Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Listing of the Postings in this Presentation Blog

New Technologies Enable New Online Pedagogies

Computer and networking technologies continue to advance at accelerating rates. With rapidly-expanding access to the cloud and ever-increasing bandwidth, faculty have new opportunities to use new technologies in online education to engage, collaborate, facilitate, and innovate. In this presentation blog, Prof. Oakley examines a number of new technologies that enable new online pedagogies aimed at improving student engagement, student retention, and student learning.

Oakley's philosophy regarding the use of new technologies in teaching:

Just Do It

Online Education in the United States, 2010

Class Differences: Online Education in the United States, 2010 [Survey report published by the Sloan Consortium]
  • Over 5.6 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2009 term; an increase of nearly one million students over the number reported the previous year.
  • The twenty-one percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the less than two percent growth of the overall higher education student population.
  • Nearly thirty percent of higher education students now take at least one course online.
After remaining steady for a number of years, the proportion of chief academic officers saying that online education is critical to their long-term strategy took an upward turn in 2010.
  • Sixty-three percent of all reporting institutions said that online learning was a critical part of their institution’s long term strategy, a small increase from fifty-nine percent in 2009.
  • The year-to-year change was greatest among the for-profit institutions, which increased from fifty-one percent agreeing in 2009 to sixty-one percent in 2010.
  • For-profit institutions also were the most likely to have included online learning as a part of their strategic plan.

Strengths of Online Learning

2008 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) study (see pages 15 and 16):

An excerpt:

"Other key findings from the 2008 survey are: Students taking most of their classes online report more deep approaches to learning in their classes, relative to classroom based learners. Furthermore, a larger share of online learners reported very often participating in intellectually challenging course activities.... When courses provided extensive, intellectually challenging writing activities, students engaged in more deep learning activities such as analysis, synthesis, and integration of ideas from various sources, and they grappled more with course ideas both in and out of the classroom. These students also reported greater personal, social, practical, and academic learning and development. McCormick says the findings for online learners are intriguing. “Critics of distance education assume that face to face classes have inherent advantages as learning environments. But these results indicate that those who teach classes online may be making special efforts to engage their students. It may also be the case that online classes appeal to students who are more academically motivated and self-directed."

Prof. Bill Pelz, Herkimer County Community College - interview

Moving from ACCESS to QUALITY

Online education has its roots in providing ACCESS to educational opportunities. I believe that online education now it is about QUALITY education.

Oakley's online class at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) - Computer Science 442 - "Internet and American Life"

25 undergraduate students - mix of off-campus and on-campus students

100% retention at the end of the semester!

Final grade distribution:
8 A
2 A-
2 B+
2 B
nothing lower than a C-

Technologies used included: Blackboard, podcasting, YouTube, Jing videos, Facebook, Skype, Meebo, Diigo, and Turn-It-In

Most all of these technologies were used to increase student interaction and engagement.

Online Education has Transformed the University of Illinois at Springfield

The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) offers 8 baccalaureate degree completion programs, 9 masters degrees, and 8 post-baccalaureate certificate programs in a fully online format. UIS also offers 3 masters degrees in a blended format (less than one-half the campus visits normally required).

A key feature of the online program at UIS is that online courses are taught on-load by the SAME faculty who teach on-campus; the online program is fully integrated with the campus.

The online enrollments have grown continuously since the initiative was started in 1998:

At census for the Spring 2011 semester:
  • Online majors made up 27.6% of UIS headcount enrollment. (more than 1 in 4)
  • At 1,357, the number of online majors increased by 67 from Fall 2010 (5.2%).
  • 35.7% of credits were generated in online courses. (more than 1 in 3)
  • 57.1% of UIS students took at least one course online. (more than half)
  • 32.9% were registered only in online courses. (3 in 10)
  • 40.2% of online majors have mailing addresses outside Illinois. (more than 1 out of 3)
  • 85.1% of the Illinois students have mailing addresses outside Sangamon County. (more than 5 out of 6)
  • The online majors are older than their on campus counterparts, by as much as 9 years on average at the undergraduate level, and by 3 years at the Masters level. The average age is 35.2 for online Masters students, and 33.9 for online undergraduate students.
  • Students taking both online and on campus courses take heavier courseloads than either the completely online or on campus students, by about 4 hours at the graduate level.
The online program at UIS has received national recognition for quality.

