Online Byte of the Week

Greetings NMU faculty and welcome to the ONLINE BYTE OF THE WEEK, a newsletter created to share
current scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) related to the virtual learning space, online teaching
best practices, EduCat learning management systems tips and techniques, and to spotlight the
exceptional means by which we bring cyber learning to life for our students.

Vol. 1, Issue 10, August 14, 2019

This week, we have reached the end of our summer long tour of the seven principles in undergraduate education, the widely-recognized high impact teaching practices (HITPs) that are applicable to all learning environments: respects diverse talents and ways of learning (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).

1. Encourages contact between students and faculty

2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students

3. Encourages active learning

4. Gives prompt feedback

5. Emphasizes time on task

6. Communicates high expectations

7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning

What does the statement “respects diverse talents and ways of learning” mean as far as our pedagogic practice online or otherwise? While the concept of VARK (visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic) learning styles is widely debated in the literature with little empirical evidence to support the theory, we should, at least, recognize that students do have learning preferences (Fleming & Mills, 1992). Our students are diverse and bring with them unique experiences, ideas, thoughts, and perceptions. For instance, some students may have a penchant for theoretical or abstract work but struggle in an applied setting.

Based on cognitive neuroscience, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a conceptual framework that promotes the use of flexible learning environments to accommodate individual learning preferences (Rose & Meyer, 2002). UDL seeks to break down the barrier of the rigid one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and learning.

UDL is based on three main principles:

1. Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): The WHAT of learning Offer information and learning content in more than one format. For example, instead of presenting information in a text-based format only, incorporate audio and video recordings.

2. Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): The HOW of learning Differentiate assessments and provide students with a choice to demonstrate their achievement of learning. For instance, students may choose between an exam, apresentation, and a group project to assess the same student learning objectives.

3. Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): The WHY of learning Motivate students with engaging learning activities. Meaningful learner-learner and learner-instructor interactions promote engagement. Active learning involves engaging learners by “doing” something, such as discovering, processing, or applying concepts and information. Active learning entails guiding learners to increasing levels of responsibility for their own learning (QM 5.2). Activities for learner-instructor interaction might include an assignment or project submitted for instructor feedback; learner-instructor discussion in a synchronous session or an asynchronous discussion board exchange; or a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) discussion forum moderated by the instructor. Activities for learner-learner interaction might include assigned collaborative activities such as group discussions; small group projects; group problem-solving assignments; or peer critiques.

UDL in higher learning has been evidenced to promote learner performance, engagement, social presence, satisfaction, and learning flexibility (Davies, Schelly, & Spooner, 2012; Hall, Cohen, Vue, & Ganley, 2015; He, 2014; Kumar & Wideman, 2014). To support diverse learners, learning activities should be designed to provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate progress and mastery. Rather than having an online course dominated by discussion forums, consider the inclusion of a mix of other interactive activities such as reflective journals, group projects, portfolios, written papers, presentations, multimedia projects, interviews, debates, role playing, to name a few (QM 3.4).

The Global Campus has adopted the Seven Principles to serve as the framework for online course delivery standards (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). The Quality Matters (QM®) peer-reviewed quality assurance program has been adopted to evaluate course design rigor. Both methodologies align with and parallel the call for learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interactions to promote active learning engagement (QM 5.2). For HLC accreditation purposes, all online courses must include learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interaction because correspondence courses are not permitted.

Stay tuned as next week’s issue will center around “what not to do” in the online teaching space.

For more information on any of these instructional strategies or the SoTL related to them, and/or to curate a conversation about high impact teaching practices in your online courses, please reach out to Stacy, the Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholar via email onlreview@nmu.edu or telephone (906) 227-1805.

Faculty are encouraged to contribute to the ONLINE BYTE OF THE WEEK. Please email Stacy at sboyerda@nmu.edu with your ideas.

All the best,

Stacy
Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholar

REFERENCES

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.

Davies, P. L., Schelly, C. L., & Spooner, C. L. (2012). Measuring the effectiveness of Universal Design for Learning intervention in postsecondary education. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 26(3), 195–220.

Fleming, N.D. & Mills, C. (1992). Not another inventory, Rather a catalyst for reflection. To Improve the Academy, 11(1), 137-155.

Hall, T. E., Cohen, N., Vue, G., & Ganley, P. (2015). Addressing learning disabilities with UDL and technology: Strategic reader. Learning Disability Quarterly, 38(2), 72–83.

He, Y. (2014). Universal Design for Learning in an online teacher education course: Enhancing learners ’ confidence to teach online. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(2), 283–298.

Kumar, K. L., & Wideman, M. (2014). Accessible by design: Applying UDL principles in a first year undergraduate course. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 44(1), 125–147.

Rose, D. H., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Standards from the Quality Matters (QM) Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. Quality Matters. Retrievedfrom https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/Standardsfromthe...


