• A Book Review of Blended Learning in Action: A Practical Guide Toward Sustainable Change

      Rowland, Heidi L (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-06-01)
      This is a book review of Tucker, Wycoff, and Green's Blended Learning in Action: A Practical Guide Toward Sustainable Change. This review will discuss the basic information from the book, the people who would most benefit from reading it, and the portions of the book most applicable to practitioners.
    • A Case Study Approach to Exploring Resilient Pedagogy During Times of Crisis

      Clum, Katie; Ebersole, Elizabeth; Wicks, David; Shea, Munyi (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
      In response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and the ensuing public health crisis, thousands of higher education institutions (HEIs) worldwide have had to grapple with rapid pivots to emergency remote online learning modalities with relatively little time to prepare, and the need to maintain these modalities continues to extend longer than most institutions anticipated. However, this is not the first time HEIs have had to enact an emergency switch to online learning in a time of crisis, and there is perhaps much to be learned from examining the experiences of institutions that have been through this before. Resilient pedagogy is an emerging field in education, but it is intrinsically tied to online learning in a crisis insofar as it describes the ability to intentionally and effectively shift instructional tactics given a change in environment or context. Using a case study approach, this paper explores indicators of resilient pedagogy in emergency pivots to online learning following crisis situations—including the COVID-19 pandemic—in the United States, New Zealand, and South Africa. The data informing this research are qualitative, derived from interviews with faculty members and students in each higher education context. 

      Fulkerth, Robert (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-02-08)
      This paper discusses utilizing course objectives to drive the change of existing 10–15 week undergraduate courses into 8-week courses that feature blended learning tools. To begin the redesign process, instructors and a faculty mentor revisit course objectives for currency, and with an eye toward blended course restructuring. The restructuring is overseen to ensure that standards are met. The resulting course redesign has overarching objectives and weekly objectives tied directly to weekly activities, many of which are blended. In addition to blended tools, the courses are considered blended as to modality in that while there is a weekly face-to-face meeting, there is also a fixed expectation for out of class work, where blended tools find good use. An approach to using blended tools as bridge activities between “last week” and “next week” is also presented. The redesigned classes are proving satisfactory to students and teachers; no differences in student course evaluations with respect to course quality are noted. Some students indicate there is “more work”, which is perhaps a function of the need to better manage student and faculty time management expectations. The redesign has been so successful that it we intend it to become a fundamental institutional faculty development tool.
    • A Case Study of Learners’ Engagement in Mobile Learning Applications

      LIU, Chenxi; Correia, Ana-Paula (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-12-02)
      Although mobile learning applications play a crucial role in today’s education and can support learning, the low retention rate is a prevalent challenge in mobile learning. Existing studies have found that interpersonal interaction, high expectations, and supportive environment (from an educational perspective) as well as compatibility, interactivity, and usability (from a marketing perspective) can impact learners’ engagement in learning activities and customers’ engagement in mobile applications. However, comprehensive studies investigating learners’ engagement in mobile learning applications from educational and marketing perspectives are rare. To fill the research gap, we analyzed learners’ reviews on five top-ranked lifelong learning applications (Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, edX, and Skillshare). Inductive coding was used to identify critical factors impacting learners’ engagement in mobile learning applications, such as usability, availability of learning experiences, features to facilitate learning, interpersonal interaction, and incentives for completion. We further explored specific engagement strategies displayed in the analyzed applications through an analytical evaluation. Besides, this study expands Hew’s model of learners’ engagement and suggests new conceptual relationships between critical factors impacting learners’ engagement, self-determination theory, and learners’ engagement.

      Meyer, Katrina A.; Xu, Yonghong Jade (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-02-08)
      Based on earlier studies using the 1999 and 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF) data, a causal model explaining faculty technology use was constructed. Path analysis was used to test the causal effects of age, gender, highest degree, discipline (health science or not), recent research productivity, and teaching load on faculty use of websites in teaching. Two models, one for faculty from Research I institutions and the other for faculty from Community Colleges, were tested and both models fit the data with satisfying indices. Results confirmed that age, highest degree, and teaching loads influenced technology use directly, but indicated the lack of relationship between research productivity and technology use in teaching. An additional connection is suggested from discipline to teaching load. One important difference between the two models is that the impact of gender and teaching load on research productivity is significant for faculty at Research institutions, but not for faculty at community colleges. The models confirm the consistent and relatively strong relationship of teaching load to faculty technology use.
    • A Comparative Structural Equation Modeling Investigation of the Relationships among Teaching, Cognitive and Social Presence

