• Community of Inquiry and Learning in Immersive Environments

      McKerlich, Ross; Anderson, Terry (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-01-04)
      In higher education institutions around the world, educators and administrators are actively engaged in sometimes lively discussions about immersive environments and their application for learning. Innovative educators are excited about the possibilities of learning collaboratively in a virtual place without loss of visual cues and the enhanced sense of presence that this new media affords. Like every new technology, immersive environment's application to learning must be evaluated and tested before it earns a place in the often crowded technological tool chest of both distance, campus and blended educators. To aide in the evaluation of these tools, the paper describes the initial development of an immersive environment education evaluation tool based on the well regarded community of inquiry model of online learning. After a brief overview of both immersive environments for learning and the community of inquiry model, the following research questions are addressed: Is the Community of Inquiry recognizable in a MUVE learning environment? Are new indicators required if the community of inquiry was used as an evaluation tool for MUVE learning environments? Could the Community of Inquiry model be used as a framework for evaluating educational events in immersive environments? Observations of five diverse educational events are described in the context of the community of inquiry model. The research questions are then revisited and the Multi User Virtual Environment Education Evaluation Tool (MUVEEET ™) is proposed.
    • Student Perceptions of Face-to-Face and Online Discussions: The Advantage Goes To . . .

      N.A.; Meyer, Katrina A. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-01-04)
      Thirteen students in a graduate-level course on Historical and Policy Perspectives in Higher Education held face-to-face and online discussions on five controversial topics: Diversity, Academic Freedom, Political Tolerance, Affirmative Action, and Gender. Students read materials on each topic and generated questions for discussion that were categorized by Bloom’s taxonomy so that the level of questions in the two discussion settings would be closely parallel. Upon completion of each discussion, they answered questions that addressed depth and length of the discussion, ability to remember, and a self-assessment of how the student learned. Students’ assessments show a consistent preference for the face-to-face discussion but a small number of students preferred the online setting. However, what is perhaps more interesting is a minority of approximately one-third of the students who perceived no difference between the settings, or that the two settings were perhaps complementary.
    • Support for Study: Online Educational Environments and the Rights to Education

      Lin, Lin; Swan, Karen (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-02-07)
      This paper uses an online learning conceptual framework to examine the “rights to education” that the current online educational environments could provide. The conceptual framework is composed of three inquiries or three spaces for inquiries, namely, independent inquiry, collaborative inquiry, and formative inquiry towards expert knowledge [42] that online learners pursue and undertake in the process of their learning. Our examinations reveal that most online open educational resource environments (OERs) can incorporate more Web2.0 or Web3.0 technologies so as to provide the self-directed learners, who are the main audience of OERs, with more opportunities to participate, collaborate, and co-create knowledge, and accordingly, to achieve their full rights to education.
    • Determined to Learn: Accessing Education Despite Life-Threatening Disasters

      SchWeber, Claudine (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-02-07)
      The ‘right to education’ proclaimed by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights requires access to learning as well as the support systems. Since access can be interrupted by various circumstances, the possibility of providing continuity despite external dangers by using online distance education, offers an intriguing and valuable option. For example, life-threatening disasters, such as war or hurricanes, can interrupt or halt ongoing higher education coursework. Despite that reality, some students remain determined to continue the learning. How can institutions respond to this determination fast enough to be of use and effective enough to maintain their educational reputations? Empire State College’s (New York) activities in its Lebanon Residence Program after the 2006 war and Xavier University in New Orleans’ actions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina provide valuable answers. Together with the unique Sloan Semester--created to temporarily provide educational continuity for hurricane affected students-- these programs also offer lessons on resilience and survival in a crisis.
    • MICROFRANCHISING MICROLEARNING CENTERS: A SUSTAINABLE MODEL FOR EXPANDING THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES?

