Challenges in Blended Learning

Notes

Kineo, The Oxford Group. (2013). Blended learning–Current use, challenges, and best practices. Retrieved from http://www.kineo.com/m/0/blended-learning-report-202013.pdf

  • Designing and developing is difficult; companies have less than 50% people who have expertise in blended learning to properly manage this kind of learning (p. 4).

 

http://issues.org/29-4/the-online-challenge-to-higher-education/

Key component of online educational world are MOOCs; Talks about the history of MOOCs; problem is that high quality are are expensive to produce but offer as free service; likely that they need to charge to cover development costs; talked about “pixar” branch?? kid version of established university??

Moocs and educational reform: State legisation is pushing for higher education online; giving credit for online courses ; univ as place of researach led to high cost we know today.

Some things better suited for online such as manipulation and visualization of data; other things still better in class such as speaking and presenations; still need humans to evaluate writing; big bulk of research still in person because learning needs to be hands on.

Blending for success: near future best education will combine the online and offline; Clay christenson said there is possibility that blending learning will eventually lead to completely online education.

In the beginning: they talked about flipped classes; useonline for lecture and first order learning, use in class for higher order learning; facutty development in online, offline, and blended learning will be key to its success.

From credentials to speedier degrees: colleges may use online for introductory courses; this would reduce time to finish; class time could be used for discussions and advanced research; things that online does not do well: discussion seminars, research, writing, and student faculty interactions; big challenge/uncertainty is going to be what’s going to happend to traditional f2f universities.

Evolving business model: online courses expensive to develop; require interactivity; textbook publishers also entering online education; online is good at providing content and information, making assessment; offline good at discussion, mentoring, research

 

Mobile Learning Observation

Liberation Day yesterday in South Korea and so my gf and I decided to spend the late morning at the coffee shop. I was reading an article on mobile learning when the thought came that a lot of people come to the coffee shop to study. Although people rage that m-Learning is the future I find that it’s not very convenient to do much learning specifically smartphones except for searching information and communicating via phone or messaging. But anyway here is my observation:

  • girl with a laptop and smartphone
  • man reading a book
  • two men discussion
  • woman studying with a laptop and book
  • gf reading a book and me laptop and smartphone

I personally find it difficult to do any sort of studying done at the coffee shop particularly reading due to all the distractions. To overcome this obstacle I find an audio book to be effective, which allows me to receive information from both the audio and visual channels or listening to noise or natural sounds. Examples of the second option are binaural beats or the pattering of rain. Listening to these allows meaningful work to be done such as collecting and synthesizing different pieces of information for apply for a task. Are there other solutions for effective m-Learning?

Creating mobile learning that works by TATA: http://www.tatainteractive.com/pdf/Creating-mobile-learning-that-works.pdf

Edtech 522 Module 6 Reflection

In EDTECH 522 there were three aspects of technology that I found to be particularly helpful in my development as an educational technologist. One was evaluating online tools. The exercise provided a systematic method for evaluating the effectiveness of an online tool, which included examining how the tool could satisfy instructor, cognitive, and social presence. I found it to be helpful because it’s an exercise that I will utilize regularly in this field as I will encounter many learning and teaching tools.

Number two was evaluating an online course. The process was similar to evaluating online tools but more in-depth in the number of criteria used for measuring quality and structure of an online course. This is an essential skill that I need in order to make new developments in online education because it will help to understand what online courses currently do and how and where to make improvements.

The third tool that I found to be helpful was Moodle. It was a tool that I was familiar with but from a student’s perspective taking courses in the EDTECH program. In module 4 of this course, I developed a lesson, which allowed me to explore a number of different tools to manage and deliver content. I found the workflow to be intuitive and easy to build content. I even reintroduced myself to HTML and CSS, a topic that I hadn’t touched since EDTECH 502. It was good to refresh memory and learned two new things as a result of the process: creating an inline styles and the rules for making a responsive YouTube video. If you ever want to do exercise for your brain, try some HTML exercises.

In addition to the technology, the principles for how adults learn were central to this course. These principles provided evidence for best ways to advance and accommodate adult learners. The key for an instructional designer is to develop activities that includes these principles. One principle was that adults want learning that’s relevant and useful for their professional goals. Allowing them to direct and control their learning, will satisfy this principle. For example, letting them choose the tools that they want to learn or apply skills in a manner most useful for them. Teachers can also take an active role by asking questions that connects the new knowledge and skills with their professional background and experience.

