Virtual School Meanderings

June 30, 2015

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 6/29/15

And from yesterday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 29, 2015
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Exclusive Interview

Dr. Saba: What attracted you to the field of technology in education? Dr. Peterson: I was working as a psychologist and director of a family and child guidance in Pennsylvania. The clinic was part of the community mental health center in a rural area in the Allegheny mountains. One typical client would be a […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Can SPOC (Self- Paced Online Course) Live Long and Prosper? A Comparison Study of a New Species of Online Course Delivery

Numerous formats exist for online course delivery: pure online, blended or hybrid, flipped and web-enhanced. The literature is replete with comparison studies on the efficacy of online, hybrid and traditional format courses. However, the self-paced online course, a relatively new and rare variation, has received very little coverage in the body of research on this […]

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When Learning Analytics Meets E-Learning

While student data systems are nothing new and most educators have been dealing with student data for many years, learning analytics has emerged as a new concept to capture educational big data. Learning analytics is about better understanding of the learning and teaching process and interpreting student data to improve their success and learning experiences. […]

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MOOCs as a Method of Distance Education in the Arab World – A Review Paper

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the Arab World are still in their infancy. Many Arab countries are now starting to launch their MOOC platforms; however, there are only a few who have actually implemented such systems. This paper will explore online learning, in particular the rise of MOOCs around the world and their impact […]

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Transactional Distance and Autonomy in a Distance Learning Environment

This paper studies the transactional distance between the students and the tutor as well as the autonomy of students in a postgraduate course of the Hellenic Open University (HOU). The aim of the paper is to examine how the relation between autonomy and transactional distance evolves during an academic year and how this relation is […]

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IN THE NEWS
FCC’s Wheeler defends net neutrality rules, discounts investment fears

Predictions from net neutrality opponents that regulations would choke off broadband investment haven’t come true, with several service providers announcing expansions in the four months since the U.S. Federal Communications Commission passed new rules, the agency’s chairman says. PC World Magazine

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EDUCAUSE Higher Ed IT Buyers Guide

New EDUCAUSE resource for finding IT solutions. EDUCAUSE

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Alumnus’s throwable tactical camera gets commercial release

Softball-sized camera can be tossed into unseen areas, sends panoramic images back to a smartphone MIT

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Researchers Complain About Changes in Amazon Tool Used for Surveys

This week Amazon changed the terms for a service that has become a standard tool in social-science research, and many scholars are complaining that it will mean higher costs to conduct surveys. Wired Campus

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June 23, 2015

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 6/22/15

From yesterday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 22, 2015
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
eLearning Papers: Issue No.42 Design Patterns for Open Online Teaching and Learning

The rapid rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has renewed interest in the broader spectrum of open online teaching and learning. This “renaissance” has highlighted the challenges and potential associated to the design of such educational environments. Arguably, the accelerated expansion of open online education creates risks for pedagogical quality and the learner experience. […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Impact of an open online course on the connectivist behaviours of Alaska teachers

In this article we will describe a continuum of development towards knowledge generation and networked learning which emerges as practising teachers participate in a connectivist experience offered through an open online class (OOC) learning design. We believe that this design offers an opportunity to provide authentic professional development and collaboration particularly for those teachers in […]

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A pilot study: Facilitating cross-cultural understanding with project-based collaborative learning in an online environment

This study investigated three aspects: how project-based collaborative learning facilitates cross-cultural understanding; how students perceive project-based collaborative learning implementation in a collaborative cyber community (3C) online environment; and what types of communication among students are used. A qualitative case study approach was applied to explore these aspects using a variety of data sources. First, students’ […]

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Interpersonal Skills and Education in the Traditional and Online Classroom Environments

The purpose of this descriptive, cross-sectional, quantitative study was to compare the interpersonal abilities of online students to traditional students by evaluating their Emotional Intelligence (EI) through the Situational Test of Emotional Management (STEM). The study sought to determine whether a relationship exists between the number of online courses completed and EI abilities of students. […]

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Student Perspectives of Assessment Strategies in Online Courses

Engaging professional adults in an online environment is a common challenge for online instructors. Often the temptation or commonly used approach is to mirror face-to-face strategies and practices. One premise of this study is that all strategies used in an online environment are assessment strategies, and as such should be considered for their value in […]

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IN THE NEWS
Mobile Learning in Higher education: Mobilizing staff to use technologies in their teaching

Almost everybody has a mobile device of some sort or another, be it a laptop, a tablet, or a phone. The latter two are often carried around by their owner and used anywhere and anytime. The use of smart phones and tablets for social interactions is very common amongst students. eLearn Magazine

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UGC [University Grants Commission – India) likely to allow PhD enrolment under distance education

