Calling all e-learning folks who work in higher education

I was reviewing Dave Anderson’s Word of Mouth Blog yesterday, and noticed Nita Venter’s post on E-learning in Healthcare.  It occurred to me (as it has many times in the past), that it would be great if there were similar discussions for folks who work in higher education.

While I have always benefitted from the general discussions in the forums, there are some issues that I’d love to discuss with others in academia, such as how other institutions are addressing universal design with the Articulate suite of tools and how to address issues regarding instructors who are great SMEs, but not so great when it comes to course design.

I’m hoping that there are others out there in higher education that are interested, and look forward to some great discussions.  Let me know what you think and maybe suggest some topics to get us started!

133 Replies
Adebare Showemmo

Katrina Garbiel said:

How can you go about convincing faculty, provosts, etc that elearning is the furture?  Any suggestions?

Yes, you can the number of people getting internet enable devices everyday and the cost advantage of getting smartphones as well as the number of time people on the internet or computer is increasing at alarming rate. Meaning that for learning to be meaning to 21st audiences, it has to be done not just traditional classroom teaching but on-line which is the school home of 21st learners.

Use can also use disruptive innovation theory. Check this article by Intel Nigeria "What does the African Continent really need to take our technology and innovation to the next level?http://memeburn.com/2012/04/what-kind-of-disruption-does-africas-tech-scene-really-need/ 

We can therefore say that What does the Education  really need to take our technology and innovation to the next level?

Claudia H

Nickola Frye said:

One of the topics that I would love to have input from others is - "How are you assisting user who are still on dial-up or slow Internet connections?"  What tricks do you have for compressing modules, videos, etc. for rapid utilization by these students? An additional topic could be - working with reluctant instructors.

Wow Nickola,

I do not know if I am alone, but you touched two issues that some schools around here (MI) struggle with. There are students who are still living by the Thumb where they cannot have anything but dial-up. It has been suggested the need of "air cards" for students; however, this depends on budget. Some students have smartphones and invest in their data plan, but our courses are not yet "mobile" friendly. To minimize stress on our students we suggest faculty to also make available transcripts of the videos (but not all instructors can comply with this), minimize the length of the recording (some instructors go on with a full 1 hour lecture).

Working with reluctant instructors is a challenge, and it is a topic I would love to hear about from others. I used to work as a computer programmer and I know that building trust with my users helped me to create the program or system they needed. I am new to ID, but little by little I am learning this field. I try to apply what I am learning when preparing training for our instructors, and from time to time I share little bits of course design "good to have" with fellow instructors who welcome the observations. I sit down with them and "learn" their needs. Each and all of them are awesome SMEs, but gaining their trust is a long process. Some of them do not buy in technology, and somehow I understand why; however, if technology is their weakness I offer my service to create a template course for them. They can choose what they need, move, or request necessary changes.

I do feel that online learning might not be a fit for some learners, and the same can be for instructors. Not all instructors are a fit to deliver a course online.

Morten Skoglund

Hello everyone.

I am a newly employed (2 weeks) e-learning ninja at the University of Oslo, Faculty of Medicine. There are alot of things going on here and e-learning fits like a glove for many of the projects. Good topic this. I am going to subscribe to follow it.

Keep up the good work   

Laura Casey

Donna Carter said:

Art Sederquist said:

Here's a great book published under Creative Commons that I think the group will appreciate.  The book offers a series of case studies dealing "with the design of distance eduation at an emerging dual-mode university ... offering both on-campus and online courses."


The book was written from the point of view of an instructional designer working alongside ten univeristy faculty members dealing with preparing them and their instruction for use online.

A Designer’s Log

Case Studies in Instructional Design

Michael Power, 2007

http://www.aupress.ca/books/120161/ebook/99Z_Power_2009-Designers_Log.pdf

Also, be sure to explore the appendices; Appendix C, in particular, provides examples of teaching activities used in distance education and online learning. 



This is a great resource Mike.  Thanks for sharing.
This looks like a great erso

Art Sederquist said:

Here's a great book published under Creative Commons that I think the group will appreciate.  The book offers a series of case studies dealing "with the design of distance eduation at an emerging dual-mode university ... offering both on-campus and online courses."


The book was written from the point of view of an instructional designer working alongside ten univeristy faculty members dealing with preparing them and their instruction for use online.