      Kozan, Kadir (The Online Learning Consortium, 2016-06-21)
      The present study investigated the relationships among teaching, cognitive, and social presence through several structural equation models to see which model would better fit the data. To this end, the present study employed and compared several different structural equation models because different models could fit the data equally well. Among the models compared, the results indicated that the model with cognitive presence as a full mediator and the model with social presence as a partial mediator could achieve an equally satisfactory data fit. This conclusion may depend on the level of the presences: The present results indicated a statistically higher level of teaching presence than cognitive and social presence as well as a statistically higher level of cognitive presence compared to social presence. The results further suggested that teaching presence could either have a direct or indirect relationship with cognitive presence thereby increasing it without or with social presence as a mediator between teaching and cognitive presence. The results further suggested that teaching presence efforts spent on increasing cognitive presence can function directly, which may also promote social presence, and indirectly through social presence. Further research comparing different possible structural equation models of the relationships among the presences in different learning contexts is warranted.
    • A Comparison of Non-Mandatory Online Dialogic Behavior in Two Higher Education Blended Environments

      Gorsky, Paul; Caspi, Avner; Blau, Ina (The Online Learning Consortium, 2012-06-23)
      This study compares dialogic behavior in asynchronous course forums with non-mandatory student participation at a campus-based college and at a distance education, Open University. The goal is to document similarities and differences in students' and instructors' dialogic behavior that occur in two similar instructional resources used in two dissimilar learning environments. Quantitative content analysis, derived from the "Community of Inquiry" model, was performed on a year-long course forum from the college. These data were compared with data obtained previously from the Open University course forums. Findings showed that the dialogic behavior in the college forum differed greatly from the dialogic behavior exhibited in distance education forums. Specifically, the frequencies of "social presence", "teaching presence" and "cognitive presence" in the forums differed significantly. However, high frequencies of social presence coupled with low frequencies of cognitive presence at both institutions raise doubts regarding the popular assumption that deep and meaningful learning occurs in asynchronous course forums.
    • A Comparison of Three Assessment Types on Student Engagement and Content Knowledge in Online Instruction

      Randall, Lynda; Jaynes, Jessica (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
      The research described in this article focuses on determining the effectiveness of Bongo in promoting student retention of concepts in online learning. This study used both quantitative and qualitative measures to examine the effectiveness of student video presentation assignments on student retention of learning and perceptions of the assignment’s contributions to learning. The quantitative methods compared the effects of three treatment conditions (independent reading, Bongo video presentation, and Bongo video presentation with Auto Analysis) on retention of concepts (quizzes administered two weeks after the presentation recordings). Qualitative analysis of student perceptions of the perceived value of Bongo in general, and specifically the Auto Analysis tool, were accomplished through video surveys, transcription, and analysis.  Analysis of the data provided strong support for the use of Bongo to increase student retention of concepts, and also revealed that students held favorable perceptions of the value and utility of the tool.

      Khan, Rana (The Online Learning Consortium, 2013-12-23)
      To address the growing need for incorporating experiential learning into online degree programs, this paper proposes a design framework that would integrate industry-sponsored projects into online capstone courses. The design lends itself to be applicable to any program at any institution. The research and data used to develop the framework was gathered from literature review, and a survey of UMUC graduate programs. The proposed framework was tested in two capstone courses using industry/client sponsored projects, in the authors’ disciplines, as the first stage of testing of the model.
    • A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of Teaching Presence Within Online Professional Development

      Miller, Melinda G.; Hahs-Vaughn, Debbie L.; Zygouris-Coe, Vicky (The Online Learning Consortium, 2014-03-06)
      The Community of Inquiry model provides a framework for recognizing and evaluating interpersonal behaviors in online educational settings. One of its three components, teaching presence, describes behaviors that are under the auspices of the online instructor. By examining behaviors through the theoretical lens provided by teaching presence, and by measuring them with the Teaching Presence Scale (TPS), it may be possible to better understand the most effectively online instruction practices. The purpose of the study was to confirm the factor composition of TPS in an online professional development course and to determine the relationship between teaching presence and student satisfaction. Participants (n = 718) were in-service educators enrolled in online professional development. Confirmatory factor analysis results provided strongest support for a three-factor TPA model using 17 of the 28 original TPS items and evidence of a strong relationship between TPS and student satisfaction. The implications for practice center primarily on how enhanced knowledge of teaching presence may be used to develop instructor/facilitators as online educators of adults. It is important that such instructors have a solid knowledge base in their field, as well as knowledge and experience with andragogy.

