Virtual School Meanderings

January 8, 2019

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

Another newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

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Using Technology to Promote Postsecondary Success and Savings In 2013, the University of Texas at Tyler (UTT) began the implementation of the PATSS (Patriots Accessing Technology for Savings and Success) program, an initiative that seeks to increase the use of online technologies for instruction. A portion of a course’s classes — a third, half, or […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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Do Alumni of Online Programs Give More Than Alumni of On-campus Programs?

This multi-institutional study examined the giving patterns of alumni of online degree programs as compared to alumni of campus-based degree programs. Similarities and differences were statistically examined relative to the act of giving as well as the amount given to the respective institution by alumni within three years of the most recent degree conferred. Five […]

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Public Administration Field Placements for Online Universities

This paper is a proposal that online universities should establish partnerships with city governments to create field placement opportunities for graduate students of public administration. The research was accomplished by reviewing current articles on field placements for traditional universities and by disseminating a 9-question survey to 100 cities across the United States. The findings from […]

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Using connectivism theory and technology for knowledge creation in cross-cultural communication

This study examined the significance of connectivism theory and technology for knowledge creation in cross-cultural communication. The findings rely on the exercise designed and conducted by the facilitators of two different institutions/universities based in two different countries. This exercise was conducted for two intercultural management classes in New Delhi, India and Graz, Austria. This article […]

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Deviating From the Traditional Instructional Tools: Integrating Twitter in a Sociology of Deviance Course

As the use of social media in post-secondary education expands, so does the research literature examining its effectiveness in engaging students. Studies have examined the use of Twitter as an assessment and engagement tool, and since this is a broad and growing research area, better understanding whether Twitter can promote these outcomes in an upper-level […]

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Moving Towards Sustainable Policy and Practice – A Five Level Framework for Online Learning Sustainability

This paper addresses the issue of sustainability in online learning in higher education. It introduces and discusses a five-level framework for helping higher education institutions to make the transition from enterprise to sustainable policy and practice in online learning. In particular, it responds to evidence in the literature regarding the lack of sustainability in online […]

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Research on the construction of seamless learning platform based on open education

The implementation of the national education and lifelong education should break through the traditional learning mode in the digital era. A seamless learning environment is the intelligent form of deep integration of digital learning environment and physical learning environment. The development and construction of seamless learning space and platform is a new trend of international […]

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IN THE NEWS
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Key topics related to the use of new technologies in education

Oh, you work at the World Bank, someone recently remarked to me. It must be great to have access to so much information and data about so many things. Yes, that’s certainly a perk of the job, I responded, although it can be overwhelming at times. What’s more interesting, and exciting, at least to me […]

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Cloud-based SaaS solution weConnect enables collaborative learning at the University of Northampton

The University of Northampton, one of the oldest universities in the UK, is leading the way in adding value to society. Staff is dedicated to share knowledge, support creativity and help students to make changes that will transform their lives. It recently invested in Waterside, a brand new campus, fully designed to adapt to 21st […]

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Villanova U. students are building a virtual tour of the Vatican

Students and faculty from a private Catholic university in Pennsylvania have been recreating some of the most historic Vatican and Roman sites using virtual reality technology, and have now begun planning their latest project — a virtual tour of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo. edscoop

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It’s a website … it’s a portfolio… Whatever it is, it’s much better than a resume

Have students create their own website to demonstrate mastery of your course content. In my classes, I have my students create their own website. I do this in all of my classes and I don’t teach any classes on web design or graphic design. This assignment is popular with my students and extremely useful for […]

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Putting Advanced Computing Power Within Reach

Indiana University’s Pervasive Technology Institute is leading an NSF grant (currently valued at more than $13 million) to create, implement and operate Jetstream, a user-friendly cloud environment designed to give more researchers and students at higher education institutions access to high-end computing resources on demand, from their tablets, laptops or desktop computers. Campus Technology

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A Whole New World (of Learning) : The end of the LMS as we know it is coming

When I began my career as an analyst, I started out studying the LMS market. At that time (early 2000s), learning management systems were an innovative new business application that helped companies build and manage e-learning and track and organize all forms of training. These systems were actually the first practical employee-centric portals. Fast forward […]

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December 26, 2018

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 12/24/18

A newsletter from earlier in the week.

