ETEC 541 MODULE 01 ASSIGNMENT

  • MODULE 01 TASKS

    1. 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.

    1. Personal Introduction

    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.

    VSB

    1. Send your blog address to Dr. Newberry

    Done

    1. Respond to the following questions based on your interaction with the session 1 podcast:
    2. 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.

    1. 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.
    1. 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”.

    1. 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.

    References:

    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

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Module 10

Thanks for the feedback on my comment, Vis a vis your your posting, I really believe that constructive criticism, especially when it is done by peers is invaluable. Not only does it foster critical and deeper thinking, it also helps to fortify CoIs.

Good job.

fdelgadillo

Final Project: Learning Criteria

Fernando Delgadillo

Etec 501

Dr. Baek

March 22, 2015

Assuming I’m an e-learning instructor, my ideal class to teach would be Intro to Cyber Security. I believe it to be an exciting field and I would enjoy introducing college students to this field. I have experienced both quarter and semester systems and my preference is the quarter system. I enjoy the fast pace environment and the way it keeps students active rather than sitting through the same class for five months. It also keeps students’ levels of interest in the class fairly high. I would teach this course as a blended class considering that many college students work full time jobs and it becomes more convenient for them to only have to attend once a week rather than twice. My reason for not teaching fully online is that this field is really technical and it would…

View original post 1,729 more words

MODULE 10 — THE LAST DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What did this class miss? What topic related to delivery or assessment of online learning should have been included but wasn’t. What should we know about that topic?

 Other than SOP (i.e., seat of pants) experiences with teaching undergraduate and graduate classes at several colleges/universities, as well as conducting professional training and technical assistance programs, I have no formal training in education. This deficit left me out of the loop on more than one occasion,  

I came to this class and program with a very different perspective and agenda. My primary interests remain the design, implementation and evaluation of elearning programs in corporate 

Lastly, having initiated a mastermind group of visual artists here in the Coachella Valley, I am thinking about how I can create online business courses targeted to creative professionals. 

Since class content was totally new to me, I am not sure what was absent. I probably missed it in the beginning, but some clear delineation between design, implementation and evaluation might have helped.

Given my target audience, I would have enjoyed a section on using software in adult (ideally professional) training and development. 

Also greater emphasis upon andragogy and heutagogy would be helpful to all students… Especially since most everyone in the glass were demonstrating the heutagogical principles.

My own personal interests include process development and benchmarking. Irrespective of the learning audience, the concept is critical for the coming decades, especially for those teaching at lower levels. 

To be honest, conversations and assignments about education management systems would be totally inapplicable to those looking to teach in the business world. Similarly, apps and the like are not of interest to overcommitted managers who are already working 50 hours a week. 

If you were going to do a research study about eLearning delivery and/or assessment, what would your study be and why?

I would in all likelyhood come back to my primary interest in professional education and development. Some of the proposed topics are more conceptual than practical. That noted, here are some thoughts:

  • Creating some techniqes to operationalize and assess heutagogy in various professions.
  • Comparing blended learning vs totally online learning with various training programs.
  • Creatigng and assessing the effectiveness of various post training program follow-up programs.
  • Testing models that translate online training models to one-on-one business coaching.

MODULE 09 REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. Thinking about an online class you teach or might teach, what is the most likely issue related to plagiarism and/or cheating with which you would anticipate dealing?

Since I plan to teach professional development programs for managers, much of the courses have a coaching focus. Frequently participants will all be from the same company.

In this context, ethics takes on a different slant.  It seems more focused upon individuals carrying their own weight and not about plagariasm per se.

To get around the issue of plagiarism, I am thinking of having participants develop portfolios. Through the coaching, I will get a good sense of who the participant is and if that person’s work (e.g., style, capabilities) is reflected in the work product.

2.Identify and explain the steps and measures you would take to reduce the occurrence of plagiarism/cheating identified in item 1.

Since my programs will be somewhat different than most of my colleagues, my responses will also differ.

Assuming that a program participant does submit work product that exceeds my expectations (i.e., positive or negative), I would arrange for a real time conversation to discuss what brought them to the submitted product.

Since most mid to larger companies do have honor codes and codes of conduct, I would make sure I was familiar with those standards before the actual conversation.

My decision about reporting the person must be contextual. I know from past experiences that there are companies that immediately fire an employee who repeatedly pads their expense account (even for as little as $25 per report.

  1. What does research tell us about the reasons students give for plagiarism/cheating. Remember to cite your sources!

Since I ascribe to Posner’s definition as a fraud (Bailey, 2007). Cyberplagiarism is simply the theft of intellectual property. An arguably very rigorous definition.

Hult Business School Archives (2013), Slater (2014) as well as McCabe (2009) report that plagiarism occurs in all disciplines and at all levels. For these publications, cyberplagiarism at younger levels is a lack of knowledge that they are stealing. Although posed, even with my juniors and seniors and Master’s students feign naiveté and ignorance.

What also emerges, and might be expected, it is in those disciplines that are highly competitive (e.g., business, engineering, graduate schools), that cyber and other forms of plagiarism occur. It is in the humanities and the arts where cyberplagerism occurs.

In addition to actual cheating, there are situations where students try to “barter” for a better grade. For example, when I was teaching juniors at a well known university, an attractive student with a very low cut sweater, walked up to me, letting me know that she would most anything “for an A.” As an FYI, my response was: “Study”.