      Gold, Sanford (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-03-19)
      This article examines the pedagogical role of the teacher in online education. Specifically, the transition from in-class room instruction to online instruction is a complex one involving specialized training in the technical aspects of delivering quality educational materials (or environments) to the students, and specialized training in how to foster knowledge acquisition within this new environment. The article focuses on the pedagogical training that an online instructor needs to become an effective teacher.The article investigates a two-week faculty development pedagogical training course aimed at preparing teachers to operate effectively within an online educational environment. In attempting to orient the teacher to the online environment, the course used a constructivist instructional methodology within an online context. Several types of collaborative exercises were employed such as virtual field trips, online evaluations, interactive essays, and group projects. The sample (N=44) represented veteran college teachers with little online teaching or studying experience. Tenured faculty (30%) and Instructors (25%) composed the majority of the class. The group had well over 13 years classroom teaching experience (53%), and over three-quarters are currently teaching in higher education institutions. Hypotheses were tested through online data collection and surveys to find out the effects of the pedagogical training on the participants. One important finding of the study concludes that teachers exposed to the course significantly changed their attitudes toward online instruction seeing it as more participatory, and interactive than face-to-face instruction. Another major finding is that after the course, teachers saw the online medium as more of an extension of their faculty work. That is, faculty were more willing to use the online medium as an extension of their duties.

      Campos, Milton (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-03-19)
      This article presents a discourse analysis method designed to study networked cognitive communication processes in knowledge communities, such as conceptual change, higher order learning and knowledge building. The method is grounded on genetic epistemology and integrates constructivist and socioconstructivist theoretical concepts. The sentence (understood as judgment) is chosen as the unit of analysis, and the application of the method is further explained. In addition, a study of transcripts in an asynchronous networked community of nurses illustrates the method and demonstrates how conceptual change, collaborative learning and knowledge building can be identified. Advantages and limitations of the method are also discussed.
    • A content analysis of change management strategies used in technological transitions in higher education institutions from the lens of a strategic alignment framework

      Guerra-López, Ingrid; EL Dallal, Siba (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-09-01)
      Technology innovations have the potential to significantly strengthen the ability of higher education institutions to deliver on their core educational mission with greater quality, efficiency, and effectiveness.  Not surprisingly, managing technological changes is among the chief concerns for institutional leaders, and yet there is a dearth of research that provides concrete frameworks for managing this type of change in a higher education context.  Using Guerra-López and Hicks’s Learning and Development Strategic Alignment (LDSA) framework, this qualitative study used a directed content analysis approach to develop a contextualized framework for planning and managing technology change in higher education institutions.  The findings suggest that there is a meaningful fit between specific change management strategies found in the learning management systems (LMS) transition research literature and the LDSA framework.  The various strategies were synthesized and grouped around LDSA dimensions and core functions, resulting in a technological change management framework contextualized for higher education.
    • A Core Course on Veterans' Health in an Online RN to BSN Program

      none; Keavney, Elaine (The Online Learning Consortium, 2014-12-01)
      The Joining Forces Initiative challenges nursing programs throughout the country to develop curriculum that address the unique healthcare issues facing veterans. This article describes how the RN to BSN program at American Public University System responded to the Joining Forces Initiative by developing the core curriculum course, Caring for Today’s Veterans. In this course, students have the opportunity to learn about veterans’ healthcare issues through reading, discussion, interviews, and visits within their local communities. Comments from students indicate they have a greater understanding of veterans’ healthcare needs and how they, as baccalaureate-prepared nurses, can help to meet those needs.

      Harkness, William L.; Lane, Jill L.; Harwood, John T. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-03-19)
      Dissatisfaction with teaching a high enrollment introductory statistics course led to efforts to restructure the course to remedy the perceived problems, including lack of student participation, an excessive drain on departmental resources, failure to take into account wide differences in student learning styles, an inability of students to apply statistics after the course, and negative attitudes of students. A cost-effective redesign of the course was implemented that incorporates a learning environment that is student-oriented, involves active student participation and hands-on experience with data analysis, uses technology to reduce costs through labor-saving techniques including low-stakes computerized testing, and sharing of resources enabled by a web site for course management and delivery of course materials. Responsibility for learning basic concepts was transferred to students and motivated by readiness assessment quizzes. The redesign led to about $125,000 in cost savings to the department.
    • A Critical Analysis of Characteristics that Influence the Effect of Instructor Discussion Interaction on Student Outcomes

