Best Practices & Tips

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Best Practices/Tips

How Mentors Can Improve Online Graduate Student Attrition Rates

By Narjis Hyder, Judith Gilliam / January 26, 2015

Do higher levels of mentoring support contribute to a successful academic graduate career? This article tackles mentoring for online graduate students and its relation to attrition rates focusing on: the benefits of successful mentoring, challenges of online mentoring programs, a review of a model of an online mentoring program, and mentor-mentee relationships. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Needs Analysis, News and Trends

Best Practices/Tips

Data Analytics and Predictive Modeling

By B. Jean Mandernach, Kelly Palese-Sanderson / January 14, 2015

The growth of online learning mandates that institutions evaluate instructional effectiveness to ensure students receive a high-quality educational experience. While a number of rubrics exist to benchmark best practices in online teaching, advances in learning management technology are expanding opportunities for utilizing data analytics to effectively and efficiently monitor instructional quality. At present, learning management systems can track logins, activity patterns and time-on-task, but this represents only a fraction the possibilities. Predictive modeling may soon allow for more integrated analytics that can quickly and easily inform evaluations of online teaching. » [Full Article]
TAGS: News and Trends, Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

Study Reveals New Challenges for Online College Administrators

By Rachel Wang / January 14, 2015

College administrators, who are seeking to improve their recruiting and retention methods will benefit from a new report released by The Learning House and Aslanian Market Research. Online College Students 2014: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences delves into data about this new type of student. This article highlights several points from the study that are relevant to college administrators. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Lifelong Learning, News and Trends, Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

English Language Acquisition and the Internet: Access and choice in the digital age

By Alex Jude / December 29, 2014

Today there are more than 1 billion people learning English as a second language worldwide. With demand for ESL tuition increasing year-on-year, there is a chronic global shortage of native English teachers on the ground. This is pushing up class sizes and lesson prices while leaving learners with less choice. The emergence of Skype schools, social language networks, and new online resources represents a big change within the ESL industry and a challenge to its traditional structure. » [Full Article]
TAGS: News and Trends, Social Learning

Best Practices/Tips

Finding Your Niche During the MOOC Revolution

By Donna Gardner Liljegren, Lisa Trombetta / December 5, 2014

Elmhurst College, a small, four-year, liberal arts college, identified its niche and used partnerships to develop and market a successful MOOC promoting its programs in geospatial science. The authors explain how the same process may help you to identify and launch MOOCs to a niche audience. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Digital Literacy, Lifelong Learning, News and Trends

Best Practices/Tips

Three Questions to Ask Before You Embark on Gamification

By Yi Yang / November 21, 2014

What's the difference between game-based learning and gamification? When shall I use game-based learning and when shall I use gamification? Many instructional designers and instructors struggle in differentiating those two terms and debate on which learning strategy to choose. The article will reveal the answers to these questions and posit three questions for instructional designers and instructors to consider to help them make the decision. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development, Games and Simulations

Best Practices/Tips

Creating Instruction for Ubiquitous Learners: Three paradigm shifts that are changing the foundations of instructional design

By Timothy Stafford / November 21, 2014

Learning is shifting, but in many ways it is the foundations of learning that are having the most profound effect on contemporary instructional designers. Defining social media, digital literacy and learning, knowing, and expertise are only the tip of the iceberg for the future of learning within digital environments. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development

Best Practices/Tips

From MOOCs to Learning Analytics: Scratching the surface of the 'visual'

By Jeremy Knox / November 13, 2014

The visualization of big MOOC data enables us to see trends in student behaviors and activities around the globe, but what is it that we are not seeing? » [Full Article]
TAGS: News and Trends, Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

The Importance of Setting the Stage

By Glenn Johnson, James L. Rosenberger, Mosuk Chow / October 1, 2014

The motivation for engaging in peer review of teaching vacillates between providing opportunities to improve teaching and evaluating teaching performance. We strive to find ways to maximize the benefits of peer review of teaching because this activity provides a valuable opportunity for peer collaboration and curricular coordination within a program. This article discusses a range of strategies that we have used to engage online instructors in thinking critically about the quality of their online instruction; we show how these strategies help set the stage for maximizing the benefits that a well structured peer review of online teaching can provide. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

Training Online Teachers Through A Badge Driven Course

By Joe Cozart / September 30, 2014

The Georgia Virtual School is a supplemental online school that employs more than 200 teachers. Due to growth and attrition new teachers must continually be hired, which created a large burden for the school. The problem was addressed through the creation of an open online course driven by badge credentialing. Interested teachers now complete this training course prior to the hiring process. This ensures job applicants have a basic knowledge of online learning and a better understanding of the requirements to teach online, thus decreasing attrition in the first year. Course participants go through five modules and earn a badge after successfully demonstrating an understanding of the material in the respective module. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Digital Literacy, Lifelong Learning

Best Practices/Tips

eLearning and Higher Education in Pakistan: What may hamper it

By Abida Ellahi, Bilal Zaka / September 23, 2014

As part of higher education, universities have been increasing their efforts to promote learning growth and innovation. In Pakistan private and public institutions of higher educations have undertaken eLearning initiatives. This article draws from the research literature and a preliminary descriptive study to describe the current status of eLearning systems in a few universities within Pakistan, and discusses the challenges faced in implementing eLearning projects in Pakistan. In order to play an important role in democratizing education and contributing toward creating knowledge workers, higher education needs to play a more active role in promoting and supporting eLearning initiatives. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Digital Literacy