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Trends in Higher Education Reports Find Published Tuition and Fees in Grant Aid for Students Continue to Grow at Moderate Rates NEW YORK — The College Board’s 2018 Trends in Higher Education reports released today—Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing—show a continuation of moderate growth in college prices and grant aid and […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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The Effect of Online Teaching on Faculty After Returning to the Traditional ClassroomThis phenomenological research was designed to learn and understand the transitioning experience of higher education faculty moving from online instruction to traditional face-to-face instruction. One of the most significant phenomenon occurring in higher education today is distance education. Technology and distance education are on the rise in community colleges, 4-year institutions, Ivy League colleges, research […]

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Efficient Strategies for Integrating Universal Design for Learning in the Online ClassroomMany learners who have not chosen to identify as having physical, sensory, and learning disabilities still may struggle to learn in the online learning environment due to diverse abilities and backgrounds, differing cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and other factors that affect perception, learning ability, and engagement. Given the apparent difficulty of a subset of learners […]

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Taming the Beast: Principles to Efficiently Curate and Customize Online Learning ResourcesWe are incredibly fortunate to live in a time of accessible information and rampant knowledge transfer. However, a double-edged sword exists with the extensive scope and breadth of content that is available and which requires keen skills to cull the valid from invalid. Consequently, it is our obligation and responsibility to hone and refine our […]

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What Do College Faculty and Businesses Think About Online Education?From 1994 to 1998, the number of distance education degree programs in United States colleges increased by seventy-two percent. Distance education enrollment growth rates averaged seven percent per year and estimates suggested that U.S. companies spent as much as 18 billion dollars on IT-based delivery for online education in 2005. Fast forward to 2009-2010, the […]

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Barriers, incentives, and benefits of the open educational resources (OER) movement: An exploration into instructor perspectivesOpen educational resource (OER) barriers, incentives, and benefits are at the forefront of educator and institution interests as global use of OER evolves. Research into OER use, perceptions, costs, and outcomes is becoming more prevalent; however, it is still in its infancy. Understanding barriers to full adoption, administration, and acceptance of OER is paramount to […]

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Spaces of inclusion and belonging: The learning imaginaries of doctoral students in a multi-campus and distance universityDoctoral studies are often described as solitary and challenging endeavors, dependent on candidates’ highly developed skills, self-driven nature, and commitment to engage in years of research activity. A range of university initiatives are specially crafted to support higher research degree students, for example, through digital and physical resources, workshops, group gatherings, and others. Our project […]

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IN THE NEWS
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Happy HolidaysWith best wishes for Happy Holidays for our subscribers, we thank you for your loyalty and support over the past 23 years. We are looking forward to providing you the latest news and research developments in the field in 2019. This, however, will be our last issue of the Distance-Educator.com eNewsletter for 2018. We will […]

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Georgia Tech’s online cybersecurity master’s program gets $500K investmentAhead of its launch in January, the online cybersecurity master’s program at the Georgia Institute of Technology has received a $500,000 investment from Accenture Security, now the program’s first corporate sponsor. edscoop

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EdX eyes bigger role in disrupting campus educationThe global online learning platform edX, set up by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, is preparing a further disruption of traditional higher education models, with new micro-degrees and ‘stacked’ degrees made up of credits from a range of institutions, according to Anant Agarwal, founder and CEO of edX. University World News

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It’s a Small, Small (Digital) WorldMOSCOW — The conference was a lot like any other about the role of technology in learning today. Hot topics included questions about which students are well suited for online learning and whether they’re the ones policy makers are nudging into online programs, plentiful rhetoric about “big data” and alternative credentials, and much hand-wringing about […]

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EdX’s Struggle for SustainabilityOnline education provider unveiled plan to monetize its MOOCs, but observers say real opportunity for edX to grow lies in online program management business. Inside Higher Ed

