moving to online later in semester (or vice versa).

Blended programs need to address the fact the some courses (e.g. labs) are difficult to deliver fully online.

For faculty, there are many possible benefits: Blended is a first step into online learning. It is an opportunity for meaningful faculty development to dive deeper into pedagogy. Many students are somewhat ambivalent about technology in classroom because it is often not used well by instructors. Faculty can develop information literacy skills for themselves and for the students. Blended can offer “the best of both worlds” for faculty and students.

Blended and online provide an environment of pedagogical diversity and experimentation. It is a platform for integrating other technologies (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). There are often more assessment options (though this does bring some significant challenges as well). Students have an environment for constructivist learning where they can build their own knowledge (with guidance). Blended impacts teaching practices both in and out of classroom.

New pedagogical approaches — from active faculty to active students; from transferring knowledge to creating knowledge; from learning as an individual activity to learning as a collaborative activity

Student expectations don’t align well with traditional F2F teaching. Blended gives students a good match for the NetGen expectations with visual, exploratory, participatory activities. Students can succeed very well in these environments.

Students also appreciate convenience and flexibilty of online/blended learning. It can reduse time to degree and increase their information literacy.

Ten keys to success — Institutional strategy; systemic approach; faculty development; course design and development support; online student support; online academic services; robust and reliant infrastructure; effective organizational model; pro-active policy development; data collection and assessment.

Sloan-C pillars — Access; learning effectiveness; student satisfaction; faculty satisfaction; cost effectiveness

Access — Blended increases convenience and flexibility for students. It reduces the disruptions in students’ lives. Blended learning reduces opportunity costs for student learning. At UCF, face-to-face enrollments are shrinking, while online/blended enrollments are growing rapidly. 19% of students are in online/blended courses.

How is student success measured? Grades divided into two groups — success (A, B, C) and not success (lower than C). At UCF, blended shows a slightly higher success rate than fully online.

According to Department of Education online is moderately more effective than traditional F2F. Blended is not necessarily more effective by itself, but the combination of tools that are employed has the most positive effect on students. In other words, what you do with the technology is more important than the technology itself.

Students really like blended learning. They like the improved interaction between students/instructors. They appreciate reduction in interruptions in their lives. They like the increased response times, better feedback.They feel performance is more fairly assessed and they like having more opportunities for collaboration. Anytime/anywhere communication with peers and instructors. More individual empowerment. Increased freedom to manage their own learning environments.

Students rate 48.9% of blended courses as “Excellent”.

Faculty satisfaction is more of a campus/cultural issue instead of a blended/online learning issue. Faculty rate structure and time of blended learning as a net positive. They like the convenience of delivering a blended course. More F2F tends to give more satisfaction than blended, but even blended only yields 12% dissatisfied overall. The quality and amount of interaction seem to be the driving factors of faculty satisfaction with blended courses.

The keys to faculty satisfaction include operating within the faculty culture; recognition and reward for blended teaching; incentives and support; and don’t put careers at risk.

Cost effectiveness — producing optimum results for expenditure (ROI). Blended learning will have a financial impact on an institution in both direct and indirect costs. “Making money” is NOT a good reason for engaging in blended learning — create the environment first; revenues will come with delivering a great product (just like it works in the real world). Successful implementation will make blended learning sustainable over the long term. UCF has a 16.6:1 ROI based on their own experiences in creating a blended learning environment over the past ten years.

There is declining state support (in all states). There are fewer funds for new construction, but there is increased student demand for teaching. Tuition and fees are also going up. Therefore, blended learning may be the only hope for many institutions.

To sum up — Access and cost-effectiveness are the easiest to accomplish. Faculty/student satisfaction and learning effectiveness are the more difficult pillars to achieve.

Liveblog — CyberEd Course; 2nd Meeting

On Tuesday, February 9, 2010, EdTech and CERTI hosted the second meeting of the CyberEd course participants. This was not quite as well attended as the last meeting we had. I suspect the weather had a lot to do with attendance, and a couple of folks reported illness so they weren’t able to attend either.

