Virtual School Meanderings

July 21, 2016

[AECT] News & Notes – July 18, 2016

From Monday’s inbox…

July 18, 2016

NEWS&NOTESThe purpose of each weekly issue is to provide information and to engage members in the diverse opportunities and activities of your association.

SUMMER SYMPOSIUM. The Summer Research Symposium is coming up soon and it’s an event not to be missed. “Educational Technology and Narrative: Story and Instructional Design” is the theme. Plan now to be in Bloomington, Indiana, July 20-21, 2016, for this important AECT leadership event.

CALL FOR PAPERS FOR HONG KONG: The HKAECT-AECT 2017 Summer International Research Symposium will be held at the University of Hong Kong in June 2017. Organizers are inviting papers. See for details.

PROCEEDINGS SUBMISSIONS SOUGHT. All sessions accepted for presentation at the AECT International Convention are eligible for consideration for publication in the Proceedings. Proceedings submissions are due by September 30, 2016, to: Michael R. Simonson, Editor. See the website for details and contact information.

MAJOR REFERENCE WORK. The AECT-Springer Online Major Reference Work (MRW) offers theorists, researchers, and practitioners a unique opportunity to publish articles of substance in a “living” forum with the capacity to include interactive elements and to make ongoing modifications as new information emerges. Review the Call for Authors and consider developing a submission.

POLICIES AND INFORMATION. “A Manual of AECT Association Policies & Other Helpful Information” was updated in April this year. If you haven’t  yet read it, take a look. There truly is a wealth of information in its pages, and the manual can be downloaded (and printed) for added convenience. You’ll find it under Documents on the AECT website.

Bookmark the AECT website and make it your go-to place for information about your professional association. Check in often. There’s always something new.


Association for Educational Communication and Technology
320 West 8th Street, Suite 101, Bloomington, Indiana 47404
Toll Free: 877-677-AECT Phone: 812-335­-7675 Email:

July 20, 2016

[FLANZ] Call For Expression Of Interest To Host FLANZ2018, And Other News In Online, Open And Flexible Education

One for my Kiwi readers…


Call for Expression of interest to host FLANZ2018, and other news in online, open and flexible education

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Dear memberThe following items may be of interest to you:

  • Call for expressions of interest to host the FLANZ2018 Conference: you can find the details here or below: The deadline is 26th September.
  • Video recordings of keynote speakers at the DEANZ2016 conference is now available on the website
  • Ontario’s Distance Education & Training Network, 6 July update
  • ODLAA webinar. Student Engagement in Online Environments: what do we know and how do we know it, 28 July.

With best regards
FLANZ Executive

Call for Expressions of Interest to Host the FLANZ2018 Conference

The Executive Committee of the Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand (FLANZ) is seeking expressions of interest from potential conference organizing committees to host the biennial 2018 conference. The biennial FLANZ (previously known as DEANZ) conference showcases best practice and theory in the broad field of open, distance, flexible and mobile learning across all aspects of the education sector including the compulsory, tertiary, and professional development settings.

The conference is a key event for FLANZ to support its members, and an important means of advancing research and practice in the field. The conference attracts participants from within New Zealand, the Pacific Rim and beyond and provides memorable opportunities for exchanging ideas, social interaction and networking.

A key benefit of hosting the conference is that the hosting institution, and the lead academic/s will benefit from the prestige attached to organising New Zealand’s premier conference in an exciting and rapidly growing field. As an incentive for academic contributions, conference presenters have the opportunity to submit their papers for publication in a peer reviewed special issue of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (JOFDL), FLANZ’s flagship journal. This journal is open access and disseminates scholarly work which advances the theory and practice of open, flexible and distance education.

To be considered for hosting a FLANZ conference, the proposed Conference Committee must complete an expression of interest form (see attached). The form will assist applicants in considering key aspects related to hosting a FLANZ conference and to help the FLANZ Executive make an informed decision. The completed FLANZ2018 expression of interest will need to be emailed to the FLANZ administrator by Monday 26th September 2016.

Interested parties are welcome to contact Elaine Khoo, FLANZ Executive Committee Member, for informal discussion or advice in advance of submission.

ODLAA webinar

Student Engagement in Online Environments: what do we know and how do we know it?
Thursday 28th July, 1-2pm (Australian EST)

This webinar will explore how web-enabled learning platforms can enhance student engagement, and what are the limits of current theories and practice on student engagement. Further, it will engage participants in a discussion on possibilities to use technology-rich learning environments to rethink the architecture of student engagement in online environments.


Dr Stefan Popenici – Senior Lecturer in Higher Education, Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education

Dr. Popenici is an academic with extensive international experience in teaching, research and leadership in higher education in Europe, North America, South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia. His research and work is focused on learning and teaching in higher education, imagination, creativity and change, educational leadership, student engagement, equity and internationalisation of higher education.


The webinar is offered free of charge and open to non-members, so please distribute this information to any colleagues who may be interested. If you wish to attend the webinar, please register by emailing by 5pm Tuesday 26th July(Australian EST) at the latest. Details will then be sent to you before the event about how to access and join in the webinar.