Vol. 1, Issue 9, August 7, 2019

A delectable appetizer will start off this week’s BYTE, and then we will ease into the main course of SoTL. Let’s briefly revisit last week’s topic, emphasizes time on task, and one of the teaching recommendations that was previously sautéed: to communicate with students the length of time each learning activity should take to complete, on average. Professor Gary Stark, NMU Teaching and Learning Scholar emeritus and an avid reader of the BYTE, applauded this practice and offered a productivity tool from Rice University that can be used to estimate time on task for various learning activities. A link to the calculator, entitled the Course Workload Estimator, is housed at the following website: https://cte.rice.edu/workload?cid=nwsltrtn. Thanks, Gary, for your contribution to the BYTE and NMU, please keep those pedagogic pearls of wisdom coming!

Now, for this week’s chef d’oeuvre, the sixth of the seven principles in undergraduate education, the widely-recognized high impact teaching practices (HITPs) that are applicable to all learning environments: communicates high expectations (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).

1. Encourages contact between students and faculty

2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students

3. Encourages active learning

4. Gives prompt feedback

5. Emphasizes time on task

6. Communicates high expectations

7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning

This week’s BYTE continues with a spoonful of psychology to contemplate from Rosenthal and Babad (1985) that “when we expect certain behaviors of others, we are likely to act in ways that make the expected behavior more likely to occur.” The Pygmalion effect, also known as the Rosenthal effect, Hawthorne effect, expectancy effect, and the self-fulfilling prophecy refers to the tendency that we shape our own personal value and competence through the perceptions of others (Merton, 1948; Rosenthal & Jacobsen, 1968).

In the seminal research conducted in an educational setting, an intelligence pre-test (the Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition) was administered to elementary school students. The researchers provided the teachers with the names of the students who exhibited “unusual potential for intellectual growth” (Rosenthal & Jacobsen, 1968). The teachers were not made aware that the students with presumed atypical aptitudes had no connection with the pre-test and were randomly selected. Eight months later, Rosenthal and Jacobsen (1968) retested the students, including those from the test group, and found that the students experimentally categorized as having a remarkable propensity for academic development scored significantly higher than other students. The authors claimed that student scores from the “gifted” group radically improved because teachers spent more time with those that they believed had the highest hopes. Teachers were thought to have devoted more energy to the students perceived to be top achievers by way of providing more interaction and feedback.

The implications of this research are profound and highly relevant to our practice of teaching. For one, establishing what the expectations are is imperative so that students have a distinct understanding of and precise trajectory to academic success. Perhaps, even more importantly, is how we communicate expectations to our students as “positive expectations influence performance positively” and “negative expectations influence performance negatively” (Rosenthal & Jacobsen, 1968). Of course, the research conclusions and repercussions reach far beyond faculty and student interactions but to include those between peers or colleagues, employer to employee relationships, organizational leadership, etc., but I am beginning to transition the scope of this week’s newsletter beyond the original intent. Therefore, the next segment will demonstrate actionable methods of communicating high expectations in our classrooms through the scholarly lens of the Rosenthal effect: expect more to get more.

Communicating High Expectations

  • Clearly, encouragingly, and regularly communicate faculty expectations of students. Consider the use of announcements, discussion forums, VoiceThread recordings, or a learning activity to express them. Remember, classroom expectations should stretch well beyond grading.
  • Foster an inclusive climate of high expectations and reinforce them throughout the course.
  • Post expectations in the course syllabus and/or in an area of the course room devoted to expectations.
  • Create a faculty expectations contract. Ask students to acknowledge their understanding of the requirements. A discussion forum or a quiz can be used to document student agreement of faculty expectations.
  • Model the expectations that you expect from your students.
  • Give all students realistic but supportive feedback. Learner-instructor and learner-learner interactions can provide opportunities to bridge the gap between performance and expectations or inspire students to advance beyond them.
  • Provide student exemplars. Seeing an example of a job well done that exceeds expectations can raise the tide and lift all boats.
  • Reward correct answers or redirect those that may be off base in a discussion forum with follow-up questions that extend knowledge, and expectations, even further.
  • Avoid forecasting failure in the classroom. Instead, prepare students for a difficult exam or assignment and encourage their success.

The Pygmalion effect is the professor’s proverbial magic wand. Setting high expectations leads to improved student self-concept and academic performance. Understanding how to wield this powerful praxis, the teacher expectancy effect (TEE), can lead our students to superior achievement (Szumski & Karwowski, 2019). Beware of the Golem effect whereby setting low expectations can drive poor performance (Babad, Inbar, & Rosenthal, 1982).

The Global Campus has adopted the Seven Principles to serve as the framework for online course delivery standards (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). The Quality Matters (QM®) peer-reviewed quality assurance program has been adopted to evaluate course design rigor. Both methodologies align with and parallel the call for learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interactions to promote active learning engagement (QM 5.2). For HLC accreditation purposes, all online courses must include learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interaction because correspondence courses are not permitted.

Stay tuned as next week’s issue will center around the last of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles: respects diverse talents and ways of learning.

For more information on any of these instructional strategies or the SoTL related to them, and/or to curate a conversation about high impact teaching practices in your online courses, please reach out to Stacy, the Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholar via email onlreview@nmu.edu or telephone (906) 227-1805.

Faculty are encouraged to contribute to the ONLINE BYTE OF THE WEEK. Please email Stacy at sboyerda@nmu.edu with your ideas.

To end this week’s BYTE, I leave you with an anonymous quote, “the best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.”