Anyway, to continue the “tradition” of capturing the material through a “liveblog” session, Diane Hagni, the CERTI Coordinator volunteered to take notes:

———————————–

Hello!

This blog will recap some of
the topics and discussions from the Cyberlearning face-to-face class on
Feb. 9. I’m sure I’ve missed some of the information, so feel free to
add your thoughts and fill in the gaps.

The majority of the time the
class heard from three S&T students who are involved in the student
advisory group for the e-Learning initiative: Laura Confer, Kelly
Burnett and Angie Gugliano. The other advisory group member, Drew
Skyles, was not able to attend.

(Meg Brady also took a moment
to introduce Barb Wilkins to the group. Barb is currently an adjunct
faculty member in the math department and recently joined Ed
Tech assisting part-time in instructional design projects. Welcome,
Barb!)

I’ve grouped together some of
the ideas presented by the three students, as well as their responses
to the questions from the class, so this material is topical, not
chronological.

Communication with instructors:
This was a huge topic for the students. They wanted regular
communication with their instructors, or access to get help from them
(such as the videos that Jeff Thomas does in his courses and makes
available on his website.) Angie said: “At this university, I can never
get enough of professors seeing if I need help.”

Students who don’t know what’s
going on or are lost usually won’t ask questions, especially younger
students. How can this problem be remedied? The students liked the
ideas of “texting office hours,” or online chat office hours with
faculty setting the parameters about when and how soon they can expect
a response. (Barb uses IM messages when she is on the computer to field
students’ questions; Kellie Grasman uses her iPhone to answer emails.)
Another suggestion was a group site on Facebook.

Students expect an answer
within 5 minutes in a chat session, or 24 hours for an email. There
should be an auto response to the student using a chat tool to let them
know the instructor is not available. It was stressed that there needed
to be clear directions about communication media from the instructor to
the students at the outset of the course.

Jeff said that his online video
resources have cut down questions enormously. When he sees more than a
couple of students having problems with a concept, he makes a “training
video” for them to access whenever they need it.

Students are interested in relevance.
Why buy a textbook if it contains information that can be obtained
elsewhere, such as through instructor lectures or online? In that same
vein, why go to class if the instructor is simply going to rehash the
material from the book?

Students want more online
resources that are easily accessible, and they cited Jeff Thomas’
online videos mentioned above. Because it is posted on his website,
students can go back to it for future reference even after they are
finished with the course.

Students said relevance was
also a big key to motivation. It is motivating for them to know why
they are learning what they are learning. Experiences such as
internships, externships, hands-on activities and field trips to
workplaces were invaluable, they said.

What else motivates students?
Engaging classes that they feel are worth their time. Being able to
work ahead and bookmark where they are in proportion to what needs to
be accomplished in the course.

Benefits to the blended learning environment: The
online discussions will force students to be social and should help
with soft skills for S&T students, who are not always well versed
in these skills, Laura said.

Pushing student questions to
Blackboard (rather than to the instructor) can generate peer-to-peer
instruction, as long as there is an instructor to monitor, add to the
discussion and intervene when necessary.

Students liked the idea of
having the class studying information on their own, before the
face-to-face experiences, and then using that time in the classroom to
interact in small groups with the instructor. Laura described the
face-to-face class as being “like a LEAD session, because you do the
work ahead of time.” She said the faculty-student interaction during
this time would be even more valuable if synchronous class time was at
a premium during the week, so it was important to make it count.

Overall, they felt that the students were excited about the possibility of blended learning on this campus.

Concerns about online learning:
Will students lose communication with faculty? Students said the
faculty interaction with students is a drawing point for S&T so
that needs to be enhanced through blended learning.

Although it would be nice to
have some flexibility as far as attending class (read: they don’t have
to go to lecture 3 times a week every week), the students still wanted
to know that the instructor was there, that this person cared about
them and was interested in their learning.

