*Please Note: For information on Room locations (i.e. Silver Lake Ballroom A), please review the Delta Waterloo Floorplan. Room changes may occur, and we will make every effort to keep you informed. Session names will be posted outside the door to the room.
Indicates featured sessions
Concurrent Session 1
Tuesday, May 31, 3-4:00 PM
Navigating the Obstacles and Minefields: Innovation in Online Higher Education
Dr. Keith Hampson Contact North Location Silver Lake Ballroom B
Demand for more innovative approaches to higher education is driven by rising costs, uneven learning outcomes, and a growing recognition of the importance of a robust, accessible, and effective higher education system. Governments and employers, as well as students, are seeking quality and relevancy at the same time as efficiency and effectiveness. These demands challenge conventional thinking about the design, development, deployment and delivery of online learning.
Responding to these challenges and realizing the full potential of online education requires a deep understanding of the unique obstacles faced by innovative educators and their institutions. Significant change does not come easily to colleges and universities.
This presentation explores the obstacles that have slowed efforts to achieve economies of scale, deploy rich media, leverage social media, and develop innovative approaches to learning and assessment. The presentation draws on examples from initiatives across North America during the past decade, with a special focus on how these challenges impact Ontario.
Student Perceptions of Online Learning
Sandy Hughes, Mary Scott, Anna Barichello Wilfrid Laurier University Location: The Laurel Creek Meeting Room
In 2015, Wilfrid Laurier University started a research project in conjunction with Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland, USA to study student perceptions of online learning.The intention of the survey was to determine whether various aspects of design and delivery of online courses (known through the literature to be effective) were verified by students. The study focused on the strengths and weaknesses of online course delivery and outcomes. Determining the impact of course design and online instruction related to student success was key to the study. Information on student demographics of online learners and selfdetermination factors (e.g. students setting study/work goals) were also explored. Sample questions included:
Outstanding online learning delivery should include:
- Clear and meaningful feedback on assignments/exams
- Fair and consistent grading of assignments/exams
- Clear communication policies (e.g., instructor availability, netiquette)
- Receiving grades and feedback on assessment with timeframe designated
Outstanding online learning environments should:
- offer creative and innovative course materials (e.g., YouTube videos, online simulations)
- present course content that is easy to follow and navigate
- offer a variety of opportunities to interact with other students and the instructor
- have content presented in a variety of ways (e.g.,text lessons, multimedia)
Data from both institutions from the fall 2015 survey is being analyzed. This session will discuss results from the initial data analysis and explore lessons learnt from the data collection process, particularly surrounding ways that the survey questions can be improved in future iterations. Interest has already been expressed from additional institutions in Canada and the US to join the project for 2016. Additional partners are welcome.
Standard Systems, Surprising Ideas: Leveraging Conventional Technology with Unconventional Techniques
Maureen Glynn, Nada Savicevic, Mariam Ahmed Ryerson University Location: Silver Lake Ballroom A
With the fiscal restraint and realities of resourcing in Higher Education, it is sometimes challenging for individual institutions to generate, from scratch, innovative technology solutions for their students and faculty. However, this need not mean that these same stakeholders lose out on new and exciting approaches to learning.
In this highly interactive workshop, representatives of Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education will showcase a number of exciting projects in which otherwise “conventional” LMS tools have been employed in unconventional ways. Examples and outcomes from these projects will be shared and participants in the session will be invited to engage in facilitated activities to generate similar ideas to apply in their own contexts.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify methods for idea generation and adopt new strategies for the use of existing learning systems at their institutions.
The Nexus of Scholarship, Research, and Professional Practice: Insights into Our Journals
Lorraine Carter, Irwin Devries, Heather McRae, Kathy Snow McMaster University, Simon Fraser University & Cape Breton University Location: The Grand River A
In this session, you will have the chance to meet and converse with Editors of CAUCE’s new Journal of Professional, Continuing, and Online Education (the former Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education) and CNIE’s International Journal of E-learning and Distance Education.
In addition to learning about the present birthing of the Journal of Professional, Continuing, and Online Education and the recent evolution of the International Journal of E-learning and Distance Education, this is a wonderful chance to discover how you can publish your work in these two important journals. Learn too about how to take your CAUCE-CNIE conference presentation and turn it into a paper.
Information about the journals’ general processes from submission of a manuscript to the peer review process to editing and manuscript preparation to publication will be provided. Other ways of becoming involved with the journals such as becoming a peer reviewer, and information about applying to the CAUCE Research Fund will be discussed too.
Now is an exciting time in our field. Sharing with colleagues in Canada and around the world is more important than ever before, and each of us has something to offer others. Come learn how to do this in the journals supported by CAUCE and CNIE.
Partnerships between Post-Secondary Education and Business: Making Learning Meaningful
Larry White SFU Lifelong Learning Location: The Grand River B
We all know that effective PSE-business partnerships are important for a number reasons, including establishing shared goals, addressing intellectual property, determining resource allocation and financing, governance, people management, communication, and assessment and evaluation. They are also critical in helping to ensure that students have an effective learning environment by providing opportunities for them to leave the classroom behind and engage in real-life, experiential learning where they can make a difference in the community of which they are part.
In this presentation, we will explore partnerships with business that promote learning of this nature, touching on the importance and benefits of using the community as a living and learning laboratory by engaging students in project-based, community-based, self-directed and work-integrated pedagogies.
Concurrent Session 2
Tuesday, May 31, 4-4:30 PM
‘Lean’ Within Higher Education: Where Do You Begin?
Marilyn Thompson University of Waterloo Location: Silver Lake Ballroom A
Are you considering a lean journey but you’re not sure what it’s all about and or how to start? Universities have not all followed the same path for their Lean* journey as they strive to improve the efficiency of campus processes. This session will discuss critical first steps to ensure your journey is a success — understanding why Lean has caught on within higher education; clarifying the value of Lean; gaining leadership support and employee involvement; and identifying characteristics of Lean models. Lean initiatives being implemented within universities will be referenced with tips for determining the best path for your institution based on their experiences. We will show the importance of creating a sustainable framework and an outline of the key components of a first year plan.
*Lean is a management approach for problem solving and continuous improvement using a variety of tools to measure progress.
Increasing Student Engagement and Success in Online Independent Study Courses: What Works for Students at Thompson Rivers University-Open Learning
Gail Morong Thompson Rivers University-Open Learning Location: The Grand River B
Much of the literature on online learning focuses on the opportunities and challenges of cohort-based classes. Few researchers concern themselves with the more limited world of independent study courses. This workshop provides insights into how TRU-Open Learning, Canada’s oldest open university, strives to make its independent study courses more interactive and engaging even in the absence of collaborative activities such as group work and peer-feedback that are emphasized in many cohort-based courses.
Many students appreciate the flexible scheduling options available with independent study courses. However, the flipside of this coin is student isolation which can have an adverse effect on motivation. In fact, research shows that the lack of social interaction is the most severe barrier to successful online learning (Mulienburg & Berge, 2005, Vonberg 2015). The presenters, two Instructional Designers from TRU-OL, will share what some students have reported to be the most engaging learning activities and assessments in independent courses. Discover what works and how students can be authentically engaged, even when they study on their own.
Resources: Mulienburg, L.Y. & Berge, Z.L. (2005). Student Barriers to Online Learning: A factor analytic study.
Vonberg, J. (2015). The loneliness of the long distance learner.
Strategies to Increase Academic Integrity in Large Class and Online Testing
Dr. Bruce McKay Wilfrid Laurier University Location: The Laurel Creek Meeting Room
When testing large numbers of students in classroom settings, and when testing students in online courses, collaboration amongst peers is likely to occur. I have implemented webcam monitored online tests, delivered through our learning management system, wherein each student receives a unique subset of questions, from a very large test bank of my own construction. Because each student receives a unique test, and because each student is personally monitored, collaboration is much more difficult. This presentation will discuss the impact of implementing webcam proctoring for both in-class and online tests, and overview our study on student feedback and experiences about webcam proctored tests.
