Aascilite 2010

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  • For those from overseas, just an image of some kangaroos that tell an important story
  • Linking LMS usage to engagement, “the time, energy and resources student devote to activities designed to enhance learning at university” (Krause, 2005, p. 3), will aid in reflecting on academic practice and could potentially facilitate engaged teaching, moving the academic from the centre, incorporating real world examples, incorporating reflective methodologies, and shifting the emphasis in teaching from content to dialogue (Hollander, Saltmarsh, & Zlotkowski, 2002). This study focussed on how an academic interacts with the LMS, how the LMS is used by students, and how these interactions create involvement. Fresen (2007) in researching web-based learning identified staff interaction with students as one of the key factors in student engagement. Dawson and McWilliam (2008, p. 27) also point out that it is not only staff interaction that is crucial, “the quantity of ‘teacher presence’ and quality of ‘teacher presence’ are influencing factors in developing and maintaining student online engagement.”
  • Academic staff who are engaged in creating quality learning experiences are likely to show similar attributes and behaviors including enthusiasm for their subject and for teaching, commitment to students and their learning, interested in learning about their students and how to help them learn, and scholarly in their approach to learning and teaching. Above all, engaged staff are prepared to be learners themselves in order to achieve change in learning and teaching (Radloff, 2008, p. 4).
  • The big question is why, why is this important.
  • I agree with Fresen that staff interaction with students is one of the key factors in student engagement, and we need to measure how we are interacting, when we are interacting, and with what are we interacting.
  • The bottom line is engagement
  • Get staff to engage, not just with the content, they are good at that, but to get staff to engage with the communicative aspects of the LMS
  • If you examine this data, it was with all courses that had forums within them, of these only 27% posted to the forums
  • Our university moved to Moodle last year with a pilot study and this term is the first term that all academics are using Moodle. And here is the same data set, but this time from Moodle
  • Here is the data again comparing Blackboard to Moodle
  • Here is the data again from Blackboard with CC with hits less than 5. The University has brought in minimum standards which has raised the awareness of discussion forums, but they are not yet used to their capacity.
  • There is danger in reading too much into this, but it is an interesting data set.
  • The study of LMS feature adoption by teaching staff over time is important as it is not the provision of LMS features but their uptake that really determines their educational value (Coates et al., 2005). It has been shown that teaching staff tend to adopt LMS features along a continuum beginning with content dissemination features and moving to more complex features such as quizzes and evaluation surveys over time, as they gain experience with the new teaching medium (Malikowski, Thompton, & Theis, 2007).
  • Informal learning accounts for over 75% of learning in organisations (Siemans 2004)
    LMS provide tools for instructors to deliver a single course for a single term which means:
    Learning is limited to individual enrolled in a course for that term.
    Its difficult to create a program or discipline wide community as each course is closed to all but the students currently enrolled.
    Past students or industry practitioners can’t participate or share practical knowledge with learners or instructors.
  • As we said we wanted a place for student to own, for it to become their space
  • One of the first things examined within Course 1, Course 2, and Course 3 is the dichotomy between content and communicative practice as outlined by Gonzales (2009). What was examined was that the course had both content and communication features.
    The result indicates that there was a high level of communication occurring in the course Forums that the academic coordinates compared to the average for all academics across all courses at ‘Some University’. In fact, the use of the forums by the academic seems to be relatively consistent across all three courses. The placement of content and communication features within the courses examined in this study would indicate that the academic is communication focused.
  • Course 1 is a first year course that is an essential subject for one of the professional programs at ‘Some University’. It has been running in its current form since it was developed for Blackboard in 2005. It has only had the one academic teaching into it, though it does have a team approach to writing content, and evaluation. Most years, markers have been used though the Coordinator has been the same academic.
  • What is intriguing about this data from this one course is that there seems to be a direct link between student hits and grade (Beer et al, 2009; Dawson & McWilliam, 2008), both in content and in the forums. While this is one of the first year courses it highlights the need for students to engage with the content and the forums, though it seems as though the higher the grade the better the engagement with content and with other students and staff via the forums.
  • The second course analysed is another first year course which is an essential specialty course in the suite of courses in the discipline (Figure 4). The course has been run in its present form since moving to Blackboard in 2007. Markers have been used in 2007 though none since that year. The same academic has been the Coordinator, and the content has been written by a discipline team
  • While the trends in demonstrate some interesting patterns, especially the dip with the Credit students, identifying the reasons behind these patterns require additional research methods, including surveys. However, the suggested pattern reveals that there is a link between student hits and student grades (Beer et al, 2009; Dawson & McWilliam, 2008) though the link is much weaker in this Course than in the previous course. Of course, whether this link is causal requires more research. This is a good example of the complexity of using the "LMS indicators" to measure the performance of staff, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration which is outside of the scope of this study but interesting for future research.