      Ivins, Tiffany Zenith (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-02-07)
      While availability of information and access to it enables education in developing countries, information alone does not secure transmission of knowledge – especially to remote learners in low-tech, infrastructure-poor communities. For this reason, 21st century distance education tools require innovative mechanisms for reaching the hardest-to-reach learners. This paper explores a specific case study from Nepal as a means for illuminating the possibility for expanding the right to education in developing countries through an innovative approach: the microfranchising of microlearning centers.
    • Bringing the Real World of Science to Children: A Partnership of the American Museum of Natural History and the City University of New York

      Picciano, Anthony G; Steiner, Robert V. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-02-07)
      Every child has a right to an education. In the United States, the issue is not necessarily about access to a school but access to a quality education. With strict compulsory education laws, more than 50 million students enrolled in primary and secondary schools, and billions of dollars spent annually on public and private education, American children surely have access to buildings and classrooms. However, because of a complex and competitive system of shared policymaking among national, state, and local governments, not all schools are created equal nor are equal education opportunities available for the poor, minorities, and underprivileged. One manifestation of this inequity is the lack of qualified teachers in many urban and rural schools to teach certain subjects such as science, mathematics, and technology. The purpose of this article is to describe a partnership model between two major institutions (The American Museum of Natural History and The City University of New York) and the program designed to improve the way teachers are trained and children are taught and introduced to the world of science. These two institutions have partnered on various projects over the years to expand educational opportunity especially in the teaching of science. One of the more successful projects is Seminars on Science (SoS), an online teacher education and professional development program, that connects teachers across the United States and around the world to cutting-edge research and provides them with powerful classroom resources. This article provides the institutional perspectives, the challenges and the strategies that fostered this partnership.
    • BRICS AND CLICKS

      Bold, Mary; Garimella, Nirisha K.; Garimella, Nirisha K.; Chenoweth, Lillian; Chenoweth, Lillian (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-02-07)
      Projections for the global economy frequently center on the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. As futurists and economists alike define and re-define both formal and informal coalitions (for example, by broadening the R in BRIC to include all Eastern European economies or instead re-directing the discussion to G-8 countries or to World Trade Organization members), the education profiles of the individual nations sometimes resemble economic indicators: what's imported, what's exported, and what's the potential for expansion. Higher education, and specifically distance learning (the Clicks element of this paper), can already be charted in these terms for some nations. This paper describes the current role of distance learning in countries described as growing economies and proposes a typology for tracking change.
    • If Higher Education Is a Right, and Distance Education Is the Answer, Then Who Will Pay?

      Meyer, Katrina A. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-02-07)
      If higher education is a right, and distance education is the avenue for making higher education universally available, then who shall pay? This article asks (1) can state governments in the United States afford to fund this initiative and (2) can public higher education institutions in the U.S. fund this effort through capitalizing on cost-efficiencies of online learning? To answer the first question, data on funding of higher education by states are reviewed and a negative conclusion reached. To answer the second question, research on methods for achieving cost-efficiencies through online learning is reviewed and a cautious positive conclusion is reached, assuming states and institutions are willing to invest in the people and processes, and the time, effort, and will, that makes achieving efficiencies possible.
    • ACCESS TO EDUCATION WITH ONLINE LEARNING AND OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES: CAN THEY CLOSE THE GAP?

      Geith, Christine; Vignare, Karen (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-02-07)
      One of the key concepts in the right to education is access: access to the means to fully develop as human beings as well as access to the means to gain skills, knowledge and credentials. This is an important perspective through which to examine the solutions to access enabled by Open Educational Resources (OER) and online learning. The authors compare and contrast OER and online learning and their potential for addressing human rights “to” and “in” education. The authors examine OER and online learning growth and financial sustainability and discuss potential scenarios to address the global education gap.
    • OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES FOR BLENDED LEARNING IN HIGH SCHOOLS: OVERCOMING IMPEDIMENTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

