Archive for the ‘Online Education’ Category

Taking the Leap: Moving from In-Person to Online Courses.

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

The landscape: You have taught a class in-person for five years and due to a variety of reasons you have the option to teach it online … next semester. You need to quickly transition your in-person curriculum into a creative and successful online course. Here are five steps to get you there.

Start by Chunking. Chunking refers to simplifying your content by breaking it into smaller, more manageable pieces. In thinking about the core elements of your units, you could chunk the content in many different ways to ensure a logical progression. The ultimate goal is to keep the work load about the same each week for students and offer a variety of learning tools and assessment within each unit.

Decide on Overall Structure. Course design, a critical element to any course, is crucial for online learning. It can make or break the class. A consistent and clear structure allows students to successfully engage with the material and meet expectations. Think about the overall structure. Outline the large picture content you cover each week as well as how you evaluate students. Will you have a quiz and forum each week? Do you give a small quiz each week and then a larger assignment or midterm and final? What are the point values? Decide on your changed point system. You will want to transition the course in two main ways: The first is the content (lectures, in class discussions, hands on work, etc.) and the second are the evaluations (pop quizzes, practice problems, midterm, and final).

by Jessica Harris and Sami Lange.

Read more @: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/taking-the-leap-moving-from-in-person-to-online-courses/#sthash.EfwgeZJ8.dpuf

How to Deal with Incivility in the Online Classroom.

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Incivility in the online classroom can take many forms. Angela Stone Schmidt, director of graduate programs in the School of Nursing and associate dean College of Nursing & Health Professions at Arkansas State University—Jonesboro, uses Morrisette’s definition: “interfering with a cooperative learning atmosphere.” So in addition to inappropriate, rude, offensive, or bullying behaviors, Schmidt considers behaviors such as academic dishonesty, over-participation or domination and under-participation to be forms of incivility. In an interview with Online Classroom, she offered the following advice on how to reduce incivility with a proactive stance and how to address it when it does occur:

Make expectations clear

Use the syllabus to set expectations. Schmidt includes the course honor code in the syllabus, which describes respectful behavior and academic integrity standards. This contract includes definitions of appropriate conduct and social expectations.

Model civility

The attitudes and behaviors of the instructor can affect students’ attitudes and behaviors. Therefore, it’s important to demonstrate the behaviors you expect from your students. Avoid authoritarianism using effective interpersonal communication. Facilitate introductions by providing students with some background on yourself, including a photo and an introduction. Ask students to do the same, determining how they prefer to be addressed.

by : Rob Kelly

Read more @: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/deal-incivility-online-classroom/#sthash.32CsCxlY.dpuf

Virtual learning by 2016

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

What’s this? Muhyiddin (centre) takes an item that’s being offered to him at one of the exhibition booths during the ministry’s Innovation Day celebrations.

What’s this? Muhyiddin (centre) takes an item that’s being offered to him at one of the exhibition booths during the ministry’s Innovation Day celebrations.

THE Education Ministry will be digitalising textbooks to enable teaching and learning through a virtual learning environment (VLE) platform.

Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that these digital textbooks will help lighten both the students’ school bags and parents’ burdens.

“Innovation is an important element in spearheading education transformation, and this is one of the ministry’s efforts in resolving the heavy school bag problem which parents complain about.

“More importantly, parents will not be burdened by the additional costs incurred from the implementation of these digital textbooks as the tools such as Google Chrome Book and high speed Internet will be provided to schools,” he said after launching the ministry’s Innovation Day celebration recently.

Muhyiddin, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, added that the textbooks will be released in two phases.

“For the first phase, 313 titles will be made accessible to students, parents and teachers through the 1BestariNet website.

“As for the second phase, expected to be launched from between 2016 and 2025, digital textbooks will be made interactive,” he said.

He praised the ministry’s success in education innovation initiatives, including receiving a VMWare Innovation Award for its “Transforming IT by Defying Convention” project durign the VMWorld 2014 Conference held recently.

He said 25,000 virtual desktops were deployed at 1,250 schools across the country with VMware Horizon and Teradici PCoIP Zero Client devices as part of a national effort to modernise education and bridge the urban-rural digital divide.

by ANN-MARIE KHOR.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Education/2014/11/30/Virtual-learning-by-2016/

What We Can Learn from Unsuccessful Online Students.

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

There are many studies that look at how online students differ from those in face-to-face classes in terms of performance, satisfaction, engagement, and other factors. It is well-known that online course completion rates tend to be lower than those for traditional classes. But relatively little is known about what the unsuccessful online student has to say about his or her own experience and how they would improve online learning. Yet these insights can be vital for distance educators.

Christy Hawkins is director of continuing and professional education at Thomas Nelson Community College. As part of her dissertation research, she conducted a pilot study of students ranging in age from 20-49 who had withdrawn from an online course. Most of these students had previously attempted multiple online courses, and about half were unsuccessful in all of their previous online attempts. This qualitative study sought student perspectives about their online courses, with results that fell into three main areas: course issues, student issues, and suggested improvements.

