UW Bothell Learning Technologies Blog Rotating Header Image

Digital Education

Behind the Hype: A New Perspective on ePortfolios

In an article written by Carl Straumsheim for Inside Higher Ed, the E-Portfolio Forum, taking place at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), addressed the hype and excitement surrounding ePortfolios. As a way to understand student outcomes and provide a holistic analysis of student performance in a course, ePortfolios have recently garnered a negative reputation due to instructors ineffectively and passively using ePortfolios in their courses. One pattern was apparent for ePortfolios:

Investing in the tool for the sake of keeping up with the trend is a recipe for failure.

Read More!

MOOCs: Been There, Done That

Thomas M. Rollins, founder of The Teaching Company, has recently written an article on the Chronicle for Higher Education discussing how the MOOC model has been done before.

Rollins points out that he isn’t referring to mail correspondence, radio lectures, or “educational television. Instead he refers to the period from 1998 to 2006 when a number of prestigious universities attempted to get into the online education market, with significant financial backing; all of which ended unsuccessfully. Rollins comments on this stating:

“Über-competent people with big-dog financial backing could not make it work. And back then we had computers, the Internet, and online video, too.”

Now we have MOOCs, with hundreds of thousands of people signing up for them. But anything free and of value will have a huge number of consumers.

Read More!

Summary of NMC’s Horizon Report 2014

The New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) recently released the eleventh edition of their Horizon Report for 2014.

In this issue, the Horizon Report outlines three major topics:

  1. Key Trends Accelerating Higher Education Technology Adoption
    • This section outlines three subtopics: Fast Trends, Mid-Range Trends, and Long-Trends in driving changes. Each of these subtopics elaborate on how certain trends are pushing for change in higher education and how many years it will take for each of these trends to be accepted.
    • These time-frames include one to two years for fast trends, three to five years for mid-range, and five or more years for long-range.
    • Some of the changes include “Growing Ubiquity of Social Media”, “Rise of Data-Driven Learning and Assessment”, and “Agile Approaches to Change”.

    Read More!

Mobile Learning Practices in Higher Education

A recent study published on Educause takes a look into the mobile learning practices of students in higher education.

The study notes that mobile device usage has increased significantly among college students, and that they favor small and lightweight devices such as smartphones and tablets. However 85% of students still consider a laptop to be the most important device for academic success.

As mobile device use expands on campus, the study looks to understand how the students are using their devices. Students were given a survey to determine device prevalence and if they were being used for academic purposes. The study found that 91% of student owned a smartphone while only 58% of those students used them for academic purposes. Tablet ownership was only 37% of those questioned, though 82% of owners used them for school.

Read More!

What Tech Experts Expect in 2014

2013 was a year where the intersection of higher education and technology generated much publicity and heated debate among education professionals, journalists, instructors, and many others. MOOCs, data analytics, fully online degrees, and other topics shared the spotlight in many higher education and technology publications. Now that we have entered 2014, experts share their insights on what is to be expected in the new year.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently spoke with five education-technology experts about what they expect from 2014. Here is what they had to say:

Read More!