  • Course 3 is an advanced course and only available to third year students who must have successfully passed four other courses in the discipline. The content has been written by the academic who is also the Coordinator and tutor, and no other markers have been used in this course.
  • Analyzing the third course gives a similar pattern to the other two courses (Figure 5). There is a link, though this has not been established as causal, between hits and grade.
  • Remember this is one study examining one academic’s interaction with students on the discussion forum and as you can see the interaction on the forums is much higher than the universities average.
  • Get staff to engage, not just with the content, they are good at that, but to get staff to engage with the communicative aspects of the LMS
  • Get staff to engage, not just with the content, they are good at that, but to get staff to engage with the communicative aspects of the LMS
  • A word of caution, this was one study done on three courses, and permission has yet to be approved to look at the results from a course; or series of courses, where the academic does not interact with the forums, I am sure you can see why.
  • We assume that academics are willing and able to use the forums and other engagement practices in a manner that aids engagement, both academic engagement and student engagement - peer to peer communication, student to academic communication.
  • We assume that all staff have been trained in the best way to use the forums, and communication tools.
  • In discussion with some students we found that technology is limited to what they like:
  • Where to from here
  • A place for staff
  • A place for staff
  • A place for staff
  • For communication
  • Aascilite 2010

    1. 1. Academic Involvement with the LMS: an exploratory study
    2. 2. Staff interaction with students is one of the key factors in student engagement (Fresen 2007) Staff interaction with students is one of the key factors in student engagement (Fresen 2007)
    3. 3. Relationships are important Staff interaction with students is one of the key factors in student engagement (Fresen 2007) Staff interaction with students is one of the key factors in student engagement (Fresen 2007)
    4. 4. Engaged staff show the same attributes as engaged students http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg
    5. 5. Engaged staff show the same attributes as engaged students Enthusiasm for the subject http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg
    6. 6. Engaged staff show the same attributes as engaged students Enthusiasm for the subject Enthusiasm for teaching http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg
    7. 7. Engaged staff show the same attributes as engaged students Enthusiasm for the subject Enthusiasm for teaching Commitment to students http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg
    8. 8. Engaged staff show the same attributes as engaged students Enthusiasm for the subject Enthusiasm for teaching Commitment to students Interested in their learning http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg
    9. 9. Engaged staff show the same attributes as engaged students Enthusiasm for the subject Enthusiasm for teaching Commitment to students Interested in their learning Scholarly in their approach to learning and teaching http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg
    10. 10. Engaged staff show the same attributes as engaged students Enthusiasm for the subject Enthusiasm for teaching Commitment to students Interested in their learning Scholarly in their approach to learning and teaching Engaged staff are prepared to be learners themselves Radloff 2008 http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg
    11. 11. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/31/43568532_18bbe6f5bc_o.jpg
    12. 12. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/31/43568532_18bbe6f5bc_o.jpg Project:
    13. 13. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/31/43568532_18bbe6f5bc_o.jpg Project: Examined LMS features within the University and how staff and students used them
    14. 14. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/31/43568532_18bbe6f5bc_o.jpg Project: Examined LMS features within the University and how staff and students used them Examined data in a single academic’s courses to see what is occurring
    15. 15. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/31/43568532_18bbe6f5bc_o.jpg Project: Examined LMS features within the University and how staff and students used them Examined data in a single academic’s courses to see what is occurring Looking for patterns in the data
    16. 16. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2465/3588989219_7892346615_b.jpg
    17. 17. Relationships are important Staff interaction with students is one of the key factors in student engagement (Fresen 2007) Staff interaction with students is one of the key factors in student engagement (Fresen 2007)
    18. 18. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2209/3543135684_06db2bae7a_b.jpg
    19. 19. Staff engagement http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2209/3543135684_06db2bae7a_b.jpg
    20. 20. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2209/3543135684_06db2bae7a_b.jpg Course Coordinators posting to forums in BlackBoard
    21. 21. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2209/3543135684_06db2bae7a_b.jpg Course Coordinators posting to forums in Moodle
    22. 22. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2209/3543135684_06db2bae7a_b.jpg Blackboard Moodle Comparison between Moodle and Blackboard
    23. 23. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2209/3543135684_06db2bae7a_b.jpg Blackboard Moodle Coordinator posts to Moodle <5 vs 5>
    24. 24. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/497312470_c6d3a7198d.jpg
