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Symposium: Educational Innovations in Countries around the World

November 7, 2014 Leave a comment

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Seattle Pacific University, the School of Education and the Center for Global Curriculum Studies will host a three-day Symposium: Educational Innovations in Countries around the World, our 6th biennial edition of this conference held on the campus of SPU. The dates of the symposium are June 30-July 2, 2015. We expect participants from at least a dozen countries as well as from around the USA. The theme, as the title suggests, is on innovative educational methods, programs, curriculums, technologies, and assessment procedures. Educational innovations at any and all levels, including primary, secondary, and higher education as well as from agencies beyond the schools are included on the agenda. Proposals should be 500 words or less in length, and must be submitted no later than January 31, 2015. Topics can be addressed in the form of research findings, critical synthesis/analysis, or creative ideas, etc. We have made arrangements with the editors and publishers of the refereed journal, International Dialogues on Education: Past and Present, to publish conference papers in a thematic edition featuring the topic of educational innovations. Papers selected for inclusion will be published in both online and paper formats.

As has been the case in past symposiums, the two purposes of our gathering are 1) to share academic knowledge and insights and 2) to create a global community of scholars. To these ends full participation as presenter and “community” member are required. This means a commitment to the gathering for the full three days.

If you have questions or wish to know more about this opportunity, please contact Professor Arthur Ellis.

SPU Offers New Digital Learning Degree for Educators

September 5, 2014 Leave a comment

teacher student ipads planet

Blended learning. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Flipped Classrooms.
How are teachers keeping up with new trends in learning?

To help educators and those who support them become leaders in the ever-changing world of educational technology, Seattle Pacific University is now offering a graduate program in digital education leadership.

Students in the Digital Education Leadership MEd will learn about digital education research and best practices on topics such as blended learning, BYOD (bring your own device), and digital citizenship. Each term, students will partner with schools, universities, and other educational organizations to complete real-world projects. All courses are team-taught by university professors and expert practitioners who work full-time as K-12 and higher education professionals. The program will utilize open educational resources, so there are no textbook or software costs and students can apply what they learn at their own institutions.

“Teachers are expected to know how to use technology to teach,” says David Wicks, chair of the new program. “The Digital Education Leadership Program comes at a perfect time to help educators use technology to enhance teaching, learning, and professional productivity.”

The graduate level program is open to educators and support staff with an undergraduate degree who want to become digital education leaders at their institutions. Designed for working professionals, all courses in this program are online, with weekly real-time web conferences.

For more information about the program, visit the website or contact Ted Hiemstra, associate director of graduate admissions, at hiemstra@spu.edu or 206-378-5478.

Lessons Learned From a Faculty Learning Community on Blended Learning

April 16, 2014 1 comment

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.

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

November 24, 2013 2 comments

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)

Digital Learning Spaces: Lessons from the MSc in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh

March 5, 2013 2 comments

Digital Learning Spaces:

Lessons from the MSc in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh 

Jen Ross, University of Edinburgh

Monday, April 15

Noon – 1:30 PM

Seattle Pacific University Library Seminar Room

Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/digitalspaces

jen_jan12_med4_smEvery course design is philosophy and belief in action.  This is no less true – indeed it may be truer – in courses with a significant digital dimension.  Online courses can be designed to invite particular kinds of participation, to take particular sorts of approaches to knowledge.  But, like the physical classroom, they do more than embody the pedagogical values of the teacher – they are also greatly affected by the nature of the environments in which teaching and learning take place.  In this talk, Jen will reflect on the experiences of teachers and students on the wholly distance MSc in E-learning programme, exploring issues such as how being at but not in Edinburgh affects students and how the values and educational philosophies of teachers on the programme impact, and are impacted by, the learning spaces they use and create.

Jen is the programme director of the fully online MSc in Digital Education programme at the University of Edinburgh, co-author of the Manifesto for Teaching Online, and co-organiser of the Coursera MOOC “E-learning and Digital Cultures”.  Her teaching and research concerns digital education now and in the future, online identity, and how cultural and educational institutions are changing in the digital age.  The evolving meaning of space and place is one of the most interesting topics in digital and distance learning at the moment, and Jen’s visit to SPU will focus on these and other issues relating to a broader theme of active learning spaces.

The SCALE-UP Project: Student-Centered Active Learning Environments with Upside-down Pedagogies

January 21, 2013 Leave a comment

You are invited to attend a presentation by:

Robert J. Beichner, Ph.D., North Carolina State University

Thursday, January 31, 1:00 – 2:30 PM, Cremona 102, Seattle Pacific University

Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/scaleup

Beichner-photoHow do you promote active learning in a large classroom? Can students practice communication and teamwork skills in a large class? How do you boost the performance of underrepresented groups? Join us as we learn from Dr. Beichner, member of North Carolina State University’s Physics Education R & D Group, and his work on The Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies (SCALE-UP) Project. Materials developed by the project are now in use by more than 1/3 of all science, math, and engineering majors nationwide. Physics, chemistry, math, biology, engineering, business, nursing, and even literature classes are being taught this way at more than 150 institutions nationwide.  To learn more about Dr. Beichner and the SCALE-UP Project, visit http://go.ncsu.edu/beichner

CFP: Educational Innovations in Countries Around the World

January 5, 2013 Leave a comment

SPU-Campus-Signa

The Center for Global Curriculum Studies of Seattle Pacific University announces its Fifth Biennial Symposium: Educational Innovations in Countries around the World.  The Symposium will be held on the campus of Seattle Pacific University and on Whidbey Island, located near Seattle on the Puget Sound. The dates of the Symposium are 1-3 July, 2013. Interested individuals are invited to submit proposals in the form of an abstract of 100-200 words in any of the following categories:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • K-12 Education
  • Higher Education
  • Educational Policy
  • Educational Administration
  • Comparative Education
  • Global Education
  • Educational Technology
  • Distance Learning

Abstracts should be submitted electronically and are due no later than March 15, 2013.  Submissions should be sent to:

Arthur K. Ellis, Director
Center for Global Curriculum Studies
Seattle Pacific University
aellis@spu.edu

Seattle Pacific University is located on Queen Anne Hill in the City of Seattle, Washington.  Access to downtown with it world-famous Pike Place Market and other waterfront attractions is readily available through convenient bus service.  Participants are invited to stay either at dormitory accommodations on campus or at any of a number of nearby hotels. Conference registration is $350, which includes dormitory accommodation and most meals. A cultural program is planned which includes a day trip by ferry to Whidbey Island with its pioneer settlements and beautiful ocean beaches.

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