Virtual School Meanderings

July 16, 2019

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 7/15/19

Another newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JULY 15, 2019
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Report

The Condition of Education 2018 The Condition of Education 2018, is a congressionally mandated annual report summarizing the latest data on education in the United States. This report is designed to help policymakers and the public monitor educational progress. This year’s report includes 47 indicators on topics ranging from prekindergarten through postsecondary education, as well as […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Embedding and Sustaining Inclusive Practice to Support Disabled Students in Online and Blended Learning

UK higher education data has shown persistent differences in degree outcomes for specific student groups. Consequently, the Office for Students (the UK government’s higher education regulator) are funding 17 projects to address these inequalities. Building on its expertise, our institution is leading the IncSTEM project alongside colleagues from two other universities, to evaluate, scale up […]

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Embracing Dropouts in MOOCs: Exploring Potentials of Invisible Learners

The objective of the paper is to examine how and what the non-completing participants of MOOCs learn. In this paper we term them invisible learners. The paper presents a qualitative study of learning activities and outcomes of invisible learners. The study consists of 11 interviews with MOOC participants and a survey answered by 51 participants. […]

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Mobile Technology: A Tool to Increase Global Competency Among Higher Education Students

The advancement of mobile communication technology has contributed to an increasingly interconnected world; however, these devices are not being used as effectively as they could be to improve global challenges. One challenging issue is the lack of preparation college graduates receive to positively contribute to the needs of an interdependent global society. Organizations such as […]

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Distance Learners’ Use of Handheld Technologies

This study investigates how and where distance learners use handheld devices and the impact this has on learning habits, access to learning content and quality of work. It analyses the spatial dimension of anytime-anywhere learning and, with a focus on anywhere learning, it explores students’ ongoing negotiation of the flow between and across study locations. […]

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Using learning diaries to evaluate and improve online information literacy and academic skills provision

The purpose of this paper is to describe a new method for the evaluation of online provision of information literacy and academic skills (ILAS), and advocate for its addition as a tool for the ILAS practitioner. The method is discussed in the context of evaluating its effectiveness for a project to investigate the value of […]

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What academics really think about information literacy

This research project arose from a need to ensure librarians and academics work together to support student information literacy (IL) development, aligned to the Anglia Ruskin University learning and teaching strategy, and specifically to improve librarians’ understanding of how academic staff view IL and consider their perceptions and expectations within different disciplines. A literature review […]

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IN THE NEWS
The status quo bias and the uptake of open access

In this paper we argue that the framing of open access through language adopted by a variety of stakeholders serves to inhibit the uptake of open access publishing through the mechanisms of complexity and cognitive load. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, we analyze both the language and tiers of decisions that confront authors seeking […]

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NSF Funds Bridges-2 Supercomputer at PSC

A $10-million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) is funding a new supercomputer at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), a joint research center of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. In partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), PSC will deploy Bridges-2, a system designed to provide researchers in Pennsylvania and the nation […]

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Video Use in Education Evolving Beyond the Classroom

The application of video in education is evolving. Even as the practices of showing video in the classroom or making it available as supplementary course material have declined as use cases slightly from this year to last year (from 85 percent to 82 percent from 2019 to 2018 and 80 percent to 77 percent, respectively), […]

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Blackboard Ally is Now Available for D2L’s Brightspace

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Blackboard Inc. announced that its accessibility solution Blackboard Ally—a tool that helps institutions make digital course content more accessible and integrates seamlessly into Learning Management System (LMS) solutions—is now fully integrated with all leading LMSs, including D2L’s Brightspace. This most recent integration underscores Blackboard’s commitment to ensuring all learners […]

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Bridging Old and New

As plans for California’s new online community college progress, existing two-year colleges in the state get a one-time funding boost for online programs with a vocational focus. How will the two initiatives intersect? Inside Higher Ed

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University of California defiant as Elsevier cuts journal access

Academic publisher Elsevier has cut the University of California’s access to its library of 2,500 scientific journals, six months after the UC system refused to sign a renewal, in what many see as a key battle in the open-access movement. Times Higher Education

