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Developing Online and Hybrid Courses with the Learning Ecology Matrix

By Malini Bhargava, Anita Samuel / May 31, 2024

Educational technologies are now an integral part of the educational milieu. All educators are expected to be able to use technologies and design courses using these technologies. One framework that can guide the course design process using various technologies is the Learning Ecology Matrix (LEM). The LEM, focusing on learner autonomy and instructor guidance, aids in tailoring courses to be learner-centered or teacher-centered. This article reviews the LEM and explores how the LEM can be used in practice to design courses. » [Full Article]

Fifteen Technologies to Enliven Online Teaching and Learning

By Jacob Aroz, Elizabeth Larson, Jean Mandernach / April 25, 2024

Harnessing the power of instructional technology, educators can drastically enhance the learning experience by infusing their curriculum with digital tools specifically chosen to align with their teaching objectives. The article highlights 15 such technologies--Canva, Genially, Waklet, Quizizz, Flip, Flipsnack, PowToon, Anchor, Bitmoji, Loom, Padlet, Google Jamboard, Moovly, Edpuzzle, and Clarisketch--each providing unique opportunities for creating engaging content, fostering interaction, and enabling collaboration in the digital classroom. » [Full Article]

Fourteen Creative Assignment Ideas for the Online Classroom

By Jean Mandernach, Morgan McNaughton / April 11, 2024

In an era of rapid digitization of higher education, innovative online assignments that engage students, foster critical thinking, and mitigate academic dishonesty are paramount. Unique, experiential, and collaborative tasks such as digital storytelling, virtual field trips, interactive infographics, and more can bridge the interpersonal gap in virtual classrooms, inspire active participation, and bolster students' motivation, thus countering challenges such as student disengagement and plagiarism. » [Full Article]

Thirteen Strategies to Increase the Impact of Assignment Feedback

By Jean Mandernach, Helen Hammond / March 28, 2024

The value of assignment feedback in enhancing student learning is significant, not just in rectifying conceptual misunderstandings but also in engaging and motivating students and strengthening their belief in their academic capabilities. This article outlines 13 strategies to provide effective, efficient, and engaging feedback, including the use of feedforward guidance, one-to-many feedback, peer-to-peer feedback, multimedia feedback, feedback banks, automation, formative classroom assessment techniques, rubrics, assignment exemplars, generative AI, proactive notifications, automated mastery learning opportunities, and student self-feedback, all of which holistically empower students towards academic success, meaningful instructor-student interaction, and a richer online learning experience. » [Full Article]

Utilizing Advanced Technologies for eLearning in Clerkship

By Eulho Jung, Anita Samuel / March 27, 2024

The clerkship phase in medical school is pivotal for clinical training. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption and implementation of educational technology in medical education became inevitable, leading most medical schools to shift toward distance learning. While technologies cannot entirely replace hands-on clinical teaching, faculty members have devised effective ways to utilize technology, such as virtual patients, virtual reality, first-person video streaming, simulators, gamification, and mobile apps. This article provides a summary of the technologies employed, the challenges associated with them, and the advantages and instructional outcomes resulting from their use. » [Full Article]

Co-Leading Class with Students: Shared responsibility and understanding

By Lauren Angelone / February 27, 2024

Providing opportunities for students to lead and shape class, alongside an instructor, takes into account the unique cultures, needs, and experiences of each student. A co-leading model was used during a blended Instructional Technology course and findings revealed that this model was engaging and gave students an opportunity to share their own experience. Student reflections also indicated some challenges, such as group collaboration and technical issues. » [Full Article]

Twelve 'No Skips' Approaches for Developing Social Presence Literacy in Virtual Education

By Thomas Dyer, Jean Mandernach / February 22, 2024

Online education's success hinges greatly on the implementation of a robust social presence, akin to a perfect "no skip" music album, fostering an interactive and connected learning community. These 12 strategies--being authentic, recognizing students as individuals, ensuring availability, fostering higher-order thinking, intending social presence, creating community cohesion, acknowledging the reciprocity of social presence, strategically implementing technology, leveraging curiosity through gamification, promoting immediacy and intimacy, focusing on affective association, and understanding chronemics--offer a comprehensive guide for educators to improve online engagement, thereby improving the student's learning experience and reducing feelings of isolation. » [Full Article]

