MI Moodle Moot 2016

MI Moodle Moot 2016 features preconference workshops and 30 different breakout sessions at the Moot, along with Hands-On Help Rooms for teachers and administrators for one-on-one support to try out what you've learned.

MI Moodle Moot 2016 begins with a opening keynote by Michelle Moore, followed by 45 minute breakout sessions (you can attend 5). Bring a laptop or Chromebook and have a course in Moodle to edit (laptops and courses available on site by request.)

Preconference Workshops, January 7, 2016

Registration, 7:45 - 8:30 am

  • Full Day $40, includes lunch
  • Half Day $20, includes lunch

Morning Workshops 8:30 - 11:45am

  • Enhance and Engage with Embedded Content
  • Moodle for Beginners - Foundation
  • Moodle Admins: Extending Moodle Reporting
  • Taking Moodle to the Next Level
  • Think Again: Reframing Moodle Course Design

Afternoon Workshops 12:30 - 3:45pm

  • All Together Better: Collaborative Course Improvement
  • Get Ready! Get Set! Gamify!
  • Moodle for Beginners - Next Steps
  • Moodle Intermediate - Stacking Activities - Using Books & Lessons to Clean up Your Moodle
  • Moodle Admins: Getting Started with Moodle Development
  • Click Here for a List of Preconference Workshop Titles and Description

MI Moodle Moot, January 8, 2016

Registration, 7:45 - 8:20 am

$40, includes light breakfast and lunch ($50 on site registration)

Breakout Session Strands

  • Getting Started with Blended Instruction & Moodle (Beginners)
  • Taking Moodle to the Next Level - (Experienced Moodle Users)
  • Teaching & Training Totally Online with Moodle (Virtual Teacher)
  • For Moodle System Administrators (Technical & Support Staff)

Friday Opening Keynote, 8:20 - 9:00a

  • Rising Above Moodle Mediocrity with Michelle Moore, International eLearning Expert and Author

Breakout Sessions, 9:15a - 3:15p

  • 10 Need to Know Settings in Moodle Admin
  • Avoid the Scroll of Death!
  • Best Practices in Moodle Administration
  • Blended Formative Assessment
  • Blended Learning in a Remedial Math Environment
  • Classroom Testing with Moodle
  • Completion Tracking for Online Preparation Tutorials
  • Creating Dynamic Math Questions
  • Creating Interactive Classrooms
  • Cuz Quizzes [Can] Increase Quality Learning
  • Delivering Personalized Learning Experiences with Moodle
  • Demystifying the Moodle Tracker
  • Developing a Template for Effective Course Design
  • Differentiate Learning with Moodle "Lessons"
  • Git for Moodle Administrators
  • Glossary - It's More Than Just Words
  • Gradebook: Using Rubrics to Meet Educational Standards
  • Hook, Line & Sinker - Reel in Teachers with Socialwall
  • How We Automated Cumbersome Progress Reports
  • Illuminating Moodle
  • I'm Ten and I Can Blend: A PBL Journey in 5th Grade
  • Learn a Lesson!
  • Mahoodle - ePortfolios in Blended Environments
  • Moodle in a CTE Classroom
  • Restrict Access Opens Up New Possibilities
  • Welcome to the MiLearns Online Portal
  • What's Your HTTPS Grade?
  • Why You Should Stop Using Forums
  • You Added *WHAT* to Your Moodle?

The fourth annual MI Moodle Moot (MI Moodle Moot 2016) will take place at the Mid Michigan Community College on January 7-8, 2016.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Finding An eLearning Internship In The “Blue Ocean”

The Blue Ocean Strategy Of Landing An eLearning Internship: The Feeding Frenzy Begins 

A friend of a friend reached out to me recently on LinkedIn. She’s nearing the end of her graduate program in Instructional Design and looking to land a summer internship here in Pittsburgh. In a small-to-medium sized city, though, this will be one hell of a battle. Dozens of qualified students will be fighting over a handful of eLearning internships. This is what W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne call a “red ocean strategy”. The water is filled with sharks turning the water bloody as they compete for an ever-shrinking supply of fish. If you don’t want to be another body churning up these waters, you’ll have to do something even more bold and daring than fighting the other sharks. You’ll have to swim away toward…

The Blue Ocean

The blue ocean is the new, unexplored market, completely untouched by competition. There’s plenty of room in these waters for growth, and no other sharks to fight. Of course, there is a reason those other sharks aren’t swimming here. The fighting may be ferocious back in the red ocean, but at least there are rules, boundaries, and a conventional path to success. Out here in the blue, though, you’re on your own.

