Designing Assessment, Assessing Instructional Design: From Pedagogical Concepts to Practical Applications by Stefanie Panke (Keynote Speaker)

by Joseph Greene (Guest Blogger)

Dr. Stefanie Panke, Instructional Analysts and UNC Chapel Hill, presented the Thursday morning Keynote message titled Designing Assessment, Assessing Instructional Design.  Dr Panke has a unique perspective on higher education as someone who was educated in Germany and now works in the U.S.  She made her resources for the conference available on her professional website at http://panke.web.unc.edu/tcc2014/.

Dr. Panke’s first major point was to ask if what we assess actually measures what we want to know?  She gave four suggestions for improving assessment: Move from assessment of learning to the assessment for learning, move from knowledge acquired to competencies applied, competency based instruction needs to be aligned with assessment, and move from test/quiz to assessment activities (time consuming).  She elaborated on assessment by mentioning five dimensions of authentic assessment, all of which should be considered a continuum: Task, physical context, social context, results, and criteria.  She finished this section by pointing out that when we say authentic assessment, we often mean creative assessment.

The second major portion of the presentation dealt with practical tools that have been discovered during UNC’s redesign of their Master of Public Administration program.  The first aspect was a needs assessment that included website redesign which involved using the personas method, where groups create personas of probable users, to aid in identifying the best possible design for the site.  Second was an impact assessment that featured a discussion on learning analytics as well as a discussion of competencies that tie directly into core courses and analytical rubrics to help assess those competencies (see image below).  The final portion of the practical tools section was classroom assessment which focused on e-portfolios.  There were three types of portfolios mentioned, Documentation that shows growth towards learning goals, Process which shows phases of the learning process, and Showcase which shows accomplishments and competencies.

Dr. Panke left us with an interesting final question for designing assessments.  How do you capture changing competencies?

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Examining the Role of Online Courses in Native Hawaiian Culture and Language at the University of Hawaii by Kelley Dudoit (Featured Educational Technology Master Student)

by Yahna Kawa’a (Guest Blogger)

I had the pleasure of attending the Master’s presentation session by Kelley Duduoit entitled, The Role of Online Courses in Native Hawaiian Culture and Language at the University of Hawaii on April 24, 2014. Her study sought to identify the needs of online degree seeking Native Hawaiian students, who like herself were balancing work and school schedules while living on an outer island away from the major university campus. The topic was both of personal and scholarly interest. Through a needs assessment, Native and non-Native Hawaiian students were surveyed about their online coursework and learning preferences. Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 6.17.17 PMShe found that students preferred and valued regular contact with quality instructors, wanted training and desired greater selection of course offerings. Her study highlighted the challenges universities face in meeting the needs of their students, the expectations placed upon online professors and instructors and the wonderful opportunities created by online programs to reach a great population of students interested in furthering their education. The study’s focus on Native Hawaiian students and Hawaiian culture made it unique and it is my hope that these results be shared with the University of Hawaii’s Distance Education program.

Kelley is a Master’s student in the College of Education’s Online Master’s in Educational Technology Education program at the Univerisity of Hawaii, Manoa. She lives on Moloka’i with her family.

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Realizing Rental Energy Efficiency by Sean Walsh (Featured Educational Technology Master Student)

by Chloe Kubo (Guest Blogger)

Sean Walsh’s appearance at this year’s TCC Online Conference was a welcome addition to the presenters roster. A resident of Wailuku, Hawaii, Walsh is an avid proponent of clean energy with a focus on the unique challenges and opportunities of living in an island state.

Realizing Rental Efficiency is a learning module developed by Walsh as his culminating Master’s project. It clearly aligns with his interests in both the environment and education. Walsh opened the session by contextualizing the issue of energy efficiency in Hawaii. As one of the few states in the U.S. to utilize crude oil to produce electricity, there is a growing need to inform the public on best practices for reducing the consumption of electricity in order to reduce the possibility of further damaging the environment and global climate change.

Geared toward renters in Hawaii, ages 18 years and older, Walsh’s module takes learners through a succession of lessons on energy efficiency and its environmental and financial importance. The module was developed in Wix and was designed for asynchronous delivery to provide learners the flexibility to review content when convenient. Lessons were enhanced with multiple visual aides and media resources to engage learner interest and retention.

As part of the project, Walsh piloted and then tested the module for effectiveness in achieving desired learning outcomes. Participants completed both a pre- and post-module survey that assessed their knowledge and understanding of the importance of energy efficiency. The results of the study support existing literature: when there is a higher level of financial accountability, participants were more likely to be conscientious about energy use. Recommendations for future research include testing the module on a larger sample population and identifying intrinsic and extrinsic motivators that encourage adoption of energy conservation practices.

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Keeping Safe from Tsunamis: A 4th Grade Mini-Online Class by Dana Ishii, Leon Geschwind and Edmond Lee (Featured Educational Technology Students)

by Ya-yun Yang (Guest Blogger)

Tsunami is one of the most dangerous natural disasters in Hawaii. However, there were no official tsunami course for elementary school students in the past.  Therefore, these speakers decided to design a 6 weeks long online tsunami education course for 3-5th graders in Hawaii’s schools.