All the best,

Stacy
Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholar

REFERENCES

Babad, E. Y., Inbar, J., & Rosenthal, R. (1982). Pygmalion, Galatea, and the Golem: Investigations of biased and unbiased teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74(4), 459-474.

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.

Merton, R. K. (1948). The self-fulfilling prophecy. The Antioch Review, 8(2), 193-210.

Rosenthal, R., & Babad, E. Y. (1985). Pygmalion in the gymnasium. Educational Leadership, 43(1), 36-39.

Rosenthal, R., & Jacobsen, L. (1968). Pygamalion in the classroom: Teacher expectation and pupils’ intellectual development. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Szumski, G., & Karwowski, M. (2019). Exploring the Pygmalion effect: The role of teacher expectations, academic self-concept, and class contexts in students’ math achievements. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 59. Standards from the Quality Matters (QM) Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. Quality Matters. Retrievedfrom https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/Standardsfromthe...


Vol. 1, Issue 8, August 1, 2019

This week’s BYTE continues our study of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, the widely-recognized high impact teaching practices (HITPs) that are applicable to all learning environments, synchronous or otherwise. 

  1. Encourages contact between students and faculty
  2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students
  3. Encourages active learning
  4. Gives prompt feedback
  5. Emphasizes time on task
  6. Communicates high expectations
  7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning

Our focus this week is on the fifth of the seven HITP: emphasizes time on task. 

In e-learning, time management can be challenging for students.  Often, students have the perception that an online course may require less time and not be as rigorous as one delivered in a traditional classroom.

To reframe student thinking, consider the following techniques:

  • Communicate in the syllabus and/or the course room how much time students should expect to devote to the class each week.  The general rule of thumb for undergraduate courses delivered during a traditional academic term is that one credit hour equals 2-3 hours of studying outside of class.  Therefore, a 4-credit hour course would require an investment of approximately 8-12 hours per week.
  • Provide students with the length of time each learning activity should take to complete, on average.  Establishing activity completion benchmarks may help students to avoid procrastination.  
  • Encourage students to create a personalized course schedule, based on their life and time commitments.
  • Promote the use of a weekly checklist to stay organized.
  • To help students stay on track, consider the use of the EduCat course calendar or a stand-alone course schedule document to outline when learning activities are due.
  • Adopt the EduCat Activity Completion tool to enable students with the ability to mark a learning activity as completed and track their progress.

To enable Activity Completion in EduCat for all learning activities, select “Edit Settings” in the course room (the gear icon identified below).

 

Then, select “Completion Tracking.”

 

To “Enable completion tracking”, select “Yes.” 

This setting will activate completion tracking for the entire course.  Students will be able to tick the box that appears to the right of the learning activities in the course room.

 

(Example of a learning activity with an Activity Completion check box)
 

Additional Activity Completion tracking details can be set at the activity level as per below.

 

Other conditional settings such as requiring students to view the activity before they tick the box or that students receive a grade to complete an activity are available.  Expected ‘complete by’ dates can be enabled. 

For more information on the Activity Completion functionality of EduCat or the use of the course calendar, please contact your CTL liaison for assistance.

The Global Campus has adopted the Seven Principles to serve as the framework for online course delivery standards (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).  The Quality Matters (QM®) peer-reviewed quality assurance program has been adopted to evaluate course design rigor.  Both methodologies align with and parallel the call for learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interactions to promote active learning engagement (QM 5.2).  For HLC accreditation purposes, all online courses must include learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interaction because correspondence courses are not permitted.

Stay tuned as next week’s issue will center around HITP six of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles: communicates high expectations.

For more information on any of these instructional strategies or the SoTL related to them, and/or to curate a conversation about high impact teaching practices in your online courses, please reach out to the Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars (Stacy, Christi, or Liz) via email onlreview@nmu.edu or telephone (906) 227-1805.

Faculty are encouraged to contribute to the ONLINE BYTE OF THE WEEK.  Please email Stacy at sboyerda@nmu.edu with your ideas. 

Stacy, Christi, and Liz
Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars

REFERENCES

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.

Standards from the Quality Matters (QM) Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. Quality Matters. Retrievedfrom https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/StandardsfromtheQMHigherEducationRubric.pdf


Vol. 1, Issue 7, July 24, 2019

This week’s BYTE continues our study of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, the widely-recognized high impact teaching practices (HITPs) that are applicable to all learning environments, synchronous or otherwise.

1. Encourages contact between students and faculty

2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students

3. Encourages active learning

4. Gives prompt feedback

5. Emphasizes time on task

6. Communicates high expectations

7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning

Our focus this week is on the fourth of the seven HITP: gives prompt feedback.

Feedback is quintessential to the student learning process. A number of studies have been conducted relative to feedback, the results of which indicated that meaningful and prompt feedback can significantly improve student learning (Eom, Wen, & Ashill, 2006; Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Optiz, Ferdinand, & Mecklinger, 2011). High-quality feedback should inform students how to bridge the gap between their performance and learning objectives. Good feedback should be encouraging, balanced, and delivered in a continuous and timely manner (Bailey & Garner, 2012; Lizzio & Wilson, 2008).

