ACPAdigital, StudentAffairs

ACPA Digital Task Force: Report and Higher Ed Live Discussion

Last year I was invited to join the ACPA Digital Task Force – so you might have read a few blogs (here, here, here, & here) about my involvement or tweeting about the issues we were working on using the hashtag #ACPAdigital

The Role of Digital Technology in Higher Education.
Direct Video Link http://videos.myacpa.org/the-role-of-digital-technology-in-higher-education

The former ACPA President, Kent Porterfield, in conjunction with the ACPA Board of Governors and International Office established the ACPA Digital Task Force (#ACPAdigital). The #ACPAdigital group, led by Ed Cabellon and Tony Doody, was charged with “understanding how to advance the application of digital technology in higher education, informed by student affairs scholarship and practice, to further enhance ACPA’s influence and its role as a leader in higher education in the information age.

taskforce_draft

Last week ACPA shared the Draft Report and Recommendations document, which included our contributions made over the last nine months. Each sub-group of the taskforce researched and/or worked on various projects to provide insights for student affairs educators in the follow areas:

  • Scholarship and Research
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Organization Infrastructure of ACPA

Here are the emergent themes from the#ACPAdigital report:

  1. Integrate digital technologies that advance teaching and learning within higher education.
  2. Design training and development opportunities to enhance college student educators’ use of digital technologies.
  3. Invest in the creation and dissemination of research and scholarship in digital technologies.
  4. Develop the infrastructure and resources appropriate to ensure sustainability and relevance in digital technologies.
  5. Establish and grow strategic collaborations and partnerships to capitalize on existing resources for higher education.
  6. Ensure equal opportunity to the resources necessary for full engagement with digital technologies.

Please read and review the FULL REPORT, and provide any comments you have to Tony or Ed. We would love to get your feedback, questions, and thoughts on the draft.

UPDATED (April 1, 2015):

Learn more about this report from the Higher Ed Live show (4/1/15) as the #ACPAdigital Task Force chairs discuss our work, the draft report, and how digital will impact student affairs educators on The Future of Digital Education show. Please follow @HigherEdLive & all the tweets from #HigherEdLive and #ACPAdigital. READ: The show “Notes” (tweets) on Storify. Or WATCH the recording here:

Book Review, Open Education, OpenAccess

The Battle for the Open [Needs YOU Higher Ed]

If you have not had the chance to read The Battle for the Open by Martin Weller – you should. The battle for all things open in higher education is still being waged. As Martin said,“I’m not sure I believe in revolution in education.” But there is change ahead with openness in post-secondary learning. If you work in post-secondary education, you can not avoid this battle and should probably read on to learn about Martin’s perspective.

[Full disclosure: Martin sent me a copy of the book; however he knows I would give him praise & banter with it as needed. Thanks @mweller!]

BattleOpen

The Battle for the “Open” shares how higher education is moving towards open practice and scholarship. The goal of OPEN is to share openly, use open sourced resources, and consider strategies to include open education resources (OER) for teaching, research, and service scholarship.

Last fall, Martin paid a visit to Texas to talk with the UTA LINK Research Lab, specifically to share how openness is impacting higher education. Martin’s talk focussed on a few key areas he addresses in his book:

@mweller and all the narratives

  1. Open Access – Pathways for free online access to online scholarly works have been created. There are two routes for open access: 1) Gold Route – pay to publish an article; and 2) Green Route – self publication;  often on your own website or institutional repository. There are major policies which mandate publicly funded research to make their findings publicly available – countries are forced to publish open access. For example, 51% of authors have published open access from the Wiley survey. Read more about The Development of Open Access Journal Publishing from 1993 to 2009.
  1. Open Education Resources (OERs) – Initially started in 2001-2002 with the MIT OpenCourseWare project, and has continued with others such as the Open Learn initiative from the Open University and OER Commons. Open textbooks, like OpenStax, sell for the cost of the degree and impact the publication process of textbooks. The OER Research Hub increases access to course materials earlier and even in advance of the course start, with efforts like the #OER Impact Map to understand where open education resources are being developed.
  1. Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – The big, free, and online courses came out of Canada, initially,…then Google Trends chart the course of the MOOC evolution into higher education. It turned out it was not just the Canadians who were interested in MOOCs. Licenses of developed and were then restricted for each of the edX, Coursera, Udacity, etc. environments. For learners, MOOCs are free to sign up, allow open access of material, and with varied creative common rights for education.  Many of these MOOCs moved into other learning management systems or varied delivery methods. With this education platform, rose issues of support and sustainability for learners. Some say that MOOCs have high-jacked what openness really means, because if you fail at a MOOC, there is a reaffirmation that open/online learning is not really for you. This might not be the case.
  1. Open Scholarship – Martin’s book, The Digital Scholar (and my recap blog post), discusses issues and challenges academics will encounter as they move online and shape their identity in the networks. Scholars are increasingly sharing information, resources, teaching curriculum, commentary, medias, and ideas in digital spaces. The growth of our networks in academia allow researchers to connect, collaborate, and contribute. The social networks also shape our identities and influence us in these spaces. Research opportunities emerge in the open, specifically with the art of guerrilla research (Martin, 2014):
    • Involves 1 or 2 researchers, and does not require a team
    • Relies on open data, information & tools
    • Fairly quick to realize
    • It is disseminated via blogs and social media
    • It does not require permission