Dr. Bruce McKay is the Associate Dean: Student Services in the Faculty of Science, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. Dr. McKay is engaged in a program of educational research focused on increasing academic integrity of tests in large class and online settings.
Think for Yourself: How to Bring Socratic Questioning into the Online Classroom
Melanie Misanchuk, Arshi Shaikh University of WaterlooLocation: The Grand River A
SocWk 301, Understanding Diversity in Canada, is a course offered primarily to students interested in applying for the Bachelor of Social Work program. The current instructor, Arshi Shaikh, employs a Socratic questioning model in her face-to-face classroom, encouraging a lot of discussion among students, but above all, requiring students to put forth their ideas before she gives them “the answers.” Whereas the online medium has a number of ways to deliver course content, none of them are appropriate for situations where we want the student to generate ideas first.
Based on our dedication to emulate how Arshi teaches in the classroom, the Centre for Extended Learning at the University of Waterloo developed the “Socratic questioning/student-generated content tool” (SQ/SGCT) which provides students with a prompt question, allowing them to jot down their ideas on the topic then click “submit” to simultaneously save their notes and reveal the rest of the page of course content.
Students are not required to input their ideas; simply clicking “submit” will reveal the material. However, we make it explicit from the beginning that forming these ideas on their own — and keeping track of them, which the tool automatically does — will help them with the course assignments.
The pages are designed such that students can begin using the SQ/SGCT at any point: if they spent the first four weeks of class simply clicking through to the material, but then a classmate mentions how useful it is to take notes ahead of time in preparation for the reflection activities or for the discussion, a student could immediately begin Module 5 engaging with the material as we designed it — and could even go back to previous pages and fill in their responses and save them.
This presentation will discuss the results (student use and student perception) of three semesters of SocWk 301.
Understanding What Motivates Todays Learners
Natasha Jesenak University of TorontoLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom B
In 2015, the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies completed a comprehensive market research initiative in partnership with Environics Research. The goals of this research were to strengthen our understanding of our learners by defining who they are and what motivates them, to explore their current perceptions, and identify potential drivers and barriers related to their future engagement with the School. This presentation will provide an overview of research goals, methods, analysis and highlight key findings. Discussion will be focused on how we are currently using this information to extend our impact deeper into the community we serve, strengthen operational effectiveness, increase learner satisfaction, retention, and refine service offerings.
Concurrent Session 3
Wednesday, June 1, 11-12:00 PM
The Role of the Student Creator in Assessment — Transformative Learning
Corinne Hoisington MicrosoftLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom A
***Warning: This workshop is for instructors who can handle extreme excitement and engagement.
So when we say transformative learning powered by technology, we are talking about authentic, project-based learning and assessment, where students have agency, ownership, and commitment to a relevant goal. Digital tools allow students to take on the role of creator, problem solver, and learner-teacher working alongside peers and instructors to accomplish something bigger than themselves. Using Microsoft’s free technologies that include Sway, Office Mix, and Office 365 online collaboration tools, shift the direction of innovative assessment to include critical thinking and creativity. No more cheating, no more multiple choice, and no more status quo in our online and traditional classrooms!
Katina Papulkas TVOLocation: The Grand River A
Using a wide array of technology, today’s students are able to reach out and seek knowledge across the globe.
Connected learners need support and guidance from their teachers to ensure their learning is relevant and visible. But what about teachers?
Using illustrative examples from TeachOntario, TVO’s online platform for sharing, collaboration and knowledge exchange, participants will have the opportunity to hear how educators across Ontario are making their thinking and learning visible in a digital medium through co-constructed learning, collaborative lesson plans, discussions and more!
Cebu Normal University Cascades Design Thinking Initiatives
Leodinito Y. Cañete Cebu Normal UniversityLocation: The Grand River B
N.B.: This is a 30 minute session, from 11:30-12:00 pm.
This is a proposal for a poster on the results of CNU’s experience on cascading design thinking among its faculty members, instructors of other state universities and colleges and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Design thinking in CNU grew out of the technical cooperation of Temasek Foundation, Singapore Polytechnic and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges. CNU’s output from the cooperation’s training was a customized DT module and proposal for curriculum enhancement based on DT principles which promotes innovation and creativity.
The poster highlights lessons on overcoming barriers to education learned by a medium-sized university in the Philippines designed to provide education and training leaders with insights on the recent experience of a medium-sized publicly funded university of education in the Philippines in promoting user-based creative pedagogy of understanding unmet user needs to ideate and build meaningful solutions. It is an iterative four-step teaching-learning process that covers introducing sense and sensibility, establishing empathy, promoting ideation and practicing prototypes.
The following topics will be shown in the poster: a) CNU’s design thinking journey — milestones and programs; b) Overview of Design Thinking — sense & sensibility, empathy, ideation and prototype; and c) Insights and Potentials — experience in running 14-day community immersion program in a rural village in Cebu where residents and students identified real issues and developed solutions for community tourism, sustainable livelihood and sanitation improvement. These topics are helpful in applying and facilitating appropriate DT methods and tools in teacher and training plans, programs, and activities.
The Educational Choices and Outcomes of Indigenous University Students
Rod Lastra University of ManitobaLocation: The Laurel Creek Meeting Room
N.B.: This is a 30-minute session, from 11-11:30 am.
The study has been informed by the literature on non-traditional, adult, and first-generation students (e.g., American College Testing, 2015; Mangan, 2015; Munoz, 2012), as well as by the literature on Indigenous post-secondary learners and educational outcomes (Price & Burtch, 2010; Sloane-Seale, Wallace, & Levin, 2004, 2001). The most comprehensive of frameworks to understand student success have been developed by Tinto (2012) and others. These theoretical frameworks define student success more broadly than is proposed in our study, but situate experiences such as academic preparation and readiness, as well as student characteristics such as enrolment choices, demographics (visible minorities, sex, socio-economic status), family and peer support, and motivation to learn in a model that examines the college experience from the viewpoint of students’ behaviors and institutional conditions. The applied research to be conducted in the proposed study will provide rich detail on the relationships between demographics, academic preparation, academic choices and educational outcomes. Frameworks such as Tinto’s will provide additional context for interpretation of results.
After this session, participants will have knowledge of the demographic and academic factors associated with retention and academic progression of Indigenous students at a large Canadian university, as well as trends and changes in educational outcomes over time, recommendations to enhance programming, student support, and success for this population. Participants will also have gained knowledge regarding the use big data analytics in informing institutional programing related to first year student success.
Engaging the Future: Strategic Planning for Continuing and Professional Education
Christie Schultz University of AlbertaLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom B
N.B.: This is a 30 minute session, from 11-11:30 am.
Over the summer of 2015, the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension engaged in a strategic planning process. We brought together emerging and seasoned continuing and professional education (CPE) talent to brainstorm, collaborate, and imagine the future. Mirroring the age range of our CPE students, we brought together perspectives and experiences spanning four generations. We also received input from faculty members and from staff within our English Language School.
The strategic plan evolved in response to changes we’ve experienced, changes we observed around us, and changes we anticipate. It looks to the future with optimism and insight, and it is from this perspective that we frame our understanding of the role of continuing and professional education at the University of Alberta and in our society.
Those who are interested in, involved in, or leading continuing and professional education (CPE) planning initiatives will be interested in this session. In this presentation, attendees will gain insight into: a) the context in which the plan was created; b) the strategic planning process we used; c) highlights of the plan itself; and d) reflections on the impact of the plan within the CPE unit and within the university.
Plagiarism and Technology: A Love-Hate Relationship
Marie-Claude Beauchamp McGill UniversityLocation: The Grand River B
N.B.: This is a 30-minute session, from 11-11:30 am.
With the widespread availability and use of Web resources, plagiarism has joined the list of frequently raised issues in higher continuing education. It poses particular challenges in distance learning, where it has the potential to cast a shadow on the validity of assessments, thus undermining the credibility of certificates and diplomas. Plagiarism consequently affects, in various ways, the field of online learning, teaching and evaluation.
