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Nine Tips for Humanizing Online Learning

By Lori Cooper, Rick Holbeck, Jean Mandernach / December 13, 2023

Creating a meaningful and engaging online learning environment requires the deliberate fostering of social relationships, tapping into the inherent social nature of learning. Nine key strategies include sharing professional experience and expertise, demonstrating empathy and compassion, maintaining a visible online presence, integrating personalized videos, offering warm welcomes and farewells, providing one-on-one support, establishing rapport, and incorporating synchronous components to facilitate real-time interaction, all aimed at humanizing the online learning experience and effectively supporting learner engagement. » [Full Article]

Eight Priorities for Instructional Videos in the Online Classroom

By Sarah Robertson, John Steele, Jean Mandernach / November 15, 2023

To enhance student engagement and learning in the online classroom, instructional videos need to be thoughtfully created, curated, and integrated. Key considerations include making the videos learner-centered and relevant, ensuring easy access, keeping video length short, focusing on clarity over perfection, providing alternative means of accessing the information, fostering student interaction, and personalizing videos to enhance the sense of class participation and connection. » [Full Article]

Seven Strategies for More Efficient, Effective Online Instruction

By Lori Cooper, Amanda Loster-Loftus, Jean Mandernach / October 31, 2023

Teaching in an online environment demands efficient time management and a focus on activities that maximize student learning and engagement. To this end, seven key strategies are suggested: reflect on and prioritize your instructional time, create a teaching calendar to manage tasks, integrate tools for streamlined communication, leverage analytics to focus attention, automate repetitive tasks, utilize video technology for efficient instruction and feedback, and foster collaboration among learners and colleagues. » [Full Article]

Enhancing Podcasting by Leveraging AI

By Andrea Austin, Anita Samuel / October 12, 2023

This article explores how generative AI tools can be used in the different steps of creating a podcast, from the planning stage to publicizing the podcast. Educators can find podcasting a daunting task. The suggestions in this article will walk a person through the process of creating a podcast and provide examples of tools that can be used to make the process easy. » [Full Article]

Six Ideas for Building a Vibrant Online Professional Community

By Katie Sprute, Crystal McCabe, Lynn Basko, Paul Danuser, Jean Mandernach / October 3, 2023

Building vibrant, online professional learning communities (PLCs) is crucial to combat the isolation experienced by online faculty and facilitate their professional growth, with strategies such as prioritizing relationship building, empowering all faculty with a voice, recognizing their achievements, ensuring relevant and targeted content, teaching best pedagogical practices, and accommodating faculty needs. By nurturing a supportive and collaborative online environment, institutions can help faculty overcome remote teaching challenges, connect them to valuable resources, and enhance their professional and personal fulfillment in their roles as online educators. » [Full Article]

Five Priorities to Help Learners in the Online Classroom

By John Steele, Thomas Dyer, Jean Mandernach / September 7, 2023

To maximize online student learning, instructors should prioritize their time towards instructional strategies that students deem most impactful, such as providing individualized, one-to-one feedback; adopting a holistic feedback approach; engaging in asynchronous discussion forums; curating relevant content resources; and presenting instructional content in efficient, versatile formats. As research reveals, learners value instructor feedback and engagement in online discussions above all else, thereby guiding where educators should focus their limited instructional time. » [Full Article]

In Search of Continuous Improvement: An interview with Watermark's Brian Robinson

By Tonia A. Dousay / August 22, 2023

One might say that Watermark's Vice President of Product is on a mission of continuous improvement. Or rather, his passion is helping institutions implement and experience the benefits of the continuous improvement cycle. With philosophies based on human-centered approaches to design, it's clear that Brian Robinson understands the theoretical foundations of and practical approaches to this critical work in institutional evaluation and effectiveness. This interview takes readers on a journey through the underlying components and future of continuous improvement through the eyes of a leading educational technology executive. » [Full Article]