Course issues

Course issues ran the gamut from issues that could appear in any course delivery modality to ones that were unique to the online format. For example, some students mentioned that the course was not engaging, admitting that they took the course to satisfy a requirement but felt the content was boring. Clearly, this type of mismatch of content with interest level could occur with a traditional course as well. Additionally, some students expressed a desire for faculty members with more expertise in the subject area to assist when the students were uncertain of the material.

by Jennifer Patterson Lorenzetti

Read more @ http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/can-learn-unsuccessful-online-students/#sthash.Q1fWrJHp.dpuf

Alternative learning methods

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Work in progress: Secondary school Students making the most of the resources on the Frog VLE.

Work in progress: Secondary school Students making the most of the resources on the Frog VLE.

Teaching and learning are no longer restricted to the classroom as new devices allow students to learn just about anywhere.

WELCOME to the new age learner where students no longer depend solely on their teachers to feed them knowledge.

After all, why should they when information is now available at the swipe of their finger?

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) School of Language Studies and Linguistics Assoc Prof Dr Radha M.K Nambiar explains that the 21st century learner is someone who is in touch with technology but needs to be critical and analytical when processing content from various sources, be it print or digital, while remaining ethically responsible.

In layman’s terms, someone who is “ethically responsible” is one who checks and verifies the credibility of content before sharing it with others.

“At the same time, the person must be able to create credible content. That person should also be aware of cultural difference and how these cultures interpret information or events differently.”

She shares that the 21st Century Literacy Summit Report defines “literacy as a set of abilities and skills where aural, visual and digital literacy overlap”.

“These include the ability to understand the power of images and sounds, to recognise and use that power, to manipulate and transform digital media, to distribute them pervasively, and to easily adapt them to new forms.”

by REBECCA RAJAENDRAM.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Education/2014/11/23/Alternative-learning-methods/

Maximize In-Class Time by Moving Student Presentations Online.

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

As a faculty member, I am always challenged with finding pedagogical techniques that allow my students to connect with course content, each other, and myself in new and interesting ways. Student presentations can help achieve this goal, but they require a wealth of time for each student to present and get immediate feedback from peers and the instructor. Some classes are so large that in-class presentations may not be feasible at all. Or, if you are a faculty member who is not on a block schedule, you would have to use several of your 50-minute class sessions to allow each student a chance to present his or her work. What’s more, some students have a difficult time listening to dozens of peer presentations in one sittings and may tune out after the first few presentations.

After facing all of these issues, I sought out other options that would allow for quality student presentations, but did not take up too much valuable in-class time. The answer for me is virtual student presentations, which allow students to research scholarly literature related to course content, present their findings, and receive peer feedback; all outside of class time. With virtual presentations, students can not only connect with content, the instructor, and each other; but they can also build their capacity to leverage technology to impact their learning.

Here are the four steps to implementing virtual presentations:

Step 1: Work with students on a presentation topic. Typically, I have students research a specific course-related topic already covered in class with the intention that they will develop a deeper level of expertise. Students also can use these presentations to flesh out content that is mentioned in the course textbook, but is not written about in detail. Either way, the topic should connect to course objectives and content in an intentional way, as well as provide students the opportunity to choose a topic that interests them. Once a topic has been determined, you must choose a distinct purpose for the presentation. I have had students synthesize and explain the findings of several research articles, as well as discuss how they plan to use the information in future practice.

by Stephanie Smith Budhai, PhD

Read more @ http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-with-technology-articles/maximize-class-time-moving-student-presentations-online/#sthash.qWU14oxi.dpuf

What We Can Learn from Unsuccessful Online Students.

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

There are many studies that look at how online students differ from those in face-to-face classes in terms of performance, satisfaction, engagement, and other factors. It is well-known that online course completion rates tend to be lower than those for traditional classes. But relatively little is known about what the unsuccessful online student has to say about his or her own experience and how they would improve online learning. Yet these insights can be vital for distance educators.

Christy Hawkins is director of continuing and professional education at Thomas Nelson Community College. As part of her dissertation research, she conducted a pilot study of students ranging in age from 20-49 who had withdrawn from an online course. Most of these students had previously attempted multiple online courses, and about half were unsuccessful in all of their previous online attempts. This qualitative study sought student perspectives about their online courses, with results that fell into three main areas: course issues, student issues, and suggested improvements.