      Larson, Richard; Murray, M. Elizabeth (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-02-07)
      In mid-October 2004, we had the privilege of visiting schools in the isolated and economically depressed villages of the Yuanzhou District in Ningxia Province, China. These schools were so poor that despite the frigid autumn temperatures, officials were unable to heat the buildings until late November. Teachers and students sat at their desks wrapped in heavy coats, hats and boots. All of the faces we met were red with cold, and it was difficult to see how any valuable teaching or learning could be accomplished in such an environment. Yet one scene left a lasting impression. As we entered yet another cold and crowded classroom, this time at the Touying Middle School, we observed each red face locked attentively upon a television screen at the front of the room. A lesson on the Human Body was being presented asynchronously via DVD by a professor from Tsinghua University in Beijing, and the students, despite their bleak environment, enthusiastically digested the information. Every once in while, the classroom teacher would pause the DVD while adding her own content. This lesson was provided by the Tsinghua University Education-Aiding-the-Poor Project (EAPP) which aims to provide people in underdeveloped areas with the opportunity to access high-quality educational resources by means of modern information technology. The project’s goal is to eliminate poverty by spreading knowledge.
    • Facilitating critical thinking in online courses

      Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award to the City University of New York; Lunney, RN, PhD, Margaret; Frederickson, RN, PhD, Keville; Spark, EdD, RD, FADA, FACN, Arlene; McDuffie, RN, PhD, Georgia (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-12-17)
      Development of critical thinking abilities is essential for students in clinical disciplines of the health sciences. Past research has shown that critical thinking is a learned skill that can be fostered through teaching strategies. Ten educational strategies that were developed and tested by the authors in online courses are presented to assist instructors to encourage students in the health sciences to improve critical thinking processes.
    • ACADEMIC DISHONESTY IN TRADITIONAL AND ONLINE CLASSROOMS: DOES THE “MEDIA EQUATION” HOLD TRUE?

      Greaser, Joe; Black, Erik W; Dawson, Kara (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-12-17)
      Limited empirical research exists regarding the prevalence of academic dishonesty in the online classroom. This limited evidence supports the notion that factors contributing to academic dishonesty in the traditional classroom also apply to online courses. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between factors known to contribute to academic dishonesty in traditional courses with undergraduate students’ perceptions of cheating in online courses. 1068 undergraduates enrolled in online courses completed a survey exploring factors known to contribute to academic dishonesty in face-to-face classes and their perception of their peers’ level of cheating in online courses. Researchers employed bivariate correlations and multiple regression on data obtained from the sample of 1068 students. Results suggest factors known to contribute to academic dishonesty in face-to-face classes have little influence in online courses and suggest students who engage in online learning may have differing ideals as to what constitutes cheating.
    • POSITIONING ONLINE LEARNING AS A STRATEGIC ASSET IN THE THINKING OF UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS AND CHANCELLORS

      Smith, Pete; Smith, Samuel H.; Samors, Robert; Mayadas, A. Frank (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-12-17)
      Both the qualitative and quantitative research studies outlined in this paper emerged from a series of discussions with Dr. A. Frank Mayadas, who raised the core questions: how do college and university presidents and chancellors view online learning? What levels of information do they have about this developing field, and do they view it as a strategic asset or simply a newer means of teaching students? Online learning is becoming an increasingly popular way for students to take courses and for faculty to teach, with enrollments in online courses growing more than ten times as rapidly as the overall growth rate of enrollments in post-secondary education. Clearly, the time is right to reframe a national dialogue amongst the leaders of our traditional universities and colleges about this asset.
    • Moving the Laboratory Online: Challenges and Options

      National Science Foundation; Cancilla, Devon Anthony; Albon, Simon P. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-12-17)
      The question of how to move science-based labs online has been one of the main obstacles associated with the development of online science programs. In the spring of 2006 and again in 2007, we presented online workshops broadly based around the central theme of Moving the Lab Online. Produced by the Sloan-C, the two workshops looked at a number of issues associated with the challenges of moving science labs into the online environment. Each of the workshops was developed based on our experience with the Integrated Laboratory Network (ILN) initiative, an initiative to provide anytime/anyplace access to advanced scientific instrumentation, expertise, and supporting curricular materials. The first workshop, entitled “Practical Techniques for Utilizing Remote Instrumentation to Enhance Science Education,” focused primarily on the technical aspects of using remote instrumentation. The second, entitled “Changing the Laboratory Learning Experience Using the Online Environment,” looked at issues associated with teaching online labs using remote instrumentation. Although different in their focus, a number of similar themes emerged. These ranged from a need to better articulate the role of the laboratory experience to questions of whether labs even need to be part of the online science learning experience, to the need for the development of best practices. In this paper, we discuss and expand upon some of the prominent themes that emerged from the Moving the Lab Online workshops.
    • EVALUATING THE BENEFITS OF PROVIDING ARCHIVED ONLINE LECTURES TO IN-CLASS MATH STUDENTS

