What do you think?

I am enrolled in ELPA 6872, Technology Applications for Educational Leaders and one of our projects requires us to create a blog containing some questions we have about Educational Technology and accept comments that address those questions. Please review the questions and leave a thoughtful response for one or all of them.

Thank you for your participation and I look forward to reading your responses.

Q1. Should the assignments, material and assessments be the same in an online section and a ground-based section? Why or why not? Please leave a detailed post detailing your thoughts about whether online and ground based sections of the same course should have identical assignments and material. Does the delivery medium have any bearing on the material covered, and the method used to measure success?

Q2- Students in degree programs delivered entirely online often miss out on the social aspect of attending face-to-face courses, and may not have many opportunities to connect with their peers. Do you think the absence of social interaction has a negative effect on the student, and their ability to function in a professional environment?

Q3- How important is multi media content in a class delivered entirely online? Do you think recorded lectures are vital to student success in an online course? Do videos and interactive content enhance the student learning experience?

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11 thoughts on “What do you think?

  1. Dr. L.G. Gundersen says:

    Online and on ground courses do not need to have the same assessments and assignments, but the materials covered should be the same. The delivery medium of online, due to the lack of student and instructor (regular) interaction associated with on ground courses, requires more mental engagement of the student. The delivery method should have no bearing on the material covered, but the methods used to measure success (assessments and assignments) may differ.

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  2. Joel Faidley says:

    Good probing questions Renee.

    On question 1, the material and assignments would be the same. Assessments would have to be different in regard to testing (unless testing centers are used to authenticate). It wouldn’t be consistent to have in classroom testing and then have on-line students take a similar exam on their own. It would promote open book or someone would simply get a friend to help. This is especially true for the hard sciences’ exams. If the assessments can be based on D2L interaction, research and paper writing then on-line assessment would be the same as in classroom. The professor would be able to determine if the work is that of the student or someone else based on their day-to-day postings.

    On question 2 student interaction is a vital part of learning. Granted D2L discussion, blogs, Google + events and the like have bridged that gap in our tech class. But the power of the human element is misunderstood by many. When I’ve hired people in the past, their transcript and resume tells me if they have the brainpower to do the job. I am more interested in the interview to see if they have the human relations skills to be successful. A 3.0 GPA with a congenial problem solving capacity is more important than a 4.0 GPA without those human and reasoning skills. Anecdotal evidence points to the next generation of business leaders being short on the social and critical thinking skills. Comments from a middle school teacher in my blog supports that observation.

    The mix of e-notes and readings interspersed with video lectures works very well in on-line content. Absence of the video would be a big negative.

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  3. 1. The assignments should be the same. Now with technology there should be no reason why an online course cannot do the same as a ground base in-person course. For example, if there is a group assignment- the ground course can meet in person but the online course can meet over several video conferencing and recording options such as Skype, adobe connect, and google hangouts. However, the only aspect I think may be challenging is assessment. When you take an assessment during a ground based course you will not have the material for access as someone who is taking an exam online and at home may have. They both can be timed but individuals not in the class may have an advantage over those in the classroom.
    2. I think the social interaction is highly important. Especially for young traditional undergraduate students. I believe that college not only offers academic development but social development. This social development may not be as necessary for programs with nontraditional students or for graduate programs. However, we learn so much through human interaction and connection. As much as I love the advancement of technologies such as FaceTime, it isn’t the same as engaging with the individual in person.
    3. I believe multi-media is very important. This may be a personal preference. I am the type of learner that needs to see and hear something when I am learning a new concept or skill. It is very hard for me to learn by simply reading something. Having recorded lectures or video is a great way to hit other types of learners and enhance the experience.
    thanks for the questions!

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  4. Jessica Reece says:

    Multi media content is very important in online classes. Not all students can learn from reading the textbook and understanding everything they read. I feel that visual cues and recorded lectures are very important to help students understand what they are reading in the textbook. I feel that students learn better if they engage all of their senses.