Rather than fighting with other sharks over a limited supply of advertised jobs, you’ll have to create demand for your services. You’ll do this by reaching out to people and organizations that are not advertising for eLearning internships and convincing them that you’re worth talking to. Once you have your foot in the door, you’ll have to demonstrate so much value that they’ll create a position just for you.

Feeding Grounds

  • Linda is a successful executive coach who just finished writing her first book. She wants to share her ideas with a larger audience to drum up business for her coaching practice and to create interest in her book, but she’s not sure how.
  • Jordan’s been working with his pastor to develop a parenting skills training program for low-income workers in his neighborhood. Due to the unpredictable work schedules of the parents, though, he’s found it impossible to schedule live classes at a time when everyone can attend.
  • After a few years of struggling, Justin and Kyle’s startup is growing faster than they could imagine. In a matter of months, they’ve gone from having three employees working at their office downtown to having twenty three employees working from home offices in different parts of the country. They know they need to get their new hires up to speed on company policies, but the teleconferences they’ve been hosting haven’t been effective.
  • Alyssa is the sole full-time employee at a tiny community library. Lately she’s been spending most of her time showing borrowers how to use a new website to request books from other libraries. Repeating this one-on-one tutorial for everyone who comes in is eating into the time she needs for other work.
  • Nathan inherited a small chain of diners from his father last year and he’s struggling to keep the family businesses afloat. Due to the high staff turnover, Nathan is spending most of his time travelling from location to location training new employees on basic sanitation, food preparation, and customer service skills.

All of these people have two things in common:

  1. None of them are even thinking about eLearning, much less about hiring an eLearning intern.
  2. They could all benefit tremendously if they did.

The blue ocean strategy involves finding these people and helping them solve their problems. Here’s how.

  1. First, Cast Your Net.
    Instructional Design firms, universities, and large corporations are the red ocean of eLearning. Everything else is blue ocean. Small businesses, family firms, non-profit organizations, consultants, religious ministries, dentist’s offices, artist co-ops, local government agencies, organic farms… you get the idea. Don’t just send your resume out scatter-shot, though. Do some research first. Read websites and learn what these organizations do. If you see an opening where you might be able to add value, then send a resume and a personalized letter explaining how you can help them. An even more effective approach is to ask around among friends and family to see who they know or work with who might be in need of your help. People are much more likely to take a chance on someone they know -even just a friend of a friend- than someone they have no connection with.
  2. Now, Offer The Bait.
    Let’s say you get a call-back and someone from the organization wants to meet with you. Get busy and create a work sample before you even walk in the door. Go to the organization’s website and pull down their logo, colors, and other branding elements. Use this information to create a short, simple eLearning on a topic that might be important for them. Bring along a laptop to demonstrate the course at the end of the interview. (Even if you don't get the job, you'll have another asset that you can re-brand and place in your portfolio. You do have a portfolio, right?)
  3. Finally, Set The Hook.
    Assuming you’ve impressed them with your interview and work sample, make it easy for them to hire you. Remember, many of these folks have never hired interns before. (That’s why they’re in blue water!) The more hoops they have to jump through and the more intimidated they feel, the less likely they are to do it. Offer to do some of the legal or regulatory legwork, if you can. Keep your expectations reasonable. No one gets rich at an internship - the point is to gain experience. Your experiences in blue water will probably be more valuable than your friends’ experience churning things up in the red ocean.

Sailor, Be Warned

If you think the blue ocean strategy sounds like a lot of work, you’re right. If you think it’s going to involve chasing down a bunch of leads that go nowhere before finding the right one, you're probably right about that, too. You’ll also have to face puzzled looks, being blown off and ignored, and a good deal of flat-out rejection.

