What College Will Be Like in 2023

An article about the future of education that I can somewhat agree with. This is one point made that I think is dead on:

“In the future, tuition will drop dramatically. No, just kidding.

The expansion of online delivery has led some to believe that universities will be able to scale up their classes and reduce their costs per student. While this will happen in a few cases—Georgia Tech is now offering an online computer science master’s for $6,600—it won’t transform the university cost structure. That’s because so many of the added costs are the result of the expansion of university administrations and other nonacademic functions, from career counseling to student activities.

Technology will help increase the class size, says Anthony P. Carnevale, the director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, “but that’s pocket change in the whole scheme of things.”

read the entire article here

Global Learning Technology Conference in Wilmington, NC, OCTOBER 10-11, 2013

Faculty, administrators, e-learning and instructional design specialists, LMS system administrators – you may be interested!

Global Learning Technology Conference in Wilmington, NC, OCTOBER 10-11, 2013

This conference located at Hilton Wilmington Riverside Hotel will provide an opportunity for those working or teaching in the Instructional Design and Technology field to learn new tools, strategies, and network with one another.

GLTC will consist of half-day workshops. These hands-on presentations are in lab settings and explore various technologies for teaching and learning. The conference keynote and presentations offer those interested in improving the quality of education the opportunity to gain information and exchange ideas on the applications of learning technologies for education and training.

GLTC 2013 themes

· Innovative Instructional Strategies

· Community Partnerships

· Training & Professional Development

Visit our website for more information http://uncw.edu/ed/gltc/ or email us at e-learning@uncw.edu

MOOCs: Why I am confused

Why am I confused about MOOCs? I am confused because we have had online learning since the mid 1990s. We have conducted a million research studies on them, we have tried them, tested them, all colleges have them, etc. But all of a sudden we change their name to MOOCs? What changed? I honestly cannot figure it out. Maybe the way universities would accept credit could change but nothing about learning in the course has. For instance, I was reading this article sent to me by a colleague yesterday and saw something really interesting in the article “Tennessee will run two kinds of courses — traditional and online — side-by-side, and the results will be compared.” I thought wow – didnt we do this 1000 times in 1995? Dont we have a book entitled the no significant difference phenomenon? Havent we tested everything in online courses from comparing them for achievement, looking at social presence, class numbers, workload, time to teach, etc? SO WHY THEN ARE WE REPEATING THESE EXACT SAME EXPERIMENTS? Its not like we have 1 experiment, we literally have 1000s to look through which answers all of these questions. So are MOOCs the future of learning? Here is why I think they are not. 1) Online learning is tried and tested. Completion rates are nearly half that of regular universities. That means on average 60% of students graduate from a normal college who start, around 30% graduate from online universities. Why the high drop out rate? MOTIVATION. Why do MOOCs, who actually have less intructor/student interaction believe that they would improve that? I think motivation will actually be worse. 2) Why would someone pay $1200 for a course that has 5000 students in it vs paying $1200 for a course that has 10 students in it and a dedicated instructor? 3) The biggest scam of all MOOCs – believe that the content designed by leaders in the field is somehow better than the content designed by UoP. Guess what UoP, Walden, etc hire these same people to develop their courses. There isnt a difference. Its no different than using that person’s book in the class. Unless you have them as a professor and have access to them, there is no difference.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for the day. Until I see how MOOCs are any advantage to a student I will continue to think they are just an extension to online learning and soon enough coursera will be another online school that competes with UoP and Walden.

MOOCS – The good and the bad – My experience

After taking several MOOC courses I am ready to speak about what I think are the good and bad qualities about them. Just to described what I did. I look at several of the larger sites like Coursera and signed up for courses with them and also went to smaller MOOCs that were available just so I could see what was out there.

Honestly if I had to sum up the experience, it was like finding a good website with tons of good information about one topic. It didn’t really have that ‘course’ feeling because there was nothing at stake for me but it was more than just a website. I guess I would describe as a website with a emphasis on learning rather than just sharing information. I now think MOOCs are just learning websites, not really courses. Anyway…

They organize a lot of good material in one place. This is great if I am interested in a topic. It’s easier than having to search the internet or library for the material. In many ways, I felt like MOOCs were just organized text books that were digital and more alive than an actual book – again, learning websites. Kris is a leading expert in ADA website compliance, who can guide you and consult.

