Sunday, February 1, 2015

Why do blended?

Some supporting evidence as to why to do blended courses and programs (working draft):

Please post or forward to me any additional evidence, @tjoosten on Twitter.

"In recent experimental and quasi-experimental studies contrasting blends of online and face-to-face instruction with conventional face-to-face classes, blended instruction has been more effective, providing a rationale for the effort required to design and implement blended approaches" (Means, et al, 2010 p. xviii)

Means, Barbara, et al. "Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies." US Department of Education (2009). Retrieved from:
https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf

“Respondents…anticipated that the number of students taking online courses will grow by 22.8% and that those taking blended courses will grow even more over the next 2 years” (Picciano, Seamen, Shea, & Swan, 2012, p. 128).

Picciano, A. G., Seaman, J., Shea, P., & Swan, K. (2012). Examining the extent and nature of online learning in American K-12 education: The research initiatives of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The internet and higher education, 15(2), 127-135.


In a discussion of the future of education in 2020, "Therefore technology will change the way learning occurs and the way it is assessed, and it definitely means there is more blending of learning activities on- and offline, but it will not—for the majority—change the fundamental locatedness of university education" (Anderson, Boyles, & Rainie, July 27th, 2012).  

As PEW Internet declared in their Future of Higher Education report, colleges are delving into blended learning and many experts believe that there will be further movement to blended classes (See Anderson, Boyles, & Rainie, July 27th, 2012).  

Pew Internet (July 27th, 2012). The future of higher education.  Retrievable from:
http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/07/27/the-future-of-higher-education-2/

Other often cited reasons for the increased interest in blended learning relates to opportunities for improving student learning and success (Dziuban, Hartman, & Moskal, 2004), increasing student satisfaction (Dziuban & Moskal, 2001), and increasing retention and access (Picciano, 2006).

"Maximizing success in a blended learning initiative requires a planned and well-supported approach that includes a theory-based instructional model, high-quality faculty development, course development assistance, [and] learner support…” (p. 3).  

Dziuban, C., Hartman, J., & Moskal, P. (2004, March 30). Blended learning. .EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research Research Bulletin. ECAR: Boulder, CO. Retrieved from http://connect.educause.edu/Library/ECAR/BlendedLearning/40089.


Many grant funding agencies have identified the potential benefits and are supporting the move to blended learning in higher education.  For example, the Sloan Consortium Localness initiative and the Gates Foundation’s Next Generation Learning Challenges have and are supporting numerous universities and colleges ability to support blended learning opportunities.

Instructors implementation of the blended model in order to take advantage of the pedagogical rewards in using two mediums, online and face-to-face (Godambe, Picciano, Schroeder, & Schweber, 2004)

Kaleta, Skibba, and Joosten (2007) describe that “faculty decided to try the hybrid model because of the many teaching and learning benefits…including the ability to provide more ‘active learning’ and ‘engage’ students by using technology” (p. 136). 


Opportunities for improving student learning and success (Dziuban, Hartman, & Moskal, 2004), increasing student satisfaction (Dziuban & Moskal, 2001), and increasing retention and access (Picciano, 2006).

Picciano (2006) explains that “well-designed blended learning environments have the potential of increasing access to a higher education because they improve retention” (p. 100).
  
National report on blended:

Allen, I.E., Seaman, J., Garrett, R. (2007), Blending in: The extent and promise of blended education in the United States. Needham, MA: Sloan-C. Retrieved from http://olms.cte.jhu.edu/olms2/data/ck/sites/336/files/Blending_InSLOANReport.pdf

Books on blended:

Blended Learning: Research Perspectives, Vol 2 (2013), Edited by Anthony G. Picciano, Charles D. Dziuban, and Charles R. Graham 


Blended Learning: Research Perspectives, (2007), Edited by Anthony G. Picciano and Charles D. Dziuban


New Pedagogical Frontiers: Conducting Research in Online and Blended Learning (Coming in August), By Anthony G. Picciano, Charles D. Dziuban, Charles R. Graham, and Patsy Moskal.   


What is blended?

From my colleagues at UWM (now retired), Aycock, Garnham, and Kaleta illustrate (March, 2002), “Hybrid courses are courses in which a significant portion of the learning activities have been moved online, and time traditionally spent in the classroom is reduced but not eliminated” (para. 1).