Subject Matter Expert (SME) Onboarding 101: Improving development efficiency and course quality through SME training

By Heather Leslie, Alejandra Lizardo / August 9, 2023

A common challenge for instructional designers and administrators of online programs is ensuring that projects are completed within the development timeframe and course content meets high standards for quality. This article describes a training course that was developed to meet those challenges. The course prepares subject matter experts (SMEs) to work with a design team made up of instructional designers and instructional technologists so that SMEs can plan their course content using a backward design framework. SMEs participate in a fully asynchronous online course with other SMEs where they can collaborate and brainstorm ideas. Having SMEs take an online course that resembles the online course they will later be designing allows them to gain insight from a learner perspective, which can help them design a learner-centered course. » [Full Article]

Four Strategies to Foster Effective Online Teaching within a Standardized Curriculum

By Beverly Santelli, Kendra Stewart, Jean Mandernach / August 3, 2023

In a standardized curriculum, it is essential to design courses that maximize the unique qualities of each instructor while maintaining curricular consistency. By adopting a collaborative approach to course development, integrating technology intentionally, creating opportunities for instructor personalization, and supporting instructional growth, educators can ensure the benefits of unique instructor differences are utilized, resulting in an enriched online learning environment. » [Full Article]

Embracing the Power of eLearning: Advancing the future of education

By Anita Samuel / July 27, 2023

In an era of rapid technological advancements and explosion in eLearning, it is with great enthusiasm that I start my term as the new Editor-in-Chief of eLearn Magazine. I am honored to lead the magazine through these exciting times. » [Full Article]

Using Gamification to Overcome Anxiety and Encourage Play in the Graduate Classroom

By Lindsay Kistler Mattock / July 19, 2023

Gamification has been dismissed by some as a passing fad and buzzword in education; however, if approached as part of mindful course design, gamification can enhance student learning and engagement. This article introduces a gamified redesign of a technology-based graduate course using Yu-Kai Chou?s ?actionable gamification.? Chou?s Octalysis Framework defines eight-core drives that describe the psychological motivators found in common gaming mechanics. Adding elements of ?white hat gamification? to the course?which focused on building a sense of accomplishment, empowerment, and meaning making?created an environment that allowed students to overcome their anxieties related to technologies, build digital literacies, and overcome the fear of failure in the classroom. » [Full Article]

Three Student-Centered Approaches to Integrate ChatGPT in the Online Classroom

By Thomas Dyer, John Steele, Jean Mandernach / July 18, 2023

In response to the advent of AI technologies like ChatGPT in academia, educators should not merely react with plagiarism policies but proactively integrate such tools to enhance learning. By cultivating AI literacy, integrating AI into assignments for interactive learning, and leveraging it for idea generation, we can prepare students for a digitally advanced future, promoting critical thinking and digital literacy while ensuring thoughtful use of technology to support student growth. » [Full Article]

2022-2023 Year in Review and Transition to New Editor-in-Chief

By Simone C Conceicao / July 11, 2023

This editorial provides an annual review of eLearn Magazine including a high number of published articles, the addition of new topic series, increased partnerships, and an effective editorial board strategic plan. » [Full Article]

The Development of Competencies for Use in Online Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Insights from the hospitality management degree program at the Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City campus

By Rosa Adriana Vázquez Gómez, Claudia Galindo Correa, Pedro Pablo Espinosa Martínez / June 29, 2023

This study aims to comparatively analyze students and professors' perceptions regarding the development of competencies through the online format of a bachelor's degree program in hospitality management during three semesters of stay-at-home learning. The goal is to understand whether the tools and teaching resources used by faculty adequately met the objectives of the bachelor program, which has as one of its main objectives the development of competencies. Using the two variables from the TAM Model (i.e., perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness) and the types of technological resources that students and professors used, we found both groups saw the accessibility and ease of use of technological tools as simple and believe that they are useful or very useful for learning. » [Full Article]

