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Unpacking Online Education

This was a presentation I gave to administrators and instructors at UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as they debated putting more courses online.

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Unpacking Online Education

  1. 1. Unpacking Online Education
  2. 2. Before We Begin: • Bathrooms • Use of Technology • Questions • Grab Lunch
  3. 3. Purpose Agnes Herget, PhD Assistant Dean, LAS
  4. 4. Broader Vision Gayla Stoner, PhD Executive Director, UIC-EC
  5. 5. UIC-EC Team Introductions
  6. 6. Handouts in Your Folder (Left to Right)
  7. 7. Unpacking Online Education Brought to you by UIC Extended Campus Presenter: Max Anderson, MLIS, MS Date: May 22, 2017
  8. 8. Design in Two Parts Unpacking Online Education Blackboard Essentials & Individual Consultations
  9. 9. Introductions
  10. 10. Instructional Design What does an ID do?
  11. 11. Instructional Design Assessing learning needs (aka ‘the problem’)Assessing Establishing learning goals and objectivesEstablishing Determining the curriculum and content that can best fulfill the established learning needs, goals and objectivesDetermining Choosing the appropriate mix of teaching and learning methods and strategiesChoosing Establishing a support system for delivery of the courseEstablishing Evaluating learning outcomesEvaluating
  12. 12. Impressions of Online Teaching & Learning What are some teaching methods / activities that currently take place in a face-to-face environment? Based on what you currently know about teaching and learning in an online environment, how do you imagine you would employ these same methods / activities?
  13. 13. Terminology What’s the difference between Online and Distance Learning? Asynchronous? Synchronous? Instructional Design (not Interior Design!)
  14. 14. “How long will it take me to do all this!??” • It depends. (Don’t you hate that response!?) • Motivation to convert a face-to-face course to online, or to create a new course • Intrinsic vs Extrinsic • Time & willingness to devote to working with an instructional designer • Support from administration and peers • Amount of interactivity to include in course
  15. 15. Online Teaching: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly • Can’t ask questions* • Less (in-person) contact with students • Loss of the group experience • Different ways of asking questions • Technology issues *if the course has synchronous sessions, this does not apply • Teach from anywhere* • Interact with people from all over the world** • Keep growing in your field • Learn new teaching skills & become more tech-savvy • Challenge yourself * With approval of course **who you might not otherwise have had the chance to meet!
  16. 16. Where Do I Start? Inventory / Analysis Plan / Design DevelopmentImplementation Evaluation
  17. 17. But, what do I need to know?
  18. 18. Inventory of Existing Course(s) • Work with an instructional designer to do a thorough inventory of your course • Sometimes called a blueprint • Create a Mind Map or use a blueprinting tool to identify all of the resources, activities, etc. for your course • MindMeister is one tool:
  19. 19. Analysis of Existing Content • UIC Extended Campus instructional designers can help you figure out what content from a face-to-face course is easily transferrable to an online one. • Some new content types & descriptions may need to be developed • Assignment directions for how to use Online Discussion Boards • Group work using online tools • Blogging, journals, wiki creation • Access to synchronous online meetings
  20. 20. Digital Readiness Pew Report – September 20, 2016 “Americans fall along a spectrum of preparedness when it comes to using tech tools to pursue learning online, and many are not eager or ready to take the plunge”
  21. 21. Familiarity with Blackboard • How many of you have used Blackboard? • How have you used it to teach? • Share your experiences! (Good AND bad!)
  22. 22. Familiarity with Educational Technology
  23. 23. Familiarity with Educational Technology
  24. 24. Inventory / Analysis Plan / Design DevelopmentImplementation Evaluation Planning and Designing
  25. 25. Learning Objectives • LO’s might need slight word variations to make sense in an online course • Align assessments with LO’s • Use specific and measurable verbs • Appropriateness for your learners • Are your LO’s achievable and realistic? • Keep the word length to a minimum
  26. 26. Learning Objectives Face-to-Face • Comprehend the characteristics, uses and significance of architectural elements and principles of their composition. • Identify the hallmarks of and rationales behind a variety of world architectures. Online • Comprehend the characteristics, uses and significance of architectural elements and principles of their composition. • Identify the hallmarks of and rationales behind a variety of world architectures.
  27. 27. ASU Learning Objectives Builder
  28. 28. The Importance of Instructions 72% of students rate “having clear instructions about how to get started in the course and find various course components” as essential to their success. Other highly rated items: • Consistent and efficient navigation. • Pre-requisite knowledge and skills clearly stated. • Explicit criteria for evaluating student work & grading policy spelled out What students say: What faculty say: “Students now tend to understand much more fully what they are required to do as part of the class. The effect of designing a course to meet standards has reduced the "What do I do?" questions to practically zero.” “I am getting fewer questions in regards to expectations, where to find "stuff", and navigational confusion.” Ralston-Berg, P., Buckenmeyer, J., Barczyk, C., and Hixon, E. (2015). Students’ Perceptions of Online Course Quality: How Do They Measure Up to the Research?. Internet Learning, 4(1). Retrieved from learning/volume-4-number-1-spring-2015
  29. 29. Assignment Instructions How do your students currently submit assignments? • In-person? • Email? • Box? • Blackboard?
  30. 30. Rubrics and Alignments in Blackboard
  31. 31. Assessments • Use Blackboard’s Tests and Quizzes • Poll Everywhere, Kahoot! or other educational technology for low- stakes quizzes
  32. 32. Course Redesign Examples
  33. 33. Course Redesign Examples
  34. 34. Course Redesign Examples