More specifically, Picciano (2006) describes blended learning as:
1) courses that integrate online with traditional face-to-face class activities in a planned, pedagogically valuable manner; and,
2) where a portion (institutionally defined) of face-to-face time is replaced by online activity (p. 97).


Monday, January 5, 2015

Priorities in 2015, a personal blog post


Sometimes I get confused as to what I am doing with my life.  I decided a decade ago to follow my passion in service -- service to a public institution where I feel I am making a difference, well, most the time.  However, I get a lot of social information from friends, colleagues, and media that I should be focusing more on gains of finance and prestige.

My goal in life is to help all students, especially those who are first generation or lower income, access good public higher education and obtain a degree.  I feel much gratitude every day that I was able to figure out how to enroll in college and find financial support to help pay for it (grants and loans).  Being a first generation college student and "orphan" at the time, this was not an easy task.  I am passionate about other first generation, lower income individuals .  I feel strongly that when working lower or middle class, men have more options to be "successful" without having a degree.  Women have limited number of options without a degree.  And by successful, I mean you can eat and pay your bills.  Simple.

To move beyond your circumstance, you need a college degree.

No matter whether I lose everything -- my car, my house, my cable, my electricity, or my money -- you can't take away my education.

With an education, you can find a way to rebuild.  It may not always be easy, but your potential is exponentially better.

Now, I know there are arguments, even recently, that school loan debt is an issue leaving many questioning whether or not college is worth it.  Moreover, I understand wanting the government to provide relief to those with loans through interest reduction, affordable payments, and loan forgiveness.  I understand the movement to fund the exploration of extremely affordable degree programs or the debate around offering free community college education.  I am in support of efforts to make higher education affordable.  However, right now, let's not send the message that college loan debt or the cost of college should make our high school students rethink or avoid college.  This coming from a girl that will be paying her school loans until she dies probably.  It is worth it.  Go to college!

Okay, that isn't even why I am writing this blog post, but glad I said that.  If I didn't feel so passionate about individuals like myself going to college, I wouldn't even have this blog or be in higher ed.

Every year, I feel pressure to find a new job, more money, fancier title, cooler responsibilities, and so forth.  While I watch my friends climb the corporate ladder, climb higher, maybe burn out, and climb again, sometimes over each other and possibly losing friends and family along the way, I still think that maybe I should be moving somewhere professionally.  I have some colleagues questioning why I am not making moves, and then I see other friends and colleagues making moves, fancier titles, more prestigious institutions, and increased financial rewards.  Then, I am torn...

I actually questioned my values -- what is really important?

In a conversation with a dear friend this morning and after a sequence of events the past few weeks, I realized it is very simple and re-affirmed my values.  I now know my priorities for 2015.

I have long been a critical consumer of what society tells me to do.  A lot of this developed since society told me my whole life that I was "less than."  It is hard growing up with not a lot.  I always remember wanting the material things that money afforded for other kids.  Also, it was hard not having the things that media depicted as normal (a dad, a house in the burbs, a nice car, etc.).  A great amount of my grit probably came from not having things that society was telling me I should.  These feelings and memories are ingrained in me.  I wanted more!

Then, all of a sudden, you realize one day you surpassed your circumstance.  You have enough.  It isn't a ton, but it is enough.  Now, what matters?!
 
Every year, I feel like I need to leave public higher ed.  I actually said today that I might need to change my values to focus less on public education.  I choked on my words before they even came out, and instantly, it became clear.  I realized who I didn't want to be, and I found my priorities once again.

So, for 2015, this is what I have planned.

I want to help others like me move beyond their circumstance.
I want to foster networks -- the professional ones that become personal.
I want to foster friendships -- those with people that are reliable and contribute to my happiness.
I want friends who focus on relationships and helping others.
I want to have fun experiences and learn new things with great people.
I want less material stuff.

I do not want to focus on financial gain or material things.
I do not want to focus on ego.
I do not want to forget to feed my friendships.

I am sure this won't be my last time having this conversation with myself or others, but this is what I have for 2015.

At the end of the day, I want great friends and experiences while being noticed for helping and advancing opportunities for girls like me.