The students were concerned
about the amount of responsibility blended learning would place on
students accustomed to a lecture format, especially younger students.
Laura was divided about whether incoming freshmen should have this
experience. On one hand, they would get into the habit of learning and
studying in this format; on the other, it may be too much of a change
from what they are accustomed to and they may flounder. Overall,
though, she felt students would eventually adjust to whatever they
needed to because they are pretty adaptable.

Group or collaborative learning:
Students recommended making study groups optional, saying that if they
are forced to participate in groups, they may withdraw. They also
expressed dislike for having to grade other students in their group
for participation. They did like the idea of study groups in live chat
rooms, and Angie asked about the possibility of IM being added to
Blackboard.

Laura warned that every student isn’t savvy with technology so they needed to be educated about its uses.

Laura has found that informal group learning happens at CLCs that specific departments use.

Some comments from the class:
John Hogan liked the idea of making students responsible for exposing
themselves to the materials ahead of time so that more hands-on
learning could take place in the classroom, but was concerned that
there would always be students who didn’t prepare and would put a
damper on the class time.

Jeff felt that the student
input was very helpful, because the end of course evaluations don’t
give him much information about what instructors are doing to help
students and what they need to change.

Barb noted that what some
incoming students have had experience with regarding “online
learning” has been more of a correspondence type environment, where
there has been no collaborative learning or regular instructor
interaction.

Meg said that a UM system-wide
student survey was going to be conducted about students’ experiences
and perceptions about online learning.   

And … Meg said that Module B was now up on Blackboard.

LiveBlog–CyberEd Course

I will be “liveblogging” the first meeting of our CyberEd participants. Meg Brady and Angie Hammons are the primary facilitators for this course, which is an opportunity for faculty interested in online/blended learning to get their feet wet. I play primarily a support role and will be working with instructors while they design their online/blended courses.

Meg started by introducing the participants in this meeting. It consists of the “eFellows” as well as a “Community of Practice” for e-learning. There is an interesting mix of physics, mechanical engineering, philosophy, computer science, mathematics, psychology, and technical communication.

The “eLearning Initiative” is driven by UM President Gary Forsee. Our goal at S&T is to mesh our own e-learning activities with those occurring at the system-wide level.

“e-learning” is the appropriate integration of technologies into the processes of teaching, learning, research, student services, and academic support. It applies to a very broad range of technologies, not just the web, though many of the technologies used can be delivered through the web or compatible technologies (e.g. smart phones).

“online” is one category of course where 80% or more of content is delivered through an online interface. Web-enabled only has 1-29% of content is delivered online. Blended/hybrid courses falls between web-enabled and fully online (30-79%). These definitions come from the Sloan-C document, Staying the Course, Online Education in the United States (2008).

Angie asked for instructors on their own online experiences. One instructor has used online homework applications. Another is delivering lectures through captures via WebEx. Many instructors overall fit into either the web-enabled or blended learning. I don’t think there are any at this point that could be truly considered “online”.

There are some good questions about the current policies and procedures for distance education, which is different from our e-learning discussion. Currently, distance students must go through the VCC to get access to the course, and the fees associated with distance ed are significantly higher than those for traditional, on-campus courses. We, as an institution, are attempting to resolve some of these issues to increase access to online and blended courses for all students in a way that will satisfy all involved parties.

Who’s Learning Online? According to the SLOAN-C document referenced above, over 3.9 million students were taking an online course in fall 2007. Over 20% of all U.S. higher education students were taking at least one online coures in fall 2007.

Why online learning? Meg is soliciting some feedback from both a student perspective and a faculty perspective on why online learning may be desired. Students seem to like the flexibility. For instance one of our student workers has a scheduling conflict. His professor is giving the student a blended option so that the student can graduate in a timely fashion (without that option, he would need to wait 18 months to graduate due to the schedule conflict). Geography is another reason why students and teachers may want to offer a blended option. One instructor lives in Illinois, but travels to campus to teach class 3 days a week or so.

