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Universities Should Update Their Course Code

Online higher education programs have seen a significant growth due to the rise of massive open online courses. An estimated 5.8 million students are enrolled in online courses, says the reports of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). The Conferences at New Prairie Press reports “The quality of faculty and instruction are critical to the success of any program, and even more so in an online based program, therefore, having an effective evaluation method that functions to both evaluate and mentor those who teach in an online setting is vital to the success of the program.” With the growth of more higher education programs, there does need to be even more faculty evaluation of the effectiveness of the instruction of that course.

OLC has maintained a Quality Scorecard Suite to establish benchmarking tools and standards to help schools evaluate the quality of their online courses. In December 2016, they announced the creation of three more scorecards to evaluation course design, instructional practice and digital courseware. OLC will continue to expand the Quality Scorecard Suite to support the efforts of educators in the pursuit of quality in the learning environment.

Online Learning Insights, says that surveys have found that many believe online courses are lesser quality than face-to-face courses. Online educators can and should handle their quality issues in the courses holistically. With OLC’s original scored, which focuses on administration of online programs, universities are able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their courses. Using evaluation tools regularly have helped online programs flourish in recent years, president of Baker College Online says. OLC has a greater amount of scorecards in their system that will help them identify the areas of improvement.

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Custom Learning from an App

Article Source: Campus Technology at https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/12/21/building-an-app-store-for-learning-tools.aspx?admgarea=News

 

Gone are the days where the teachers or professors stand in front of a large class and lecture for hours on end. Gone are pencils and pens and replaced with all new high tech tablets and small computers. While many look at how to improve the students’ learning by giving more and more new tech, the University of North Carolina (UNC) has a different approach. They want to focus at the core issue, how to teach.

Why make it a cookie cutter design to learning for faculty when students want and need custom learning? UNC developed a custom-made app store for their faculty members called “Learning Technology Commons”. The idea behind this is to help give and promote innovation via custom education. Matthew Rascoff, one of the creators of this idea states “the enterprise model of a single system adopted by a campus and imposed on educators is the wrong way to think about supporting it in scale.” AKA, what is in place now doesn’t work. He also states that technology moves at a fast past where everything that is current can become obsolete the next day. This is very true, look at any of the new smartphones or computers that came out last year and compare them to today. Two or more years ago, are considered old technology. His idea is to make education the same way. Have faculty use this app store to up vote ideas that have been tested and work in the classroom and bring in that custom education aspect, and to change and develop new ideas at the same time. An example of this could be one professor might need help explaining a difficult principle of chemistry and find someone who has a better way to explain it but also has pre-made learning tools that can help the students succeed.

To learn more about this please visit the main article on Campus Technology.

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How VR Can Change Your Education

Article Source: EdTech Magazine – http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2016/11/how-virtual-reality-could-change-way-students-experience-education

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Virtual Reality (VR) continues to grow in popularity as finances start to hinder students’ abilities to travel and practice medicine in real world applications. The world has seen a rise of educational software that help elders retain memory, pilots fly planes, and hikers to virtually climb the most dangerous mountains. The real reason why Virtual reality is a booming industry is because of its classroom applications and the way it allows them to learn. Through hands on experience, students can avoid the risk of destroying expensive equipment or wasting time traveling hundreds of miles away to study their subject.

One such example of VR technology so far through the anthropology major has allowed students to travel as far as China to inspect the Great Wall of China. Students in other fields would also be able to explore the great reefs or watch evidence bleaching up close. These are some minor applications of VR that give students the ability to travel without spending large amounts of money or watching delicate procedures.

VR’s sole purpose isn’t meant to travel but also to teach. You might be able to explore other cultures from the comfort of your own classroom but institutions hope to teach students critical thinking through these devices. Metacognition, for example, would allow students to grasp a better understanding of their research and really reflect on the work they have just done. Needless to say, VR technology has only just begun to have an impact on the educational world and the options for furthering education are becoming limitless. Students may even experience what it’s like

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6 Dimensions of Effective Online Video Presentation

Article Source: Campus Technology at https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/12/07/6-dimensions-for-more-effective-online-instructional-videos.aspx#

 

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Understanding how to make a good online video presentations can sometimes be daunting and even the best effort can sometimes fall short. To streamline this process, here are 6 quick tips to help you create better video presentations online from an article from CampusTechnology.com

1. Sound – The first thing you need for a successful online video presentation is a good script. Cut down on confusing words or sentences and stay away from words like “um” or “so”. The first take won’t always be perfect so try multiple recordings until you sound confident and professional.

2. Visuals – Videos that constantly zoom in and out can sometimes detract from the viewer’s experience especially when you’re trying to explain a concept. The best way to work around this issue is to put the concept on a full page while you start talking about it in your video.

3. Applications – Applications are a little more difficult due to the fact that you can’t teach someone everything they need to know about the program in one video. There are two approaches to teaching someone about a program. The first approach is to give a general overview of the program. The second approach is to go in depth on specific features without trying to teach them all at once.

4. Framing – The general outline of the video, also known as “framing”, consists of three steps:

  •  Tell them what you’re going to tell them
  • Tell them
  • Tell them what you told them

Viewers aren’t looking for a structured lecture like they would get at school. All they really want is the information as fast as they can get it so the more straightforward you make your video presentation, the better.

5. Personality – There’s a fine balance between appearing too introverted, and appearing too extroverted in your video. As the instructor, you need to find this middle ground that shows your passion for the subject, but allows you to recite the information in a professional manner. When searching for the sweet spot, take into account your who your audience is and the subject matter you are teaching.

6. Balance – The final dimension of video presentation is balance. Will the video you created meet the criteria for what you want to teach and is the material serious enough to be taught in the first place?

Creating an online presentation video can be difficult but if you follow these 6 dimensions, you will find yourself creating a great educational video. Just remember to balance each dimension in order to find the sweet spot because going to far in either direction can sometimes have the opposite result.

Universities Devote Studying to eSports

We all know how popular spectator sports are, such as baseball, football, and basketball. Something new is joining the league of the all spectator sports for the age of millennials, eSports. A survey from digital gaming industry website Newzoo found that 22 percent of males from 21 to 35 watch eSports, making competitive video gaming as popular as America’s national pastime. With many prestigious universities as Harvard launching eSports clubs, it’s clear that higher education is taking note of the popularity of video gaming. The University of Nevada has started involving itself in the world of gaming, but not to be a competitor.

During the summer, it was announced that the International Gaming Institute, which was a source of research and innovation in casino gaming, would be launching an eSports lab. The lab would have coursework geared toward exploring facets of eSports and produce presentations and business plans relevant to the casino industry. The director of the lab says that eSports was a natural fit for the institute and that many resort casinos have requested more insight into how competitive gaming might work for them. The students will work on designing competitive events and improving experience models, as well as developing and testing hypothetical business models for casinos. The director of research at the gaming institute, told gambling and casino industry news outlet Yogonet that the eSports lab will be housed within UNLV’s Konami Gaming Laboratory, which has a mock casino floor alongside classrooms. The institute will also work closely with the eSports club to host tournaments and game play regularly.

Devoting a study to competitive gaming is not a surprise given how popular it has become. Newzoo survey has found that live-streaming services, like Twitch, have more than 100 million unique viewers each month. With all the demand is was able to capitalize on, it was able to sell to amazon for $970 million in 2014. Universities, like Maryville University in St. Louis have seen the demand for video game competition and created club-level teams. University of California, Irvine launched an eSports initiative that grants 10 academic scholarships to students on the school’s competitive video gaming team.

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