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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sloan-C View: February 2009

Check out these highlights from Sloan-C View below.
Please have a look!

K-12 Online Learning: A 2008 Follow-up of the survey of U.S. School District Administrators

In 2007, the Sloan Consortium issued K-12 Online Learning: A Survey of U.S. School District Administrators a report on the extent and nature of online learning in K-12 schools. This report was welcomed by professional organizations and the popular media interested in the use of online technology for instruction in the public schools. It was based on a national survey of school district administrators during the 2005-2006 academic year. It was one of the first studies to collect data on and compare fully online and blended learning (part online and part traditional face-to-face instruction) in K-12 schools. The new study replicates the original study in order to substantiate its findings and to examine what if any changes occurred in online learning in K-12 school districts. The current study is based on a national survey of school district administrators during the 2007-2008 academic year.

Below are blog posts of interest collected from
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Quality Matters Course Design Initiative - Lessons Learned
By Ron Legon
The Quality Matters Program, focused on improving the design of online and hybrid courses through a 40 standard Rubric and a peer-to-peer course review process, is in its sixth year of activity and its third as a self-supporting non-profit initiative of MarylandOnline. QM has benefited from the strong and sustained concern about quality in the distance learning community, among both traditional institutions and the emerging for-profit sector.

Workload Management
By Shari McCurdy Smith
Workload Management. The name alone is daunting, much less the task. We know we need to find a balance; yet, the demands of teaching online do not offer much time to determine where things could be improved. As online instructors, it is presumed we are pedagogical wizards, 24/7 reference guides, futuristic soothsayers, and omnipresent overseers every single day, every single moment. Or at least it feels that way.

Web 2.0 Selection Criteria: Save Time Choosing an Appropriate Tool
By Bethany Bovard
Finding the right type of Web 2.0 tool to support the educational goals and learning objectives of your course can be challenging; making a selection from among several seemingly similar tools can be even more difficult and time-consuming. Over the years, I've developed my own selection criteria to help me quickly come to decisions about the appropriateness of specific tool. I hope you find the attached checklist as helpful as I have for saving time and improving the tool selection process.

Inclusive Design
By Nan Chico
Most of us are probably aware of "universal design" for course materials, where we take students with disabilities into account as we prepare our online courses (alt text for graphics, closed captions on videos).

Learn From the Experts - The Sloan-C 2009 Workshop Series

Getting Started in Second Life - Feb 4 - 13
Second Life is an extremely popular 3D virtual environment that has many applications for education, from increasing social interactions to deepening learning. In this workshop, you'll learn some of the basic Second Life skills that will help you successfully enjoy your second life. You'll also get a brief introduction to some of the educational possibilities of Second Life.

Using the Community of Inquiry Framework to Design and Assess Online Courses - Feb 11 - 20
The Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework developed by Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2000) provides a theoretical model of online learning processes that has been used by many scholars and practitioners in the field of online education. CoI is a constructivist process model, assuming effective online learning requires the development of community.

Delivering Content, Fostering Student Interactivity, and Assessing Learning in Blended Courses - Feb 16 - March 8

Effective blended teaching requires significant rethinking and design. When designed effectively, blended courses can improve learning and offer more effective use of available resources. Additionally, the blended modality provides for less passive learning and more active learning.

Video Tools for Teaching and Learning - Feb 25 - March 6
Video is a powerful media for teaching and learning and an asset to any distance course. With video, you can present information and your students demonstrate learning. You also can use video to communicate efficiently and effectively.

Using the Quality Matters Rubric to Improve Your Online Course - Feb 25 - March 13
Recognizing quality is much like recognizing art; everybody sees something different. With regard to online courses, your students, faculty, administrators, peers, and accrediting bodies may not know what to look for in assessing quality. Defining quality standards proves crucial to successful course design and implementation.

Source: The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C)