Semester Reflections & What I’ve Learned [Fall 2014]

Wow. My first semester as a Lecturer and teaching ALL online classes is DONE! First and foremost – I am glad to have all my grades posted. {For real! After 2,400 hours of video watching, I can say I learned a lot from my #LTEC4121 class – and I had a talented group of students this term.}

FinishedGrading

Along with other projects (e.g. research, writing, editing, OLC Certificate, presenting, conference, and consulting), I am glad to see the semester and 2014 come to an end – or at least a pause over the holiday break. This academic term has been fun and challenging for me as I move all my instructional experiences to the online environment. My own teaching philosophy centers on technology-enhanced pedagogies that foster student–centered learning environments. Over this semester, I put a great deal of thought to how I design learning experiences and support my students online in a more meaningful and authentic manner. This term, I constantly made edits and improvements to the online courses I was teaching to help foster real-world experiences and provide opportunities for engagement. I really wanted my students to take what they are learning in the online classroom and apply these concepts to their own workforce learning and performance. With whatever technological platform and, more importantly the planned pedagogy, my primary role in these classes were to facilitate learning by motivating, instigating and supporting my students as they work through their modules and projects.

From this semester, I shared some of my personal reflections for lecturing with the GSTEP program last month:

To be honest – there are more than just 10 lessons I’ve learned. Not everything has been great this semester. There has been a great deal of stress and frustration in lecturing with someone else’s course materials, and considering how to best support the learners’ needs. I have been constantly improving functions of not only the course delivery, but also the content in the modules to consider how to get students to reach the course learning outcomes. Although it has been a busy semester, I have appreciated the hands-on lessons I have learned and applied to my online instruction and support for my students. Learning about learning, and evaluation of the curriculum supports our students. Stay tuned for deeper reflections in an upcoming blog post after I go through my course evaluations, LTEC feedback forms, and review of my course design from Fall 2014 for the next semester.

For time management and scheduling,  I learned a great deal about the need to develop my own personal workflow. Although I have been “working remotely” and I have a great deal of online work experience, my new role has got me thinking about what it means to be productive when working from home. Work-life balance is key. With a number of involvement and projects, I have had to think about how these are managed and prioritized. I believe my scheduling and task-management has improved over the term (when I am not traveling for business/personal obligations #LessonLearned), and I feel as though I have mastered my grading and instructional flow with online teaching. Thanks to some additional motivational tools for time and fitness, I have improved my time-on-task ability for work projects and increased my running/walking mileage (thanks Todoist.com, Asana, #FitBit & RunKeeper).

Most importantly,  I have learned the value of being an active participant in my networks. My mom was concerned about my social contact with others now that I teach online. I laughed – and told her that I still have just as much (or maybe more) contact with others. Although I am not an 8-5 worker on campus, I have made a point to stay connected to UNT and get involved in various things (e.g. UNT Faculty Writing group, GSTEP support,  Alternative Service Break advisor, and LT department meetings/projects). In my online work, there are a number of virtual teaming projects and collaborations that keep me quite engaged and social (e.g. #ACPAdigital task force, NACADA meetings, OLC conference planning, and other community interactions). Finally, I have sought out new opportunities to grow and learn professionally to focus on research scholarship, instructional design, and strategic organizational planning (e.g. RA position with @veletsianos, CLEAR instructional course design work, and external consulting/training initiatives).

Thanks to a number of you who have been there for me this academic term. Your ear, your advice, and your support have been greatly appreciated during my transition period. Thank you!

The Technology Test Kitchen & #et4online CFP Deadline

The Technology Test Kitchen (TTK) was developed at the Online Learning Consortium‘s #blend14 event, and recently enhanced at #aln14.

What the heck is the TTK?

  1. A makerspace for sharing innovative tools and new media
  2. An open collaborative environment for hands-on exploration
  3. An engaging way to connect with your colleagues over emerging technology

 

how it works

The TTK ideas was created to bring faculty, instructional designers, researchers, and conferences participants together to get a hands-on experience with a variety of learning technologies. In the Test Kitchen, there are a number of “chefs” (volunteers who love applying media to learning) who are typically available to talk about design, discuss a “recipe” (a quick how-to guide for a platform, e.g. PDF Recipe Book from #blend14 is posted HERE), utilize apps, brainstorm curriculum strategies, introduce new media (hardware & software), and provide 1:1, hands-on sharing with learning technologies.