    

Friday, November 21, 2014

A WCET preso and info on our National Research Center for Distance Education and Technoogical Advancement (DETA)


Program excerpt 
Thanks to Russ Poulin, we were invited to present at the WCET annual meeting in Portland, Oregon today on our US Department of Education FIPSE grant to launch a National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancement.  See our our entry in the WCET program at: http://tinyurl.com/n6exfxc.

I know many of you have been interested in knowing some more details of our grant proposal and our efforts over the next 3 years.

In this post, I am including our presentation (see below) here and a link to our handout. We have 7 goals and numerous activities that we will be conducting over the next few years to assist in accomplishing these goals.

The first year is really about building the foundation to conduct research on distance education.  As a field, we are quite fragmented in our theories and methods.  As @anya1anya was mentioning in the key note this morning, we have hard scientist and social scientists all studying learning.  The diversity in paradigmatic lenses leads to heterogeneity in our research goals, research questions, measure, instrumentation, statistical methods, qualitative methods, and more.  Therefore, we are looking to develop a research model in the first year to help us build coherency in the field and create a shared language for us to be able to talk to each other and to then collaborate on rigorous research.  Think of it as a how-to research DE.  Our outcomes of the first year will include what we are calling research tool kits that we will disseminate through our DETA community blog and through our partner ELI.  It is about giving instructors and institutions the tools to conduct research.

A vehicle to make this happen is going to be a DE research summit to be held at the ELI Annual Meeting in Anaheim.  We will be inviting up to 50 folks that have expertise in distance education, online learning, research, practice, administration, disability and accessibility, competency-based education and more to help us determine what are our desired DE outcomes and results, what is student success, and what are key research questions we should be asking.  Considering these research questions, we will be developing a framework of inquiry to guide areas of investigation and standard measures and instrumentation.

Although amazing ambitious, we are also looking to create a "cloud open data" system.  This means: 1.) it will be hosted somewhere by someone, maybe rackspace, 2.) we want it to be open for any institution or instructor to share their data or for any individual or institution to retrieve data to better understand a population of students, certain type of institution, an instructional or institutional interventions, and so on.  Not only will this data allow us to facilitate cross-institutional research for this grant.  It will allow us to build the infrastructure to propel DE research for years and years...and maybe years.  Now, there will be lots of implications to developing this, but oh so necessary based on current societal and educational research trends.

Now, I am not in this post going to get into the rest of the grant, but this is a good taste for now.  Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or to provide input.  Cheers, all!



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nonverbal communication and classroom spaces, some references

I often refer to the research in nonverbal in the social sciences, specifically communication, as a reference for choices we make in our design of active learning spaces.  The areas of interest in nonverbal communication are usually referred to as environmentics (environment), objectics or artifacts.  Here are a few of those resources, but I must be honest, any undergraduate nonverbal communication text will have this information.  If we have additional resources, please post or send to me and I will add. Cheers!

Burgoon, J. K., Guerrero, L. K., & Floyd, K. (2010). Nonverbal communication. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

    See Chapter 7.

"Messages are also communicated via the environment and the objects within that environment. On the nonverbal side, there are myriad environmental cues, such as building design, color, furniture arrangement, noise, temperature, and artifacts (e.g., paintings, flowers). These types of environmental cues often frame communication by encouraging or discouraging social interaction"

From: http://www.sagepub.com/edwards/study/materials/reference/77593_4.1ref.pdf 

Guerrero, L. K. , Hecht, M. L. , & DeVito, J. A. (2008). Perspectives on defining and understanding nonverbal communication. In L. K. Guerrero, ed. & M. L. Hecht (Eds.), The nonverbal communication reader: Classic and contemporary readings (3rd ed., pp. 3–20). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press

Guerrero, L. K., DeVito, J. A., & Hecht, M. L. (Eds.). (1999). The nonverbal communication reader. Lone Grove,, IL: Waveland Press.

     See Section E, http://senas.lnb.lt/stotisFiles/uploadedAttachments/16_The_nonverbal_communication%20reader201092723931.pdf

Burgoon, J. K., & Hoobler, G. D. (2002). Nonverbal signals. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 240-299.

     Burgoon talks about environment and artifacts (see p. 241).

Goodwin, C. (2003). The semiotic body in its environment. Discourses of the body, 19-42.

     Goodwin discusses the impact of environment on human behavior.

