Virtual School Meanderings

May 14, 2019

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 5/13/19

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Work is constantly reshaped by technological progress. Firms adopt new ways of production, markets expand, and societies evolve. But some changes provoke more attention than others, in part due to the vast uncertainty involved in making predictions about the future. The 2019 World Development Report analyzes these changes and what governments can do about them. […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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Gamifying Online Tests to Promote Retrieval-Based Learning

Recent findings have provided strong evidence that retrieval-based learning is an effective strategy for enhancing knowledge retention and long-term meaningful learning, but it is not a preferred learning strategy for the majority of students. The present research analyzes the application of learning gamification principles in online, open-book, multiple-choice tests in order to motivate students to […]

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Blending Crowdvoting in Modern e-Learning Environments

Given that the most students spend considerable time on social networks, many educational institutions use this habit as a basis for educational purposes. Increasing students’ active participation in learning activities is one of the main goals of education. The purpose of this research was to investigate to what extent crowdvoting techniques can increase students’ participation […]

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An investigation into the attraction and completion rates of MOOCs

Many studies are dedicated to MOOCs, however there was no clear answer to what makes a particular MOOC popular. This study was an attempt to answer this question. Data about MOOC distribution was collected for this research, including category data, university types and MOOC platforms, data regarding MOOC popularity in different time periods, and regarding […]

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Effect of a metacognitive scaffolding on self-efficacy, metacognition, and achievement in e-learning environments

The object of the present research is to study the effects of a metacognitive scaffolding on metacognition, academic self-efficacy, and learning achievement in students with different cognitive styles in the Field Dependence-Independence (FDI) dimension when learning math content in an e-learning environment. Sixty-seven (67) students of higher education from a public university of Bogotá, Colombia […]

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Animating student engagement: The impacts of cartoon instructional videos on learning experience

In the modern age of education, students increasingly demand engaging, customized multimedia content. Animation constitutes a powerful pedagogical tool by combining audio messages with tailored visual cues and graphics, to serve the dual functions of explaining complex concepts and engaging student interest in the learning process. This study explores the use of a series of […]

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Beacons: A tool for 21st Century teaching and learning?

Beacon technology was developed by Apple in 2013, and its initial use in secondary education has generated much enthusiastic descriptive and web-based claims of its potential. However, not only is there a paucity of academic study on its use in the classroom, but none of these claims have been critiqued. Additionally, if teachers are to […]

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IN THE NEWS
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Penn State World Campus forms first student government

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State World Campus will soon have for the first time in its 21-year existence a student-elected government to represent the voices of its thousands of online learners. A president, vice president and other executive board members and committee chair members will take office as part of the World Campus Student Government Association in Penn State’s fall 2019 semester. They were the […]

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The 28th ICDE World Conference on Online Learning

The 28th ICDE World Conference on Online Learning taking place in Dublin is one of the largest and most prestigious international conferences in the area. The conference theme of “Transforming Lives and Societies” anchors the growth of new models of open, online and digital learning in a number of big questions and the wider context […]

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State K-12 Broadband Leadership: Driving Connectivity, Access and Student Success

SETDA’s report, State K-12 Broadband Leadership: Driving Connectivity, Access and Student Success highlights the importance of state leadership and the various ways states strive to support districts and schools to achieve equitable digital learning opportunities for all students both on campus and outside of school. States demonstrate leadership through legislation, initiatives, partnerships, statewide broadband networks, regional networks, and/or statewide purchasing consortia […]

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End of the Line for Much-Hyped Tech Company

If any company epitomizes the danger that excessive hype can do to its brand, it is Knewton. The educational technology company, which famously boasted about the power of its adaptive learning platform to “semi-read” students’ minds, has been acquired by publisher Wiley Education. Inside Higher Ed

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5 key strategies to support online learning programs

With online learning programs in demand and growing fast, higher-ed leaders have to ensure that their programs meet student needs and set students up for success. A new report offers takeaways and best practices around four major topics impacting online learning programs: data analytics, curriculum, standards and measurement, and mentoring and coaching. The report comes […]

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Coursera Turns 7

Back in April 2012, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng launched Coursera to enable anyone, anywhere to transform their life through learning. Seven years ago, we couldn’t have imagined where we’d be today: connecting 40 million learners around the globe with the world’s greatest thinkers, educators, and institutions. Coursera