Sound Pedagogy Drives Technology Choice

It is an axiom that technology should not determine how we teach, rather we should begin by choosing the method and mode by applying appropriate pedagogy. As my colleague Prof. Ray Schroeder explains in his instructional design site (https://sites.google.com/site/instdesignonline/), social constructivist approaches have been shown to be successful in online learning. Some of the major principles of social constructivism are:

The following are encouraged:
  • Active learning (rather than passive learning)
  • Interaction between and among students
  • Opportunity for students to pursue individual interests
  • Building a learning community
  • Alternative assessment opportunities
  • The facilitating of individual knowledge-building
Technologies can facilitate and enable those learning activities.

We select a technology with a purpose and an outcome in mind. Never use a technology just because it is new or cool.

As Ray says, "Providing tutorials on learning technologies is a bit like giving an ice sculpture as a gift -- the shelf life is not long." So, at UIS we focus on how to keep up with the changing array of technology used in our teaching.

Facebook is Where Today's Students Are

How do students communicate?

Thus spake Zuckerberg: “We don’t think a modern messaging system is going to be e-mail.”

Signs you’re an old fogey: You still watch movies on a VCR, listen to vinyl records and shoot photos on film. And you enjoy using e-mail.

Facebook Accounts for 25% of All U.S. Pageviews
November 19, 2010 by Jolie O'Dell

Facebook’s putting up some big numbers in terms of U.S. web traffic. Right now, the site accounts for one out of every four pageviews in the United States. ... In the past week, Facebook.com saw 3% more web visits and almost five times more pageviews than Google.com.

"China has the most population of any country in the world, followed by India, followed by Facebook with 600,000,000 regular users, followed by the US with 310,000,000 residents." -- Prof. Ray Schroeder

Oakley's online class has an "official" Facebook page. Students who "like" this page get all postings in their "News Items" feed in Facebook.

Diigo - Social Bookmarking Software

Diigo is a social bookmarking tool - something that should be considered part of Web 2.0 - the "read-write" web. Diigo is free and very powerful. You can bookmark web sources, add comments (like PostIt notes), add tags to your bookmarked sites, and share your bookmarks with others.

The Diigo website states "Diigo enables effective collaborative research. You can easily share your findings, complete with your highlights and sticky notes, with friends and colleagues. A project team, a class, or a club can create a group on Diigo to pool relevant resources, findings and thoughts together."

Prof. Oakley has a brief tutorial about Diigo at:


The Diigo handout for his online course is at:


And the students in his online class are sharing their bookmarked articles in a group at:


Student Blogs - Individual & Team Blogs

Blogs can be created easily using free software (such as that found at Blogger.com) and then published for free on commercial sites (such as Blogspot.com).

Team Blogs - Blogs can have multiple contributors (a "team blog"). A good example of this approach is found in Economics 490 at the University of Illinois - "Behavioral Economics" - taught by Prof. Lanny Arvan. His students have team blogs linked from the lower-left of the course blog at:


Reflection Blogs - Dr. Amy E. Oakley, of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington, used individual student "reflection blogs" in her Biology 485B course, in which students reflected on what they had learned about various course topics.

YouTube - Delivering Course Content

YouTube is a great way to deliver content right to the students' desktop - and to their mobile devices. Here is an example from Prof. Lanny Arvan at the University of Illinois:

And here is an example from Prof. Oakley's online class:

Note that YouTube now provides closed captioning for free!