What is considered “timely” feedback according to the literature, the subject of this week’s BYTE? At a minimum, feedback should be presented for an activity before the next one is due (Crisp, 2007). However, feedback turnaround time is most effective when rendered immediately or soon thereafter. When feedback is not timely, students can easily become demotivated, disengaged, and dissatisfied. Delayed feedback or the absence thereof can inhibit the ability for students to connect their proficiency and achievement relative to learning expectations and thwart continuous improvement opportunities throughout a course.

A Guide to Delivering (Timely) Feedback

  • Communicate a feedback policy in the course syllabus.
  • Use grading rubrics to clearly define expectations.
  • Align feedback with learning objectives.
  • Consider the use of tools like VoiceThread to provide audio and/or video feedback.
  • Provide feedback that is specific, constructive, personalized, and actionable.
  • Prioritize feedback to focus on areas that will have the greatest impact on learning.
  • Connect feedback to lived experiences for deeper meaning.
  • Remember, that feedback does not need to involve a letter grade.
  • Avoid the use of pens with red ink or red text as the color can invoke a negative student response (Dukes & Albensi, 2013). Instead, consider using pens or text with blue, green, or other neutral colors (Kaya & Epps, 2004).
  • Incorporate activities that enable peer feedback such as critiques and discussion forums.

The Global Campus has adopted the Seven Principles to serve as the framework for online course delivery standards (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). The Quality Matters (QM®) peer-reviewed quality assurance program has been adopted to evaluate course design rigor. Both methodologies align with and parallel the call for learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interactions to promote active learning engagement (QM 5.2). For HLC accreditation purposes, all online courses must include learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interaction because correspondence courses are not permitted. Feedback can serve as a facilitator of learner-instructor and learner-learner interactions.

Stay tuned as next week’s issue will center around HITP four of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles: emphasizes time on task.

For more information on any of these instructional strategies or the SoTL related to them, and/or to curate a conversation about high impact teaching practices in your online courses, please reach out to the Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars (Stacy, Christi, or Liz) via email onlreview@nmu.edu or telephone (906) 227-1805.

Faculty are encouraged to contribute to the ONLINE BYTE OF THE WEEK. Please email Stacy at sboyerda@nmu.edu with your ideas. Another potential topic contributed by the BYTE readership is the incorporation of the critical social justice framework in online teaching pedagogy (Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2017). Thank you and please keep those ideas coming.

Stacy, Christi, and Liz
Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars

REFERENCES

Bailey, R., & Garner, M. (2012). Is feedback in higher education assessment worth the paper it is written on? Teachers’ reflections on their practices. Teaching in Higher Education, 12(2), 187-198.

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.

Crisp, B. R. (2007). Is it worth the effort? How feedback influences students’ subsequent submission of assessable work. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 32(5), 571-581.

Dukes, R. L., & Albanesi, H. (2012). Seeing red: Quality of an essay, color of the grading pen, and student reactions to the grading process. The Social Science Journal, 50(1), 96-100.

Eom, S. B., Wen, H. J., & Ashill, N. (2006). The determinants of students’ perceived learning outcomes and satisfaction in university online education: An empirical investigation. Journal of Innovative Education, 4(2), 215-235.

Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81-112.

Kaya, N., & Epps, H. (2004). Relationship between color and emotion: A study of college students. College Student Journal, 38, 396-405.

Lizzio, A., & Wilson, K. (2008). Feedback on assessment: Students’ perception of quality and effectiveness. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 33(3), 263-275.

Opitz, B., Ferdinand, N. K., & Mecklinger, A. (2011). Timing matters: The impact of immediate and delayed feedback on artificial language learning. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5.

Sensoy, O., & DiAngelo, R. (2017). Is everyone really equal? An introduction to key concepts in social justice education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Standards from the Quality Matters (QM) Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. Quality Matters. Retrievedfrom https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/Standardsfromthe...


Vol. 1, Issue 6, July 17, 2019

This week’s BYTE continues our study of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, the widely-recognized high impact teaching practices (HITPs) that are applicable to all learning environments, synchronous or otherwise.

1. Encourages contact between students and faculty

2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students

3. Encourages active learning

4. Gives prompt feedback

5. Emphasizes time on task

6. Communicates high expectations

7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning

Our focus this week is on the third of the seven HITP: encourages active learning.

What is Active Learning?

Active learning refers to a wide range of teaching strategies that promote student participation in the learning process. Rooted in constructivist epistemology, active learning provides opportunities for students to engage with the course content in meaningful ways as opposed to passively studying the information (Fink, 2005; Jonassen, 2001; Lowman, 1984; Prince, 2004; Savery, 2006; Vygotsky, 1978). Interaction serves to facilitate active learning. In specific, three types of interaction must be present in a course in order for students to actively learn (QM 5.2). These types of interactions are: learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content. Activities for learner-instructor interaction may include an assignment submitted for instructor feedback, discussion forums, or a frequently-asked discussion forum moderated by the instructor. Activities for learner-learner interaction may include group discussions, small-group projects, group problem-solving assignments, or peer critiques. Finally, learner-content interaction includes assigned readings from an article, textbook, or other source, completion of a problem, case study, or a project.

Why Use Active Learning Teaching Practices?