Knapp, M. L. (1980). Essentials of nonverbal communication (pp. 203-229). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Knapp, M., Hall, J., & Horgan, T. (2013). Nonverbal communication in human interaction. Cengage Learning.

Knapp discusses the impact of the environment on human communication and specifically mentions active leaning spaces.

Smith, H. A. (1979). Nonverbal communication in teaching. Review of Educational Research, 49(4), 631-672.

     Yeap, in 1979 they were talking about this stuff -- 35 years later and we are just getting it ;)

I must note that Guerrero and Floyd were faculty at Arizona State when I was completing my doctorate work.  Floyd was my Multivariate Analysis instructor.  Both of them focus in the interpersonal field where I focused more on organizational and communication technology.

Methodological resources

Here are a few of my favorite methodological "go-to" books or articles for quantitative and qualitative research.  Please share with me yours as well.  More or less, if you had a grad student you were mentoring, what are the "must reads"?

Burrell, G., & Morgan, G. (1979). Sociological paradigms and organisational analysis (Vol. 248). London: Heinemann.

Qualitative

General

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Sage.

Link to Google Book: http://t.co/S6nYeQKxfL

Interviewing and focus groups

Kavle, S. (1996). Interviews. An Introduction to qualitative research interviewing. Interviews: an introduction to qualitative research interviewing.

Link to Google Book: https://t.co/yDl4tzAl5N

     Kvale, Chapter 5 excerpt:
     https://t.co/2nwqkuGtJc

     Overview of Kvale, Interviewing
     http://tinyurl.com/74vb6at

     Kvale, Chapter 7 excerpt:
     https://t.co/mJshM84ElP

Discourse analysis

Gee, J. P. (2014). An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method. Routledge.

Link to Google Book: books.google.com/books?isbn=1317820584

Others:

Kvale, S., & Brinkmann, S. (2009). Interviews: Learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing. Sage.

Quantitative:

Allen, M. R., Titsworth, B. S., & Hunt, S. K. (2008). Quantitative research in communication. Sage Publications.

Link to Google Book: http://tinyurl.com/ksdo48p

Allen, M., Preiss, R. W., Gayle, B. M., & Burrell, N. (Eds.). (2001). Interpersonal communication research: Advances through meta-analysis. Routledge.

Link to Google Book: http://tinyurl.com/orpf4xr

Tracy, K., & Muñoz, K. (2011). Qualitative methods in interpersonal communication. The SAGE handbook of interpersonal communication, 145-166.

     Nice overview of the differences between qualitative and quantitative methods and post-positivistic and interpretive paradigms.

Link to Google Book, see chapter 3: books.google.com/books?isbn=1412974747




Evaluating course design, instrumentation

My colleague @veletsianos was recently inquiring on instrumentation to evaluate self-paced online courses, which led to the post, in part.





UPace Logo
Although I do not have anything specific for self-paced online, we have experience at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with self-paced (upace.uwm.edu) and with competency-based (flex.wisconsin.edu).

Flex Logo
The UPace model at UWM is an alternative online self-paced course design for foundation, entry-level courses that traditionally have been large lecture.  The Flex model is the competency-based program in which UWM offers three degrees (Nursing, Medical Imaging, and Information Studies) and one certificate (Business Writing).



A couple resources in evaluating course design, instrumentation for rigorous research and for practical use in your own class...

First, a current survey is being administered to understand institutional, program, and instructor practices to ensure quality in blended and online courses, including faculty development practices around course design.  There is a section in this survey that focuses on identifying course design elements shared in faculty development and/or training for blended and online.  Once this survey is closed, I will develop a write-up on the measures and model being tested.

http://professorjoosten.blogspot.com/2014/10/ensuring-quality-survey-for-those-who.html


sample of survey items




I am conducting another study on students perceptions of course design across modes.  This is a sample of those survey items measuring the variable of course design.  The full survey will be launched within the week, and I will blog more details.

http://professorjoosten.blogspot.com/2014/10/student-perceptions-of-course-design.html

sample course design items



In 2010, my colleagues and I developed a Peer Eval Handbook, which can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/UWMEvalHandbook. A condensed version of the peer evaluation guide can be found at: http://uwmltc.org/?p=3813.  This was developed to provide programs with a tool to provide their instructors constructive feedback on improving their courses.  The guide was developed from UC Chico Rubric, Quality Matters Rubric, and our own experience teaching blended and online and supporting faculty for 10 years.