New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) is actively considering relaxing its norms which would enable distance education institutions to offer MPhil and PHD programmes, benefiting nearly 10,000 students. ZNews.com

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The Importance of Federation: California Community Colleges Join InCommon

With 72 autonomous districts and 112 colleges, the California Community Colleges are looking to federated identity as an important element of their technology strategy. This week, they’ve announced that the system is joining InCommon. CT spoke with California Community Colleges Technology Center Executive Director, Tim Calhoon, for some insight on the CCC’s move. Campus Technology

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Arizona’s Online Holdout

The University of Arizona, the last holdout in a state investing heavily in distance education for undergraduates, will this fall join the state’s other public universities in offering online bachelor’s degrees, as UA Online opens its virtual doors.

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June 17, 2015

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 6/16/15

Also from yesterday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 16, 2015
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Report: Global overview of quality in online and open education

This first global overview of quality models, an ICDE supported study, is a must-read for any person concerned with quality in online, open and flexible higher education. It presents quality models in use around the globe and offers 11 recommendations for future work in the field. International Council for Open and Distance Education

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
MOOC & B-learning: Students’ Barriers and Satisfaction in Formal and Non-formal Learning Environments

The study presents a comparative analysis of two virtual learning formats: one non-formal through a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and the other formal through b-learning. We compare the communication barriers and the satisfaction perceived by the students (N = 249) by developing a qualitative analysis using semi-structured questionnaires and content analysis of the virtual […]

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“I am Different from Other Women in the World” The Experiences of Saudi Arabian Women Studying Online in International Master Programmes

This paper presents findings from a qualitative study that investigated seven female Saudi Arabian students of the University of Liverpool’s online Masters programmes. Qualitative, first-person research methods and hermeneutic phenomenology were chosen for the analysis and interpretation of transcripts (Langeveld, 1983; van Manen, 1997; Creswell, 2007, Roth, 2012). The principles of cultural anthropology (Hall & […]

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Who Graduates from Irish Distance University Education?

This paper outlines results from an online survey of recent distance graduates. The study, based in Dublin City University (DCU) addresses a gap in the research on this cohort of graduates. Findings indicate that distance graduates are primarily from lower socio economic backgrounds, a group largely under-represented in full-time university education. Significantly, 30% of survey […]

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Student perceptions and lessons learned from flipping a masters level public health course

The flipped classroom instructional model has emerged as an alternative to conventional lecture-based teaching that has dominated higher education for decades. In 2013, a cohort of graduate-level public health students participated in a flipped environmental and occupational health course. We present the design, implementation, and evaluation of this course. Using data collected from a post-course […]

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IN THE NEWS
Why Ed Tech Is Not Transforming How Teachers Teach

Public schools now provide at least one computer for every five students. They spend more than $3 billion per year on digital content. And nearly three-fourths of high school students now say they regularly use a smartphone or tablet in the classroom. Education Week

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Accreditation Standards and Best Practice for Distance Education

Accreditation. That one word often elicits fear in the heart of academics and school administrators alike; fear that some erudite agency is out to ensnare them, or catch them with a trick question. But instead of viewing accreditation as something to be endured, what if we looked to accreditation standards to help us establish and […]

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Can Digital Badges Help Encourage Professors to Take Teaching Workshops?

A few colleges are trying a new incentive to get professors to participate in professional-development workshops: digital badges. Wired Campus

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More Bandwidth Per User: Keeping Up With Student Demand

Houston Community College, already among the fastest schools in Internet speed, still must work to keep up with ever-increasing student expectations. Campus Technology

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June 9, 2015

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 6/8/15

From yesterday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 8, 2015
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Academic peer pressure in social media: Experiences from the heavy, the targeted and the restricted userThe degree of social media uptake in research practice differs greatly, across and within disciplines. This qualitative study explores the use of social media within a specific target group of researchers working in the field of technology-enhanced learning. The individual cases reveal a range from heavy use, leading to addiction, to very restricted or no […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Adding Value: Open Online Learning and the MBA Rachel Fitzgerald1,Evidence suggests that MOOCs are being used as a strategic tool to explore alternative models of course delivery (Allen & Seaman, 2013) and this paper shares insight into an example of such innovation for Business School Education. Gateway MBA draws on examples of open learning worldwide to create a MOOC to extend the MBA distance […]

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Social construction of knowledge in WikipediaThis paper investigates how knowledge is constructed collaboratively in a crowd-sourced environment. More specifically, the study presented in this paper empirically analyzes online discussions in regard to Wikipedia entries on the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster that occurred in March 2011 in Japan. For this study, we examined the encyclopedia articles in both the English […]

