Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology & Associate Professor at Royal Roads University

ICEM 2013 Conference CFP (October 1-4)

Posted on December 14th, by George Veletsianos in cfp. 3 comments

ICEM 2013 logo
Authors are invited  to submit abstracts and participate in the 63rd International Council for Educational Media (ICEM) Conference that will be held in Singapore from 1 – 4 October 2013.

The late 1990s saw the emergence of e-Learning.  Many schools and institutions have embarked on campus-wide initiatives that comprised content-driven and technology-enhanced pedagogy until the advent of Web 2.0. Now, however, the educational model is undergoing a complete change of approach and both the blended learning model and participative learning have become more possible and meaningful, especially when combined with the changing profile of Gen Y students.

The conference theme ‘we-Learning: Content, Community and Collaboration’ recognises these pervasive and rapid changes that are having a profound impact on education and society.  Education at all levels plays a central role in shaping the way these changes affect the economy, society and a new generation of knowledge workers.  Knowledge and content are now a touch away and the new classroom has no physical boundaries. People and resources are linked across borders allowing for new types of collaboration.  What does this mean for learning and teaching in tertiary education? This conference explores the paradigm shift from e-Learning to we-Learning, and the broad consequences for education in a changing world.

Conference Date and Location
Date: 1 – 4 October 2013
Location: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Topics of interest to this international event include, but are not limited to the following:
·         Social and Collaborative Learning
·         Participative Learning
·         Integrative Learning with Technology
·         Learning Design (Theory and Practice)
·         Games and gamification in education and training
·         Borderless mobile learning
·         Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs)
·         Social media and learning
·         Distance education and Web 2.0
·         Educational media
·         New media, new literacies
·         Research and evaluation methods in educational technology
·         Professional development, teacher education and lifelong learning
·         Social media and learning
·         Creative learning and teaching models
·         New learning spaces and technology
·         Changing conditions of higher education
We encourage the submission of a variety of papers and works including but not limited to position papers, empirical research, case studies, classroom implementations, case studies with applications of educational technology, theoretical discussions, and critical reviews of literature.

Abstract Submission Guidelines
The abstract should include a brief introduction, research questions, research design and methods, and (expected) results in no more than 500 words (approximately 1-2 pages, single spaced).

Submit your abstract here:              http://icem2013.elite.sg/

Abstracts submission deadline:          31 March 2013
Acceptance notification:                       30 June 2013
Final camera ready papers due by     15 August 2013

More information of the ICEM2013 conference is available at http://icem2013.ntu.edu.sg

Using an instructional design perspective to analyze MOOC materials

Posted on December 13th, by George Veletsianos in courses, moocs, open, scholarship, sharing. 19 comments

A facebook conversation from yesterday encouraged me to share one of the assignments that I developed for my instructional design course. The goal of the class is for the students to understand, experience, and apply instructional design in a variety of educational contexts.

One of the assignments I developed for asked students to enroll in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and analyze the instructional materials within the course using one of the rubrics provided by Dick and Carey (the instructional design book we use in class). It was a lot of fun and the students appreciated the exercise. Given the lack of presence and voice by instructional designers in MOOC happenings, the lack of valid, reliable, and serious research that exists on the topic (though Rita Kop’s work on cMOOCs is admirable), and my desire to engage students in contemporary events, I came up with this assignment to embed MOOC analysis in my course. The assignment is available for download on https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2533962/instr-materials-veletsianos.doc and posted below for those who just want to skim it without downloading it. Enjoy and feel free to use it:

Instructional Material analysis assignment

Individually, you will examine and report on the instructional materials of one popular digital learning initiative. An analysis matrix will be provided to you, and you will use that to matrix to evaluate these initiatives.

Length: Minimum 500 words.

Criteria Levels of Attainment Points
Written analysis (evaluation)
  • Evaluation adheres to the matrix, is thoughtful, and presents evidence of original thought
  • Evaluation does not adhere to the matrix or is superficial on various levels
87-0
Rubric completion
  • Learner completes and submits the rubric for evaluating instructional materials (p. 250-251) for his/her selected initiative.
2

 

This task requires a few hours of research before you can actually complete it. Even though this is an individual task, if you would like to discuss the assignment with any of your colleagues, please feel free to do so.

