AcAdv, ACPA, ACPAdigital, Blended Learning, Higher Education, Learning, Learning Technologies, Online Learning, Professional Development

Academic Support In A Digital Age

Although you might not advise or support students in an online degree program, there are increasing efforts for teaching and learning technology. Learning delivery and design does impact how we support our students, and we mediate much of our work in higher education using digital tools and platforms. That being said, any adoption of technology should be led with informed decisions on modifying pedagogical methods (Bates, 2015), which is directly related to our advising models and programs we offer in the post-secondary. Our students want the same flexibility, access, and online support.

Our students want the same flexibility, access, and online support they often receive from instruction and other services they use. When learning with technology, our students are accustomed to having access to student support or other features alongside their online/blended coursework; however, the digital student success side is frequently an afterthought for these technology determinations. We need to have more student success and academic advising programs consider the best technology to provide advising content and service delivery (Steele, 2015) for a more learner-centered approach.

digital DNA

Digital DNA by Adriana Varella and Nilton Malz 

Whether you are leveraging technology to optimize your student support services or your campus is transitioning to either a blended or online learning model, there is both a need and desire to improve technology for academic advisors and student support practices in higher education (Pasquini & Steele, 2015). During your planning, it will be critical for your institution to ask the following questions before selecting technology-mediated environments for advising and learner support: 

  • What technologies is your institution currently utilizing for academic advising or student support?
  • How does your division or unit on campus decide on the most appropriate mode of technology delivery? [Will this be a campus-wide decision?]
  • What factors should be determined when designing technology in advising program and/or student support functional area?
  • What other strategies and structural support might benefit your campus in preparing  staff as they support learners digitally?  (e.g. training, skill development, etc.)

Join me as I discuss this further next Wednesday, September 14th from 12-1 pm EDT for the ACPA Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education (CASHE) Presents Webinar: “Selecting Technology for Advising and Supporting Your Students.” During this online event, I will be sharing a few evidence-based ideas and practical resources to help your advising team address these questions. This webinar will introduce your campus planning group to a few strategies and structures as they select technology for advising and student support. Sign up for this FREE webinar sponsored by ACPA CASHE here: http://goo.gl/tR8THa 

References

Bates, A. W., (2015). Chapter 9: Modes of delivery. In Guidelines for designing teaching and learning for a digital age. Open Text BC.

Pasquini, L. A., & Steele, G. (2016). Technology in academic advising: Perceptions and practices in higher education. figshare. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.3053569.v7

Steele, G. (2015). Using Technology for Intentional Student Evaluation and Program AssessmentNACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources. 

#3Wedu, Blended Learning, Learning, Learning Technologies, OLC, Online Learning

Sparking a Few Ideas for #OLCInnovate in NOLA!

April is just around the corner. Some say it brings Spring showers, but I know it brings jazz and learning in New Orleans.  I am looking forward to the NOLA Jazz & Heritage Festival (1st time for me!) and welcoming the many conference participants to the NEW 2016 OLC Innovate (#OLCInnovate). Less than one month from now, we are excited to kick off the new conference with the opening session with the #OLCInnovate Lightning Talks!

This opening session, on Wednesday, April 20th from 5-6:30 pm, will host a series of rapid-fire talks to introduce a variety of themes around the topic of innovation, including pedagogy, structure, workforce, and the challenges we face in learning. The format for the #OLCInnovate Lightning Talks are as follows – each presenter is given 6 minutes to talk while their 20 slides automatically advance every 18 seconds. We hope the quick-pace of these mini-keynotes introduce you to the concepts of innovation inspire you to think further about the conference experience ahead. Here’s the speaker line-up for the evening:

Title of Talk: Reachin’ Out to Meet the Changes

RolinMoe

Rolin Moe (a.k.a. @RMoeJo), Seattle Pacific University

About Rolin’s Lightning Talk: Embracing the structures of education means understanding the complexities of all members of the community. There are no shortcuts. 20th Century poet Laura Riding made it her life’s mission to create a universal dictionary where every word would only have one meaning. This would clear up ambiguity and allow people to communicate more effectively. Since this is probably the first you have heard of Laura Riding, you can imagine the fate of her dictionary. This is a victory for language; it is the imperfection of the human state that creates the most meaning.