Course issues

Course issues ran the gamut from issues that could appear in any course delivery modality to ones that were unique to the online format. For example, some students mentioned that the course was not engaging, admitting that they took the course to satisfy a requirement but felt the content was boring. Clearly, this type of mismatch of content with interest level could occur with a traditional course as well. Additionally, some students expressed a desire for faculty members with more expertise in the subject area to assist when the students were uncertain of the material.

by Jennifer Patterson Lorenzetti

Read more @ http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/can-learn-unsuccessful-online-students/#sthash.xtF3mLok.dpuf

Instructor Strategies to Improve Online Student Retention

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Student retention is an ongoing challenge to online educators. While there is great variation in retention rates across programs and institutions, online retention rates tend to be significantly lower than those in the face-to-face environment. However, not all online educators struggle with student retention. Kari Frisch, a communications professor at Central Lakes College, has consistent retention rates of around 95 percent in her online courses, which include interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, mass communication, and online social networking. In an interview with Online Classroom, Frisch talked about the factors that she believes help her achieve such high retention rates.

Consistent, strategically timed deadlines. Frisch has two deadlines per week: Wednesday and Friday at 1 p.m. By having the deadline during regular work hours, students will be more likely to contact Frisch or support staff if they need help as they are working on their assignments. The assignments that are due on Wednesday tend to be smaller (and worth fewer points) so there is less of a time crunch.

Here’s a typical student comment on this approach to deadlines: “I liked the way deadlines were set up for the class. Having a deadline on Wednesday and Friday really encouraged me to work hard and to be engaged during the week. It works well because then people won’t wait until the very last day of the week to do class work.”

Week-by-week access. Frisch does not grant students access to the entire course at the beginning of the semester. Rather, she opens one unit per week to prevent students from working too far ahead of each other. “It also helps them from getting too overwhelmed by the cumulative amount of work given during the semester. Work is perceived as more manageable—more doable—when you’re only seeing what’s due one week at a time,” she says. Opening each unit at 3 p.m. on Fridays gives students a weekend at the beginning of the unit to get work done, “instead of at the end to procrastinate.”

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Read more @ http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/instructor-strategies-to-improve-online-student-retention/

What Online Teachers Need to Know

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

The majority of us teach the way we were taught growing up (Southern Regional Education Board, 2009). This presents a challenge for online faculty, who most likely received their education in a traditional, brick and mortar school. Online instruction is much different from face-to-face instruction. Over the past nine years, I have discovered four basic elements that contribute to being an effective online teacher.

1. Presence

  • Online instruction might be more convenient, but it takes much more of your time than on ground learning. An online course requires continuous interaction throughout the week.
  • Your presence is not required on a specific day or time but continuously to keep the learner challenged and engaged. The key is to find creative ways to enthuse the student to participate in the learning environment daily.
  • Students are expected to be engaged in the online learning environment but it doesn’t happen automatically. If you want your students to be engaged, you must model the type of behavior you seek.

2. Communication

  • In the online environment, communication is the key. The first thing to understand about communication is that the effect of the communication is not always what is written in black and white. You must read between the lines.
  • Good communication requires attention to detail and a reiteration of what the student has stated or asked. This helps you understand the communication and provides effective communication with the student.
  • Exceptional facilitators are open to many different avenues of communication. This is not limited to email and could include text, Skype, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and telephone contact information.
  • Avenues of communication have no effect if you do not respond. Respond to all communication within a 24-hour period (more quickly if you can).
  • Post your information and office hours in a highly visible place within the Learning Management System (LMS) so students know when and how they can reach you if they need a question answered.
  • Students do not have the benefit of your nonverbal communication. You must consider your words very carefully and think about how the student will perceive the words. Avoid using slang or any comments that might be misconstrued. Use positive words and tone to develop a trusting student/teacher relationship.

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Read more @ http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/what-online-teachers-need-to-know/

Tips for Building Social Presence in Your Online Class

Friday, July 19th, 2013

You’ve been assigned your first online class to teach and you feel like you’re ready. You’ve done your homework and learned the ins and outs of the institution’s course management system. You’ve structured your content in purposeful ways and developed thoughtful guiding questions to situate student learning and motivate them. When the class starts, however, you realize that while everything is technically functioning correctly, many of the students are not engaged. While you were looking forward to teaching online and interacting with students, the students are approaching your course as if it’s an independent study. This wasn’t what you anticipated when you agreed to teach online!

In their framework outlining educational experiences for students, Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) identify and explain the critical elements of a Community of Inquiry that supports instruction and learning. The elements include: cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence. For online classes, many new online instructors tend to focus on the cognitive presence and teaching presence, and overlook the necessity of the social presence. They’ll build great online modules that help students enhance their understanding of course content but forget to attend to the critical social aspects that engage students and foster community building. While these aspects can happen naturally in face-to-face courses, they must be intentionally built into online classes.

Here are five ways you can build social presence in your online class:

  1. Have your online students introduce themselves. This may sound simple but the first module of my online courses asks students to introduce themselves to their peers. I create a discussion board where students share short introductions with the group either through text or through a short multimedia production using Fotobabble, MyBrainShark or some other Web 2.0 tool. I usually try to connect the introductions to course content in some informal way to assess the students’ prior knowledge and experience with the material. More than anything, the introductions are designed to foster open communication amongst students outside of course content.

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Read more @ http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/tips-for-building-social-presence-in-your-online-class/