Monday, 2 February 2015

Free booklet on #Teaching with #Technology

The 35 page report (or booklet) on Teaching with Technology was just released by the Inside Higher Ed magazine and written with support from Blackboard (the LMS). This means that a certain LMS-focus can be felt, nevertheless, the report does highlight some ideas and EdTech initiatives in a transparent way. The report is free, and can be downloaded (after providing name, email, and job title to Inside Higher Ed) at this virtual locationAnd you may sign up here for a free webinar on Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. Eastern about the themes of the booklet.

The booklet starts off with some figures regarding educational change: 98% of college & university presidents think that change is needed in education a and 67% think the change needs to be disruptive (Chronicle of Higher Ed study from 2014). The definition of student success is broadening with a necessary focus on learner-­‐desired outcomes beyond our traditional institutional success measures of progress and completion.
A brief look, which topics are covered:

  • modularization: this Higher Ed option is increasingly being rolled out as an option for students to either build their own curriculum (or part of it). Now major universities are also interchanging topics, e.g. Yale will be streaming Harvard's course on computer science CS50 to its students in the fall 2015. (personal note: interesting adaptation of the Payed Educational Resources option, and it offers a view into Future modularization where different universities develop different modules that can be part of a full curriculum. This might also result in universities that focus on specific fields, rather than full options. A bit like the changes happening in certain countries with k12 options: a language school, a STEM-school, a business school...).
  • License to teach online: another oldie that is now getting formalized: demanding faculty to take a 'Digital Driver's License' course in order to be eligible to teach online. As an incentive a small stipend is given to the teachers who are willing to take the course (case of Saint Mary's college of California). 
  • Blended approach for liberal arts: nice option to embrace both face-to-face and online learning opportunities that allow faculty as well as students to keep the benefits of both and engage in meaningful actions in both worlds. 
  • Connecting to international classrooms: also an old option (learning experiences in other countries), which is now gaining interest due to technological solutions. By connecting classes with students from different countries (but who are able to all talk the same language in order to communicate), all students learn from the experiment (e.g. connecting college classrooms from Morocco, Pakistan, US). This type of learning has multiple names: COIL, online intercultural exchange, virtual exchange, globally networked learning, telecollaboration... but the course aim is always the same: to facilitate class discussions and do collaborative course assignments across national borders and time zones. The course exchanges can be synchronous or asynchronous, or involve a combination of both.
  • A MOOC-like master degree: the full option of online learning, which in all honesty has been tested and done by all Open Universities everywhere. This change from residential to online learning does have an effect on teacher and teaching assistants profiles and numbers. 
  • And of course a brief focus on the flipped classroom, as well as a focus on the success of Purdue's Signals - stoplights for student success

Brief report, with known topics that are explained in a short and sweat way, and in between a bit of Blackboard advertisements with links to other reports. 

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