Slater (2014) indicates that cheating also occurs in f2f and similar teaching formats. According to the author, it appears most frequently in most technical and business disciplines. 

Hult Business School Archives 2013. http://news.hult.edu/2013/02/why-students-cheat-and-what-to-do-about-it

 McCabe, Donald, MBA’s Cheat, But Why? Harvard Business Review, April, 2009. HTTPS://HBR.ORG/2009/04/MBAS-CHEAT-BUT-WHY.HTML   (Abstract)

Slater, Harry, Distance Learning Can Make Plagiarism and Cheating Harder to Spot. The Guardian, http://www.the guardian.com/education/2014/mar/14/students-cheating-plagiarism-online.

Thomas, Ebony Elizabeth and Kelly Sassi. An Ethical Dilemma: Talking about Plagiarism and Academic Integrity in a Digital Age. English Journal, 100.6 (2011), pg 47-53

 Evaluate your participation in the discussion this week. Provide at least one quote from the discussion that supports your evaluation.

My participation in this week’s discussion may have been less frequent than I would like, however, I do think there were some quality comments. For example, I supported Laura’s assertion about less plagiarism with on-line courses, as demonstrated with Open University courses

I suspect that my submissions on the cyberplagiarism thread were a bit too late, as I think that I made at least one good point that was overlooked (i.e.  cyberplagiarism is for many students like hacking; it is a game.).

It was an assignment that made me remember experiences from my days in graduate school an initial years teaching.

  1. Identify the student you think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

Lorraine for me provoked considerable thought. Her citation about how internet access suggests that there is a paradigm shift among the Millenials.  I just administered an open book midterm and found students paraphrased textbook language without any attribution.

6. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

This week corroborated what I know, explicitly and implicitly. It also is forcing me to rethink how I am administering f2f classes, as I am not teaching anything on-line at this point.

It also has me thinking about I will assess learning and skill acquisition in professional development programs. Right now, it seems that portfolios seem to be a good choice.

MODULE 09 – PROGRESS ON THE PROJECT

I am further behind than I would like be: I struggled–for some time–with distinguishing between design, implementation and evaluation.  I also found myself needing create a  manageable and non-theoretical project.

Those challenges overcome, my “more” manageable prjoct is is titled “A Self-assessment Schema for Managers attending a Professional Development Program Titled, Creative Problem Solving.

  • Target audience: managers with at least 18 months tenure with their current company
  • Content: Post College and Graduate Level
  • Learning outcome: practical skills that can be applied at the workplace upon returning to the workplace
  • Format: Totally on-line (tentatively)
  • Training tools: blackboard and/or blog, on-line templates for collaborative work.

Assessment tools: Either two or three assessment tools will be developed for the final project.

  • A participant survey on program quality and effectiveness (i.e., to allow for continuous improvement). Participant surveys will be returned to the instructional team for a blind analysis.
  • A self-assessment rubric that gives participants feedback on what they learned and how the practices have been used.
  • Creating a portfolio on one of the technique. Participants will be offered post training technical assistance if they move forward on one technique post training. [N.B. Depending upon available time this last technique may or may not be included.]

Project challenge: Self assessment tools are scheduled to be distributed 1-2 weeks post training program.  In concept, post training assessments  make sense; however, in real life getting feedback is more difficult. I am working on “rewards” for completing the assessments.

I guess that is where I am at. Any suggestions or comments are welcome.

MODULE 09–CYBERCHEATING

Cybercheating?

Since I am currently teaching a Junior/Senior-level course on Business Ethics, this topic is quite interesting and somewhat timely. There will likely be two results of my current situation. Specifically, I will likely

  • Make multiple entries, as my thinking is still evolving.
  • Assume the vantage point of business education and professional development of working professionals

Is cybercheating really different than any other form of plagiarism or cheating?

What is “cybercheating” according to the article provided?

How can we prevent cybercheating and other similar types of plagiarism?

Is cybercheating anything new? And, what is cybercheating.

 Alas, upon reading a book review of Richard Posner’s book, The Little Book of Plagerism (Bailey, 2007)[1], my thought that I had a novel idea was quickly dashed..

Both Posner and I came to the same conclusion but via avenues. As a judge, Posner’s analysis was based upon legal precedent. In contrast, my analysis was based upon my training in human and societal development.

Without seeming too presumptive, I think we would agree that plagiarism today, in all its forms, is merely a developmental outgrowth (i.e., manifestation of previous demonstrations) of the same behavior that has appeared for several decades, if not over a century.  I would say that each of the references cited, as well as the others, not included in this analysis, would like cyberplagariasm would include but not be limited to any and all demonstrations where someone else’s intellectual property is used to answer test question, written responses, term papers, performance portfolios, etc.

Since I can’t speak for Posner, plagiarism is at its core the inappropriate use of someone else’s intellectual property. Given his legal training, Posner, according to Bailey, goes even further: Posner calls plagiarism as a manifestation of “fraud”.

Slater (2014) indicates that cheating also occurs in f2f and similar teaching formats. According to the author, it appears most frequently in most technical and business disciplines.

In the business school environment, faculties report that plagiarism and related practices remain rampant. For example, both the Hult Business School Archives (2013) and in the abstract for McCabe’s 2009 article in the Harvard Business Review[2] pronounce that success (e.g., high paying jobs at prestigious corporations) at any cost fosters cheating, in all of its manifestations.