Students perceive online courses to be easier. This is true in a lot of cases, but is not always true. Another perception is that students want the face time–they place value on that time with an instructor

One instructor believes that a blended option could give her more valuable face time with students. In other words, she feels she would be more motivated to make the most of the time she spends with her students. Another instructor wants to free up some classroom space–a very low resource on this course. Yet another instructor sees the blended course as a time saver in the long run due to reusable content (i.e. lecture captures). Meg said that the interaction with students will shift, but will not necessarily go away.

There is also the possibility to use technologies to bring in guest speakers and otherwise enhance the course by adding more meaningful content for the students.

An important issue at stake is the copyright of the faculty-created content. Plagiarism is a problem even in a traditional classroom setting. Adding an online component adds to the challenge of maintaining the copyright of the faculty as well as making sure students don’t plagiarize papers. The campus Library is a good resource for discussing these issues.

Students who take an online or blended course really need to be made aware of the expectations of the course. We need to not only teach students the content in the course, but also how to become effective online learners. The institution, the faculty, and the students all play a key role in this dynamic.

Angie mentioned that there is a student advisory board. It was formed specifically to address some of the issues of elearning from a student’s perspective. They will be a very valuable resource to the faculty moving forward.

Opportunities for Missouri S&T

  • Improve student learning experience
  • Increase enrollments through new online programs
  • Decrease need for physical classrooms (do the same or more, with less)
  • Meet students’ technology expectations
  • Use technology to facilitate active learning
  • Provide students with options in both online and face-to-face learning experiences

eFellows Program — 2010 Pilot

Objective: Establish a program to provide year-long support for faculty to develop courses that use best practices for blended and online learning. Program establishes faculty cohorts for peer support and development.

Scope: Pilot year begins Spring 2010 for Fall 2010 courses for 4-5 faculty/courses. Develop and conduct CyberEd course for faculty development and provide related support services.

The courses that have been selected by the Provost and the selection committee is for 3 instructors who teach medium to large courses that are well-attended by a diverse group of majors. For instance, IDE 110.

There was considerable interest from department chairs in participating in this program. Many faculty are already engaged in using online/blended components in their courses. Others are very interested in learning more (many of whom attended this meeting). The challenge is to match up the right faculty with the CyberEd course and to get IT involved at an appropriate level to maximize the success of the eFellows (as well as anyone else who opts to participate in the Community of Practice). eFellows are specifically sponsored by the Provost, while the CoP folks are just interested in finding out more and taking small steps. The eFellows must produce a blended course ready to go by Fall 2010.

EdTech serves as a facilitator and mentor to the initial batch of eFellows, guiding them through the CyberEd course and providing technical support, where needed.

At this point (3:00 p.m.), Angie is taking over to discuss specifically the CyberEd course inside of Blackboard. It is available to the eFellows and to the folks who have been invited to the Community of Practice.

It is designed as a blended course, with face-to-face meetings scheduled every three weeks or so (today is the first one).

There are eight modules that the eFellows are required to complete. The CoP can complete any of the modules, though they should only see them at the same time they are available to the eFellows. Because the modules do build on each other, it is important that they are delivered to the course participants in a managed fashion.

The CyberEd course will be based around the Quality Matters rubric, which is an emerging standard for measuring the effectiveness of materials developed for online/blended courses. The QM rubric helps keep high standards for an online course.

The CyberEd course
is designed to be a representation of what an online/blended course can be. We will be using a number of Blackboard building blocks and tools to stimulate discussions and encourage active learning in the course.

At the end of the course, each participant will have a set of deliverables they can leverage into an actual course they are teaching.

Participants are expected to be engaged and active in the material. They should be ready and able to produce a quality product by the end. At the very least, they should have a much better understanding of what is involved in delivering an online/blended course.