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May 7, 2019

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 5/6/19

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Sizing Up Twitter Users U.S. adult Twitter users are younger and more likely to be Democrats than the general public. Most users rarely tweet, but the most prolific 10% create 80% of tweets from adult U.S. users. Pew Research Center

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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Alternative Embodied Cognitions at Play Evaluation of Audio-Based Navigation in Virtual Settings Via Interactive Sounds

The current study addresses the concept of mediated embodied cognition (EC) by focusing on audio inputs/outputs rather than sight and visual cues. N=10 subjects were involved with the navigation of five virtual mazes with different design and sensorial affordances. A virtual audiocane was developed (within a middleware – NEED – aimed to improve learning environments’ […]

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ODL for Life Long Learning: Insiders’ Perspective

ODL provides the learners more access to higher education with its flexible approach, wider choice of courses, qualitative instructional methods and cost effectiveness. The advent of ICT has added the e-learning aspect to ODL as well. The open and distance system has reached a phase wherein it is important to look inwards, to understand the […]

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Transformational Change in Delivery at Open Polytechnic, New Zealand

As long ago as 1992, Greville Rumble was writing about the “competitive vulnerabilities” of single-mode distance teaching institutions [universities]. In the intervening years the challenges he described have only intensified, especially so as advancing information and communication technologies have enabled increasing numbers of campus-based tertiary institutions to enter distance learning, usually targeting the part-time adult […]

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Does collaborative use of the Internet affect Reading Comprehension in Children?

This paper examines the effect of the Internet on the reading comprehension of children reading together in groups. First, we describe an experiment to determine if children reading together off the Internet from big screens, can read at a higher comprehension level than children reading the same text alone. The results from this small-sample study […]

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(Re)Tracing the Everyday ‘Sitings’: A Conceptual Review of Internet Research 15 Years Later

In 2003, Kevin Leander and Kelly McKim made the argument for connecting scholarship on physical spaces with that of online spaces. They named this fusion of scholarly areas connective ethnography, termed by Christine Hine (2000, as cited in Leander & McKim, 2003). At that time, they asked: “How might we develop research practices and frameworks […]

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Higher education, impact, and the Internet: Publishing, politics, and performativity

This paper considers how and why scholarly publishing has changed over the last two decades. It discusses the role of the Internet in overcoming earlier barriers to the rapid circulation of ideas and in opening up new forms of academic communication. While we live in a world increasingly dominated by images, the written word remains […]

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IN THE NEWS
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The Open University secures £50m investment in social learning platform FutureLearn

SEEK Group (ASX: SEK) will invest £50m to become a joint, 50% owner of The Open University’s FutureLearn social learning platform, it was announced today in a deal thought to be the largest ever private-sector EdTech investment in Europe.

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The Publishers’ Move to Capture Campus Data

Analysis commissioned by advocacy group documents how major companies’ business strategies could help them lock up research and learning data that colleges and scholars need. Inside Higher Ed

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Technology Strategy for Digital Transformation: Get Your Stakeholders on Board

In 2019, the EDUCAUSE Enterprise IT Program is examining the relationship between enterprise IT and the digital transformation of higher education. The second theme for the year is getting institutional stakeholders on board with a technology strategy that supports digital transformation. EDUCAUSE Review

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Arizona State Adopts AI-Powered Calculus Learning Platform

Arizona State University is expanding its use of an online calculus application with built-in artificial intelligence. Currently, two courses — Calculus for Business and Calculus for Engineering — are using Gradarius from Castle Point Learning Systems, which personalizes the learning based on topics already understood and those still to be learned. The university expects to […]

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Cengage and McGraw-Hill to Merge, Providing Students with More Affordable Access to Superior Course Materials and Platforms

NEW YORK and BOSTON – May 1, 2019—McGraw-Hill and Cengage today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger on equal terms. The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, will bring together two premier learning companies that will deliver significant […]

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What can virtual reality tell us about real-world psychology?

