Online learning vs eLearning vs Distance Learning?

We have multiple types of delivery formats available to us, however, many times we use words interchangeably and never think about what they really mean. This causes problems when talking to clients because what they envision as eLearning might be what you consider distance learning and all of a sudden your final product does not meet their needs. So its always best to define and describe during your proposal so that an operational definition can be established. In this post I will describe some of differences between all of these common terms so that you can more easily describe to clients what you are designing.

Online learning – Online learning is any type of learning that takes place online. However, to most people this refers to 100% asynchronous learning where there is no live meeting and the learners have 24/7 access to the content

eLearning – Self paced learning that is computer or mobile based. The module is completed without an instructor. A lot of people also refer to this as online learning and use the two words interchangeably.

Distance learning – Again, this is another term that people use interchangeably with online and elearning. However, distance learning means learning that takes place at a distance without an instructor. There is no technology requirement but it can exist. In fact, the first distance education courses were developed in the 1800s.

Virtual learning – Learning that takes place in a virtual environment, that is live, and uses video conference technology.

Face to face learning – learning that happens real time in a classroom.

As you can see, there are real differences between all of these but most clients wont know those differences so you need to be careful when discussing them to make sure that you and the client are on the same page.

Call For Papers – Journal of Training, Design, and Technology (JTDT)

Call for Papers

Journal of Training, Design, and Technology (JTDT) – http://tdtjournal.blogspot.com/

ISSN 2475-0921

Call for papers:

The Journal of Training, Design, and Technology (JTDT) is a new online journal seeking submissions.

JTDT is designed to bring together current practices and research. The journals focus is on the following:

Instructional Design
Instructional Technology
Research – manuscripts
Practice – case studies, lessons learned, etc
Instructional Models
Instructional Strategies
Technologies
Usability
Virtual Reality
Mobile Technology
Learning/Training
Multimedia
Games/simulations
Instructional Development
Analysis and Evaluation
Performance Improvement

Types of papers:

Research Manuscripts
Brief articles (on current practice or theory)
Book reviews
Technology reviews
Strategy reviews (Using a strategy in the workplace/classroom)
Case studies
Special Topic papers
Literature Reviews

All papers are blind peer reviewed.

Please see our submission guidelines and submit papers to tdtjournal@gmail.com

Deadline – There is no deadline as volumes will continuously be released. First volume will be published 3/1/2017 with more after that.

Learning as a dependent variable in experimental research

I am reading through a number of peer reviewed studies and noticing that there are pieces missing from each. So if you are conducting an experimental study where learning is a dependent variable you must do the the following (note these are the things I keep seeing that are missing):

  1. Pre test. This is to ensure that differences found in your study are due to the condition and not prior knowledge. Be aware that if you give the same pre test as post test, its a violation of validity but it can still be done (its better than no pre test). Thus I recommend giving a different pre test.
  2. Content Validity. Is the content you are using correct? And is the assessment measuring the objectives from the content? How do you know this? Explain this. Has an expert reviewed it? Have you piloted it?
  3. What is the reliability of the test? Please provide us this information.
  4. Provide the M, SD, and Effect.

I know all of this seems like common sense but I am seeing top tier journals publishing articles that do not contain this basic information.

Call for Proposals Now Open: Global Learning Technology Conference

Call for Proposals Now Open:  Global Learning Technology Conference

We invite you to submit a proposal to present at the annual Global Learning Technology Conference to be held October 10-11 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

This year’s conference theme, Journey from Learning to Life focuses on Instructional Design from K-12/higher education/business and industry.

Proposals must be submitted by April 30, 2013

The Innovative Instructional Strategies category, instructors/teachers from higher education or K-12 will share successful cutting edge methods. These sessions may range from strategies for individual domains or interdisciplinary strategies for multiple domains.  The sessions will be identified as K-12 or higher education focused.

 

The Community Partnership category is for both business and any level educators.  These sessions will be for both business partnerships and educators to learn how educators are preparing students and skills businesses require for gainful employment.

 

The Training & Professional Development category will be for the community business members to share training and professional development strategies that are successful in obtaining and keeping employee’s knowledge and skills current while maximizing transfer of knowledge and minimizing cost.