 Using Core Values to Collaborate, Innovate, and Educate

JulieLarsenJulie Larsen ( a.k.a. @julieclarsen), University of Washington

About Julie’s Lightning Talk: Starting with values identification allows peer educators to name their own “why” and develop better mentoring relationships. Give your learners the toolbox, and let them build their own course.Training and development is most often focused on policies and procedures. Innovation lies in creating a mentoring and peer education program founded in values-based education that focuses on the “why” more than the “how.” By encouraging students to use discernment and judgment, retention and satisfaction with experience will follow.

From Redlining to Digital Redlining

ChrisGilliard Chris Gilliard, Ph.D. (@hypervisible)Macomb Community College

About Chris’ Lightning Talk: Digital footprints serve discriminatory purposes similar to traditional forms of redlining that are now outlawed. Academic IT policies risk complicity with such discrimination. Where redlining was once a geographic classification for channeling financial advantage to the white, middle-class, it has been reinvented in digital practices that affect finance, employment policing, and education. In education, digital redlining arises out of uncritical policies that regulate the engagement of community college’s working class students with technology.

Today’s the Day: Balancing The Reality of Faculty Scholarship with Innovations in Digital Authorship

 NoriBarajas-MurphyNori Barajas-Murphy (a.k.a. @nononi28), University of La Verne

About Nori’s Lightning Talk: It’s time to rethink the definition of faculty publications. Authoring course texts and designing curriculum are the products of innovative faculty and should be considered scholarship. Developing cultures of innovation for faculty across institution types requires restructuring traditional emphasis on scholarship and publication. Institutions that honor the time needed to develop digital content with course releases and course development sabbaticals will fuel innovation and offer students course materials beyond a textbook cartridge.

There’s A Lot More Going On Behind That Screen

PaulBrownPaul Gordon Brown (a.k.a. @paulgordonbrown), Boston College

About Paul’s Lightning Talk: Moving learners from external to internal motivation and how the developmental process plays out online. Research into the impact of digital and social technology on student development remains relatively new, therefore, consider how we reflect on some of the same questions asked of our learners. To trigger discussion and share strategies, this talk will instigate how practitioners can be more when engaging their learners about digital identity development.

That being said, we hope you are actively contributing to the opening program as well. These fantastic speakers plan to INVOLVE YOU by presenting a question, introducing a challenge, or prompting participants to chat with one another about the central message from their talk. We encourage ALL OF YOU to create a “digital make” using the conference hashtag, #OLCInnovate, to share your thoughts and reflections. And since we are in New Orleans, we will, of course, have drinks and snacks to enjoy. We hope this dynamic welcome allows you to ponder a few innovation ideas and allows you to connect to the OLC and MERLOT community.

Women_Ed_Tech

OLC Innovate: Women in Ed Tech Scholarship Award

Applications for the women in the field of #EdTech who exemplify leadership qualities in the field of online learning are OPEN! In 2015, the Women in EdTech Scholarship was established by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) in conjunction with the Women in EdTech dinner, an event sponsored by Loud Cloud at OLC’s 2015 #ET4Online Conference. The scholarship honors women in the field of EdTech who exemplify leadership qualities in the field of online learning and who contribute to the field through the adoption of innovative practices or new research in the field. This scholarship will be presented at the 2016 OLC Innovate conference in New Orleans April 20-22, 2016. This scholarship includes an OLC Innovate conference registration, 2 nights at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel to use during the conference, attendance at the 2016 Women in Online Leadership Dinner and a commemorative plaque.

This blog post has been cross-posted on the Online Learning Consortium blog

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?