MODULE 01 TASKS
- A. Create your blog. Your blog will be the place where you post the materials you create in this class in response to session assignments and tasks. In addition, these blogs are where you and your fellow students will do most of your interacting. This is important! Without these student-student interactions an online class like this can feel isolating. Use the blog comment spaces to share ideas, give meaningful critique and offer encouragement to your fellow students. For this first blog post provide an introduction of yourself. Discuss your prior experiences with online learning, what you hope to learn in this class and anything else that will help you connect to your fellow students.
IMPORTANT! Please clearly label your blog posts! I strongly suggest (recommend, and beg) that you use the following convention for naming your blog posts. List the session number and the main topic of the post. For example, your first blog post should be labeled:
Session 1 Introduction
If for some reason you need to create more than one blog post for a given session use the topic portion of the label to explain the difference. For example, if you wanted to create two blog posts for session one, the first to present your introduction and the second to respond to the prompts (below) the second blog post for session 1 should be:
Session 1 Response to Prompts
By following this naming convention you will make it easier for your instructor and fellow students to respond to your blog posts in a timely and meaningful way.
- Personal Introduction
For those of you who took ETEC 648 and/or 501 during the Fall and Winter terms, respectively, my introduction will probably prove a bit redundant.
Some Background. I moved to the Coachella Valley about 4 1/2 years ago. While I spent considerable time CA, WA and OR prior to the move, having a CA address is something new. Before moving to the desert, most of my time was spent in large cities, like Chicago, NYC, DC, St. Louis… And, yes it is both a culture and temperature shock!
Professional Experiences and Goals. Pursuing an eLearning Certificate is part of my transition to a third, or fourth career that has included: non-profit management; think tank research; business consulting; and professional speaking, management training and development.
Irrespective of where I was in each career, two constants have transcended all of my past successes, and periodic failures: teaching graduate level courses in business and management, as well as writing articles, training/technical assistance manuals and books for professional audiences.
Today, my career is an amalgamation of several quite distinct worlds. They include:
- Teaching undergraduate business courses at a for-profit college in Rancho Mirage, CA.
- Writing reviews on both the visual and performing arts for San Diego and Coachella Valley publications.
- Being a professional fine art photographer who has had 4 solo shows and participated in another 4 group shows.
Previous Experiences with eLearning. My primary experiences with eLarning is limited to completing ETEC 501 and 648.
I also had the interesting experience of “translating” a senior level class in Management from eLearning to f2f. The reasons included my:
- Being asked to teach the class on the Friday morning prior to the start of class.
- Receiving the course curriculum and outline late afternoon on the Friday before the first day of class.
- Having the textbook for just the weekend prior to first day of the term and then not having a text for the first 1½ weeks of class.
As an aside, despite a couple of hiccups, some fancy footwork and what proved to be a generally good group of students, the class proved successful,
Application of My eLearning Certificate? Given my varied interests and the rapidly changing job market, as well as other considerations (e.g., relocation), targeting a specific interest area/industry seems premature. What is clear, my goal is to work with adult learners.. In the broadest terms, I see myself self-employed or in consulting, trade association or academic environment that
- Designs, develops, implements and evaluates business focused eLearning programs foe corporations and trade associations.
- Teaches creative professionals the “art” of business. With these skills this group can move from starving to self-sufficient. Some preliminary research suggests that I could probably leverage this expertise into the area of professional speaking.
Looking forward to working with each of you this coming term.
- Send your blog address to Dr. Newberry
- Respond to the following questions based on your interaction with the session 1 podcast:
- Explain the relationship between distance learning and online learning.
While both systems offer individuals—separated by distance and time—educational content and skill training, services, online learning is part of the evolution of distance learning. According to Newberry (n.d.), changes in technology and communications provided the impetus for the transition.
- Discuss the main difference between distance learning and online learning.
Early online learning used print media carried by the mail service. Over time, the transmission/delivery systems were expanded to include multimedia, such as radio, television and videotape (Newberry, n.d.). According to this author, internet availability increased the rapidity of the transformation to online learning, effectively surpassing distance learning in 1999.
Newberry (n.d.) and Layton (n.d.) cite four significant differences:
- Layton (n.d.) suggests that while both teaching methods employ many of the same learning tools; however, distance learning is about geography, while education is about the method of education.
- Distance learning is a one-way system, while online learning allows for the development of a dynamic system (Layton, n.d.)
- While distance learning employed techniques like the bulletin board and email, online learning allows instructors to exchange information with individual and groups of students; it also provides opportunities for peer interaction (Newberry, n.d.)
- In contrast to distance learning, where the need for an instructor is all but obviated, instructor’s presence is enhanced with online education.
- List the three types of interaction proposed by Moore (1989) and explain each type of interaction in your own words.