Two Essentials for Fostering Agency in Virtual Education

By Jean Mandernach, Rick Holbeck / June 22, 2023

Learner agency, premised on making education meaningful and relevant, involves fostering two critical aspects in online classrooms: voice and choice. By providing students with a say in the teaching-learning dynamics (such as setting course policies or assignment deadlines) and offering them decision-making capacity in mastering course content (like choosing individual learning paths or formats to demonstrate understanding) educators can create a personalized learning experience that enhances student motivation, engagement, and investment. » [Full Article]

One Interactive Approach to Gamify the Online Classroom: Digital badges

By Tom Dyer, Jacob Aroz, Jean Mandernach / June 13, 2023

Gamification, the application of game elements in non-game contexts, is being embraced in higher education, particularly in online classrooms, to foster engagement, participation, and satisfaction. As a quick and effective way to gamify, digital badges serve as virtual rewards for accomplishing specific tasks or goals, stimulating student motivation, promoting community, encouraging critical thinking, developing skills, and bolstering incremental learning, thus making learning tangible and shareable, and driving competition. » [Full Article]

Tips for Supporting Students with Social Skill, Mental Health, and Communication Disabilities in Digital Settings

By Tulare Williams Park, Kari L. Sheward, Carol Rogers-Shaw / May 31, 2023

Teaching online learners with social skill, mental health, and communication disabilities requires post-secondary instructors to become more than content experts. The purpose of this article is to provide recommendations for postsecondary instructors for building inclusive communities, focusing on accessible course design, and increasing specialized professional knowledge that serves all learners, saves planning time, and diminishes frustration from excessive individualization of instruction. » [Full Article]

How to Create a Digital Presence

By Ellen Wagner / May 24, 2023

Josie Ahlquist's book "Digital Leadership in Higher Education" provides stakeholders in higher education with strategies to establish authentic personal connections using social media. » [Full Article]

Maximizing the Value of Asynchronous Learning in Pre-clerkship Medical Education

Special Issue: Blended Learning Technologies in Healthcare

By Phorum Sheth, Anita Samuel, Eulho Jung, Jacob Collen / May 17, 2023

Asynchronous learning has taken on new significance in the era of COVID-19 social distancing. The learning curve for students and faculty members to adapt to the new distance learning environment has been a dynamic experience. In this article we review some of our experiences with asynchronous curriculum in the pre-clerkship curriculum at the Uniformed Services University. We review student and faculty perceptions of virtual, asynchronous curriculum as well as tangible solutions for implementing asynchronous curriculum and pitfalls to be aware of. » [Full Article]

Shining the Light on Learning: A recap of Training magazine's 2023 conference and expo

By Les Howles / May 9, 2023

This article reviews Training magazine's 46th Annual Conference and Expo held February 13 through 15 in Orlando, Florida. It summarizes highlights from keynote presentations, expo hall events, and numerous concurrent sessions relevant to learning and development professionals » [Full Article]

Making ChatGPT Work for You

By Xi Lin, Steven Schmidt / April 27, 2023

Although concerns around academic integrity and plagiarism have been raised, ChatGPT can be used constructively as a learning tool. Several examples are included to guide educators on how to integrate ChatGPT in their teaching, such as answering questions, designing interactive lessons, starting discussions, and providing personalized learning experiences. However, it's imperative for educators to post guidelines for proper and improper use of ChatGPT, as well as teach students to use AI tools effectively and ethically. Embracing AI tools like ChatGPT could provide students with a dynamic and responsive learning experience. » [Full Article]

Using Panopto In-Video Quizzes for Online Education

Special Issue: Blended Learning Technologies in Healthcare

By Eulho Jung, Greg Snow / April 26, 2023

Panopto is a screen and lecture capture tool that can create in-video quizzes. By following guidelines, creating quizzes in Panopto can effectively keep students watching and help the lecture content stick in learners' memories. » [Full Article]