Students learn more when they actively participate in the process of learning (Shah et al., 2013). Neurologically speaking, active learning triggers the brain to activate both sensory and cognitive networks which aid in the processing and storage of new information (Willis, 2011). Students are able to learn more when multiple neural pathways are stimulated. Additional benefits of active learning teaching practices identified in the SoTL literature include improved

student motivation, satisfaction, retention, critical thinking skills, course grades, and course learning outcomes (Michel, Cater, & Varela, 2009; Owens, Sadler, Barlow, & Smith-Walters, 2017; Wingfield & Black, 2005). Conversely, students in non-active learning courses are 1.5 times more likely to fail than students enrolled in active learning courses (Freeman et al., 2014).

Examples of Active Learning Teaching Practices

  • Learner responses (audio, video, text, text marking, drawing) to instructor lectures or
  • learner-presentations in VoiceThread.
  • Encouraging learners to inquire, share connections, and ask questions that are explored
  • in small-groups or whole-class forums or VT discussions.
  • Inviting students to share what they know, self-assess their background knowledge,
  • and/or to set learning goals through activities like course entrance tickets, surveys,
  • module feedback surveys, or course exit-tickets
  • Encouraging learners' self-assessment, reflection, and progress-monitoring
  • Designing the course to include opportunities for learners to use/apply course concepts
  • and/or skills to situations, to events or contexts outside of the course, or to their personal
  • learning goals.
  • Providing choices for readings or for ways for students to demonstrate their
  • understanding of course concepts.
  • Role playing, jigsaw discussions, experiential learning (site visits), brainstorming, games
  • or simulations.

The Global Campus has adopted the Seven Principles to serve as the framework for online course delivery standards (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). The Quality Matters (QM®) peer- reviewed quality assurance program has been adopted to evaluate course design rigor. Both methodologies align with and parallel the call for learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner- content interactions to promote active learning engagement (QM 5.2). For HLC accreditation purposes, all online courses must include learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content interaction because correspondence courses are not permitted.

Stay tuned as next week’s issue will center around HITP four of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles: gives prompt feedback.

For more information on any of these instructional strategies or the SoTL related to them, and/or to curate a conversation about high impact teaching practices in your online courses, please reach out to the Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars (Stacy, Christi, or Liz) via email onlreview@nmu.edu or telephone (906) 227-1805.

Faculty are encouraged to contribute to the ONLINE BYTE OF THE WEEK. Please email Stacy at sboyerda@nmu.edu with your ideas. Recently, a faculty member contributed an article regarding “what not to do” as teacher in the online learning environment, a focus of a future issue. Thank you and please keep those ideas coming.

Stacy, Christi, and Liz
Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars

REFERENCES

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.

Fink, D. (2005). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415.

Jonassen, D. H. (1991). Objectivism vs. constructivism: Do we need a new paradigm? Educational Technology Research and Development, 39(3), 5-14.

Lowman, J. (1984). Mastering the techniques of teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Michel, N., Cater, J. J., & Varela, O. (2009). Active versus passive teaching styles: An empirical study of student learning outcomes. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 20(4), 397-418.

Owens, D., Sadler, T., Barlow, A., & Smith-Walters, C. (2017). Student motivation from and resistance to active learning rooted in essential science practices. Research in Science Education, 1-25.

Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the research. Journal of English Education, 93(3), 223-231.

Savery, J. R. (2006). Overview of problem-based learning: Definitions and distinctions. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 1(1), 9-20.

Shah, C., Erhard, K., Ortheil, H. J., Kaza, E., Kessler, C., & Lotze, M. (2013). Neural correlates of creative writing: An fMRI study. Human Brain Mapping, 34(5), 1088-1101.

Standards from the Quality Matters (QM) Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. Quality Matters. Retrievedfrom https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/Standardsfromthe...

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Interaction between learning and development. In M. Gauvain & M. Cole (Eds.), Readings on the Development of Children, (pp. 29-36), New York, NY: W. H. Freeman and Company.

Willis, J. (2011). Writing and the brain: Neuroscience shows the pathways to learning. National Writing Project, 3.

Wingfield, S. S., & Black, G. S. (2005). Active versus passive course designs: The impact on student outcomes. Journal of Education for Business, 81(2), 119-123.


Vol. 1, Issue 5, July 10, 2019

This week’s BYTE continues our study of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, the widely-recognized high impact teaching practices (HITPs) that are applicable to all learning environments, synchronous or otherwise.

1. Encourages contact between students and faculty

2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students

3. Encourages active learning

4. Gives prompt feedback

5. Emphasizes time on task

6. Communicates high expectations

7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning

Our focus this week is on the second of the seven HITP: develops reciprocity and cooperation among students.

Collaborative Learning Theory

An effective means by which learners can build knowledge and develop skills online or otherwise is through socially-constructed interactions and collaborations (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989; Johnson, Johnson, & Smith, 1998; Piaget, 1952; So & Brush, 2008; Terenzini, Cabrera, Colbeck, Parente, & Bjorklund, 2001). The broadest explanation of online collaborative learning theory (OCL) is a model of learning whereby two or more students are encouraged to work together to learn or endeavor to learn through exploration, innovation, problem-solving, and active learning, informed by and grounded in the content of the discipline and the expertise of the instructor (Harasim, 2012; Lohmann, Pratt, Benckendorff, Strickland, Reynolds, & Whitelaw, 2019).