Since 2013, McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies (SCS) has been running two online language programs leading to non-credit certificates: the Certificate of Proficiency in Written French — Workplace Communication and the Certificate of Proficiency in Written English — Workplace Communication. Geared towards adult learners already in the workforce, these programs aim at helping those who have a deficiency in written French or English overcome this barrier and improve the quality and effectiveness of their written communication in workplace settings. Being delivered exclusively through distance learning, both programs could provide a fertile ground for plagiarism and other types of violation of academic integrity.
This presentation will look at how we have met some of the challenges brought about by the issue of plagiarism in continuing distance education. We will review some of the strategies we have put forth in order to improve learning by promoting academic integrity in online assessment and developing awareness in our adult learners. Special attention will be given to the use of innovative technology to tackle a problem that technology itself has helped nurture.
Teaching Academic Ethics Proactively: Engaging Beliefs, Codes, Empathy, and Dialogue
Victoria Townsend, Renata Kobe University of Windsor & St. Clair CollegeLocation: The Laurel Creek Meeting Room
Academic ethics is a complex pedagogical issue in many university classrooms. In 2014, the CBC surveyed 42 universities across Canada who reported that more than 7,000 students have been disciplined for academic cheating in 2011-12 and cites that incidences of cheating are far higher (Moore 2014). The reported numbers only reflect incidences processed through formal academic integrity review, which is premised on a legal adversarial system of consequence rather than a proactive pedagogical foundation. Similarly, technological advancements such as plagiarism detection software are also reactive and present new complex social constructions for students to navigate in the midst of problems in broader societal ethics (Callahan 2005). Since, “enforcing standards of academic integrity is a central responsibility of teachers” (Callahan 2005, xv) it is critical for instructors to first and foremost clarify academic ethics expectations with students and to teach them to use codes of ethics to evaluate complex situations. This presentation discusses the design and results of an active learning workshop that proactively engages students in discussing and evaluating ethical beliefs, behaviour, and situations personally and socially relative to educational and professional business contexts; the latter furthering authentic learning. The results of the workshop with two sections of an undergraduate business ethics course are discussed. First, students are asked to voluntarily and anonymously take part in an online survey (n=46), which asks students to (1) Comment on their disposition towards academic integrity and professional ethics (2) Evaluate examples of conduct as ethical or unethical; (3) Evaluate potential causes of academic dishonesty, based on a 10-year study by McCabe et al (2001); (4 & 5) Comment on what the student and professional codes of conduct mean to them; and (6) Comment on what they think the purpose of an education is. In the classroom, students then discuss the aggregated results for one of the questions 2-6 in small groups with a role card. The role card asks students to engage with empathy towards another role (e.g. a professor, manager, etc.) in addition to their own. Students who evaluate examples of conduct as ethical or unethical draw out situational circumstances with debate. Students reflect on potential causes for academic dishonesty and together question if they are justified. For many students, they read the codes of conduct for the first time and find things that surprise them. Students who discuss the purpose of an education reflect on the impact that ethics can have on their learning goals. Each group then reports out a short summary followed by class discussion. At the end of the workshop, students are asked to voluntarily and anonymously complete a feedback form (n=39) on what they learned, what they liked about the workshop, and what could be improved. Students enjoyed the discussions and role-play and desired more time to read the codes of conduct. The feedback also showed that the workshop prompted students to question their ethical beliefs and behaviour. We encourage attendees to adapt this workshop for their own classrooms to proactively teach academic ethics.
Concurrent Session 4
Wednesday, June 1, 2:30-3:00 pm
Big Data, Analytics, and Data Visualization: A Continuing Education Case Study
Michael Kung University of TorontoLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom B
The ability to derive insight and support decision making from big data using analytic methods and data visualization techniques have been an important area of focus for many organizations. The University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies, collects massive amounts of data related to our learners, their experience with the school, enrolment, and financial indicators. This presentation outlines our experience in applying data analytics and data visualization techniques to assess past patterns and trends, highlight current operational and financial performance, and assist in identifying future opportunities and performance forecasts through predictive analytics.
Digging Up — A Five-Year Journey to Instructional Design Stability in a Postsecondary Distance Education Unit
Jordan Epp, Jeanette McKee, Robb Larmer, Cindy Klassen, Marilyn Voinorosky University of SaskatchewanLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom A
Based on an article to be published in an upcoming CJUCE edition, we would like to share a team presentation of our five-year process to establish and implement quality standards for a substantial portfolio of distance-delivered courses at the Centre for Continuing and Distance Education (now the Distance Education Unit), University of Saskatchewan. We will talk about an analysis of the issues and the solutions found that led to our current curriculum design standards and procedures, the implementation of learning technologies, and the identification of issues and solutions regarding copyright law. Lastly, the future prospects of these distance-delivered postsecondary courses are considered. Focusing on the issues and solutions for each category of challenges, this session describes the five-year journey of a small instructional design team that faced roadblocks and barriers common to many postsecondary continuing and distance education units.
Pioneer instructional systems designers, such as Edward Thorndike, encouraged the standardization of curriculum development and instruction, in part, to make the process of educating more efficient (Wiburg, 2009). In fact, many would argue that the main goal of instructional design is to make learning more efficient, more effective, and less difficult (Morrison, Ross, Kalman, & Kemp, 2013). To accomplish this, many instructional designers are called upon to be agents of change at a much broader level of an organization’s structure in order to effect change in the implementation of its mission (Schwier, Campbell, & Kenny, 2007). This was the case for our small instructional design team who were tasked with the redevelopment and ongoing maintenance of an interdisciplinary portfolio of over a thousand distance-delivered credit-level courses and five complete adult and continuing education certificate programs.
Flexible Weighting in Online Distance Education Courses
Moira Morrison, Susan Manitowabi, Bettina Brockerhoff-Macdonald Laurentian UniversityLocation: The Grand River B
Are current evaluation scheme practices really inclusive of differing teaching and learning styles and cultural sensitivities? Are students and faculty satisfied with the assignments they have now? These are the questions that prompted research by Laurentian University’s Centre for Continuing Education into fair and effective evaluation schemes. The study revealed that some students want many, smaller assignments to keep them engaged, while others want more substantial assignments that require them to immerse themselves in research. This led the Centre for Continuing Education to design an evaluation scheme that would provide students with some choice allowing for greater ownership and flexibility. The approach is called “Flexible Weighting.” This research falls under the learning effectiveness and sustainable innovation themes as the flexible weighting option responds to the learning needs of the students while building in an evaluative component that is innovative. Flexible weighting has the added value of being able to sustain students in the program by promoting their success through an option which builds on their strengths.
This session will report briefly on the initial research study which was undertaken in early 2015, outline the proposed response (Flexible Weighting), its implementation as a pilot project, and finally the follow-up research study looking at whether the pilot project had been successful. The initial research study asked both students who have completed online distance education courses and faculty members who have supervised online distance education courses to reflect on the evaluation scheme of their respective courses (formative and summative assessments) and to provide their thoughts and opinions on the following questions:
- was the amount of work submitted for grading appropriate for the course
- did the assessments fairly assess the skills and knowledge acquired by taking this course as per the learning outcomes of the course
- did the assessments allow you to demonstrate your learning in an effective way (e.g., using your learning preferences, appropriate forms of expression/communication, available technologies etc.)
- do you have any ideas for improvement for the assessment types
Based on the results of this study and the identified need for providing an element of choice and ownership in the evaluation schemes, a follow-up research study was undertaken in Fall 2015. The Centre for Continuing Education chose the ISWK 2006 EL 12 “Indigenous Social Welfare Issues” as the pilot for this study. Students were given the opportunity to choose a flexible weighting scheme in their course. At the end of the course, students were asked to respond to a survey asking them about their comfort levels with the flexible weighting schemes and were invited to participate in follow-up telephone interviews. It was hoped that this research would demonstrate a reduction in stress and an increase in comfort levels for students taking online courses, whilst not increasing the workload of the faculty member supervising the course.
