I attended an excellent webinar this week co-sponsored by Quality Matters (QM) and Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) called “Measuring Effectiveness of Online Blended Programs.” The three speakers, Kay Shattuck from QM, Veronica Diaz from ELI, and Tanya Joosten from UWM and DETA, explained various research projects and ways we can collaborate to measure effectiveness and quality of courses and programs. ELI’s “Seeking Evidence of Impact” (SEI) project really caught my interest. Many colllege instructors have been experimenting with some great new technologies and innovative teaching practices and we need to chronicle and share the impact of these efforts. According to the Seeking Evidence of Impact website:
SEI is a program led by the ELI teaching and learning community to find current effective practices that enable the collection of evidence to help faculty and administration make decisions about adopting and investing in best practices. They developed this Study Guide & Template so we could all use it as we “seek evidence of impact” at our institutions.
All three presenters were excellent and I’ve posted some of the resources shared from the webinar and back channels. I definitely recommend checking them out and getting involved with this important research.
Slides and eventually the recording which ELI and QM members will have access to for the next 90 days.
Quality Matters Resources
Continuous Improvement of the QM Rubric and Review Processes: Scholarship of Integration and Application
Distance Education and Technological Advancement (DETA) Grant Project
Misc Sites Shared in the Webinar
The eLearning Consortium of Colorado’s annual professional development day was on October 25, 2013. This year we again partnered with MSU Denver to co-sponsor the Symposium for Teaching & Learning with Technology. I served on the planning committee along with Jean Otte, Director of Online Learning at Aims and eLCC co-Chair, Ben Zastrocky, Director of the Educational Technology Center at MSU and eLCC member. Jane Chapman-Vigil, MSU’s Director of Faculty Development and James Lyall, MSU’s CIO also served on the planning committee. We were thrilled that so many people submitted proposals and attended the event! My colleague, Bridget Arend, provided the keynote presentation and representatives from several colleges and universities presented at the symposium.
Check out the blogs below for some nice summaries of the event:
eLCC Blog Post
DU Blog Post
Regis Blog Post
There are a lot of self-assessment tools designed to assess whether students are ready to take an online course but few that are designed to assess whether an instructor is prepared to teach online. I recently ran across this Self-Assessment Tool for Online Teaching Preparedness developed by Penn State. Instructors complete a short self-assessment that includes the following categories:
- Organization and Time Management
- Communicating Online
- Teaching & Online Experience
- Technical Skills
After completing the self-assessment, instructors receive detailed feedback via email based on their responses. Thanks Penn State!
Interesting presentation titled the “Seven Futures of American Education.” The Sixth Future predicts that the 2nd era (the 1st era is access) of online education is improving quality – not just for online education, but for all education. I hope that the Sixth Future is realized and “Education Improves” because some of the other scenarios are more dystopian. My experience has been that when you ensure the quality of online education, traditional education also improves. This shift to quality assurance is long overdue in higher education. We need to demand that in addition to being content experts in their fields, ALL higher education faculty members are certified to teach, just like our K-12 instructors. I believe that online education has and will continue to be the main driver for improving the quality of teaching in higher education.
This presentation is based on John Sener’s book “The Seven Futures of American Education: Improving Learning & Teaching in a Screen-Captured World.” The Seven Futures posits that we can improve education by “cyberizing” it which means we can use emerging technologies to improve educational quality.