Mechanics

First read the chapter and the rest of the materials for this week. Without reading those, I can assure you that your understanding of the issues presented will be superficial.

Second, examine the rubric provided by Dick & Carey for evaluating instructional materials (p. 250-251 – see below for the rubric). You will be completing this rubric for a digital environment, and it’s a good idea to understand what it encompasses before you proceed.

Third, select one course provided on one of the following platforms to examine:

  • A course on Coursera (select a course that is occurring right now or has been completed. DO NOT select a course that has not started yet): https://www.coursera.org/courses
  • A course on EdX (select a course that is occurring right now. DO NOT select a course that has not started yet): https://www.edx.org/courses

You can also choose to examine DS106: http://ds106.us/ I am including DS106 on its own because it is a course as opposed to the above (Coursera, EdX, and Udemy) which are platforms. If you pick any of these three (Coursera, EdX, or Udemy), then you should also pick a course (e.g., Within Coursera a possible course is https://www.coursera.org/course/friendsmoneybytes).

Assignment

Once you have made your selection, it’s time to research your course. Spend time looking around, examining and evaluating the instructional materials provided. You will use the rubric to keep track of the criteria that need to be assessed, and then using this rubric you will write a report assessing the instructional material for the course.

You should start your report by stating the course and its provider. A link would also be helpful. For example, using the example above, I would start my report by stating the following:

“I am examining the course entitled Networks: Friends, Money and Bytes (https://www.coursera.org/course/friendsmoneybytes). This course if offered through Coursera and is taught by Mung Chiang who is a Professor or Electrical Engineering at Princeton University. The course is an introduction to the topic of X and its objectives are XYZ.”

Your report should be specific and detailed in its evaluation of instructional material, and should be guided by the five criteria families discussed by DC: Goal-centered, learner-centered, learning-centered, context-centered, technical criteria. I would like to see that you understand each criterion and that you are capable of applying it to evaluating your course. For example, at the very least, I would expect to see statements such as the following:

Instructional designers use five criteria families to evaluate instructional materials. Learner-centered criteria focus on XYZ and refer to X. The instructional materials for this course appear to be adequate for this criterion because <provide list of reasons here>. The course could be improved in this domain by <list of additions/revisions here>. However, because item X was not disclosed in the course, I am not able to evaluate Y.

Let me reiterate that to complete this assignment you will need to do background research on the course and the platform. For example, your background research on Coursera will reveal that some of these courses have more than 80,000 students from around the world. This fact alone will impact your evaluation!

Instructional Material Evaluation Rubric

Rubric is copyright of: Dick, W., Carey, L. & Carey, J. (2008). Systematic Design of Instruction, (7th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

A. Goal-centered Criteria:
Are the instructional materials:

Yes No Some
1. Congruent with the terminal and performance objectives?
2. Adequate in content coverage and completeness?
3. Authoritative?
4. Accurate?
5. Current?
6. Objective in presentations (lack of content bias)?

 

Learner-centered Criteria:
Are the instructional materials appropriate for learners’:
Yes No Some
1. Vocabulary and language?
2. Development level?
3. Background, experience, environment?
4. Experiences with testing formats and equipment?
5. Motivation and interest?
6. Cultural, racial, gender needs (lack bias)?

 

Learning-centered criteria
Do the material include:
Yes No Some
1. Pre-instructional material?
2. Appropriate content sequencing?
3. Presentations that are complete, current and tailored for learners?
4. Practice exercises that are congruent with the goal?
5. Adequate and supportive feedback?
6. Appropriate assessment?
7. Appropriate sequence and chunk size?

 

Context-centered Criteria
Are/do the instructional materials:
Yes No Some
1. Authentic for the learning and performance sites?
2. Feasible for the learning and performance sites?
3. Require additional equipment/tools?
4. Have congruent technical qualities for planned site (facilities/delivery system)?
5. Have adequate resources (time, budget, personal availability and skills)?