Through the years before the peer evaluation guide, I developed several checklists by reviewing what was already available (UC Chico, Quality Matters) and my own experience teaching blended and online and supporting faculty, again. Here those are:

Course evaluation checklist:
http://professorjoosten.blogspot.com/2010/05/course-evaluation-checklist.html

Syllabus checklist:
http://professorjoosten.blogspot.com/2010/05/syllabus-checklist.html

Learning module checklist:
http://professorjoosten.blogspot.com/2009/11/learning-module-checklist.html

Assessment plan checklist:
http://professorjoosten.blogspot.com/2011/08/assessment-plan-checklist.html

These checklists and the peer evaluation guide have informed my survey instrumentation developed in order to statistically measure course design along with work of @kthompso, University of Central Florida, @pennymoved, Penn State, and others (see ensuring quality post for more details).



If you have additional tools or instrumentation, please share below in a comment, tweet me @tjoosten, or send an email joostentanya[at]gmail.com.

Enjoy!  






Monday, October 27, 2014

Ensuring quality, a survey for those who teach blended and/or online

Good day, all!

Many of you followed a workshop or seminar that  we (myself and Dylan Barth, primarily) delivered in 2012-2013 that was focused on sharing what we were doing at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM) and hearing what other campuses were doing across the country to ensure quality in blended and online courses (see slideshare.net/tjoosten).

Since we felt quality started at the beginning of the process and not just at the end, while being partial to the necessity of faculty development, we had three driving set of questions targeting why instructors chose to teach blended and/or online, what preparation was needed to effectively teach blended and/or online, and how we can determine if we have good blended and/or online courses being offered to students.

This workshop idea developed from experiences we were having traveling to different institutions to conduct faculty development programs for blended and online.  Each time we went to a campus, there were so many other questions regarding incentives for faculty, engaging faculty, showcases of effective practices, evaluating courses, and more.   Our expertise was in teaching and helping other instructors teach blended and online courses.  There was an obvious need for enhancing our understanding across institutions in these areas.

After talking with dozens, if not hundreds of folks from institutions across the country and the globe, we (myself and Nicole Weber) analyzed all of the notes from our seminars and workshops around our three main areas of ensuring quality and developed coded that data.  We then converted these codes into survey tiems resulting in the survey below.  We hope our mixed methods approach leads to a robust collection of data across institutions allowing us to have some data-driven directioning to understand practices for ensuring quality in blended and online from the start, effectively engaging faculty in the process.

As colleagues, I ask you to please complete the survey about teaching blended and online at your institution.  Also, please pass the survey onto other colleagues at your institution and to others  in your online learning network that  are instructors at other institutions.

We hope to share our findings in presentation and publication in late 2015.

Warmest regards,
Tanya

 ______________________________________________

Access survey here:

http://tinyurl.com/teachonl

Official correspondence:

I am Tanya Joosten at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). I am conducting a study on preparing and teaching blended and online courses.  I would appreciate your participation in this study, as it will assist us in making recommendations for institutions and programs to ensure quality in blended and online.

Some of you may have participated in a workshop UWM delivered over the past couple years where we discussed practices at your institutions and our own to ensure quality.  It was through these workshop experiences that we developed an instrument to better understand these practices across institutions.

If you agree to be in this study, you will be asked to fill out an online survey about your experience with your experience preparing to teaching and teaching blended and/or online courses that will take 30 minutes to complete. There are no known risks associated with your being in the study. Possible benefits are that you will have a voice in helping shape institutional practices and the support faculty receive when preparing to teach courses.

The survey you fill out will be treated confidentially. Data from this study may be published in professional journals. Only grouped data will be presented or published. As an online participant in this research, there is always the risk of intrusion by outside agents, i.e., hacking, and therefore the possibility of being identified.

By completing the survey at the attached link, you are stating that you are at least of 18 years of age and understand that any information about you will be treated in a confidential manner and that the data collected and the results obtained will be used for research purposes only. Your personal information will never be used to report any results of the projects. You understand that the records and data files related to this research project will be maintained in the UWM Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancement for a period no longer than ten years and that only personnel directly associated with this project will have access to them.