The target audience for this session would be instructional designers and faculty teaching online.
Slow Reading Early Modern Texts and Innovations in eLearning: Exploring the Pedagogy of Transcription
Michael Driedger Brock UniversityLocation: The Grand River A
Until very recently, students’ ability to access early modern textual sources was typically limited to carefully edited and packaged textbook excerpts and the occasional edited “classic” texts. Such excerpts make the material accessible, but flatten the historical distance between readers and subjects. In the age of the internet, text is text, and students have difficulty seeing the foreign-ness of the past. Furthermore, there is an inherent bias to what existing texts are digitized and available for study (Milligan, 2013).
Getting students to read a wider range of material is a useful way to offer a richer context for understanding the past. Most early modern texts use fonts that modern OCR programs render as incoherent; many digital texts exist but their use in text analysis programs is limited.
For use in a second year fully online undergraduate history course, our trans-disciplinary team developed modules for text transcription and analysis. The modules offer opportunities for slow reading, where students have a better opportunity to think about that foreign-ness. The procedure encourages them to think about sources and where they come from, how scholars do research and what methodologies they employ (Historical Thinking, 2015). Combined with text mining software, such as Voyant Tools, students have an opportunity to use new digital methods in their research. This not only allows them to employ new historical methodologies, but also sets up new transferable skills in using OCR, text mining, and other digital tools whose basic principles can find uses far beyond the academy (DeLyser et al, 2013).
Using Social Artifacts to Create Community in Self-paced Online Courses
Ken Monroe Thompson Rivers UniversityLocation: The Laurel Creek Meeting Room
At Thompson Rivers University-Open Learning (TRU-OL) we are creating more courses that enable students to enrol at any time and complete the course at their own pace. However, as Instructional Designers, the shift towards independent, self-paced learning poses a dilemma. We know that education has a social component to it. The Community of Inquiry model has the Social Presence as one of its core components. Yet, how can a social component be designed for people who are completing their course independently?
In a Regional Geography of Canada course, we have created an exercise where students leave an artefact representing key features of their community pinned on a map of Canada. Other students can view the information contained in the pin by scrolling over it. As a result, they can learn about other communities across Canada and make some comparative assessments. The screenshots below show samples of the map and the content contained in a pin.
As more students enter the course, more pins are placed on the map, and more communities across Canada are represented. And the map exists outside the LMS it continues to grow over time. In this way the map becomes an archive of all the people who have taken the course and represents a social space for sharing information.
In creating this exercise, we also used a new tool that allows people to upload photos on to the map, without the need to use third party software that requires account creation and authentication. At TRU we have solved the problem of protecting student privacy by creating a set of tools referred to as SPLOT. These allow students to share information without the need to authenticate, which means there is no privacy concerns.
This SPLOT tool and others are freely available to use and in this way, demonstrating them to conference attendees is showcasing a tool that may help other ID’s enhance student sharing practices in courses.
This 30 minute session will appeal to Instructional Designers who are interested in creating social presence within independent self-paced courses as well as those who are looking for simple technologies that can enhance student sharing.
Concurrent Session 5
Wednesday, June 1, 3-4:00 pm
Google Expeditions — Bringing VR into the Classroom, and the Classroom into VR
Eugene Girard GoogleLocation: The Grand River A
If visiting Mars, trekking on the Great Wall of China or exploring what it’s like to work at a veterinarian’s office sounds like something your class would be interested in, then Google Expeditions’ Explorer Program might be perfect for you. Expeditions has enabled virtual reality “field trips” to more than 100,000 students, where teachers can select from a library of 100+ different destinations. First Lady Michelle Obama has promoted virtual tours of college campuses, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given students tours of Parliament Hill. Expeditions kits consist of 20 preloaded smartphones fitted into Google Cardboard (or Viewmaster VR sets), along with a tablet that the teacher can use to direct the class. Come learn how it works, see how it fits into education/curriculum, hear some success stories, and try expeditions for yourself.
Eugene Girard is an Engineering Manager with Google Waterloo’s Chrome Team, where he has contributed to the release of a number of Chromebooks including the Google’s Chromebook Pixel (Google’s first touch touch-enabled laptop) and more recently the ASUS Chromebook Flip (a chromebook that converts into a tablet).
Aligning your Marketing Plan with your Institution’s Academic Plan.
Marilou Cruz, Muthana Zouri, Cristina Blesa Ryerson UniversityLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom B
Ryerson University’s five-year academic plan Our Time to Lead (2014–2019) establishes the university’s vision to become Canada’s leading comprehensive innovation university. It builds upon Ryerson’s proud traditions and expands the university’s strengths for relevant programs and SRC activities, its engaging and diverse learning and teaching environment that integrates theory with practice, and strong relationships with external communities.
Attendees of this presentation will learn the value of Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education’s marketing unit’s integration and collaboration with the program areas in advancing the university’s academic plan. This includes developing segment-based marketing strategies, identifying target audiences, focusing our resources and efforts on a market-by-market basis, and identifying cost-efficient tactics to help move students through the different phases of the Enrollment Funnel (Awareness, Research, Consideration, Anxiety, and Commitment).
The presentation will address the importance of an effective marketing plan, touching on the following topics:
- Collaborative process — goals, responsibilities, communications
- Marketing intelligence — analytics, research, testing
- Integration of functional teams
- ROMI — Return on Marketing Investment
A Case Study of Inquiry-Based Learning and Online Course Design
Renata Kobe, Victoria Townsend University of Windsor & St. Clair CollegeLocation: The Laurel Creek Meeting Room
Inquiry-based learning is an experiential learning method grounded in the constructivism paradigm. It encourages learners to manifest their wonder in questions that drive them to gather, analyze, and evaluate evidence to create new understanding for themselves and with others. This progression of learning parallels the levels in Bloom’s revised taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001), supporting deep learning. Inquiry-based learning also moves students beyond the silos of knowledge that transmission reinforces and to, instead, sift through the interdisciplinary nature of life. These inquiry skills prepare students for lifelong learning (Hudspith & Jenkins, 2001) and follow a path that is congruent with the growing online ubiquity of “googling” — being a searcher and co-constructor of knowledge, rather than a consumer. Thus, inquiry-based learning is simultaneously challenging, useful, and familiar for students in online learning.
In this presentation, we will talk about how inquiry-based learning can be integrated with constructive alignment (Biggs, 1996) for online course design, and we will demonstrate this with results from a “Global Business Environment and Intercultural Aspects of Integrative Trade” online course that is part of a university professional certificate program. First, we will discuss how inquiry can be intentionally aligned with learning outcomes for the course and with university graduate attributes, as well as evaluated with Bloom’s revised taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001). Then we will discuss how inquiry can be used as a learning method online and embedded into activities that involve students navigating various online sources to gather and analyze information, and then using this information to answer and pose questions with classmates in discussion forums. These learning activities prepare students for authentic assessments that integrate inquiry into individual and group work, positioning students to further develop learning outcomes by triangulating between complex business situations, online resources, and business practice. Assessment examples and feedback rubrics will be discussed. In addition, we will discuss additional planning and support mechanisms that were critical to integrating inquiry-based learning with an online course, e.g., collaborating with the university business librarian who built a resource guide that enhanced student access to a broader scope of relevant scholarship. Finally, we will discuss how this course design is being utilized as a template to build consistency with the other certificate program courses so that students have an opportunity to further their inquiry-based learning across multiple courses and their professional practice. It is our goal to engage attendees in discussion throughout this presentation and to offer pathways for instructors to utilize inquiry-based learning in their online courses through the examples demonstrated in this course design.
Experiential Education in Online Spaces: Real Possibilities or Pipe Dream?