If you have the guts, however, you may find treasure in these blue waters.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

TIDE 2016

2016 Technology Institute for Developmental Educators (TIDE 2016)

More than 90% of students have smart phones that are rarely tapped into for instructional purposes. There is rarely enough time in your workday or at a standard conference to learn how to integrate these devices into your classrooms or support services. TIDE 2016 provides four days of face-to-face mentoring and hands-on practice to hone your technology expertise whether you are a developmental educator or a core curriculum faculty member. You begin technology projects during the week and then receive a year of individualized support to help you complete these projects. Whether you have beginning or advanced technology skills—come enjoy a technology vacation while networking with other educators.

What To Expect at TIDE 2016?

You will attend four minicourse sessions throughout the week's schedule and one independent study (or if you choose five minicourses) to work on your project. These sessions are learning opportunities with expert instructors giving you a chance to hone your technology skills and complete projects you design.

Each morning you will meet with your mentoring group to preview the day's activities. Most afternoons you'll debrief with your mentoring group and review your productive learning sessions.

Choose from 14 different workshops some offered SYNCHRONOUSLY ONLINE (those with the @ sign):

  • Teaching with Social Networking @
  • Mobile Apps for Academic Success @
  • Mobile Apps for Integrated Reading and Writing @
  • Google Docs & Google+ @
  • Technology and Developmental Math @
  • Teaching with Mobile Devices
  • Mobile Apps for Developmental Math
  • Best Practices for Online & Hybrid Classes
  • Creating Audio and Video Podcasts
  • Best Practices for Online Learning Centers
  • Tutoring Online
  • Assistive Technology
  • Independent Study

We hope you like good cooking as we will have various restaurants in and around San Marco cater our lunch and suppers. Breakfast is continental style. Please note that we will offer vegetarian and gluten free options!

We also want you to enjoy all that Central Texas has to offer as we have events planned each evening from shopping in the biggest outlet mall in the U.S. to visiting the eclectic South Austin shops.

Who should attend TIDE 2016?

  • Developmental educators at or preparing for the postsecondary level (e.g., Early College, technical school, community college, junior college, four year college, university) who want to learn more about how to integrate technology into their and their students' personal and professional lives.
  • Core curriculum faculty who want to enhance their classrooms with technology and expand their instruction beyond their classrooms through mobile learning apps.
  • All levels of expertise are welcome. While some of the mini-courses are labeled advanced, we will help beginners while addressing the needs of those with more experience.
  • Windows, Android, and/or Mac desktop and mobile platforms users will be addressed, and please bring your own laptop, smartphone, and/or tablet.
  • Propose projects and receive expert support in each of the five mini-courses for which you are enrolled.
  • We have special arrangements for participants to earn three hours of continuing education credit.

Who will mentor me?

Dave Caverly, Professor, Graduate Program in Developmental Education Department of Curriculum and  Instruction, Texas State University-San Marcos

Lucy MacDonald, Associate Professor Emeritus,Chemeketa Community College, Salem, Oregon

Chris Woods, Picture of Chris WoodsCoordinator of Instructional Technologies Projects South Texas College,  McAllen, TX

Tina Swiniarski College Readiness Lead Mathematics Instructor Triton College, River Grove, IL

The 2016 Technology Institute for Developmental Educators Conference (TIDE 2016) will take place at the Hampton Inn & Suites San Marcos (San Marcos, TX, US) on January 4-8, 2016.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How To Improve Your Online Course

9 Key Factors That Affect The Success Of Your Online Course 

It sounds odd, but providing great content doesn’t automatically turn your online course into a great one. The reason is a great course is not only information. It is also an experience.

To form an outstanding online experience, every single aspect of your product matters – from materials and structure to superficially insignificant things as technical and design elements.

Here are the key success factors to work out.

1. Title Sells. 

Your course title is your sales pitch. It answers in matter of seconds the most important question potential learners have: “What is in it for me?”. Depending on your answer, they may consider enrolling. Or they may bypass all your efforts and keep browsing. The course title has two main functions – to grab attention and to make a promise. To differentiate your course from the others, don’t just state what it is about. Tell the potential student exactly what you will help them achieve. Create an exclusive offer they cannot miss. Suggestions for improving your course title:

  • Spur excitement about the benefits your students will gain.
  • Incite curiosity by asking a thought provoking question.
  • Make an emotional statement that resonates with your audience’s struggles.
  • Define a specific solution for a problem people face.
  • Address your student directly. If they are specialists in a certain field, for example, include their professional jargon in the title.

