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

Category: work

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 (; 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 or

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 and look at the comic/sketch tools on there. A few more tools that would be fun are:

(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)

Inclusion of Computer Science in K-12 Core Curriculum

Posted on July 23rd, by George Veletsianos in sharing, work. No Comments

The Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) urges the inclusion of Computer Science in the K-12 Core Curricula. In my opinion, an understanding of computing and computing literacies (not just programming) is much needed:

“Computing is by far where the greatest demand for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs is in today’s economy,” said Bobby Schnabel, Chair of  ACM’s Education Policy Committee.  ”But the major efforts by the Governors and the Academy to define what students should know for the 21st Century make little mention of the need for computer science in the core curriculum. This is a missed opportunity to expose students to a fundamental discipline that they will need for their careers as well as their lives.”

Read the rest of the statement here.

Digital Scholarship examples from TCR

Posted on August 28th, by George Veletsianos in open, scholarship, work. No Comments

I was very excited today to watch a video posted at Teachers College Record where Anthony Brown (a colleague in Curriculum & Instruction) discusses his research on how African American males have been constructed in the social science and educational literature. What a great way to summarize and present one’s work! I am embedding the video below, but keep on reading for more social/digital research goodness.

I’ve mentioned before that I think that educational research needs to be more social that it currently is. Why? Because I think that we can improve education by talking more to each other (and debating more with each other). TCR provided another example of this: Miseducating teachers about the poor is a critique of Ruby Payne’s framework written by Randy Bomer et al. (Randy is another colleague at UT). One can go through the TCR archives to see comments on the article, responses, and so on. Plus, there’s a couple of videos on the topic, which I am also embedding below.

Another critique:

And a response:

The point is that new technologies and cultural trends are exerting pressure on scholarship to change. The field has a lot to gain from scholarship becoming more conversational, transparent, social, and open. But, there are also pitfalls and complexities (e.g., TCR has the resources to create the professional videos included above while other publishing outlets might depend on individual scholars to contribute videos, which means that scholars’ technical abilities might limit their digital scholarship contributions). How’s that for a Saturday morning update? <smile>

P.S. Open access and TCR aren’t the best of friends however, so if you are not at a subscribing institution you may be out of luck there (though some of this content is publicly available for a while).

Instructional Systems Design: Syllabus

Posted on August 25th, by George Veletsianos in courses, open, scholarship, sharing, work. 2 comments

I am very excited to be teaching our introductory course this semester, entitled Instructional Systems Design. It’s a challenging course because it is introductory, but also because there’s so much I want to cover! Even though the syllabus is a reflection of what I think is important for someone entering the field, I want to highlight the main objective, which is to introduce students to the practice of instructional design and to enable them to become better learning experience designers.The syllabus is embedded below, but feel free to download it from scribd as well. If you’ve taught or taken a similar class in the past, I would love to hear your feedback!

Social media & Open Education Critiques

Posted on July 27th, by George Veletsianos in open, scholarship, sharing, work. 4 comments
Critiquing eyes, by CarbonNYC (CC-license)

Critiques of the current state of education are omnipresent. In such critiques, authors often highlight the positive role that social media and open education can play. While I don’t believe that the status quo is the best environment for education and scholarship to thrive, I also don’t live in a social media utopia. Yet, the critiques of social media and open education that I read are often superficial and easily countered: face-to-face interaction is important and the “best” mode of communication, we can’t allow open participation due to federal regulation such as FERPA, etc, etc. This is frustrating. Critique and self-reflection are healthy, even for mere humans who support both the integration of social media and openness in educational settings (especially higher education). To help me (and my students) better understand the complexities, hidden agendas, implications, and rhetoric vs. reality, surrounding social media and open education, I have been collecting serious and well-articulated critiques of the two. I am posting a few of these below, but if you know of any more, please feel free to add them in the comments and I’ll update this entry!

Open Education: The need for critique (Richard Hall)

The educational significance of social media: A critical perspective (Neil Selwyn)

Citizenship, technology and learning –a review of recent literature (Neil Selwyn)

The romance of the public domain (Chander & Sunder)

What does ‘open’ really mean? (Tony Bates)

Emerging Technologies in Distance Education: Available

Posted on July 23rd, by George Veletsianos in online learning, open, papers, scholarship, work. 3 comments

My edited book, Emerging Technologies in Distance Education, has just been published from Athabasca University Press, Canada’s leading publisher of Open Access, peer-reviewed, scholarly publications! Go get your free copy from the AU site above, and if you want to support the great work that Athabasca University Press is doing, then purchase the paperback volume (disclaimer: I earn a minute stream of royalty fees per copy).