Lorraine Carter, Kathy Snow, Leslie Wardley McMaster University & Cape Breton UniversityLocation: The Grand River B
The benefits of online education — practical and pedagogical — have now been well documented in the literature. Among other benefits, they include accessibility and flexibility as well as the capacity to cultivate critical thinking and writing skills; learner independence; and skill in using technology and multimedia (Carter et al., 2014).
An area in which learning designers and instructors continue to struggle is the capacity of the online setting to foster authentic experiential learning. Notably, this challenge exists across several levels of post-secondary learning including the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as continuing education programs that target working professionals. Professional courses and programs are examples of learning settings where experiential knowledge and skill development are particularly important.
In this session, the presenters will present a brief review of the informing literature and present cases in which they have been challenged to embed experiential learning opportunities within online courses. The cases are drawn from the presenters’ disciplinary areas of teacher-, business-, and nursing education. In addition to sharing their experiences in these practice-oriented areas, the presenters will provide opportunities for participants to discuss their challenges and successes in the process of bringing experiential learning to learners studying online.
Reference: Carter, L. M., Salyers, V. Myers, S., Hipfner, C., Hoffart, C., MacLean, C., White, K., Matus, T., Forssman, V., & Barrett, P. (2014). Qualitative insights from a Canadian multi-institutional research study: In search of meaningful e-learning. Canadian Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 5(1).
Using Technology to Increase Social Presence in the Virtual and Physical Classroom
Dr. Christine Zaza, Jane Holbrook University of WaterlooLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom A
In online learning, social presence is recognized as important for improving students’ learning experience (Richardson & Swan, 2003). Social presence merits attention in the physical classroom as well, because mere physical presence does not automatically produce social presence. In large, crowded, undergraduate F2F classes, students can feel anonymous, passive, and isolated from one another and from their instructor (Gibbs & Jenkins, 1992). Icebreakers, course closing activities, and other interactive activities can be effective in increasing social presence in online as well as F2F classes. Although icebreakers are typically used on the first day of class (Eggleston & Smith, 2002), this might not be the best time to implement them (Henslee, Burges, & Buskist, 2006). The goal, type, and medium of the activity are also important to consider. After reviewing the literature on student preferences, participants will experience different types of activities that use technology to foster social presence throughout a course in the physical or the virtual classroom. Participants are invited to bring their own ideas and experiences to share with the group as well as their phone, tablet or laptop if possible.
Eggleston, T.J. & Smith, G.E. Building Community in the classroom through ice-breakers and parting ways. Society for the Teaching of Psychology. OTRP Online.
Gibbs, G., & Jenkins, A. (1992). Teaching large classes in higher education. How to maintain quality with reduced resources. Kogan Page Limited, London.
Henslee, A.M., Burges, D.R., & Buskist, W. (2006). Student preferences for first day of class activities. Faculty Forum, 33(3), 189-191.
Richardson, J.C., & Swan, K. (2003). Examining social presence in online courses in relation to students’ perceived learning and satisfaction. JALN, 7(1), 68-88.
Concurrent Session 6
Thursday, June 2, 10:45-11:45 AM
Colleagues, Community, Competitors: The Ontario Universities Council on eLearning as a collaborative force in a competitive environment
Nick Baker, Aldo Caputo, Giulia Forsythe, Laurie Harrison, Patrick Lyons, Richard Pinet, Gavan Watson OUCELLocation: The Laurel Creek Meeting Room
In the competitive landscape of Ontario’s university sector, it can be challenging to imagine, let alone facilitate, collaboration between institutions. The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) has recently signalled that they expect greater integration, collaboration, and cooperation across the sector, and they are actively investigating ways to make this happen. This includes using policy and funding levers that have not previously been applied, and signifies a significant change in the way in which higher education is managed in the Province.
One of the areas in which MTCU is trying to stimulate change is technology enabled and online learning, with the view that this will lead to better access for all Ontarians, more efficient delivery of learning opportunities, and potential cross-institutional collaborations. The Ontario Universities’ Council on eLearning (OUCEL) is a loose collective of individuals from across the university sector committed to a scholarly approach to eLearning that enhances student engagement and learning. The group has been highly active in advocating for and driving change within their institutions, and across the Province since 2007.
The members of OUCEL actively collaborate, discuss, debate, and work towards collective goals that have impact at the local and provincial levels. What makes this community unique is that despite technically being competitors, they share information, collectively problem-solve, strategize, and work towards improving outcomes for the whole sector. They have also actively resisted formalising a structure for the collective, which we argue is important as it allows for freedom to explore collaborations in a very flexible, open way. It also allows the group to focus their energies on areas where they can make change, without diverting resources of the very busy professionals involved to administrative structures that may be unnecessary to achieve the goals of the group. Further, the lack of formal hierarchy within the group means that all voices are equally heard and able to contribute.
This session explores the history of OUCEL and its contribution to the higher education landscape in Ontario. We discuss some of the unique elements of this community, how it has evolved, the activities we undertake, and advance some possible reasons why this community appears to have successfully navigated the challenging situation of being both competitors and collaborators. Understanding this is key to improving resilience, sustainability, and breaking down barriers to innovation in eLearning in universities.
Developing an Integrated Communications Strategy
Alison Adair, Allyson Eckel Western UniversityLocation: The Grand River A
A strong communications strategy will integrate all online, offline, traditional and new media communications tools to ensure that your organization provides its audience with maximum clarity, consistency and impact. Providing consistent, relevant messaging to your audience is an essential component of any marketing and communications strategy and will strengthen your brand identity, improve your campaign results and reduce marketing costs.
This session will provide insight, information and dialogue around how to develop and implement an integrated communications plan that communicates key messages from diverse portfolios to an even more diverse audience of learners while maintaining a consistent voice throughout.
You’ll leave ready to prepare your own integrated marketing editorial calendar, able to leverage content in order to engage a wider audience and increase student registration.
New Educational Paradigms: Technology Mediated Fusion of Research, Teaching and Learning
Michael Dabrowski Athabasca UniversityLocation: The Grand River B
We leveraged the experience and knowledge of instructional designers to create an interactive and engaging multimodal digital learning environment for the students. We listened to language acquisition and psycholinguistic experts to design a tool that conforms to current second language learning paradigms while integrating standards of the American Council on The Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). We challenged the technological capabilities of existing tools to provide an immersive and technologically sound learning platform. And lastly, we broke the course/textbook development mould by placing development tasks in the hands of the Canadian Hispanic community to leverage the breadth of talent in our population that willingly participates when given the opportunity. A crowd-sourced community of students, teachers, immigrants and foreign nationals worked together contributing to an educational resource that is free for all to use.
The presentation will discuss:
- Engaging instructional design that leverages the learning management system and ancillary technologies benefiting learning and community building in an asynchronous environment.
- The use of innovative learning strategies using technological platforms and tools becoming readily available on the Web, with emphasis on voice recognition as a pedagogical tool for language learning.
- How to engage and retain student, academic and community contributors in an extended development project by adding value above and beyond money to continued participation, essentially creating a project in which everyone wants to participate for altruistic reasons.
In working through these processes, changes and innovations, we are witness to the transformation of the learning management system from a core environment for teaching and learning to a launching pad for the combined intelligence of the Web backed by the omnipresence of the on-line community. The next generation learning environments will be the networked community engaging in the learning experience, contributing en masse to preparing the next generations to function in a hyper-interconnected world where the line between student and teacher will blur.
Maximizing Learning Experience in Professional Development Programs by Blending Pedagogy and Technology
Leonora Zefi, Naza Djafarova Ryerson UniversityLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom B
The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University offers over 450 online courses and 22 certificate programs delivered fully online. With this volume of courses and a growing body of diverse learners, it is critical to continue to develop the online teaching capacity of online instructors through robust professional development opportunities. In this session, we will share successful instructional design strategies and lessons learned in the process of developing and delivering Teaching Adult Learners Online (TALO), a professional development program for our online instructors.