Results of Online Collaborative Learning (OCL)

Research has indicated that both under and over-achieving students in a collaborative learning environment outpace their peers in individual learning environments (Ocker & Yaverbaum, 2001). In addition, student learning outcomes in collaborative online courses have been observed to be superior to those in which students learned on their own (Arbaugh & Benbunan-Finch, 2006; LaPointe & Gunawardena, 2004; Zhu, 2012). Moreover, collaborative learning can result in greater learning satisfaction (Chaparro-Pelaez, Iglesias-Pradas, Pascual-Miguel, & Hernandez-Garcia, 2013).

Examples of Online Collaborative Learning (OCL)

Some examples of online practices that encourage reciprocity and cooperation among students include:

  • Building course community through learner introductions using VoiceThread or discussion forums, especially when faculty prompt students to respond to peer introductions, share their learning goals or other course-related experiences
  • Collective brainstorming on a problem or project using discussion forums, VoiceThread, or Google docs
  • The joint construction of some learning artifact (assignment, case study, rubrics)
  • The use of team-based learning (TBL) simulations, inquiries, or debates
  • Faculty support of the development of collaborative learning skills
  • The use of student-led small group discussion leaders who initiate discussion around an instructor-identified topic, and respond to peers, or offer resources to their group
  • Designing discussions or other activities for meaningful, intentional learning in communities

The Global Campus has adopted the Seven Principles to serve as the framework for online course delivery standards (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). The Quality Matters (QM®) peer-reviewed quality assurance program has been adopted to evaluate course design rigor. Both methodologies align with and parallel the call for learner-learner and learner-instructor interactions to promote active learning engagement (QM 5.2). For HLC accreditation purposes, all online courses must include learner-learner interaction, in addition to learner-instructor and learner-content, because correspondence courses are not permitted.

Stay tuned as next week’s issue will center around HITP three of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles: encourages active learning.

For more information on any of these instructional strategies or the SoTL related to them, and/or to curate a conversation about high impact teaching practices in your online courses, please reach out to the Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars (Stacy, Christi, or Liz) via email onlreview@nmu.edu or telephone (906) 227-1805.

Stacy, Christi, and Liz
Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars

REFERENCES

Arbaugh, J. B., & Benbunan-Finch, R. (2006). An investigation of epistemological and social dimensions of teaching in online learning environments. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 5(4), 435-447.

Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32-42.

Chaparro-Pelaez, J., Iglesias-Pradas, S., Pascual-Miguel, F. J., & Hernandez-Garcia, A. (2013). Factors affecting perceived learning of engineering students in problem based learning supported by business simulation. Interactive Learning Environments, 21(3), 244-262.

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.

Harasim, L. (2012). Learning theory and online technologies. New York, NY: Routledge.

Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Smith K. A. (1998). Cooperative learning returns to college. What evidence is there that it works? Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 30(4), 26-35.

LaPointe, D. K., & Gunawardena, C. N. (2004). Developing, testing and refining of a model to understand the relationship between peer interaction and learning outcomes in computer-mediated conferencing. Distance Education, 25(1), 83-106.

Lohmann, G., Pratt, M., Benckendorff, P., Strickland, P., Reynolds, P., & Whitelaw, P. A. (2019). Online business simulations: Authentic teamwork, learning outcomes, and satisfaction. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education Research, 77(3), 455-472.

Ocker, R. J., & Yaverbaum, G. J. (2001). Collaborative learning environments: Exploring student attitudes and satisfaction in face-to-face and asynchronous computer conferencing settings. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 12(4), 427-448.

Piaget, J. (1952). The origins of intelligence in children. New York, NY: International Universities Press.

So, H. J., & Brush, T. A. (2008). Student perceptions of collaborative learning, social presence, and satisfaction in a blended learning environment: Relationships and critical factors. Computers & Education, 51(1), 318-336.

Standards from the Quality Matters (QM) Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. Quality Matters. Retrievedfrom https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/Standardsfromthe...

Terenzini, P. T., Cabrera, A. F., Colbeck, C. L., Parente, J. M., & Bjorklund, S. A. (2001). Collaborative learning vs. lecture/discussion: Students’ reported learning gains. Journal of Engineering Education, 90(1), 123-130.

Zhu, C. (2012). Student satisfaction, performance, and knowledge construction in online collaborative learning. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 15(1), 127-136.


Vol. 1, Issue 4, July 3, 2019

This week’s BYTE continues our study of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, the widely-recognized high impact teaching practices (HITPs) that are applicable to all learning environments, synchronous or otherwise.