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  5. Michael Novak says:

    Hello,
    In regards to question 1: I think content can change depending on the platform/setting. The goal of any class would be to accomplish the learning objectives and the instructor should do their best to arrange applicable content to achieve the goals. This could mean different exercises or approaches depending on the method of delivery.
    Question 2: I do think there are sociol interactions missed. I can see advanced degree online programs making up for this in a participants work experience that they bring with them. In this aspect it is not as detrimental. However, for a first time college student this may be a critical piece and I would not recommend a 100% platform for their first degree…
    Question 3: I do think there is a place for multi media content. It is nice to bring readings and research back to an audio visual experience to further drive the learning. This does not have to be in the form of a recorded lecture. Sometimes there are already resources out there that present the point better than a lecture…
    All the best,
    Mike

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  6. Mike Novak says:

    Hello,
    In regards to question 1: I think content can change depending on the platform/setting. The goal of any class would be to accomplish the learning objectives and the instructor should do their best to arrange applicable content to achieve the goals. This could mean different exercises or approaches depending on the method of delivery.
    Question 2: I do think there are sociol interactions missed. I can see advanced degree online programs making up for this in a participants work experience that they bring with them. In this aspect it is not as detrimental. However, for a first time college student this may be a critical piece and I would not recommend a 100% platform for their first degree…
    Question 3: I do think there is a place for multi media content. It is nice to bring readings and research back to an audio visual experience to further drive the learning. This does not have to be in the form of a recorded lecture. Sometimes there are already resources out there that present the point better than a lecture…
    All the best,
    Mike

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  7. Q1. When sections with the same Name and ID are taught in both online and ground-based formats I believe that making identical assignments and using identical materials should be required. The rational goes more to measuring delivery performance than student performance since determining the qualitative efficacy of either method depends largely on tracking the outcomes of readily identifiable groups separately.

    As to whether the material covered and success measurements are affected by delivery medium I say yes; but I don’t believe they are affected to any greater degree than other factors, such as class size, time of class, physical space, class makeup, and teacher preferences.

    Q2. While I believe some students benefit more from the social interactions experienced in the classroom setting than others, I don’t believe the amount of time students spend in face-to-face classroom settings is of significant consequence to the socialization needed to function in a professional environment.

    Q3. I believe that multimedia content is very important in the delivery of online classes so long as the methods used to measure the student’s understanding of the Subject is incorporated into the multimedia’s content. I would argue that the same level of importance also applies to any use of recorded lectures, interactive content, and videos.

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  8. Because course descriptions that outline content and skills covered in the course are identical whether the course is online or on-the-ground, the assignments, materials, and assessments must be the same; otherwise, the assessments will lack reliability. If performance-based and problem-solving assessments are given, that is, proficiency is measured by doing, then the higher cognitive orders are incorporated into the assessment giving it validity. It is indefensible to offer a course when the learning expectations are derived from the lower cognitive orders that use selected-response assessments. Rubrics are a form of assessment for performance-based and problem-solving course content because assessment then becomes both formative and summative, Assessment by rubric is not a by-product of instruction; it is an integral part of instruction that guides and teaches the student throughout the learning process. I have used performance-based and problem-solving assignments in both online, hybrid, and on-the-ground courses. For online and hybrid curricula, the interaction between instructor and student is more personalized and tutorial if the instructor is committed to “teaching.” The method of delivery is asynchronous and feedback is timely and individualized. F:F delivery cannot easily replicate this interaction. One solution to the question is to use eTextbooks, which Pearson will now publish to the exclusion of bound textbooks, and which are totally interactive regardless of which delivery mode is used.

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  9. This is not a reply. I overlooked Q2 and Q3. Q2. I disagree. If online and hybrid courses are designed to require discussions, blogs, and collaborative assignments, then students have ample opportunities to connect with their peers academically. Social interactivity is counterproductive to the achievement of curricular goals. Students have other recourses for social connectivity.
    Q.3.Multimedia IS the digitized world in which we live and work and is essential to all forms of communication. Recorded lectures can be helpful for the auditory learner. Recognizing that people process information through different pathways, as stipulated in Dr. Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, it is the responsibility of the professor-of-record to design courses to differentiate and to accommodate the ways in which students process and critically and creatively extend what they have learned to real-life situations.

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  10. Mary Wadley says:

    Question 1: I have to base all my comments on my own personal experience trying to create two online courses “from scratch” myself. My intention was to make the online assignments, assessments, homework and content the same for the ground sections and for the online section. My goal was to make them EQUIVALENT, if not IDENTICAL. The biggest difference is in the medium by which homework is submitted. Online students type their responses and leave them in a dropbox for me to grade manually in Elearn whereas the ground students may write their answers on lined index cards which are collected at the end of each class period to count for their daily participation. I realized, however, early on in the process of assessment that I could not just copy and paste the same identical questions (in a foreign language) for their personalized responses. Both classes have to show mastery of the same course objectives, telling time of day in Spanish, for example. I might ask the ground class to answer “At what time does your Spanish class begin?” The online students might have a similar question “At what time do you leave home?” Both groups can respond to questions such as “At what time do you meet weekly with your native-speaking coach in Guatemala?” I have to tailor the questions to assess the same objectives but I don’t necessarily use identical test questions to achieve the same outcomes. This is true with learning days of the week or discussion class schedules,or other content that may not apply to students who are taking the course online. Since I am teaching a language course in which authentic, contextual communication is the goal, I have had to adapt the online course while trying to preserve the integrity of the course. Some of the more kinesthetic activities that I use in the classroom (e.g charades to teach the present progressive tense, the Hokey Pokey song to teach body parts, and “line-ups” to teach ordinal numbers) just do not translate to an asynchronous platform like Elearn. However the amount of detailed,personalized feedback that I give each online student on each homework assignment that is submitted and graded and revised for mastery should compensate for any differences in methodology.