Through interactive, media-rich online modules that blend pedagogy and technology, instructors experience online learning from both a student and an instructor’s perspective. Program facilitators model effective online teaching for instructors to follow and practice while being provided with individualized and peer-to-peer support. Online instructors engage in hands-on activities to effectively communicate and demonstrate online presence, select and integrate technology tools that facilitate learning and provide students with feedback using various mediums. They also develop and enhance their skills in selecting and applying effective pedagogical approaches, as well as integrating technological tools in online teaching, as a means to ultimately increase the quality of the student learning experience. TALO is anchored in research and expertise gained through 15 years of delivering distance and online education at The Chang School. Focusing on required online teaching competencies and drawing on the experience and feedback from our online instructors and learners as key stakeholders, TALO embodies professional development effectiveness that helps increase access and build capacity.
Who is Missing Out? Bridging Adult Learners into Innovative Post-Secondary Environments
Curtis Maloley Ryerson UniversityLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom A
While post-secondary institutions explore innovative educational delivery models, adult learners who lack technological literacy and have educational gaps can easily be left behind. This presentation will explore innovative approaches for bridging adult learners into post-secondary by filling their technological and educational skills gaps. The Spanning the Gaps-Access to Post-Secondary Education program developed specialized programming for learners transitioning into post-secondary that uses the content from a degree-credit course to teach skills that learners need to navigate post-secondary resources, familiarize themselves with learning management systems, and use innovative learning tools. The programming was developed over the 8 years that the program has been running and adapts as learner’s needs change.
Technology can inspire and engage adult learners and also pose new challenges. The need for innovation is particularly important for adult learners who are often pursuing education while balancing competing priorities. However, the rapid pace of innovation in education also means that time away from education can lead to a significant learning curve upon return. Many mature learners are unfamiliar with post-secondary resources. Innovation discourse often leaves out the marginalized adult learner who may have not have a computer, internet access, or software. Spanning the Gaps recognizes there are fundamental gaps in learning that we often take for granted in transitioning mature learners and asks: how can we have both technology in the classroom and successful independent students?
The University Success Strategies courses in the Bridges to Ryerson program provide the building blocks needed for students to transition more smoothly into post-secondary and thereby create space for both innovation and access. University Success Strategies gives students the tools to be more effective,resourceful and self-sufficient learners within a university setting. The course covers both academic readiness skills and university navigation skills, including technology.
Bridges to Ryerson is a part-time transitional program for students 21 and over who have the motivation, potential and stability required to be successful at post-secondary education, but who have foundational educational gaps and lack the formal admissions requirements. Our students may have had past negative educational experiences, not completed high school, or been away from education for several years. Students complete university-level Chang School courses in a supportive environment that addresses foundational educational skills required to be successful in post-secondary study.
The presentation will outline:
- the types of challenges faced by mature learners with nontraditional educational backgrounds in navigating postsecondary;
- a framework of support programming for mature student transitioning that has proven effective by examining the University Success Strategies curriculum; and
- unique program elements and instructional strategies for bridging the knowledge and technological skills gap for mature students.
Concurrent Session 7
Thursday, June 2, 11:45-12:15 AM
A Platform Studies Approach to Brightspace: Rhetoric, Economics, and User Experience Design
Rob Parker University of WaterlooLocation: The Laurel Creek Meeting Room
Drawing from my experience researching rhetoric, platform studies, and user experience design at the University of Waterloo Games Institute, this talk will analyze D2L’s decision to re-brand Brightspace from a Learning Management System (LMS) to an Integrated Learning Platform (ILP). Rather than treat this rebranding as a functional change in the LMS, I argue that this change reflects a broader trend in the strategies of start-ups that aligns with the platform economics of companies like Uber or Airbnb. These business models exist to “disrupt” existing market relations between customer and vendor.
What this approach does is allow us to more ably approach the apprehension some instructors and departments express towardonline learning, as well as the challenges of adapting classroom based learning to blended and online venues. If we allow that LMSes (and in particular D2L’s Brightspace) functions as an extension of a wider trend in platform economics, and that the key to increased user engagement is some implementation of user experience design practices, then understanding how LMSes re-define the student instructor relationship opens up a range of rhetorical approaches to online and blended course design that will ensure more sustainable and easier-to-develop courses.
My talk will examine these tensions and suggest a general set of approaches that will foster a more positive relationship between instructors and eLearning instructional designers, as well as between instructors and students in online or blended courses.
Growing the Business Technology Management (BTM) Program: Ensuring BTM Supply is Meeting Industry Design
Ben Akoh Information Technology Association of CanadaLocation: The Grand River B
As Canada’s national ICT business association, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) champions the development of a robust and sustainable digital economy in Canada. Our goal is to proactively address the long-term talent and skills requirements of Canadian businesses, government and organizations. We inspire young people to choose technology careers, help transform education to accelerate the flow of talented people from all backgrounds into technology careers, support diversity in the industry, and help shape public policy to support the growth of talent.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is decreasingly about traditional desk-bound programming and increasingly about new 21st century careers for professionals who display leadership and innovation. The profession is coming of age and the role of the ICT professional is changing rapidly as their influence spreads from technology departments to every facet of an organization’s operation. The traditional ICT department, as a support function dedicated to providing technical solutions to problems defined by the business, is disappearing. It is being replaced by multidisciplinary professionals who are transformation partners, spread throughout organizations to power new levels of productivity and competitiveness.
The Business Technology Management (BTM) program was introduced in 2009 at the undergraduate level in response to the feedback that new ICT graduates didn’t have the skills needed by businesses. The unique and innovate BTM model puts employers at the core of the degree. Employers define the learning outcomes and competency standards in line with the skills and abilities they need in their businesses now so graduating students have a greater chance of meeting these needs and gaining employment. Working together with academic institutions, industry and sector associations, ITAC Talent defined a set of learning outcomes and competency standards required by industry, drawing heavily on relevant international standards for similar programs. BTM equips graduates with the right technical and business skills to enter the workplace and prepare professionals who have the knowledge, skills and competencies to lead and support the effective, competitive use of information technologies. Since its development in 2009, BTM has impacted thousands of graduates and is currently offered at 19 post-secondary institutions across Canada. BTM applications are rising by an average of 24% per year.
Although BTM programs launched have increased enrolments, they lack the capacity to meet current and anticipated demand. In 2014, ITAC launched an expansion plan to broaden the program to include other educational levels such as executive continuing education levels.
The broad goals of the presentation are to: 1) present information on the newly created unique Business Technology Management Continuing Education (BTM-CE) program; 2) update the community about fresh research on the demand for ICT related occupations and skills and report on initiatives aimed at increasing awareness of ICT careers; 3) report on the BTM related activities and details covered by a $1.6 million government of Canada BTM expansion grant; and 4) explore various engagement opportunities with the continuing education academic community.
kultur360: A New Path for Cultural Studies
James Skidmore, Christina Kraenzle University of Waterloo & York UniversityLocation: The Grand River A
kultur360 is an attempt to provide just such a path for German Studies. An online, open access resource, kultur360 combines knowledge creation and dissemination; it is both a vehicle for communicating original research and a new educational resource for universities.
kultur360 began as an online course development project. We were frustrated by the lack of good teaching resources in contemporary German Studies, and decided to develop a course that could be shared by the two universities to address this shortcoming. But we soon realized that we needed to address three issues that went beyond the scope of our original idea.
- Students want to learn about societies as they are today. But the availability of original and authentic materials dealing with contemporary German society and culture is meagre.
- German studies programs in North America are small and do not have the diversity of staffing to develop strong materials on their own. At the same time, these programs do not wish to give up control of instruction; initiatives such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are viewed warily because they remove local instructors from the equation.
- Universities are recognizing the need to bring their research out of the ivory tower and into the public square. But scholars in the humanities lack obvious paths for participating in these forms of knowledge transfer.
