Traditional online assessment typically provides students with measures that include answer selection, information recall, and the completion of teacher generated or standardized tests. While these types of assessment have a role in learning, authentic assessment enables online students to actualize and apply acquired knowledge and skills to real-life scenarios. This session will provide a comparative overview of traditional and authentic assessment. The session will then share innovative strategies for transforming ordinary individual and group assignments into dynamic engaging assignments including sociodramas, psychodramas, reflection, role-play, and gaming to meet course objectives and learning outcomes. Demonstrations will showcase how faculty can integrate authentic assessment into a Learning Management System to complement, augment, and transform current traditional assignments in online and blended courses. The session will conclude with a discussion about how authentic assessment and innovative technologies and software can be integrated into online and blended programs through backwards design and scaffolding to increase knowledge and skill acquisition/application as well as student engagement and retention.
We describe our experience using an on-line automatic grading system for a course on technical computing and problem solving to over 900 freshman engineering students. What started out as a necessity has turned into an essential learning tool, providing students with ways to check reading comprehension and conceptual understanding, and to reinforce recall. Random generation with a question template allows instructors to give each student their unique version of a problem without increasing the staff effort in grading. Students spend ten hours per term in labs with face-to-face contact with instructional staff. An on-line pre-lab quiz encourages students to prepare for the lab. A post-lab on-line quiz/assignment solidifies comprehension and recall and provides further practice with computing and problem-solving. We encourage student use of quiz feedback to improve their work right when they are making the most effort to work with our problems. We allow multiple attempts for most questions. Peer-led and staff tutoring (face-to-face and online) provides "just in time" help for post-lab quizzes. This approach to assessment is a scalable instructional technique that has 24/7 availability and immediate feedback. Most staff time is spent interacting with students to help them master content, rather than working in a back room grading. It facilitates collection of statistics on all regularly graded materials, allowing instructors to monitor student learning down to individual questions. This can be used to give individualized remediation and indicate particular areas where the class is having difficulty. The data, over time, also provides information for learning patterns and retention. The costs of this approach is that IT expertise is needed to keep services running with high availability and reliability. Software engineering discipline is needed to construct robust questions and grading procedures. Finally, there are pedagogical challenges working around the limitations of current auto-grading technology.
"5 Easy Techniques Faculty Can Use to Ensure That Their Online Course Content is Available to All Students" One of the persistent myths about web accessibility is that it is hard to achieve. In fact, there are basic techniques all of us can use when managing our online course content that are easy, and that require little or no extra time. In this workshop we will demonstrate 5 techniques, using common content management interfaces such as Blackboard’s, to ensure accessibility. We will also discuss how each technique removes specific barriers for students with disabilities. In addition, we will provide resources to support you as you continue to grow your knowledge of web accessibility and best practices.
Group work. Educators know that the process is beneficial on a number of levels: students become interested and stay on task, teams set and meet goals, peer review, and is the basis for real-world applications. But students hate it. Not necessarily the idea of group work, but how to manage the project: who does what?, when to meet?, who’s in charge?, what do I have to do?, how dependent is my grade on the performance of the rest of the team? Teams do better in complex decision-making exercises and everyone has personal blind spots. By working collaboratively students become more engaged in the material, the final product becomes better, peer review assessment opportunities increase, and students gain valuable skills they can apply to real-world experiences. The University of Delaware adopted GoogleApps for Education to facilitate and reduce stress typically associated with group work. The level of assignment complexity can be modified for a simple assignment or semester-long project. In this session we’ll explore the steps and Google Docs tools that can be used to facilitate group work:
- Folder: to collect project work,
- Document: to outline project including thesis statement, audience, goal and division of labor,
- Form/Spreadsheet: to collect and crunch data. Data is supplied via a web form and processed in the back-end spreadsheet,
- Drawing: to create mindmaps for brainstorming or graphic illustrations,
- Presentation: to pull it all together for presentation as a slideshow via the web, or exported for display offline or digital submission.
Approximately 20% of the population and 11% of post-secondary students identify as having a disability. With increasing online enrollments, institutions must go beyond compliance and increase accessibility and support for students with disabilities. This session includes a panel of three students and one graduate with different disabilities who are or have been enrolled in online programs. The panel will discuss opportunities provided through online education and the challenges that they have confronted as online students. The panel will also discuss the importance of engagement and community development as well as strategies to develop courses, activities, and assignments in accessible formats to support student success.