I’d go so far as to suggest that in addition to the “publish or perish” notion in academic environment, the theft of intellectual property extends far beyond academia. A great popular media example is the 1990’s film “Working Girl”. [N.B. While I have never been a “working girl”  I have actually experienced intellectual property theft several times in my career.]

Is there a cure for cybercheating?

Whether in the workplace or in school, I’ve come to consider redefine the behavior as “cyberpiracy”: it is the practice of taking someone else’s work product by some sort of legal (e.g., paying for it) and/or illegal manner.

Perhaps, I am a bit sanguine, but honor codes just don’t cut it. In my own classes with Millenials, students think that these codes are a joke.

Also, to me cybercheating is like hacking or creating a computer virus. As soon as one remedy is found, at least two more workarounds appear.

In some cases, cybercheating, like other forms of academic dishonesty:

1) has malicious intent (e.g., getting a great grade),

2) may be pure ignorance. This situation can perhaps be remedied

3) presents cheating as a game where the payoff is not get caught. That to me is the most egregious.

I am reminded when I was pursing my Masters, a fellow student, who was very bright and competent was expelled from the program because he literally copied a professional journal article, verbatim. In my f2f classes, I call out students who use words and phrases that I know are not part of their regular vocabulary.

Essentially, the remedies and solutions suggested by Rowe (n.d.) as well as Thomas and Sassi (2011), are at best bandaids. My approach with f2f classes is to create assignments tests where cheating is evident. Am I always successful? No.  However, I am a bit philosophical. I do the best I can and can’t carry that person’s losses.

Bailey, Jonathan. Book Review: The Little Book of Plagiarism Plagiarism Today , January 23, 2007.https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2007/01/23/book-review-the-little-book-of-plagiarism/

Hult Business School Archives 2013. http://news.hult.edu/2013/02/why-students-cheat-and-what-to-do-about-it

McCabe, Donald, MBA’s Cheat, But Why? Harvard Business Review, April, 2009. HTTPS://HBR.ORG/2009/04/MBAS-CHEAT-BUT-WHY.HTML   (Abstract)

Slater, Harry, Distance Learning Can Make Plagiarism and Cheating Harder to Spot. The Guardian, http://www.the guardian.com/education/2014/mar/14/students-cheating-plagiarism-online.

Thomas, Ebony Elizabeth and Kelly Sassi. An Ethical Dilemma: Talking about Plagiarism and Academic Integrity in a Digital Age. English Journal, 100.6 (2011), pg 47-53

RE: Cybercheating?

Top of Form

Upon rereading my resopnse to the third question, I think that I talked around, but not to the issue. In essence, the vehicles and techniques for cybercheating et al, are ever evolving; they are like the carnival game, “Whackamo”.

Once again waxing philosophic, I will never catch up to the students who want to cheat, my goals are to find ways to 2) minimize the theft of intellectual property, irrespective of how it is .accomplished and 2) call-out the individuals and make known, within the limits of school policies, the consequences when the behavior is exhibited.

____________________________________________

[1] As I was unable to get a copy of the Posner’s book in time to complete these questions, my comments are based upon others’ analyses. I have however disclosed all the sources for these statements.

[2] Again, I was unable to access the entire article.Bottom of Form

MODULE 08 ASSIGNMENT: PORTFOLIOS AND AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT

  1. Provide a project update. What is your working title?

Assessing Competencies for a Professional Development Course in “Creative Problem Solving and Decision-making”.

  1. How is your project connected to eLearning?

An eLearning format will be used for training working professionals. This is in contrast to the usual f2f format

  1. How is your project relevant for you?

With an eLearning Certificate my goal is to reinvent myself as a consultant, development, trainer and evaluator of both f2f and eLearning professional development programs. The audience for my services are corporations and other institutions that conduct professional development programs.

  1. What are the three most interesting/relevant/informative/important articles in your bibliography for your project?

I am currently in the process of rethinking resources for my project. I am reading a somewhat different body of literature more akin to the revised project.

Specifically, with the movement from a more expansive—and theoretical—study on assessing andragogy and adult learners to a more practical project (i.e., an assessment schema that demonstrates professionals’ competencies with creative problem solving and decision-making techniques) much of my annotated bibliography entries is not applicable.  Three articles with tangential relevance are

Holton III, E.F., Wilson, L. S., & Bates, R.A. (2009). Toward Development of a Generalized Instrument to Measure Andragogy. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 20 (9), 169-193. doi:10.1002/hrdq.2014.

Hussein-Faraj R, Barak, M., and Yehudit, J.D. (2012). Lifelong Learning at the Technion: Graduate Students’ Perceptions of and Experiences in Distance Learning. Proceedings of the Chais Conference on Instructional technologies Research.  http://www.openu.ac/research_center/chais2012/papers.html

Kenyon, C. & Hase, S. (2001). Moving from Andragogy to Heutagogy in Vocational Education. Procedings of the 4th Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association Conference, Aledaide, Australia, 1-9. http//www.averta.org.au.PAPAERS%202001/Kenyon%220haseChase.pdf

  1. What is authentic assessment in your context. Please explain important details like grade level, content area etc.

Since this is a professional development program geared to adult learners. The audience members will likely be:

At minimum college graduates. Course concepts require post high school training.

In that company’s workforce for at least 1+ years. Participants need to understand the corporate culture and organization before implementing any of the techniques taught in the program.