We therefore developed kultur360 as a response to these issues. The new path we’re exploring relates especially to the third point above. Instead of creating a course that summarizes established learning, we have instead flipped the model around and put authentic, original content, and not its instrumentalization as course material, front and centre. kultur360 is a stand-alone site (www.kultur360.com) that provides original audio-visual and written content on current topics and issues that can be of interest to a broad and diverse audience. At the same time, kultur360 can also function as a modular coursepace: instructors may download and employ elements of the modules, entire modules, or the entire set of modules (known as clusters on the site) to construct a course in fully online or blended course environments in which they can provide localized support and feedback.
This presentation will explain the how kultur360 combines innovative research (quality scholarship aimed at a general audience) and innovative teaching (using original, authentic materials, not materials that have been “repackaged” as course content). On the pedagogical side our work has been guided by the concept of “messy learning” championed by Hudler and Block (students must come to terms with the ambiguity that attends most developments in cultural studies). The presentation will also look at the hurdles the project faces, most critically the issue of finding academics willing to contribute to this new form of knowledge dissemination.
Showcase: Resources developed by the Centre for e-Learning at the University of Ottawa that are freely accessible and/or licensed under creative commons
Jeanette Caron, Richard Pinet University of OttawaLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom B
We will do a quick ‘show case’ of resources developed by the Centre for e-Learning that are online, freely accessible, and/or licensed under Creative Commons. Developed with specific learning outcomes in mind, the resources were created by faculty, designed and produced by the Centre for e-Learning (TLSS), University of Ottawa.
Examples will highlight formative assessment strategies such as: accessing prior knowledge, metacognition, corrective feedback, self-reflection activities, practice quizzes, and elements of gaming for motivation. Our session will highlight: Nomenclature101.com, OrgChem101.com, Edit Your Own Work-Law, Wijit (Constitutional Law), Visez juste en français, FichesFlashOrg (Chemistry), and the Virtual Office for Mentoring and Coaching.
Social Learning Considerations for Online Course Design and Delivery: A Case Study
Tino Corsetti University of TorontoLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom A
The knowledge and skills we develop as individuals evolve in large part through our interaction with networks of other individuals, groups and organizations. These interactions result in knowledge-sharing, mentoring, peer-to-peer teaching, collaboration and co-creation. These types of activities are also fundamental to innovation and are highly sought-after competencies in today’s job market.
Social learning has always taken place but not always within a traditional learning experience designed around the bilateral transmission of information between an instructor and a learner. Outside of the classroom learners have always exchanged perspectives on the learning experience, how to adapt the learning to their own context and have asked questions of one another to deepen their understanding. Today, most learners possess devices that amplify and increase the speed of this type of social interaction and extend the learning experience beyond the classroom.
Understanding this phenomenon, how can educators design learning experiences that don’t just fuel external social interactions but actually foster a highly social community of learners? How are the content development, curation and presentation, and corresponding work with subject-matter experts, need to change to support a social learning context. What additional success measures might be used to evaluate the effectiveness of social learning experiences? This presentation will explore these questions and review some of the current literature on the topic of social learning and gamification.
Concurrent Session 8
Thursday, June 2, 2:30-3:30 PM
Exploring an Online Math Educator’s Tool Belt
Tonya Elliott, Stephen Tosh, Vince Sweeney, David Skoryk, Micheline Lang University of WaterlooLocation: The Grand River A
Words like bar, cross, root, integral, hat, union, or even carat mean something different to mathematicians than they do to most people. The language of mathematics contains many visual elements and each of these words is a homophone for a symbol within this language. Presenting math to students in a way that “looks right” is one of several challenges encountered when your medium is an electronic device rather than a black board. Fortunately, presenting math electronically has many advantages, too!
In this presentation, designers and developers from Waterloo’s Centre for Extended Learning will demonstrate some of the fully online math projects we’ve been building, quick stats about their usage and success, and details about the tools or resources we use in the process. The focus of our presentation will be a minimum of ten math-friendly tools that will be presented in a rapid-fire show and tell format. We’ll show you tools for text, images, videos, interactive content, interactive discussions, and administrative time savers. The cost of each tool and its technical complexity will also be shared.
Although the focus of this presentation is online math projects, face-to-face instructors or instructors from other STEM disciplines can take advantage of these tools, too. No matter what size your project is or how tech-savvy you are, you’ll leave our session with new tools for your (electronic) tool belt!
Learning Effectiveness: A Program Evaluation Framework for an Innovative Blended Nursing Degree Program
Bev Beattie, Steve Cairns Nipissing UniversityLocation: The Grand River B
With the increasing number of nursing programs incorporating online and blended learning, educators and administrators are actively accessing and using academic literature in curriculum design, course development, and teaching-learning strategies. What is scarce in the literature is evidence informed research on frameworks or models for systematic program evaluation that enable assessment of the effectiveness of this emerging trend in nursing education.
The practice of effective program evaluation ensures educational accountability involving students, stakeholders, academic institutions, the profession, and the associated accrediting body. Ongoing program evaluation is necessary in order to plan, revise, and sustain innovative approaches to nursing education. Similarly, continual program evaluation is necessary to overcome barriers associated with innovative programs such as online and blended learning programs.
This presentation will highlight a few program evaluation models that are relevant to educators, instructional designers, and administrators involved in higher education. In particular, the Stufflebeam’s CIPP Model will be described and explored as to why it was selected as the basis for a program evaluation plan involving a blended RPN to BScN nursing program (Horne & Sandmann, 2012; Schug, 2012; Sing, 2004; Suhayda & Miller, 2006).
Soft Skills Gap: What Continuing Education Can Do
Salman Kureishy, Keri Damen University of TorontoLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom B
A recent study1 conducted by Environics, and sponsored by Canadian Education and Research Institute (CERIC) and TD Bank concludes, among other things, that “a positive attitude and good communication skills” are at the top of the list of soft skills most valued by employers. The study further reports that “a majority of employers say it is difficult to find employees with the right soft skills”, e.g. “positive attitude” and “communication skills”. Do employers know exactly what these skills are? Do we, in continuing education (CE) understand these needs in terms of identifiable skills that can be taught? How well are these skills described, measured, taught, assessed?
What are the implications of these skill gaps for employers, and how can we, in CE respond? Will an outcomes based education be an effective model for training in soft skills? What may be some of the benefits and challenges of this approach? Do we need innovative approaches, technology and training formats (e.g., use of “avatars”, “simulation”, “role plays” etc. to develop these skills? Will these add to the cost of delivery?
The presentation raises a number of such important questions, proposes a strategy to address them, and offers some specific examples of how some of these questions are being addressed in curriculum developed at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.
1. Career Development in the Canadian Workplace: National Business Survey — Environics Research Group, January 2014.
UX and Online Course Design: A Case for Learner-centredness
Pia Zeni, Matt Justice University of WaterlooLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom A
In our zeal to create well-designed, outcomes-based, online courses, it’s possible to overlook those at the other end of the learning experience — our students. And in today’s high definition digital world those students have certain expectations regarding their online experiences. To create great online learning experiences that place learners at the centre of the experience, we must straddle the instructor’s pedagogical design vision with the requirements and expectations of our students. Join us to explore Morville’s UX Honeycomb as a framework for designing/developing robust, learner-centred online learning experiences, and discover how our design philosophy has evolved as a consequence.
Concurrent Session 9
Thursday, June 2, 3:30-4:00 PM
The Adaptation of Learning Management Systems for Gamification-Based Learning in Continuing Education
David Chandross, Robert Bajko, Deborah Fels, Raquel Meyer Baycrest & Ryerson UniversityLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom B
Gamification is the use of game mechanics in non-game systems such as education, business and health care (Kapp, 2012). Game based learning is a subset of gamification activities designed to use game elements to facilitate concept mapping, tacit knowledge acquisition, procedural learning in simulations and introduction of didactic content (Kaufman, 2010). Gamification, as the umbrella set of pedagogical tools in continuing education also fosters intrinsic motivation (Muntean, 2011). However, the penetration of gamification-based curricula in continuing education has been limited by its perceived high demand for sophisticated game management systems and graphical interfaces.
