Online Learning, Professional Development

#ET4online Recap, Reflections, and Review

As I regroup from last week’s Emerging Technologies for Online Learning (#et4online) conference, I am filled with ideas and inspiration. Inviting a group of teaching, learning, and researching friends invested in supporting online pedagogy is a fantastic way to wrap up April.With the help of a fab #et4online steering committee (especially that co-chair Michelle), we were pleased to bring OLC to my current hometown, Dallas, TX.

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Thanks to ALL who contributed to the #et4online program. I was genuinely impressed by the quality of content, interactions, and engagement in the conference workshops, sessions, #et4women dinner, panels, and more! I was told time and time again, how much participants enjoyed the program and felt motivated to bring these ideas back to campus. Way to bring your A-game to Dallas, #et4online! BIG THANKS and shout out to the #et4online Program Track Chairs (@adesinamedia@amichaelberman, @ajsalts@JLeafstedt, @Profpatrice,  & @unatdaly) and our proposal readers for putting this together!

ET4MontageThe conversations and interactions at #et4online really provided momentum for supporting my online learners. I am already thinking about ways to improve my own online teaching and learning, to include action-based pedagogy, #et4messy learning, and reconsider assessment in my curriculum.  It was also a  treat to listen to our #et4online keynote & plenary speakers reflect and share research, projects, and developments in the follow areas of technology emergence – thank you so much:

I am grateful for the collaborative and sharing spirit of the #et4online participants. I was so pleased by a number of new initiatives and happenings at the conference – which also left me contemplating and considering a few things ahead, including:

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Messy Learning sketch by Giulia Forsythe

  • The value of wrapping up a conference with #unet4online the ET4Online Unconference hosted in Canvas facilitated by @Jessifer & @slamteacher (About & remote support @Bali_Maha) + Tweets. Although I was exhausted at the end of the conference, this was  – BY FAR – one of my ET4 conference highlights. The discussions were very fruitful and active in the #unet4online room. It was nice to connect with a few new folks, and walk away with a few new ideas after this thoughtful debriefing session.
  • Hybrid participation in a conference with the #et4buddy pilot project with @Bali_Maha & @rjhogue – Submit feedback for the #et4buddy and #et4buddy video playlist. I am still thinking about this hybrid engagement for a few and its impact for others at the conference. What does it mean to be present at a conference? How does this type of digital involvement make meaning for in-person interactions? How does this interaction help or hinder everyone’s conference experience? Can this meta conference be the “same” or does it have to be?
  • The purpose of the Teacher Tank (Launch Pad) to #et4online, and beyond an entertainment value – how does this really serve #et4online participants? The ideas for this new program feature was to have  ed tech startup’s provide a solution for teaching and learning by sharing their results & preliminary feedback. After processing with the startups, judges, and reviewing the #et4snark meta backchannel, many agreed the format/concept has little value-added to the program.  During the #unet4online conference, we had a great talk about a hackspace and/or collaboration to provide a more meaningful concept — so I look forward to our next meeting about this in May to re-purpose the “shark tank.”
  • The after conference social times that included #et4Bonfire Sing-Songs, dinners, karaoke, 1st Ukulele Lessons #moocalele & harmonizing with peers. These impromptu lessons & creative spaces should have a bigger place for professional development and learning at our conferences. I want to think more about this for next year. How can the non-sessions provide a great space to dialog, learning & engage? Where could and should this fit into a future conference?

A HUGE thanks goes out to the on-going efforts and developments of the OLC Technology Test Kitchen. The addition of the hands-on demonstrations by the Technology Test Kitchen Chefs #et4TTK  was brilliant. I would like to give a shout out to @jlknott & @scragg_OSU for their efforts on organizing this play/maker space! Thank you.

I am continuing to absorb and read others reflections about #ET4Online from tweets and in the blogosphere – thanks for sharing Adam, Patrice, Maha, Jeff, Rebecca, and others to come. Please continue to post your blog reflections, write comments, and share your general thoughts. Also remember to complete the post-conference evaluation so we can better understand your impression of #et4online and improve future events. This survey will take less than 5 minutes, and the #et4online steering committee will use this information to learn about your experiences and utilize this for planning ahead:

Onsite Survey

Virtual Attendee Survey

This was my 3rd and last #et4online conference. Like the ones before it, ET4 did not fail to deliver quality memories and interactions. Next year #et4online will be replaced by the NEW OLC Innovate Conference 2016 in New Orleans, LA from April 20-22, 2016.

