Virtual School Meanderings

April 21, 2015

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 4/20/15

From yesterday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
APRIL 20, 2015
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Conceptualising and measuring collaborative critical thinking on asynchronous discussion forums: Challenges and possible solutions

The use of asynchronous discussion forums (ADFs) is thought to assist in enhancing students’ collaborative learning and critical thinking throughout higher education. However, previous research has mainly focused on individual critical thinking while the investigation of critical thinking during group work has been generally overlooked. Furthermore, few studies have investigated critical thinking processes of the […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Distance Education for People with Visual Impairments

This paper studies the standards of higher Distance Education, focusing on the Hellenic Open University, for people who have visual impairments, so that it becomes fully accessible and thus helps reduce social exclusion. Specifically, it aims to study the operational context of Distance Education, the possibilities that modern technology provides the educational needs of the […]

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Eduonto: an ontology for Educational Assessment

The search for possible applications in the field of Education, by means of domain specific ontologies on the issues of assessment of learning (assessment) and system (evaluation), has been implemented through the construction, testing and evolution of an integrated learning environment called EduOntoWiki. It is supported by ontological structures related to science education based on […]

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Comparing Changes in Content Knowledge Between Online ProBLem Based Learning and Traditional Instruction in Undergraduate Health Professional Students

Problem Based Learning (PBL), a student centered instructional strategy, has been used as an effective pedagogical technique in the education of health care professionals to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. PBL has also been proposed as an instructional method that provides for active and collaborative learning in the online environment. Current […]

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A different perspective in building tools to collect and share educational resources

Until now, a large amount of effort has been spent on structuring educational repositories. Standard metadata for learning objects have been provided and large databases have been deployed both from academia, and private organizations following mainly a content-centric approach. Vice-versa, a pedagogy-centric approach to the collection and sharing of learning resources still remains under-investigated. In […]

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IN THE NEWS
The Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution will bring to life the events, people, and ideals of the founding of the United States and inspire a deep appreciation of the importance of the struggle that created the American nation. With original artifacts, immersive settings, and dynamic theaters, the experience will take visitors on a chronological journey through the […]

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California’s multi-million dollar online education flop is another blow for MOOCs

“Reinvent.” That was the giddy catchword of a plan by the University of California to create an all-digital “campus” that would revolutionize higher education by providing courses online for students shut out of the system’s brick-and-mortar classrooms at a time of high demand but falling budgets. Hechinger Report

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Can this technology help solve the distance learning isolation issue?

It’s a common problem facing universities with satellite campuses and distance learning options: How to keep students from feeling isolated from on-campus classrooms. eCampus Report

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Online Expansion Held Back

Yale University has learned that a thorough review over a period of several years may be the fastest way for its hybrid master’s degree program in medical science to become accredited. The development — while in no way killing the program — is being seen as a victory for alumni and students who have expressed skepticism about online education. Inside […]

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April 14, 2015

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 4/13/15

Also from Monday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
APRIL 13, 2015
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Editorial: Novakian concept mapping in university and professional educationNovakian concept mapping has the potential to make a major impact in the development of higher education as universities strive to support students’ generation of powerful knowledge. This can be achieved by increasing the accessibility of multiple perspectives on knowledge that reveal and exploit the epistemic chaos that lies beneath a veneer of curriculum coherence. […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Online Graduate Students’ Preferences of Discussion Modality: Does Gender Matter?Audio/video discussion has been used increasingly in online courses due to its affordances in enhancing online communication. However, whether learners of different characteristics can benefit from this discussion modality has not been investigated extensively. This study examined whether gender plays a role in learners’ preferences and perceptions of audio/video discussion as compared to text discussion. […]

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Online Graduate Instruction: What Faculty Consider Reasonable In Relation to What Students ExpectIn this investigation, the author utilized a modified Delphi technique to validate whether graduate level online faculty and learners could achieve a consensus of opinion relative to a range of instructional practices commonly associated with online education. A list of administrative guidelines pertaining to online instruction collected from an assortment of post-secondary institutions in the […]

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Instructor Time Requirements to Develop and Teach Online CoursesHow much time does it take to teach an online course? Does teaching online take more or less time than teaching face-to-face? Instructors, department chairs, deans, and program administrators have long believed that teaching online is more time-consuming than teaching face-to-face. Many research studies and practitioner articles indicate instructor time commitment as a major inhibitor […]

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Contemporary Literacies and Technologies in English Language Arts Teacher Education: Shift Happens!Three leaders of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference on English Education (CEE) reflect on the changes that have occurred in English language arts teacher education in the past 15 years since the first edition of Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE Journal) was published. The authors take a historical look at […]

