Key Issues in Teaching & Learning 2016

These key issues serve as the framework, More than 900 community members voted on the following key issues for 2016:

2016

  1. Academic Trasformation
  1. Faculty Development
  1. Assessment of Learning
  1. Online and Blended Learning
  1. Learning Analytics
  1. Learning Space Design
  1. Accessibility & Universal Design for Learning 
  1. Open Educational Resources & Content
  1. Working with Emerging Technology
  1. Next Gen Digital Learning Environments (NGDLE) & Services
  1. Digital & Informational Literacies
  1. Adaptive Learning
  1. Mobile Learning
  1. Evaluating Tech-Based Instructional Innovations
  1. Evolution of the Profession


Source: Educause: http://goo.gl/ZvjVRW  

eLearning in 2016: Influential Trends

Many large, ambitious organizations will be looking closely at their plans for elearning in 2016. Online training looks set to continue growing as part of an overall strategy to gain competitive advantage, and the use of elearning is rapidly expanding, replacing or supplementing traditional classroom learning. An annual growth rate of 7.9% since 2012 is expected by many to bring the global investment in elearning to over $50 billion per year by the end of 2016.

As is common in a booming industry, a lot of new developments and trends are popping up in the field of elearning, with companies that need to onboard, train and ensure compliance from a large workforce looking not only at online vs traditional training, but how to make best use of the technology and techniques available.

Let’s have a look at some of the most important trends in online training that could and should be influential in planning your elearning in 2016.

Gamification

Gamification is not a completely new trend, but it has been gaining some serious traction in the last few years. More and more research is indicating that incorporating game dynamics into an e-learning program can enhance learning outcomes significantly.

Developing effective games for online training courses is still a time-expensive process that, if not performed correctly, won’t bring the desired results. To make sure you use gamification effectively, it is important that the elearning games are based on proven learning research.

More and more elearning consultancies are specializing in gamification, bringing better and more cost-effective solutions to the market. This makes it more interesting for organisations to hop on the gamification band wagon.

We predict that in 2016, gamification is really going to take off. If you’ve not been experimenting with gamified learning yet, now is the time to get started.

Big Data

Big Data is the buzzword in most technology-focused these days, including the elearning industry.

Big Data analytics tools are getting more and more sophisticated, but also easier and cheaper to use. Analysing your organisation’s learning data and combining it with external learning data sources can provide important insights about your e-learning programs and how to go about improving course content and optimizing your learning strategy.

By analysing individual and group learning patterns, courses can be personalised in a way that realises the best learning results for both the individual and the organization as a whole.

The more data is being stored and the more advanced Big Data analytics tools become, the more useful it will be for elearning. It may be just the right time to start looking at using Big Data to improve your elearning programs.

Cloud e-Learning

Many organizations have already migrated to a cloud e-learning solution, but it looks like cloud computing will become even more important in 2016. Organizations that have been reluctant to adopt cloud technology (often due to security concerns) are changing their attitudes.

The added functionalities, ease of use and uncomplicated maintenance that cloud software offers will convince even more organisations to make the switch in 2016.

Social Learning

Social media isn’t just for sharing your latest holiday or party photos. It can also be used as an effective personal learning tool. Social media is already being used as a tool for connecting with people that work across international teams or within complementary organizations within the same industry, sharing and discussing ideas, and collaborating on projects.

There are many ways in which social media can aid with learning. For example, Facebook groups can be used in an eLearning course to discuss learning topics and make it easier for student to help each other out without having to be in the same room. Twitter can be used to get in touch with subject matter experts, stir up discussions and curate interesting content about the eLearning topic.

We believe that social media will play an ever more important role in learning throughout 2016 and beyond.

Automation in eLearning Course Development

Right now, elearning design and creation is still a very time intensive process. This may change significantly in the next few years though. Automated content creation solutions are becoming more and more sophisticated, allowing content providers to create and curate great elearning content with minimal effort.

elearning elements that used to take a long time to develop, such as exercises, quizzes, tests and games, can now be generated using automated solutions. The most advanced tools scan the course content and determine which are the most important parts to be included in tests.