    25. 25. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/497312470_c6d3a7198d.jpg Teaching staff tend to adopt LMS features along a continuum beginning with content dissemination features and moving to more complex features … as they gain experience with the new teaching medium (Malikowski, Thompton, & Theis, 2007) Teaching staff tend to adopt LMS features along a continuum beginning with content dissemination features and moving to more complex features … as they gain experience with the new teaching medium (Malikowski, Thompton, & Theis, 2007)
    26. 26. Examined one academic’s courses
    27. 27. Tools that aid staff/student interaction http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2017/2206733790_ac6328b1c8_b.jpg
    28. 28. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg An academic’s number of forum messages compared to the university average (all courses
    29. 29. Learning Management Systems Online Learning Networks Content focus Social Focus Organisational/Instructor design Learner centric IT governance restrictions User directed with minimal maintenance Generally doesn’t facilitate informal learning Facilitates informal learning Course based model No course restrictions http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg Student Hits for Course 1 2005-2009
    30. 30. Learning Management Systems Online Learning Networks Content focus Social Focus Organisational/Instructor design Learner centric IT governance restrictions User directed with minimal maintenance Generally doesn’t facilitate informal learning Facilitates informal learning Course based model No course restrictions http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg Student Hits for Course 1 2005-2009
    31. 31. Learning Management Systems Online Learning Networks Content focus Social Focus Organisational/Instructor design Learner centric IT governance restrictions User directed with minimal maintenance Generally doesn’t facilitate informal learning Facilitates informal learning Course based model No course restrictions http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg Student Hits for Course 2 - 2007-2009
    32. 32. Learning Management Systems Online Learning Networks Content focus Social Focus Organisational/Instructor design Learner centric IT governance restrictions User directed with minimal maintenance Generally doesn’t facilitate informal learning Facilitates informal learning Course based model No course restrictions http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg Student Hits for Course 2 - 2007-2009
    33. 33. Learning Management Systems Online Learning Networks Content focus Social Focus Organisational/Instructor design Learner centric IT governance restrictions User directed with minimal maintenance Generally doesn’t facilitate informal learning Facilitates informal learning Course based model No course restrictions http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg Student Hits for Course 3 - 2005-2009
    34. 34. Learning Management Systems Online Learning Networks Content focus Social Focus Organisational/Instructor design Learner centric IT governance restrictions User directed with minimal maintenance Generally doesn’t facilitate informal learning Facilitates informal learning Course based model No course restrictions http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg Student Hits for Course 3 - 2005-2009
    35. 35. Learning Management Systems Online Learning Networks Content focus Social Focus Organisational/Instructor design Learner centric IT governance restrictions User directed with minimal maintenance Generally doesn’t facilitate informal learning Facilitates informal learning Course based model No course restrictions http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg Student Hits for all Courses 2004-09
    36. 36. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2208/2326056389_7275d29990_o.jpg The academic’s number of forum messages compared to the university average (all courses
    37. 37. Staff engagement in the learning process
    38. 38. Staff vs Student Forum Hits
    39. 39. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/497312470_c6d3a7198d.jpg
    40. 40. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/56/139617709_bc0ad564d4.jpg
    41. 41. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/56/139617709_bc0ad564d4.jpg Are academics Trained in engagement Practices?
    42. 42. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/497312470_c6d3a7198d.jpg
    43. 43. Where to from here Where to:
    44. 44. Where to from here Dawson and McWilliam (2008) posed the view that not only is the ‘quantity’ of academic involvement necessary but also the ‘quality’ of that involvement.
    45. 45. Where to from here Dawson and McWilliam (2008) posed the view that not only is the ‘quantity’ of academic involvement necessary but also the ‘quality’ of that involvement. What does ‘quality’ mean?
    46. 46. Where to from here Dawson and McWilliam (2008) posed the view that not only is the ‘quantity’ of academic involvement necessary but also the ‘quality’ of that involvement. Kearsley and Schneiderman (1999, p. 1) discuss the nature of engaged learning, learning that leads to student involvement, that involves “[motivating] students to learn due to the meaningful nature of the learning environment and activities”. What does ‘quality’ mean?
    47. 47. Relationships are important Staff interaction with students is one of the key factors in student engagement (Fresen 2007) Staff interaction with students is one of the key factors in student engagement (Fresen 2007)
    48. 48. Ken Clark k.clark@cqu.edu.au Colin Beer c.beer@cqu.edu.au David Jones davidthomjones@gmail.com http://indicatorsproject.wordpress.com

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