You understand that you may refuse to participate in this study or withdraw at any time without penalty. You understand that you may be withdrawn from this study by the investigators if you do not meet the screening criteria. You understand that, should you withdraw or be withdrawn from the study, any information that you have provided will be destroyed.

Once the study is completed, we would be glad to give the results to you. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact me:

Tanya Joosten
Academic Affairs
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
tjoosten@uwm.edu
414.229.2490

Friday, October 24, 2014

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has received a $1.48 million grant to establish a national Center for the Study of Distance Education and Technological Advancement

For a long time now, I have talked a lot (and then probably some more) about the need for more research on blended and online learning as well as on the diffusion of learning technologies.

As many of you remember in August, myself and my awesome research team of Ashley Billig, Rachel Cusatis, and Lindsey Harness were working day and night on a grant proposal only stopping for my 40th birthday celebration (see more on our process here).

Since only one university in the country was going to be chosen with less than a month to design a national center for research on distance education and put together a winning proposal, we knew our odds were not favorable. I believe we called it our "pie in the sky."  Yet, we worked day and night on the grant as if our lives depended on it and had a great time doing it.

So, when I woke up at EDUCAUSE Annual Conference on October 1st, the news definitely brought a tear to my eye.  And finally after a few weeks, we are told that we can share the news...even though the link is still missing ;)

[Update. here is the link: http://www5.uwm.edu/news/2014/10/24/deta-grant/]


UW-Milwaukee News
Milwaukee - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has received a $1.48 million grant to establish a national Center for the Study of Distance Education and Technological Advancement (DETA). The center will work in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin System, UW-Extension, Milwaukee Area Technical College and EDUCAUSE.
Co-directors of the new center are Diane Reddy, professor of psychology and director of the University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and Tanya Joosten, director of eLearning Research and Development in Academic Affairs.
“This grant advances UWM’s already strong reputation in online education, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to further understanding of online pedagogies that lead to student success,” said Johannes Britz, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.
The three-year grant is through the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). The DETA Research Center will identify and evaluate effective course and institutional practices in online learning and competency-based education for all students, including those who are economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, and adult learners. The center will develop and disseminate a national research model for online education.
Work on the DETA research model will begin in February 2015 at a national summit planned in conjunction with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif.. Grant funding will also support research through subgrant awards to be determined through a nationally competitive RFP process. The Center will work with MATC on the inclusion of two-year colleges in research activities, and UW-Extension, a leader in competency-based education (CBE), will coordinate a CBE research project for the Center.
“The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative along with the teaching and learning community will significantly benefit from a center dedicated to evidence-based online learning and technology research. We know there has been a steady accumulation of successful work and innovation in this area, and we look forward to partnering with and leveraging the practices and models that emerge,” said Julie Little, vice president, teaching, learning, and professional development, EDUCAUSE.
UWM has already won a number of national awards and recognitions for its learning initiatives. The university’s U-Pace instructional approach, a self-paced, mastery-based online learning method with proactive instructor assistance, was one of five recipients of the 2014 WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) Awards. UWM’s Panther Academic Support Services, a leader in online tutoring, was recognized with the 2014 Frank L. Christ/National College Learning Association (NCLCA) Outstanding Learning Center award for four-year institutions.
CONTACTS: Diane Reddy, reddy@uwm.edu, 414-229-6432; Tanya Joosten, tjoosten@uwm.edu, 414-229-2490; Laura Pedrick, executive director of UWM Online,  lpedrick@uwm.edu, 414-229-3203.
###
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit membership association created to support those who lead, manage, and use information technology to benefit higher education. A comprehensive range of resources and activities is available to all EDUCAUSE members. For more information about EDUCAUSE, including membership, please contact us at info@educause.edu or visit educause.edu.
.
Issued by: 

Kathy Quirk

414-229-3144

kquirk@uwm.edu
For more UWM News,
go to:


http://news.uwm.edu

About UWM
As Wisconsin's premier public urban institution, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee enjoys a growing national reputation for excellence in research, teaching and community engagement. On an operating budget of $680 million, it educates approximately 30,000 students and is an engine of innovation for Southeastern Wisconsin. The 104-acre main campus and satellite sites are located in the economic and cultural heart of the state. The university's recent expansion includes new academic and research facilities and the creation of the only School of Freshwater Sciences in the United States and the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health.