Understanding Learning Experience Design (LXD): Three learning leader perspectives

By Les Howles / February 7, 2024

This article focuses on learning experience design (LXD) as an emergent concept and professional practice in need of greater clarity. At a 2023 national learning and development conference three prominent learning leaders were interviewed and asked to share their unique perspectives on LXD (Michael Allen, David Kelly, and Megan Torrance). Excerpts from these interviews are featured throughout the article. The author also provides background information on LXD, an analysis of perspectives, and a concluding synthesis on the current state of LXD where it is approached within the context of digital transformation as an emergent new form of learning design. » [Full Article]

Eleven Best Practices to Support Learners with Disabilities in the Online Classroom

By Rebekah Dyer, Jean Mandernach / January 31, 2024

Online learning can greatly benefit learners with disabilities, provided that inclusive teaching practices and effective support systems are implemented. This article highlights 11 best practices for supporting these learners, including fostering relationships, identifying individual needs, using proactive teaching strategies, ensuring course alignment, providing emotional safety, implementing differentiation strategies, monitoring engagement, encouraging a growth mindset, establishing preferred communication modes, soliciting feedback, and adjusting teaching methods based on that feedback. » [Full Article]

Ten Strategies for Fostering Instructor Presence in the Online Classroom

By Sarah Robertson, John Steele, Jean Mandernach / January 23, 2024

Online education, while alleviating geographic constraints, amplifies the challenge of transactional distance, exacerbating students' sense of isolation during the learning process. This article suggests 10 strategies for enhancing instructional presence in a digital learning environment, including creating one-on-one spaces, establishing a reasonable response timeline, leading the class as a collective, using a consistent "voice," showing your face, being genuine, communicating expectations, sharing personal experiences, keeping course resources updated, and regularly checking-in; these strategies aim to mitigate the absence of physical proximity, fostering a more engaging and collaborative virtual classroom experience. » [Full Article]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Supporting Online Teaching Faculty Beyond the Pandemic: A “faculty concierge” model

By Anita Samuel / December 22, 2022

Higher education is faced with a shifting milieu that actively embraces online education. This environment requires robust faculty support. Enter the faculty concierge model of faculty support, which extends the instructional designer-focused concierge model of online support proposed by McCurry and Mullinx through a faculty-centered lens. The faculty concierge model aims to provide high-touch, individualized faculty support. Faculty concierges respect the experiences and expertise of the faculty members they work with; they start with small changes and focus on offering simple and accessible support. » [Full Article]

Profound Learning Through Universal Design

By Carol Rogers-Shaw, Michael Kroth, Davin Carr-Chellman, Jinhee Choi / December 15, 2022

Profound Learning (PL) can result from online interactions that support practices for deep, lifelong learning. Distance educators can initiate, facilitate, and maintain PL by encouraging thoughtful rather than superficial learning using Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The inclusive nature of UDL provides multiple mechanisms to find that deeper meaning. In this article, concepts and practices drawn from Profound Learning Theory are integrated into UDL guidelines and connected to distance learning to support the development of deep, meaningful, and robust online learning. » [Full Article]

Getting Authoring Right: How to innovate for meaningful improvement

By Alice Leigh, Shaun Crowley / November 29, 2022

With so much technology-enabled innovation in assessment, one area has often had too little attention--the exam development phase, often called the "hardest job in publishing." Writing exams is so challenging and so important, not just for the validity of tests but also for the ability of exam providers to innovate their services and operate efficiently. With genuinely enterprise scale solutions finally becoming available in this area, the authors offer a checklist guide for assessment providers to review their authoring processes. » [Full Article]

Inclusion Rather Than Exclusion: An interview with Simos Retalis on accessibility

By Begum Sacak / November 3, 2022

Learners with disabilities can face certain challenges that require accommodations in educational settings. High-quality educational intervention could tap into these learners' potential by immersing them in multimodal learning opportunities. In this interview, Dr. Simos Retalis discusses the approaches and characteristics of educational technology tools that can help accommodate learners with disabilities. » [Full Article]

