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

Category: work

2013 posts

Posted on December 30th, by George Veletsianos in sharing, work. 4 comments

42 blog posts later, and the lights on 2013 are about to go out. Collecting my 2013 posts in one location was a good way to think back to this year and reflect on it Because, these are days for reflecting, pausing, sharing, embracing, and remembering. Because these are days for doing what we should be doing more often.

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Image by christmasstockimage licensed under a Creative Commons BY.

2013 Posts

What aspects of a MOOC changed each time it was taught?

Journal of academic freedom CFP

Emerging Technologies in Distance Education book downloads: Three years later

Udacity, MOOCs, hammers, and the problems of education

Archived talk: Academics’ and Educators’ practices and experiences with social media/networks

November 13 CIDER Presentation: What Do Academics and Educators Do on Social Media and Networks?

My visit to the Open University of Catalonia and the eLearn Center

COHERE 2013. Small is beautiful and MOOCs as symptoms

Visiting Educause 2013. And encountering two innovations

The road to SXSWedu 2014

Invitation to the first AECT RTD Professional Development Webinar

Learner experiences with open online learning and MOOCs e-book

Interested in a post-doc studying emerging forms of online participation?

Forthcoming ebook and twitter chat on MOOC and open learning experiences

A synthesis of the pedagogical agent literature

Startups should talk with researchers & educators

Talking to machines: What do learners and robots talk about? 

Sample Preliminary Written Exam Questions 

The MOOC stories we are told, and the ones that remain untold 

University of New Hampshire keynote talk 

The research that MOOCs need 

Binaries 

Dim sum Courses – aka MOOCs 

Thank you for supporting our work! 

Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning journal 

Social Media in Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship: 6 Tales of Practice 

Vote for our #MOOC production fellowship application? 

I have some news to share 

AERA 2013 reflections 

Course Trailer for our dual credit CS course 

#et4online notes, thoughts, reflections 

Keynote at the University of New Hampshire (Faculty Instructional Technology Summer Institute) 

Critical perspectives on educational technology literature 

Upcoming research. In search of collaborators 

SXSWedu day 2 

SXSWedu day 1 

Emerging Technologies and Transformative Learning Special Issue 

What is the experience of instructors who use a social networking site in their teaching? 

AECT 2013: Research & Theory Division Call for Proposals 

Plenary talk at Emerging Technologies for Online Learning conference 

“Sharing” as a valued and desirable educational practice 

 

What aspects of a MOOC changed each time it was taught?

Posted on December 20th, by George Veletsianos in work. 8 comments

I am looking for reports (1 or 2 would suffice, really), describing what people learned the first time they taught/offered a MOOC and how they changed the design of the course the next time it was offered. In other words, how have you revised the course? What data led you to make the changes that you did?

I have not been able to find any writing on the subject – I am hoping that it’s just me not using the right keywords.

Friends who oversee MOOC design/development and colleagues who taught the same MOOC more than once. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Design-based research? Iterative design, anyone? Perhaps even just a formative evaluation with suggestions for future courses?

My visit to the Open University of Catalonia and the eLearn Center

Posted on November 4th, by George Veletsianos in work. 9 comments

During September-October, I spent 10 days as a visiting Researcher at the Open University of Catalonia (UoC) in Barcelona, and specifically with the gracious and hospitable researchers, designers, and faculty members of the eLearn Center. The eLearn Center manages an impressive array of projects, events, and resources, a large number of which are funded by the European Union. It also funds researcher visits to the UoC for knowledge exchange and exploration of collaborative work, and I was very fortunate to be invited to participate in this program.

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A custom-built system, dubbed “home lab,” is mailed to each UoC engineering student for hands-on work

The Open University of Catalonia is strikingly similar to Royal Roads. The institution was established in 1994 when a group of creative individuals came together and envisioned a virtual institution that would capitalize on the opportunities of a nascent Internet to serve adult learners and working professionals. While these ideas might sound familiar in 2013, they were quite bold and innovative in 1994, bringing traditional distance education into new and uncharted waters. UoC, like Royal Roads, has an institution-wide educational model that focuses on progressive pedagogies, highlighting and valuing interdisciplinary thinking, collaborative learning, and ongoing assessment (here is a copy of Royal Road’s teaching and learning model to compare). I was especially excited to see the institution’s support for open access and open scholarship.

While in Barcelona, I spent a lot of time talking with colleagues and discussing opportunities for collaboration. One of the highlights of my trip was meeting with individual doctoral students and advising them on their research. It was especially fun to spend an hour or so with Antonella Esposito who studies doctoral students’ digital practices, as her work relates to the concept of Networked Participatory Scholarship that Royce Kimmons and I have been investigating since 2011. I also gave a seminar on qualitative methodologies for analyzing learners and educators’ naturalistic online participation and a lecture with a very long title: The significant opportunities and challenges that learners, educators, researchers, and learning institutions are facing in the age of “open” and “connected.”