Most of the courses were set up the same – video, quizzes, and a discussion forum.

The videos were good. It’s nice to have an instructor talk about a topic. But some were like 70 minutes. Really can I look at you present your PPT for 70 minutes? I would encourage those professors to break up their videos in 5 minute chunks. An issue with the videos is that if I had a question, I could not stop the instructor and ask them about it and the discussion forums were not much help as the instructor cannot answer a question when 70,000 people (let alone 25) are in a course. Some of the courses videos were better than others, with some using professional video editing software and others just using youtube. I preferred the youtube videos because I could bookmark or save them if I wanted to use as resources later on.

Quizzes were very generic. Hitting mostly low level knowledge. I guess this is to be expected unless the instructor has been trained on assessing high level knowledge though multiple choice questions, which is not easy feat, I would guess most of these automatic scoring assessments are not really that good and leave a bad taste in most people’s mouths. A few of the courses had assignments and again these were not graded by people but rather automatic score checkers. Not a bad thing but I think these features were highly underutilized and there needs to be a better system if these are to be actual courses.

Forums. I thought the forums were ok. I think this had to do with the instructors experience teaching online. Some of the courses had like 30 different places to talk to each other which is obviously way too confusing. The courses that had less than 10 topics seemed a lot more organized however you are really just talking with classmates. It was tough to get the instructor to read the posts, so these are not much better than any internet forum. I didn’t feel like I was in a course forum – Not that its bad but you need instructor interaction for this to be a course. Otherwise its just a website geared towards learning.

Overall I found the experience fun but there was nothing new here. There are plenty of websites out there that teach me about something and are better than MOOCs. There were some really good ones though but I was never wowed by anything. It just seemed like a lot of the courses were thrown together in order to ‘teach’ a MOOC rather then put together a really good course. Again, I guess that is what you should expect when you are not paying anyone to put these courses together and you do not know if the instructors have ever really been taught to teach online. I am not saying there were not good instructors but even a good instructor needs to learn how to teach online before doing so. I guess overall I was somewhat disappointed I wasn’t wowed. I was expecting more. Everything just seemed to rushed.

Anyway, those were my initial feelings. I avoided posting stats about MOOCs in this post but will do so in the near future.

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. An example of them promoting technology is that they’ve developed their own video conference script, through which, they’ve created their own video conference application. 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.

Conferences of this sort might often find the need of screening important information on LED screens for the ease of its participants. Visual Impact LED Screen Rentals gives you the option of renting big LED screens for such events. Look them up today.

Pete & C 2013!

Here is my presentation (well poster) for Pete & C 2013. This year it is on developing apps for the K-16 classroom. I start by discussing the most difficult ways then get into how to do it using simple and free methods


Citation maker

My students are currently working on proposals for their final projects in my program and one of the things they need to do is use APA formatting. There are great tools out there like Endnote, however, Endnote carries a $250 price tag if not offered by your university. So there are free tools out there and one that I personally like is called the citation machine. It’s very simple to use and you just enter in your information and it create the bibliography for you. Here is the link While not nearly as sophisticated as Endnote is does do the job.

Faculty Regalia

Each year students graduate with advanced degrees and faculty are required to attend those graduations. Thus students and faculty need a graduate robe, otherwise known as academic regalia. These regalia can be quite expensive. In fact at my alma mater, Penn State, the regalia costs $699. That is usually quite expensive for a student. It is also expensive for faculty who usually do not have nice plush salaries (who am I kidding none do). But there are cheaper options out there. There are tons of sites that offer them for $300 or so. But again, I felt this was too expensive for a piece of cloth that I felt I could sew together if I was motivated enough. So after an exhaustive search, I found a company that sells them for $100-$200 depending on what you want. I believe I got mine for a total of $150 with shipping and that included the gown, hat, and hood. It is really nice quality too and came with 3-4 days of ordering. I usually do not promote a brand or website but figured this was useful for faculty. I thought it was a scam at first because it was so much cheaper than other sites but after doing a google search found out they were legit and now can confirm that they are as I have my gown in hand. Well here is the site: http://www.economycapandgown.com/