The use of VR in psychology experiments is being driven not just by increasingly affordable technology but also by concerns about the reproducibility of many real-world studies. But do humans really behave in the virtual world as they do in reality? And does it matter? David Matthews investigates Times Higher Education

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May 1, 2019

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 4/30/19

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EDUCAUSE is proud to continue the tradition of excellence begun by the New Media Consortium’s (NMC) work on the Horizon Report. The report serves as a reference and technology planning guide for educators, higher education leaders, administrators, policy makers, and technologists. his report profiles six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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Massive Open Online Course Instructor Motivations, Innovations, and Designs: Surveys, Interviews, and Course Reviews |

This mixed methods study explores instructor motivations for offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) as well as the instructional innovations used to enhance the MOOC design. The researchers surveyed 143 MOOC instructors worldwide and then interviewed 12 of these instructors via Zoom. They also extensively reviewed the MOOCs of the interviewees. The primary motivations for […]

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Teaching in Graduate Distance Education: Perspectives on Evaluating Faculty Engagement Strategies.

To mitigate the effects of transactional distance, it is incumbent upon online instructors to intentionally and thoughtfully incorporate and implement strategies that will create a successful learning environment, keep learners motivated, and provide a rewarding learning experience where learners feel supported, valued and connected. The authors, both of whom are long-standing faculty coaches and instructors […]

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Impact of Additional Early Feedback on Doctoral Capstone Proposal Approval

More than 40% of doctoral students are unable to complete their independent capstone research at the conclusion of their coursework, and of those who do complete the capstone, completion often takes longer than anticipated. In online universities, students are often successful during their structured course work, but become overwhelmed with the demands of their capstone […]

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Impact of a Portfolio Program on Self-Assessment Skills Involving General Longitudinal Outcomes

Self-assessment is important in student and professional development. This study evaluated the impact of a structured electronic portfolio program that provided primarily global feedback on pharmacy students’ self-assessment skills related to five general outcomes over a two-year period. The self-assessed outcomes, common to many academic programs, were communication/cultural competence, critical thinking/problem solving, evidence-based practice, professionalism/leadership, […]

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Assessing the Feasibility and Acceptability of ePortfolios in an Inclusive, Graduate-Level Interdisciplinary Training Program

While the use of electronic portfolios has been thoroughly explored in undergraduate and discipline-specific graduate programs, less research has been conducted among interdisciplinary adult learners. This case study explores the feasibility and acceptability of ePortfolios across two years of implementation in an inclusive, graduate-level interdisciplinary training program. After initial implementation with cohort one, focus groups […]

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Changing the Narrative: New directions in online retention

The growth of online higher education has outpaced residential enrollments for the past six years [1] and adults are a significant population of online learners [2, 3]. While certainly concerns about the efficacy of learning online have not fully gone away, online courses, and often entire online degrees, are now an established part of the […]

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IN THE NEWS
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New Online Academic Programs

Colleges begin programs in early childhood education, cybersecurity, strategic management, health data analytics and instructional design. Inside Higher Ed

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Seeking a Shared Global Standard for Digital Credentials

For hundreds of years, universities and colleges have issued academic credentials on paper. But what would these credentials look like if they were designed today? This is the question a group of nine universities is looking to answer as part of an ambitious digital credential initiative that aims to create a worldwide standard for issuing, […]

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New Frontiers of Adaptive Learning

Most of the publicized examples of adaptive learning focus on its use in improving student outcomes in STEM courses, but some universities are seeing promising examples in the humanities as well. For example, the University of Mississippi Department of Writing and Rhetoric is using adaptive learning to help first-year writing students grasp rhetorical concepts. Campus […]

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Technology Strategy for Digital Transformation: Get Your Stakeholders on Board

In 2019, the EDUCAUSE Enterprise IT Program is examining the relationship between enterprise IT and the digital transformation of higher education. The second theme for the year is getting institutional stakeholders on board with a technology strategy that supports digital transformation. EDUCAUSE Review

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How Clemson transformed its MBA program for the age of online learning

Clemson University has long offered an on-campus MBA program, but starting this fall, the South Carolina-based school is placing its bets on something a bit different: an ambitious new version of the program that will allow students to access the same curriculum virtually through online learning. And while taking classes online is certainly no new […]

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Blackboard Announces Updates for Web Conferencing Platform

