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From onsite to online learning contexts

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  • Support provided by Blackboard and the NEA. 2000…
  • Babson Research Group and the College Board
  • Lit search from 1996 - 2008
  • So what does it take to teach an online course effectively.
  • Recommendation would be have something similar developed for instructors based on what has worked for others. We need coordinated effort among instructors to share their ideas, design models, and technology skills.

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  • 1. From Onsite to Online Learning Contexts: Pedagogical and Practical Insights into Online Course Design Dr. Anandi Nagarajan GSE, Rutgers University November 27, 2012
  • 2. Background • Teaching ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Psychology of Learning Problem-based Learning Program Evaluation Developmental Educational Psychology • Research focus ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Use of video-cases as a learning context Computer-supported collaborative learning PBL online and facilitation in e-learning contexts Cost-effectiveness and evaluation of online learning environments (Mellon foundation grant) ▫ Leaning in a simulated laboratory • Current Interests ▫ Developing pedagogically effective and practically efficient online courses ▫ Incorporating and facilitating collaborative dialogue and in both hybrid and online courses by creating a cognitive, social and teaching presence in an online course. ▫ Exploring and evaluating multiple options to bring some synchronous video chat features to my current online courses.
  • 3. QUALITY ONtheLINE • The Institute for Higher Education Policy reviewed existing benchmarks for distance education in 2000 ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Institutional support Course development Teaching/learning Course structure Student support Faculty support Evaluation and Assessment • Surveys, debates, and research has since brought new ideas and instructional design models to the forefront
  • 4. Going the Distance Online Education in the United States, 2011 Babson Survey Research Group
  • 5. Recent Survey Research (2011) based on responses from 2500 universities and colleges • Over 6.1 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2010 term; an increase of 560,000 students over the number reported the previous year. • The 10% growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the less than 1% growth of the overall higher education student population. • 31% of all higher education students now take at least one course online. • In the first report of this series in 2003, 57%of academic leaders rated the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face. That number is now 67%, a small but noteworthy increase. • 1/3rd of all academic leaders continue to believe that the learning outcomes for online education are inferior to those of face-to-face instruction.
  • 6. Challenges facing online learning • SRI International reported: ▫ Found that blended learning conditions resulted in slightly higher outcome measures than face to face. Differences between purely online versus face-to-face could not be computed due to few number of studies. ▫ So basically, the face-to-face component in a hybrid course may add an advantage and one has to consider how to incorporate that into a purely online course. ▫ Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies, 2010 • Issues with accreditation of online courses and programs ▫ Chronicle of Higher Education • Competition from MOOCs (massive open online courses) that are offered free ▫ National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning (IIT, India), OpenCourseware (MIT), Coursera, Khan Academy … • Clearly a need exists to look into improved online course design models that address: ▫ instructional quality, appropriate level of content, efficient & contextappropriate pedagogical/communication methods, and effective assessment procedures
  • 7. Some questions we need to address • How do we design online courses that enhance student learning, are efficient, and cost-effective? • What are some best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating an online course? • What are some ways to incorporate both synchronous and asynchronous modes of communication? • What are effective means of formative and summative assessment and feedback?
  • 8. Plan for today’s talk • My personal journey from onsite to online • Exemplary online course design models and rubrics for evaluation • A look at my e-courses • Considerations for the online masters program at Rutgers • Quality, Sustainability & Cost-effectiveness
  • 9. From on-site to online Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Teaching Excellence, 2009
  • 10. From on-site to online Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Teaching Excellence, 2009
  • 11. On-Site to Hybrid to Online • Mostly intuition versus following a model design • Experience with socio-constructivist methods and online learning ▫ PBL ▫ CSCL • A direct-mapping approach with some tweaking where appropriate • Areas for consideration ▫ Course structure and content ▫ Course materials ▫ Instructional methods ▫ Time commitment ▫ Group work and collaboration contexts ▫ Assessment and feedback
  • 12. On-site to Online • Some relatively easy transitions ▫ Course structure, reading assignments, lecture slides, individual case analysis and assignments • Some challenges faced ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Collaborative discussion on readings Problem-based learning scenarios Individual versus group accountability online Assessment of participation and engagement Feedback practices – frequency, content, and depth Written versus verbal medium * important to note these as potential issues faced by new instructors
  • 13. Insights • Transition is more than a cut and paste approach • Requires additional sets of skills • Needs advanced planning and time allocation for the different tasks ▫ Deciding course structure and content, ▫ Providing additional resources and modes of communication as needed, ▫ Initiating, sustaining and facilitating discussion, ▫ Providing feedback on all aspects of participation and assignments, and ▫ Learning technical skills needed to support the instructional goals and affordances of e-college. TPCK
  • 14. TPCK: Essential skills for a successful online course Technical skills on developing tools and course content in an online context Ideas and techniques on how to teach the content A combination of content, pedagogical, and technological knowledge and skills Knowledge about the subject/domain Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A new framework for teacher knowledge . Teachers College Record 108 (6), 1017-1054.