The skills and knowledge that I learned from this course will be valuable for both my short term and long term goals. My short term future plans will begin as an instructional designer at a designated university somewhere in the south west after graduating this December. I believe that some of the most exciting educational developments occur in this region. This will provide the right environment to further develop my skills in instructional design and course building to reach my long term goal, which is to make exciting developments in online learning. I feel that it’s going to have something to do simulated learning and/or global online experience. Because I don’t have the exact details on how this is going to work it will be essential that I meet other instructors, technologists, and state administrators. Collaboration with other like-minded people is the only way that this plan will materialize. Things that are clear are the topics we covered in this course: teaching skills for online and blended environments, evaluating and using learning tools, activities embedded with learning principles, and a detailed understanding of how courses are developed and the learning experiences that they create.

Edtech 522 Module 6 Discussions

Research has shown that students are engaged and receive better achievements in blended learning. A good portion of this is due to the online component. It allows to self-direct learning, allowing them to control their pace, preferences, and learning path. Because the internet has so many resources, it can almost literally accommodate every learner’s preference, level, and pace. I liked the way Jen Jonson (2014) explained how a teacher can apply blended learning: students research assignments online and demonstrate and document their learning through an online activity such as a discussion board. Teachers can then review this and use class time for remediation or do more advanced work related to the topic. A key to blended learning is combining the online activities with the offline to add depth to students’ learning. Some may argue that if students research a topic online that would be considered the online aspect of it. Yes it is, except that teachers should require students to take it a step further and apply that learning to practice and demonstrate it to show to someone else (Jonson). That medium is usually through a learning management system.

Thought from this perspective, the process of blended learning would be easy for a faculty member to grasp but the difficulty they have is putting it into practice; they have trouble connecting the online with the offline activities (Kaleta, Garnham, & Aycock, 2006). One reason is the lack of experience in learning technologies. This was evident from the number of the websites that discuss topics on professional development for teachers. Also the classmates who took EDTECH 522 was further evidence of this need.  All (including myself) were teachers, instructional designers, and technology integration specialist taking a course on how to teach online. One article stated that the biggest difficulty was getting teachers to commit to learn and use new technology (Intentional futures, 2016). For instructors new to technology, a simple model would be the best approach to gradually develop their skills. Based on attending courses as a student, the model used by Boise State is simple yet effective. They use a few tools consistently in many of their classes to allow students to become very familiar with the learning process. From a teacher’s perspective it allows them to regularly practice the tools to build their comfort level, which could then lead to using the tool in more creative ways. Understanding the tools will be an essential important step. This will likely take some time and so this will likely mean setting up a program to monitor technology use and to provide regular support. The technology will be critical because without technology and online presence, it will be impossible for them to connect the online with the offline activities.

This also means that faculty should understand the online learning environment. Part of this will occur as they practice using the tool. But I recall reading one article that said many of the teachers use the online environment to post announcements and to store and manage student data. This would indicate that the F2F is their primary method for instructions and the online is somewhat a secondary option. So the key is get them to change this belief and practice. One way to do this would be to get them to teach online as their primary mode and use the F2F as the secondary mode—perhaps have them test it out for two weeks out of a month. This was how I learned the potential and the benefits for teaching online. There were times when there was some discomfort and unfamiliarity but with proper training and preparations a teacher could reduce many of these bumps.

 

Intentionalfuturescom. (2016). Instructional design in higher education. Retrieved 11 August, 2016, from http://intentionalfutures.com/reports/instructional_design/

Jonson, J. (2014). Blended learning and technology integration. Retrieved 11 August, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD8AUfGsCKg

Kaleta, R., Garnham, C., & Aycock, A. (2006). Hybrid courses: Obstacles and solutions for faculty and students. 19th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning.  Retrieved 11 August, 2016, from http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/resource_library/proceedings/03_72.pdf

Edtech for Faculty Development

This is a course that I created to help faculty develop the skills needed to teach in a blended environment. These are some of skills that the course covers: learning theories and principles, evaulation of online tools, creating a screencast video, developing a rubric to measure quality for a blended lesson, and creating a lesson that utilizes the skills from the previous modules. Link: http://edtechdev.mrooms2.net/course/view.php?id=717

Make YouTube Respond

It took some experimenting but this was the code that I used to get Youtube videos to respond to different screen sizes in Moodle using inline styles.

<EXAMPLE: div style=”background-color:black;color:white;padding:20px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; padding-top: 30px; height: 0; overflow: hidden;”>

<EXAMPLE: iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/jum3hZyqVP4?rel=0&#8243; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”” style=”position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;”></iframe>

</div>

I found these sites to be helpful in figuring this out. The first link provided the HTML and CSS codes. The other three links explain how to create an inline styles for a DIV and iFrame.

Inline style: http://www.w3schools.com/css/css_howto.asp

Div: http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_blocks.asp
iFrame: http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_iframe.asp