To learn more, check out this AMAZING video created by Angela Gunder (a.k.a. @adesinamedia):

For the 2015 #et4online conference, the TTK will be looking for chefs, like YOU, to actively work in the kitchen and demonstrate how to apply media to pedagogical practice.

CFP for Chefs

Interested in applying? Check out the Call for Proposals today for the TTK or any other program track. We would LOVE to review your proposal. The CFP closes on December 1, 2014.

Presence & Visibility With Scholarship #scholar14

Are you “present” online? Do you share your scholarship? Are you blogging about your research in the field? Can I find a slide deck of your last academic presentation on SlideShare? Have you tweeted about your academic writing lately (#acwri)?

Based on last week’s conversation in The Networked Scholars (#scholar14) MOOC – you probably should. Week 1 focused on Visibility, Presence & Branding – Check out the LIVE chat video and tweets. During the live chat discussion, Laura Czerniewicz reminded us that:

The challenge with online “presence” is that scholarship and research distribution is not shared equally – or at least not well represented online (based on the Web of Science documents):

This image and article left me with a number of questions for visibility and presence for scholars:

  • Why is the representation of scholarship skewed geographically?
  • What impact does this geographic distribution of knowledge have on our research disciplines?
  • How can we work to have more “market share” of knowledge in underrepresented areas of the globe?
  • Do the location of networking sharing services impact the voice of disciplines? Can this be neutralized/balanced?

Although the web has the potential to create a level playing field for scholarship participation, there still seems to be infrastructures and institutions in academia that prevent researchers from uploading content and sharing knowledge across geographic boundaries.

With the growth of digital scholarship and online knowledge sharing, it is critical that scholars engage in distribution of their research impact to their field. Through research identity management and citation tracking, scholars are able to specifically identify influence, share findings, access publications, and connect with academic peers for collaboration and further scholarly work:

Academics should utilize these emerging platforms to increase their influence and reach beyond traditional publishing forums. These researcher identification and citation tools are not “just for geeks,” but rather a growing expectation for scholarship development and publication notation. It is a critical time to rethink how research is produced, distributed, and acknowledged. Researcher impact tools, such as ORCID, Researcher ID, Scopus, and Google Scholar Citations, will help to identify citation influence and impact of knowledge for the field with respect to publication use. Social academic tools, such as Academia.edu and Mendeley, provide scholars a place to share their professional profile, links to research, and areas of research interest (Pasquini, Wakefield, Reed, & Allen, 2014).

It is important to consider where you will share your progress, publications, and work for your discipline. It also helps to organize your scholarly citations and publications. Where will you leave your digital scholarly footprint? How will you track your research impact? What do you want to be found online about your research?

Reference:

Pasquini, L. A., Wakefield, J. S., Reed, A., & Allen, J. M. (2014). Digital scholarship and impact factors: Methods and tools to connect your research. Proceedings of the 2014 AACE World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (ELEARN) in New Orleans, LA.

Do You Want to Learn About Learning Analytics? #dalmooc

Last week, I attended the UTA LINK Lab talk presented by Dragan Gasevic (@dgasevic) on learning analytics and research. This discussion shared all the digital traces and learning that can be collected and measured in our various learning environments, and questions how we are best doing some of these analytics within our institutions. Although we have a number of statistics, data, and information on our learners – how can we offer actionable insight, summative feedback, and information about learner progress. Our post-secondary institutions seem to want to only deal with the “R” word = Retention. Often institutions are looking to identify students at risk, provide information about learning success, and understand how to enhance learning – but how can we effectively use data when often times our metrics only focus on single outcomes?