A summary of the book follows:

A one-stop knowledge resource, Emerging Technologies in Distance Education showcases the international work of research scholars and innovative distance education practitioners, who use emerging interactive technologies for teaching and learning at a distance. This widely anticipated book harnesses the dispersed knowledge of international experts who highlight pedagogical, organizational, cultural, social, and economic factors that influence the adoption and integration of emerging technologies in distance education. Emerging Technologies in Distance Education provides expert advice on how educators can launch effective and engaging distance education initiatives, in response to technological advancements, changing mindsets, and economic and organizational pressures. The volume goes beyond the hype surrounding Web 2.0 technologies and highlights the important issues that researchers and educators need to consider to enhance educational practice.

Individual chapters are as follows:

PART 1: Foundations of Emerging Technologies in Distance Education
1. A definition of emerging technologies for education | George Veletsianos
2. Theories for Learning with Emerging Technologies | Terry Anderson
3. Imagining multi-roles in Web 2.0 Distance Education | Elizabeth Wellburn & BJ Eib
4. Beyond distance and time constraints: applying social networking tools and Web 2.0 approaches in distanceeducation | Mark J. W. Lee & Catherine McLoughlin

PART 2: Learning Designs for Emerging Technologies
5. “Emerging”: A re-conceptualization of contemporary technology design and integration | The Learning Technologies Collaborative
6. Developing Personal Learning Networks for Open & Social Learning | Alec Couros
7. Creating a Culture of Community in the Online Classroom Using Artistic Pedagogical Technologies | Beth Perry & Margaret Edwards
8. Structured Dialogue Embedded within Emerging Technologies | Yiannis Laouris, Gayle Underwood, Romina Laouri, Aleco Christakis

PART 3: Social, Organizational, & Contextual Factors in Emerging Technologies Implementations
9. Personal Learning Environments | Trey Martindale & Michael Dowdy
10. Open source course management systems in distance education | Andrew Whitworth & Angela Benson
11. Implementing Wikis in higher education institutions: the case of the Open University of Israel | Hagit Meishar-Tal, Yoav Yair and Edna Tal-Elhasid
12. The Use of Web Analytics in the Design and Evaluation of Distance Education | P. Clint Rogers, Mary R. McEwen & SaraJoy Pond
13. New communication options: A renaissance in IP use | Richard Caladine, Trish Andrews, Belinda Tynan, Robyn Smyth, & Deborah Vale

PART 4: Learner-learner, Learner-Content, & Learner-Instructor Interaction & Communication with Emerging Technologies
14. Using Social Media to Create a Place that Supports Communication | Rita Kop
15. Technical, Pedagogical and Cultural Considerations for Language Learning in MUVEs / Charles Xiaoxue Wang, Brendan Calandra & Youngjoo Yi
16. Animated Pedagogical Agents and Immersive Worlds: Two Worlds Colliding / Bob Heller & Mike Procter

Help choose a book cover

Posted on February 20th, by George Veletsianos in open, papers, sharing, work. 1 Comment
[Update Feb 22, 2010: Thank you for the comments on the form below! I already have 70 bright ideas to improve the covers!!!]

Emerging Technologies in Distance Education is getting closer to completion. Now, we need to select a cover. Can you help?  The amazingly talented Natalie Olsen created the four cover concepts appearing below and I am having trouble selecting one! If you can help by completing the form below, we would greatly appreciate it! I’ll post the result by the end of next week (Feb 28).

The four designs are:

Cover 1: Pencils. Cover 2: Wordle.

Cover 3: Chalkboard. Cover 4: Tin Cans.

Capturing influence in informal social networks

Posted on November 27th, by George Veletsianos in open, sharing, work. 1 Comment

Data on the influence and impact of interactions in informal social networks is difficult to come by. Dr. Jon Becker is trying to collect data on the influence of Dr. Alec Couros‘ work, in support of Alec’s Tenure and Promotion application. Data from this endeavor will go in Alec’s digital portfolio that supports his application. This is a great idea, not just in terms of evaluating one’s contribution to the community, but also in terms of celebrating the achievements of a dedicated, resourceful, and brilliant colleague. If you have benefited in any way by interacting with Alec – and if you have interacted with Alec, I am sure you have – say it here!