  • 15. Some Examples: •Idaho State University •Northern Illinois University •Oklahoma State University •Pace University •University of Central Florida
  • 16. ADDIE model of instructional design Analyze Design Develop Implement Pre-planning; Design your course Develop course Begin teaching thinking about the on paper materials & course assemble the course •Audience •Goal •Objectives •Identify content •Identify delivery and environment. •Instructional strategies •Assessment strategies •Formative evaluation •Constraints •Name the learning units of Instruction •Identify content and strategies for an individual unit of instruction •Write instructions for the learning unit •Name the menu items for a learning module •Consider different assessments •Based on design phase •Build content, assignments, assessments •Build course structure •Upload content •Overview of course •Expectations •Initiate instruction •Interaction •Ask for feedback early on (formative evaluation) Evaluate Look at the course outcomes with a critical eye •Did the students achieve expected learning outcomes? •What have you learned? •How can you make the course better? Important to align ANALYZE and EVALUATE aspects with the department and school goals
  • 17. Self-evaluation • Some Exemplary Online Course Design Models and Resources California State University, Chico Virginia Commonwealth University University of Illinois, Illinois Online Network University of Southern Mississippi, Learning Enhancement Center  Quality Matters, Maryland Online  Michigan State University  Stanford Research Institute    
  • 18. Rubric for Online Learning • Developed by California State University • 6 parameters ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Learner Support & Resources Online Organization & Design Instructional Design & Delivery Assessment & Evaluation of Student Innovative Teaching with Technology Faculty Use of Student Feedback
  • 19. Learner Support & Resources Baseline A.Course contains limited information for online learner support and links to campus resources. Effective A.Course contains some information for online learner support and links to campus resources. Exemplary A.Course contains extensive information about being an online learner and links to campus resources. B.Course provides limited course-specific resources, limited contact information for instructor, department and/or program. B.Course provides some course-specific resources, some contact information for instructor, department and program. B.Course provides a variety of course-specific resources, contact information for instructor, department and program. C.Course offers access to a limited number of resources supporting course content. C.Course offers access to some resources supporting course content. C.Course offers access to a wide range of resources supporting course content.
  • 20. Online Organization & Design Baseline A.Much of the course is under construction, with some key components identified such as the syllabus. Effective A.Course is organized and navigable. Students can understand the components and structure of the course. Exemplary A.Course is well-organized and easy to navigate. Students can understand all components and structure of the course. B.Course syllabus is unclear about what is expected of students. B.Course syllabus identifies and delineates the role the online environment will play in the course. B.Course syllabus identifies and clearly delineates the role the online environment will play in the total course. C.Aesthetic design does not present and communicate course information clearly. C.Aesthetic design presents and communicates course information clearly. C.Aesthetic design presents and communicates course information clearly . D.Web pages are inconsistent D.Most web pages are visually D.All web pages are visually and both visually and functionally. and functionally consistent. functionally consistent . E.Accessibility issues are not E.Accessibility issues are addressed. briefly addressed. E.Accessibility issues are addressed throughout
  • 21. Instructional Design & Delivery Baseline Effective A.Course offers limited opportunity A.Course offers some for interaction and communication opportunities for interaction & S-S, S-I, S-C. communication S-S, S-I, S-C. Exemplary A.Course offers ample opportunities for interaction and communication S-S, S-I, S-C. B.Course goals are not clearly B.Course goals are defined but defined and do not align to learning may not align to learning objectives. objectives. B.Course goals are clearly defined and aligned to learning objectives. C.Learning objectives are vague or incomplete and learning activities are absent or unclear. C.Learning objectives are identified and learning activities are clearly integrated. D.Course provides few visual, textual, kinesthetic and/or auditory activities to enhance student learning. E.Course provides limited or no activities to help students develop critical thinking and/or problem solving skills C.Learning objectives are identified and learning activities are implied. D.Course provides multiple visual, D.Course provides some visual, textual, kinesthetic and/or auditory textual, kinesthetic and/or auditory activities to enhance student learning. activities to enhance student learning. E.Course provides multiple activities that help students develop critical E.Course provides some activities thinking and /or problem-solving skills. to help students develop critical thinking and/ or problem-solving skills.