1. Encourages contact between students and faculty

2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students

3. Encourages active learning

4. Gives prompt feedback

5. Emphasizes time on task

6. Communicates high expectations

7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning

Our focus this week is on the first of the seven HITP: encourages contact between students and faculty. Frequent, meaningful interactions among students and faculty in online courses are directly related to and strongly correlated with increased student motivation, engagement, satisfaction, retention, persistence, and overall success (Dixson, 2012; Marks, Sibley, & Arbaugh, 2005; Soffer & Nachmias, 2018; Toven-Lindsey, Rhoads, & Lozano, 2015). In contrast, the absence of student-faculty connection in virtual learning can induce student isolation, low engagement, and dissatisfaction, resulting in inadequate academic performance and attrition (Soffer & Cohen, 2019; Song, Singleton, Hill, & Koh, 2004). In general, drop-out rates in face-to-face courses across the country are approximately 10–20% but can climb to 25- 40% or more in online courses (Cohen, 2017). Increasing interaction is critical not only to cultivate the online student learning experience but also to close the gap between synchronous and asynchronous course withdrawal rates.

Some examples of online practices that encourage contact between students and faculty include:

  • A VoiceThread faculty and student introduction forum
  • Virtual office hours using Zoom or some other technology
  • Personalized welcome letters
  • Posting regular course announcements
  • Periodic student check-ins with faculty
  • Reaching out to students who are struggling
  • Mentoring individual learners
  • Participating in online discussion forums
  • Providing substantive, personalized feedback
  • Responding to emails, questions, and discussions promptly, ideally within 24 hours
  • Incorporating an instructor-facilitated Q&A forum into an online course
  • Inclusion of multiple methods for students to interact with the instructor

The Global Campus has adopted the Seven Principles to serve as the framework for online course delivery standards (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). The Quality Matters (QM®) peer-reviewed quality assurance program has been adopted to evaluate course design rigor. Both methodologies align with and parallel the call for learner-instructor interactions to promote active learning engagement (QM 5.2). For HLC accreditation purposes, all online courses must include learner-instructor (and learner-learner and learner-content) interaction as correspondence courses are not permitted.

Stay tuned as next week’s issue will center around HITP two of the Chickering and Gamson (1987) Seven Principles: develops reciprocity and cooperation among students.

For more information on any of these instructional strategies or the SoTL related to them, and/or to curate a conversation about high impact teaching practices in your online courses, please reach out to the Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars (Stacy, Christi, or Liz) via email onlreview@nmu.edu or telephone (906) 227-1805.

Stacy, Christi, and Liz
Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars

REFERENCES

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.

Cohen, A. (2017). Analysis of student activity in web‐supported courses as a tool for predicting dropout. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65(5), 1285– 1304.

Dixson, M. D. (2012). Creating effective student engagement in online courses: What do students find engaging? Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(2), 1– 13.

Marks, R. B., Sibley, S. D., & Arbaugh, J. B. (2005). A structural equation model of predictors for effective online learning. Journal of Management Education, 29, 531– 563.

Soffer, T., & Cohen, A. (2019). Students’ engagement characteristics predict success and completion of online courses. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 35(3), 378-389.

Soffer, T., & Nachmias, R. (2018). Effectiveness of learning in online academic courses compared with face‐to‐face courses in higher education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 34, 534– 543.

Song, L., Singleton, E. S., Hill, J. R., & Koh, M. H. (2004). Improving online learning: Student perceptions of useful and challenging characteristics. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(1), 59– 70.

Standards from the Quality Matters (QM) Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. Quality Matters. Retrievedfrom https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/Standardsfromthe...

Toven‐Lindsey, B., Rhoads, R. A., & Lozano, J. B. (2015). Virtually unlimited classrooms: Pedagogical practices in massive open online courses. The Internet and Higher Education, 24, 1– 12.


Vol. 1, Issue 3, June 26, 2019

This week’s BYTE is the first of an eight-part series related to well-recognized high impact teaching practices (HITPs) that are applicable to all learning environments, synchronous or otherwise. This issue (Issue 3) will provide an overview of these effective pedagogic methods while the next seven issues (Issues 4 through 10) will focus specifically on each practice through both theoretical and practical lenses. Recommendations will be offered for classroom implementation. Bon appétit!

It has been well over 30 years since Chickering and Gamson (1987) published Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. Yet, this course delivery framework continues to stand not only the test of time but also the technological transformations to our educational landscape and learning spaces. Their research amassed over 50 years of higher education literature to model a framework of ‘good practices’ which:

1. Encourages contact between students and faculty

2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students

3. Encourages active learning

4. Gives prompt feedback

5. Emphasizes time on task

6. Communicates high expectations

7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning

Next week’s issue will begin our study of these practices and specifically, the first: encourage contact between students and faculty.

For more information on any of these instructional strategies or the SoTL related to them, and/or to curate a conversation about high impact teaching practices in your online courses, please reach out to the Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars (Stacy, Christi, or Liz) via email onlreview@nmu.edu or telephone (906) 227-1805.

Stacy, Christi, and Liz
Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars

REFERENCE

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.


Vol. 1, Issue 2, June 19, 2019

Last week, we did not BYTE off nearly what we are able to chew. Therefore, this week’s BYTE-sized morsels provide even more appetizing examples of learning activities designed to promote learner-learner interaction in an online (or face-to-face) course (Angelo & Cross, 1993; McGlynn, 2001; Morrison-Shetlar & Marwitz, 2001; Silberman, 1996; Smyth, 2011; VanGundy, 2005; Watkins, 2005; Yee, 2019). These activities were showcased at the Upper Peninsula Teaching and Learning Conference (UPTLC) last month (Hamlin & Kemppainen, 2019). Please consider attending the UPTLC in May 2020 at Lake Superior State. More information regarding the UPTLC conference will be distributed by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) later this year.