How A Graduate Nursing Program Implemented a Virtual Oral Examination during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Special Issue: Blended Learning Technologies in Healthcare

By Janice Williams, Natasha Best, Stacy Carr, Candy Wilson, Diane Seibert / April 21, 2023

In 2020, as the entire world, including the U.S., experienced the rapid restraints and uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, innovative teaching and assessment methods had to be utilized to achieve pre-pandemic goals and objectives of graduate education. This article describes how faculty implemented virtual oral exams as an assessment methodology to evaluate students' cumulative knowledge of essential women's health content. Course faculty administered a 25-minute virtual oral examination to students enrolled in a second-year advanced women's health course. All enrolled students (25 in 2020 and 19 in 2021) completed the virtual oral examination. The method was successfully implemented for two consecutive years, demonstrating the potential feasibility, applicability, and sustainability of implementing oral examinations utilizing the evaluation method in graduate education. » [Full Article]

Mitigating Conflict in Asynchronous Online Discussions: Strategies for instructors in higher education

By Susan M. Yelich Biniecki, Courtney Hoffhines / April 20, 2023

Organized asynchronous discussions are a common feature in online, formal higher-education courses. Discussions can take place learner to learner or instructor to learner and are situated in small group projects, processing content in message boards, and games. Within these learning settings, conflict can emerge. Conflict may foster deeper learning about ideas, or it may be destructive and create a negative learning environment. The purpose of this article is to identify conflict challenges present within asynchronous online discussions and to present evidence-based strategies to mitigate conflict within these higher education instructional settings. Conflict challenges may involve navigating effective online collaboration, participating in small group discussion, and developing discernment for health conflict. » [Full Article]

The Eyes Have It: The importance of eye contact in education and strategies to improve teaching in the virtual environment

Special Issue: Blended Learning Technologies in Healthcare

By Sarah Hodges / April 13, 2023

We missed in-person learning due to the pandemic. Three years later some form of virtual learning is here to stay, so how can we replicate that in-person feel? » [Full Article]

Teaching with QR Codes: Accessible Technology for the Novice Educator

Special Issue: Blended Learning Technologies in Healthcare

By Elizabeth V Schulz, Katherine M Ottolini / March 30, 2023

Quick response (QR) codes allow for quick and easy accessibility of just-in-time training (JiTT) for a variety of online materials. They are becoming more widely utilized to share educational materials, with potential vast applications for health professions education. In this article, we describe the development of a novel video-based equipment skills training curriculum incorporating QR codes and discuss the broader implications for educators. » [Full Article]

An International Comparison of Online Learning Transition During COVID-19

By Zan Chen, Bao Zhen Tan / March 30, 2023

This article looks into the impact of COVID-19 on the digitization of work and learning, specifically for adult educators (post-secondary educators and trainers) around the world. It provides a comparison of adult educators in Singapore and their international counterparts from the United Kingdom, European Union countries, and the United States. Results show international respondents tended to view transition to online learning, teaching, and assessment (LTA) as a temporary response to the emergency due to COVID-19, while the perceptions of respondents from Singapore seemed to represent a general sentiment toward a more permanent shift to online LTA rather than an emergency response. » [Full Article]

Transitioning to and Navigating Virtual Conferences as a Result of COVID

Special Issue: Blended Learning Technologies in Healthcare

By Jamie Geringer / March 9, 2023

Conferences offer a venue to share ideas, present and hear about current research, and network. Medical conferences include an added dimension of being a form of continuing medical education. The COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to conduct traditional in-person conferences, and, out of necessity, everyone had to transition to a virtual platform. Organizing a conference requires a tremendous amount of planning, preparation, and persistence to ensure the intended vision is met. But there is insufficient evidence and guidance on conducting effective conferences. This paper will discuss my experience planning and conducting a virtual medical conference. » [Full Article]

Maintaining Social Support in the Era of Social Distancing: Transitioning an in-person family-oriented wellness event to a virtual venue