Holding at least a managerial or leadership position. To effect change, a managerial or leadership role is required. Being in a leadership role makes the data collection implementation of a plan easier.

Lastly, employee responsibilities (e.g,. department affiliation) is irrelevant. Specifically, the tools and techniques taught in the program are generic and can be transferred to specific departments, used in a matrix organization or in a task-force setting.

  1. What are three types of portfolios? Choose one type of portfolio and explain how you could implement it in some eLearning setting.
  • Working Portfolios. Working portfolios shows the progression of work products from its project inception to the final product. In essence, working portfolios demonstrate progress.
  • Display, Showcase, or Best Works Portfolios. A display portfolio shows and individual’s best work products. These portfolios are frequently used in the design industries as well as the visual and performing arts.
  • Assessment Portfolios.  This a demonstration of what has been learned. For example, test results outcomes of a grading rubric can be used to assess learning. Assessment portfolios can be used 1) for comparative purposes (e.g., differentiating two students) or 2) to measure one students progress towards a final grade.

[N.B. All three assessments share the same drawback: they do not show how the learning is going to be applied back in the workplace.]

  1. What is competency based learning? How could this impact your career?

Competency-based learning contains several characteristics. Depending on how it is rolled out, competency-based learning focuses, at minimum, upon:

Flexibility in delivery, including: f2f, online, blended, etc.

Student-focused learning that produces engagement. This can include 1) an appreciation that not all students acquire information in the same ways and 2) making the material relevant to the learner.

Vis a vis my career, my interest has always been upon the design of professional development programs that result in learnings that go beyond the training room. And, some of my f2f techniques can readily adapted to online environments. For example, I have implemented 30 and 60 day follow-up reminders, as well as post-training initiatives where program participants realize a goal defined in the program.

  1. Evaluate your participation in the discussion this week. Provide at least one quote from the discussion that supports your evaluation.

Lorraine’s project description provoked a discussion—and a thread—that produced greater insights both into her project and the challenges of teaching writing to K-12 students. While my comment was simply exploratory, her response demonstrated deep learning and a comprehension of her topic.

  1. Identify the student you- think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

Again, I think it is Lorraine who contributed most to the Blackboard discussion. It is not one specific quote, but her ability to describe the project in lay terms, go into greater detail when asked and field a series of questions from different colleagues.

  1. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

The distinction between different portfolios is something I knew implicitly, but not explicitly. In other words, I knew the concepts, but not the names.

As part of that learning, I was reminded of the limitations of portfolios. As stated in the portfolio question, all three portfolios are focus upon past performance; they do not deal with predicting or facilitating the application of learnings going forward.

Moving forward, I intend to continue creating and/or refining post-training program initiatives. These initiatives add value to the employer sponsoring the program.

Module 07 BLOG POST

MODULE 07:

Let me note that grading on-line discussions is far more difficult than grading papers and other work products. The evaluations proved even more complex as the postings listed in the printout were not in chronological order (e.g., a posting on August 14 might appear before a posting cited for August 13. I am however assuming that all postings were made during the rubric’s definition of one week.

That noted, this is my understanding of the blog assignment.

  • Each ETEC 648 student is required to evaluate, by applying the grading schema developed for Module 06, the discussion postings for two out of three assigned students. I have also included my rationale for allocating points to each of the two individuals.
  • Observations about the rubric and usefulness
  • Where the rubric worked
  • Define and explain where the rubric was less than satisfactory
  • What changes would I make to the rubric
  • This week’s learnings

GRADING BILL AND CAROLE

BILL

Required Action Available Points Points Earned by bill rationale
1. Made substantial posts to each of the discussion board questions by midnight Wednesday of each week. 20% (i.e., 20 points) 15 points Bill made some decent points in his postings; however, they did not necessarily respond to the question. For example, his initial posting did not describe P.D. models, only gave his frustration with various training environments.
2.  Between Wednesday and midnight Sunday responded to at least 3 colleagues’ postings with a meaningful comment. 20% (i.e., 20 points) 12 points Bill only provided 2  meaningful postings during the timeframe
3. Integrates your posts with your colleagues’ comments to create a real world application for each of your original posts. 30% (i.e., 30 points) 25 points Somewhat. Bill did relate his experiences. And, his willingness to talk with conference colleagues suggests attempts to discover real time solutions.
4. Between Saturday and Sunday midnight, adds to the discussion board a major learning for the week. 15% (i.e., 15 points) 8 points Although not explicitly stated, Bill admits to one learning.
5. Provides appropriate links and references as appropriate. 15% (i.e., 15 points) 15 points Despite other opportunities, Bill does share a URL, more than some of his colleagues
100% 75 points

CAROLE

Required Action Available Points Points Earned by carole rationale
1. Made substantial posts to each of the discussion board questions by midnight Wednesday of each week. 20% (i.e., 20 points) 15 points Carole like Bill made some decent points. While some seemed more to the topic, there was one point where she continued a gripe (i.e., wasting money) without trying to offer a positive solution.
2.  Between Wednesday and midnight Sunday responded to at least 3 colleagues’ postings with a meaningful comment. 20% (i.e., 20 points) 20 points If my timeline assumption is correct, she met the rubric requirement
3. Integrates your posts with your colleagues’ comments to create a real world application for each of your original posts. 30% (i.e., 30 points) 15 points While not always finding real world applications, Carole’s posts do follow the thread of her colleagues.
4. Between Saturday and Sunday midnight, adds to the discussion board a major learning for the week. 15% (i.e., 15 points) 15 points Towards the end of the discussion, Carole does indicate a learning.
5. Provides appropriate links and references as appropriate. 15% (i.e., 15 points) 15 points Despite other opportunities, Carole does share a URL.
100% 80 points
  1. OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE RUBRIC AND ITS USEFULNESS

Despite being my first attempt to develop a rubric, in general, and for an eLearning course, in particular, the rubric was less than successful than desired; however, the exercise forced me to articulate outcomes and expectations in ways that can be applied to both f2f and online learning classes.