A Designer’s Log

Case Studies in Instructional Design

Michael Power, 2007

http://www.aupress.ca/books/120161/ebook/99Z_Power_2009-Designers_Log.pdf

Also, be sure to explore the appendices; Appendix C, in particular, provides examples of teaching activities used in distance education and online learning. 


Thank you for this - this looks fabulous!
Doug Mattson

I am new to the academic world. I have spent the last 19 years working in healthcare as an elearning developer, etc. I worked with Nita on the healthcare forum for a short while.

I have only been working in my current IDS job for about 6 weeks and am quickly becoming acclimated to Blackboard. I am noticing that many use Blackboard and all of its tools as the one-stop-shop/end-all. I have done a lot of higher-end work in Articulate and I don't want to lose those skills. That would be tragic. I remain hopeful that I can start developing interactive pieces with Articulate and Storyline to augment the other media used in the blend.

I don't want to just organize course content...I want to design an experience that leaves the learner wanting more.

Claudia H

Doug Mattson said:

"I don't want to just organize course content...I want to design an experience that leaves the learner wanting more."

Hi Doug!

Depending on the culture in your organization you may or may not design experiences that leave learners to want more.

1. You need faculty to buy-in on collaborating to develop those experiences. Instructors review textbook publisher's course content and it tends to be easier for them to use the content provided with the textbook. This may not be the case in all educational institutions, but it can be a common denominator.

2. Propose little bits of in-house content development, run a blog or email "spot-line" notes with demos of elearning content created. Is there an elearning committee in your institution? This is the place where you can "show and spread" the word of other elearning alternatives of content that can be imported to the LMS.

I am currently the LMS administrator, but I also collaborate with instructors developing "pieces" of interactive content. It is not easy as it not like if you had to develop a whole elearning course, but somehow, helps to add content that goes beyond the "page flipping"

Robin Weber

I do training/workshops for staff and faculty at UNC currently. You are right it can be challenging, but I have had fairly good success so far. I use electronic evaluations after each workshop to find out if I am meeting their needs or not. These have been very helpful. I start off with the basics of whatever software/technology I am teaching and then add features/uses based on the feedback that I get. 

Nicole  Rivera

Lisa AV said:

Do any of you Higher Education folks design/deliver e-learning for Staff? I'm not involved in the student space, but would love to connect with other folks who are targeting staff. It's a very diverse group and often challenging in design.

Hey Lisa

I deliver e-Learning content to Staff/Faculty/Administrators. Its very challenging. My grammar and spelling is judged on a regular basis. lol. I'm having a challenging time now, because our college has baby boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. So, the technology levels vary.

christine kent

Rebekah Brown said:

Art Sederquist said:

Here's a great book published under Creative Commons that I think the group will appreciate.  The book offers a series of case studies dealing "with the design of distance eduation at an emerging dual-mode university ... offering both on-campus and online courses."


The book was written from the point of view of an instructional designer working alongside ten univeristy faculty members dealing with preparing them and their instruction for use online.

A Designer’s Log

Case Studies in Instructional Design

Michael Power, 2007

http://www.aupress.ca/books/120161/ebook/99Z_Power_2009-Designers_Log.pdf

Also, be sure to explore the appendices; Appendix C, in particular, provides examples of teaching activities used in distance education and online learning. 



Thanks so much for sharing that book - much appreciated. I'm looking forward to reading and learning.


This is a great list.  I would like to see a group of us work out Articulate processes that work to deliver each of these options.

Art Sederquist

christine kent said:

Rebekah Brown said:

Art Sederquist said:

Here's a great book published under Creative Commons that I think the group will appreciate.  The book offers a series of case studies dealing "with the design of distance eduation at an emerging dual-mode university ... offering both on-campus and online courses."


The book was written from the point of view of an instructional designer working alongside ten univeristy faculty members dealing with preparing them and their instruction for use online.

A Designer’s Log

Case Studies in Instructional Design

Michael Power, 2007

http://www.aupress.ca/books/120161/ebook/99Z_Power_2009-Designers_Log.pdf

Also, be sure to explore the appendices; Appendix C, in particular, provides examples of teaching activities used in distance education and online learning. 



Thanks so much for sharing that book - much appreciated. I'm looking forward to reading and learning.


This is a great list.  I would like to see a group of us work out Articulate processes that work to deliver each of these options.