These solutions will only get better, allowing for significant time and cost savings in the development of elearning courses. They can also provide a more individualized learning experience by analyzing a student’s performance and learning preferences. Based on this information, course content (including tests) can be personalized.

Augmented Reality

While 2016 may not yet see an explosion of augmented reality use within elearning, it is an area that is under intense development. Augmented reality devices such as Google Glass and Oculus Rift may become part of everyday life in the future and will surely become more popular in elearning.

These devices allow environments to be adapted (virtually) to improve the learning experience. For example, an online course about astronomy could use augmented reality glasses to give a tour of the moon without the student having to leave their home or office. For a French class, the glasses could display a French classroom, better immersing the student in the language learning process.

Augmented reality is still very much in its infancy, but the potential uses are fascinating.

Personalized Learning

One thing that comes up with most of the trends discussed above is that of personalized elearning:

  • Automated eLearning tools are already using (big) data to create a more personalized learning experience.
  • Cloud eLearning solutions allow individuals to study at times when it suits them best and from wherever they feel most comfortable.
  • Using social media for learning allows the individual to enhance their learning experience in whichever way helps them most.

More personalized learning will allow students to achieve better results and have a more enjoyable learning experience. In most cases it will also allow them shorten the learning time frame.

If you’ve let all of the trends discussed above pass by until now, it may be time to look into modernizing your organization’s elearning strategy. While some of these trends are still very complicated or expensive to implement, others are already quite mature and require a minimal effort for a potentially great ROI.

One thing that is 100% certain is that exciting times are ahead in the elearning industry, and the world’s largest and most progressive organizations will be the first to adopt them.

The Complete Guide To Twitter Hashtags For Education

Twitter_hashtags_for_education

What is a hashtag?

A word or phrase preceded by a “#.”

How do hashtags work?

Twitter can be a busy place with lots of tweets–and thus lots of “noise.”

A #hashtag is a way to aggregate tweets that are appended with a hashtag. Picture it like a magnet that attracts all messages categorized by that topical word or phrase.

Who can use hashtags?

Anyone. When you tweet and want your message to be part of a larger conversation beyond your followers, add a relevant hashtag from the list below to the end of your message, and you’ll automatically reach anyone who is monitoring the same hashtag. Cool, yes?

What else do I need to know?

  • Don’t hashtag spam–if your tweet doesn’t add to that hashtag’s topic, discussion, or user base, don’t add the hashtag.
  • Use more than one hashtag if it applies to more than one topic, but choose wisely. If you want that hashtag’s community to value your input, take care to keep that twitter stream nice, tidy, and free from “visual debris.”

Meeting Times

Many of the hashtags have “meeting times” where educators agree to “meet and tweet”–that is, send out messages on a topic at a certain time on a certain day.

If you do participate at the agreed upon time, you’ll see the tweets stream in live and participate in said conversation (via twitter) in what is nearly real-time. But if you can’t make it, the great part about a hashtag is that it does the sorting for you. You can search for messages assigned to a given hashtag anytime–tomorrow, Sunday night, or during your planning period next week.

Note, this list of hashtags will be updated periodically, including reorganization, and functional linking on all hashtags.

Updated: Added #edcamp, #ukedchat

Popular Hashtags

  1. #lrnchat (social media and education)
  2. #edchat
  3. #blendchat (blended learning)
  4. #mlearning
  5. #elearning
  6. #ipadchat
  7. #pbl/#pblchat (project-based learning)
  8. #passiondriven
  9. #ntchat (for new teachers)
  10. #gbl (game-based learning, from serious games and simulations to video games and more)
  11. #edtech (education technology)
  12. #ukedchat
  13. #edtech
  14. #elearning
  15. #mlearning
  16. #web20
  17. #flipclass
  18. #edchat
  19. #BYOD(Bring Your Own Device)
  20. #iPaded(iPads in education)
  21. #EdApps(education and learning apps
  22. #k12
  23. #cpchat
  24. #highered
  25. #21stedchat
  26. #reflectiveteacher