Special Issue: Blended Learning Technologies in Healthcare

By Fei Chen, Sania Rahim, Rob Isaak, Brooke Chidgey, Emily Teeter, Harendra Arora, Susan M. Martinelli / February 24, 2023

Many medical residency programs have attempted to equip their trainees with tools to combat burnout using wellness curricula. One often-overlooked aspect of burnout is the support person's lack of understanding about the stress residents face as well as what is required of them. We describe a program, known as the Family Anesthesia Experience, with a focus on the conversion of the in-person event to a virtual format and comparing learning experience in the two formats. The goals of this program are to improve residents' support persons' understanding of anesthesiology residency and combat physician burnout via a social-relatedness approach. This program was conducted in-person in 2019 and converted to a virtual format in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. » [Full Article]

Teaching Tracheostomy Management Using VoiceThread: Reflection on the evolution of our blended coaching approach

Special Issue: Blended Learning Technologies in Healthcare

By Jennifer C. Benjamin, Weichao Chen, Satid Thammasitboon / February 17, 2023

Developing pediatric resident trainees' proficiency in managing and troubleshooting tracheostomy issues is critical for the intensive care of children with medical complexity. Tracheostomy management, involving a set of complex technical and non-technical skills, are traditionally taught in simulation centers. The COVID pandemic, however, has posed a challenge to our in-person coaching, prompting us to explore the innovative use of VoiceThread to teach these skills using a blended approach. In this paper, we report the evolution from VoiceThread-based completely asynchronous coaching towards blended coaching, and we discuss the optimization of blended coaching into Just-in-Time Coaching. We demonstrate that the development of instructional approach was based on our critical analysis of different modes of teaching, reflection on lessons learned and best practices from implementation, and review of relevant literature. » [Full Article]

Blended Learning Technologies in Dental Education: A case study in orofacial pain

Special Issue: Blended Learning Technologies in Healthcare

By James Mark Hawkins, Drew Fallis, Steven Durning / February 8, 2023

Blended learning in pain education is an effective teaching method to help learners grasp complex didactic and clinical topics. In this report, four educational strategies are examined that were successfully utilized to teach a postgraduate dental orofacial pain course. These strategies included using virtual presentations, hands-on training, virtual interactive case-based learning, and student created multimedia and peer-to-peer feedback. » [Full Article]

Blended Teaching in Health Professions Education

Special Issue: Blended Learning Technologies in Healthcare

By Anita Samuel / February 2, 2023

Healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, dentists, etc.) use cutting-edge technologies in patient care. They interact with technologies daily. However, the use of technology for education has not been widely adopted by healthcare professions educators. This special issue explores how educators in different healthcare professions have adapted their teaching to the online environment. The articles in this special issue showcase the use of educational technologies in a broad health professions landscape: dental education, nursing education, medical school, and medical residency programs. » [Full Article]

Finding the Right Tools for Your Classroom's Tech Needs

By Georgia Konstantinou / January 13, 2023

In Educational Duct Tape, Jake Miller compares, contrasts, and selects a plethora of technology tools for educators in a creative and entertaining way. By offering snapshots from his personal and professional life, the author created a pleasant and easy-to-read book. He emphasizes that technology should not be employed as the end objective, but rather as a means to an end. Throughout the book, he argues that educational technology tools should be utilized to solve classroom problems, address learning objectives, and accomplish specific goals exactly as we use duct tape to mend minor problems in our daily lives. » [Full Article]

Closing the Assessment Excellence Gap: Why digital assessments should go beyond recall and be more inclusive

By Gavin Cooney, John Kleeman / January 5, 2023

Stakeholders in digital assessments have requirements and expectations that technology implementations do not always meet. This is the "Assessment Excellence Gap." This article explains why digital assessment is important and focuses on two particular aspects with a call to action to make assessments more inclusive and to write questions that go beyond recall when creating assessments. » [Full Article]