      Hoey, Rebecca Simon (The Online Learning Consortium, 2017-12-01)
      Teacher presence facilitates students’ social and cognitive presence in online courses. Instructor interaction in discussion forums, a widely adopted instructional strategy, establishes teacher presence but research on the optimal frequency and content of instructor interaction in discussion is underdeveloped. This research evaluated 1625 instructor posts in 36 graduate-level courses in education to determine their impact on students’ perceptions of the quality of the instructor and course, students’ perceptions of their learning, and students’ actual achievement. Findings suggest the frequency of instructor interaction in discussion has no effect on student outcomes, but posts that are instructional improve students’ perceptions of their learning, and posts that are conversational improve students’ perceptions of instructor and course quality and their actual academic achievement. Implications for instructors and policymakers are addressed.
    • A Critical Review of the Use of Wenger's Community of Practice (CoP) Theoretical Framework in Online and Blended Learning Research, 2000-2014

      Smith, Sedef Uzuner; Hayes, Suzanne; Shea, Peter (The Online Learning Consortium, 2017-03-21)
      After presenting a brief overview of the key elements that underpin Etienne Wenger’s communities of practice (CoP) theoretical framework, one of the most widely cited and influential conceptions of social learning, this paper reviews extant empirical work grounded in this framework to investigate online/blended learning in higher education and in professional development. The review is based on integrative research approaches, using quantitative and qualitative analysis, and includes CoP oriented research articles published between 2000 and 2014. Findings are presented under three questions: Which research studies within the online/blended learning literature made central use of the CoP framework? Among those studies identified, which ones established strong linkages between the CoP framework and their findings? Within this last group of identified studies, what do the patterns in their use of the CoP framework suggest as opportunities for future research in online teaching and learning?
    • A Cross-institutional Study of Instructional Characteristics and Student Outcomes: Are Quality Indicators of Online Courses Able to Predict Student Success?

      The contents of this article were developed under grant #84.116Q, P116Q140006, from the U.S. Department of Education. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and one should not assume endorsement; Joosten, Tanya; Cusatis, Rachel; Harness, Lindsey (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-12-01)
      A study was conducted to examine instructional characteristics and their relationship to student outcomes in online courses at a 2-year and 4-year higher educational institution.  Instructional characteristics included learner support, course design and organization, content design and delivery, interactivity (student-instructor and student-student), and assessment and evaluation.  A student survey instrument was created that captures student perceptions of the instructional characteristics of their course, their learning, and their satisfaction with the course.  The data collected from the student survey was merged with data from institutional student information systems (e.g., demographics and course grade).This article examines the relationship between these instructional characteristics, sometimes referred to as indicators of online course quality, and their relationship to student outcomes for all students and for underrepresented students.  Significant findings from multiple regression analyses are reported.  Additional analyses were conducted to examine differences among underrepresented students (minorities, first-generation, low-income, students with impairments/disabilities) using MANOVA.  No significant differences are reported.  

      Wang, Feng-Kwei; Bonk, Curtis J. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-03-19)
      This paper proposes a design framework for constructing a groupware-based learning environment (GBLE) that enables electronic cognitive apprenticeship. The central theme of this framework is that any design of a GBLE must have learning theories as foundations to substantiate the learning effectiveness of this environment. The proposed framework applies the principles of cognitive apprenticeship and case-based learning in designing a learning environment using groupware technology. In this framework, the practice of case-based learning is grounded in cognitive apprenticeship. The theory base of cognitive apprenticeship provides not only more coherent guidance but also opportunities to fine-tune the pedagogy of case-based learning. Groupware tools provide needed functions to enable instructional methods of cognitive apprenticeship. This technological support also facilitates the learning process of learners and thus enhances the effectiveness of case-based learning. Based on this framework, a system titled “Using Notes for a Case-based Learning Environment” (UNCLE) was created to demonstrate the framework's utility.
    • A dramaturgical perspective of online university student behaviours in a second year psychology class

      Gilmore, Dawn Marie (The Online Learning Consortium, 2020-03-01)
      This study applies dramaturgical sociology, specifically Goffman’s approach to region behaviour, to explore where students spend their time doing class related tasks in spaces other than the LMS. The context for this research is a case study of a second year psychology class at an Australian university. Data was collected about students’ front stage setting (the LMS) and backstage setting (students’ experiences on Facebook).  Over a 12-week semester 126 students were observed in the LMS. During the semester, 21 students completed fortnightly questionnaires about where they spent their time and with whom. At the end of the semester, 14 students participated in online interviews. The findings that emerged from the data illustrated how the characteristics of the audience in each setting, as well as the timing of communication and duration of each setting, may have impacted a student’s social learning experience.  This knowledge can help online teachers to understand the characteristics of a setting that might determine where students prefer to situate their learning experience. While this paper uses a dramaturgical perspective of online university students in a second year psychology class, the students’ experiences can generally be used to understand how LMS’s, social networking tools, and collaborative technologies support and impede social learning experiences in higher education.