The Web is a tool of socializing more than ever before. Today, the overwhelming majority of students have some social web presence from well before the start of their college education. Developers and educators alike focus on integrating social media like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and FriendFeed into their products because of the immediate connection it forges with their audience, the students. Social media tools have been widely embraced by many disabled users for creating new outlets for expression and socializing. However, social media sites and tools demand many different types of interaction, and often pose a host of accessibility problems as well. These tools, if properly used by educators and augmented by developers, will yield great success for e-learning resources. This presentation will highlight some of the best uses of social media for and by disabled users. It will also go through some of the biggest problems for accessibility in these applications, and what to keep in mind for their use. Editors, developers, and designers will come away from this presentation with a firm understanding of the wealth of social media/networking tools available, and how best to use them accessibly, to reach their target audiences.
As faculty and students struggle to use generations of online tools to enhance their learning outcomes, they are often challenged to integrate the content of the course while they build their capacity to use the online tools effectively within the context of their Learning Management System. The convergence of the adaption of new and adoption of old waves of innovative online tools would foster robust shared learning environment. This would further allow capacity building and confidence for generations of innovative tools in a steady and seamless manner. This presentation illustrates a pathway in which a learning environment can be established in which older converging innovations and far reaching newer diverging innovations can be melded together towards focusing on what both faculty and students do best, teach and learn. Moreover, the pathway addresses aspects in both course design and teaching pedagogy in ascertaining this environment. The pathway demonstrates best practices from the convergence of the evolution (1) from tradition textbooks to online modules with video support for course materials, (2) of Faculty-student interactions from blogs/journals to online video conferencing and digital archiving (3) from traditional paper assignment submissions to online polling/surveys and the divergence (4) from faculty centered to students centered presentations through the use of clickers and video and (5) the reformulation of a new education paradigm which converges traits of face-to-face, hybrid and online courses. Also, the pathway demonstrates that with maturity of the innovation in the education field, measures and standard are derived. This leads to stability and acceptability, thereby comes scalability and scope that leads to better measurable quality. Lastly, the pathway demonstrates the convergence of learning outcome measures from face-to-face, hybrid and online courses through quality standards.
This presentation will demonstrate how to use and incorporate some of the main collaboration tools within Blackboard Classic effectively to increase student engagement and learning. We believe that when an instructor uses these tools in online instruction, he/she creates an environment that fosters not only collaboration but also student interaction and engagement. A learning environment is created where the students are able to learn from one another, develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, and develop an understanding of the content that is being delivered. Thus, collaboration tools provide a means of allowing students to process and transform knowledge that can enrich their online learning experience. Within this presentation we will provide specific examples of best practices using the following collaboration tools within our courses at Goodwin College:
- Wimba Classroom
- Voice boards
- Blogs and Wikis
- Discussion Boards
- Available Mobile Applications
The United States will need 22 million new workers with college degrees by 2018 but is projected to fall short of this number by at least 3 million college degrees (Center on Education & Workforce Development, 2010). Online education provides extensive opportunities for student enrollment in degree granting programs (certificate, two-year, four-year, and graduate). However, accessibility is critical for student success, particularly for students with disabilities. This session includes a panel of speakers representing national associations that work with individuals with disabilities. Panelists will discuss the mission of each association and ADA compliance as it relates to online education. Additionally, panelists will discuss opportunities to develop collaborative partnerships with national associations to increase online accessibility and engagement for all students from point of first contact to matriculation through graduation. Panelists represent the National Federation for the Blind (NFB), National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), and Association on Higher Education & Disability (AHEAD).
Drawing on Wilmington University's experience in developing high quality blended and online courses, this presentation will outline a systematic approach for training faculty to teach and design online courses. The model used provides a sustainable approach to course design that integrates pedagogical knowledge and curriculum alignment into the design process. Building a multi-faceted training program for faculty requires strategy, resources, and a communication plan. During this session, we will share support components that have been provided in a variety of settings and formats that compliment a Multiple Intelligence Theory-based approach. Over 500 faculty members have developed online courses with the support of various training sessions matching their personal learning style, technology comfort level, and course objectives. Professional development is seamlessly integrated into a Hybrid and Online Training (HOT) course, the design structure used for all online and blended courses, the planning documents and an end of development rubric. The tools and resources used in the process will be examined and participants will be given the opportunity to discuss how this model can be adapted to their unique situation. Participants will be given access to all of the materials presented during the session.