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A Tour of The Top 10 Algorithms for Machine Learning NewbiesIn machine learning, there’s something called the “No Free Lunch” theorem. In a nutshell, it states that no one algorithm works best for every problem, and it’s especially relevant for supervised learning (i.e. predictive modeling). For example, you can’t say that neural networks are always better than decision trees or vice-versa. There are many factors […]

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December 19, 2018

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 12/18/18

A newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

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Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans Experts say the rise of artificial intelligence will make most people better off over the next decade, but many have concerns about how advances in AI will affect what it means to be human, to be productive and to exercise free will Pew Research Center: International’s & Technology

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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Administrative Considerations Impacting the Quality of Online Teaching

While content and pedagogical knowledge are the foundation of quality instruction, there are a number of administrative, policy, and operational factors that influence instructional behaviors. Understanding the influence (positive or negative) of operational functions on teaching and learning can help inform policies, procedures, and support to maximize the teaching and learning dynamic in the online […]

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Instructional Design: Study of a Widening Scope of Practice

Instructional design continues to evolve and demonstrates positive growth. Understanding of the field remains limited by relative novelty, simplistic definitions, and linear depictions. This study investigates the current state of practice to reveal a wide scope, a diverse range of functions and specializations present in instructional design. The chiefly quantitative study included more than 250 […]

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Cheating and Plagiarism in E-Assessment: Students’ Perspectives

The aim of this study was to identify students’ perceptions on cheating and plagiarism and trust in e-assessment according to their assessment experience and mode of learning as well as exploring their concerns in e-assessment. Participants were 952 students from two public universities in Turkey and Bulgaria. The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey. […]

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Synchronous and Asynchronous Discussions: Effects on Cooperation, Belonging, and Affect

Supporting productive peer-to-peer interaction is a central challenge in online courses. Although cooperative learning research provides robust evidence for the positive outcomes of face-to-face cooperative learning (Johnson & Johnson, 1989), online modes of cooperative learning have provided mixed results. This study examines the effects of synchronous versus asynchronous interaction on students’ sense of cooperation, belonging, […]

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Debating the use of social media in higher education in Australasia: Where are we now?

The integration of social media into higher education is having a significant impact on learning and teaching. As they become enmeshed in the fabric of academia, they are also becoming a site of contestation, especially in relation to teaching and learning. This research paper explores the key issues dominating current debates about the use of […]

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Helping doctoral students crack the publication code: An evaluation and content analysis of the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology

Getting published in an academic journal is no easy feat, especially for doctoral students and English as a second language speakers, seeking to publish in English. Considering the relatively low acceptance rate for educational technology journals, this article seeks to provide guidance by following the framework of rigour, impact, and prestige (West & Rich, 2012) […]

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IN THE NEWS
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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’S FY 2019 ANNUAL PLAN INCLUDES INCREASED SCRUTINY OF ONLINE LEARNING

Although the current administration in Washington continues to enthusiastically embrace online learning, in 2019, online learning may face heightened scrutiny. In late November, the U.S. Department of Education released its FY 2019 Annual Plan. Over the coming year, the Department of Education promises to take a closer look at the activities of online program management […]

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Why every college should create learner profiles

Collaborating with your Registrar’s office is the key to creating a student-centered pedagogy eCampus News

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50 Colleges Hit With ADA Lawsuits

Jason Camacho, a blind resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., is suing 50 colleges over the accessibility of their websites. The 50 lawsuits, filed in November, say the colleges are in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, as their websites are not accessible to people with disabilities. Camacho uses a screen reader and said he experienced […]

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Five Top Technology Trends in Special Education

A greater push is underway to better serve students with disabilities using new tools. But experts caution technology can diminish mental processing, which is the foundation for learning over time. Center for Digital Education

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Cengage Unlimited Subscriptions to be Available at Amazon Beginning January 1

Subscription service offers unlimited access to more than 22,000 eBooks, online homework access codes and study guides at an affordable price BOSTON—December 10, 2018—Cengage today announced that its new subscription service, Cengage Unlimited, will be available for purchase through Amazon beginning January 1, 2019. The agreement expands the company’s existing collaboration with Amazon for course […]

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Carnegie Mellon and Western Governors Building Career Coaching Agents

Two universities will be working together on a research project to help students explore jobs. The National Science Foundation awarded almost $700,000 over three years to Western Governors University (WGU) and Carnegie Mellon University to create “intelligent coaching agents” for non-traditional students pursuing work in STEM. Campus Technology

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December 12, 2018

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 12/10/18

A newsletter from Monday’s inbox.