Trends

  1. #flipclass
  2. #digped
  3. #byod
  4. #1:1
  5. #mlearning
  6. #blendedlearning
  7. #flatclass
  8. #ipad

General

  1. #earlyed
  2. #elemchat
  3. #middleschool
  4. #highschool
  5. #commoncore
  6. #cchat
  7. #edreformtribe
  8. #edreform
  9. #parentpower
  10. #edpolicy
  11. #teacherquality
  12. #eddata
  13. #schoolchoice
  14. #putkidsfirst
  15. #parentalchoice
  16. #edleadership
  17. #eduleaders
  18. #achievementgap
  19. #edgap
  20. #inquiryed
  21. #ibpyp
  22. #edcamp

Content Areas

  1. #engchat
  2. #litchat
  3. #arted
  4. #musedchat
  5. #math
  6. #mathchat
  7. #science
  8. #scichat
  9. #sschat
  10. #histedchat
  11. #historyteaching

Digital Citizenship

  1. #digitalcitizenship
  2. #edtech
  3. #edtechchat
  4. #privacy
  5. #21stedchat
  6. #digcit
  7. #parenting
  8. #ettipad
  9. #internetsafety
  10. #cyberbullying

Literacy

  1. #literacy
  2. #multiliteracy
  3. #dyslexia
  4. #infolit

English-Language Arts & Literature

  1. #engchat
  2. #books
  3. #grammar
  4. #litchat
  5. #teachingenglish
  6. #amwriting
  7. #writing
  8. #writetip

iPad

  1. #tablet
  2. #mobile
  3. #byod
  4. #ios
  5. #ios6
  6. #ipad
  7. #ipadgames
  8. #ipaded
  9. #ettipad
  10. #ipadedu
  11. #mlearning
  12. #edtech
  13. #ipadapps
  14. #apple
  15. #apps
  16. #edapps

Science Specific

  1. #scienceed
  2. #scichat
  3. #science
  4. #physics
  5. #scienceteacher
  6. #technology
  7. #sciencenews
  8. #geology
  9. #anatomy
  10. #NASA
  11. #ecosystems
  12. #sciam
  13. #genetics
  14. #astronomy
  15. #scienceblogging
  16. #computerscience
  17. #STEM
  18. #CERN
  19. #climatechange
  20. #chemistry

Technology

  1. #google
  2. #apple
  3. #eltchat
  4. #elt
  5. #ipad
  6. #mlearning
  7. #1to1
  8. #iste

Equity

  1. #blackedu
  2. #latinoedu
  3. #nativeedu
  4. #urbaned
  5. #nclb
  6. #edadmin
  7. #schooldistricts
  8. #spedchat
  9. #dropouts
  10. #esea
  11. #teachered
  12. #schoolreform
  13. #occupyeducation
  14. #collegeaffordability

Design

  1. #archdaily
  2. #art
  3. #font
  4. #originality
  5. #ideas
  6. #apple
  7. #socialmedia
  8. #architecture
  9. #design
  10. #engineer

Homeschooling

  1. #homeschooling
  2. #hiphomeschool
  3. #unschool
  4. #hs
  5. #teachers
  6. #homeschool
  7. #unschoolers

Special Needs

  1. #ece
  2. #specialneeds
  3. #dyslexia
  4. #tck
  5. #toddlers
  6. #preschool
  7. #cerebralpalsy
  8. #spedchat
  9. #gifted
  10. #bilingual
  11. #autism
  12. #aspergers
  13. #teachpreschool
  14. #highered