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User Acceptance of a Proposed Self-Evaluation and Continuous Assessment SystemIn this report, we describe a survey of mathematics education apps in the Apple App Store, conducted as part of a research project to develop a tablet-based assessment prototype for elementary mathematics. This survey was performed with the goal of understanding the design principles and techniques used in mathematics apps designed for tablets. We focused […]

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Professors and Virtual World Professionalism: A Qualitative StudyJust as there are now questions about professionalism and professional boundaries in social networking environments such as Facebook or LinkedIn, there are also questions about what it means to be professional in virtual worlds like Second Life (SL). In an effort to understand professors’ lived experiences with professionalism in virtual worlds, specifically in SL, I […]

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IN THE NEWS
Penn State launches online bootcamp to help close supply chain skills gapBusiness School specializing in supply chain management taps technology firm to design online program to engage learners and meet employer demand.

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Ball State IDIA Lab’s Roman simulations featured on popular History Channel science series ‘The Universe’For the season finale of its popular program “The Universe,” the History Channel is shining a spotlight on the work of virtual artists from Ball State University. Ball State University

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An Increasingly Popular Job Perk: Online EducationSouthern New Hampshire University has become the latest institution to team up with a major employer to make online courses a benefit of employment. Wired Campus

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University of Montana Becomes an Internet2 100G ConnectorMISSOULA, Mont., May 28, 2015—The University of Montana (UM) is now home to a 100 gigabit per second (100G) fiber connection as an Internet2 Network connector site in Missoula. The ultra-high-speed capability advances UM’s research efforts and expands opportunities to support educational, research and health care institutions across the state. Internet2

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June 3, 2015

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 6/1/15

From Monday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 1, 2015
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Become a Pro Supporter! In order to keep delivering highly curated content directly to your inbox, we need your help! Pro Supporters get A WEEKLY curated email (sent every Monday morning), includes:

  • Featured Article of the Week, Research Based Articles of the Week, and our famous “In The News” section
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Student Media Usage Patterns and Non-Traditional Learning in Higher EducationA total of 2,338 students at German universities participated in a survey, which investigated media usage patterns of so-called traditional and non-traditional students (Schuetze & Wolter, 2003). The students provided information on the digital devices that they own or have access to, and on their usage of media and e-learning tools and services for their […]Keep Reading

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Mobile learning: Moving past the myths and embracing the opportunitiesMobile learning (mLearning) in the open and distance learning landscape, holds promise and provides exciting new opportunities. In order to understand and embrace these opportunities within various contexts and circumstances it is imperative to understand the essence of the phenomenon. In this regard, we first need to understand the core fundamentals of mLearning and gain […]Keep Reading

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Women and Distance Education in Developing CountriesL The ChallengesDistance education has the ability to reach anyone anywhere and thus is widely accepted as a method of educating large populations of people in developing countries. The women in particular, are able to reap the benefits distance education has to offer by overcoming many of the barriers faced through conventional methods of learning. The Internet […]Keep Reading

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Why ePortfolios? Student Perceptions of ePortfolio Use in Continuing Education Learning EnvironmentsOver the past decade, there has been an increased exploration of ePortfolios in higher education across disciplines at both the undergraduate and graduate level. ePortfolios have been significantly under-explored, however, in the context of non-traditional continuing education environments within higher education. This paper explores students’ perceptions of ePortfolios in a non-credit continuing education environment in […]Keep Reading

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Helping Members of the Community Manage Their Digital Lives: Developing a Personal Digital Archiving WorkshopIt is estimated that over 90 percent of all new information is born digital. We create new digital materials practically on a daily basis. What can we as libraries do to help our users manage their personal digital materials? This article explores resources and methods that could be used in the development of a personal […]Keep Reading

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IN THE NEWS
eLearning Brothers Expands Its Template Library: Get My GraphiceLearning Brothers announces the acquisition of the Arlington, Virginia-based Get My Graphic. This acquisition continues eLearning Brothers’ commitment to serving the eLearning Community, this time by providing high-end PowerPoint graphics to its customers. Learning Solutions MagazineKeep Reading

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The Chief Privacy Officer in Higher EducationThis article includes a wealth of information about how some members of the Higher Education Chief Privacy Officers group perceive their role, their concerns about privacy, and their expectations for the future of privacy officers in higher education. EDUCAUSE ReviewKeep Reading

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Deep Learning Catches On in New Industries, from Fashion to FinanceThe machine-learning technique known as deep learning, which has shown impressive results in voice and image recognition, is finding new applications. MIT Technology ReviewKeep Reading

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Why Blogging Is Key to the Future of Higher EdA massive experiment at Virginia Commonwealth University involving 7,000 blogs could lead to a new view on how college students learn. Campus TechnologyKeep Reading

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