• Wrapping up another successful Roundtable!
  • NWACC IT Google Community
  • New Media Literacies — Learning in a Participatory Culture
  • Can using a tool like Google+ lead to the death of the LMS?

Lessons Learned From a Faculty Learning Community on Blended Learning

April 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

A faculty learning community (FLC) comprised of six professors representing different disciplines was formed in 2011 to study, develop, and teach blended learning courses. As part of this project, we sought to evaluate the efficacy of blended learning on faculty (efficiency, satisfaction) using interview questions designed by Garrison and Vaughan (2011) and students (access, learning effectiveness, satisfaction) through survey responses including the Community of Inquiry (CoI) survey (Swan, et al., 2008).

This study found evidence that student perceptions of the CoI may be useful in predicting differences in students’ blended learning experiences. The study also found that perceived differences in blended learning experiences varied by discipline. This difference may be a result of differences between students, such as their age, or differences between instructors. A second research outcome was that FLCs are a useful form of professional development when correctly implemented. For example, faculty benefit from participation in an FLC when they receive helpful advice on promising practices and encouragement when experiencing instructional or technical challenges. On the other hand, FLCs are less effective when there is a lack of dialogue between meetings or when a facilitator does not provide adequate preparation for face-to-face meetings.

During our presentation we will share both faculty and student findings from our study. We will engage our audience by asking them to share promising practices for blended learning classrooms and professional development for blended learning instructors.

Cox, M. D. (2004). Introduction to Faculty Learning Communities. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 5–23.

Garrison, D. R., & Vaughan, N. D. (2011). Blended Learning in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Swan, K., Richardson, J. C., Ice, P., Garrison, D. R., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Arbaugh, J. B. (2008). Validating a measurement tool of presence in online communities of inquiry. e-Mentor, 24(2), 1-12.

Blogging to improve student achievement

March 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

Workshop at the 2014 NCCE Conference in Seattle

Blogging portfolios or bPortfolios will be introduced, including how they can be used to improve student achievement. Participants will learn how to: implement bPortfolios, assess student reflections, scaffold students in reflective writing, particularly with regards to Common Core Standards, and implement learning analytics based on bPortfolio and student achievement data.

Wicks, D., Lumpe, A., Chen, D., Sallee, J. (2014, March). Blogging to improve student achievement. Workshop presented at the Northwest Council for Computer Education, Seattle, WA.

Ghost bloging platform

March 13, 2014 in NWACCo

There’s a new blog platform in town and its name is Ghost. Using a modern web framework, ghost is not only light weight and robust but fairly simple to get set up and running within a matter of hours. Step 1: Setup Amazon Web Services EC2 instance http://www.howtoinstallghost.com/how-to-setup-an-amazon-ec2-instance-to-host-ghost-for-free/ AWS Console: Create instance – download key [...]

Change is gonna do me good

January 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

First Monthly NWACC Mtg Dec. 6th

December 4, 2013 in Open Educational Resources

We are looking forward to the first of our monthly NWACCO meetings that lead up to our June workshop.  During this event we’ll continue to develop the Teaching Deck project discussed at the last Roundtable. We will meet on Friday, December 6, 3:00-4:00 pm Pacific Time using Google’s Hangout On Air, see event.Even if you can’t make the hangout event we encourage you to carve out a sliver of time this Friday and find some way to participate in our community. Think of it as NWACC day.

Synchronous and asynchronous video conferencing tools in an online-course:

November 25, 2013 in Online Learning

The maturation of free ubiquitous video conferencing tools provides an opportunity for faculty members to experiment with alternatives to conventional asynchronous discussion forums commonly used in online courses. However, there continues to be debate about whether synchronous video conferencing has a meaningful role to play in an online course environment. Although the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework’s influence in asynchronous discussion is well documented in the literature, it is less clear what role synchronous conferencing has in a Community of Inquiry (CoI). It is also unclear whether synchronous modes of inquiry provide worthwhile benefits for an online instructor. This study explores how the use of innovative video conferencing tools in an online course attends to the elements of the CoI.

In this mixed methods study, we observed weekly teacher and student inquiry by examining Google Hangout transcripts, Vialogues threaded discussions, and student reflective WordPress blog posts through the lens of CoI. The course used for this study was an online graduate course focused on the use of technology for teaching. We hypothesized that those students who participated in more synchronous conferencing sessions would perceive significantly higher levels of all three CoI elements and would engage in richer discourse supporting learning of the course content. We also analyzed student perceptions of the social, teaching, and cognitive presence through the CoI survey (Swan, 2008).

In order to examine the CoI related discourse, a corpus of text was utilized in this study which included Google Hangout transcripts, Vialogues threaded discussions, and student reflective WordPress blog posts. Text content analysis of this corpus represented a form of learning analytics. The text corpus was compiled and key themes were noted via qualitative constant-comparative analyses. The themes were analyzed using analytic induction to test hypotheses connecting discourse to CoI element. A form of text analytics was then applied to the text corpus in order to analyze the content of the student and teacher discourse.All text was compiled and analyzed using the Semantria (www.semantria.com) semantic linguistic program. Based on semantic algorithms from http://www.lexalytics.com/,All compiled text was analyzed for themes and sentiment. After compiling the linguistic components, statistical models were developed to compare discourse between synchronous and asynchronous environments and to predict the level of community of inquiry.

We used the Sloan Consortium’s Five Pillars to reflect on how the course’s interactive activities addressed quality. Learning effectiveness was demonstrated by increased opportunities for meaning making students had through discourse with each other and with the instructor. They were able to discuss courses readings in either a real-time Google Hangout or an asynchronous Vialogues threaded discussion. The use of freely available and ubiquitous tools makes it possible to scale the tools to multiple courses and programs. The tools provide access and flexibility for students who prefer face-to-face but need to take online courses because of work schedule or physical location. Faculty are satisfied to be able to provide options that address student discourse preferences. Finally, students report being satisfied with options to use synchronous conferencing for discussions which increases student voice.

Our presentation will share the results of our findings. Participants will learn how both synchronous and asynchronous video conferencing tools may be used for meaning making in an online course. We will engage the audience by web polling their preferences and promising practices pertaining to uses of synchronous technologies in primarily asynchronous online environments.

Synchronous and asynchronous video conferencing tools (Presentation PDF)

Canvas admins? The CSS hack that will make you a rockstar overnight

November 23, 2013 in NWACCo

First off, A big THANK YOU goes out our faculty member, Patty Grandos & John Gyory of University of Central Florida for bringing this to our attention.   Expanding the size of the box for adding files to modules The default file list size is only 75 pixels tall. By adding the following code to [...]

Wrapping up another successful Roundtable!

November 10, 2013 in Instructional Tech Roundtable, NWACCo Featured

Thanks to all who participated in this year’s NWACC Instructional Technology Roundtable. Hopefully everyone was able to take away something useful from the event. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to fill out the evaluation survey.

NWACC IT Google Community

November 7, 2013 in Instructional Tech Roundtable, NWACCo Featured

Join the new Google Community for NWACC Instructional Tech members.

Sign up for 3 Minute of Fame

October 28, 2013 in Instructional Tech Roundtable

This is your chance to share your work with the whole group at the 2013 Roundtable! It can be an innovative practice on your campus, a great new tool, or anything else you think the group should know about. The three-minute time limit will be strictly enforced.
To sign up:

  1. Login to nwacco.org – you may need to create an account first using your.edu email address
  2. Post a new topic to the forum of what you’d like to present at Thursdays sessions