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Promoting online training opportunities for the workforce in Europe This document is the interim report for the new European initiative on “Promoting Online Training Opportunities for the Workforce in Europe” (2017-2019) and has been prepared for the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) and the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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On-campus, distance or online? Influences on student decision-making about study modes at universityThis article examines the choices students make when deciding the mode of study they will enrol in for university. It expands on previous work in the field by surveying 744 Faculty of Arts students at an Australian university who had the choice of enrolling in one of three study modes: on-campus, distance or purely online. […]

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Burn Bright, Not Out: Tips for Managing Online TeachingManaging the online classroom presents new challenges for faculty members. New online faculty members can become confused with the process of teaching and creating content online due to a lack of support and ignorance of tools and strategies. Issues often arise in online teaching due to the ubiquity of the online classroom and finding appropriate […]

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Creating Boundaries Within the Ubiquitous Online ClassroomManaging one’s time and setting boundaries while teaching online are essential for continued job satisfaction and effective teaching. Online teaching offers attractive flexibility, but instructors report high teaching workloads, feeling isolated, high stress levels, and a poor work-life balance. By utilizing assumptions about online learners set out in andragogy theory, the practical application of the […]

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Sustainability of Open Education Through CollaborationThe definition of openness influenced the sustainability of business models of Open Education (OE). Yet, whether openness is defined as the free (re)usage of resources, or the free entry in courses, there always is a discussion on who pays for the resources used in these offerings. The free offering of courses or materials raises the […]

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Interactions in MOOCs: The Hidden Part of the IcebergInteractions that take place between MOOC users outside of discussion forums, and out of the reach of course designers, have received little attention from the scientific community despite their potential influence on learner retention. Based on an online survey, we found that MOOCs are often used as an activity among friends and family, and not […]

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The Rise and Fall (?) of Digital NativesBuilding on the earlier net generation and millennials concepts, Prensky popularised the notion of a generation of “digital native” students through his 2001 two-part series “Digital natives, digital immigrants”. Although his ideas about how students perceive and utilise technology resonated with many educators, they lacked supporting evidence. Subsequent investigations, which informed the so-called “digital natives […]

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IN THE NEWS
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Carnegie Mellon and Western Governors Building Career Coaching AgentsTwo universities will be working together on a research project to help students explore jobs. The National Science Foundation awarded almost $700,000 over three years to Western Governors University (WGU) and Carnegie Mellon University to create “intelligent coaching agents” for non-traditional students pursuing work in STEM. Campus Technology

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Online Learning: A 2-Voiced Case for AmbivalenceWading into the rip currents of online learning evangelism and countersurging cries of alarm about the corporatization of higher ed, Steve Mentz and Christopher Schaberg seek steady footing. Inside Higher Ed

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Spotlight on Innovation: Managing Online Growth at Texas TechA popular online human resources concentration marked an early indication of the potential popularity of distance learning at the institution. Inside Higher Ed

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Many Online Education Marketplaces Have Sputtered. Will Quizlet’s Pass the Test?Content may be king. But distribution determines the fate of kingdoms. For decades, print textbook publishers have owned K-12 distribution channels, usually through fleets of sales representatives that hone relationships with schools and districts. EdSurge

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Digital programme gives Syrian refugees access to HERefugees from the Syrian crisis and disadvantaged young people in Jordan and Lebanon are gaining access to short online courses and up to 24 months of blended learning study programmes through a partnership involving two universities in the region and King’s College London in the United Kingdom. University World News

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Virtual reality could serve as powerful environmental education tool, according to Stanford researchersUtter the words “ocean acidification” in mixed company, and you’ll probably get blank stares. Although climate change has grown steadily in the public consciousness, one of its most insidious impacts – a widespread die-off of marine ecosystems driven by carbon dioxide emissions – remains relatively unknown. Stanford University