Be creative! But don’t sacrifice clarity for creativity. And do not make promises you cannot keep.

2. Build Up To Success. 

A great online course is a journey. It’s up to you to create a map your students can follow – from beginning to end. This is what the course structure is about. Plan and describe it in as much detail as you can.

3. Introduction. 

They say people need less than 5 minutes to form an impression. The first minutes of your course are meant to do just that. Those who enrolled could still leave, if you bore them during the course introduction. Start of by generating anticipation and motivation with your welcoming message. Describe your expertise, the course objectives and the benefits for those who finish it. Create realistic expectations.

4. Instruction. 

Plan and describe in detail all course sections - objectives, milestones, lectures, and assignments schedule. If different topics are covered by different lecturers, introduce them and their expertise. Aim for a balance between friendliness, accessibility and professionalism when presenting the mentors. Structure your instructional part so that it is challenging, but not overwhelming to your students.

5. Conclusion. 

Discuss the aftermath and achievements of your students at the end. The skills they gained and their real-life application. Don’t forget to provoke discussion and ask for feedback. Use learners’ experience to improve your material even further.

6. Style Matters. 

You surely have a lot to teach. The course experience, however, needs showing (at least) as much as telling. All graphic elements in your course shape the eLearning environment. Is yours attractive and memorable? Have a close look and polish the following elements:

  • User interface must be clear and intuitive. All resource maps have to be easy to navigate.
  • Optimize your web design for mobile devices.
  • Video lectures – supplement narration with lots of relevant images, charts, print screens, etc.
  • Additional materials (handouts, worksheets) – keep consistency in the basic design elements (logos, color scheme, fonts) throughout the whole course, including the bonus materials.

Many brush visual design elements off as purely decorative and non-essential. That is a fundamental mistake. Visually appealing and stimulating learning environment can create emotional response, raise student engagement and make the lectures more enjoyable. Even details like alignment, color usage, and font size can affect how students evaluate the course.

7. Content Rules. 

Whatever the discussed topics in your course are, if you present them in a creative and engaging way, your student audience will keep growing and coming back for more. What makes content engaging? Everything your learners can relate to. Center your teaching on your students’ lives.

  • Make sure the lectures are delivered in short chunks via various formats – in written form, as well as audio and visual methods. If you don't consider yourself a great writer, try a professional college paper writing service or proofreading website for the best content quality.
  • Highlight your key points.
  • Provide summaries.
  • Create lots of discussions and take an active part in them.
  • Minimize the chance for technical difficulties in accessing the content. Backup options and prompt technical assistance are a must.

Be very transparent when it comes to course policies, student evaluation, and feedback. Describe the assignments process, your grading rubrics, and dispute mechanisms. If possible, provide model assignments and tests.

8. Sparkle Engagement. 

The beauty of online learning is that anybody anywhere can take part at their own convenience. Sometimes that is the problem – people can easily lose interest. It is up to you to keep eLearners engaged and motivated throughout your entire course. Here are some tips to achieve that:

  • Design your students’ journey from novice to master. 
    You can design your course using game elements and mechanics to keep people “checking in”. When done properly, gamification turns learning into an exciting and memorable experience. Some game elements you can easily incorporate in your lessons: achievements, avatars, badges, content unlocking, progress bars, teams, and leaderboards. The point is to help learners build competency in a fun way.
  • Provide 24/7 communication channels.
    Discussions not only help students learn more, but they also get to know each other. This builds a community. And community means engagement. Define the ways for learners to contact you and to interact with each other in a friendly and constructive way. Direct communication leads towards support and feedback. Forums, live chats, webinars are just a few communication options.

9. Bonuses And Extra Resources. 

Suggest as many extracurricular resources and bonus materials as you can. The more people gain from your course, the happier they would be with the experience. And that will bring more new learners and opportunities for you.

The difference between regular online courses and the great ones is that the best courses meet or even exceed expectations. To achieve that, you have to polish every detail of your course.

But don’t stop there; pay attention to students’ feedback and keep improving.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Grabbing The Learner’s Attention

How To Grab Your Learner’s Attention 

According to Gagne’s nine events of instruction, “Gain Attention” is the first key step taken into consideration when designing a training program/course. The basic idea is to grab the learner’s attention. I am a great fan of this “Gain attention” strategy. The first few seconds/minutes of a training program plays a crucial role in deciding its fate. The learner may just leave the training in the middle or click “Next” continuously to complete it. If the first impression is not positive, the great Instructional Design strategies may just fall on deaf ears.