Distance Education

  1. #disted
  2. #mlearning
  3. #onlinelearning
  4. #k12online
  5. #elearning

Home & Parenting

  1. #kids
  2. #cybersafety
  3. #SAHM
  4. #childcare
  5. #SAHD
  6. #littlekids
  7. #parents
  8. #badmommy
  9. #clothdiapers
  10. #dads4life
  11. #parenting

Curriculum

  1. #commoncore
  2. #cchat
  3. #books
  4. #literature
  5. #Business
  6. #writing
  7. #economy
  8. #geography
  9. #arted
  10. #biology
  11. #artsed
  12. #science
  13. #math

College

  1. #ACT
  2. #SAT
  3. #scholarship
  4. #highered
  5. #collegechat
  6. #collegebound

Groups & Chats

  1. #scichat
  2. #tlchat
  3. #educhat
  4. #lrnchat
  5. #gtchat
  6. #yalitchat
  7. #hsc
  8. #engchat
  9. #CollegeChat
  10. #edchat
  11. #musedchat
  12. #mathchat

Resources

  1. #savelibraries
  2. #printables
  3. #educationalvideos
  4. #edapp
  5. #lessonplans
  6. #edpolitics

Language

  1. #tesol
  2. #efl
  3. #ell
  4. #esl

Human Rights

  1. #diversity
  2. #heritage
  3. #health
  4. #race
  5. #eco
  6. #humantrafficking
  7. #slavery
  8. #aid
  9. #humanrights
  10. #education
  11. #sustainability

Library

  1. #library
  2. #digital
  3. #research
  4. #infolit
  5. #tlchat

Sources:

njimedia   onlinecollegecourses  insidehighered   onlineuniversities   onlinedegrees   cybraryman   edudemic   novemberlearning 

Why eLearning Is A Smart Option?

Why eLearning Is A Smart Option?

Woman working on computer at home

eLearning, is becoming more and more with today’s technological advancements. It is considered one of the most practical, effective, and efficient methods for learning and education. It makes education easily available to a wider range of people from across the globe. eLearning can also help make learning a more fun, interactive, and interesting process.

While eLearning makes use of different forms of technology, the information is delivered to the target audience usually via the internet. The use of videos and voice-overs, for instance, is very popular because it humanizes the content and provides a more engaging atmosphere for the learners. Imagine having to go through an entire course by just reading concepts and ideas from a piece of paper, or even from your computer screen. Chances are your mind will begin to wander and you’ll likely lose interest on the topic before important points are discussed. With the usage of videos and voice-overs, eLearning becomes a more appealing — and sometimes, a more interactive — process. Being able to better visualize concepts through your computer/tablet screen will surely help in catching and holding your attention. Facts and ideas voiced out, rather than being printed on your screen for you to read and understand, will certainly help you better absorb information.

The use of videos could also aid in simplifying the learning process. Studies reveal that 12 minutes happens to be the maximum amount of time in which an individual’s attention could be effectively captured. An eCourse video effectively delivered within this given time frame will likely help ensure that all relevant information is conveyed.

One important technique in guaranteeing that eCourse videos and voice-overs are highly effective is through localization. A learner can better absorb information when it is delivered through means which are familiar to him/her. A learner will also better be able to apply his/her learnings if the circumstances or scenarios presented are those which he/she could associate with. For instance, an e-course using British or UK English will be much appreciated by an individual who is from, say, London, whereas this same eCourse may prove to be confusing for someone from the United States. The use of unfamiliar slang or phrases may make an individual instantly disengage or disassociate from the e-course if such language is not familiar or applicable to him/her. Similarly, choosing the right people to appear in an eLearning video is crucial in effectively getting your message across. For instance, a video aimed at learners from the Middle East or Arab Region would be better absorbed and appreciated if it would feature persons from that same region, rather than individuals from the Scandinavian region. This allows for the viewer to personally identify with the characters they are seeing, which can be more effective in learning, and this is what we call it; Contextualization and Humanization of the eContent.

Why We Need Gamification For Our Online Course Development

Why We Need Gamification For Our Online Course Development

Flat design icons for web and mobile. Interaction hands using keyboard and mobile application.

Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users’ self-contributions. In this article, I’ll highlight why we need gamification for our online course development.

Gamification is a process that incorporates game mechanics into learning and accelerates the learning process while improving retention.

Gamification has been around for as long as people have played learning games in class, rolled the dice in trivia games or even thrown spears through rolling hoops. But gamification, as terminology and in practice, is seeing a revolution with the advent of eLearning. Its introduction has meant big advances in classroom education and even bigger advances in workplace training.

Maybe it’s time that you incorporated gamification and took your safety training courses online!

Here are 4 reasons why you should.

  1. The game of life.
    Gamification has been improving performance for a lot longer than many people realize. Many jobs utilize the motivation of awards and gamification. A firefighter is motivated to save lives, certainly, but in many ways being a firefighter isn’t that different from any other job. Promotions and increased salary are all part of leveling up, and excellence in service is often recognized by awards. Firefighters take part in annual games to showcase talent and improve skill. It’s only logical that we incorporate motivation and natural drivers of behavior into learning and working environments. Humans of ages past learned from first-hand experience. Sitting in a classroom and staring at a blackboard is far from stimulating or natural to the way we learn effectively. Thanks to gamification, we can find ways to make learning fun.
  2. Serious learning can come from games.
    War games are called games for a reason. By practicing routines and tactics that may later save lives, soldiers ensure that muscle memory will kick, later, when the stakes are lethal. Some games, like the ancient Mesoamerican’s version of racquetballwere played with the highest stakes of all. Participants entered play knowing that if they lost, their lives would be forfeit to ritual sacrifice. These and many of life’s other activities display game-like qualities—it’s just natural human behavior.
  3. Traditional rewards don’t motivate people as well.
    It’s hard to motivate people. Sometimes traditional rewards don’t cut it. Pontification, gamification nasty little brother, is responsible for a lot of boredom and dissatisfaction in the workplace. Pontification is when rewards are applied to boring and disinteresting activities, like putting a gold sticker on a difficult essay. The gold sticker doesn’t make the essay anymore fun. Gamification incorporates game-like activities into the process of learning, like a child tracing fish to form letters. By making the activity fun, we improve the satisfaction of performing it. In psychology, this is called the Over Justification Effect—when external incentives that have nothing to do with an activity, like points for completion, can actually decrease a person’s motivation to participate.
  4. What’s wrong with winning?
    Learning to win and learning the behaviors associated with winning are important, whether we’re at work or in the classroom. Sometimes playing games, chasing promotions and incorporating a little fun into your learning can be exactly what helps to win out over boredom

Ten Principles for successful eLearning

Ten Principles for successful eLearning:

  1. PRINCIPLE 1: MATCH TO THE CURRICULUM
  2. PRINCIPLE 2: INCLUSION
  3. PRINCIPLE 3: LEARNER ENGAGEMENT
  4. PRINCIPLE 4: INNOVATIVE APPROACHES
  5. PRINCIPLE 5: EFFECTIVE LEARNING
  6. PRINCIPLE 6: FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT
  7. PRINCIPLE 7: SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
  8. PRINCIPLE 8: COHERENCE, CONSISTENCY & TRANSPARENCY
  9. PRINCIPLE 9: EASE OF USE
  10. PRINCIPLE 10: COST-EFFECTIVENESS

Detailed Doc: Ten Principles for successful eLearning 

Helping Learners To Motivate Themselves!

Autonomy

Providing learners with freedom of choice is one strategy for promoting learner autonomy. Educators commonly view this idea of choice through the lens of organizational and procedural choice. Organizational choice, for example, might mean learners having a voice in seating assignments or members of their small learning groups. The procedural choice could include a choice from a list of homework assignments and what form a final project might take — a book, poster, or skit.