It is critical we engage and participate in this open discussion in higher ed. If we don’t, then we will let someone else write this narrative and direct where post-secondary scholarship and learning is directed moving forward. Ultimately the battle for the open is really the battle of ownership –who owns what? Have we lost the ownership of  online learning? Can we restrict research and scholarship? What rights do we have for curriculum and educational resources? Now that “open” is prevalent in higher education, it cannot be avoided. As Martin says, “Openness is not just a peripheral interest now.” How does openness impact your role on campus, and how will you contribute?

 

References:

Weller, M. (2011). The digital scholar: How technology is transforming scholarly practice. Bloomsbury Open Access. DOI: 10.5040/9781849666275

Weller, M. (2014). The battle for open: How openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bam

 

Blended Learning

Blended Learning Interactions #Blendkit2015

Thanks to Kelvin Thompson & his crew for the invitation to join the 2nd week of the University of Central Florida‘s Blendkit Course (#Blendkit2015): Blended Interactions

Week #2’s readings [Blendkit- Chapter 2] discussed the role of the faculty in blended learning environments, specifically with regards to facilitation of learner interactions. Instructors have the ability to encourage self-directed  and connected interactions in their blended learning courses. Suggestions from the readings include considerations for the atelier, concierge, and curatorial learning models to empower students.  It is critical to outline roles and responsibilities for expected engagement and to guide intentional interactions among learners.

Blended-learning1

In the open Q & A session this week with Dr. Leslee D’Amato-Kubiet and myself, we discuss technology-mediated interactions in blended settings, but more importantly the organization, design, and considerations for encouraging meaningful interactions among our students AND ideas to explore potential strategies for creating blended interactions.

Questions

  1. What are some best practices to generate high levels of student-to-student support? How does one put some of the burden for performance support into a peer-support model where they help each other? Does badging for this coaching help? What are some things to avoid (like competition)?
  2. How can I know for certain that my students are comfortable in an e learning environment. If I sense that some of them are just not so comfortable, how can I address their concerns while maximizing the electronic components of my hybrid course? And promote online interaction?
    1. Every student has a different level of comfort with self-expression in a course environment. What are some strategies for eliciting student expression in a blended course design?
  3. In which aspects should you pay attention as a teacher to determine which technological tools work best looking for minimal or guided learning? What skills should have the teacher to decide what role (atelier, concierge, curatorial, etc.) taken with their students?
    1. Does class size influence your decisions and expectations for student-to-student and student-to-instructor interactions?
  4. Student-to-Instructor Interactions – Is it “bad” to have canned comments and replies for grade feedback, discussion posts, and course mail?
  5. As a K-12 administrator, I have concerns that the mastery model that blended learning requires will be embedded at our level but not translate to higher ed. Can you give your thoughts?

Tweets from Monday’s (3/9/15) #Blendkit2015 via Storify.

blendkit

More About #Blendkit2015: The BlendKit Course is a set of subject matter neutral, open educational resources related to blended learning developed by Dr. Kelvin Thompson and available for self-study or for group use. Periodically, these materials will also be used as the basis for a facilitated open, online course. 

The goal of the BlendKit Course is to provide assistance in designing and developing your blended learning course via a consideration of key issues related to blended learning and practical step-by-step guidance in helping you produce actual materials for your blended course (i.e., from design documents through creating content pages to peer review feedback at your own institution).

Want to join the Blendkit Course or follow along with the course content?

Higher Education, Professional Development, Training & Development

#SAreads: Students, Ethics, and Online Engagement @ #ACPA15 the #ACPATrendingNow Session TODAY!