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IN THE NEWS
Beacon Developer NetObjex Enters Library Market with SmartLibraryNewport Beach, CA-based NetObjex, developer of turnkey “Internet of Things” (IoT) device management solutions for commercial enterprises, recently announced the launch of SmartLibrary, a system that enables libraries to transmit targeted, location-relevant messages to their patrons’ smartphones and mobile devices. IoT is a new area of computing and includes smart devices such as beacons and […]

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A Data Commons for Scientific DiscoveryThe Open Cloud Consortium is working to meet the collaboration and data-management needs of multi-institution big data projects. Campus Technology

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Technology and PersuasionPersuasive technologies surround us, and they’re growing smarter. How do these technologies work? And why? MIT Technology Review

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ASU Online to pilot environmental science gamesArizona State University is piloting a series of environmental science games at ASU Online. eCampus News

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April 8, 2015

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 4/6/15

From Monday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
APRIL 6, 2015
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Development and testing of a m-learning system for the professional development of academics through design-based action researchIn the present study, a mobile learning system for the professional development of academics was developed by design based action research, and the perceptions and experiences of the academics using this system were examined. In the first phase of this design-based action research, the research question was defined. In the second phase, a m-learning system […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Using Blogs in the Library to Reach Diverse and Non-Traditional Student GroupsWhile there is no dearth of information about the uses of a blog as a Web 2.0 tool in the library, there is very little information about the ways in which a blog can be used to reach diverse and non-traditional groups. This paper explores blog topics and strategies that will help to engage users […]

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Learning Through Play, the Old School Way: Teaching Information Ethics to MillennialsIncorporating gaming and active learning elements into library instruction in academic libraries has proven to be an effective way to engage Millennials and increase their retention of knowledge. This article ties research on the learning preferences of Millennials to elements of active and game-based learning. The author describes the process of creating an innovative game […]

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Content or platform: Why do students complete MOOCs?The advent of massive open online courses (MOOCs) poses new learning opportunities for learners as well as challenges for researchers and designers. MOOC students approach MOOCs in a range of fashions, based on their learning goals and preferred approaches, which creates new opportunities for learners but makes it difficult for researchers to figure out what […]

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Is a Quality Course a Worthy Course? Designing for Value and Worth in Online CoursesThere are many strategies for estimating the effectiveness of instruction. Typically, most methods are based on the student evaluation. Recently a more standardized approach, Quality Matters (QM), has been developed that uses an objectives-based strategy. QM, however, does not account for the learning process, nor for the value and worth of the learning experience. Learning […]

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IN THE NEWS
Comcast sprints past Google Fiber with 2-gigabit Internet service (+video)Comcast announced it will offer two-gigabit-per-second residential Internet service in Atlanta next month, and will expand it to 18 million homes by the end of the year. The Christian Science Monitor

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Online Test-Takers Feel Anti-Cheating Software’s Uneasy GlareNEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Before Betsy Chao, a senior here at Rutgers University, could take midterm exams in her online courses this semester, her instructors sent emails directing students to download Proctortrack, a new anti-cheating technology. The New York Times

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Student-led TEDx aims to bridge curricular gapUndergraduate students launch TEDx on campus to discuss blending science with art–and why it’s important. With growing pressure for students to focus on STEM, pioneering undergraduate students from one university recently decided to focus not just on science, but on a “coalescence” of science and art–a topic so critical, said the students, that it warranted […]

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Massive Study from Harvard and MIT on MOOCs Provides New Insights on an Evolving SpaceSince “Year of the MOOC” became a catchphrase in 2012, massive open online courses have had their fans and detractors. Some have claimed that online learning is a “disruptive revolution” and a harbinger of the end of residential colleges, while others have called MOOCs “mere marketing” at best or an abject failure at worst, singling […]

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March 31, 2015

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 3/30/15

From yesterday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
MARCH 30, 2015
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
How do virtual world experiences bring about learning? A critical review of theories

While students do learn real-world knowledge and skills in virtual worlds, educators have yet to adequately theorise how students’ virtual world experiences bring about this learning. This paper critically reviewed theories currently used to underpin empirical work in virtual worlds for education. In particular, it evaluated how applicable these theories’ learning mechanisms are to virtual […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Influences that undermine learners’ perceptions of autonomy, competence and relatedness in an online context