This presentation will review the literature and best practices for collaborative online course development in both k-12 and university settings and present a case study of the Goodwin College model at Drexel University for the online masters degree programs in higher education and educational administration. This presentation should be helpful to school districts, colleges and universities who are developing or refining their approaches for high quality course development. Caplan (2004) argues that, “Online course development is a complex endeavor, and it is not reasonable to believe that a high caliber online course of instruction can be created by just one or tow people.” As online courses (including blended/hybrid) are becoming more commonplace in both the k-12 and higher education environment, teachers and faculty need special support systems for adapting pedagogic strategies to online, student-centered learning. Online courses take time and special expertise of the subject matter and the technology to ensure a quality outcome. Once courses are developed, additional efforts need to be undertaken to ensure that teaching faculty are adequately trained in online delivery, that courses are aligned with overall program learning outcomes and are compliant with federal mandates such as accessibility to people with disabilities. To address these challenges, K-University organizations are utilizing more collaborative team-based approaches to online course development, bringing together teams of subject matter experts and a variety of instructional support staff. Working in a team environment with teachers/faculty, instructional designers and technical support staff presents special challenges and opportunities. Best practices will be explored by examining the Goodwin College course development process at Drexel University. The presenters will also draw on their experiences in the K-12 environment in Louisiana and Pennsylvania and at two other higher education institutions.
More and more types of media are becoming available for integration on the web, and in e-learning curricula, and they are not often designed with accessibility in mind. Audio and video content, slideshows, non-traditional mouse-and-keyboard interactions, streaming data sources, drag-and-drop interfaces, and auto-refreshing content displays are all prevalent in e-learning, and all pose problems for many disabled web users. Dealing with these problems tends to be regarded as overly difficult, and it is tempting for educators and developers to turn a blind eye to this area of an application’s design and development. In this presentation, an overview of rich media’s accessibility pitfalls will be given, as well as solutions for common problems that exist for rich media in education software. This presentation will benefit educators and developers who want to design lesson plans and learning applications with accessibility in mind. Attendees will learn how to incorporate rich media into their work, as well as how to ensure accessible streaming of sources unmonitored by their institutions, how to test for rich media accessibility, and how to teach accessibility of rich content generated and contributed by their students.
The Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at Thomas Jefferson University’s School of Population Health partners with the Director for Online Learning to review the successes and on-going challenges of developing practitioner faculty who author and deliver a wide range of courses in the new school’s Master’s degree programs. The presenters discuss how the school’s training programs, faculty support structures, and online course design have been evolved to reflect both nationally recognized best practices in online education and the unique needs of adjunct faculty who are expert practitioners in healthcare fields closely aligned with the degree programs. The evolution reflects the school’s responses to several factors: the time constraints under which these types of faculty work, large variations in both their experiential base as teachers and in their familiarity with online learning technologies, their need for special types of support, and faculty expectations about their obligations to their students and to the school. Through this discussion several themes emerge: “on demand” training such as is popular in corporate environments today helps address the characteristic needs of practitioner faculty; resistance to the goals and implicit values of student-centered teaching can be particularly strong in some practitioner faculty; conceiving of an online course as a carefully structured web-based learning environment rather than as a computer facilitated supplement to a face-to-face course is a strong predictor of faculty success; facility with and thoughtful use of tools associated with Web 2.0, such as student blogs and wikis can also be a predictor of faculty success. The presentation concludes with specific strategies for lowering the barriers to success that practitioner faculty face so that they can better draw upon their uniquely valuable industry experience in their online courses and so that they can build upon their individual strengths as educators over time.
With the advent of more online and hybrid courses as well as the development of more classrooms that permit the video and audio recording of lectures new issues arise. This work will provide a framework to address the issues of intellectual property, privacy and consent issues. The new technologies provide the opportunity to capture and distribute the classroom lectures which includes the intellectual property of the faculty member as well as the input and participation of the students. There are also issues of control and ownership which are important to the University as well. While there are clearly exciting possibilities, including time shifting, students with disabilities, and distances to campuses, to the capture and dissemination of the classroom experience, there are also important normative issues as well. Because something is technically possible may not simply imply that it should be done, at least without sufficient protections. Is it assumed that students enrolled in a class can be recorded for future dissemination have no rights or expectations of privacy? This paper addresses the issues of privacy, ownership, and consent (whether it is needed and if so what type and its implications for a classroom environment which may well vary in terms of the subject matter and degree of desired privacy). A chemistry class may not have the same sensibilities attached as a political science or human sexuality class may have. For the latter two examples, perhaps an important feature of the classroom experience is to more freely think and express oneself in a “protective and nurturing environment.” With the camera rolling this may not be possible due to the potential of a chilling effect. The degree of interactivity and freedom of expression may be impinged depending on how these issues are resolved.
Some instructors are skilled at retaining online students through dogged pursuit of laggards. An early warning system, composed of simple practices and principles can be built into online and hybrid courses, combined with early action, can facilitate retention efforts. We will demonstrate an early warning system implemented in Blackboard Vista, report on how the system is taught in Neumann University’s “Online Course Facilitation and Design” certification course, required for all hybrid and online instructors, and show the Early Warning tools that will be built into Blackboard Learn 9.
25th March 2011