Join Courtney O’Connell and myself in a roundtable discussion about online student behavior in higher education during the #ACPATrendingNow Session (TODAY at 12:30-1:30 pm in the Marketplace):

SAreads #ACPATrendingNow Session @ #ACPA15

#SAreads: Students, Ethics and Online Engagement

campus book launch ad.003

An excerpt from the What Happens on Campus Stays on YouTube book on cyberbullying:

cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is defined as teasing, insulting or making fun of another person online. The intent is often to soil the target’s reputation. If you are a cyberbully, STOP! Your bullying could be the byproduct of social anxiety or low self-esteem and it is important that you seek help. Educators, friends, parents and counselors are increasingly aware of the signs of cyberbullying and will eventually confront you.

Cyberbullying is often considered a criminal offense and offline bullying laws apply to online behavior.

  • Cyberbullies leave digital fingerprints and often are easier to prosecute than traditional bullies who do not leave as much incriminating evidence.
  • Bullying can ultimately lead to a victim’s suicide. Victims of cyberbullying are twice as likely to commit suicide as those who have not had a cyberbullying experience.
  • 1 in 4 teens report that they have experienced repeated bullying via their cell or on the internet
  • Over half of all teens that use social media have witnessed outright bullying online, and an astounding 95 percent of teens who witness bullying on social media have ignored the behavior
  • We all must serve as upstanders and not bystanders to cyberbullying.
  • Colleges and universities have their own rules and procedures for dealing with cyber-bullying, cyber-harassment, and cyber-stalking. If you know something that is occurring, tell a faculty or staff member. They can help and give you options.
  • Being harassed or bullied online can be mentally draining. Reach out to others to help you process through it. The counseling services on your campus can also help.

Also in a recent study on cyberbystanders, nearly 70% of respondents who noticed the cyberbullying and who didn’t respond directly to the abuser gave bad marks to the chat monitor and/or didn’t recommend use of the chat room – both of which were classified as indirect intervention. This is happening at your institution and this is an important issue that WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT NOW! 

Sneak Peak of the Book (Preview Copy Only!)

More #ACPATrendingNow Sessions to participate in TODAY from 12:30-1:30 pm (in the Marketplace).

Becoming a Leader in Professional Associations – Facilitated by Cissy Petty
Hate Speech and First Amendment Rights – Facilitated by Kathy Adams Riester
Implications of Systemic Oppression – Facilitated by Tori Svoboda
Working with Undocumented Students – Facilitated by Ray Plaza
Personal Mental Health as Professionals  – Facilitated by Kalie Mason
Media Scrutiny of Higher Education – Facilitated by Gretchen Metzelaars
Supporting Veteran Students – Facilitated by Monica Christensen
Athletes as Students – Facilitated by Markesha Henderson (U West GA)
Title IX and Transgender Protection – Facilitated by Finn Schneider
Reclaiming Language as Means of Peaceful Protest – Facilitated by Dan Sym

Higher Education, Learning Technologies, Professional Development

Using Google Apps in Higher Ed #ACPA15

Join me today (3/7) at 9 AM for my  #ACPA15 Genius Labs session on Google Apps for Education (1st Floor West Side of Tampa CC) where I’ll share how I use a few applications to make my workflow more productive and how I’ve used a few of these applications for my educational curriculum and developmental programs on campus. Blog-Post-Image-Google-Apps-Admin-Best-Practices-1024x372 About: Many universities/colleges are turning to Google Apps for Education as a solution, and it isn’t just for email. This 20-minute session will introduce applications provided by Google Apps, and will illustrate easy-to-implement practices for everyday problems. Google Apps to Explore & Use

Examples for Google Docs & Forms

Google Video – YouTube & Hangouts On Air

3 Google Apps to Check Out More Often

  • Google Scholar What it is: Academic search engine for publications of scholarly research Why It’s useful: Search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles. Pro tip: Identify articles available from your institutional library on campus. Also able to search & preview millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide in Google Books.
  • YouTube Trends Dashboard What it is: A handy tool to figure out what’s trending on YouTube. Why it’s useful: What are your students watching on campus? What is being shared most often near you? With the Trends Dashboard, you can tap into the zeitgeist quickly and easily. Pro tip: Compare the “Most Shared” (across Facebook and Twitter) with “Most Viewed” to get a sense of what content gets viewed often but shared infrequently. To see what was trending in the past, check out
  • Google Trends. Use the optional forecast checkbox to anticipate whether interest in a particular topic is expected to rise over time. Google Keep What it is: Lets you easily jot down whatever’s on your mind via a beautiful, simple interface. Why it’s useful: Share any one individual note with a collaborator, create to-do lists, drop an image into notes as needed, and organize notes using eight color options. Pro tip: Don’t want to forget to do something? No problem: You can easily turn any note into a date or location-activated reminder.

