Arizona State University Foundation and the Boston Consulting Group published an interesting report about digital learning. The focus of report is on how the use of digital technologies in postsecondary education impact students’ access to education, student outcomes, and the return on investment for students and institutions. The resulting Making Digital Learning Work study provides interesting data, case studies and best practice recommendations for institutions looking to scale digital learning.
Category: "Online Learning"
Last week the DCU's National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) and the Centre for Assessment Research, Policy and Practice (CARPE) published an interesting report on portfolio use in higher education. The report synthesizes and reviews the literature on the use of the 'learning portfolio' in universities and higher education institutions.
Traditionally the (paer-based) portfolio was associated with the fine arts/design as a means for individuals to showcase samples of their work. Nowadays the portfolio is used as a pedagogical and assessment tool in all different kind of disciplines and in all levels of education. The definition the authors mention is a good reflection of this:
‘a portfolio is an organized compilation that demonstrates knowledge, skills, values and/or achievements and that includes reflections or exegesis which articulate the relevance, credibility and meaning of the artefacts presented.’
In the report they distinguise three types of portfolios:
- showcase portfolio: this most closely resemble the original paper-based portfolio
- summative/evalution portfolio: students receive a grade based on the work submitted in their portfolio.
- Learning Portfolio: Unlike showcase and assessment portfolios, learning portfolios may include drafts and ‘unpolished’ work, with the focus broadened to include the process of compiling the portfolio, as well as the finished product.
The report focuses on the learning portfolio.
ECAR does a yearly survey among undergraduate students about information technology. In October they published the results.
ECAR collaborated with 157 institutions to collect responses from 13,451 faculty respondents across 7 countries about their technology experiences. ECAR also collaborated with 124 institutions to collect responses from 43,559 undergraduate students across 10 countries about their technology experiences.
One of the interesting finding is about the preferences of students for online or blended courses. For the fourth year in a row, the number of students preferring a blended learning environment has increased as is visible in the image above.
One of the recommendations of authors is:
Take steps to make online learning opportunities the rule rather than the exception. At the institutional level, take steps to eliminate differential pricing structures for fully online courses so that they are accessible to all students. At the program level, consider ways to integrate online and blended courses in the curriculum to meet the learning environment preferences of students (and potentially increase enrollment). At the faculty level, create faculty development programs that help instructors better integrate the LMS into their face-to-face courses, thereby increasing the capacity to produce more blended learning opportunities.
Many institutes still have a big way to go for this, including mine.
Last year (it sounds long ago) the TU Delft approved our new educational vision:
This document contains Delft University of Technology’s vision on education. It describes our educational goals and quality ambitions, and states directions for further development of our educational portfolio and our way of teaching and learning.
Last month the European Commission published the report European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators: DigCompEdu. This report presents a common European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu). The DigCompEdu framework is directed towards educators at all levels of education, from early childhood to higher education and non-formal learning contexts. It can help to guide policy and to adapt training programmes (such as BKO/UTQ).
Last month TU Delft signed an agreement with 8 other high-ranked universities for a virtual exchange whereby they offer their students the option of taking online elective courses and gain credits for their bachelor or master degrees. In a similar way to a university regular exchange, such as the Erasmus in Europe, students can obtain credits from a partner university that count towards their ‘home’ education. The difference is that in this ‘virtual’ exchange the students don’t need to travel as they study online.
The top universities participating in this innovative programme and signatories of the pioneering agreement are: the Delft University of Technology, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Wageningen University and Research, Rice University, the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Leiden University.
Earlier this year we already did a pilot with a limited number of courses and students. These universities already know and trust each other – they already hold mobility exchange agreements, have experience in online education and enjoy a good international reputation.
This virtual exchange programme benefits the students in many ways:
- Online, flexible, free
Study at the time and place that suits you - more freedom, for free
- Enrich and broaden your portfolio
Choose electives from courses from leading universities
- Access to expertise
World-class academic staff – enthusiastic, knowledgeable lecturers the other side of the screen
- Diverse learning experience
User-friendly courses - varied activities, multiple format content and flexible choices to optimise learning – and exclusive access to enriched content
Be part of a global, culturally rich student community – make connections and grow your international circle
In the coming semester students can choose from 18 courses, we will also offer course during summer. More information on our website.
