Cooperative Freedom and Transparency in Online Education


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The presentation focuses on the opportunities to provide online education that combines individual freedom with meaningful cooperation. Online students often seek individual flexibility and freedom. At the same time, many need or prefer cooperation and social unity . These aims are difficult to combine, so the presentation discusses online education tools and services that support both individual freedom and cooperation. The presentation also elucidates the opportunities and challenges with transparency in online learning environments and provides examples and experiences from Universidade Aberta in Portugal and NKI Nettstudier in Norway.

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Cooperative Freedom and Transparency in Online Education

  1. 1. Cooperative Freedom andTransparency in Online Education Morten Flate Paulsen Professor of Online Education A Keynote presentation at ICICTE 2012, Rhodes, Greece, July 5, 2012 1
  2. 2. AbstractThe presentation focuses on the opportunities to provide onlineeducation that combines individual freedom with meaningfulcooperation. Online students often seek individual flexibilityand freedom. At the same time, many need or prefer cooperationand social unity . These aims are difficult to combine, so thepresentation discusses online education tools and services thatsupport both individual freedom and cooperation. Thepresentation also elucidates the opportunities and challengeswith transparency in online learning environments and providesexamples and experiences from Universidade Aberta in Portugaland NKI Nettstudier in Norway. 2
  3. 3. About me• Worked with online education since 1986• Professor of Online Education at NKI Nettstudier , Norway• President of European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN)• Doctor of Education from the Pennsylvania State University, working for the American Center for the Study of Distance Education (1990-1992)• Adjunct Professor Athabasca University (1999 to 2005)• Professor associado Universidade Aberta, Portugal (2009-2010) 3
  4. 4.• 20th anniversary in 2011, 8 in secretariat, 11 in EC• EDEN members from 400 institutions in 56 countries: – 20th anniversary – 200 institutional members – 2000 potential members of NAP – Network of Academics and Professionals• Conferences – Open Classroom conference ,Athens October 2011 – Annual conference, Porto June 2012 – Research Workshop, Leuven October 2012• EU-projects with 168 institutions• European Journal of Open, Distance and E-learning
  5. 5. EDEN-members in Greece• Anelixis Vocational Training Center• e-TUTOR• Ellinogermaniki Agogi• Lambrakis Foundation• University of the Aegean 5
  6. 6. Annual Conferences 22. Oslo 2013 21. Oporto 2012Open Classroom 20. Dublin, 20119. Athens 2011 19. Valencia 20108. Oporto 2009 18. Gdansk 20097. Stockholm 2007 17. Lisbon 20086. Poitiers 2005 16. Naples 20075. Copenhagen 2002 15. Vienna 20064. Barcelona 2000 14. Helsinki 20053. Balatonfüred 1999 13. Budapest 20042. Crete 1997 12. Rhodes 20031. Oslo 1995 11. Granada 2002Research Workshops 10. Stockholm 2001 8. Moscow 19997. Leuven 2012 7. Bologna 19986. Budapest 2010 6. Budapest 19975. Paris 2008 5. Poitiers 19964. Barcelona 2006 4. Birmingham 19953. Oldenburg 2004 3. Tallinn 19942. Hildesheim 2002 2. Berlin 19931. Prague 2000 1. Krakow 1992 6
  7. 7. Planning for OsloEDEN’s Annual Conference, June 2013
  8. 8. November 2011NKI Nettstudier was established as a correspondence school in 1910• One of Europe’s largest providers of online distance education• About 150 000 enrolments in online courses since 1987• Broad range of subjects from secondary to master level• About 400 distance education courses online (all in Norwegian)• About 12 000 online students in about 40 countries• About 70 % women• Individual progress plans/individual follow-up• Thousands of potential learning partners• Global student catalogue with 1200 profiles• Always room for more students• Exams at local schools and embassies 8
  9. 9. What’s special with NKI Nettstudier?400 online courses in Norwegian College, vocational and secondary 9
  10. 10. Example of individual progress plan 10
  11. 11. NKI: A pioneer in Online Education1986: First LMS – specifically developed for distance learning1987: First online distance education course1992: Mandatory course for new NKI tutors on the Internet1996: First web-based courses2002: First m-learning courses2003: Speech synthesis in all courses2004: Individual planning system and individual follow upaccording to the student’s plan2004: Continuous tracking of turn-around time2006: Learning partner system2008: Global student profiles2010: Peer counselling system for tutors2011: Quality barometer for tutors and course materials 11
  12. 12. The most interesting pedagogical challenge in ourlifetime is to provide online education that combinesindividual freedom with meaningful cooperation.I have struggled with this challenge since I firstintroduced my Theory of Cooperative Freedom in 12
  13. 13. Cooperative Freedom is discussed in my book Online Education which is available from 13
  14. 14. More resources on Cooperative Freedom• Cooperative online education• Online education barometers• Transparency in Cooperative Online Education• E-viva em Portugal• Cooperative Online Education previousissuesmeny-124/100-cooperative-online-education• Cooperative Freedom and Transparency in Online Education• Visualizing student profiles student-network• Transparency for Cooperation
  15. 15. Six Dimensions of FreedomCompilation of resources made by my students at Universidade Aberta in Portugal It is difficult to combine individual flexibility and cooperation
  16. 16. One may say that:Individual learning is conducted alone Cooperative learning takes place in networks Connectivism? Collaborative learning depends on groups 16