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July 2, 2019

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 7/1/19

Another newsletter from yesterday.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JULY 1, 2019
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Article

How research informs educational technology decision-making in higher education: the role of external research versus internal research Research use in educational decision-making has been encouraged and well documented at the K-12 education level in the United States but not in higher education, or more specifically for educational technology. We conducted a qualitative study to investigate […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
A Large Scale Project to Develop Personalized Learning Pathways at a University

Traditionally, online learning has been limited to written lectures, readings, discussions, and assignments with an occasional video presentation or simulation included due to the limitations of technology (Kirkwood & Price, 2013). While this form of learning has served the online environment well, the process does not address individual student learning needs. Literature has long suggested […]

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Obtaining an Exemplary Online Program Endorsement: A Case Study

Because funding for many higher education institutions is based on student persistence and graduation rates, and because competition for online student enrollments is fierce among public and private institutions, quality and competitiveness in online course development, instruction, and administration is imperative. Additionally, because distance education processes and policies are reviewed by accrediting agencies, actions taken […]

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Open Web annotation as collaborative learning

This paper describes the use of open Web annotation (OWA) for collaborative learning among online communities. OWA is defined by the open standards, principles, and practices associated with the open Web. Specifically, this case study examines collaborative learning mediated by the OWA technology Hypothesis, a standards-compliant and open-source technology that situates collaboration in texts-as-contexts. Hypothesis […]

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Learning management system acceptance scale (LMSAS): A validity and reliability study

This study aims to develop a measurement tool that will allow a valid and reliable measurement of students’ acceptance levels within the framework of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model concerning LMS. The study was conducted in the 2016-2017 academic year with three groups of participants consisting of 515 medical […]

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Investigating the implementation of accredited massive online open courses (MOOCs) in higher education: The boon and the bane

This study investigated a 3-year implementation of accredited massive online open courses (MOOCs) in a conventional university in China. Fifteen students and two staff were interviewed, and relevant policy documents were examined. Thematic analysis was utilised to analyse the data. The study found that students mostly took a wary stance towards accredited MOOCs, while the […]

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Structural changes in the landscape of Spanish distance universities

The main national distance learning universities were launched before the emergence of the Internet. In order to adapt to digital connectivity, these universities had to modify their organizational and methodological procedures. But in recent years important changes have emerged in the field of educational technology, and this has significantly altered the higher education sector. This […]

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IN THE NEWS
Open Textbook Library: University of Minnesota

Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost. All textbooks are either used at […]

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Augmented-Reality App Highlights Pittsburgh History at Carnegie Library

The Carnegie Library’s newest tour guide fits into the palm of your hand. Carnegie’s Monocle, an app created by Carnegie Mellon University students, leads library visitors through an augmented reality-driven scavenger hunt that highlights sights and sounds from Pittsburgh’s history. It also helps guests explore less-traveled areas of the library and hear pieces from its […]

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FTC’s ‘Safeguards Rule’ cybersecurity proposal may burden higher ed

The Federal Trade Commission extended the deadline on comments for a notice of proposed rulemaking earlier this month that will leave higher education stakeholders until Aug. 2 to weigh in on new proposed cybersecurity requirements for their institutions. edscoop

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7 Lessons in Leading VR Research on Campus

As immersive technologies come down in price and get easier to create content for, it may be time for your university or college to set up a program to help faculty experience virtual reality and augmented reality. A pro offers seven “VITaL” lessons. Campus Technology

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The future of immersive learning

Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), multimedia and other technologies are transforming educational models, especially in engineering and creative disciplines such as architecture, visual effects and graphic design. This white paper highlights how university students, administrators, faculty and IT staff can use powerful workstation technologies to support progressive, deeper learning approaches that can facilitate greater […]

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Online and Out of State

Ohio’s Eastern Gateway Community College draws scrutiny from lawmakers for working with an OPM to rapidly grow online enrollment of out-of-state students. Inside Higher Ed