DEANZ – Making ako accessible for all, DEANZ’s refereed journal, publishes research & welcomes submissions in this field

This email was sent to
DEANZ ( · c/o Kathryn Mac Callum, Eastern Institute of Technology · Private Bag 1201 · Napier, HBMC 4142 · New Zealand e-Newsletter – 7/18/16

From Monday’s inbox (a day late due to the guest blog entry)…

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JULY 18, 2016
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Transitioning to the Learning Management System Moodle from Blackboard: Impacts to Faculty

What are the workload impacts to faculty during a Learning Management System (LMS) transition? What type of support is needed by faculty during an LMS transition? Transitioning to a new LMS may result in faculty problems with learning a new technology platform in addition to teaching. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore […]

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Let’s Talk Learning Analytics: A Framework for Implementation in Relation to Student Retention

This paper presents a dialogical tool for the advancement of learning analytics implementation for student retention in Higher Education institutions. The framework was developed as an outcome of a project commissioned and funded by the Australian Government’s Office for Learning and Teaching. The project took a mixed-method approach including a survey at the institutional level […]

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Learning Analytics Methods, Benefits, and Challenges in Higher Education: A Systematic Literature Review

Higher education for the 21st century continues to promote discoveries in the field through learning analytics (LA). The problem is that the rapid embrace of of LA diverts educators’ attention from clearly identifying requirements and implications of using LA in higher education. LA is a promising emerging field, yet higher education stakeholders need to become […]

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Microsoft Tackles IT Skills Gap With Online Learning Program

Beginning with data science, the software giant aims to help close the IT skills gap with its new Microsoft Professional Degree program. eWeek

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New Book: Designing Adaptive and Personalized Learning Environments

Designing Adaptive and Personalized Learning Environments provides a theoretically-based yet practical guide to systematic design processes for learning environments that provide automatic customization of learning and instruction Routledge

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7 Universities Receive Grants to Implement Adaptive Learning at Scale

Seven public research universities are embarking on a three-year project focused on improving undergraduate education through personalized learning and adaptive courseware. Arizona State University, Colorado State University, Georgia State University, Northern Arizona University, Oregon State University, Portland State University and the University of Mississippi will each receive $515,000 from the Association of Public and Land-grant […]

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Athabasca University Launches New Library Orientation Video Series

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July 15, 2016

[CNIE-L] ICDE Newsletter – 13 July 2016

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

ICDE Newsletter – 13 July 2016


2016 Presidents’ Summit Early-Bird Registration Extended – Join us in Sydney!

We are pleased to announce that the 2016 Presidents’ Summit early-bird registration rate has been extended to 15 August 2016.

We encourage you to visit the Summit website at to register for the early-bird rate and make your hotel reservations now.

The next issue of the ICDE Newsletter will provide an updated link to the Summit Programme, including exciting global speakers expected to be confirmed.

Open Praxis: Call for papers: Volume 8 issue 4

Submissions are welcome until 30 July, to be published in volume 8 issue 4 (October-December 2016). More information…


ICDE Calls: 

UNESCO Calls: As an official partner to UNESCO, ICDE is eligible to submit nominations for UNESCO calls from among its membership. A self-nomination cannot be considered.

Other Calls: 

Connect with ICDE@

ICDE Secretariat and or ICDE members will be particpating in the following events and conferences and are available for meetings and discussions so make sure to get in touch.


  • 2016 Presidents’ Summit: 20-23 November 2016, Sydney, Australia
  • ICDE- Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL) International Conference, 10-11 March, 2017, Pune, India
  • 2017 Presidents’ Summit 15-16 October, 2017, Toronto, Canada
  • 27TH ICDE World Conference, 17-19 October, 2017, Toronto, Canada

ICDE- Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL) International Conference, 10-11 March, 2017, Pune, India

Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning will host the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) International Conference in Pune, India on 10th and 11th March, 2017 on the theme: “Unleashing the potential of ODL – Reaching the unreached”. More information…

27th ICDE World Conference, 17-19 October, 2017, Toronto, Canada

Join faculty members/instructors from colleges and universities, practitioners, experts, policy-makers, academic decision-makers and technology providers involved in the field of online and distance education from around the world for this bi-annual summit dedicated to online learning and distance education. More information….

ICDE Member and Partner News and Events

Korea National Open University to launch Office of International Affairs, a specialized organization for external relations and international cooperation

ICDE member,  Korea National Open University (KNOU) is an establishing Office of International Affairs(OIA), embarking on a new growth strategy to enhance the international character of the university. More information…

The UOC’s mobile apps ecosystem for continuous assessment receives an honourable mention at the Learning Impact Awards

ICDE member, The Open University of Catalonia’s (UOC)  mobile apps ecosystem for continuous assessment – Explica!, Assess and Submissions – received an honourable mention at the IMS Global Learning Impact Awards, where they had been named among the finalists. More information…

Putting ethics into practice – academia and beyond

More ethics in higher education is urgently needed: this is one of the main conclusions of the Global Ethics Forum 2016 organised from 23-25 June 2016 by Read the full press release here.