  • 22. Assessment & Evaluation of Student Learning Baseline A.Course has limited activities to assess student readiness for course content and mode of delivery. Effective A.Course has some activities to assess student readiness for course content and mode of delivery. Exemplary A.Course has multiple timely and appropriate activities to assess student readiness for course content and mode of delivery. B.Learning objectives, instructional and assessment activities are not aligned. B.Learning objectives, B.Learning objectives, instructional and assessment instructional and assessment activities are somewhat aligned. activities are closely aligned. C.Assessment strategies are C.Ongoing strategies are used C.Ongoing multiple assessment used to measure content to measure content knowledge, strategies are used to measure knowledge, attitudes and skills. attitudes and skills. knowledge, attitudes and skills. D.Feedback about own performance is infrequent and sporadic. D.Feedback about performance D.Regular feedback about is provided. student performance is provided in a timely manner. E.Students' self-assessments E.Students' self-assessments and peer feedback opportunities E.Students' self-assessments and/peer feedback opportunities exist. and peer feedback opportunities are limited or do not exist. exist throughout the course.
  • 23. Innovative Teaching with Technology Baseline Effective A.Course uses limited A.Course uses some technology tools to facilitate technology tools to communication and learning. facilitate communication and learning. Exemplary A.Course uses a variety of technology tools to appropriately facilitate communication and learning. B.New teaching methods are B.New teaching methods are applied to enhance student applied to innovatively learning. enhance student learning. B.New teaching methods are applied and innovatively enhance learning, and engage students. C.Multimedia elements and/or learning objects are limited or non-existent. C.Multimedia elements and/or learning objects are used and are relevant to student learning. C.A variety of multimedia elements and/or learning objects are used and are relevant to student learning throughout the course. D.Course uses Internet access and engages students in the learning process. D.Course optimizes Internet access and effectively engages students in the learning process. D.Course optimizes Internet access and effectively engages students in the learning process in a variety of ways throughout the course.
  • 24. Available Tools: An example
  • 25. Faculty Use of Student Feedback Baseline A.Instructor offers limited opportunity for students to give feedback to faculty on course content. Effective A.Instructor offers some opportunities for students to give feedback on course content. Exemplary A.Instructor offers multiple opportunities for students to give feedback on course content. B.Instructor offers limited opportunity for students to give feedback on ease of online technology in course. B.Instructor offers some opportunities for students to give feedback on ease of online technology in course. B.Instructor offers multiple opportunities for students to give feedback on ease of online technology in course. C.Instructor uses student feedback at the end of the semester to help plan instruction and assessment of student learning for the next semester. C.Instructor requests and uses C.Instructor uses formal and student feedback a couple informal student feedback on an times during the semester to ongoing basis to help plan help plan instruction and instruction and assessment of assessment of student learning student learning throughout the for the rest of the semester. semester.
  • 26. Needs assessment and self-evaluation • Other Exemplary Online Course Design Models  University of Illinois, Illinois Online Network  University of Southern Mississippi, Learning Enhancement Center  Quality Matters, Maryland Online  Michigan State University • Other Resources  Virginia Commonwealth University  Stanford Research Institute
  • 27. A closer look at my teaching • Learning Contexts ▫ Face-to-face, Web-supported, Hybrid or blended, Completely online • Learning Portals ▫ Ecollege @ Rutgers  Psychology of Learning ▫ Sakai @ Rutgers  Problem-based Learning  Program Evaluation (Fall’07, Fall’08)  Psychology of Learning ▫ Blackboard @ Rider  Developmental Educational Psychology  Learning & Memory
  • 28. E-college sample course 1- Spring 2010
  • 29. Review the ecourse Spring 2010 • • • • • • • Whole-class discussion Small-group case analysis Reflections Artifact analysis PBL online Individual versus group products Doc-Sharing
  • 30. Self-evaluation Psychology of Learning – Spring 2010: 1 face to face meeting What worked • Communication with students via email, phone, weekly reflections and online discussion (private and wholeclass) • Small-group and whole-class interaction on asynchronous discussion board • Synchronous chat was attempted • Facilitation of weekly discussions shared among instructor and students • Multiple, frequent assessments • Individual and group accountability What needed change • Course structured in themes was confusing ▫ Changed it to weekly modules • Students were not natural facilitators ▫ Needed scaffolding and training on asking effective questions • Synchronous chat was not manageable ▫ Selectively picked fewer tools • Redundant assignments were eliminated • Too many written assignments ▫ Impacted contribution to the discussion • Sample papers were uploaded to clarify expectations • Downloadable resources were added to DocSharing.