In Moore’s 1989 editorial, he describes three different types of interactions that contribute to the success of distance learning programs. They are: learner-content interaction, learner-instructor interaction and learner-learner interaction.
- Learner-content interaction. Learner-content interaction is the core of education; it includes an acquisition of knowledge, a revision in one’s perception, and/or a change of cognitive structures While not stated explicitly, Moore’s description of learner-content interaction suggests a dialectic.
- Learner-instructor interaction. In essence, a learner-instructor interaction revolves around the relationship between the expert (i.e., educator) and the student. It includes: 1) learner engagement, piquing interest in content, motivating to learn, and ultimately retention; 2) enable translation from knowledge to application; 3) “counsel, support and encouragement” (Moore, 1989)
- Learner-learner interaction. The incorporation of the internet allows for learner-learner interaction, one-on-one or in groups. Instructor presence may or may not be required. Moore (1989) suggests that online learner-learner interaction does require some rethinking by of how the class works, he touts the outcome as highly beneficial to the instructor and students.
In an effort to be more inclusive, Hillman, Willis and Gunawardena (2009) expand Moore’s model to include learner-interface interaction. These authors posit that learning design strategies will enhance the learner’s ability to engage in the “electronic classroom”.
- Discuss differences between early days of online learning and today. Predict the future of eLearning.
Beginning with the assertion that no standardized definitions for eLearning, distance learning and online learning, Moore, Dickson-Deane and Galyen (2011), crediting Moore (1990), cite that while there are clear differences between e-Learning and distance learning, online learning is more difficult to define.
- Distance Learning. For Moore, Dickson-Deane and Galyen (2011) distance learning is the use of print and electronic media to span the geographic separation between instructor and learner. Historically, distance learning is a non-synchronous experience.
- It is suggested that the term, “eLearning” was first employed in the 1980’s Moore, Dickson-Deane and Galyen (2011). And, depending upon the educator’s world view eLearning is defined with greater or less specificity.
These authors note that while some educators, eLearning is limited to teaching content via tools that are web-based, web-distributed or web-capable, others add CD-ROM and intranet. And, while they recognize the lack of agreement, Moore, Dickson-Deane and Galyen believe that, irrespective of the breadth of definition, successful eLearning can utilize applications, programs, objects, websites, etc., can eventually provide a learning opportunity for individuals.
- Online Learning. Since there is a clear lack of consensus a discussion about the “early days of online learning” is somewhat problematic. That noted, Moore, Dickson-Deane and Galyen (2011) identify two historical realms within which online learning exists: 1) a situation where the learning experience is wholly online, and 2) the reference to the technology and/or context that the technology is employed. However, these authors state that, in general terms, online learning emphasizes access to learning experiences via electronic means.
Despite the somewhat murky set of definitions and assumptions related to distance learning, eLearning and online learning, some trends and observations extracted the previous citations and Wikipedia about the past and the present can be made:
Distance learning, with its long history dating back before the 1800’s, was defined by geography and inability for instructor to engage the learner real-time.
The inclusion of first radio, then film leading up to television, CD/CD-ROM became central to teaching large numbers of individuals both synchronously and asynchronously. The U.S. military pioneered these efforts prior to World War II.
The inclusion of computer based education and training first emerged in the 1950’s with educational technologies and tools applying Skinnerian techniques to both content and skill acquisition.
The 1960’s, a number of large technology companies, like IBM, began to explore computer assisted instruction (CAI) by combining Skinner’s theories with technology.
Online education gains momentum as the numbers of academic institutions and companies, along with government agencies, rapidly increases during the 1970’s. The first totally online (community) college begins.
With availability of personal computers, and the internet, online education, during the 1980’s expanded quickly, as did the introduction of new technologies like interactive videodiscs. The 1980’s also saw the birth of the Open University.
During this time, the first learning management Solution (LMS) was the outcome of the merger of three technology companies. With the actual and possibility of online learning as a potential “cash cow”, all educational sectors began to invest heavily.
In retrospect, the 1990’s spawned a proliferation of public and private institutions offering the full gamut of eLearning, distance learning and online learning, globally. Courses, certificates, continuing education units, and degrees were based upon the then state-of-the art technology, some, but not all, were web-based.
In parallel and tandem, universities, tanks and not-for-profit organizations, to enhance their credibility and exploit the cash cow opportunities of online education expanded their efforts: formal institutes generated benchmark studies, standards and scholarly research.
For-profit corporations, also saw on-line education as a viable income stream; they began competing with the academic/not-for-profit sectors with their own certificate, CEU and training offerings.
It should be noted, that all sectors created a web presence marketing their services and expertise. Websites included individuals and corporations courses, training, online newsletters, (later blogs) and educational forums (e.g., conferences, symposia).
Although developed in the 1990s, the company that created Blackboard, a staple in the online education arsenal, filed its first international patent application during at the turn of the 21st century. Similarly, the exploration of ways instructors at different universities could share teaching resources/files in the late 1990s, the technology caught up with the concept by around 2005.