Two weeks ago I attended the F2F kickoff meeting of the recently granted Erasmus+ project EMBED: European Maturity Model for Blended Education. EMBED is a strategic partnership with frontrunner universities in blended education. The project is coordinated by EADTU and partners are KU Leuven, TU Delft, University of Edinburgh, Tampere University, Dublin City University and Aarhus University.
Withing the project we will develop an multi-level maturity model on blended education:
- micro-level of teaching and learning processes
- meso-level of institutional innovation and enabling strategies
- macro-level of governmental policy and support structures.
The first discussion was how do we define blended education. On the micro-level we talk about blended learning. Blended education is broader than just the learning, it also includes policy, support organisation, etc. The blend is focused on the mix of face-to-face and online:
“Blended learning refers to a deliberate, integrated combination of online and face-to-face (on-site) learning outcomes.”
The first activities are focused on developing the model. Katie Goeman, Veerle van Rompaey and Stephan Poelmans of KU Leuven are coordinating this. In the process we already identified many blended learning models, but I would like to invite you to reply with your favorite blended learning or education model.
Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit has created a database compiling research on the efficacy of online learning. The Online Learning Efficacy Research Database is a searchable resource of academic studies on the learning outcomes of online and/or hybrid education in comparison to face-to-face environments.
The database consists of more than 180 studies from 1998 to the present. The database will be update monthly, and anyone can submit entries that have not yet been included. The website also houses downloadable lists of dissertations, meta-studies and reviews focused on online education efficacy research, as well as a fact page that describes how database curation decisions are being made.
I think this is a great initiative and would like to call educational researchers to submit their relevant studies to the database.
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Seville has published the report on blockchain in education. The report is written by Alex Grech, Anthony Camilleri and Andreia Inamorato. The report introduces the fundamental principles of the Blockchain focusing on its potential for the education sector. It explains how this technology may both disrupt institutional norms and empower learners. It proposes eight scenarios for the application of the Blockchain in an education context, based on the current state of technology development and deployment.
The last four years we have worked very hard to establish the TU Delft Extension School. One of major contributions to our success is the creation of an international team of professionals. In our team we have (or had) Dutch, Portugees, Slovenian, Italian, Mexican, Israeli, American, South-African, Canadian, and British nationalities. Although I prefer to keep talent in house, sometimes it is better for them to move on. In most cases this means they move into a leading position in the field of open/online education at another institute (e.g. WarChild, IHE).
It does offer the opportunity to hire some new. So, there is a job opening for a new Learning Developer to join our great team of learning developers.
As Learning Developer you will be part of a team creating advanced learning modules for open, online, and blended courses for learners, professionals, and students. You will have considerable experience designing and developing online and blended courses. In this role, you will partner with the academic staff to create outstanding courses. Your project management skills contribute to your success in this role as you will be responsible for managing multiple projects.
Your tasks include the following:
- Guiding course teams in the entire process of designing, producing, delivering and evaluating online or blended courses or programmes.
- Devise complex technical methods and processes to meet new and unique eLearning and web requirements and resolve technical problems.
- Work independently and interact effectively with various faculty in the TU Delft organisation.
- Recognise, recommend and participate in the development of standards and procedures that support quality improvement in the Delft Extension School and products for our students.
- Provide project management for learning projects with tight deadlines. These projects bring together people from various departments and backgrounds to develop content, technical specifications and functional prototypes for the Extension School.
- Develop and provide workshops and trainings for academic staff.
- Meet all internal deadlines according to project plan regardless of project limitations.
- Participate in educational innovation projects for online courses and in the new TU Delft Teaching Lab.
Applicants should have the following qualifications:
- Master of Education (MEd) in Instructional Design, Educational Technology or related experience plus 1 year recent curriculum design and/or course development experience in online education;
- Keen sense of organisation and attention to detail;
- Demonstrated ability to handle unforeseen difficulties and obstacles with ease;
- Excellent team player attitude and ability to work on complex projects with a group of other course developers;
- Ability to work on a tight, rapidly-changing schedule;
- Experience with using ICT in education, such as digital assessment, e-moderating, online teaching methods and platforms;
- Commitment to consulting and strong communication skills in English; mastery of Dutch is a plus;
- Experience in higher education;
- Experience as a teacher of open or online education is a plus.
- Experience with D2L Brightspace is a plus.
Deadline for your application is 29th of October 2017. More information and to apply go to the university website.