Design Thinking and Thinking by Design

By Damien Michaud / October 25, 2022

This article provides a summary and review of "Make It Meaningful: Taking Learning Design from Instructional to Transformational" by Dr. Clark Quinn. The book consists of a section on principles and a section on practices for designing learning experiences that engage learners intellectually and emotionally. The book provides a primer and a playbook for educators to reflect upon and improve their personal practice. » [Full Article]

Harnessing the Power of Natural Language Processing to Mass Produce Test Items

By Martin C. Yu, Taylor Sullivan / October 18, 2022

Mass production of test items involves numerous steps and takes time. Technology can play a key role in supplementing human resources whether gathering and storing source materials, communicating with subject matter experts, or synchronizing and coordinating activities during a complex or fast-paced development cycle. Our work in automated item generation (AIG) using natural language processing is one example of this process unfolding in practice. Over the past few years, there has been a surge in developments in the fields of natural language understanding and generation (NLU/NLG) regarding applications of language models developed via machine learning techniques that have yet to be applied to the area of AIG. » [Full Article]

Centering All Students in Their Assessment

By Mark Johnson, Uma Venkateswaran, Fiona Hinds, Steve Ferrara, Megan Bairstow / September 21, 2022

The primary focus in developing and providing equitable assessment should be the student who will engage with the assessment. Students' diverse experiences and individual needs are key to centering them in their assessment. New practices and greater emphasis are needed to provide an assessment environment that enhances student agency. Performance assessment, current innovative and emerging technologies, and considerations for marginalized students and students with disabilities, all grounded in research-based practices can promote equity in assessment. Some of these approaches already exist in some schools, which can serve as an illustrative example of what can be accomplished. » [Full Article]

Cross-institutional Leadership Collaboration: Toward the development of a peer-mentoring framework of practice in adult online education

By Haijun Kang, Rachel Ohmes / August 25, 2022

Because of high economic volatility, ongoing competition intensification, and the recent COVID-19 global pandemic influence, more and more education institutions are looking for efficient ways to serve their adult learner population. This article introduces a peer-mentoring framework of practice to help education institutions develop healthy cross-institutional leadership collaborations. This framework builds on three pillars: Developing a shared vision, respecting diversity and differences, and streamlining communications. An adult distance education consortium located in the U.S. is discussed as an example to illustrate how this three-pillar peer-mentoring framework of practice can be used to help make cross-institutional leader collaboration a success. » [Full Article]

Going Beyond Multiple Choice

By Brian Moon / August 11, 2022

This is the first in a series of articles covering advancements in eAssessment. The series will feature educators, developers, and researchers from around the world who are innovating how learning is assessed while meeting the challenges of efficiency, scalability, usability, and accessibility. » [Full Article]

2021-2022: A Year of New Initiatives for Reaching Out to Our Community

By Simone Conceição / July 31, 2022

The highlight of this past year was new community initiatives. In this annual review of the magazine, the Editor in Chief details her accomplishments and goals. » [Full Article]

The impact of work and life experience on learning: A conversation with Peter Smith

By Amy J. Hilbelink / May 31, 2022

Oftentimes, when we consider the current, traditional higher education experience, we neglect to give thought to whether our institutions are providing the necessary resources to all learners. Are we truly helping those from under-served populations, or those who want to attend college, but can not find the time or money to attend? Are higher education institutions addressing these concerns, or are the traditional institutions leaving it to those who are outside of academia to figure it out? Who is best suited to helping learners learn? » [Full Article]

Outsourced Professional Development for Online Instructors: Recommendations from research

By Ling Zhao, Raymond Dixon, Tonia Dousay, Ali Carr-Chellman / April 18, 2022

To improve the quality of online teaching, institutions typically provide structured professional development in the form of institutional teaching or learning center programming. This programming typically focuses on teaching and learning quality, transitions to online teaching, pedagogies, and new technologies. This article reports on the use of outsourced professional development along with faculty responses to the program. Use of an outsourced program was attractive to faculty who wanted to have another institution's name on their vita. Seventeen faculty completed the professional development program and eight shared their reflections on this inquiry. » [Full Article]