Pass the problem: Divide students into teams. Give the first team a problem (or case) and ask them to identify and document the first step in solving the problem or analyzing the case. Pass the problem on to the next team and have them identify the next step. Continue until all groups have contributed.

Role playing: Assign roles for a concept, students research their parts, and then they act it out. Student observers critique and ask questions.

Jury trial: Separate the class into various roles (including witnesses, jury, judge, lawyers, defendant, prosecution, and audience) to deliberate on a controversial subject.

Polar opposites: Ask the class in small groups to examine two written-out versions of a theory or concept, where one is incorrect, such as the opposite or a negation of the other. In deciding which is correct, student groups will have to examine the problem from all angles.

Haiku: Students write a haiku (a three-line poem: 5-syllables, then 7, then 5) on a given topic or concept, and then share it with the class. The class can either respond to the haiku or write a new haiku based on another student poem.

Pick the winner: Divide the class into groups and have all groups work on the same problem and record or document an answer or strategy. Then, ask groups to switch with another group and evaluate their answer. Allow each set of groups to merge and ask them to select the better answer from the two choices, which will be presented to the group as a whole.

VoiceThread recordings or discussion forums may be utilized to administer these interactive learning activities.

For more information on any of the interactive learner-learner techniques including the SoTL related to them, and/or to curate a conversation about learner-learner interaction in your online courses, please reach out to the Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars (Stacy, Christi, or Liz) via email onlreview@nmu.edu or telephone (906) 227-1805.

Stacy, Christi, and Liz
Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars


REFERENCES

Angelo, T., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques, (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Hamlin, AJ, & Kempppainen, A. (2019, May). Supplemental instruction activities for your classrooms. Presentation at the 3rd annual meeting of the Upper Peninsula Teaching and Learning Conference, Houghton, MI.

McGlynn, A. (2001). Successful beginnings for college teaching. Madison, WI: Atwood.

Morrison-Shetlar, A., & Marwitz, M. (2001). Teaching creatively: Ideas in action. Eden Prairie, MN: Outernet.

Silberman, M. (1996). Active learning: 101 strategies to teach any subject. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Smyth, R. (2011). Enhancing learner-learner interaction using video communications in higher education: Implications from theorising about a new model. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(1), 113-127.

VanGundy, A. (2005). 101 activities for teaching creativity and problem solving. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Watkins, R. (2005). 75 e-learning activities: Making online learning interactive. San Francisco, CA:

Pfeiffer. Yee, K. (2019). Interactive techniques. Retrieved from https://www.usf.edu/atle/documents/handout-interactive-techniques.pdf


Vol. 1, Issue 1, June 12, 2019

Learning activities that promote social presence in asynchronous courses enhance student engagement, commitment, learning, and as a result, completion (Boling, Hough, Krinsky, Saleem, & Stevens, 2012; Garrison & Anderson, 2003; Uijl, Filius, & Cate, 2017). Social presence has been described as the degree to which students feel connected in a learning environment (Bickle & Rucker 2018; Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2010). Social presence can be facilitated through three types of interaction: learner-learner, learner-instructor, and learner-content (QM 5.2).

  • Activities to promote learner-learner interaction in a virtual course might include assigned collaborative activities such as group discussions, team projects or group problem-solving assignments, or peer critiques.
  • Examples of learner-instructor interaction may consist of regular faculty feedback, a frequently asked questions (FAQ) discussion forum moderated by the instructor, and VoiceThread, Camtasia, or Studio 101 lectures.
  • Learner-content interaction examples include, but are not limited to, readings, assignments, and online exercises such as H5P or hot potatoes.

For more information on any of the abridged research provided above and/or to curate a conversation about fostering social presence and interaction in your online courses, please reach out to the Extended Learning and Community Engagement Scholars (Stacy, Christi, or Liz) via email onlreview@nmu.edu or telephone (906) 227-1805.

Faculty are encouraged to contribute topics of interest to the ONLINE BYTE OF THE WEEK. Please email Stacy directly at sboyerda@nmu.edu with your ideas.

Stacy, Christi, and Liz
Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) Scholars

 

REFERENCES

Bickle, M. C., & Rucker, R. (2018). Student-to-student interaction: Humanizing the online classroom using technology and group assignments. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 19(1), 1-11.

Boling, E. C., Hough, M., Krinsky, H., Saleem, H., & Stevens, M. (2012). Cutting the distance in distance education: Perspectives on what promotes positive, online experiences. Internet and Higher Education, 15, 118-126. doi:10.1016/ j.iheduc.201UT006.

Garrison, D. R., & Anderson, T. (2003). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. London, England: Routledge Falmer.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2010). The first decade of the community of inquiry framework: A retrospective. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1-2), 5-9.

Standards from the Quality Matters (QM) Higher Education Rubric, 6th Edition. Quality Matters. Retrievedfrom https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/Standardsfromthe...

Uijl, S., Filius, R., & Olle, T. (2017). Student interaction in small private online courses. Medical Science Education, 27, 237-242.