Thursday, November 28, 2013

2013 Sloan-C International Conference Notes: Good Work in Online Learning

I returned a call to a friend after returning from the Sloan Consortium's International Conference at Orlando, Florida.

"How was it? The same old people, right?" she asked.

It has often intrigued me as a doctoral student that not everyone is interested in going to conferences, after all, it is part of a researcher's practice, or so we were told -- to disseminate ideas/findings and engage with one's community of practice. Now that I've graduated, I still find it exciting to continue with the practice. But my friend's comment made me wonder what I was really learning from my conference trips. Why bother?

For this conference, I had in mind some questions centered around a few themes. I'll focus first on the "good work" that is being recognized by Sloan-C.

1. Who is doing good work? 

I went to the Awards Luncheon to find out.

Best in Track award winners: http://sloanconsortium.org/conference/2013/aln/best

Those that I'll explore in greater depth:

Three Institutions, Three Approaches, One Goal: Addressing Quality Assurance in Online Learning
Lead Presenter: Marwin Britto (University of Saskatchewan, Canada)
Jean-Marc Wise (The Florida State University, USA)
Cristi Ford (University of the District of Columbia, USA)
Track: Leadership, Values and Society

We Can Work Together: Managing Group Work Online for Collaboration, Assessment, and Life-Long Learning Skills
Lead Presenter: Lujean Baab (Virginia Tech, USA)
Track: K-12 Online Education
   
Mechanical Vs. Philosophical Considerations When Upgrading the LMS
Lead Presenter: J. Garvey Pyke (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
Kurt Richter (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
Track: Faculty and Professional Development & Support

Global Learning Qualifications Framework - Assessing University-Level Learning Anytime, Anywhere
Lead Presenter: Amy McQuigge (SUNY Empire State College, USA)
Track: Open, Global, Mobile

Leveraging Mobile Devices to Engage Students and Improve Student Outcomes: Evidence From Hospitality Education
Lead Presenter: Amy Gregory (University of Central Florida, USA)
Track: Technology and Emerging Learning Environments

Don't Drop the Baton! Building a Foundation for Success Through Student Services for Online Learners
Lead Presenter: Ruth Newberry (Duquesne University, USA)
Kate DeLuca (Duquesne University, USA)
Track: Student Services and Learner Support

Other award winners:
Excellence in Online Teaching, Betty Rambur, University of Vermont

Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching,
University of Louisiana, Lafayette

Outstanding Online Program, M.S., Biotechnology, University of Maryland,
University College

Pedagogical Innovation, Ryerson University, G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education,
Certificate in Food Security

Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education, Lone Star College System

The complete list of 2013 Effective Practice Award Winners can be found on the Sloan-Consortium Website: http://sloanconsortium.org/ep_award_winners

One of them documents the validation of a research tool that assesses the effectiveness of online educator preparation. Definitely worth taking a further look: http://sloanconsortium.org/effective_practices/assessing-effectiveness-online-educator-preparation

Assessing the Effectiveness of Online Educator Preparation,
Yang, Hung & Blomeyer's Research Tool
Check it out:
Yang, Hung & Blomeyer's paper presented at AERA 2013, San Francisco, CA:


To be continued in Part 2

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