Down the rabbit hole: Revisiting etymology, epistemology, history and practice of instructional and learning design

By Begüm Saçak, Aras Bozkurt, Ellen Wagner / March 31, 2022

There is a multitude of terminologies in the field of learning and training to refer to how we design and approach learning experiences: two of them being instructional design and learning design. Online searches and forum discussions among practitioners and researchers reveal the confusion surrounding the use of these terms. Both terms have sometimes been used interchangeably, but the fact that there is more than one term implies that both terms might be used to encompass different aspects of the learning and training discipline. The term instructional design has been a commonly used term until recently, but now learning design made its way to the literature and to our practices. » [Full Article]

Micro-credentials: An interview with George Ubachs

By Dilek Şenocak, Şeyda Kır / February 11, 2022

This interview with George Ubachs conducted by Dilek Şenocak and Şeyda Kır focuses on the concept of micro-credentials and their impacts on higher education and online learning. Ubachs is Managing Director of The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), which is one of the pioneer university networks for open, online, and distance higher education in Europe. He is also coordinator of the European MOOC Consortium (EMC). In this interview, he discusses his experiences on benefits of micro-credentials from different perspectives, possible challenges in implementing micro-credentials, and how micro-credentials support equity and inclusion in education. » [Full Article]

Relearnit Reexamines online program management (OPM): An interview with Dr. Ronald Wagner

By Ali Carr-Chellman / January 20, 2022

This article reports on an interview with Dr. Ronald Wagner founder and CEO of Relearnit OPM. » [Full Article]

Is My Classroom Flipped? Using Process Mining to Avoid Subjective Perception

By José Francisco dos Santos Neto, Sarajane Marques Peres, Paulo Correia, Marcelo Fantinato / December 31, 2021

Flipped classroom is an active learning method that encourages students to access study material prior to class time. Ensuring the flipping process took place, understanding how it occurred, and verifying whether it produced positive results has been a challenge for lecturers. In this article, we analyze a flipped classroom scenario through process mining techniques. Process mining was applied to an event log provided by a learning management system that supported a particular undergraduate course offering. The outcomes provide evidence for the flip of the classroom, adding precision and reliability to lecturer analyses. » [Full Article]

Conversation-Based Assessments: Real-Time Assessment and Feedback

By Seyma N. Yildirim-Erbasli, Okan Bulut / December 24, 2021

In recent years, substantial progress has been made in the application of technology for learning environments to support interaction and learning. However, current digital assessments still need to be modified to measure student learning in more engaging and effective ways. Conversation-based assessment (CBA) advances the conventional digital assessments by creating a conversational environment between test-takers and agents where each test-taker receives feedback for their correct responses and hints or follow-up questions for their incorrect responses through a natural conversation. This work provides a summary of CBAs by discussing their advantages and differences from conventional digital assessments. » [Full Article]

The Power of Weekly Group Video Recordings in Asynchronous Courses

By Danielle Geary / November 10, 2021

Learning modalities and technology offer dozens of ideas on how to teach online, but still, two things often seem to be missing in the online classroom: class interaction and efficient grading and feedback. In this article, the author describes in detail two kinds of weekly recording activities that greatly add to student engagement and learning in asynchronous courses. Students can be a rather passive audience, but they become much more active in group-conversation video recordings in which the instructor is not present but does provide feedback upon review of the recording. » [Full Article]

How Instructional Designers Work and Think in Online Higher Education

By Les Howles / October 27, 2021

This article summarizes the main themes and chapters for The Learner-Centered Instructional Designer (Stylus Publishing, 2021) and provides a critical evaluation and recommendations for prospective readers. The book consists of 19 short essay-like chapters where 20 experienced instructional designers cover a range of topics related to instructional design consulting in higher education. The various authors share practical strategies and best practices about working with instructors to create online courses. » [Full Article]