  • 31. E-college sample course 2- Spring 2011
  • 32. Self-evaluation Psychology of Learning – Spring 2011: Completely online What worked • Weekly modules improved course structure and student understanding. • Gradual access to course content made it manageable for students • Orientation to facilitation and scaffolded training on asking effective questions was helpful. • Sample papers made expectations clear. • Time management in facilitating online discussion and grading • Bi-weekly email check with each student and a phone call as needed added the personal interaction component. • Personalizing assignments based on student background and professional interest  increased engagement & motivation.
  • 33. Continued efforts Need to: ▫ Provide a visual model for the tasks and discussion cycle during the week ▫ Evaluate level of participation and engagement ▫ Improve facilitation skills in students ▫ Incorporate some synchronous video chat – either individually or small-group efficiently and effectively ▫ Combine textbook readings and journal articles ▫ Continue to locate resources and case studies that apply to the diverse range of students in my courses  Counseling, nursing, special education, dance ▫ Include some testing option that can assess conceptual knowledge gained. ▫ (All my current assignments are open-ended and application-oriented)
  • 34. Technological Resources • OIRT Faculty training ▫ Workshops, seminars and one-on-one help • Online tools ▫ http://oirt.rutgers.edu/instruc/tools/ ▫ Elluminate documents for ecollege support ▫ http://www.vcu.edu/cte/resources/OnlineTools/i ndex.html • 24/7 helpdesk and resource person at the Department of Continuing Education, GSE
  • 35. Online masters program • Motivation to enroll in the program ▫ Convenience of online courses ▫ Access not constrained by geographical location ▫ Adds qualifications/degree for work-related promotions and pay-raises especially amongst teachers ▫ Acts as a stepping stone towards the doctoral program
  • 36. Considerations for the Online Master’s Program at the GSE • Recruitment ▫ Who are we looking to recruit? ▫ How do we go about doing it? ▫ What makes the online program appealing as opposed to all the MOOCs that are available for free? • Job prospects on completion ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Advancement in current placement Increased teaching qualification Entry-level research positions at ETS, Mathematica… Preparation for doctoral work Others?? Need to actively identify potential job prospects. • Course offerings as listed in the LCD-Online brochure ▫ Are all courses being offered online? ▫ Frequency? Important to consider these issues in developing the program
  • 37. Other Critical Elements • Learning, Instruction, & Design ▫ Quality of Course Design ▫ Consistency across Courses ▫ Faculty and Student Resources • Bigger Picture ▫ Accreditation of Online Masters Program ▫ Sustainability ▫ Cost-effectiveness
  • 38. Considerations for the Online Master’s Program at the GSE • Quality of Course Design ▫ Need for closer look at current practices ▫ Compare current practices with best practices and exemplary design models ▫ Develop guidelines and a rubric for online course design to share with instructors to ensure quality as accreditation of the online program is essential to make it sustainable. ▫ Let the learning objectives lead the technology use rather than the other way around  For this to happen, we need to define department and program objectives clearly and have instructors design and align their courses accordingly
  • 39. Learning, Instruction & Design • Online Course Design & Implementation Issues ▫ ADDIE: Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate ▫ Align all courses to a common set of benchmarks/guidelines ▫ Certain degree of consistency across courses in terms of:  Structure and organization  Collaboration/communication practices,  Optimal use of available tools,  Frequent and pertinent feedback ,  Rubrics/Sample work to set clear expectations,  Multiple assessments
  • 40. Learning, Instruction & Design • Instructor Resources ▫ Benchmarks or rubrics that can serve as guide to course design AND as an evaluation tool ▫ Instructor collaboration and idea sharing with respect to online courses  Teaching online can be an isolated experience and it is critical that we provide a community/forum for idea generation, synergy, motivation, and creativity ▫ Monthly or bi-weekly (virtual) meetings to share ideas/issues/resources. Similar to a teachers’ forum. ▫ A course development day before the semester begins ▫ Customized faculty training workshops that address course design issues – already available
  • 41. Bigger picture • Quality and Accreditation ▫ The Middle States Commission on Higher Education have developed Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education (Online Learning) ▫ Critical to examine our current course offerings against these guidelines and develop rubrics aligned to these guidelines ▫ Research and review the courses and programs offered at other universities • Sustainability ▫ Start-up costs to develop courses (effort, time, technical and cognitive resources) ▫ Number of students per course per semester ▫ Optimal and efficient use of technological tools, activities, & assessments to keep it sustainable and manageable • Cost-effectiveness
  • 42. Questions?