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Photo c/o the #dalmooc edX Course Site

Instead, it is the process and context that our education institutions need to identify when looking at learning analytics, that is, the need to understand and optimize learning (Butler & Winne, 1995). Whether we apply the community of inquiry framework,  cognitive presence, which includes triggering events, exploration, integration and resolution (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2001), or the COPES (Conditions, Operations, Products, Evaluation, & Standards) model (Winnie, 1997) –  it is the meaningful data points for learning analytics that really need to be identified within our educational institutions.  As @dgasevic said, “Learning analytics is about LEARNING!” Often we assume the data collected from our courses and our systems will provide us with the answers; however if not identified in a purposeful way – why bother? What we really need to consider is, what does it mean to study and support the learning experience and not just the end results?

Here are a few areas of learning analytics and data evaluation need to be considered (just to name a few):

  • learner agency and self-regulation
  • interaction effect – external and internal conditions
  • formal and informal learning communities
  • instructional intervention methods
  • multimodal learning
  • emerging technology impact, i.e. mobile, wearable tech, etc.

Here are  questions our institutions need to consider when they want examine learning analytics:

  • What data we are collecting? And why?
  • How does the learner information we know contribute to the PROCESS of learning?
  • Who should be part of this learning analytic research for learning?
  • How can we best present and interact with the data? Can this be more immediate?
  • How can we encourage and support multidisciplinary teams to study learning analytics at our institutions?
  • Are we being being driven by questions of need, access, and availability for the learning data collection?
  • What ethical and privacy considerations should be considered when collecting data around learning?

Interested in learning more about learning analytics and data in education? Check out the paper in press by Gasevic, Dawson, and Siemens http://bit.ly/techtrends15  or better yet – join the 9-week Data Analytics & Learning MOOC that UTA & edX is hosting on this very topic starting Monday, October 20th: http://linkresearchlab.org/dalmooc/ or follow along with the conversation on Twitter #dalmooc.

References

Butler, D. L., & Winne, P. H. (1995). Feedback and self-regulated learning: A theoretical synthesis. Review of educational research, 65(3), 245-281.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. American Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 7-23.

Gasevic, Dawson, Siemens (inpress). Let’s not forget: Learning analytics are about learning. TechTrends. http://bit.ly/techtrends15

Winne, P. H. (1997). Experimenting to bootstrap self-regulated learning. Journal of educational Psychology, 89(3), 397.

Hot Off the Digital Press: @LPQuarterly 2(3)

With the start of the new academic year, we are pleased to be distributing the new issue of the Learning and Performance Quarterly (LPQ) journal – Volume 2, Issue 3. On behalf of the editorial team, I hope this edition will inform scholars, practitioners and leaders in the learning and performance field.

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The Learning and Performance Quarterly (ISSN 2166-3564) is a peer-reviewed, open access journal from the Center for Knowledge Solutions at the University of North Texas. The journal takes a broad look at current developments and research that involves innovative learning, training, human resource development, and performance management across academic and professional disciplines.

Learning and Performance Quarterly
Vol 2, No 3 (2014), Table of Contents

Editorial
——–
A New Academic Year, New Learning and Performance Understandings (1)
Laura A. Pasquini,      Tekeshia Zimmerman,     Jeff M. Allen

Invited Articles
——–
Integrated Approach To Building Intercultural Competence (2-15)
Katherine H. Rosenbusch

Research Articles
——–
The Influence of Wiki on Team Effectiveness in a Graduate Research Class (16-34)
Lin Xu, Jessie Cutler,  Jie Xiao,       Holly M. Hutchins

Erikson’s Development Crises: Applying Developmental Theory to Adult Learning (35-48)
Jose Victor Lineros,    Mark E. Fincher

Book Review
——–
Book Review: The Innovator’s DNA (49-50)
Robin James Mayes
______________________________________________
Do you have an article you want to submit?  Our call for proposals is OPEN! Submit your manuscripts to the journal TODAY!

You can review the previous article submissions in the LPQ Archives. We are seeking manuscript submissions for the following categories:

  • Research Articles – Qualitative/Quantitative
  • Concept/Theory Papers
  • Literature Reviews
  • Case Studies
  • Book or Media Reviews
  • Invited Articles
  • Editorials

If you have any questions about potential article submissions, or you are interested in contributing to the Learning and Performance Quarterly editorial team (peer-reviewing, copy editing, layout, etc.) please reach out to myself or the other LPQ Editors.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Laura A. Pasquini, Editor (@laurapasquini)
Tekeisha D. Zimmerman, Assistant Editor (@TekeishaZ)
Dr. Jeff M. Allen, Managing Editor (@drjeffallen)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you going to #blend14? Join the Unconference session (#unblend14) & More in the Rocky Mountains!