The future of assessment depends on elevating culturally diverse perspectives

Special Issue: Advancing Beyond Multiple Choice eAssessment

By Susan Lyons / September 30, 2021

In this opinion piece, Susan Lyons explores the imperative to amplify diverse voices and perspectives in the field of educational measurement. She identifies two negative effects of the lack of cultural diversity in leadership positions within the field and ends by calling for a higher level of critical consciousness within the profession of educational measurement. » [Full Article]

Exploring performance testing in certification: lessons learned and key insights from Microsoft

Special Issue: Advancing Beyond Multiple Choice eAssessment

By Liberty Munson, Manfred Straehle / September 30, 2021

An overview of performance testing and key considerations before adding performance elements to an assessment process. A real-world example is provided as the authors describe why and how Microsoft launched labs in their technical certification program, and lessons learned. » [Full Article]

Beyond multiple-choice with digital assessments

Special Issue: Advancing Beyond Multiple Choice eAssessment

By Okan Bulut / September 30, 2021

During the past decade, K-12 education systems have been increasingly relying on digital forms of educational assessments. Therefore, digital assessments have been integrated into the instructional process and curriculum in multiple ways to promote student learning inside and outside the classroom. When developing digital assessments, one of the most important elements is the type of items used in the assessment. As technological innovations continue to change the type of tasks we can measure using digital assessments, new types of items also emerge. Items in digital assessments can go beyond the limits of what can be measured on a paper-and-pencil assessment with traditional multiple-choice items. » [Full Article]

Challenges for introducing artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency of a next generation assessment approach

Special Issue: Advancing Beyond Multiple Choice eAssessment

By Brian Moon, Farima Fatahi Bayat, Sneha Nair, Andrew Slaughter / September 30, 2021

The U.S. Army sought to develop capabilities that allow for the automated or semi-automated, with greatly reduced human involvement, creation of tests and assessments. In recognizing the potential for an assessment approach that goes beyond multiple-choice, the Army chose our team to introduce and evaluate automated capabilities to author concept mapping-based assessments. This paper describes our initial approaches toward introducing efficiencies into the authoring process for concept map-based assessments. We are developing and evaluating methods to automatically generate concept maps from a knowledge domain and convert the maps into assessments for formative and summative purposes. Our initial work has sought to overcome challenges as we introduced artificial intelligence into the authoring process. » [Full Article]

A future of assessment without testing

Special Issue: Advancing Beyond Multiple Choice eAssessment

By Kristen DiCerbo / September 30, 2021

As with most aspects of life, assessment practices have been challenged by the events of 2020. The combination of the consequences of COVID-19 restrictions and the increased awareness and reckoning with systemic racism requires the field to take a hard look at our assessment systems. The main function of assessment is to gather evidence by which one makes inferences about what people know and can do. Over the past decade, our digital capabilities have increased exponentially and offer the potential to approach assessment differently. We now have digital learning environments that capture the actions of students as they engage in learning activities. » [Full Article]

Remote proctoring? Step up your game and put the learner first

Special Issue: Advancing Beyond Multiple Choice eAssessment

By Geoff Chapman / September 30, 2021

Delivery of proctored exams on-screen has existed for more than 15 years. The pandemic has pushed the technology and its radical service encounter into the mainstream. But new visibility brings new responsibilities and issues to resolve. A gold rush of new and existing suppliers means many learners now have the new exam experience they needed while others have had challenging experiences. » [Full Article]

Beyond Multiple Choice Conference in review

Special Issue: Advancing Beyond Multiple Choice eAssessment

By Kristine Hadeed / September 30, 2021

This review analyzes ideas and themes that emerged from Beyond Multiple Choice 2020 (BMC2020), the third iteration of an annual conference exploring the future of assessment. Taking place online due to restrictions surrounding COVID-19, BMC2020 attracted speakers and delegates from across the globe, representing various facets of the assessment industry. Altogether, the presentations compiled a bird's-eye snapshot of challenges and opportunities for advancing assessment to better meet 21st-century training and education needs. » [Full Article]

eLearn Magazine Special Issue: Beyond Multiple Choice

Special Issue: Advancing Beyond Multiple Choice eAssessment

By Brian Moon / September 30, 2021

Authors for this special issue presented their work, perspectives, and recommendations that look to move learning assessment at all levels "beyond multiple-choice." » [Full Article]