Resources

How do you use Google Apps for education? Please feel free to share links and resources here: http://bit.ly/acpa15google

Conference, Higher Education, StudentAffairs

Technological Advancements & Considerations for Student Affairs at #ACPA15

This week I will be in Tampa, FL for the 2015 ACPA Convention (Follow #ACPA15 chat on Twitter). Besides getting a chance to warm up from the chilly winter weather, I am looking forward to connecting with a number of student affairs (SA) professionals and faculty who will be attending. This year’s convention holds a number of informative and interactive sessions in the program to support professional development and scholarly research for SA educators. I have a few meetings (#ACPAdigital and #ACPA16, I’m looking at you!); however I am really looking forward to catching up with a number of colleagues who will be in attendance. I suspect a number of hugs and high fives will happen soon.

ACPA Tampa 2015

Part of my time in the next couple of days will be spent with the fine folks I have been fortunate to work with on the ACPA Digital Task Force (#ACPAdigital).

digital_report

The association established #ACPAdigital to make recommendations on how student affair educators can best advance the application of digital technology in higher education, specifically through informed scholarship and practice. Being charged with reviewing how ACPA will be a leader in the field, this task force was divided into four working subgroups:

  • Proven Practices
  • Knowledge and Skills
  • Research and Scholarship
  • Informed and Responsible Engagement with Social Technology

While serving on the #ACPAdigital task force this year, I can personally say, the efforts made to evaluate and assess  and how current educators shape student development for digital learning has been impressive. As I review the 49-page report we are sharing with the ACPA leadership this week, I am looking forward to the conversations we will have about our findings, recommendations, questions and proposed research agenda. It is critical that student affairs and learner support entities in post-secondary education consider how technological advancements will impact the work we do with students in face-to-face, blended, and online learning environments. This groups needs to be at the table for discussions on distance education and workforce preparation considerations. I am excited to be part of the discussion and push to move in this direction with student affairs. To learn more about this report and #ACPAdigital’s work, be sure to review the task force website:  http://digitaltaskforce.myacpa.org/

As a member of the Informed and Responsible Engagement with Social Technology (IREST) group, I was part of the collaborative author team who contributed to updating Erik Qualman’s What Happens in Vegas Goes on YouTube. The last few months of swapping ideas, sharing resources, discussing issues, and making edits with Paul, Jason, Courtney, and Erik has been great – and we’re so pleased that we are able to share our efforts this week at #ACPA15:

campus book launch ad.003

The ACPA co-branded book, What Happens on Campus Stays on YouTube, is designed to have your students reflect on their digital identity, with regards to their college experience and future personal/professional development. For #ACPA15, early release copies of book will be available for sale ($11.99) and the official launch on Amazon/public sale will be in April 2015. If you want to get a sneak peek of the book before everyone else, get your copy at the ACPA Booth in the Expo Hall or join our #SAreads event happening on Saturday (3/7) from 12:30-1:30 pm at the #ACPATrendingNow roundtables in the Marketplace with Courtney and myself. If you are interested in bulk orders for your curriculum or campus, please be sure to reach out to Courtney O’Connell so she can discuss options best for your institutional needs.

Will you be found at the harbor front this week for #ACPA15? Let me know – I would love to have a chat and catch up. See you soon!

Higher Education, Reflections, Teaching

Rethinking Office Hours

Office hours were designed to offer a space and place for learners to meet with their faculty. The practice of holding a “office hours” at every higher education campus, and even within a single department, varies drastically. Some institutions/departments set guidelines, whereas others see this as a service expectation that will automatically be assumed by the faculty member.

silly questions

Image c/o Flame @ KZK

The basic idea of faculty office hours was to carve out time to be available for your students. This set time each was is designated for the instructor to be in a physical, set space to offer support and assistance for courses, research, etc. In reality we know that only “a small number of students take advantage of office hours, [and] typically those who show up are not those who most need to be there (Weimer, 2015a). With increased use of technological communications, our students prefer to send a quick electronic message (email, LMS message, discussion board, text, tweet, etc.), to ask a question, seek advice, or get help.  So how do we “meet and reach” our students who are often juggling more than just school and cannot make the typical “office hour” on campus?  How do we make getting support more convenient for both the instructor and the student?

As an online instructor, I have experimented with a few approaches  the last couple of semesters. Although I work with online, adult learners – I think these strategies could also be useful for other faculty who instruct face-to-face (F2F) or blended learning environments.