Friends, I cannot tell you how good it feels.  I am sure many of you know ;) 

I am forever humbled and look forward to partnering with distance education leaders far and wide to produce some rigorous research to drive proven practices in online learning.

Cheers!
Tanya


Writing THE grant, a process

Costa Rican Vacation
While vacationing this summer in Costa Rica with the little one and taking some time to think about my new path in my career, I got a call from Laura Pedrick, Executive Director for UWM Online.  Yeap, I was getting calls in Costa Rica.  So, I emailed her (since I can never learn to leave work behind) and set up a Skype call where she told me about the new US Department of Education call for proposals to establish a national center for research on distance education.  The timing seemed unbelievable...no, like truly, I thought it was a joke.  How is it that two months after I am moved into this position to lead research on online learning while contemplating funding support that there is a national call for proposals?

First whiteboard
Upon returning to the states, we brought together several leaders, including key researchers, on campus to discuss the grant.  As most of you have heard me say, I don't think we can hypothesize new pedagogical models without evidence leading us to our developments nor can we eve recommend dissemination of pedagogical models without rigorous research to drive that dissemination. We immediately identified the importance of the interplay between research models and effective practices or pedagogical models.  It was great that the US Department of Education understood the importance of researching the key factors in online learning that lead to successful student outcomes.  Online then can we use these key factors in developing pedagogical models that work, and not just for the majority of students.  They spent special attention in their call making sure the models encompassed emerging models of distance education, such as competency-based education.  Furthermore, the models need to lead to success for all students, including underrepresented students (minority, socioeconomic challenged, first generation, disabled, adults, etc.). 
Master plan
After spending a significant amount of time reviewing the proposal, I worked for a ton of hours straight on the big picture ideas for the grant or what I like to call the Erik B and Rakim stage, "thinking of a master plan."  There were sheets of whiteboard paper strewed about my living room and dining room.  Majority of effort was merging different demands in the proposal requirements (which some time contradicted each other or didn't clearly align) along with my social scientific theoretical and methodological background.  However, the pieces were definitely coming together.

Next, I put together draft one of the project design, which included a lot of text and some really awful graphics/figures.  The first draft was about 15 pages, including a timeline of activities.  This read very much like a boring, jargon filled article, where I was showing off my disciplinary prowess.  However, it provided me with an opportunity to get my ideas out and in a semi-cohesive form in which to gather feedback form our partners.   Furthermore, the motivation to whip this out in a couple days was because of a celebration coming.

Evidence of social bonding
Little did I know when inviting friends around the country to come to my 40th birthday that I would be in the middle of this grant.  So, in the first week of August, we took a brief break to celebrate my 40th birthday.  Glad that some of the members of my research team could help celebrate - some serious social bonding took place.

Thanks to all my wonderful friends and their gifts (mainly bottles of red wine), we had plenty of gas to keep our engines going for the rest of August. ;) I don't think many of my friends have too much of an idea of what I actually do, but I am sure they will be happy to know they contributed as well.


Rethinking goals
We realized after the reviewing the first draft and receiving input from some of our research partners, we had a long way to go.  Although the ideas were awesome, we needed to really simplify them and put them in a consumable form for the reviewers.  Clarity was key!  At that point, they were big picture ideas, but we needed something more concrete.  Also, no one wants to read dozens of pages on what you are going to do.  They want to see what you are going to do, when, how, and who.

We focused on brainstorming what our goals were as a large group.  Then the research team and I worked on clarify those more in relation to activities while considering how we would evaluate each one.  This was key!  Although I tend to spend a lot of time on a meta level...next time I will start by outlining goals, criteria evaluating those goals, and activities that will lead to those goals.  Weird eh?  Almost sounds like backwards design ;)  Not to say the big picture planning that looked at the balance between technological infrastructure and practice (research and pedagogical) was not important, but probably less critical for this grant, yet more critical for the fostering of our future of research and teaching practice in distance education.  I think I was designing the field of distance education rather than just a grant proposal...haha!

Working table
When we started the second draft (well, final revisions) the week before submission, life gave me a hiccup as the UWM Children's Center was closed, so this meant, I needed to balance work-life more than ever.  I needed to be home with my little one (girl, 6) for the week.  Luckily, the research team was fine with working at my house as I did have a endless supply of jimmy johns, cheese, and wine.  We brought over some whiteboards and dry erase markers, reloaded the printer ink and paper supply, and converted the dining room table into "Thanksgiving" size.