"Gain Attention" strategies play an effective role in eLearning. It has the power to increase the motivational level of your learner.

Gaining attention:

  • Arouses the learner’s curiosity.
  • Sets an expectation in the learner’s mind: What’s in the training for me?/ What is the training all about?
  • Makes the learner think about a particular concept: Really?/ No way!/ So true!
  • Helps the learner grasp what is going to be covered during training.

Basically, a Gain Attention strategy will build a curiosity in the learner’s mind to see what comes ahead. The learner will actually be interested in taking the training program.

Now, the question arises: “What qualifies as a Gain Attention strategy?”

11 Key Elements Of “Gain Attention” Strategies

All of the following can qualify as a Gain Attention strategy:

  1. Pretests.
    Ideal for learners who believe they know everything and there is nothing more to learn. The objective is to enable the learners to understand where they stand at the beginning of the training program. Example: Before staring the training, let us answer a few questions. 
  2. Throwing a challenge.
    This holds good for demotivated learners. Example: You are a technical assistant. You have several customers who require your assistance. How many customers can you serve in a day? 
  3. Presenting a problem to be solved.
    Builds the curiosity in the learner to solve the problem. Example: You have been appointed as a manager of a team whose performance has been very poor over the past few months. How will you motivate your team and ensure that each member gives his/her best? 
  4. “Did you know?”
    Share facts that will really inspire and surprise the learners.
  5. Comic strips.
    Use comic characters to talk about a particular topic/situation.
  6. Scenarios.
    Make the learners understand with a scenario or through characters in a scenario. Example: There’s a city where many school going children have been missing over the last two months. You, being a part of the investigation department, have been assigned this case. You need to go to the city and solve the mystery.
  7. Minimal onscreen text.
    Present information in a concise and accurate manner.
  8. Stories.
    Making the learners understand through a story is a great tool to impart knowledge. Explaining the concept with the help of a story conveys learning through emotions.
  9. Images.
    Depicting the concept using relevant images makes the training program interesting.
  10. Videos.
    Videos act as the easiest form of instruction to explain a complicated process.
  11. Activity.
    No doubt, doing is better than seeing. Activity reinforces the process of learning.

Using the different types of Gain Attention strategies stated above, one can develop an effective eLearning course that is highly engaging and of learner’s delight.

There are several other innovative ways to design grabbing attention screens. If you have come across any of these, please feel free to share them.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

IICTC-HAWAII2016

IICTC-HAWAII2016 Theme: “Convergence and Divergence”

The International Academic Forum, in conjunction with its global university and institutional partners, is proud to announce the Inaugural IAFOR International Conference on Technology in the Classroom in Hawaii.

This international and interdisciplinary conference will act as a centre for academics, practitioners and professionals to discuss new research in education. IICTC-HAWAII2016 will create opportunities for the internationalization of higher education and sharing of expertise. We invite professionals from all corners of the world to develop policies, exchange ideas, and promote new partnerships with organizations and peers.

The Inaugural IAFOR International Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2016 – Hawaii will be held alongside the Inaugural IAFOR International Conference on Language Learning 2016 – Hawaii and the Inaugural IAFOR International Conference on Education 2016 – Hawaii. Registration for either conference will allow attendees to attend sessions in the other.

This open and exploratory theme of “Convergence|Divergence” asks at us to look at the many and varied collisions and frictions involved in the coming together of individuals, cultures, ideas, as well as teaching and learning contexts and approaches, that we negotiate as educators.

In language education we have best practices that can be seen as a type of convergence. We want a solid foundation to our teaching that is based upon important shared principles, but we also see many areas where beliefs diverge or where areas of interests are different. For example, over the years some teachers focused on task based language education, others are doing motivation research, and still others have looked at critical pedagogy. These are examples of divergence, but they are overlaid on converging values such as creating safe spaces for learners, respecting all in our classes, and having a deep commitment to our profession.