Reports, Resources and Projects

What Will Higher Education Look Like 5, 10 or 20 Years From Now?

GoodCall spoke with experts across the higher education landscape to get a sense of what college will look like in five, ten and twenty years. In some cases, they agreed,  while at other times their visions were very different. But one thing is for sure – twenty years from now, higher education won’t going to look the same as it does today. More information…

A Moment of Clarity on the Role of Technology in Teaching

With all of the discussion around the role of online education for traditional colleges and universities, over the past month we have seen reminders that key concerns are about people and pedagogy, not technology. And we can thank two elite universities that don’t have large online populations — MIT and George Washington University — for this clarity. More information…

The Advancing MOOCs for Development Initiative: An examination of MOOC usage for professional workforce development outcomes in Colombia, the Philippines, & South Africa

Online courses have the potential to expand quality education and career training worldwide. Yet few people in developing countries access Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), despite the fact that MOOCs are open to the public and often free. Recognizing this unmet potential, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and CourseTalk, the largest source of MOOC reviews, have partnered to determine how online education can best help young adults across the developing world grow successful careers.  More information…

For Students Taking Online Courses, a Completion Paradox

If you look just at completion rates for individual online courses, they seem like a bad option. A growing body of research shows that community-college students are much more likely to fail a class taken online than one taken face-to-face, and grades in online courses are often lower.  A national study published in 2014 found that community-college students who take at least one online course are as much as 25 percent more likely to earn a degree than those who study only in physical classrooms. Many factors are at play, but for many students the convenience of online can mean the difference between staying in a degree program or dropping out.  Some have called this the “online paradox,” and it highlights the complicated track record of the shift to digital classrooms.(Subscription) More information...

University websites: The so-so, the bad, and the egregious

Yes that’s right, it’s time to take a look at university websites and why they are perennially difficult and unpopular. For quite a while I’ve been meaning to write a post about this; it’s a problem that’s ongoing, and one that generates much wailing and gnashing of teeth among regular users of the sites, including current students and faculty. Yet it’s something that never seems to change, or if it does change, it’s merely “upgraded” to a system with new and equally infuriating flaws. More information…

International News Quick Links:

To stay updated on international news on open, online, distance education keep an eye on the ICDE news page.

 Events Listing:

Members who wish to feature their news, events and projects, please email with the subject header ‘NEWS’.

Become a member of ICDE

ICDE President’s Summit 2016 

27th ICDE World Conference


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July REL Northwest News, Resources, and Events

From yesterday’s inbox – note the online credit recovery piece…

REL Northwest news: New guide for registering students with non-English names and online credit recovery strategies and research
REL Northwest

Getting it Right Guides Support Schools in Registering Students with Non-English Names

For students whose home language is not English, properly recording their information can be more difficult for school personnel who are not familiar with naming conventions from other cultural backgrounds. REL Northwest and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) have released Getting It Right: Reference Guides for Registering Students with Non-English Names. The Getting It Right reference guides provide districts with guidance for accurately and consistently entering students’ names in school, district, and state databases. The guides are currently available for students with home languages of Cantonese, Punjabi-Muslim, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

Successful Strategies for Online Credit Recovery

District leaders in Montana and across the country are looking for evidence on how to best support students who are using online credit recovery programs. A new report from REL Northwest examines the strategies used by six Montana schools with higher than average student passing rates in online credit recovery courses offered by the Montana Digital Academy (MTDA). The report finds that successful schools provided instructional support, consistent program structure, data monitoring tools, and built relationships with students and MTDA staff.

Study Examines Online Credit Recovery Enrollment and Passing Rates in Montana

REL Northwest and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) have released a study examining online credit recovery through the Montana Digital Academy (MTDA), Montana’s state public virtual school. The study analyzed course enrollment and passing rates for students enrolled during the 2013-14 school year. Students in grades 10 and 11 made up the largest proportion of students, and students enrolled in English language arts more than any other subject area. The results of this study suggest that students would benefit from additional supports from schools and districts.

Summer Professional Development Opportunities

Postsecondary Readiness in Rural Communities | July 25 | Nashville, Tennessee

This free, one-day conference sponsored by Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Appalachia, REL Northwest, and REL Mid-Atlantic will spotlight innovative projects and research to improve teaching and learning in rural school settings. Researchers, practitioners, and students will share their knowledge and experiences about issues and strategies for improving postsecondary readiness in rural schools.

EWS 301: Using and Improving Interventions in Early Warning Systems | August 19 | Stevenson, Washington

EWS series logoJoin REL Northwest and national Early Warning System (EWS) and data-use initiative experts for a one-day retreat at Skamania Lodge in the Columbia River Gorge. District and school teams from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington are invited to learn strategies for effectively selecting, mapping, and assigning interventions and evaluating EWS intervention effectiveness.

Copyright © 2016 Education Northwest, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you are a member or affiliate of a REL Northwest Research Alliance.

Education Northwest


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