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We will be taking ideas from both #et4online and #blend15 for the OLC Innovate 2016 event. Are you interested in getting involved in planning this new event? Want to contribute to planning the program or being a member of the steering committee? Interested in being a program proposal reader? Do you have an idea or suggestions for Innovate 2016? Let me know – complete this Google Form:

EdTech, Higher Education, Online Learning

Online Education in the US [2014 Report]

As I am on my way to the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI & #eli2015), specifically to attend the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancement (DETA) Summit, I figured it was critical to review the 2014 Grade Level: Tracking Online Education in the United States just released from the Babson Survey Research Group (BSRG):

“The study’s findings point to a competitive marketplace, in which traditional institutions are gaining ground on the for-profits in online and distance education,” said study co-author Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group. “While the rapid pace of online learning growth has moderated, it still accounts for nearly three-quarters of all US higher education’s enrollment increases last year.”

It is clear that online learning is on the rise in America – yet there is a vast difference between how administration and faculty view it. A majority of post-secondary education leaders (70.8%)  indicated that online learning is “critical to their long-term strategy;” however these leaders may struggle with online adoption as only 28% of their faculty find “value” and view online education as “legitimate.” A number of findings in this report show opposing views for online education. For example, these two factions of higher differ  by their awareness of open education resources (OER).

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There is much more of this narrative to tease out; and I would like to go through this report further (on the plane) and learn what others in the field have to say. For now I will leave you with some of the ‘quick facts’ shared, and encourage you to download and read through the FULL REPORT if you are in the online learning sphere:

Key report findings include:

  • The number of higher education students taking at least one distance education course in 2014 is up 3.7 % from the previous year.
  • The year-to-year 3.7% increase in the number of distance education students is the lowest recorded over the 13 years of this report series.
  • Public and private nonprofit institutions recorded distance enrollment growth, but these were offset by a decrease among for-profit institutions.
  • The percent of academic leaders rating the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face remained unchanged at 74.1%.
  • The proportion of chief academic leaders reporting online learning is critical to their long-term strategy reached a new high of 70.8%.
  • Only 28.0% of academic leaders say that their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy of online education.”
  • The adoption of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) is reaching a plateau, only 8.0% of higher education institutions currently offer one, another 5.6% report MOOCs are in the planning stages.
  • The proportion of academic leaders who believe that MOOCs represent a sustainable method for offering online courses dropped to 16.3%.

Update:

A couple areas to note, and for further discussion this week at #eli2015 and the #DETAsummit (Follow @UWMDETA):

Pgs. 43-44: Discuss the under count and over count of distance education, i.e. for “fully online” enrollments – this seems to be hazy, as it might be as learning design for enrollment varies by student population type and course design delivery.

Pg. 44 – “The definition of ‘distance education is causing confusion”

There was an interesting segment in this report that struggled with the term “distance education.” This report takes into account distance education, when looking at “fully online” higher education programs. This part of the report reminded me about the Twitter debate of online learning, online education, distance education, and then some when trying to name an update to an edited book. What terminology is best? How can we describe/define education that is delivered from a distance/online/on the web/virtually? Please advise.

Learning Technologies, Professional Development

The Technology Test Kitchen & #et4online CFP Deadline

The Technology Test Kitchen (TTK) was developed at the Online Learning Consortium‘s #blend14 event, and recently enhanced at #aln14.

What the heck is the TTK?

  1. A makerspace for sharing innovative tools and new media
  2. An open collaborative environment for hands-on exploration
  3. An engaging way to connect with your colleagues over emerging technology

how it works

The TTK ideas was created to bring faculty, instructional designers, researchers, and conferences participants together to get a hands-on experience with a variety of learning technologies. In the Test Kitchen, there are a number of “chefs” (volunteers who love applying media to learning) who are typically available to talk about design, discuss a “recipe” (a quick how-to guide for a platform, e.g. PDF Recipe Book from #blend14 is posted HERE), utilize apps, brainstorm curriculum strategies, introduce new media (hardware & software), and provide 1:1, hands-on sharing with learning technologies.

To learn more, check out this AMAZING video created by Angela Gunder (a.k.a. @adesinamedia):

For the 2015 #et4online conference, the TTK will be looking for chefs, like YOU, to actively work in the kitchen and demonstrate how to apply media to pedagogical practice.

CFP for Chefs

Interested in applying? Check out the Call for Proposals today for the TTK or any other program track. We would LOVE to review your proposal. The CFP closes on December 1, 2014.