 

Topics for the above categories may include:

·         Emerging technologies

·         Mobile learning

·         Professional learning

·         Team-based learning

·         Design thinking

·         Assistive technology

·         Social media

·         Virtual learning environment

·         Distance education/e-learning

·         Applied learning

·         Assessment and evaluation

·         Digital Content

 

To submit a proposal or for additional information on the conference, visit our website at http://www.uncw.edu/ed/gltc or email gltc@uncw.edu

Call for proposals: Global Learning Technology Conference (GLTC) now open

Submit Here

GLTC advances awareness of technology for learning and connects educators, technology coordinators, administrators, instructional designers, developers, researchers and scientists who use and study technology for learning. Conference presentations and exhibits will focus on technological innovations and their impact on learning and transforming education and training.

Sessions choices are a hands-on-workshop (90 minutes) or a concurrent session (45 minutes).   Keep the proposal length to a minimum of 250 words.  You will also be asked to supply a statement of what the audience will walk about from your session knowing.   

Submit a proposal on any of the following categories:

The Innovative Instructional Strategies category, instructors/teachers from higher education or k-12 will share and learn methods that are cutting-edge and successful according to research. These sessions may range from strategies for individual domains or interdisciplinary strategies for multiple domains.  The sessions will be identified as k-12 or higher education focused.

The Community Partnership category is for both business and any level educators.  These sessions will be for both business partnerships as well as educators to learn how educators are preparing students as well as the skills businesses require gainful employment.

The Training & Professional Development category will be for the community business members to share training and professional development strategies that are successful in obtaining and keeping employee’s knowledge and skills current while maximizing transfer of knowledge and minimizing cost.

Topics for the above categories may include:

  • Emerging technologies
  • Mobile learning
  • Professional learning
  • Team-based learning
  • Design thinking
  • Assistive technology
  • Social media
  • Virtual learning environment
  • Distance education/e-learning
  • Applied learning
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Digital Content

Submit a proposal for one of the following types of session

  • Concurrent sessions where presenters speak on their work, research or a subject relevant to the conference theme. There will be time set aside for discussion and questions
  • Workshops where participants are provided an opportunity for hands-on exploration. We encourage proposals where workshops are designed for participants to work around a tool, platform, or concept. Workshops are scheduled should be highly participatory.

We encourage interactive presentations and ask that you describe how your session addresses the theme of the conference in up to 200 words.

20 Reasons you should read more

Here is the list, click on the article for descriptions

Enhances the senses
Enables lifelong learning
Allows for better skill retention
Improves creativity
Better verbal abilities
Increases one’s stores of knowledge
Higher test scores
Reduced stress levels
Improves critical thinking
Staves off dementia
Dementia settles in at a slower rate
Better reasoning
Confidence-building
More white matter
Increases brain flexibility
Improved memory
Builds relationships between parents and children
Better listening skills
An easier time concentrating
Alleviates mental health disorders

Are digital e-books and tablets a cheaper option than standard textbooks?

This is a question I have been pondering: Has a cost benefit analysis been done on this? Here is what I have found in my limited research on this topic..if anyone has more research please let me know and keep in mind I am focusing on cost, not learning here. Apparently it might cost as much or more to go digital. There might also be accessibility issues. However, there are trends changing this that could make it significantly cheaper. So it seems that the answer to my question, what is the cost benefit? Well I guess it can go either way but if its more expensive now, it will probably be significantly cheaper in the future. Here is the section from an article that discusses this (http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERB1002.pdf). If anyone has any other research about this cost please post as I am interested in this question:

“Many believe that digital textbooks are the solution to textbook affordability and accessibility on college campuses. Research by the Student Public Interest Research Groups (Student PIRGs) suggests that many digital textbooks do not currently provide lower-cost alternatives to traditional print books when total cost of ownership is calculated.19 Digital editions can be as costly and sometimes more costly to produce than traditional print editions, particularly as the content moves toward more interactive or “born digital” editions. As digital editions become more interactive, the learning value might increase, but accessibility to individuals with various disabilities can be affected. Accessibility issues can create legal and educational challenges for institutions.20 For many institutions, there is a financial return that comes from course materials sales. That revenue most often goes to financial aid and tuition sustainability, student activities, or capital projects. The loss of revenue in a time of shrinking budgets, particularly revenue to support financial aid, could result in improved textbook affordability at the cost of overall educational affordability.