The @SloanConsortium 2014 Blended Learning Conference and Workshop (a.k.a. #blend14) is less than a month away! I am excited to be attending and facilitating a workshop in the rocky mountains (Denver, CO) this July.  As blended learning models for curriculum and program development increase in post-secondary education, learners and instructors are being more invested in different mode and models for education. Last year, I found the mix of programs, discussions, and people at #blend13 very refreshing.  If you have interests in design, development, or research in hybrid and blending learning environments than this might just be the conference and workshop for you!

blend14 banner

For those you who ARE attending #blend14, let me entice you to join in the UN-conference session.  This year, I will be helping to host the Blended Unconference (#unblend14) with Jessica Knott (@jlknott) and Patrice T (@Profpatrice). Unconferences are great opportunities to interact, discussion, and dig into topics that YOU are most interested in. As an a-typical session, the unconference is guided by participants who attend, and are flexible to the needs and wants of the group. It will be YOU who takes control of the agenda, content, and conversation. We will help by providing a basic infrastructure to keep things organized and moving, but this is the opportunity to really make the conference YOUR OWN. Typically unconference sessions introduce a topic or issue, and discussion, debate and ideas ensue.

Should I Attend the Unconference?

Yes!  Well, we think so. If you answer yes to any of the following, the unconference session is JUST for you:

  • Do you sometimes find yourself thinking “I wish they had covered X,Y, Z more deeply” in regular conference sessions?
  • Do you wish you had the chance to ask further questions or expand upon session content?
  • Are you looking for ways to get involved & meet others at #blend14?
  • Did someone ask the perfect question during your presentation & now you want to talk to them further?
  • Do you like interacting with colleagues to expand on ideas, share techniques, debate current trends, or collaborate on research?

Come to the Unconference Sessions on July 9:

  • 1:30 PM – Gather in the Unconference room and review the topics and votes; select top topics
  • 1:45 – 2:45 PM- Break into groups and discuss the top three topics.
  • 2:45 – 3:00 PM – Short break
  • 3:00 – 3:15 PM – Reconvene and revisit the topics and votes
  • 3:15 to 4:15 PM – Break into groups and discuss the next three highest voted topics. (Again, the individuals who submitted the topics will facilitate each of these three groups, with a scribe assigned for note-taking and organizational purposes.)

SIGN UP and submit YOUR UNCONFERENCE TOPIC for #unblend14:

Check out and VOTE ON the current Unconference Topics on Ideascale:

About the Sloan Community on IdeascaleA few ideas to vote onIn other #blend14 news, I will be a “Chef” in the “Technology Test Kitchen.” This NEW addition to the conference will provide participants an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with different tools and technologies they want to use back on campus. Bring your own device (BYOD), and let’s getting developing with audio and/or video, collaborative platforms, communication tools, or presentation resources that YOU want to learn more about.

Are you planning to be in Denver for #blend14? Want to learn more about the #unblend14 Unconference or Test Kitchen? Drop me a line. :)

This Is My Recap of #et4online

Another year at the #et4online conference brings various researchers, educators, practitioners, and then some to talk about the online learning landscape. I presented a session, attended a few workshops & sessions, learned a great deal (see my notes taken on Twitter), and connected to some new ideas and people. Each time I attend #et4online I find myself surrounded by some of the usual #edtech suspects who banter about pedagogy and talk about learning — rather than just the technology… and this is refreshing.

et4online montage

A few of my own #et4online highlights include:

 

Other reflections and thoughts about #et4online have been shared by George and Jim (#JimOfThings)…and I suspect a few others to follow.

 

Key takeaways I am still chewing on…

 

 

Special shout out to @jlknott for a stellar conference week as my roommate &  partner-in-crime. Here’s to our combined forces (support) to crush (or defend) our dissertations this summer! Go team!

Excited

Until then, I think #et4online should dance it out… Because I’m happy

Happy