 

Technical criteria
Do the instructional materials have appropriate:
Yes No Some
1. Delivery system and media for the nature of objectives?
2. Packaging?
3. Graphic design and typography?
4. Durability?
5. Legibility?
6. Audio and video quality?
7. Interface design?
8. Navigation?
9. Functionality?

Papers and quotes relating to emerging technology, universities, and reform

Posted on December 12th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 13 comments

As someone who deeply values teaching and learning, I have been reading a number of articles and books that explore the role, values, responses, and potential of universities in the face of calls for reform (both market reform and otherwise). The role of emerging technologies is a key area of interest for me in this discussion. Below are interesting articles and quotes that are worthy of reflection and further investigation:

Blum, D., & Ullman, C. (2012). The globalization and corporatization of education: the limits and liminality of the market mantra. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25(4), 367–373.

Burka, P. (2012). Storming the Ivory Tower. The Texas Monthly.  Retrieved on November 12, 2012 from http://www.texasmonthly.com/preview/2012-10-01/feature

Schwier, R. (2012). The corrosive influence of competition, growth, and accountability on institutions of higher education. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 24(2), 96–103.

The Burka article is a fantastic summary of what transpired in Texas during 2011-2012 with regards to reform initiatives, with a focus on the University of Texas at Austin. Blum and Ullman (2012) introduce a special journal issue focused on neoliberalism and education. Schwier (2012) explores how competition, growth, and accountability might interact with universities, and what relationship they might have with instructional design and technology.

Quotes:

“What do the forces of competition, growth, and accountability have to do with instructional design and technology? I think we are complicit in perpetuating these agendas in higher education. We have long been associated with improved teaching and learning efficiency, and of course distance learning is seen as a tool for competing successfully with other institutions…And distance learning supports an accountability agenda because it is, in many cases, seen as a product… Consequently we help our institutions treat education as a commodity—as credit units sold for dollar amounts. Is it any wonder we hear complaints about students who act like demanding customers?” (Schwier, 2012, pp. 101)

“And instructional design and technology has more to offer on the quality side of the ledger than on the efficiency side. We understand more today about what it means to build exciting and successful learning environments than we ever have before, and we understand how to take advantages of the affordances of emerging technologies. But our designs do not always result in greater efficiency; nor should they.” (Schwier, 2012, pp. 102).

“Instructional design and technology professionals need to be able to argue for vibrant teaching and learning environments, to promote strong cultures of teaching and learning in our institutions, and not act as content hacks or live in fear of failing to measure up to externally defined efficiency criteria.” (Schwier, 2012, pp. 102)

“In the neoliberal state, healthcare and education have been transformed through the market mantra, into products that individuals can buy and sell.” (Blum & Ullman, 2012, pp. 368)

‘While the liberal state only slightly lessened the role of ascribed status (the idea that people succeed both as individuals and as groups, through the status ascribed to them through their race, gender, or class status), the reality is that the twentieth century has been character- ized in the Global North by a combination of achievement and ascription, making success about both “who you know and where you are from” as well as “pulling yourself up by the bootstraps”.’ (Blum & Ullman, 2012, pp. 368)

“Schools have accepted the bulk of the blame for our economic problems despite the reality that educators have been virtually disempowered at every level. The truth is that our worldwide economic problems have little to do with the school-based preparation of human capital, but instead are deeply tied to the limits of market capitalism.” (Blum & Ullman, 2012, pp. 372)

Digital Lifestyles event at Hill Country Middle School

Posted on December 3rd, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 3 comments

I love spending time with others and participating in conversations that help others understand and explore the role of technology in education, society, and 21st century living. On Thursday (Dec 6th), I get to do that at a local middle school as part of the Digital Parent learning series, an event hosted by Carl Hooker who is the Director for Instructional Technology in the Eanes Independent School District. I will be talking about participation in online spaces and networked cultures and why and how parents can support and foster their children’s online participation. I anticipate that I will have to defend the notion of real and virtual life being inextricably intertwined and, to a large degree, inseparable (which is an argument that resembles one that I made in 2008 and one that Nathan Jurgenson recently described quite eloquently). I also look forward to hearing and learning from my co-panelists’ experiences!

If you are in Austin, please join us for this free event.