Adaptive knowledge assessment using advanced concept maps with logic branching multiple-choice Google Forms

Special Issue: Advancing Beyond Multiple Choice eAssessment

By António Fonseca, Hugo Faria / September 30, 2021

Concept maps (CM) are a learning tool that has emerged into an efficient e-learning and e-assessment knowledge tool. The aim of this research is to propose and share the most important aspects, practices, and achievements of using, with science teachers and a master student, a combination of a metacognitive tool-advanced concept mapping (ACM) to assess mental models with immediate real-time feedback assessment tool. The use of the logic branching feature of multiple-choice Google Forms (MCGF) may enable teachers to customize surveys and to assess within many students' high order thinking skills, with the convenience and efficiency of an automatic grading system. » [Full Article]

Student Interactions in an Introductory Activity of an Online Course by Ethnicity and Gender

By Jon Ernstberger, Justin Fetner, Kyle Gutowski, Patrick J. Riley, Nick Stavrow / September 28, 2021

In an online, general education course, for a course grade, students were to submit video posts to an introductory course activity. Student responses (by text) were also required for that activity. Initial posts and responses were cataloged by race and gender across multiple sections of the course through multiple semesters and years. Statistical tests were performed to analyze mean numbers of responses and determined that evidence supported that different numbers of responses occurred depending on the race or gender of the original poster, but not both the race and the gender. » [Full Article]

Preparing Adult Learners for Success in Blended Learning through Onboarding: A pilot study

By Anita Samuel, Steven Durning, Holly Meyer / September 20, 2021

Blended learning offers adult learners unique opportunities for instructional continuity given work and personal commitments. However, learners participating in blended learning may experience a sense of isolation and/or problems with technology. To address the challenges of a blended program, an expanded orientation, called "onboarding," was designed to ensure learners feel connected to their program and clearly understand the programmatic requirements. Onboarding spans six months and includes a series of activities to provide learners with technological, interaction, and self-directed learning skills needed to succeed in a blended program. Results from the evaluation survey reveal that learners feel most engaged with the program through one-to-one interactions with their academic advisors and interactions with peers in an online discussion board. » [Full Article]

Challenges and Opportunities for eLearning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The year in review

By Simone C. Conceicao / August 26, 2021

In 2020-2021, elearning became essential at all levels of education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This editorial provides a year in review for eLearn Magazine. A common theme was the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in online education and opportunities for overcoming these challenges. » [Full Article]

Meeting Online Learners Where They Are: e-Learning during a time of pandemic

By Ana-Paula Correia, Sean Hickey, Traci Lepicki, Alicia Willis / August 12, 2021

While adult and workplace training were quick to adopt the use of online learning, many of these efforts have not advanced far beyond taking presentation slides or video recordings from formerly in-person training and making them available on learning-management systems. Compared to formal education, adult and workplace training has been much slower to iterate and improve upon early digital and virtual educational methods, leaving online learning that is viewed as neither engaging for the end-user nor effective at achieving intended outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown added urgency to this problem, with many organizations being forced to either improve upon existing virtual training methods or finally completely replace in-person training with online options. » [Full Article]

Cognition (and Learning) On the Loose

By Clark Quinn / July 29, 2021

Annie Murphy Paul's new book, "The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain," covers emerging research that extends our understanding of thinking beyond the typical view of "mind in the brain." Illustrated with stories, this book unpacks new recognitions, and provides the implications for the design of learning and instruction. » [Full Article]

Gender Differences in Online Learning: Insights from recent graduates

By Melissa Venable / June 28, 2021

How might the online learning experience, and the support required for success, differ for men and women? New survey research captures insights from 505 participants, including 295 women, who graduated from online programs between 2015 and 2020. This article provides an overview of the characteristics of online students, highlighting the challenges female students face and considerations for supporting their success. Differences in demographic characteristics across gender were found in the areas of degree level and academic major, income, age, and ethnic diversity. More men chose computer and information sciences majors, while more women were in healthcare and education. Female students were also younger and at lower income levels than their male counterparts when they were enrolled in their online programs. » [Full Article]