Podcasting - iTunes and iTunesU

UIS Prof. Michael Cheney - Online course entitled “The Beatles: Popular Music and Society” - podcasts are used to deliver content.

December 2010: UIS professor's Beatles podcast the second most downloaded on iTunes U

Prof. Oakley's also is producing podcasts for his online class - see:


These weekly podcasts target the auditory learner. Students listen to these podcasts on their computers, their smartphones, and their tablet PC's (such as the iPad).

Jing - Free "Screencasting" Software and Storage

Jing - Screencasts combine audio and video to explain various topics. The free Jing software can be used to produce screencasts that can be stored online (in the cloud) for free at Screencast.com.

Here is an example from Prof. Oakley's online class:


A tutorial about the use of Jing, which contains many more examples, can be found at:


Meebo and Skype - Synchronous Communication

Meebo is free software that enables live text-based chat - view a presentation about Meebo in an online class. Skype is free software that enables live audio and video chat.

In terms of the Community of Inquiry model, Meebo and Skype increase both social presence and teaching presence (not really cognitive presence).

Moving Everything to the Cloud

Image Copyright © 2010 Bluemile, Inc.

Throw away your USB memory stick! Use cloud-based storage instead!

2 Gigabytes for free at Dropbox.com

Amazon now provides 5 Gigabytes for free, and as much cloud-based storage as you are willing to pay for - see:


Here is an interesting article from the NY Times about why you no longer need a USB memory stick:

Gadgets You Should Get Rid Of (Or Not)

Are colleges ready for cloud computing? The latest Campus Computing Project survey, completed in the fall of 2010, reported that only 15 percent of campuses have a strategic plan to address cloud computing.

Cloud-Based Apps - Google Documents

Image © 2010 MXSweep

Cloud-Based Apps - One great example involves word processing - shared editing, collaborative writing, with documents stored in the cloud.

Google Docs - certainly the most well known - https://docs.google.com/

Collaborative summary of Lisa Dawley's morning keynote at #IACON2011:


The Case for Online Word Processors

Another suite of cloud-based productivity apps is from Zoho - http://www.zoho.com/ - certainly up and coming - worth keeping an eye on.

Collaborative writing - students sharing documents (collaboration with colleagues, as well).

iPad and Other Tablets

Tablet PC's, such as the iPad, are changing the way students communicate, and the way that they access information.

Learning Online: Expert Predicts a Deluge of Tablet Computers on Campuses

Notre Dame launches eReader study, creates first paperless course

E-textbooks Replacing Conventional Textbooks

The cost of textbooks can be one-third of the cost of college for community college students. A number of institutions are moving towards e-textbooks.

California State University opts for $49 e-book over expensive biology textbook

"College textbooks are some of the most expensive pieces of disposable literature around. A book that a student uses for approximately four and a half months can cost as much as $200, and every semester, students spend upwards of $1000 just on the textbooks for their classes. "

"The first e-textbook in the program will be "Principles of Biology" and will be used in the Introductory Biology class at CSU Los Angeles, Northridge, and Chico campuses beginning in September 2011. ... It will only cost $49 per student, and will include 175 interactive lessons."

Open Educational Resources

Looking to the future, Open Educational Resources (OER) should revolutionize online and blended learning in the next five years.

Open Educational Resources Common - see: http://www.oercommons.org/

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a major initiative in this area:


WA Open Educational Resources Blog by Cable Green

Good article: Is College (Finally) Ready For Its Innovation Revolution?

Cable Green's talk: How Digital Networked Technologies and Open Educational Resources are Changing Higher Education (pdf, Elluminate)

From Ray's Online Learning Update blog this past Wednesday:

Teaching the Next Generation

image © http://geekgirlwife.com/

The next generations of college students are learning with technology - we need to be prepared to teach them the way that they are used to learning!

"The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education."

Good article: Six Technologies That Will Change Education

Good reference: 2011 Horizon Report K-12 Edition