NEW ORLEANS, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Blackboard Inc. today announced updates to its Web conferencing platform with the release of Blackboard Collaborate™ 12. With the new version, Blackboard Collaborate adds enhanced integrations for leading learning management systems (LMS), user experience improvements that make the system easier to use and more accessible, and plans to add […]

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April 24, 2019

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 4/23/19

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Potential for Experiential Education in Distance Learning Contexts The literal distance inherent in online education can be an important difference between it and traditional classroom settings, such that proximate, on-site learning is thought to be where experiential, transformative education happens (Cohen, 2013). Yet it is possible that some of the most compelling, effective aspects of […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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From studio practice to online design education: Can we teach design online?Digital technology is reshaping the way higher education subjects are taught, including design. Various design disciplines use studio teaching as a pedagogy to educate students for professions in art and design. Studio teaching bases a high premium on face-to-face interactions which guide learning through dialogue and feedback on individual work. Many design educators believe it […]

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Building Teaching–Learning Capacities of Online Nurse Educators: Using TPACK to Frame Pedagogical Processes and Identify Required SupportsQuality teaching includes reflective practice, dialogue, and curiosity and depends on personal, institutional, and community assets and constraints, as well as on the individual’s definitions of the roles of education in society. Based on an environmental scan and action research with instructors in an online distance Bachelor of Science, Nursing program for registered nurses, participants […]

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What if online students take on the responsibility: Students’ cognitive presence and peer facilitation techniquesThe purpose of this study was to investigate: (a) the characteristics of online students’ cognitive presence in a peer-facilitated discussion environment, and (b) the peer facilitation techniques that enhance cognitive presence development. In this study, we examined 738 discussion messages. Analytic methods included both qualitative and quantitative content analysis. The findings revealed that although cognitive […]

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Re-examining the Construct Validity and Causal Relationships of Teaching, Cognitive and Social Presence in Community of Inquiry FrameworkDespite the prevalence of research on the community of inquiry framework and its associated measurement instrument, more research is needed to re-evaluate the factor structure, study the effects of covariates or measurement invariance, and explore the relationships amongst the three presences. Results of this study indicated that (a) teaching, social, and cognitive presence are each […]

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A MOOC Taxonomy Based on Classification Schemes of MOOCsIn recent years there has been a significant growth in the number of online courses known as MOOCs available via online providers such as edX and Coursera. The result has been a marked reduction in the clarity around the different course offerings and this has created a need to reconsider the classification schemes for MOOCs […]

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Online Education for Public Health Capacity Building in Low- to Middle-Income CountriesPeople’s Open Access Education Initiative (Peoples-uni, http://peoples-uni.org) aims to contribute to improvements in the health of populations in low- to middle-income countries by building public health capacity via e-learning at affordable cost. We describe experience over nine years of the initiative, including the development and delivery of a Master of Public Health (MPH) programme in […]

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IN THE NEWS
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California’s showdown with Elsevier inspires US campusesThe University of California’s hard-line bid to push publishing giant Elsevier towards open-access models is attracting widespread interest at other US universities where librarians are considering following suit. Times Higher Education

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Online Tuition Too High? Cut It in HalfBuoyed by growing enrollment, Champlain College slashed prices for its online undergraduate programs. Administrators are pleased with the results — which could point to a viable pricing model. Inside Higher Ed

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Google Experimenting With New Cloud Storage, Artificial Intelligence Initiative for K-12One of the more intriguing new developments teased at the annual conference of the Consortium for School Networking, being held here this week: Google is starting to provide cloud storage for K-12 districts, helping them warehouse the massive amounts of data they collect on their students, then offering artificial intelligence-as-a-service to help districts analyze the […]

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Does Online Learning Work In Any Field? Researchers Tested Outcomes In An Online Public Speaking CourseTen years ago, many educators believed online courses would be as effective as face-to-face (FTF) courses. Those attitudes have melted and few people still believe that online learning is less effective than learning in a traditional classroom. But pockets of skepticism remain—especially in certain areas of study. One of these is public speaking. Many universities […]

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This technology can help higher ed address students’ mental healthIn 2018, the American Psychological Association found that more than one-third of first-year university students in eight countries reported symptoms consistent with a diagnosable mental health disorder. eCampus News was curious about how universities are addressing students’ mental health, so we spoke with Nancy Zlatkin, Psy.D., a psychologist at Florida International University (FIU). FIU has been […]