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June 26, 2019

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 6/24/19

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Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 24, 2019
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download White Paper

Exploring the Digital Landscape in Higher Education This white paper includes: In depth analysis and visualization of the responses received from higher education faculty relating to the use of technology in higher education. Anecdotal evidence and commentary provided by higher education professionals interviewed after taking the survey. Ideas for making the most of the technology […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Utilizing the AECT Instructional Design Standards for Distance Learning

Amid the continued growth of online learning—and concerns about its quality—a number of different groups have moved to establish tools, such as rubrics and standards for online course quality. This paper highlights the development of the Instructional Design Standards for Distance Learning by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. AECT is the leading international […]

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Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR): Displaying Student Success and Work-Readiness

University of Central Oklahoma’s Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR) leverages the LMS to assess coursework and co-curricular, informal learning experiences beyond an A-F grade. Students build their STLR Snapshot to show growth in five core employability soft-skill areas and display them in a streamlined way to back up their resume. Online Journal of Distance Learning […]

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Exploring the relationship between college students’ writing anxiety and the pedagogical use of online resources

This study reports on how the use of online resources based on systemic functional linguistics (SFL) impacted college students’ emotional alignment with writing practices. Through qualitative analyses of in-class discussions, students’ interviews and reflections, as well as their written pieces gathered in a Chinese university, the case study shows that the students were able to […]

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Case study of creativity in asynchronous online discussions

It is vital for online educators to know whether the strategies they use help students gain twenty-first-century skills like creativity. Unfortunately, very little research exists on this topic. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine whether participation in online courses can help students develop creativity using asynchronous online discussions, textbooks, and teacher developed […]

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Diversity of Online Behaviours Associated with Physical Attendance in Lectures

A common use of technology in higher education is the provision of online course materials, invoking an investigation of the ways in which students engage with online course content, and how their participation changes over time. This is particularly necessary in the context of high absenteeism from lectures, where online access may be the only […]

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Predictive Learning Analytics ‘At Scale’: Guidelines to Successful Implementation in Higher Education

Predictive Learning Analytics (PLA) aim to improve learning by identifying students at risk of failing their studies. Yet, little is known about how best to integrate and scaffold PLA initiatives into higher education institutions. Towards this end, it becomes essential to capture and analyze the perceptions of relevant educational stakeholders (i.e., managers, teachers, students) about […]

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IN THE NEWS
21st-Century Analytics: New Technologies and New Rules

Today’s designers of data analytics systems are using thirty-year-old mental models around scarcity of compute and are thus crippling their designs, not fully realizing how radically different 21st-century analytics has become. EDUCAUSE Review

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Survey: Male Professors Lag Behind Women in Adopting Technology to Engage Students

New data shows that while male university professors believe they are ahead of the curve when it comes to technology adoption in the classroom, they actually lag behind their female counterparts. And less than one-third of all professors say they are prepared to equip Generation Z students for the modern-day workplace. A survey of 500 […]

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Blackboard Expands SaaS Footprint Across North America

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Blackboard Inc. today announced that it is continuing to expand its Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment of Blackboard Learn—its flagship Learning Management System (LMS)—across the globe, with the solution now available in Canada. The deployment of SaaS in Canada follows closely on the heels of its deployment in China […]

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Building Relationships with Students via Blockchain

When Salesforce introduced its upcoming Blockchain platform, Arizona State University shared the stage too, as an early adopter and partner in an effort to apply blockchain technology to student academic records. ASU’s EdPlus CTO Donna Kidwell shares basics of the plan. Campus Technology

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As email fades in popularity, Arizona State turns to its mobile app

OSU officials say the data of 636 students, prospective students and family members was exposed to hackers engineering a phishing attack. edscoop

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How the university library can help students save money

The university library is a central hub connecting nearly every facet of a campus, and it is supported by students’ tuition. In the library, we asked ourselves what we could do to defray costs for students while also removing financial barriers to reading and learning. The answer lay right at our fingertips, with the millions […]

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June 18, 2019

Distance-Educator Free e-Newsletter 6/17/19

Another newsletter from yesterday.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 17, 2019
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Report

Mobile Technology and Home Broadband 2019 37% of Americans now go online mostly using a smartphone, and these devices are increasingly cited as a reason for not having a high-speed internet connection at home Pew Research Center

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Wide Open Voices: Experiences of OER Course Developers

As the affordability of higher education dominates the spotlight, open educational resources (OER), low cost, and free-to-student materials are widely offered as a solution. This paper outlines the experiences of course developers who contributed to a large-scale OER initiative, including training, knowledge, effort, and satisfaction of course development support services. Online Journal of Distance Learning […]

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Full-Time from Afar

With the dramatic increase in the demand for distance learning opportunities in higher education, staffing demands have created a new opportunity for faculty members to teach full-time from remote locations. Previously, a significant portion of online instruction was taught by full-time faculty as part of their regular teaching load or as an economic opportunity for […]

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Future Online Faculty Competencies: Student Perspectives

The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to acquire a better understanding of the dominant student perceptions of the competencies and abilities that online faculty might need ten years in the future. Ten years was an arbitrary time line and this study is a part of a series of studies focused on competencies for […]

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Quality Frameworks and Learning Design for Open Education

This article discusses the need to innovate education due to global changes to keep its status as a human right and public good and introduces Open Education as a theory to fulfil these requirements. A systematic literature review confirms the hypothesis that a holistic quality framework for Open Education does not exist. For its development, […]

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Effectiveness of OER Use in First-Year Higher Education Students’ Mathematical Course Performance

This article examines the effect of two Open Educational Resources (OER) – Khan Academy Collection and a teacher-authored open textbook – on mathematical course performance and attendance amongst first-year higher education Chilean students. It also aims to find out about teachers’ and students’ views on the use of OER in order to understand how these […]

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Open Video Repositories for College Instruction: A Guide to the Social Sciences

Key features of open video repositories are outlined, followed by brief description of specific sites relevant to the social sciences. Although most were created by instructors over the past 10 years to facilitate teaching and learning, significant variations in kind, quality, and number per discipline were discovered. Economics and Psychology have the most extensive sets […]

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IN THE NEWS
Catholic Universities Collaborate on Online Program

Notre Dame de Namur University has taken several stabs at expanding the reach of its online master’s program in public administration. It worked with Deltak (an online program management provider now part of Wiley Education Services) to create the online version of its in-person program in 2012, and then brought management of the program in-house […]

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Developing Better Interventions for At-Risk Students

In 2015, the federal government awarded $60 million to 18 colleges and universities, chosen from a pool of hundreds, to develop innovative approaches for supporting at-risk students. John Carroll University, a four-year liberal arts institution in Ohio with around 3,000 students, was among those chosen, receiving a $1.3 million “First in the World” grant from […]

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Meeting Faculty Where They Are

Faculty won’t necessarily use multifactor authentication—or adopt any security practice—just because we, as information security practitioners, say so. Even as we “communicate, communicate, communicate,” our security message might be broadcasting on the wrong frequency. We need to meet faculty where they are. EDUCAUSE Review

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The Top Five Competencies for Faculty Innovation, Plus Five More

What are the core competencies that faculty innovators need in order to be successful in making sustained changes in and beyond their classrooms? While sitting under the starry Arizona desert sky near Bioshphere 2 during an NSF-sponsored workshop focused on the intersections of STEM education; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and innovations in learning, we decided […]

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The End of the Line for iTunes U?