Take the changes in digital communication over the past 20 years. We have moved from the open World Wide Web of Tim Berners-Lee to a more contained online experience that is found in mobile phone apps or social media. Some decry this filtering into “walled gardens” as stultifying and robbing the future of open inquiry because when everyone accessed the same Internet, they could roam widely and make discoveries. However, as we are funneled into application silos that do not interact with each other, we become isolated, leaving the open bazaar of the Internet, and are–dare we say–forced to gather in niche communities.

Moreover, at each convergence and divergence is the possibility of connection. The connection or connector is the human intelligence that we apply to our creative work. It is our humanness that ultimately connects us whether we are converging or diverging. Are you on the inside of a supportive community that wants to make itself understood to those outside? Or, are you on the outside watching as schools of thought and competing values seem to draw colleagues in different directions? The reality is many of us find ourselves in both situations–continuously converging and then diverging.

This International Academic Forum can be the medium that brings us together to negotiate the vibrant appeal of openness and the power of a concentrated coherent view. Through an interdisciplinary approach, we can embrace the ebb and flow of these contradictions to better understand our way forward as we develop as educators.

We look forward to converging on Hawaii, Dubai, the UK, and Japan in 2016, and to an exciting divergence of ideas.

IICTC-HAWAII2016 Keynote Speakers

Dr Paul Lowe, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London

Professor Chung-Ying Cheng, Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA

The IAFOR International Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2016 (IICTC-HAWAII2016) will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center on January 8 - 15, 2015.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

6 Insider Insights Into Localization For Training Expansion 

Global Expansion = Training Expansion – Insider Insights Into Localization

“The economic recovery is clearly here: Spending on corporate training is soaring (…) and the research is striking: US spending on corporate training grew by 15% last year (the highest growth rate in seven years) to over $70 Billion in the US and over $130 Billion worldwide.” - Forbes, Feb. 2014.

Companies are investing internally first, through training, to fill in the skill gaps within their own companies. This is great news for Training and Development teams! Most of us don’t have the luxury, however, of being capable of developing training outside of our own native language. As a result, we depend on internal employees or outside language service providers to help us develop this training on a much broader scale.

With rare exception, you will be dealing with text expansion when converting your training to other languages. This is important to know when planning and developing your courses. Ultimately this will affect your seat-time. For most languages, you can expect a 25-30% increase. For some languages like German, for example, you can expect a 40% increase. It’s the nature of the target languages.

For eLearning courses developed in most authoring tools, the text expansion may increase the overall number of slides you have. It will also increase the running time of your audio scripts. During the engineering builds, the slides will be synced to your new audio. From a technical standpoint, it’s not a big deal. The real concern is the new seat time for the end user. A one-hour English course could easily become a 1.25 – 1.5 hour course in another language.

The real challenge comes in with video training. Text expansion for on-screen text, subtitles or captions, and much longer audio files can be an issue with this type of training.

Most often, we commonly see final edited videos that are based on the English. There’s only so far you can stretch a video to accommodate the new language without compromising its quality. The other option is to try to match the translated scripts to the actual running time of the English. Often, due to text trimming by necessity, you end up with a video that is less impactful than the original and ultimately sounds more unnatural.

With some strategic planning up front, you can alleviate the majority of this challenges and maintain the integrity of your original training:

  1. Don’t edit your final English video too tightly.
    Leave some breathing room since you know another language version will be longer. Even with subtitles, your viewer needs to have time to read the subtitle while watching what’s happening in the video.
  2. Choose your voice-talent wisely based on your target audience.
    Accents can vary greatly by geographic area.
  3. Audio production will most likely be your biggest expense during the localization phase.
    If you have a limited production budget, this can be a concern for localization. Each voice talent typically comes with a minimum charge as does studio time. Do you really need 5 different narrators in your video? Or, can you live with 1 male and 1 female?
  4. Maximize your dollars.
    Try to group your smaller videos together as a single project if you’re outsourcing. Typically, you want to pull together around 30 minutes of source video to maximize your investment in the minimum charges to studio time and voice talent.
  5. Be cognizant of your framing when shooting your video.
    If you plan to use subtitles or captions rather than record audio, remember that the lower third of your screen will be covered up. You don’t want to cover up what people need to see.
  6. Talk to your language partner during the planning stage if you can.
    Your language expert can help guide you in the development based on your specific target languages.