There are interesting opportunities on the horizon to help reduce textbook costs with digital solutions. Several institutions have found print-on-demand to be an effective way to improve affordability. Some of the open access textbook initiatives also show great promise for improving affordability, and this is an area getting much attention at state and federal levels, as well as among private investors. Most students still prefer print, however, and will often choose to pay for a print edition rather than take a digital version for free. While we expect this trend to change, universities could combine these two areas of opportunity, adding value for students while reducing textbook costs and maintaining campus financial returns.”

Learning styles: Good or Bad? Bad

Before anyone gets all worked about learning styles because they love them, remember, I love to pay devils advocate and question every single thing:) And I like to see hard quantitative data from solid studies that show an improvement in achievement or I get skeptical. I wrote a post on learning styles a while ago about how I felt they really do not make much sense from a teaching or curriculum development perspective as there are much more important things to consider. That post can be read here. I feel this way because they do not make sense when I consider other theories that do have tons and tons of experimental data to back them up. So I do question the importance of learning styles in curriculum design.

Anyway, I was discussing learning styles with my students this week and many of them seem surprised that I am not ‘all about’ learning styles and in fact do not find them very useful in my instruction. So I thought I would provide research that helps back up my point. I will be posting some peer reviewed research, sharing some opinions, and showing some websites that have all come to the same conclusions. Now before I do this, I believe learning preferences are fine and if they help with motivation for a particular kid or group, thats awesome. I also believe that motivation from that preference could improve learner achievement. Having said that, I recommend teachers teach to all learning styles and avoid focusing on just one of them. Instead I recommend that teachers focus on the way people learn through multiple representations (please see my blog post above to hear about this). Also, one thing all of these article discuss is that there is a lot of money in learning styles. The tests make money. So I wonder if that has a part in their popularity? Well look at the research and make your own conclusions. I will admit that I am only posting contradictory research here although the first meta analysis is not intended to be contradictory, it just happens that is what they found.

Here is one of the latest works that analyzed the 13 most popular learning style inventories:

Coffield, F, Moseley, D, Hall, E & Ecclestone, K 2004, Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning: a systematic and critical review, LSRC reference, Learning & Skills Research Centre, London.

The part of this study that I found most interesting in addition to their conclusion that there is not clear research that learning style improve achievement was this table of learning style tests:

Thats pretty scary. How could you create a test without these types of validity evidences? I may be using these tests as an example of what not to do in my assessment class this summer:)

Here is a just a few other studies:

This study found that learners had a learning preference but that the preference did not affect achievement

Here is a blog post from Cathy Moore who is reviewing learning styles. Specifically she is examining:

Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., and Bjork, R. (2008). Learning styles: Concepts and evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(3):105-119.

Who found that:

Studies are weak: “Although the literature on learning styles is enormous, very few studies have even used an experimental methodology capable of testing the validity of learning styles applied to education. Moreover, of those that did use an appropriate method, several found results that flatly contradict the popular meshing hypothesis.” “Meshing” refers to changing your teaching style to match a learning style. (p. 105)
Don’t spend time on something that isn’t proven: “We conclude therefore, that at present, there is no adequate evidence base to justify incorporating learning-styles assessments into general educational practice. Thus, limited education resources would better be devoted to adopting other educational practices that have a strong evidence base.” (p. 105)

Here is an article from the Chronicle about learning styles. The main point I took from this article is Kolb’s analysis. Kolb is probably the most well known learning styles theorist: “…Mr. Kolb also says that the paper’s bottom line is probably correct: There is no strong evidence that teachers should tailor their instruction to their students’ particular learning styles. (Mr. Kolb has argued for many years that college students are better off if they choose a major that fits their learning style. But his advice to teachers is that they should lead their classes through a full “learning cycle,” without regard to their students’ particular styles.)”

Here is another article from change magazine

And finally I leave you with a video from a cognitive psychologist arguing that learning styles do not exist. And before you see his video I suggest you look at his bio/cv. He is a professor at UVA and here is his bio:

“Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. Until about 2000, his research focused solely on the brain basis of learning and memory. Today, all of his research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-12 education. He writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educator magazine, and is an Associate Editor of Mind, Brain, and Education. He is also the author of Why Don’t Students Like School? (Jossey-Bass) and When Can You Trust the Experts? (Jossey-Bass). His writing on education has been translated into ten languages.” There is more info about him at this website here