  35. 35. Plan Learning Activities • Portfolios • Design Projects • Group Problem Solving • Laboratory Experiments • Scavenger Hunt • Simulations • Oral Reports • Case Studies
  36. 36. Course Length: What’s the diff? 8-weeks • Reduces the number of courses students take at 1 time • Classes meet more hours each week (but for fewer weeks) • Reconsider the amount of assigned homework • Need more efficient methods of assessment • 8-weeks can be a bit brutal for writing-intensive courses • If students miss an enrollment deadline, the next offering is in 8-weeks, not next semester • Can be more challenging for numeric-based courses • Instructors might have to be more available • Modules should be chunked 16-weeks • Procrastination • More courses taken at the same time • Standard reading amounts • Standard number of assignments • If students miss enrollment deadlines, they have to wait until the next semester
  37. 37. Making Connections
  38. 38. Interactivity, or How to Keep Students Engaged and Motivated • Require participation / create teams • Make sure activities are structured and well-defined (e.g. case studies, role playing, simulations) • Goal / relevancy of the interactivity • Consider their lived experiences • Offer immediate feedback • Integrate emotionally-driven content Andragogy Life experience Self- concept Readiness to learn Problem- centered Motivation to learn Need to know
  39. 39. Learner to Instructor Interaction • Guidance • Encouragement • Motivational & emotional support • Study by Ke and Xie (2009) • Successful online course design for adult students should consider structure of content and levels of support that lead to interaction and knowledge construction • Make your availability VERY clear
  40. 40. Learner to Learner Interaction • Create areas for discourse and other interchanges between students • Instructor presence in student ‘safe zones’ • Enhance students’ learning experiences • Engagement and motivation to learn can be enhanced through collaborative interactions
  41. 41. Learner to Content Interaction • Student engagement with subject content or learning resources • Most of student time is devoted to interacting with instructional materials. • Discussion boards • Assigning too many of them can decrease student interaction among online students • Proper amount of them depends on course duration and structure.
  42. 42. Inventory / Analysis Plan / Design DevelopmentImplementation Evaluation Development
  43. 43. Course Overview & Information • Adding a welcome message to a course is a great way to start off on good footing with students • Make it the ‘landing page’ in Blackboard
  44. 44. Course Overview and Information Create an overview of the course so students know how to navigate efficiently • Record a video giving a brief overview and post to your course as ’first week’ viewing 1 Ensure the syllabus is available as a PDF • Why not also add as a Word doc? 2 Make sure students know where to go for help! • Contact information for faculty is clearly visible 3
  45. 45. Set up your course with the help of an Extended Campus Instructional Designer
  46. 46. Create or re-use content material
  47. 47. Copyright and Fair Use Fair Use Guidelines 1. Purpose and character of the use 2. Nature of the original work 3. Amount of the portion used 4. Effect on the potential market 5. Transformative Use What about using students existing work as an example?
  48. 48. Technology & Tools • Typical delivery methods • Audio/Video Conferencing • Blackboard or other learning management system • Email / Chat • Library resources • Faculty created video content or vetted material • Blend technologies and tools to provide greater access for students and to appeal to different learning styles
  49. 49. “Build it and they will come…”
  50. 50. Inventory / Analysis Plan / Design DevelopmentImplementation Evaluation Implementation
  51. 51. Make Sure Everything Works! • During implementation of your course, make sure everything works and is available to students • Test run with a colleague OR Extended Campus instructional designer
  52. 52. Establishing Your Presence Provide Provide clear guidelines that define response times for feedback and grading • Students will feel more secure that you are actively reviewing their performance Include Include a welcome page/message Chime in Chime in on discussion boards Give Give regular ‘check- in’s’ with your students (summaries, etc.) Refer Refer to students by name whenever your interact with them
  53. 53. Community of Inquiry
  54. 54. “I think it’s very important. I get the feeling that the students, if they don’t feel that the faculty member is real, is responsive to their questions, is a grader that gives feedback— timely and in detail—then they kind of disengage. I think it’s human nature.” There is a lot of modeling that goes on especially at the beginning. Meaning that, I respond a lot in opening discussions and the reason is because it sets the tone. The students take over after that. If you sit back in those first two discussions, that also sets the tone, and you are struggling from then 89 on. You are wondering later on why they aren't responding, and they are just following what you did. In the public space, I try to be more encouraging. That translates into the class being much more harmonious. I really learned that, that’s very important to me—so, I don’t have to take care of student conflicts issues and things like that. I really make sure that I make a big point that I really want this to be positive and harmonious experience.… And, it helps the students be more professional and have a better attitude about learning and their colleagues.
  55. 55. Inventory / Analysis Plan / Design DevelopmentImplementation Evaluation Evaluation
  56. 56. Post-mortem
  57. 57. Questions? Gabriela Silva Lead Instructional Designer, UIC-EC
  58. 58. NEXT STEPS Gabriela Silva Lead Instructional Designer, UIC-EC
  59. 59. What’s Next? Unpacking Online Education Blackboard Essentials & Individual Consultations Individual Consultations & Blackboard Essentials & Start on May 29th - all sessions to conclude by July 31st
  60. 60. What to do Next? • Write your Welcome Message to students • Identify what type of information you would like to obtain from your students in your first class meeting • Complete Course Blueprint for the ID session that they will discuss with assigned ID (more details to follow)