Some researchers, however, believe that a third option, cognitive choice, is a more effective way to promote longer-lasting learner autonomy. This kind of cognitive autonomy support, which is also related to the idea of ensuring relevance, could include:

  • Problem-based learning, where small groups need to determine their own solutions to teacher-suggested and/or learner-solicited issues — ways to organize school lunchtime more effectively, what it would take to have a human colony on Mars, strategies to get more healthy food choices available in the neighborhood, etc.
  • Learners developing their own ideas for homework assignments related to what is being studied in class
  • Learners publicly sharing their different thinking processes behind solving the same problem or a similar one
  • Teachers using thinking routines like one developed by Project Zero at Harvard and consisting of a simple formula: the teacher regularly asking, “What is going on here?” and, after a learner response, continuing with, “What do you see that makes you say so?”

Competence

Feedback, done well, is ranked by education researcher John Hattie as number 10 out of 150 influences on learner achievement.

As Carol Dweck has found, praising intelligence makes people less willing to risk “their newly-minted genius status,” while praising effort encourages the idea that we primarily learn through our hard work: “Ben, it’s impressive that you wrote two drafts of that essay instead of one, and had your friend review it, too. How do you feel it turned out, and what made you want to put the extra work into it?”

But how do you handle providing critical feedback to learners when it’s necessary? Since extensive research shows that a ratio of positive-to-negative feedback of between 3-1 and 5-1 is necessary for healthy learning to occur, teachers might consider a strategy called plussing that is used by Pixar animation studios with great success. The New York Timesinterviewed author Peter Sims about the concept:

The point, he said, is to “build and improve on ideas without using judgmental language.” . . . An animator working on Toy Story 3shares her rough sketches and ideas with the director. “Instead of criticizing the sketch or saying ‘no,’ the director will build on the starting point by saying something like, ‘I like Woody’s eyes, and what if his eyes rolled left?” Using words like “and” or “what if” rather than “but” is a way to offer suggestions and allow creative juices to flow without fear, Mr. Sims said.

“And” and “what if” could easily become often-used words in an educator’s vocabulary!

Relatedness

A high-quality relationship with a teacher whom they respect is a key element of helping learners develop intrinsic motivation. What are some actions that teachers can take to strengthen these relationships?

Here are four simple suggestions adapted from Robert Marzano’s ideas:

1. Take a genuine interest in your learners.

Learn their interests, hopes, and dreams. Ask them about what is happening in their lives. In other words, lead with your ears and not your mouth. Don’t, however, just make it a one-way street — share some of your own stories, too.

2. Act friendly in other ways.

Smile, joke, and sometimes make a light, supportive touch on a learner’s shoulder.

3. Be flexible, and keep our eyes on the learning goal prize.

One of my learners had never written an essay in his school career. He was intent on maintaining that record during an assignment of writing a persuasive essay about what learners thought was the worst natural disaster. Because I knew two of his passions were football and video games, I told him that as long as he used the writing techniques we’d studied, he could write an essay on why his favorite football team was better than its rival or on why he particularly liked one video game. He ended up writing an essay on both topics.

4. Don’t give up on learners.

Be positive (as much as humanly possible) and encourage a growth mindset.

Relevance

Have learners write about how they see what they are learning as relevant to their lives. Researchers had learners write one paragraph after a lesson sharing how they thought what they had learned would be useful to their lives. Writing 1-8 of these during a semester led to positive learning gains, especially for those learners who had previously been “low performers.”

It is not uncommon for teachers to explicitly make those kinds of real-life connections. However, research has also found that this kind of teacher-centered approach can actually be de-motivating to some learners with low skills. A learner who is having a very difficult time understanding math or does just not find it interesting, for example, can feel threatened by hearing regularly from a teacher how important math is to his or her future. Instead of becoming more engaged in class, he or she may experience more negative feelings. These same researchers write:

[A] more effective approach would be to encourage learners to generate their own connections and discover for themselves the relevance of course material to their lives. This method gives learners the opportunity to make connections to topics and areas of greatest interest to their lives.