Localization of training content should be a fun experience and not a painful one. Hopefully, these tips will help guide you in the right direction in planning well for your next global training initiative.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Open Educational Practice als Schlüssel zu einer veränderten Lehr- und Lernkultur mit Open Educational Resources

Die Campus Innovation 2015 (#CIHH15) in Hamburg ist gerade zu Ende gegangen und schon treffen auch die ersten längeren Botschaften im Netz ein. Zum Beispiel dieser Vortrag von Kerstin Mayrberger (Universität Hamburg), dessen unmittelbare Nähe zum Projekt der Hamburg Open Online University unübersehbar ist. Kerstin Mayrberger spannt hier den Bogen von Open Educational Resources (OER) zu Open Educational Practices (OEP), die sie an einer partizipativen Lehr- und Lernkultur festmacht. Was eine solche Lernkultur auszeichnet, halten die Slides in Stichworten fest, inklusive der Ambivalenz einer “verordneten Partizipation”. Das macht schon mal auf den Vortrag neugierig, der sicher in Kürze auf den Konferenzseiten zur Verfügung gestellt wird.
Kerstin Mayrberger, SlideShare, 27. November 2015

Re-evaluating Classroom Technology: The Changing Landscape Of Student Engagement

Is Classroom Technology Changing The Landscape Of Student Engagement?  

Technology is entangled with every part of our life. It dictates our way of shopping, socializing, connecting to others, and playing, so it is quite logical that it is going to have a significant influence on the way we learn.

Students generally have a favorable attitude toward technology. However, according to Eden Dahlstrom from EDUCASE, technology has only a moderate influence on students’ active involvement in particular courses or as a connector with other students and faculty. The rest is still up to the teacher and how they can inspire their students.

Introducing technology into your classroom does not just include bringing a netbook or iPad. Teachers need to use technology to enhance their and their students’ performance. There are several ways to go about this, for example assigning online course content and using adaptive software for students with special needs has had a great positive impact. Equally beneficial is the usage of online student assessments and other available digital tools.

Along with the tablets and iPads and Kindles, smartphones have also been given a place in a classroom. A recent study on the mobile device use has shown that this has opened a door to some negative influences. For example students who spend more than four hours using their smartphones get less sleep, while students who did not use smartphones at all and studied 30 minutes a day had higher scores on a math exam than those who spent two hours a day both studying and using mobile devices. Based on this data it can be concluded that the use of technology does not directly increase students’ productivity.

How Have The Roles Changed? 

In their pursuit to keep up with their students and to keep their interest more and more, educators are implementing technology in their lectures. From the simple visual means like PowerPoint presentations to more advanced methods like Voice Thread or Moodle Glossary that enable students to actively participate and mold their own learning experience.

Another major benefit of the usage of technology in the classroom is that it changes the role of a student from a passive to an active one. Students are no more just recipients of knowledge; they have become seekers, makers, and distributors. They are put in a position where they can define their own goals, have an impact on design decisions, and even evaluate their own progress. This change has proven to have a positive impact on both their self-esteem and their motivation.

Do Social Media Belong In The Classroom? 

The views on whether social media belong in a classroom vary. Most educators these days use platforms like YouTube on daily basis to enrich their lectures and make them more engaging. Many university professors have admitted to also using Facebook and Twitter to inform their students about some changes or to assign tasks. Jim Newman, a Ph.D. student and instructor at Northern Illinois University, says that he uses Twitter not as a news source for his class, but as a bulletin board:

“I use it as an additional way to let students know if there’s some last-minute news, like class being cancelled.”

On the other hand there have been some negative outcomes from the usage of social media in the classroom. Slang terms and text-speak have become common in the classrooms. Student assignments are filled with things like IDK (I don’t know), SMH (shaking my head), and BTW (by the way) and teachers are still uncertain how to deal with these issues. Also punctuation and capitalization have sadly gone out the classroom window, and the students are not even aware that they are doing it. The lack of acre that they give to punctuation and spelling when using text messages and social media has now been transferred to school assignments and writing tasks.