I can see how developing rubrics is readily transferable to technical, scientific and problem solving environments.  However, I am not sure how to create rubrics to assess meaningfully the acquisition of soft skills (e.g., managing, leadership) acquisition by working professionals.

  1. WHERE THE RUBRIC WORKED

 In general terms, the “required actions” seemed to capture much of what of was needed. At the same time, it appears that several actions required greater specificity. More specifically,

  • Quantifying the number of links and references could have been stated as an “absolute” number or perhaps as a ratio of links/posting.
  • Defining “Real world applications” better. In all my f2f classes and workshops stress applications.  Here I needed to be more concrete as to expectations (e.g., by giving examples).
  • Defining “meaningful” while difficult is necessary. Again, creating parameters and/or examples might been a better approach.

 WHERE THE RUBRIC WAS LESS THAN SATISFACTORY.

In my previous response, I identified the need for greater specificity within each of my required actions. More important however, is my not including the grading criteria for each of the desired actions.

Not creating a grading template as to what demonstrates (e.g.) unacceptable, marginal, average, above average, and exceptional performance leaves the student in limbo.

For example, I cite the need for appropriate links and references; however I do not specify the expected number of links/references.  A concrete example with a 4 point scale:

0 links=1 point

1-2 links=2 points

3-4 links=3 points

5+ links=4 points.

  1. WHAT CHANGES WOULD I MAKE TO THE RUBRIC

 Changes to this rubric include:

Developing metrics.  Provide greater specificity as to what “earns” what grade for each required action. This makes the “contract” between instructor and student clearer.

Expanding the number of required actions. For example, there was no metric for inappropriate behavior. Also, some assessment of grammar, spelling, etc., needs be incorporated into a grading schema.

  1. LEARNINGS OF THE WEEK

Rubrics and Their Development. Producing meaningful rubrics is a complex and iterative process. The basic “required actions” seem easy; however pairing them with meaningful measures is far more difficult. I did learn that my approach to create a rubric for a f2f class I just implemented, while needing refinement, is on target.

Problems with Creating Rubrics for Soft Skills. While beyond the scope of Module 07, creating rubrics to assess soft skills in professional (e.g., business) environments will likely prove problematic.  This will prove especially challenging given the skill sets and expectations of the emerging labor force.

MODULE 06

MODULE 06

  1. Give three purposes for grading in an online class. Explain each one and then provide an example or guideline for accomplishing each purpose.

These questions will be answered from the perspective of business-sponsored professional development programs.

Purpose 1: Grading as an assessment of student engagement.

In an on-line training program, engagement relates to the participant’s efforts during course of the training program (Robinson and Hollinger, 2008).

One assessment tool could be a weekly log where the employee reports how the skills were employed between training modules. A second tool, might be peer assessments and interactions.

Robinson, Chin Choo and Hubert Hollinger (2008). New Benchmarks in Higher Education: Student Engagement in On-Line Learning. Journal of Education in Business, November/December.  http://anitacrawley.net/Articles/New%20Benchmarks%20in%20Higher%20Education.pdf

Purpose 2: To guide and shape students’ performance.

Assessing employees participating in business-sponsored on-line professional development programs are expected, over time, to attain increasingly complex skills and capabilities applicable in the workplace.

Following a -By-Objective (MBO) model design, the creation of increasingly difficult and complex work tasks (either simulated or in the actual workplace) that parallel the training program can demonstrate increased learning, including deep learning.

Purpose 3: Motivating Students

With both f2f and on-line training programs motivating employee is a constant challenge. In f2f training program, ducking out and missing modules are the traditional measures.

With on-line training programs, identifying non-motivated participants motivated is less easy, especially with asynchronous programs. Like f2f classes missing modules incomplete assignments are two measures.

To keep students motivated on-line, creating extrinsic rewards for both on-going participation and training program completion will likely achieve the desired goal.

Actuarial students receive salary increases upon the successful of each of 10 courses. While this is one approach, apportioning rewards throughout the training program can allow for the needed learning.

  1. You have been called to consult with a university which is about to create a brand new totally online graduate program in leadership education. As part of your consultation you have been asked to provide a short written policy (for the student and instructor handbooks) related to grading policy. List (bullet list) the top five issues your policy will address.

The University of X’s On-line grading policy needs to address at least 5 issues. They include:

  • Type of grades
    • Letter grades: A, B, C, D, F
    • Pass/Fail
    • Audit
  • Appeals process
  • Benchmarks for determining best practices (to ensure the grading schema remain up-to-date)
  • Standardized measures of success (e.g., absence, work product quality)
  • Discussion room and blackboard policies.
  1. As part of the consultation with the university on creating an online program you have been asked to create a rubric that can be used across all program classes to grade the online discussions.