      CU System - President's Teaching and Learning Collaborative, UCCS Student Achievement Assessment Committee; Cascaval, Radu C (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-12-17)
      The present study examines the impact of the online archiving system developed at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs on the in-class students enrolled in traditional math courses. A web survey has been designed for collecting data on potential changes in attitudes and behaviors (such as study habits), on the dynamics of professor-student relation, and on overall student performance enhancement. The results indicate that the presence of the archived lectures and lecture notes adds significant value to the learning process with notable improvements in the perceived student performance and overall experience in the class.
    • ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS IN DESIGNING ONLINE DISCUSSIONS TO PROMOTE COGNITIVE PRESENCE – A PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE

      Wang, Yu-mei; Chen, Der-Thanq Victor (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-12-17)
    • THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMMUNITY OF INQUIRY OVER TIME IN AN ONLINE COURSE: UNDERSTANDING THE PROGRESSION AND INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL, COGNITIVE AND TEACHING PRESENCE

      Akyol, Zehra; Garrison, D. Randy (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-12-17)
      The purpose of this study was to explore the dynamics of an online educational experience through the lens of the Community of Inquiry framework. Transcript analysis of online discussion postings and the Community of Inquiry survey were applied in order to understand the progression and integration of each of the Community of Inquiry presences. The results indicated significant change in teaching and social presence categories over time. Moreover, survey results yielded significant relationships among teaching presence, cognitive presence and social presence, and students’ perceived learning and satisfaction in the course. The findings have important implications theoretically in terms of confirming the framework and practically by identifying the dynamics of each of the presences and their association with perceived learning and satisfaction.
    • A MODEL FOR DEVELOPING HIGH-QUALITY ONLINE COURSES: INTEGRATING A SYSTEMS APPROACH WITH LEARNING THEORY

      Puzziferro, Maria Jean; Shelton, Kaye (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-12-17)
      As the demand for online education continues to increase, institutions are faced with developing process models for efficient, high-quality online course development. This paper describes a systems, team-based, approach that centers on an online instructional design theory (Active Mastery Learning) implemented at Colorado State University-Global Campus.
    • THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMMUNITY OF INQUIRY OVER TIME IN AN ONLINE COURSE: UNDERSTANDING THE PROGRESSION AND INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL, COGNITIVE AND TEACHING PRESENCE

      Akyol, Zehra; Garrison, D. Randy (The Online Learning Consortium, 2008-12-17)
      The purpose of this study was to explore the dynamics of an online educational experience through the lens of the Community of Inquiry framework. Transcript analysis of online discussion postings and the Community of Inquiry survey were applied in order to understand the progression and integration of each of the Community of Inquiry presences. The results indicated significant change in teaching and social presence categories over time. Moreover, survey results yielded significant relationships among teaching presence, cognitive presence and social presence, and students’ perceived learning and satisfaction in the course.
    • Multiple Modes in Corporate eLearning: Propelling Business IQ with Formal, Informal and Social Learning

      Ambrose, John; Olgilvie, Julie (The Online Learning Consortium, 2010-10-30)
      Recognizing that the shifting corporate environment is placing ever greater stresses on learning organizations, this paper reports how companies are increasingly offering employees a wide choice of learning options beyond conventional classroom training, including online, social learning, and other modalities in “blended” programs. Identifying a number of trends—a multi-generational workforce, remote employees, off-shoring and contract workers, and talent management requirements—that are contributing to the changing corporate human capital landscape, the authors suggest that these changes are transforming the learning enterprise, placing learners at the center and altering the learning mix with the introduction of web-based and other technologies. Outlining taxonomy of corporate learning, the authors divide the training enterprise into formal, informal, and social learning modalities. Under formal learning, they identify pre-work, groupwork, and post-work as principal elements. The paper concludes with a call for companies to deliver a comprehensive, multi-modal learning portfolio that cost-effectively satisfies a wide range of employee and corporate needs.