In 2005 and 2006 YouTube began to offer free educational materials and iTunes began offering free “lections”, respectively. During the latter half of this decade, massive open online courses, better know as MOOCS, first by the for-profit company Udacity and later as a joint project by Harvard and MIT. Instructors quickly began to combine these educational materials tools with their own into video-lectures, etc.
Throughout the last decade of the 1900s through 2010, the need for standards became increasingly important to academia, trade associations and government. In addition through this same period, while there were breakthroughs, many of the efforts were refinements and next generation roll-outs of earlier products. Also, the growing incidence of mergers and acquisitions suggests a consolidation among the major players in the private sector.
Going forward. Thinking back to my first Zenith desktop that required big, black, floppy discs, a state-of-the-art daisy wheel printer with an “amazing” 1k of memory, and first “portable” 50+ pound HP computer, I can attest that our technology is becoming increasingly small and lighter and offering greater power and functionality.
With the advent of these smaller tools, information sharing services (e.g., texts, Twitter) are more frequently utilized, by especially the millenials and younger populations. These and other technologies (e.g., smart watches) will continue to redefine how we educate. For example, I currently have students who have neither a desktop nor laptop computer; they rely upon their cell phone.
While this creates greater access, it also poses both challenges and opportunities. Without seeming too negative, the following represent some of my own experiences and observations.
Facility with learning technology. While I don’t have hard data, my experiences suggest that with increasing age, learning the latest technology becomes more difficult. In some ways this population, especially those 50+ report that the logic to them is counterintuitive. This is also true with my students in their early 30s to mid 40s. For example, they repeatedly report a reliance upon their children to teach them technology. For example, several adults took notes while their children explained how to change settings on their now required Kindles.
The emergence of the sound byte. From the late 1980s to about 2010, our writing transitioned from full paragraphs to short paragraphs with a series of bullets. We stopped reading and began scanning. Since all the information was there, we saved time.
Since the emergence of text messages and Twitter, beginning in around 2010, sound bytes reign. And, while the text message is good for pieces of data (e.g., I’m running 10 minutes late), these systems seem inadequate for complex information and extended interactions. For example, a recent student was upset when I wouldn’t allow her to transmit her homework as a series of text messages.
The loss of communication and meaning. One of my main concerns with online education, in general, and email and sound byte data telegraphing systems, in particular, is the loss of context, qualitative components and, in essence, full meaning. Research repeatedly documents that only 4-5% of our communication is transmitted via printed word. And, some 95-96% of all communication is sent by non-verbal means (e.g., facial expressions, body language, vocal tone and affect). Is it feasible to return some of the lost non-verbal communication techniques through online learning technologies?
Problems with grammar, including spelling. Despite a recognition that many grammatical rules and spelling change over time, there is a growing inability for students, at all levels of education, to pair subject, verb and object. Much of this tendency seems related to the increasing reliance upon sound byte communications. There appear to be two outcomes: 1) incomplete sentences that don’t contain a complete thought, and 2) and increased appearance of run on sentences. Many students report knowing that they have to write longer sentences to convey their thoughts. But, since they don’t know how to write them, they “keep going”. Lastly, there seems to be a loss of critical reading when students repeatedly select the first word offered during a spell check.
Hillman, Daniel C. A, Deborah J. Willis and Charlotte N. Gunawardena (2009) Learner‐interface interaction in distance education: An extension of contemporary models and strategies for practitioners. Journal of Distance Education. 8(2). From abstract. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08923649409526853#.VSmgB_nF-So
Layton, Sarah (n.d.). The difference between online and distance learning. Applied Learning Systems http://blog.aeseducation.com/2013/09/difference-between-online-learning-and-distance-learning/
Moore, Dickson-Deane and Galyen (2011). e-Learning, online learning, and distance learning environments: Are they the same? Internet and Higher Education, 14, 129–135. https://scholar.vt.edu/access/content/group/5deb92b5-10f3-49db-adeb-7294847f1ebc/e-Learning%20Scott%20Midkiff.pdf
Moore, Michael G. (1989). Editorial: three types of interaction. http://aris.teluq.uquebec.ca/portals/598/t3_moore1989.pdf
Moore, Michael G. (1990). Background and overview of contemporary American distance education. Contemporary issues in American distance education (pp. xii−xxvi). New York: Pergamon Press.
Newberry, Brian (n.d.) ETEC 541 Online learning. The California State University at San Bernadino, San Bernadio, CA http://studyonthebeach.com/csusb/classes/spring_2015/ETEC541spring2015/s01.html
Wikipedia (n.d.) The history of virtual learning environments. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_virtual_learning_environments#1960s
Wikipedia (n.d.) History of virtual learning environments in the 1990’s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_virtual_learning_environments_in_the_1990s