A 10 week class is graded on the basis of 100 points. Students can earn up to 30 points for their student-to-student interactions. Essentially, 30% of a student’s grade is earned through peer interaction.

Required Action Available Points Points Earned
  1. Made substantial posts to each of the discussion board questions by midnight Wednesday of each week.
20%
  1. Between Wednesday and midnight Sunday responded to at least 3 colleagues’ postings with a meaningful comment.
20%
  1. Integrates your posts with your colleagues’ comments to create a real world application for each of your original posts.
30%
  1. Between Saturday and Sunday midnight, adds to the discussion board a major learning for the week.
15%
  1. Provides appropriate links and references as appropriate.
15%
100%
  1. Choose a topic that is familiar to you and create three excellent learning objectives. Explain why the objectives you create are excellent.

In a Professional Development Course that I currently teach, students are required to develop competencies in a variety of skills (e.g., resume development, informational interviews, business dress and behavior). The course meets 2 hours/day for 4 days/week. The term is 5 weeks long. With class sizes ranging from 3-10 some classes seem more like hands-on training/coaching sessions that formal lectures.

Objective 1: Resume Development. By class 8, the student—using the distributed handout—will complete a job-search-ready resume that includes a header, job objective, work history, competencies/skills, education, additional certifications and awards that can be used in a job search.

This objective succeeds because it is time locked with clearly articulated requirements and a understandable outcome.

Objective 2: Informational Interview.  By class 10, the student will a) conduct an informational interview with the assigned interviewee and b) turn in a 2-3 page report that adheres to the assigned format.

This objective succeeds because the student is told what is expected, by when it is expected and the format of the product.

Objective 3: Professional Dress and Behavior.  By class 5, students will identify and evaluate three different 4+ minute Youttube videos on some aspect of professional dress and behaviors.  Each evaluation, none of which can be an advertisement, must include the 1) Youtube Title, 2) web address, 3) a paragraph describing the video, 4) an evaluation of the video, and 5) a statement as to why/why not its hould be shown in the class.

Although Objective 3 is long and has two sentences, it does define the task clearly and instructor expectations.

Objective 4: Create a LinkedIn account. Between classes 8 and 12, the student will send to the instructor their coversheet for their LinkedIn account and request that the Instructor be a LinkedIn contact.

Objective 4 is a straightforward task that is done totally on-line.

  1. Describe an eLearning activity that will have students meet one or more of the objectives you just created.

Objective 3 is the easies to describe in eLearning terms. Specifically, the student is required to:

  1. Conduct a Youtube search of videos meeting predefined criteria.
  2. Watch and review the videos.
  3. Analyze the appropriateness of the videos for use in class.
  4. Submit a report to the instructor.

Objective 4 is direct, allows students anytime between the completion of the resume and class 12.

  1. Explain how you will grade the student work in the above activity. For example you may want to provide a rubric or describe other methods used.

Although it is the most challenging, assessing student performance when developing through e-learning seems most intriguing. In lieu of a specific rubric—something that I am currently thinking about since I will likely propose that this professional development course be reconfigured as a blended class—below are some of the dimensions that seem important when developing the rubric. [N.B. Some course deliverables, like mock interviews and elevator speeches require f2f and interaction.]

Total points earned for the class is 1,000. A student can earn up to 150 points for their resume, with preparation and outside reviewer being able to allocate 100 points and 50 points, respectively.

The easy part is the outside reviewer assessment (i.e., a summative evaluation). I developed an assessment tool that totals 100 point,that can be divided by 2.

The development of the formative evaluation is much more difficult: the resume requires considerable interaction between the instructor and the student. Depending upon the class, peer interactions rarely work.

Some of the elements of the evaluation rubric can include students:

TASK AVAILABLE POINTS EARNED POINTS
  1. Student uses template to job history including company, location, dates, job title and responsibilities.
30
  1. Student uses template to detail education history, including schools, location, degree, dates of attendance (including expected graduation), relevant courses
10
  1. Student uses template to identify skills that can be used on the first day of work.
10
  1. Student use template to identify certifications, honors and additional qualifications
5
  1. Number of times needed for a student to produce a job-search-ready resume.
10
  1. Student submits a well organized resume based upon one of the 4 templates included with the course handout.
15
  1. Student turns in grammatically correct and well-formatted (e.g., spacing) with no typographical errors
15
  1. Student turns in a visually balanced resume (i.e., not top-heavy, not bottom-heavy, not lopsided)
5
TOTAL POINTS 100
  1. Explain how you will provide feedback to the student in the above activity. Include an example of your feedback if possible.

Feedback will be provided via email and telephone consultation. Since this is also foreseen as a blended or synchronous learning course, some of the feedback on the resume session could be f2f.

There is also an article I read earlier in the semester where in asynchronous sessions the instructor created a library based upon previous classes where students could see the instructor editing student products. [Unfortunately, I am unable to locate the reference.]

  1. Quote your best entry from this week’s Blackboard discussion. Explain why you chose it and what it demonstrates about your understanding, learning process etc.

As my primary interest is applying eLearning to corporate/professional development initiatives, translating questions about grading what is traditionally a traditionally non-graded arena proved challenging. This is especially important as increasing numbers of employers are looking at employees as human capital. And, they are demanding some return on investment (ROI) for dollars spent on training employees.