Interesting idea Christine.  Could you elaborate? 

christine kent

It is easy to make Articulate do easy things, but I am not yet convinced of its usefulness to achieve higher ed or vocational ed learning outcomes.  

Articulate has put out some gorgeous samples of making Articulate do fancy things, but it would make my life easier if I could put together a library of Articulate "coding" to achieve the various types of learning activity suggested in appendix 3 of the recommended text above or something similar - I am talking a tagging taxonomy here.

I am looking at how to develop vocational ed courses for on-line delivery.  In Australia these courses are centrally designed and come with not only specified performance criteria but also specified skills.  It can be difficult to keep both cross sections of a total course in mind while designing and developing the course.  Performance criteria are relatively easy to teach to and to demonstrate that the competency has been achieved. However, qualitative skills outcomes are much more difficult to demonstrate.  This is an example of the skills outcomes for a level 4 course I am looking at.

  • communication skills to provide effective support and motivation to a team and overcome communication barriers
  • literacy skills to:
  • ◦ read and interpret a wide range of operational workplace information
  • ◦ write clear and articulate team plans
  • planning and organising skills to ensure activities and initiatives important to team development are integrated into own work planning
  • problem-solving skills to identify skill deficiencies and provide opportunities for individual development
  • self-management skills to take responsibility for team outcomes
  • teamwork skills to represent team interests in the wider organisation environment.

One simple way to manage both cross sections (performance criteria and skills) is to cover content according to performance criteria and then include activities that are pitched to the appropriate skill level.

To manage course development on a large scale we need to be able to library anything slick we develop, for future re-use, so we would tag "objects" in groups that demonstrate performance criteria but also as single activities tagged according to the skill demonstrated by the activity.  That list of activities above is a good start towards achieving a taxonomy for tagging and re-usability, although the one we work with in the Australian VET sector is more complex.

From an IDs point of view it would be so nice to be able to say, oh, I should do a "something or other" activity, and then just pick up a slick really well designed set of slides already sitting in the library that have done just that for another course, and re-use them.  

So has anyone tagged all those examples of really slick "coding" put out by Articulate according to a stated taxonomy so that we can search for and find relevant examples.  At the moment I find myself cruising through examples and seeing how I can show off by using them, rather than finding what I need to solve a given problem - it's fun but it is not going to "sell" Articulate as a serious course development tool.

Art Sederquist

Christine -- Great response.  Nice detail.  Interesting and practical observations.  

What I hear you describe, to me, is the concept of "learning objects" (or Reusable Learning Objects; RLOs).  Learning objects would be cataloged in your "library" concept or a content management system, technically.  The use of learning objects promote flexibility in content creation, ease of content reuse (and version control) for meeting the needs of your learners and instructors.  

"Learning objects [are] self-standing, reusable, discrete pieces of content that meet aninstructional objective. Learning objects may be tagged with meta-data so that users caneasily identify and locate specific learning objects in a Web-based environment." (Academic ADL Co-Lab).

As you're envisioning, a series of learning objects can be "pulled" from a store and assembled into a learning objective (A).  Some of the very same objects could be re-used in a different objective (B), and a smaller sub-set for object (C).

From your course rubrics, I believe you could associate learning object IDs (once assembled) to each of the rubric's criteria.  The IDs would included skill level information, as well, so that course-skill alignment is achieved.  Students who successfully complete the learning objects, as identified in the rubric, meet the criteria for completing the learning objective and credit is issued accordingly. 

 

That's the general theory.  An interim shoestring content management system could be a spreadsheet, until you take steps towards a more automated solution.  

What I don't recall is what meta information can be stored in Articulate objects inherently.  I do not believe learning object meta info is an option but I'm going to submit a feature request for this as soon as I confirm.  You might do the same and then it'll get more notice.

What I do know is that Articulate is working with ADL's TinCan API and this tells me that our conversation will definitely continue in some pretty amazing ways.  They're already thinking about this I'm sure.  

I am interested in your problem and it is one that I plan to eventually address in achieving my development objectives.  Let's keep in touch on this.  My strategy initially has been to build a base of materials to catalog first and then deal with the management challenges in a simple approach not much different than any other asset management system's (think photography).

In the meantime, I've dug through some papers I have on the subject and pulled some web addresses and citations you might be interested in. 