Interested in a post-doc studying emerging forms of online participation?

Posted on September 12th, by George Veletsianos in emerging technologies, my research, NPS, online learning, open, work. 19 comments

Are you interested in a post-doctoral fellowship in any of the following topics?

  • open online learning
  • emerging forms of online participation
  • digital and open scholarship
  • online social networks
  • learner, instructor, and scholar experiences in any of the above

If so, I would love to see an application from you to our call for Banting post-doctoral fellows! The call is open to Canadians and non-Canadians alike.

On the call listed above, you will see that we are seeking applicants for multiple positions. The section relevant to my interests is the following:

Working with Dr. George Veletsianos, Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Innovative Learning and Technology, the post-doc will focus on emerging technologies and innovations in online education, and in particular open education, open/digital scholarship, and social media/networks. The experiences and practices of learners, instructors, and scholars with emerging forms of online participation (e.g., MOOCs, social media) are ill-understood and ill-researched. The objective of a Banting post-doc within this research program will be to make sense of participants’ experiences and practices with open online education and social media/networks in higher education and to understand why individuals use these emerging innovations in the ways that they do. Research questions may include, but are not limited to: What is the nature of open online learning, teaching, and participation? What does the experience of open online learning/teaching and/or social network learning consist of? What is the lived experience of open scholars? How is technology changing scholarship? How do scholars perceive and construct their identity using social media/networks? How do individuals use social media/networks to cope with the expectations of their academic roles (e.g., being a doctoral student, being a newly-hired faculty member, etc)?

Take a look at the call, explore my research on these topics, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. Applications are due by September 27, 2013.

I have some news to share

Posted on May 6th, by George Veletsianos in my research, open, scholarship, sharing, work. 55 comments

Sherrilyn Kenyon wrote that “Life is a tapestry woven by the decisions we make” and to that, I would add, “and the experiences we create.”

I am taking the next step in my life and career. One that I expect will add many more experiences to my life.

I have decided to accept a position with the School of Education and Technology at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia. I have been appointed as Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology by the Canadian federal government and my post will begin on September 1st. As in the past, my position will be research-focused, and I will continue my research on understanding  learners’ and scholars’ practices and experiences in emerging online settings (e.g., online social networks, open courses, etc).

Royal Roads is a public university with a successful university-wide teaching model that combines short-term f2f residencies with online learning. I’m excited about being at a university that has had a blended learning model since 1995 and has a reputation of innovation that it embraces. I’m excited that my research is a natural fit with the institution and that the synergies exist for applying a lot of the work that I have been doing regarding online education, openness, and digital scholarship. I’m also excited about being in British Columbia, which will soon “become the first province in Canada to offer students free online, open textbooks.” On a more personal note, I’m excited to be able to live and work by the ocean.

It probably goes without saying, but I will miss the University of Texas at Austin, my colleagues, and my students at the College of Education. UT-Austin is an amazing university and I am very fortunate and grateful to have been able to spend a few years of my life there.

Leaving a university often leads individuals to ask why. And, I’ve experienced that already: Why leave a research-1 university that is recognized worldwide, especially when your tenure and promotion case would be easy to make? I have asked myself that same question. Why am I working long hours? Why do I spend time away from my family visiting back-to-back conferences? Why do I take pride in my students’ work and do all I can to help them succeed? I engage in these activities because I care, not because of tenure (though, admittedly, that is a positive by-product). I personally chose my field of study and research because I care about education and individual’s learning experiences. I care about societal well-being and growth, about social justice, and see education as a way to eradicate inequities and injustices. These values run across my work (which is partly why I make all of my publications available online).

…and since this post is getting long, a final thought: I don’t like moving. But… I AM looking forward to the road trip to Victoria.

AERA 2013 reflections

Posted on May 5th, by George Veletsianos in open, scholarship, work. 5 comments

I was at the annual AERA conference last week, held in San Fransisco, CA. My colleagues and I presented the following research and design work:

Instructor Experiences With a Social Networking Site in a Formal Education Setting: Expectations, Frustrations, Appropriation, and Compartmentalization (Royce Kimmons, George Veletsianos, Karen French) – This paper has recently been published.

What Do Learners and Pedagogical Agents Discuss When Given Opportunities for Open-Ended Dialogue? (George Veletsianos,  Gregory Russell) – This paper is in press. It presents a content analysis of conversations between learners and virtual characters supported by an AI engine.

A First Iteration of a Pedagogical Model for Teaching Computer Science Through Problems (George Veletsianos, Tara Craig, Bradley Beth, Gregory Russell, Calvin Lin) – We have developed an “introduction to computer science” course for high schools that is blended and guided by a problem-based pedagogy. In this presentation, we described our design process and findings after deploying the course in 6 high schools (see project website and other posts on my blog relating to this).