Best Practices/Tips

A Balancing Act Part III: Technical support on the front lines of modern-day online education

By Jennifer A. Shamsy / September 12, 2014

Though a team approach is desired, many online instructors/trainers still fulfill an informally defined and delegated technical support role at least in part when time and skills allow. As we look to the future, there will be an increase in technical support demands further emphasizing the need for a comprehensive team approach to technical support. » [Full Article]
TAGS: News and Trends, Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

Attitude Plus Aptitude Will Determine Altitude

By Brooke Bennett / July 31, 2014

Online learning offers many advantages. However the expanding use of technology does not come without challenges. As educators, we are forever trying to find ways to motivate students in our online classrooms. Are there specific tactics and activities that could help enhance student motivation? It is shown that through our behaviors, such as consistent feedback and prompt responses, we can create an environment that encourages and motivates students while enhancing student engagement and participation. » [Full Article]

Best Practices/Tips, Reviews

Design for Online Learning Using a Learner's Perspective Approach

By Simone C. O. Conceição / July 2, 2014

A variety of instructional design models provide pathways for developing courses using different philosophical approaches. However, many design models tend to focus more on the teaching than on the learning portion of the process. Roderick Sims, in his book "Design Alchemy: Transforming the Way We Think About Learning and Teaching," provides an innovative approach to design online instruction that focuses primarily on the learning rather than the teacher or content. He uses the term "design alchemy" to explain how a designer can think about learning and teaching as a practical and effective means to creative online environments that maximize the educational experience. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development

Best Practices/Tips

Evaluating Interactive Learning Content in an eLearning Environment

By Khalil Ajami, Maher Suleiman / June 30, 2014

The interaction between teacher and learner, as well as the interaction between learner and content, has a significant impact on the effectiveness of any learning process. In this paper, we discuss interactivity in the context of eLearning and we focus on the interaction between the learner and the content. The objective is to provide clear metrics to measure learner-content interactivity from the design perspective and at the level of learning objects. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

A Balancing Act Part I: Technical Support and the Online Instructor

By Jennifer Shamsy / May 30, 2014

Technical issues can create a barrier to fully accessing and engaging in online classrooms. The need to support learners in overcoming these barriers may be addressed through a team approach or by individual instructors/trainers taking on the technical support role. While this role may not always be clearly defined or formally delegated, assuming the role of technical support in an online classroom has both benefits and drawbacks. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Digital Literacy, Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

Putting the Classroom in the Cloud with Virtual Desktops and Bring-Your-Own-Device

By Shawn Mills / April 30, 2014

IT departments in educational environments must constantly balance expenses while implementing new technology to engage learners and empower instructors. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is one method IT administrators can implement for simplified computer lab management, increased security measures, and to allow students and teachers to work with their mobile devices. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Mobile Learning, News and Trends

Best Practices/Tips

Speaking Your Mind: Using elements of narrative storytelling in eLearning

By Chris Jennings / April 29, 2014

To compensate for the lack of human presence in online courses, consider adding narrative story elements to your eLearning that situates the learner in immersive, real-world scenarios. Framing learning in the context of relatable stories can add tremendous value and enjoyment to students instruction. Employ an appropriate course voice that attracts users to the content, inviting them to explore, rather than overwhelming them with information. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development

Best Practices/Tips

Developing Engaging Content

By Randhir Vieira / March 20, 2014

Companies need training that is not only flexible and affordable, but can be deployed and consumed quickly. Enter eLearning. Trainers have the dual challenge of helping employees meet compliance or other industry requirements and respond to changing customer needs. These pressures mean trainers must create new online courses on the fly while ensuring the content is easily consumable to reinforce rapid learning. By using existing material and frequently measuring feedback, among other ideas, you can transform your online training program into a highly efficient machine for learning and competing. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Lifelong Learning

Best Practices/Tips, Interviews

A Look at Web-based Instruction Today: An interview with Badrul Khan, Part 1

By Ann Taylor / February 28, 2014

In the first of this two-part series, Ann Taylor and Badrul Khan discuss how Web-based instruction has grown since its inception and explore the particular case of MOOCs. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Theories and Principles

Best Practices/Tips

Using Game Mechanics to Enhance Leadership Education

By Zack Bodnar / February 24, 2014

Gamification has significant advantages for incentivizing learning and professional training as a complement to traditional learning management systems. This article highlights how the Deloitte Leadership Academy introduced game mechanics into its executive training program using Badgeville's Behavior Platform to leverage the same intrinsic motivators--namely peer recognition and a bit of friendly competition--to spur participation and convince busy executives to invest their valuable time to fully engage with the program. With the addition of gamification to their online learning system, Deloitte saw a 46 percent increase in student retention and significant improvements in course completion time. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Games and Simulations, Lifelong Learning

Best Practices/Tips

Getting Out from Under the Contract: The risk of over relying on third parties for eLearning

By Chris Jennings / February 10, 2014

eLearning requires a specific set of development skills and specialized technologies to support learning goals and program needs. To offer a dynamic program that evolves to meet the needs of users, try to use internal talent and systems that allow you to control as much of the content creation and supporting technologies as possible. This will create a program independent of third parties and keep your program relevant for years to come. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development