    Question 2: From my experience some of the students who have chosen to take my online courses actually did so to AVOID social interaction. One student was agoraphobic and rarely left her home for any social activities. She did agree to come for in-person testing. Several have indicated that they felt more comfortable taking online courses because of their lifestyle choices. Others have full-time jobs, children to raise, time constraints or barriers due to distance from the main campus as the primary reasons for taking an online section instead of a traditional ground course. Nonetheless, they are all required to meet for thirty minutes per week for 12-15 weeks with a native-speaking coach who is there to help them practice speaking a foreign language. I think we have done a good job of addressing the social and communicative aspect equally with the online and the traditional ground students. We provide the technology for any student who does not have a webcam and headset and a high-speed internet connection that enables our students to have face-to face, synchronous communication. If we had not taken steps to address this vital component in our program already, I would agree that the lack of social interaction in a language course or any online course could have a detrimental effect on the student later in his or her professional life.
    I have noticed that in their required DISCUSSION postings, the more gregarious students will reply to each other’s posts and take the initiative to form their own study groups for tests and support. There are features even in an online environment that can promote social interaction and enhance the social skills that employers are looking for in future “team” members.

    Question 3: I do not use recorded lectures of my ground classes. I do, however, use extensive multimedia content that is of high quality so that students can see and hear authentic communication in the target language. The textbook I have chosen is also highly interactive and their access codes allow students to watch tutorials, documentaries, dialogues that show the language in context. They also have audio flashcards that allow them to hear how native speakers would pronounce all the new vocabulary words. It is not their instructor (or Memorex) but it is professionally done and closely correlated with the textbook and the scope and sequence of the course. In that sense, I would agree that videos and interactive content do enhance the student learning experience. Having access to a highly interactive textbook however, is not inexpensive. That is why we use the same materials for up to 24 months and for four courses. The interactive e-book lets students watch the video tutorials and other interactive materials over and over as many times as it takes for them to master each objective. The online students have the same access to the multi-media materials I show to the ground classes.

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  11. Dr.Kenny E. Yarbrough says:

    Q1. Should the assignments, material and assessments be the same in an online section and a ground-based section? Why or why not? Please leave a detailed post detailing your thoughts about whether online and ground based sections of the same course should have identical assignments and material. Does the delivery medium have any bearing on the material covered, and the method used to measure success?

    I think it depends on the class as to if the assignments, material and assessments will be the same for an online class as opposed to on-ground classes. For example, for a drama class that is taught on ground verses on line, assessing the students ability to convey multiple emotions may prove problematic through a video as opposed to in person.

    Q2- Students in degree programs delivered entirely online often miss out on the social aspect of attending face-to-face courses, and may not have many opportunities to connect with their peers. Do you think the absence of social interaction has a negative effect on the student, and their ability to function in a professional environment?

    I certainly agree that the lost of socializing for peers and classmates is prevalent in the online environment. I do think it impacts students negatively because they aren’t able to build a sense of community and camaraderie as student who do not attend class online. There is a common sense of solidarity when you can see someone just like you who: Doesn’t understand the material, Has difficulty in a Lab Setting or Nervous in public speaking. There are times students can encourage each other because they know and see what each other is experiencing. That is difficult to prodeuce when your classmates only interact via a computer screen.

    Q3- How important is multi media content in a class delivered entirely online? Do you think recorded lectures are vital to student success in an online course? Do videos and interactive content enhance the student learning experience?

    I think multimedia content can liven up the course delivery and engage students in a different manner. I also think using audio, visual and kinesthetic learning and enhance the delivery method. Recorded lectures can prove helpful to students but I’m not entirely sold on if they are vital. I think it would be a good resource for students to refer back to in times of need. I believe both videos and interactive content enhance student learning. Depending on the students learning style, when instruction is delivered in multiple forms, it can only enhance learning as it aids in students ability to digest and learn information presented in an array of styles.

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