Archive for May, 2012

30 Online Multimedia Resources for PBL and Flipped Classrooms

By Michael Gorman

In this PBL Mania Post I explore Online Multimedia Resources. These fantastic mega-sites can provide lessons and formative assessment activities for PBL. The power of project based learning integrated with this type of online technology allows teachers to provide multimedia that can be used individually, in groups, or even at home. The multimedia may be a movie, sound clip, picture, simulation, reading, or game. In PBL, the multimedia may be an entry event, a tutorial, a basis for further discussion and inquiry, or a tool that measures student understanding. It could possibly even be an assignment or activity for students to investigate at home. Best of all, students can even be in control of the speed of delivery and even control their own remediation by repeating sessions. Multimedia can be used to flip the classroom, allowing students to participate and formulate their own inquiry through teacher facilitated posts in content delivery systems such as Edmodo or My Big Campus. Let’s take a look at some of these large mega resource sites.


Technology in the Classroom: Assets and Liabilities

By Stephen S. Davis

After reading the Faculty Focus Special Report “Social Media Usage Trends Among Higher Education Faculty” I was spurred to share a best practice regarding the use of technology in the classroom. In my work as the director of faculty development I’ve been observing the ubiquitous and pervasive infusion of technology in education over the past 20 years, but at a seemingly accelerated rate during the past five years with the advent of wireless networks, smart phones, tablets, and increasingly more powerful laptops. I’m sure this trend will not abate or slow, which begs the questions, what are we educators going to do about it?

I work in a college of osteopathic medicine and we run two curricula; a fairly traditional PBL model and a Case Based model. Both consist of small (7 or 8), intact (for each quarter) groups with one facilitator. The major difference between them is that the PBL model does not include traditional lectures and all student work is done around the cases while in the Case Based model students have a more traditional lecture/lab set up. Also, in PBL the cases are unfolded slowly and the students identify their own learning issues while in the Case Based model the instructors identify the case learning issues though authored questions and new cases are used each week. The facilitators in both models have very similar roles and come from all disciplines.

It is my contention that as educational and classroom leaders we have a responsibility to set clear expectations, which is Job One of all good leaders. I’d like to share one practical strategy we used to do just that in terms of communicating our expectations for using technology in the classroom.


Who Needs Leadership? Social Problems, Change, and Education Futures

By Marti Cleveland-Innes

We are all impacted by leadership; we all have the opportunity to take the lead; hence, we all need leadership and an understanding of this complex social phenomenon. Leadership speaks to a ubiquitous, identifiable set of human activities that support and assist, particularly in relation to change. Currently, changes in many things, including technology, “constitutes [sic] the most consequential set of changes in society since the late nineteenth century, when the nation went from a largely domestic, rural, agrarian mode of living to an industrial, international, and urban economy” (Keller, 2008, Preface xi). For education “this set of circumstances is going to force all academic enterprises to rethink their place and purpose not just in philosophical terms but in very pragmatic ways as well” (Beaudoin, 2003, p. 520). These philosophical and pragmatic changes also affect leadership practice and the role of leader.


Take Us to Your Leader: Thoughts on Leadership in Higher Education

From the Higher Education Network

As higher education changes what skills should university leaders have and what issues should they concentrate on? We round up the main points from our leadership live chat:

– Dr Janine Utell, chair and associate professor of English, Widener University, Pennsylvania
– Professor Craig Mahoney, chief executive, The Higher Education Academy
– William H Graves, senior vice-president, academic strategy, Ellucian, providers of education technology
– Dr Richard Hall, head of enhancing learning through technology, De Montfort University
– Paul Gentle, director of programmes, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE)
– Jonathan Ruddle, engagement manager, Maxxim Consulting
– Professor Dawn Freshwater, pro-vice-chancellor for staff and organisational effectiveness, University of Leeds


The Twitter Generation: Teaching Deferred Gratification to College Students

By Patty O’Grady

Consider this: The research on deferred gratification connects with the research in the emerging neurodevelopment science of education. Moreover, there is a strong correlation between deferred gratification defined as self-regulation and current and future academic, social, and emotional success. And finally, teaching deferred gratification may increase student retention. Happily, there are specific, unique, and research-based strategies that educators can deploy to explicitly teach deferred gratification or self-regulation to all college students.

Current college students are conditioned to expect instant gratification, whether in instant messages, instant admissions, speed dating, instant credit, or instant feedback from professors: How many pages do you want? Deferred gratification also referred to as impulse control, self-regulation, self-control, self-discipline, patience, and will power is the ability to delay reward. Goleman (1996) suggests that self-regulation is a key factor in emotional intelligence, predictive of both academic and personal success across multiple assessment variables. New neuroscience research suggests that deferred gratification is a brain process that activates the frontal cortex to manage the impulses and emotions of the amygdala. There is also emerging evidence that deferred gratification can be affected by direct experience and, as I’ve said, explicitly taught to young adults who may possess poor patience and planning abilities. (Davidson 2003).