Apple’s app for sharing university lectures was an important precursor to the MOOC movement, but the future of iTunes U doesn’t look bright. Inside Higher Ed

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Cal Poly Launches Satellite Data Initiative

Researchers from the California Polyethnic State University are collaborating with Amazon Web Services for the Satellite Data Solutions (SDS) Initiative, a new effort that will harness data from Low Earth Orbit satellites through the use of AWS Ground Station to solve challenges. AWS Ground Station is a recently announced service that aims to make it […]

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June 11, 2019

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 6/10/19

Another newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 10, 2019
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Report

Online College Student 2019 The online student population is rapidly growing in size and complexity. While a growing number of prospective students creates enrollment opportunities, a school’s success can also depend on tailoring their programs and services to the motivations and needs of today’s online learners. To access insights that illuminate how to engage this […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Promoting a Sense of Belonging in Online Learning Communities of Inquiry

A sense of belonging (SoB) is a valued concept in campus-based learning, being firmly linked with improved student attainment, increased learners’ satisfaction and reduced attrition rates. Some researchers even assert that learners are unable to fulfil the goals of higher education without acquiring a SoB. This article recognises that SoB can help promote and consolidate […]

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The Effectiveness of Professional Development in Overcoming Obstacles to Effective Online Instruction in a College of Education

The growth of online learning has placed a strain on K-12 schools and universities to provide students with qualified instructors. It is especially important that colleges of education provide their pre- and in-service teachers with skilled online instructors so they can experience quality online instruction first-hand as students. This case study examined the effectiveness of […]

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>From Finding a Niche to Circumventing Institutional Constraints

Academics are increasingly encouraged to use social media in their professional lives. Social networking sites are one type of tool within this; the ability to connect with others through this medium may offer benefits in terms of reaching novel audiences, enhancing research impact, discovering collaborators, and drawing on a wider network of expertise and knowledge. […]

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Exploring Demographics and Students’ Motivation as Predictors of Completion of a Massive Open Online Course

This paper investigates the degree to which different variables affect the completion of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Data on those variables, such as age, gender, English proficiency, education level, and motivation for course enrollment were first collected through a pre-course survey. Next, course completion records were collected via the Coursera database. Finally, multiple […]

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Text-Based Intelligent Learning Emotion System

Nowadays, millions of users use many social media systems every day. These services produce massive messages, which play a vital role in the social networking paradigm. As we see, an intelligent learning emotion system is desperately needed for detecting emotion among these messages. This system could be suitable in understanding users’ feelings towards particular discussion. […]

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Tracking Students’ Mental Engagement Using EEG Signals during an Interaction with a Virtual Learning Environment

Monitoring students’ level of engagement during learning activities is an important challenge in the development of tutoring interventions. In this paper, we explore the feasibility of using electroencephalographic signals (EEG) as a tool to monitor the mental engagement index of novice medicine students during a reasoning process. More precisely, the objectives were first, to track […]

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IN THE NEWS
Moving From 5% to 85% Completion Rates for Online Courses

MOOCs, shorthand for massive open online courses, have been widely critiqued for their miniscule completion rates. Industry reports and instructional designers alike typically report that only between 5 to 15 percent of students who start free open online courses end up earning a certificate. EdSurge

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How micro-credentials can encourage professional development among teachers

All educators are lifelong learners, whether they’re figuring out how to incorporate the latest edtech device into their lessons or researching bios on NBA players to help a reluctant reader. But while schools expect teachers to continue their educations, most only get rewarded for getting an advanced degree like a master’s or a Ph.D. But […]

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Digital credentials need more transparency

Through a partnership, education leaders could reach a more agreed-upon shared vision of digital credentials A partnership between two groups aims to advance new interoperability and transparency standards for digital credentials and institutional data systems. eCampus News

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MOOC-Based Alternative Credentials: What’s the Value for the Learner?

With learners today earning more substantive credentials and, in some cases, academic credits through MOOCs, the authors designed a study to investigate the benefits and costs to learners who are engaging in a series of open, online courses that provide a culminating nondegree credential. EDUCAUSE Review

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What’s the Price of an Online Education?

How much students should pay for online programs varies widely from institution to institution. We’re not breaking any revelatory news in saying that college and university pricing is … less than straightforward. But it can be instructive to examine how institutions make decisions about pricing. As the online market grows more crowded seemingly by the week, […]

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Going Beyond the Digital Diploma

Managing digital transcripts is the top use case for blockchain in the higher education space, but more colleges and universities are starting to explore the technology’s potential in new ways. Campus Technology

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