Learning objects:

Center for Teaching and Learning in Reusable Learning Objects: Interactive On-line Learning Objects

Merlot: Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and On-line Teaching Objects  

Articles:

Merrill, M. D. (1999). Instructional transaction theory. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional designtheories and models, (Vol. II). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. 

Bannan-Ritland,B.,Dabbagh,N. & Murphy, K. Learning object systems as constructivist learningenvironments: Related assumptions, theories, and applications. In D. A. Wiley (Ed.), TheInstructional Use of Learning Objects: Online Version. 2000. Retrieved fromhttp://reusability.org/read/chapters/bannan-ritland.doc 

Bratina, T. A., Hayes, D. & Blumsack, S. L. Preparing teachers to use learning objects. TheTechnology Source, November/December. 2002. Retrieved fromhttp://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=961 

Martinez,M. Mass customization: Designing for successful learning. International Journal of Educational Technology, 2 (2). Retrieved from http://www.outreach.uiuc.edu/ijet/v2n2/index.html; 2002. 

Sumner, T. Creating reusable educational components: Lessons from DLESE. Journal of Geoscience Education, 50 (1) 25-30. 2002

Wiley, D. Peer-to-Peer and Learning Objects: The New Potential for Collaborative Constructivist Learning Online. Proceedings IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technology:Issues, Achievements and Challenges, 6-8 August 2001. IEEE Computer Society, 494-498. 

christine kent

Down the track, that is what I am talking about, but for now it is enough that I find out if Articulate can do what I need it to be able to do.  I am not so much concerned about the logistics of storing objects in a document management system.  That can be solved later.

Currently I am dashing my way through building some trial courses with written material we already have, just to test out what Articulate can and cannot do. Like many, we are looking at putting a lot of material online so I am trying to convert quite sophisticated learning and assessment processes for relatively high level courses, into Articulate.  I am not worrying about look and feel or anything else at the moment, just functionality - can I make it work for sophisticated case studies, problem solving and the like.

 I can go through all the functions and make them work, but it takes a lot more to make them work cleverly.

I guess I may have to spend a few days going through lots of sample coding from the Articulate website and see if I can "tag" the pieces according to skills utilized by the learner (rather than knowledge gained by the learner) - to see if I can in any way short cut this process - if no-one else has been there before me, and already done it, that is.

christine kent

Hi Mike

Not sure I understood your reply.  If I switch to Storyline so that I can solicit free-form student entry that I can rig to display as a grid - can Storyline send this free from written information to an LMS for assessment?  (In other words can it be made to work like an essay response in Quizmaker?)

Mike Enders

Christine,

Sorry, I was replying in regards to the meta data train of thought.  

As for the question of sending to an LMS for assessment, I do believe there is a way to send variable data to the LMS.  http://www.articulate.com/support/kb_article.php?product=st1&id=7la24ugs1lcn

Not sure if this is what you're looking to do or not, but it's a cool technique that David shares.

Mike

Scott Succow

Hi all,

Thanks for everyone's comments here, this has been a helpful and enlightening forum.

I am currently Teaching and Managing sections in both Vocational and Higher Education.  I am also the administrator of our LMS for our campus.  I have recently joined our partner's eLearning team to help develop online courses to take us into the digital age, and am completing my Masters in Education with an emphasis in eLearning.  I believe this is the direction of education in the future and am steering my educational career in this direction.  My LMS and eLearning work is done as a consultant so am interested in how people manage that side of it as well.

I am trialling both Captivate and Storyline and so far Storyline is way ahead.

As others have mentioned, many of the examples are geared towards corporate training, and I have also seen much developed for the K-12 market.  Not a whole lot is out there in regards to Higher Ed, so this I will be following this forum intently.

It seems to be tricky to create online interactions that are pitched to this level of education.  I have many ideas and am currently trialling them in an online class I am developing.  I will definitely report back on how it goes.  So far I have added the basic PowerPoints with voiceovers, but want to get much more interactive.  We have added formative and summative quizzing and just added online journaling to develop reflective practice.  Will add more interactive learning objects as time permits.

One question that I would like other's opinions on is how do you measure the teaching hours that go into delivering and developing the online content.  We are coming up against the fact that teachers are paid teaching rate only with synchronous time spent with students.  Recording a lecture (or voice over) is considered development and pays substantially less than face to face or live online lecturing if you are a sessional lecturer, hence many teacher's hesitation to create.  How do others deal with this dilemma?

Thanks again for everyone's input.