Conclusions 

The fact that technology has entered our classrooms and is here to stay is undeniable. What is left is finding the best possible way to navigate through the sea of pros and cons finding the best possible solutions for your students and their needs. Educators on all levels need to be alert and to at least try to nip all the negative outcomes in the bud before they let their students out into the real world.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Why eLearning Is Key To Democratizing Higher Education In Africa 

Democratizing Higher Education In Africa With eLearning

Sub-Saharan Africa’s higher education sector has expanded exponentially since the 1970s. The number of tertiary education students increased approximately 50-fold from 200,000 in 1970 to over 10 million currently. For Africa to accommodate students who will reach university enrolment age over the next 12 years, the continent would have to build four universities every week with a capacity for 30,000 people. With already stretched resources, the majority of African countries is unable to meet the demands of increased student enrolments and unable to invest in the building of new universities. The adoption of modern technology presents an opportunity to increase tertiary education access. By shifting from the “brick and mortar” approach, universities will be able to maximize on the output they derive from existing physical and human resources.

eLearning is the best possible solution to the problem of access to quality higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Only about eight percent of tertiary school-aged youths and adults in Sub-Saharan Africa are enrolled in tertiary institutions, compared to the global average of 32 percent. eLearning may be the most effective answer to democratizing higher education in Africa.

How eLearning Is Democratizes Higher Education

  1. Unlimited Geographical Reach.
    The demand for learning has never been so high, and this in conjunction with the need to geographically broaden learning has prompted universities to introduce eLearning initiatives. The number of distance learning institutions has increased dramatically in Sub-Saharan Africa. The African Virtual University (AVU) for example has grown from five countries at inception in 1997 to 27 today. Most universities however have been static in their structure and delivery of higher education courses. Distance learning via eLearning will allow universities to reach students in multiple geographical locations using pre-recorded lectures and Learning Management Systems. The University of the People (UoPeople) has built a model that has transformed access to higher education. As the world's first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university, UoPeople has admitted more than 2,000 students from over 150 countries to date. With eLearning even the rural populations in Sub-Saharan countries can be reached with higher education. There is massive potential to use mobile smart phones in connecting higher education institutions more effectively with distance learners. By communicating and sending course materials via mobile smartphones, students receive more frequent support from their educators and can pursue their education wherever and whenever they want. Geographical location will cease to be a limitation.
  2. Lower Tuition Costs.
    eLearning allows institutions of higher learning to provide students with affordable high quality education. The decline in public expenditure per student and projected increase in population suggest the need for a systematic approach that addresses the issue of higher education quality in conjunction with a flow management policy at secondary and primary education levels. The expansion of higher education systems will require considerable investment for increasing the capacity of existing establishments such as libraries, laboratories, workshops, and lecture halls and this investment will likely result in the increase of tuition fees. eLearning also makes it possible to respond to steep increases in the number of students at a marginal cost significantly lower than that of face to face teaching. Online courses generally cost less in tuition and fees than traditional courses, thus reducing the average cost of attendance. Online courses provide unlimited educational opportunities which drastically reduce tuition costs.
  3. Access To Quality Academic Resources.
    eLearning ensures the democratization of higher education by giving students universal access to quality academic content. It is possible for high quality academic resources to be accessible by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Recently the City of Johannesburg in South Africa rolled out online university education in partnership with international institutions through the city’s public libraries known as Massive Open Online Varsity (MOOV). The University of Adelaide in Australia, Rice University, Wharton Business School, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come on board to offer their courses on MOOV. Students now have an alternative method of getting a tertiary education without having to deal with the high costs. Through the use of advanced technology, students who previously had no access to higher education will now have the opportunity to study at the location that best suits their needs.

eLearning brings a new model to how higher education is designed, implemented, and delivered. African universities have been static in their structure and delivery of higher education courses, but with demand for higher education being so high, there is need to geographically broaden and democratize education; and eLearning is the solution.

References:

  • Fred Hayward and Daniel Ncayiyana Confronting the Challenges of Graduate Education in Sub-Saharan Africa and Prospects for the Future (Chronicle of African Higher Education March 2014)
  • The World Bank Financing Higher Education in Africa, 2010
  • Gurmak Singh, John O’Donoghue, Harvey Worton A Study Into The Effects Of eLearning On Higher Education (The Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 2005)
  • David E. Bloom, David Canning, Kevin Chan, and Dara Lee Luca Spurring Economic Growth in Africa: The Role of Higher Education Sixth Issue: December 2014
  • Africa’s Post-2015 Development: The Role of Mobile Phones in Higher Education 7 October, 2015
  • Making higher education work for Africa: Facts and figures

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.