Tasks
Kids contribute
We spent day in and day out completely redoing the project design and developing the evaluation section.  We found our ability (thanks to Ashley) to create some pretty rockin' charts, is a great way to convey a lot of information in a brief, consumable, and simple form.  Trying to condense such grandiose ideas in less than 35 pages is a bit of a challenge, but who doesn't love a challenge ;)  We went through task list, after task list, after task list, making sure we had a decent proposal.   Some days were over 20 hours long as it was a very short turn around time or the proposal.  The little one even started to get in on the action as well.  I guess there were only so many Barbie movies (yeap, Barbie movies were the bribe, including toys and other things).

By the end, I am not sure if we had much left to give.  However, we did it!  We got the grant!

And, although I couldn't announce it, I had a lot of "happy" posts.



I definitely couldn't get this song out of my head...



Would love to hear more about your grant writing experiences.  Show your work!

Cheers,



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Student perceptions of course design

This blog post is a summary of my efforts to develop a survey to be delivered to students to evaluate course design.  The instrument is developed, in part, from the UC Chico Rubric, Quality Matters, and our own rubrics and checklists used at UWM.  If you have an instrument to share or additions, please comment to this post.

I will continue to update as I refine the instrument and will report the stats on the instrument once I administer it this fall.  Although originally intended for online and maybe even blended courses, this will be delivered to f2f courses as well to compare course design across mediums.  I am also developing an instrument for instructors and staff as well.

If you are interested in delivery my instrument and collaborating on research, please let me know.  Would be great to get some cross-institutional data.  In this investigation, I am also examining interactivity (engagement, community, presence, etc.), learning, performance, and satisfaction.

COURSE DESIGN

Support
I had adequate support in completing my activities.
I received support materials prior to starting the class activities.
I had information for whom to contact if I needed support.
The syllabus was easily located and included course objectives and completion requirements.
Expectations of students’ participation were included in the syllabus or in D2L.
A clear timeline or schedule for face-to-face and online activities was shared.
I received information on the availability of and turnaround time for contact with instructor.
The introductory explanations on the class were clear.

Organization
The course was well-organized.
Course content is “chunked” for more manageable learning
Course content is organized in a logical format
Topics are clearly identified and subtopics are related to topics
I understood all components of the activities.
The instructions for the class were clear.
Course schedule is available in a printer-friendly format for student convenience
I understood the layout of course.
Language of written material is friendly and supportive.
The goals of the course were clearly defined.
The goals of the activities were clearly defined.
The method of grading my performance was clear.
I understood what was expected of me.
Sentences and paragraphs were brief and easy to understand.

Instructional design and delivery
I had the opportunity to introduce myself to others.
I completed an “Ice-breaker” activity or other orientation session to get acquainted
I was prompted by my instructor to expand on relevant points
Each reading assignment and each activity matches a learning objective
Activities have an assessment piece that links to a learning objective
Tasks and activities are designated as synchronous or asynchronous
Summary provided frequently, particularly at the end of topics, to reinforce learning expectations for that module

Assessment and Evaluation
The instructor shared the criteria used to assess participation discussions
I was not assessed solely on tests/quizzes
I was provided ample opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in different ways
I received rich and rapid feedback
I received frequent and substantial feedback from the instructor
The instructor provided samples of assignments illustrate instructor’s expectations
I received detailed instructions and tips for completing assignments
The instructor provided due dates for all assignments
Rubrics for all assignments identify assessment guidelines were provided
A grading scale was shared by the instructor
Peer review opportunities were available
I had an opportunity to apply rubric to my own work
My input on the class was sought by the instructor


I will look to integrate Kelvin's, Penny's, and Barry's work.

Other resources include:

UCF Pedagogical practice | https://topr.online.ucf.edu/index.php/Pedagogical_Practice | Contact @kthompso

My creations with my colleagues through the years...

UWM Preso, Ensuring Quality

UWM's Course Evaluation Checklist

UWM Instructor's Guide to Evaluation
http://tinyurl.com/UWMEvalHandbook. A condensed version of the peer evaluation guide can be found at:http://uwmltc.org/?p=3813.

UWM Syllabus checklist:

UWM Learning module checklist:

UWM Assessment plan checklist: