ITC eLearning, Day 1 – Morning

eLearning 2014 logoThe Future of eLearning in Higher Education: Shifts, Trends, the Expected and Unexpected

Christina Royal, Ph.D., Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Inver Hills Community College

Virtual education or distance learning made the list of top 10 breakthroughs to transform life in the next 20 years.What are the things that we have to unlearn about institutions?

  • Community colleges are 2-year colleges (post-bac, high school students, etc.)
  • There isn’t just 1 right way to teach online.
  • It’s easier to teach online
  • Seat time equals learning
  • Information is scarce
  • Set beginnings and endings
  • It’s easier to be an online student than a face-to-face one


  • The traditional classroom is gone
  • Data-driven has a new meaning – en route to predictive analytics
    • Example: Ford – designed a game within their cards. Driving the car effectively & efficiently, leaves on tree starts to grow.
  • Clothes become accessories to learning.

A cool video on the use of glass in an interactive learning environment: A Day Made of Glass 2 is an image showing “Where the New Textbook Dollar Goes,” provided by the NACS Foundation.Where the New Textbook Dollar GoesIn order to get students to understand the importance (& coolness) of Science, celebrities starred in this YouTube video. My Robot is Better than Your Robot Opportunities for the ISDers

  • Invent the next LMS
  • Say Goodbye to learning theories of the 50s/60s
  • Listen to students
  • Continue to be disruptive in education
  • Be the change agents of faculty development & facilitate internal transition

Overall, I thought Dr. Royal had a great analysis of the possible future of higher education based on technology innovations. However, there wasn’t really a “call to action.” I felt that it was more of a brief on the “State of Education” and that was about it. Lots of interesting media, if nothing else.

Online Orientation: Getting Students to Use It!

Lynn Wietecha and Richard Bush, Lawrence Technological University

  • LTU Online was designed specifically for online programs, not courses.
  • Goal is the same course online as offered on campus.
  • Faculty work with course developers.
  • In top 6 for online bachelor’s degrees overall (2013)

LTU had a module 0

  • Overview of primary Bb functions used by students (assignments/discussion forums)
  • Links to a website where students had to search for info
  • Focused on technology
  • Questions still arose from faculty & students
  • Same module 0 in every course

LTU surveyed faculty & studentsResults: Faculty

  • Blend of tech focus and more academic support
  • Not all needs met by new module 0 (course specific results, exemplary assignments, rubrics, etc.)

Results: Students

  • Similar to faculty

Results: Staff

  • Helpdesk
    • Focus on specific tools
    • Media issues
  • Student Services
    • Falling behind
    • Unclear expectations

New orientation

  • Had a Bb test to measure knowledge
  • Used adaptive release to ensure it was used
  • Addresses deficiencies
  • Don’t just show students how to create discussion forums, explain difference between good/bad posts

Orientation pages

  • Each page has very little content
  • Each one has images or videos
  • Video featuring other online students – shows that students are not along
  • Current iterations incorporate reusable Bb generated videos – future iterations will have in-house videos

ReflectionI thought this was a good session, especially given our department beginning to develop an online student preparedness module. The topics covered during the videos and within the modules is definitely of importance, but their implementation included audio that was full of static. This made it distracting to see as a participant, and I feel like it would be the same as a student. I like that their module 0 is set with adaptive release, preventing access to the other modules until the quiz has been completed (with an 80+%). My worry about implementing this is with faculty push back – instructors wanting to customize their own week 0. This particular presentation involved master course shells, which I think would help in the implementation of this concept. It will be interesting to see how this may be implemented at Miami with us rolling out master courses.The one thing that was mentioned at the end of this session was the faculty push back regarding lack of academic freedom. Their process involves a new course to be written up on a Course Authorization Document (CAD), which gets approval from the entire university. LTU states that the master course shell is built to satisfy the CAD, nothing more. Since the CAD only covers the basics of the class, this actually gives faculty more academic freedom to not have to recreate the same content each term.

Designing a Model that Suits You: Four-Phase Course Development

Mindy Gomez and Nicki Plemmons, Ozarks Technical Community College

  • Master shells are not required – but used for instructors who are hired last minute.
  • Master shells are completed courses, not just “shells”
  • Master shells follow a development schedule
    • Shells must be developed (finished) during semester prior to being used in a course (Spring course –>shell completed previous fall)
  • Department chair fills out a development request form, including SME name.

Development steps:

  1. SME/Course Developer must go through a required training prior to starting development.
    • Training is done through BB Collaborate
  2. After training, instructor has access to a shell template
    • Co development option – SME gathers content and Instructional Designers puts content into BB
    • Sole development option – SME gathers content and places it into BB themselves
    • Development process for course shell is 3 months
    • After shell is developed, instructors do a self-assessment
  3. Self-assessment goes to a review team.
    • Review document goes to ~7 people, including chair, lead online instrcutor, ID, 2-4 peers from same department, 2 peers from different dept.
    • Data is compiled & summarized
    • Developer can either make the changes or justify why the changes don’t match the design of the course
    • ID Team verifies that the recommended changes have been implemented.
  4. Department chair evaluates the course & completes a sign-off form

ReflectionThis session was not interactive at all. The presenters essentially read from a Google Site that they had created – the equivalent of reading from a PowerPoint with too much text. Not only was there too much reading, but they sat behind a table and talked at us – that’s the worst. There were some good questions from audience members (such as how conflicts are resolved between SME & reviewers), but they didn’t have any answers. It seems to me that with a team of 7 reviewers, there are bound to be contradictions or conflicts – it worries me that there isn’t a system in place for addressing those issues. The one thing that I do like about their process is that the stipends are based on whether the instructors choose to do co-development or solo-development – it’s not a fixed cost either way. One of the things that we’re working on at Miami is a process for master shells. We are only working under the assumption that they will be doing the co-development process. However, there are instructors who are comfortable with the LMS and would like to go the solo route – it could be beneficial for us to have 2 levels of stipends for that.

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