Blog 4 – Digital Pedagogy

[Written by our entire group, listed in no particular order, Alexandria Rossi Alvarez, Daniel Linares, Jenny Kirsch, Tanya Mitropoulos, and Emma Baumgardner]

If not all educators are called to be pedagogues, then how do we hold (or expect to hold) educator’s accountable for sound pedagogical practices in a global environment where everyone is barely treading water? On the flip side of this coin (as if it’s really a coin), is the question of where the collaboration exists between campus pedagogues and educators? For all their filibustering about what digital pedagogy is not, I would argue Stommel and Morris don’t do a solid job of saying what digital pedagogy is – aside from this ethereal manifestation of co-constructed knowledge heralded by Eris than an organization – or how collaboration can exist to begin filling in the scisms that exist between those that know, those that do and those that know and do. In the current era, and times to come, there will not be the option for online learning, so how about we begin educating educators on sound, digital, pedagogical approaches so both learners and educators get the most out of the platforms they are (for better or worse) existing upon?

Students in the classroom have different strengths and weaknesses, the use of digital tools can be a way to address those differences. It is within the professor’s responsibility to identify these differences among the learners and address and understand where students might be troubled. This is when digital pedagogies come in hand as they can be used to simplify and balance student’s abilities and focus on getting the feedback needed to improve the learning process.

One of the things our group chatted about was the need for an Incorporation of more studies related to people’s attention capacities online. Because we have all been forced into this online learning environment, more research ought to be done to look into the best easy to disseminate information to students and how they are retaining it. We’ve heard pieces of information here and there about how long videos should be, things to incorporate in a narrated presentation to increase engagement from the students, and how to make online learning interactive. However, it would be both interesting and helpful to have data to support the comments in one location that all educators could pull from to aid in their online pedagogy.

Online instruction specialists would be a useful new field to develop too. Since research and practice are, at least preliminarily, indicating that learning happens in a different manner when done fully online, new tools and methods are needed to optimize teaching in this context. However, as many teachers are discovering with the forced rapid conversion to online education, incorporating these tools into lessons takes time – enough to merit a full-time job. Schools with prior experience educating online are finding themselves at an advantage, being able to use the knowledge of1 employees already experienced in this context. If more schools invest in such professionals, then they too can get ahead in online education.

In the realm of digital pedagogy, efforts need to be made to encourage the accommodation of traditional and nontraditional students. One benefit of online teaching and MOOCs is the ability of the program to be able to conform to a person’s life. Creating an engaging classroom through the usage of online tools is paramount, and ensuring these programs have a positive user experience is another hurdle. Creating platforms that provide users with an easy, intuitive, and positive experience of interaction can improve the learning experience for students.

Technology and Innovation in Higher Education Blog Post

“When we no longer need multimillion-dollar gymnasiums with climbing walls because we don’t need walls, it’s going to change higher education completely” (Bersett, 2015).

Before this assignment prompt, I have never heard of MOOCs before, so I was very interested in learning about it. MOOC (massive open online courses) are large online courses offered for free by professors mainly at Ivy League universities. MOOCs have become a distributive force because they offer free online courses to whoever wants to enroll.

MOOCs were first started in 2008, but the impact of these courses was felt in 2011 (Bersett, 2015). In 2013, 5% of universities offered some type of MOOC, and that percentage triples for universities who enrolled more than 15,000 students. Of that, a small percentage of universities are offering MOOCs for credit (Bersett, 2015). In 2011, 106,000 students signed up for an AI course taught by a Stanford professor (Bersett, 2015).

I read a few articles where Colleges stated they are often afraid of MOOCs because they allow people to pick any type of courses they want online and take them for free. In the last decade, online courses have become attractive because (1) you do not need to be there, (2) it conforms to a single person’s schedule, (3) you do not have to worry about being accepted into these elite and highly competitive universities, (4) student debt has risen disturbingly high. MOOCs have become a new revenue model for higher education. The fact that MOOCs are free and open is what differentiates them from Universities who rely on acceptance into the school and tuition fees. One point that I could not understand was that the grading system is unclear, and there is either no or extremely limited interaction with the professor.

It makes you question the choices you made. Why did I spend thousands of dollars for a traditional college education where I could have completed self-paced college courses that only rely on me having an active internet connection? I could substitute my monthly tuition bill for a monthly internet charge.

The infographic I decided to share maps out the four key MOOC players (Coursera, Khan, Udacity, and EDX).  Thrun created Udacity which is a for-profit MOOC and Princeton and Duke professors are teaching courses. Coursera was created by two Stanford professors and EDX is a non-profit MOOC founded by MIT and Harvard. MOOCs are also backed by Melinda and Bill Gates.

(Nigel, 2014)

Works Cited

Bersett, K. (2015, February 16). Illinois State University. Retrieved from Illinois State eyes future as online courses reshape higher ed: https://news.illinoisstate.edu/2015/02/illinois-state-eyes-future-online-courses-reshape-higher-ed/

Nigel, H. (2014, March 1). MICHAEL SANDBERG’S DATA VISUALIZATION BLOG. Retrieved from Infographic: Major Players in the MOOC Universe (Nigel Hawtin): https://datavizblog.com/2014/03/01/infographic-major-players-in-the-mooc-universe-nigel-hawtin/

Blog 3 – Case-Based Pedagogy

I believe bringing in real-world problems into a classroom environment is a very important learning tool. Case-based learning is an accessible learning tool that has the potential to reach different types of learners. Case and problem-based learning allow students to develop problem-solving skills, utilize self-directed strategies, group participation skills, and subject matter knowledge. I think this is important because it provides students with the opportunity to learn in a different way. This provides students with the allowance to be creative, to gain self-confidence, and persevere to find a solution.

 

As adults, we are constantly being evaluated on our problem-solving abilities and evaluating others. Whether it is in interviews, peer-reviews, or team-building exercises the topic of problem-solving comes up at least once. I believe this type of learning is relevant because it prepares students for what they will experience in the future. They will be evaluated on how the collaboration with others, how creative they are in finding an actionable solution, and their project management. So, if there is an opportunity to begin instilling these traits when they are younger, I think it will only enhance those traits in their future.

Open Access Blog Post

The open-access journal found in the Journal of Ergonomics. They are an international open-access journal that publishes research in health, automotive, ergonomics, and engineering disciplines. All the research publications are available online for free without restrictions or any subscriptions. All publications are peer-reviewed by subject matter experts in the field. An array of research publications is accepted such as methodology articles, review articles, commentaries, letters to the editors, case reports, and short communications. There are three experts that sit on the editorial board. The journals main contact is in Brussels, Belgium, but they have an office in Barcelona, Spain.

The goal of the journal is to create a course of scholarly research from research across the roll to increase accessibility to research to greater the global research community. Their mission is “to help accelerate the pace of discovery by offering solutions to international researchers and help them publish their work in the best journals” (Longdom, 2020). The journal does not position itself within the open access movement. The only description of open access is in a sentence of their mission statement. However, within their copyright information under the publication ethics, they mentioned that they follow Scholars Open Access publishing policies.

I think this journal provides important resources to many researchers across the globe. I feel that most journal publishers take advantage of their platform and make it extremely complicated to get access to research. To me, the hardest part of the research is trying to access research articles for the literature review. Often once you find an abstract that sounds interesting it takes another 45 minutes and 27 open tabs to figure out where you can download the entire article from.