Online learning has grown considerably in recent years. However attrition rates from online courses indicate that not all learners are successful in such settings, and various factors have been identified as crucial to learner persistence. Research evidence suggests that motivation is one such factor. This study builds on previous studies by using self-determination theory (SDT) […]

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Learning from TESS-India’s Approach to OER Localisation Across Multiple Indian States

Arguably, the benefits of open educational resources (OER) are greatest in low- and middle-income countries, where they have the potential to increase access to learning for those who may otherwise be excluded. However, for OER to be truly useful to educators and learners they need to be adapted to suit the contexts in which they […]

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Characteristics of Adjunct Faculty Teaching Online: Institutional Implications

Over the last decade, there has been a steady increase in online learning enrollments. The proportion of college students taking at least one online course is at an all-time high and 66% of higher education institutions indicate that online learning is critical to their long-term strategy (Allen & Seaman, 2014). Universities are increasingly relying on […]

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Competency-Based Education: A Framework for Measuring Quality Courses

The growth of competency-based education in an online environment requires the development and measurement of quality competency-based courses. While quality measures for online courses have been developed and standardized, they do not directly align with emerging best practices and principles in the design of quality competency-based online courses. The purpose of this paper is to […]

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IN THE NEWS
Study: This is why mobile is king on campus

Annual report on digital study trends reveals major jump in college students’ use of mobile tech. eCampus News

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Online or In-Person? One College Lets Students Switch Back and Forth

When you register for a course, you often have a choice: in-person or online. But at Peirce College, you don’t have to pick one or the other. All students will soon get access to both formats in the same course. Wired Campus

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The Changing Cost of Open Source

At one time higher ed wanted community-built software because of the $0 price tag; now many universities are paying somebody else to keep open source projects moving forward. Campus Technology

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Chairman Wheeler at The Ohio State University School of Law

The job of government is to decide based on the facts and the record in a media-saturated era when issues are advocated in apocalyptic terms. One day demonstrators at my home kept me from leaving my driveway with a huge banner saying “Free the Internet.” About a hundred feet from the driveway a stop sign […]

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March 24, 2015

Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 3/23/15

From yesterday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
MARCH 23, 2015
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Video-based feedback on student assessment: scarily personal

Assessment feedback is an important part of students’ learning experiences; however, text-based feedback has limitations. This article proposes an alternative in the form of individualised video recordings of the lecturer discussing each assignment. This research reports on 126 undergraduate and postgraduate students’ reactions to 5-minute videos recorded by their teachers. The findings confirm that the […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Key skills for co-learning and co-inquiry in two open platforms: a massive portal (EDUCARED) and a personal environment (weSPOT)

This paper presents a qualitative investigation on key skills for co-learning and co-inquiry in the digital age. The method applied was cyber-ethnography with asynchronous observation (forum and wiki) and synchronous discussions (webconference) for analysing skills developed by a co-learning community. This study focuses on participants from different countries who interacted during nine months in two […]

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Work Ethic, Characteristics, Attributes, and Traits of Successful Online Faculty

This study was a phenomenological study examining the experiences of faculty in an online learning environment in order to identify the factors that could produce job burnout and stress in master’s programs in education. The challenges and related stress-producing factors were also explored to identify best practices for online faculty and attributes most suited for […]

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An Investigation of Personality Traits in Relation to Job Performance of Online Instructors

This quantitative study examined the relationship between the Big 5 personality traits and how they relate to online teacher effectiveness. The primary method of data collection for this study was through the use of surveys primarily building upon the Personality Style Inventory (PSI) (Lounsbury & Gibson, 2010), a work-based personality measure, was the instrument used […]

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IN THE NEWS
Technology Repaints the Payment Landscape

As technology-driven payment ideas give cash a run for its money, the big winners could be established banks and credit card companies. MIT Technology Review

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The good, the bad, and the ugly of today’s online testing

When teachers, students, and administrators at Sheridan School District No. 2 met earlier this month to kick off The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing, they had felt pretty sure of themselves. After all, the Denver-based district of 1,600 students and five schools had worked hard to prep itself for […]

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Top 10 IT Issues, 2015: Inflection Point

EDUCAUSE presents the top 10 IT issues facing higher education institutions this year. What is new about 2015? Nothing has changed. And everything has changed. Information technology has reached an inflection point. Visit the EDUCAUSE top 10 IT issues web page for additional resources. EDUCAUSE

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How to support a massive growth of digital content

The University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography has implemented Zetta.net’s cloud backup and disaster recovery (DR) solution to support its anticipated massive growth of digital content, as well as backup for mission-critical materials important for day-to-day operations. eCampus News

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