UW Bothell Learning Technologies Blog Rotating Header Image

hybrid learning

How Design and Implementation of Distance Ed Courses Impact Learning

Students with Laptops in Classroom

In a recently published paper by the University of Minnesota, researchers looked at how different designs and implementations of distance education courses affected student learning and satisfaction in these courses. The study involved identifying three different types of interaction in these courses: Student-Student, Student-Teacher, and Student Contact.

Student-Student (SS) interaction consists of individual students or groups of students working together in both dynamic technologies such as video conferencing or static technologies such as discussion boards.

Student-Teacher (ST) interaction also uses many of the same technologies involved in SS interaction in distance learning. Face-to-face interaction is also observed under both SS and ST.

Student-Content (SC) interaction is defined as “reading informational texts, using study guides,watching videos, interacting with computer-based multimedia, using simulations, or usingcognitive support software (e.g. statistical software), searching for information, completing assignments, and working on projects”.

(more…)

Smart Classroom Strategies: Getting Faculty Involved

UWB ClassroomA recent article published by Campus Technology describes how higher ed institutions nationwide are upgrading to provide faculty with the latest technologies to use for teaching and learning. These technologies include hardware such as clickers, tablets, and video recording equipment along with software and web tools such as Google Apps. However, while many of these initiatives to bring the latest technology in to the classroom are ambitious and designed to enhance learning, what can occur instead is that the technology ends up sitting in a storage closet as faculty who are often willing to try new hardware and software are frustrated with not knowing how to use these tools effectively.

The article outlines five strategies to help faculty use technology tools effectively so that they don’t end up gathering dust:

  1. Create Peer Training Groups – “Instead of equipping classrooms with technology and expecting faculty members to use it, Shackelford said, the university trained a small group of “ambassadors” who help other professors get onboard with the new equipment, software, and applications. Facebook, for example, was introduced not only as a social networking platform for students but also as a communication tool for professors to use with one another and with their students. “
  2. Carve out time for Professional Development – New technology initiatives can be fast and furious as IT departments collaborate with campus academic divisions, network groups, and other entities to meet deployment deadlines. Faculty members can get swept up in the excitement and wind up with classrooms full of technology that they don’t know how to use.
  3. Align IT with academic instructional departments – “We can’t do what we want to do on the development side if we don’t have the IT support,” said Spataro, who often bounces ideas off the IT team.
  4. Create a link between technological innovation and pedagogical effectiveness. If professors know that the time they’re putting into professional development will ultimately help them teach better, then the odds that they will participate and be engaged will be that much higher.
  5. Finally, involve faculty members in the planning process. Getting professors to integrate smart classroom technologies into their lessons, lectures, assignments, and projects can be as simple as opening up the lines of communication early between those instructors and their IT and instructional technology departments.

Read more at Campus Technology: Tactics for the Smart Classroom: Getting Smarter About Faculty Involvement

Developing Effective Learning Goals for Hybrid and Face-to-Face Classes

Having good course learning goals are essential for not only developing effective hybrid classes but for teaching courses in any format whether face-to-face, hybrid and online.

Essentially, learning goals answer the question of what a student will have learned.

For students, learning goals help to illuminate what’s important in a course and make it easier to reflect on their learning at the end of a course. This learning roadmap is especially important for students who are taking a hybrid course since there is more out-of-classroom learning which can sometimes lead to miscommunication.

For faculty, learning goals can help structure a course and make it easier to determine what will be evaluated throughout the course. Course-level goals can also be used to create learning goals for modules or units within a course.

So what goes into creating a good learning goal?

(more…)

The MERLOT Pedagogy Portal

MERLOT, an organization widely known for its collection of open source, peer-reviewed learning materials now has another invaluable resource for higher education: The Pedagogy Portal.

The Pedagogy Portal was designed for instructors, or anyone interested in instructional design and development. It is similar to the main MERLOT site, but rather than material that can make up the content of a class, the material found here is designed to improve and broaden one’s teaching skills. Also like the main site, everything is open source and peer edited…in other words, high quality and free!

The Pedagogy Portal has been well-received, and was even featured last March on Duke University’s Center for Instructional Technology blog.

If you are an instructor with any questions about teaching, the Pedagogy Portal is a great resource for answers. Here are some of our favorite sections of the portal:

Capturing Lectures for Student Learning with Tegrity

Tegrity logoThe entire University of Washington system has adopted Tegrity as its lecture capture software.

Tegrity can record audio, video and your computer screen image (such as a PowerPoint presentation) and then create a high-quality, interactive video for students to review at a later time.  It allows instructors to record easily lectures in class as they are given or in their offices to be posted online as part of a hybrid or online class. Tegrity will be available to UW Bothell faculty starting Winter quarter.

Tegrity can be used to:

  • Record in-class lectures as you give them, including audio from a microphone, video from a webcam, the classroom projector image and a document camera image all at once (if desired), so that students can return to the lecture later to study and review the content.
  • Record lectures (with the same equipment listed above) in the instructor’s office to be posted online in the course Web site as part of a hybrid or online course

Although Tegrity is currently only available to the “instructors of record” in the UW Course Time Schedule, there are plans to open the system to the wider UW community, so that all staff, faculty and students can use it as a technology for formal and informal trainings and presentations. We will announce this on this blog when it become available in this way.

Look for more information on the Learning Technologies website in the weeks to come.