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I was happy to see that AERA has finally caught up and sought to integrate technology throughout the conference. Twitter was encouraged and a select few sessions were streamed. Even though there is room to do much more, I appreciate that it is difficult for large organizations to change. I suspect that Chris Greenhow was involved in making this happen in her role as Communications Director of Division C. I am particularly eager for AERA to start thinking more broadly about technology and openness though… a lot of people are.

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While at San Fransisco, I took half a day to visit Stanford University. My friend and colleague Amy Collier invited me to spend some time with the Lytics Lab, and I am glad I did. I enjoyed hearing everyone talk about their projects, but most of all I LOVED the students’ dedication, excitement, and eagerness to help and support each other. On a related note: You might have heard me bemoan the lack of educator participation in recent initiatives. If so, you can probably appreciate the fact that I am excited that the Lytics Lab is an interdisciplinary team of people that includes educators and learning scientists.

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Some of the sessions that I attended were  extraordinary and the presenter’s passion for their work was evident. Some sessions weren’t as great, but I suspect that this is an outcome of the traditional 15 minute talk. Other than that, I had a lot of great experiences at the conference. I can honestly say that I’ll remember this one with fondness for a number of reasons. Not only did I get to celebrate Brendan Calandra’s birthday, but I also got to congratulate my friend Brant Miller for getting one of his photographs on the cover of Nature. Woot!

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Course Trailer for our dual credit CS course

Posted on April 22nd, by George Veletsianos in my research, work. 18 comments

We are in year 2 of an NSF-funded project intended to improve and broaden participation in high school computer science courses. We are using a technology-enhanced PBL approach and are adopting the Computer Science Principles as our guiding curricular framework. (P.S. Our course is available here for free under a Creative Commons license). I have received the near-final copy of our course trailer today, and I’m really excited about it. Houndstooth Studio and Enspire Learning worked with us for this, and as you can see from the video below they have done a great job!

 

 

Digital Stories to study Instructional Design Models

Posted on August 25th, by George Veletsianos in courses, work. No Comments

A new semester is upon us and the university is buzzing with excitement!

This semester I am teaching two courses: (1) our program’s introductory Instructional Design & Technology course, and (2) a PhD level course on Design-Based Research.

Last year, I shared my Instructional Design & Technology syllabus. This year, I thought I would share a more involved description of one of my activities with you. The goal of this activity is to engage students in investigating various instructional design models through developing a digital story, and comparing and contrasting various models through discussion with each other. Part of the activity occurs on an online discussion board, but it’s easy to adapt it for face-to-face courses as well. A description (and a link to a pdf version of the activity) can be found below. Enjoy!

Exploring Instructional Design Models: An activity for introductory Instructional Design courses

Dr. George Veletsianos (http://www.veletsianos.com); University of Texas at Austin

Students are assigned to online discussion groups (three or four students per group). They each select an ID model other than Dick and Carey, create a digital story about their model, describe how the models differs from Dick and Carey, and discuss their findings with each other. The reason that students pick a model other than Dick & Carey is because Dick & Carey was the model used in this particular course. This activity can be implemented with any other model used as a core ID model.

Individually, students:

  • Study an alternative ID model,
  • Develop a digital story explaining the ID model and its focus,
  • Write a one paragraph description (about 300 words) explaining the ways the model they selected differs from Dick and Carey.
  • Share the story and the paragraph within the group that they were assigned, and
  • post two comments on 2 alternative models shared within their own group

How do I choose an ID model to study?

One way to go about this is to visit the library and look for books on ID. Another way is to search the web for instructional design models and find one that appears interesting to you.

A list of instructional design models can be found at http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~mryder/itc/idmodels.html or http://www.instructionaldesign.org/models/index.html

Skim through these and select one. You might choose one that appears similar to Dick and Carey or one that is quite divergent from it. Spend some time reading about this model. Consider what it focuses on and figure out how to explain it to others using a digital story.

What is a digital story?

In short Digital Storytelling is the practice of using Internet tools to tell stories. In this case, you are creating and telling the story of an ID model. Next, you might want to look at the tools that you can use to develop your story. I would like you to use tools that would make the process both challenging and fun. For instance, look at this page http://cogdogroo.wikispaces.com/StoryTools and look at the comic/sketch tools on there. A few more tools that would be fun are:

http://www.xtranormal.com/

http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/

http://www.pixton.com/

(or any others that you find and you think would help you get your story/ID model description across)

Once you create the story you should share it within your group (either by uploading a screenshot of the comic along with the paragraph, or by posting a link to it in your group along with the paragraph).

The next step is to look at your colleagues’ postings, explore their model through their story, and post 2 comments on their models (1 on each model).

This activity is shared under the following Creative Commons license:
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/