The conference session is worthwhile to attend because you may want to know how they designed the online course by applying Articulate Storyline (e-learning authoring software), Google Apps, Google Site, and two great online learning management system: Canvas and Blendspace. In addition, an awesome tsunami safety booklet is the highlight of the session. The e-book not only contains the content of tsunami science, but also Hawaiian tsunami vocabularies. It is an excellent teacher’s guide which delivers key tsunami safety information through many fun activities and games. Once students complete these activities and games, they can get certificates as a rewards.At last, I think you may eager to know what problems the presenters they met and what lessons they learned when they design, development, and conduct the tsunami online courses.

In summary, this conference session is quite interesting and informative. It reminded me my first experience of hearing tsunami alert in Hawaii last year. I was terrified out of my wits when I heard the noisy tsunami alert, and had no idea what to do before watching news report on TV. I believe I would be calmer if I have taken an online tsunami course like this.

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Current and Emerging Trends of E-Learning in South Korea by Dr. Insook Lee (Regional Speaker)

by Helen Torigoe (Special Guest Blogger)

South Korea has led in mobile adoption since the 1990’s and is now spending $1.5 billion to upgrade to 5G technology (CNN Tech). 5G will reportedly be an “intelligent network” that will be 1000 times faster than current technology.

QQ图片20140425112020A subway station in South Korea, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/22/tech/mobile/south-korea-5g/

So it was not a big surprise when Dr. Insook Lee, the Asia regional speaker for the 2014 TCC Online Conference, opened her talk by stating that almost 100% of Korean population has mobile phones. She said technology use in daily life in South Korea is very advanced, and consequently her research involves asking, “What is the impact of such technological advancement on education in Korea?

Dr. Lee is a professor at Sejong University and president of the Korean Society for Educational Technology (KSET). She works closely with other educators and the government to research, develop policies, and create vision for advancing educational technology in Korea.

Over the last twenty years, Korea has moved from simple computer assisted learning to E-learning to M-learning (mobile learning) and is now moving toward SMART learning. SMART stands for Self-directed, Motivated, Adaptive, Resource enriched, Technical embedded.

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Examples of SMART learning initiatives are digital textbooks and cloud-based learning. Dr. Lee said the ideas are still vague and the vision is to achieve goals in 5 to 6 years.

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So what drives South Korea to lead the way in learning with technology? Dr. Lee cited advanced technological infrastructure and the research leadership in both academia and the government. It is amazing that the researchers, policy makers, and government agencies cooperate and collaborate to work toward a unified vision in South Korea. Some initiatives and projects are sponsored by the commercial sector such as the tech giant Samsung.

We can look forward to hearing a lot more from South Korea, Dr. Lee, and her colleagues in the next decade.

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MOOCs, OERs, Open and Distance Learning: Past, Present and Future by Dr. Cengiz Hakan Aydin (Regional Speaker)

by Tuyet Hayes (Guest Blogger)

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Dr. Hakan Aydin, Professor of Educational Communications and Technology and Dean of the Faculty of Economics at Anadolu University presented a very informative overview of open education trends.  With 30,000 traditional and 2.4 distance education students, Anadolu University in Turkey ranks as the third largest university in the world by enrollment.  This mega university offers over 2000 distance education courses, all of which are produced in house.

Aydin distinguished between OERs (Open Education Resources), MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), and the ODL (open and distance learning) program at Anadolu.  In comparison, it seems the ODL program at Anadolu focuses more on providing quality resources and support through a number of efforts including specially designed textbooks and resources, flexible and varied instructional options (F2F, asynchronous, synchronous), call centers, and tutors.  One area that seemed to distinguish Anadolu University was the mandated use of proctored tests for assessment.

I was surprised to learn that while some universities might fear offering OERs or MOOCs due to an expected drop in traditional student enrollment, the opposite seemed to be true.  Enrollment in traditional programs at Anadolu actually increased annually by 11% for the past four years as they increased the number of open courses offered.  Offering open courses seems to be an effective marketing tool to expose and attract students to traditional programs.  Aydin concluded with the idea that OERs and MOOCs would have a role in the continued “unbundling” of university services such as content, certification, assessment, guidance, and research.

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Using Google Calendars for Cloud Based Personal and Collaborative Lesson Planning by Dana Ishii (Featured Educational Technology Master Student))

by Jon Pennington (Guest Blogger)

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Dana Ishii, Master’s student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa uses Google Calendar to offer an innovative solution to a teacher’s common problem. Her use of this tool as a “perpetual lesson planner” is the kind of development that encourages teachers to collaborate online for the clear purpose of improving the efficiency of their practice. With the same lessons being repeated each year by different teachers, around the same time of year, this solution is practical by providing a shared organizational system that saves teachers the time of remembering what they did last year and digging up that old assignment. Dana created an online training module to provide guidance and resources for teachers using Google Calendar as a collaborative lesson planner. This site was purposively designed to offer an effective teaching module that engages all learners. Her website is also a place that provides relevant insight into a previously untested system. With these considerations, Dana conducted usability tests on her website to determine how well it functioned for her intended purposes. She shares her methodology and reminds us of the power of living in beta- trying new things, not being afraid to fail and improving what you are doing as you go along.   Dana’s session was interesting and inspiring. One useful area for future research on this topic would be an evaluation of Google Calendar as a tool for collaborative lesson planning. This may provide insight into how to improve the use of the tool for this process.

Dana Ishii Contact Information:

Twitter: @danaishii  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dana.ishii.5

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