  1. Identify the student you think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

Less for any one comment and more for his style and approach, Daniel Perkins seemed to be really responsive to his colleagues. For example, his exchange, especially with Laura (Policies and Problems of Grading) moved the conversation to a deeper level and resulted identifying additional resources for our own work.

  1. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

Coming to the conversation, and wanting to apply the learnings in somewhat differently than my colleagues reinforced my dilemma when thinking about assessment in a professional development world.

At minimum, the conversation forces me to think of ways where assessments do not equal “grades” per se, but focus upon behavioral, cognitive and other changes in competencies that can be demonstrated in both simulated and actual environments (e.g., the workplace).

While I am not a diehard fan of MBO, it seems like it may be an approach when assessing increased skill levels in certain arenas.

Going out on another two limbs, two additional issues seemed to be missing in our conversations, especially when it comes to discussions about assessment.

  • The Relative Importance of Questions Over Answers. When in graduate school, one professor placed less weight upon his students’ answers and far greater importance upon the questions they asked. He repeatedly commented, “That finding answers is far easier that asking meaningful questions.”  To some extent that has been a part of my grading philosophy when teaching Juniors, Seniors and Graduate students.

However, how does one assess questions in a meaningful an measurable way?

  • Intraindividual Change. Many of the assessments we discuss are either scores by which we compare students or outcomes that demonstrate specific competencies. What is missing, however, is our measuring the delta or change within the individual.

There is a whole body of literature in life span development (e.g., Paul Baltes, K. Werner Schaie, John Nesselroade) that looks at the importance of assessing interindividual differences as well as intra-individual change with respect to interindividual differences.

In practical terms, I am always challenged when I must grade a student–who demonstrated the greatest improvement—lower than the student who started and ended without demonstrating any real progress.

Any thoughts?

Module 05 Homework

MODULE 05

Q1. Define Instructional Presence

A1. Instructional Presence seems to be any an all elements of synchronous and asynchronous on-line learning environments that contribute to a Community of Inquiry (CoI), without which students—and perhaps instructors—experience a sense of disconnectedness.

CoI’s consists of three highly complex contributors: thought, emotion and behavior. The three facets can be presented as a Venn diagram consisting of unique and overlapping elements that can happen in both synchronous and asynchronous on-line learning environments.

Although this next analysis may be derivative of a narrow definition of Instructional Presence, it seems part and parcel of successful Instructional Presence. Although it may create too much complexity, the CoI from an instructor’s perspective can differ significantly from that of the student. In other words, Instructional Presence and CoI, a la student, can differ significantly from that of the instructor. In other words, the two groups may not define a “successful CoI” the same way.

Q2. Compare Answer 1 with instructor definition: identifies similarities and differences.

A2. Like the instructor’s definition, the three components of Instructional Presence are: thought, emotion and behavior. The answer to Q1 introduces another consideration: the student. With this addition, the 2 dimensional Venn diagram evolves into a 3 dimensional model.

Q3. Instructors frequently associated with Instructional Presence.

A3.  In addition to the Instructor who completed his dissertation in the field.

Marcia Dixon (2010), a researcher whose article was included in this week’s readings .  Dixon asks how to determine what encourages student engagement. As might be expected, there is no one reason that students become engaged; however, her findings suggest that “multiple communication channels” lead to greater peer and student instructor interactions. And that active learning is best achieved through greater engagement. Although the Dixon, uses a fairly sophisticated statistical procedure (i.e., factor analysis) and uses t-tests and correlations to test several of her research questions, it seems odd that she used low level Chi-square analyses to make other comparisons.

Peter Shea, a prolific researcher and writer in several areas of on-line instruction, both examines and develops a series of measures to assess on-line instructional effort (2010). Specifically, using content analysis of discussion board entries, among other measures the authors identified a number of findings, like student interaction is generally lower than teacher presence, assessment is another dimension to teacher presence, and that although there may be a bit of variability in instructor presence and/or engagement may occur, the greater the instructor engagement the greater the student engagement.

McKerlich, et al. (2011) approach a CoI (i.e., teaching, cognitive and social presence) as experienced by the student. Essentially, they measure engagement through student perceptions in a virtual world. Study findings support that a CoI can be created in a virtual world.

Although not familiar with the virtual world “world” of on-line education, this study raises some thoughts about how the approach can be applied to adult training and development programs. Specifically, the ability to simulate actual employee environments can allow for decision-making and judgments in a safe, environment.

Dixon, Marcia(2010) Creating effective student engagement in online course: What do students find engaging? Journal of the Scholorship of Teaching and Learning, 10(2), pp. 1-13,

McKerlich,  Ross, Marianne Riis, Terry Anderson, and Brad Eastman (2011). Student Perceptions of Teaching Presence, Social Presence and Cognitive Presence in a Virtual World. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 7(3). http://jolt.merlot.org/vol7no3/mckerlich_0911.htm

Shea, Peter, Jason Vickers, and Suzanne Hayes (2010). Online Instructional Effort Measured through the Lens of Teaching Presence in the Community of Inquiry Framework: A Re-Examination of Measures and Approach. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Volume 11, Number 3. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ913864.pdf

Q4.  Three types of teaching presence.

A.4.  As summarized by the instructor teaching presence consists of three components; 1) preparing adequately (e.g., content, instructional design/organization, technological fluency); 2) Facilitating discourse (i.e., enabling peer-peer and peer-instructor interactions) and 3) Direct instruction (i.e., producing deep learning of content). The latter two most frequently overlap: Instructional Design and Organization, Facilitating Discourse and Direct Instruction.