On the Growing Curve: An interview on gaming to learn with G2A's CEO, Bartosz Skwarczek

By Alison Carr-Chellman / May 21, 2021

An interview with Bartosz Skwarczek, CEO of G2A, includes an examination of a recent survey of U.K. and U.S. teachers regarding perceptions of games as a learning and curricular tool. Interview results are shared as well as a review of the resulting G2A Academy aimed at teacher training for building skills to utilize games in the classroom. » [Full Article]

Designing for Social Connectivity (Not Everyone Likes Webcams)

By William P Lord / April 30, 2021

COVID-19 has forced vast numbers of educational institutions to shift their operations from being delivered face-to-face to being delivered online. As a result, academic institutions have had to scramble to find complex solutions that meet systems-wide online teaching and learning needs. The quality of interaction that occurs between the educator and the student is crucial to the success of delivering education via online technologies, and it is incumbent on the host institution to provide a usable, effective, and satisfying form of communication all participants may communicate with while maintaining a sense of social presence. It requires little effort to compile a list of potential benefits of using webcams in educational settings. » [Full Article]

The Burden of Alleviating the Burden During a Pandemic: Emotional literacy as a tool for online course design, adaptation, and evaluation

By Petra Robinson, Maja Stojanović / April 23, 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, most, if not all, courses were shifted to online learning formats. In this article, we share our experiences related to teaching and learning in a completely online, condensed (seven-week) graduate-level course during the fall 2020 semester. More specifically, we discuss the important role of emotional literacy as a mechanism for framing online course design, adaptation, and evaluation. We explore emotional literacy in terms of its necessity in teaching and learning in online contexts during a pandemic, beyond the scope of other obviously important non-traditional literacies, such as technological and informational literacies. » [Full Article]

Wikipedia Engagement Can Enhance eLearning

By Shannon A.B. Perry / March 31, 2021

With so much formal learning now taking place online, eLearning educators have the opportunity to incorporate Wikipedia as a multifaceted pedagogical resource. I argue that doing so facilitates the cultivation of 21st century skills and empowers learners to participate in creating positive social change. The article concludes with various ways educators may incorporate Wikipedia into teaching practice, appropriate Wikipedia assignments for students. » [Full Article]

Listening to the Sound of Silence in Supporting Instructors' Transitions to Remote Teaching During COVID-19

By Kayon Murray-Johnson, Anna Santucci, Diane J. Goldsmith / February 28, 2021

While online education has been with us for more than 20 years, and many faculty are proficient at designing and teaching highly interactive, intellectually stimulating asynchronous classes, other faculty have chosen to remain focused on their teaching in the classroom. However, COVID-19 has rapidly and without warning ushered all higher ed teaching and learning into emergency remote environments. By now, many who support faculty in transitioning courses have received varying levels of participation and are examining ways to increase support opportunities. » [Full Article]

Strategies to Build Student-to-Student Rapport in Online Adult Learning Courses

By James Kennedy / February 24, 2021

Students in online classes may have difficulty or believe they cannot develop a rapport with fellow students. There is significant research that indicates that this rapport greatly increases the student?s success in a class. Students can easily build rapport in an in-person classroom and often the instructor is not involved. However, in the online classroom, the problem becomes how do students build this rapport when they only see each other in a virtual space in the classroom to help increase their learning and course success. » [Full Article]

Engaging Young Learners through Online Teaching

By Felicia Saffold / January 29, 2021

This article explored the transformation of an early childhood center from face-to-face instruction to online learning and examined how principles of effective online instruction design were related to community building, interactivity, and online presence. The case study is from an early head start institution in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After creating an online program over the summer of 2020, teachers share their perspectives of teaching online with young learners. Results suggest benefits of technology integration in early learning classrooms. » [Full Article]

Renewing Self-Directed Learning in E-Learning Experiences

By Francesco Giuseffi / January 22, 2021

The possibilities for meaningful elearning experiences are endless, yet intentional work must be done to see that students are engaged and motivated. Through the fundamental elements of self-directed learning, students and teachers can forge new paths in education and create a bright future for teaching and learning online. » [Full Article]