In the Baycrest Health Sciences internship program in geriatrics and in courses designed for undergraduate students at Ryerson University, we have been piloting gamified learning systems using existing learning management tools such as Blackboard and more recently, Brightspace D2L. In this presentation we will describe how to use common LMS tools such as forums, multimedia links and other instruments to implement sophisticated game systems. We will describe the Baycrest internship program and its use of an online blog to build a high level game system for learning gerontology for a mixed audience of medical, social work, nursing and other allied health science students. In this model we used a blend of experience point tracking for achieving learning goals throughout the program, alongside a “quest-based” system of case studies. Case studies which trained interns to recognize and respond to a variety of geriatric medical issues increased in difficulty as students progressed and lead to “boss fights”, which are very difficult case studies. Boss fights use a triple jump die roll mechanic which is a hybrid of the triple jump clinical problem solving exercise pioneered at McMaster Medical School with a common unplugged game mechanic.
At Ryerson University the Blackboard LMS was used to host serious games in both multimedia and social media in three class sections in the regular degree program. Similar to the Baycrest internship model, this team adapted the tools available in the LMS to facilitate a rich game play experience for students in an entirely gamified version of the course. In the social media courses, Social Media Celebrity formed the narrative for a course in which students developed their skills in the discipline to simulate the development of a corporate social media enterprise. In the multimedia course, students not only completed quests but also worked in teams, called guilds, to accomplish in-game goals. The work at Ryerson was part of a research teaching and learning grant to explore user satisfaction with game based learning in the undergraduate context.
In this presentation we will describe how to use LMS tools to gamify course content and our recent work on producing plug-ins for Brightspace D2L to track leaderboards, badges, in-game currency and student quest achievements. As gamification continues to develop in CE settings, the ability to leverage existing LMS tools to support this effort remains central to providing such pedagogic instruments for large cohorts of online and classroom-based learning.
Digital game-based language learning: Disintermediation in the extramural learning environment
Kyle Scholz University of WaterlooLocation: The Grand River A
Game-based learning initiatives are becoming an intriguing source of potential in higher education. Massive multiplayer online role-playing games like World of Warcraft are ideally suited to encourage and facilitate second language development (SLD) in the extramural setting (see Thorne, 2008; Peterson, 2012; Sykes & Reinhardt, 2013 for examples), but to what extent do the language learners’ actual trajectories of gameplay contribute to SLD? With the current propensity to focus research in digital game-based language learning on vernacular games, it is vital to focus on the extramural setting in which these games are designed to be played, while still being subject to rigorous and empirical analysis.
This presentation will examine the extramural gameplay and language learning trajectories of four university German language learners as they play World of Warcraft with other native German speakers. By analyzing their gameplay through retrodictive qualitative modeling (Dörnyei, 2014) — simply, starting from the end and looking backwards, rather than starting at the beginning and looking forwards – the change that each learner undergoes while playing the game over the course of four months will be explored in detail. The experiences that lead to actual language learning, and how these experiences can be encouraged and fostered in broader university contexts, will be discussed. While the focus of this study is in the realm of language learning, its findings can be likely adapted to numerous other disciplines where commercially-developed content can be appropriated for other learning goals and purposes.
The results of this study suggest that the extramural learning environment can support language learning, but it should be viewed ultimately as an accompaniment to the traditional classroom. Numerous factors influence the success of a language learner’s extramural gameplay experience, and fundamentally, disintermediation can occur and be successful, but learners must have the support of a community of like-minded individuals to support their learning initiatives in the extramural learning environment.
Information Literacy Skills on the Go: Mobile Learning Innovation
Timothy Ireland, Paul Doherty University of WaterlooLocation: The Grand River B
Authors: Timothy Ireland, Paul Doherty, Alice Schmidt Hanbidge, Nicole Sanderson, Tony Tin
An innovative Mobile Learning (M-Learning) pilot project was launched to enhance undergraduate university students learn essential information literacy skills through the use of mobile devices. Thirteen mobile information literacy M-Learning lessons were developed to demonstrate how to effectively locate, evaluate, and use information (http://beam.to/renmil). The Mobile Information Literacy Tool lessons included step-by-step videos, practical tips, links to online resources, and interactive exercises that assisted students in writing assignments and research papers. Upon completion an E-certificate was generated to signify completion of the lessons. Students were encouraged to use their smartphone and mobile devices to learn during short breaks or while in transit.
Collaborative efforts between academic faculty and the Library included the development and design of the mobile lessons, interactive exercises, and their application. Undergraduate students in twelve classes in psychology, social work, education, or social development studies were participants in a pilot study to determine the effectiveness of mobile technology to enhance students’ information literacy skills and learning experience. The research study included pre- and post-test measures and a questionnaire that generated quantitative and qualitative data. Data analysis indicated the degree of change in frequency of mobile device information literacy access and fluency in information literacy skills. Results indicated that information literacy skills increase relative to the use of the mobile technology information literacy M-Learning.
To further enhance the experience from a UX perspective, graduate students from the MDEI Agile Project Management class reviewed current modules and developed innovative and creative suggestions for enhancing usability. Some of these suggestions, as well as the process for including key stakeholders (the students) in project creation and evolution, are discussed.
The presentation highlights the nexus of mobile devices and information literacy lessons as an innovative pedagogy in higher education. The presentation also highlights the research project success and how to overcome barriers to support anytime, anywhere student learning.
Opening Your Classroom One Tiny Step at a Time
Kathy Snow Cape Breton UniversityLocation: Silver Lake Ballroom A
Both academic institutions and commercial enterprises such as Coursera have been increasingly interested in Open learning design. This interest has been fueled not only by changes in technology but also enrollment and demographic factors. Open Education continues to be one of the key buzz words in education at the moment, but often the process of \”opening\” can become daunting for faculty and instructional designers. Although it may not be feasible to offer a fully open course in all cases, it is possible to bring a little open to your traditionally \”closed\” course. In this report of practice three examples of small scale opening will be examined. In each case the technology used, the decisions around the learning experience design and student experience will be evaluated with suggestions implications for future practice discussed. This session will be of particular interest to those interested in exploring the open on a small scale.
Opioid Education Partnership: From Blueprint to Practice, Building Opioid Education for Physicians and Pharmacists
Felicia Pantazi, Rosemary Killeen University of WaterlooLocation: The Laurel Creek Meeting Room
The Opioid Education Partnership is a Health Canada-funded initiative that aims to develop a collaborative online education program for physicians, pharmacists, allied health care professionals, students and trainees. Its goal is to disseminate knowledge and promote the appropriate use of opioids (narcotic pain medications). Learners can improve their understanding of pain, opioid use and misuse, as well as collaborative strategies for working with other health care professionals involved in caring for patients with chronic pain.
Researchers from the School of Pharmacy, in collaboration with the Centre for Extended Learning at the University of Waterloo, are currently developing this modular educational program. In order to improve attention, retention and application, a variety of teaching methods (e.g., self-assessment quizzes, case -based problem solving and discussion) are used through various media (e.g., animation, simulation, podcasting, infographics) which aim to allow participants to apply the tools and strategies provided in this program in their daily practice. The modules provide opportunities to tailor the breadth of learning to the learner’s previous knowledge and experience through embedded refresher content.
The course is designed to encourage discussion and collaboration between healthcare professionals, provide practical solutions to prevent and manage opioid misuse, and identify key strategies for continuity of care to support appropriate opioid prescribing.
Developed by a team of pharmacists and physicians, the educational content addresses unique patient needs from different perspectives, including sex and gender, age, socio-economic class, geography, language and cultural background. Special attention is given to supporting rural, isolated and young practitioners. Students and trainees from both medicine and pharmacy will have the opportunity to pilot test the program elements. The modular structure of the program allows busy health care providers to review the content at their own pace. When complete, the program will be submitted for accreditation to the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP) and the Canadian College of Family Physicians (CCFP).