These might be considered as the de minimus, as a fourth component might be considered: post-class availability (e.g., guidance/mentoring).  Although the number of those opting for this self-determined learning is quite small, the on-line instructor might be considered as an appropriate resource.

Preparing adequately. This can include things like

It is assumed that the instructor/facilitator is a content expert.  It also requires that:

  • Content is organized in a way consistent with an on-line course
  • Age appropriate learning models (pedagogy, andragogy, heutagogy) are applied
  • Materials care developed to reflects multiple learning styles.
  • The instructor is technically savvy in the on-line tools being employed.
  1. Facilitating Discourse. This includes both peer-peer and peer-instructor interactions. And, while grading rubrics will more than likely stimulate some peer and student-instructor interactions, instilling a CoI whereby peers go beyond what is required to earn a grade should be the ultimate goal.
  1. Direct Instruction. Producing deep learning is probably the greatest challenge. This type of learning, needed for both technical as well as non-technical materials, allows the students to integrate the knowledge into their own lives. It goes beyond the simple analyses for homework or term paper. The transformation of teacher’s direct instruction into a student’s deep learning that makes a CoI most successful.
  1. Post-class engagement. Having repeatedly inserted the post class interaction between student and instructor, it seems appropriate to suggest that in addition to a CoI of inquiry during the class, the student who seeks additional guidance from the instructor or pursues additional CoI’s after the class is done, demonstrates the self-motivated learner.

Q.5 Select 1 type of presence and suggest how it might be improved,

A.5 Having gone out on a limb with my fourth element of teacher presence, by offering two types of improvements I will be hedging my bets (a bit).

Direct Instruction: The safe response. Direct Instruction at its best, produces deep learning. More than the mere analysis, compare and contrast of content, deep learning can likely be improved in two ways:

Creating assignments where the information has practical relevance. For example, in a f2f class I taught, I required students to identify at least one way the chapter content related to their personal lives.

The second way is to create “what-if” scenarios where the student must integrate learned information and then apply it to different situations. In courses like geometry, it can be as easy as having the student apply the same formula with one or more variables changed.

Post-class engagement: out on a limb. Post class engagement occurs rarely: they are the students, prompted by deep learning, to pursue additional learning in a subject matter on their own.

With f2f and blended training programs, I created on-line conference calls or f2f monthly meetings where interested students can attend and discuss some agreed upon topic. In an on-line learning environment this can be attained through a blackboard situation. Going forward in both asynchronous and synchronous environments, I’d either have myself as the moderator and/or ask students to suggest potential readings.

Another thing that I do with f2f classes is make sure students know how to get in touch with me after the class, making it clear that I am available for additional guidance.

Q.7 How readings and research relate to Blackboard instruction.

A.7 There are several ways that the readings and personal research relate to the Blackboard. For example:

  • Although I practiced both Instructional and Teacher Presence for as long as I can remember, I never knew what they were called. To me they were just “good teaching”.

The addition of the student perspective to the discussion of CoI seems worthy of additional discussion.

Having been stimulated into self-learning modalities and seeking additional training (e.g., this program), I think that post-class engagement needs additional attention.

Current discussions of heutagogy, suggest that the concept while intriguing remains a bit “mushy” and too philosophical. This makes it hard to operationalize for research purposes. I also question if the concept is an upper middle class construct.  In other words, it may not be applicable to populations where education, beyond task learning, is a luxury item.

Q8. Most important Blackboard contributor.

A8. Without question, it is Christen Smith. Her posts are always well thought out, no typos, insightful and on point.

Her ability to distinguish between video as a tool to transmit information as well as a tool to give feedback offers some potential for on-line, blended and f2f coursework.

I am thinking of having students in a f2f class, prepare, as homework, a video from either a webcam or cell phone and send it back to me for review and comment. If my goal of transforming another totally on-line course into a blended class is approved, the use of videos for training and feedback will be core to several modules.

The following is only one of the posts with which I resonated.

I realize that when I first looked at this topic, I was only thinking in terms of Video as a mode of delivering content and not as a means for providing feedback.  Maybe it’s because I teach English, but I don’t think Video feedback works well in my area.  I think instructors can give general global responses, but it’s challenging to make specific references to what a student has written in a paper.  I find that my students seems to prefer when I use Microsoft Word Review.  That way they can get general comments on each page or paragraph, and they can also get very specific feedback on exact lines.  

I do have a colleague who has been trying to use 3 min. audio files to record essay feedback.  I know she struggles to be concise and stay within the max 3 minutes.  I suspect that the audio files would be more beneficial if she used an app that could highlight the portion of the essay she was describing as she recorded.  Does anyone know of an app like this? 

Q.9 Application of weekly learnings to my portfolio of on-line efforts.

A. 9 This module reinforces my attempt to get through (i.e., teach skills) to students (especially those that are non-receptive) in ways that they can complete a task on their own.

The some of the comments about the breadth of my potential project and concepts that I may need to operationalize has me trying to dial back what I want to accomplish to what is manageable.

My ongoing efforts to be a role model and resource to my students both during and after the term.

Although it is well beyond my expertise for now and the foreseeable future, the viability of virtual worlds as a tool for a broad range of learning from the arts and humanities, to the behavioral and hard sciences , as well as professional education.