A Few Ideas to Rethink Office Hours:

  1. Offer a standard “Office Hour” time slot at least 1-2x per week. This might be the day before assignments are due, or perhaps an evening hour after the typical 9-5 work day. You can indicate availability in your own office, by Skype/phone, IM, or via a web conferencing platform. You decide!
  2. Identify YOUR preferred mode of contact/communication. Let them know HOW and WHEN you will be checking and responding to their messages. Be sure to consider your own communication workflow – then share these expectations for your learners about your preferred protocol for related course communications.  Here are the best ways (in order) for students to contact me:
    • EMAIL: This is BY FAR the recommended method. My students know they will get a response from me within 24-48 hours by e-mail, and they are to include their course name, section, and ID in messages. This also allows me to track and keep a record of our conversations in a student file I save in Outlook.
    • Skype/Google Chat: A few of them have also utilized Skype/Google Chat for a quick IM if I am Available (“green”) online.
    • Bb Learn Messaging/Email: I have decided to close the LMS messages on Bb Learn this term, to organize all incoming inquiries from students into my institutional email account.
    • Google Voice: I use a number set up here as my primary office number. Students have used it to leave web voicemails and/or text messages every now and then.
    • Twitter: I have also welcomed the odd Tweet here and there – but often these get tossed into another space for more than 140-characters. More so this is used to share news, information & articles via the course hashtags e.g. #LTEC4440, #LTEC4121, #LTEC4070 and #LTEC3010
  3. Require 1:1 meetings early in the semester (Weimer, 2015b). If possible, have a 1:1 meeting planning in your course schedule to discuss a final project/assignment. You can use this time to check in and allow your students to ask question. This introduces students to your “space” and often encourages them to follow up. Pro Tip: This takes time and organization for your own schedule. Only consider 1:1’s if you can manage it (30 students or less recommended), and if there is a specific purpose within your course design and learning objectives.
  4. Offer class meetings for group advising and support. Provide semi-regular meetings for your students. Ask your learners when a good class meeting time is via Doodle poll to help establish most available times during the semester to host these meetings. My courses often met in the evenings between 6-8 pm and online in a GoToTraining or Adobe Connect room. These meetings were designed to offer information, updates, and a bite-sized instructional piece for my learners. In previous F2F courses, I had offered this sort of “meet up” after a campus event, in a seminar room, or even an off-campus coffee shop. For my graduate students in smaller classes, we would even conduct peer-review sessions in Google+ hangouts. Include an agenda for the meeting with the topics that will be covered and open discussion. Always solicit questions from your students in advance & leave time for Q & A at the end.
    • Pro Tip: Take questions you received from emails and include them into the class meeting advising sessions. Often learners might be afraid to ask during an open Q & A time, so “plant the question seed.” Students learn from other learners’ questions.
    • My incentives to attend our online (non-required) course meetings = advice on projects/assignments, helpful “how to” or demonstrations, and guest speakers (A BIG thanks goes out to Jess, Josie & Paul this term!).
    • Offer a recording and class notes for those who cannot attend, but want the supplemental information and resources.
  5. Try offering “on demand” office hours. I use helpful scheduling websites with my Google Calendar to set up student meetings. Both youcanbook.me and calendly offer easy ways for learners to schedule 15-, 30- or 60-minute meetings, depending on my own personal work/travel schedule. Example of the calendly appointment scheduler below:

Step ONE

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 6.26.18 PM

 

Step TWOsched

 

Step THREE

book
 Step FOUR

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 6.51.51 PM

  • ProTip: Be sure have your students identify the purpose of the meeting. E.g. I ask, “What specific issue you would YOU like to resolve at our meeting?
  • Dedicated meeting location: Since I lecture online, I decided to keep all my office hour meetings in a set GoToMeeting space that is standard for all my courses. This is included on the course syllabus, class announcements, and, most importantly, it is an accessible location – students can use their web or phone:

LTEC Virtual Office Hours with Dr. Pasquini” Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/981968477

  • You can also dial in using your phone.United States (Long distance): +1 (213) 289-0012
    Access Code: 981-968-477 

I am still evaluating my own office hour approaches for my distance learners, so please feel free to share your strategies with me. How do you support your learners? What ways have you encouraged your students to connect with you for office hours? Do you have suggestions that I might want to consider for online office hours? Post your suggestions below!

References

Weimer, M. (2015a, February 17). Office hours alternative resonates with students. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/office-hours-alternative-resonates-students/

Weimer, M. (2015b, February 18). Office hours redux. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/office-hours-redux/