  17. 17. NKI provides cooperative online education Independence with the help of others 17
  18. 18. Cooperative learning• Cooperative learning seeks to develop virtual learning environments that allow students to have optimal individual freedom within online learning communities.• Cooperative learning is based on voluntary participation in a learning community• Cooperative learning benefits from transparencyNKI’s Philosophy: We facilitate individual freedom within alearning community in which online students serve as mutualresources without being dependent on each other. 18
  19. 19. Tools and strategies to enhance qualityin a virtual learning environment with:• 12.500 students• 400 courses• 150 part-time teachers• 60 full-time employeesshould be systematic, continuous and cost-effective 19
  20. 20. Strategies and tools to enhance quality1. Large scale online education needs systematic, continuous and cost-effective quality measures2. Transparency improves quality3. Teacher Support Services4. Quality Barometers 20
  21. 21. Transparency or privacy? 21
  22. 22. 22
  23. 23. Transparency improves quality…of system data, course content, course work etc…. 23
  24. 24. Scandinavian Online Program in Multimedia Journalism Audio Journalism: Berghs School of Communication (Sweden)Video Journalism: UPDATE – Danish School of Media and Journalism Text Journalism: NKI Distance Education (Norway)
  25. 25. Transparency promotes cooperationDalsgaard, C. and Paulsen, M.F. (2009) Transparency in 25Cooperative Online Education. IRRODL, Vol 10, No 3.
  26. 26. Three degrees of transparency1. Low: Private e-mail2. Medium: Class forum3. High: Global web2.0 servicesTransparency provides better quality and morecooperation, but both students and teachers shouldbe comfortable with the chosen transparency level. 26
  27. 27. Online teachers deserve decent support services Online course for online teachers 2010: Peer counseling and self-evaluation2004: Response Barometer 2011: Quality Barometer for Teachers 27
  28. 28. Response Barometer for Teachers• Introduced in May 2004• Resulted in much discussion in the teachers’ online forum• A few teachers voiced strong criticism, doubts and reservations The average response time for all In 2008 NKI introduced 150 teachers in 2010 was 1.77 days. an automatic e-mail reminder to the tutors who had one ore more assignments waiting for 7 days or more. 28
  29. 29. Barometer Questions1. What to measure?2. Which scale?3. Transparent for whom?4. Possible to show trends?5. What about Evaluation Moment, Frequency and Fatigue? 29
  30. 30. Online Education Barometers should have individual readingscooperative readings, aims,, warning levels and transparent feedback loops Ideal for Individual Start and Progression Transparent feedback to the right people 30
  31. 31. NKI’s Transparent: Quality Barometerfor Online Teachers
  32. 32. Evaluation IconAs soon as a teacher provides submission feedback and enters a grade, thefar right evaluation icon shows up in the planning tool at the student’sstart page.Click the box to open it.
  33. 33. Evaluation ButtonThe student has to evaluate the teacher to embed the grade.Click the evaluation button to open the teacher evaluation window.
  34. 34. Teacher Evaluation WindowChoose the teacher satisfaction level.The options from left to right are:Very dissatisfied, Dissatisfied,Neutral, Satisfied and Very Satisfied.Then enter some optional commentson the teacher’s work.The chosen satisfaction levelinfluences the Teacher QualityBarometer as soon as it issubmitted.After a random time delay foranonymity reasons, the teachers cansee the comments in their DetailsReport.
  35. 35. Teacher Quality Barometer Percentages shown in the teacher’s individual barometer and the cooperative barometer for all 140 teachers, are updated continuously as additional evaluations are submitted.The impressive barometer readings show the percentages of Very satisfied and Satisfied evaluations. After a random anonymity delay, the student’s comments are shown in the Teacher Details Report.
  36. 36. Teacher Details ReportExample of detailed quality report for a teacher including anonymous verbal comments. 36
  37. 37. NKI’s transparent Teacher Quality Barometer waslaunched in 2011 for further quality improvements atScandinavia’s leading online education provider.On September 7, NKI’s 12.000 online students started evaluating theirteachers.On October12, NKI’s 140 online teachers could access the onlineevaluation results.At the launch, 2000 evaluations were accrued and 88% wereeither Very satisfied or Satisfied.
  38. 38. Barometer Reading after 4017 Evaluations 2011Tutor quality barometer 38
  39. 39. Peer Evaluation of TeachersIn 2010, NKI introduced an online course structure for systematic peer evaluationamong all the teachers. Random feedback the teachers have given on studentsubmissions are sent to a colleague who evaluate it and give advice on possibleimprovements.Professor Torstein Rekkedal has conducted a survey among the first participants andconcluded that they perceive it as motivating and informative. They also reported thatthey learned at least as much from giving feedback as they did from receiving feedback.They will therefore both give and receive feedback on each others work in the future. 39
  40. 40. Teacher Self-evaluationLast school year, the majority of the teachers alsodelivered self-evaluation of one of the feedbacksthey gave on student assignments. The experienceswere so positive that future self-evaluation will beincluded in an online course structure in which theteachers will use the online submission system toevaluate their personal presentations, activity inforums and feedback on student submissions. 40
  41. 41. Star teachers deserve Golden Apples alongwith other stars who are awarded with goldmedals, Oscars and Grammies. Therefore,NKI has introduced a new, and hopefullysustainable, scheme for nominating andawarding NKI-teachers of the year. 41
  42. 42. Thank you I care, so I share: 42