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How Low-Cost IoT Solutions Can Improve the Student ExperienceModest investments in the Internet of Things can have a significant impact on students’ journey through college. Here’s how one institution implemented IoT tech to provide extra student supports in key areas. Campus Technology

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April 16, 2019

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 4/15/19

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The IT Workforce in Higher Education, 2019 This research focuses on the evolving IT workforce in higher education and builds on previous ECAR reports to provide a longitudinal perspective on important trends. Through survey responses from more than 1,500 IT professionals in higher education, this study highlights a number of important findings (several shown below) […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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On Paper Or On Screen? A Study On The Perceptions Of Digital Tests In Higher Education

This paper explores the potentialities and limitations of Computer-Based Testing (CBT) compared to traditional Paper-Based Testing (PBT). The aim is to verify whether, and to what extent, an electronic mode of assessment can become a suitable alternative to PBT, allowing the evaluation process to be managed more efficiently, especially within large higher education classes. The […]

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The Effective Interaction Between Assessment and Technologies: Findings From A Systematic Review

Assessment is a widely discussed topic in educational research, due to its key role in learning processes. An emerging theme in the current debate is the need to adopt approaches more consistent with the pedagogical, cultural and technological developments concerning and determining teaching and learning activities. In this context, the interest in the relationship between […]

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Pedagogy of Productive Failure: Navigating the Challenges of Integrating VR into the Classroom

The surge of popular interest in virtual reality (VR), largely driven by recent advances making the hardware and software for VR development and use accessible to average consumers, is showing all the signs of a durable trend. One of those signs is active uptake in the academy, both for research (where it was pioneered) and […]

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Virtual Reality in Education: Focus on the Role of Emotions and Physiological Reactivity

Cognitive and emotional dimensions are often linked to each other in learning experiences. Moreover, emotions and engagement can lead to better outcomes at the cognitive level. Previous research has indicated that virtual reality (VR) provides a feeling of presence and immersion, which can trigger emotionally engaging learning situations. In this study, we explore the opportunities […]

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Mobile learning in pre-service teacher education: Examining the use of professional learning networks

Interest in how to use mobile devices to support teaching and learning has increased as technologies have become more sophisticated and ubiquitous. A recent focus in teacher education is the use of mobile devices to support teachers’ professional learning networks (PLNs). This study investigates how pre-service teachers (PSTs) use mobile technologies to support different aspects […]

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Understanding Participant’s Behaviour in Massively Open Online Courses

As the offer of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) continues to grow around the world, a great deal of MOOC research has focused on their low success rates and used indicators that might be more appropriate for traditional degree-seeking students than for MOOC learners, who, because of the openness of MOOCs, represent a more diverse […]

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IN THE NEWS
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Reaching Learners Around the World: Meet Eduardo

Welcome back to edX Insider—the series where we learn about edXers across different teams. This week, we sit down with Eduardo, Spanish Marketing Manager. Quick stats: Name: Eduardo Zambrano Role: Spanish Marketing Manager Nickname: Chucho Hometown: Popayán, Colombia What do you think makes edX different? The passion we have for what we do. At edX, […]

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UNC business school expands technology-based skills programs

To keep pace with changing needs in education and the workforce, the University of North Carolina’s business school announced Monday it will develop skills-based programs in partnership with educational technology company 2U Inc. The announcement comes as 2U acquires Trilogy Education, a skills-based training provider. edscoop

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Learning Science for All

spent millions of dollars developing tools to help instructors improve their teaching. Now other institutions are invited to use them, too. Inside Higher Ed

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Moving Forward (at Last) on Federal Rule Changes

Negotiators reached consensus on issues such as “regular and substantive” interaction and state authorization. Experts on online learning say the new rules will provide needed clarifications, but advocates for students worry about potential abuses. Inside Higher Ed

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ASU, The Rise Fund Partner on Learning Service for Employers

Arizona State University is joining forces with The Rise Fund to launch InStride, a new partnership program with employers to provide opportunities for employees to obtain a university education. Campus Technology

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3 Keys to Engaging Faculty in Instructional Design

Most instructional designers will tell you their work begins with getting a foot in the door with faculty and building rapport from there. Here are three ways to make that relationship a success. Campus Technology

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