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December 4, 2018

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 12/3/18

Another newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

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Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education This publication builds off of the early ideas introduced in the paper In Search of Efficacy: Defining the Elements of Quality in a Competency-Based Education System, developed for the 2017 National Summit on Competency-Based Education. After a series of revisions building on input from experts and practitioners in the field, […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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How MOOC-Takers Estimate Learning Success: Retrospective Reflection of Perceived BenefitsMassive open online courses (MOOCs) have attracted a great deal of interest in recent years as a new learning technology. Since MOOCs inception, only limited research has been carried out to address how learners perceive success in MOOCs after course completion. The aim of this study was to investigate the perceived benefits as the measurement […]

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MOOCs and OER in the Global South: Problems and PotentialThis paper examines the problems and potential of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Education Resources (OER) in the global South. Employing a systematic review of the research into the use of open online learning technologies in Southern contexts, we identify five interrelated themes emerging from the literature: 1) access to the Internet; 2) […]

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Learning in virtual reality: Effects on performance, emotion and engagementRecent advances in virtual reality (VR) technology allow for potential learning and education applications. For this study, 99 participants were assigned to one of three learning conditions: traditional (textbook style), VR and video (a passive control). The learning materials used the same text and 3D model for all conditions. Each participant was given a knowledge […]

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Making it real: The development of a web-based simulated learning resource for occupational therapy studentsEquipping students with graduate attributes that ensure they are ready to work in complex health environments is highly important. Recently there has been increased use of simulation in health education to assist in the acquisition of graduate attributes, and to provide meaningful and authentic learning opportunities. The Deakin University Occupational Therapy program developed a unique […]

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Australian university students’ access to web-based lecture recordings and the relationship with lecture attendance and academic performanceWeb-based lecture technology (WBLT) allows students access to recorded lectures delivered live to the classroom any time and to any device with internet. This technology has become standard across universities. This study of Australian undergraduate psychology students explored many important questions related to WBLT. About 75% of students surveyed utilised recorded lectures. Qualitative responses allowed […]

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The Values of Open PedagogyTo support open educational practices, we must understand the meaning of open pedagogy and articulate the values that shape it. EDUCAUSE Review

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The OER Knowledge CloudThe UNESCO/COL OER Knowledge Cloud will greatly enhance research opportunities and access to knowledge and research on Open Educational Resources and related information by removing barriers, opening up scholarship and making research universally accessible. The OER Knowledge Cloud has been established to identify, collect, preserve and disseminate available documents of enduring value to researchers, industry, […]

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Imagining an Apple Store for Online DegreesGeorgia Tech moves forward with plans to create storefronts for its online education programs, joining a growing number of institutions offering hybrid online learning experiences. Inside Higher Ed

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Student coaching pays off at Loyola University New OrleansMany student success initiatives in higher education focus on meeting the needs of students who are most at risk of dropping out. Loyola University New Orleans has flipped this script by giving every first-year student personalized coaching—and the percentage of students who return for their second year is now at an all-time high. eCampuse News

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University of Florida Works to Ensure Websites are AccessibleAn online course doesn’t provide proper captioning during a video lecture. A department website features flashing and moving elements than cannot be easily turned off. A downloaded scholarship document is unable to be filled out with a hands-free, assisted computer device Center for Digital Education

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University of Missouri System Chooses Cengage Unlimited Subscriptions to Save Students Money on Course MaterialsBOSTON and ST. LOUIS, November 16, 2018 — As part of its efforts to increase affordable access to textbooks, the University of Missouri System will be offering Cengage Unlimited subscriptions to all students enrolled in Cengage courses beginning in January 2019. Cengage, the largest U.S.-based education and technology company serving the higher education market, provides […]

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Virtually InspiredFrom holographs and educational games, to drones and robots, 21st century educators are forging new and amazing trails in technology-enhanced teaching and learning. Virtually Inspired is a place where educators can come for inspiration by perusing each video showcase below to see how creative professionals around the globe are infusing technology with learning. Drexel University Online

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