Search for #1182

Facing Facts

By Paul Fain

The college “completion agenda” has helped community colleges face facts about where they fall short. But if the focus on completion gets too singular, two-year colleges run the risk of neglecting student access and even the quality of learning on their campuses. That was the message of a panel of community college leaders who spoke Monday at the annual meeting of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD).

“Everybody is in favor of completion. It’s a good thing,” said Sandy Shugart, president of Valencia College. He also said the completion agenda can be taken too far. The large community college in central Florida has gotten plenty of plaudits lately, thanks to winning the first Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. “Putting learning before completion has been good for us,” said Shugart.

A fixation on issuing more degrees and certificates runs the risk of inverting this philosophy, according to Shugart, and could encourage colleges to focus on completion before learning. He said a better approach is to stick to an ethos of “if students learn well, deeply and intentionally, more will complete.”


Four Tips for Helping Students Graduate on Time

From Academic Impressions

NPR’s Talk of the Nation this week interviewed a series of academic leaders and experts in academic advising to examine why many students find barriers to graduation within four years. At Academic Impressions, we decided to follow up with some practical advice for where institutions can see significant gains in helping students graduate earlier.

Of the following four tips, the first two are focused on empowering students to plan their progress toward the degree intentionally; the second two are focused on identifying and removing those barriers or outdated academic policies that typically slow progress toward the degree.

In gathering these tips, we spoke with Lucie Lapovsky, president of Lapovsky Consulting and past president of Mercy College; Dennis Pruitt, vice president for student affairs at the University of South Carolina; and Susan Ohrablo, a doctoral enrollment counselor with the Abraham S. Fischler School of Education at Nova Southeastern University, who previously served as the director of academic advising for the business school at NSU.


Hear the NPR Interview:

Toolkit for Veteran Friendly Institutions

From the American Council on Education

American Council on Education (ACE), this online resource is designed to help institutions of higher education build effective programs for veteran students and share information. It highlights a variety of best practices including veterans-specific orientation offerings, on-campus veterans service centers, prospective student outreach efforts, faculty training, and counseling and psychological services for veteran students. It also includes video clips, profiles of student veterans programs across the U.S., and a searchable database of tools and resources.

Many colleges and universities have taken significant steps toward providing supportive programs and services for returning veterans.  But what does it mean when a school is labeled “veteran friendly?”  After all, the term “veteran friendly” has no established criteria and can be used as a recruiting tactic with little accountability.


A Practitioner’s Dilemma: How can I calculate the value of communities of practice?

By Julia Storberg-Walker

On these pages of eLearn Magazine, many authors have written about the challenges of calculating the return on investment in technology and human capital development. For example, Dan Kossman suggested the phrase “return on value” as one way to calculate the added value of learning or training. Kossman wrote, “ROV broadens the analysis of ROI to include financial costs and hard returns as well as intangible benefits like having a scalable business, or increasing employee competence and customer satisfaction.” Another author, Patrick Lambe, argued the economics of eLearning was different from the economics of typical training; consequently, how one assesses the value of elearning will be different. Lambe suggested “…metrics such as ‘contingent valuation’ and ‘outcomes-based evaluation’ are increasingly used for measuring the impact of other intangible, knowledge-based interventions, such as public library services or knowledge-based ecological systems.” These authors, and others like them, wrestle with the difficulties of understanding how much input (in terms of dollars) produces how much output (in terms of value add to the organization). We all intuitively know that investing in certain employee development interventions generate positive returns of the organization, but proving the return can be difficult.


Beyond Competence: It’s the Journey to Mastery That Counts

By Marc J. Rosenberg

“Look around. Find your newest people. How do they learn the basics of their jobs? What do they need to be initially productive? Then watch how those approaches change as they get better at what they do.” For millennia, humans looked into the night sky and saw stars they believed were fixed in space. And, of course, the earth was the center of it all. Now we know that nothing is fixed. The stars move, the earth moves, and we move. It’s all relative, depending on where you stand and what’s around you (thanks, Albert Einstein).

We can apply this perspective to the notion of “competence.” We have tended to think of competence as a fixed point: either you are competent or you are not. With this thinking, Dr. Einstein was just a competent physicist, the Beatles were only a competent band, and Seal Team Six are just a bunch of competent sailors. And try telling Olympians that they are merely competent athletes. Are you thinking about going in for some medical tests? If they told you the doctor is “competent,” would you be concerned? What an uninteresting and stagnant world we would live in if everyone was just competent at what they do.

So the whole idea of competence seems incomplete. We develop dozens, if not hundreds of competencies, and we strive mightily for everyone in the organization to become competent in their work. But are we finished? The fact is that competence is not really the ultimate goal; it is simply one stop on a four-stop road to mastery. And if you are going to make decisions about learning programs and training strategies (including eLearning), it’s important to understand that capability and performance are moving targets. It’s all relative to where learners are, where they have been, and where they are going. So let’s drop the narrow focus on competence and competencies and instead look at a continuum of performance from novice to master.


%d bloggers like this: