Author: ekunnen

Eric has a passion for, works to lead, support, and coordinate effective uses of technology in teaching and learning. He is an Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan. His primary role focuses on collaborating and supporting distance learning initiatives at the university while exploring future trends in emerging technologies in teaching and learning. He also collaborates to research and support academic technologies used in the classroom and in eLearning. Previously, Eric was the Emerging Technologies Coordinator at GVSU and a Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eric has a background in teaching Computer Science and Biology at the secondary level and a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Educational Technology. I'm on mission to advance teaching and learning through the integration of emerging and innovative instructional technologies... More http://about.me/ekunnen

2019 Horizon Report meets eLearning and Emerging Technologies at GVSU

horizonreport2019The 2019 Horizon Report has recently been released by EDUCAUSE, highlighting innovative trends and technologies in higher education.

This report has always been an excellent #edtech radar so to speak, but also it raises some QUESTIONS:

  • So where does GVSU, and specifically the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team fit into this report?
  • What are the key areas that align with projects or initiatives that are occurring here at the university?
  • How can we use this report in eLearning to provide insights and to gain better understanding so that we can better support faculty and the university in continuing to be innovative and distinctive?

This post, similar to last year’s review, will attempt to provide links to various activities and work happening among the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team that focuses on the current trends, challenges, and developments in this report.

#1 – Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education

Short-TermDriving technology adoption in higher education for the next one to two years

  • Redesigning Learning Spaces – At GVSU, the most noteworthy example of an innovative learning space is none other than the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons. This space was built, from the ground up, to be a different kind of library. Infused into the space are resources that have not been “typical” library features, such as: the Technology Showcase, IT Help Desk, Knowledge Market (tutoring, writing, research, speech, data inquiry lab), Exhibition Space, and an active learning classroom.
  • Blended Learning Designs – The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team provides a wide array of resources and services to equip faculty in both the design and the use of technologies to transform learning. The question is no longer should I use technology to enhance my teaching, rather, how can I most effectively integrate technology effectively into my courses to increase engagement and student success. Further, the eLearning team assists in the support of the growth in distance education and the future of online and hybrid learning at GVSU.

Mid-TermDriving technology adoption in higher education for the next three to five years

18th Annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium

 

  • Growing Focus on Measuring Learning – Predictive analytics is an opportunity to explore more deeply at GVSU. Products like Starfish by Hobson’s would provide value in leveraging large data sets, combined with activity of students and faculty in Blackboard to help inform and improve retention efforts. The Blackboard LMS at GVSU includes a Retention Center, Performance Dashboard, and Course Reports providing faculty with just-in-time student data whereby they can engage with students through nudges, reminders, and proactive communication.

#2 – Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Higher Education

SolvableThose that we understand and know how to solve

  • Improving Digital Fluency – With a digital studies minor, and high levels of faculty adoption of educational technology, eLearning’s Digital Studio and lightboard, and the Technology Showcase, GVSU is well on it’s way to engaging in new ways with student to improve their digital literacy skills. Campus discussions have also included the creation of a new space where students can access and use a variety of digital resources in a “digital media center”.
  • Increasing Demand for Digital Learning Experience and Instructional Design Expertise – The eLearning team’s group of instructional designers make up “IDeL” who is on mission to: “…develop confident and competent faculty, prepared to teach in blended and fully online learning environments, who are able to integrate technology in a way that is learner-centered and pedagogically sound.”

DifficultThose that we understand but for which solutions are elusive & Wicked—Those that are complex to even define, much less address

#3 – Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

Time to Adoption: One Year or Less

  • Mobile Learning
  • Analytics Technologies

Time to Adoption: Two to Three Years

  • Mixed Reality
  • Artificial Intelligence

Time to Adoption: Four to Five Years

  • Blockchain
  • Virtual Assistants

At GVSU, through the eLearning and Emerging Technologies “Technology Showcase“, these #edtech trends are closely monitored. Most notable are exhibits and work being done around: virtual assistants with a custom app for the showcase that works with the Echo Show, mixed reality whereby one of the digital media developers on the eLearning team is working to explore virtual reality and augmented reality applications that are integrated into the curriculum, and mobile learning where a variety of technologies support BYOD along with tablet and smartphone integration.

Technology Showcase at GVSU

 


As we look further into the future, GVSU is focused on advancing education in a variety of ways. Specifically for the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team, we align most directly under the following 2021 Strategic Outcomes:

GVSU 2016-2021 Strategic Outcomes

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Institutional outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

 Objective 1.D.2: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching. Baseline: 89% of faculty indicated either daily or weekly use of Blackboard in their teaching according to a GVSU faculty survey conducted winter 2016.

Objective 2.E.1: At least 75% of faculty and 75% of staff participate in professional development to expand, enhance or extend their competencies and capabilities within the context of the responsibilities of their positions. Baseline for faculty will be determined via Digital Measures in summer 2015. Baseline for Fall 2014 for staff is 50-55%.

Objective 3.D.2: At least 30% of undergraduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and formats, such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for undergraduate courses for Fall 2014 is 6%.

Objective 3.D.3: At least 30% of graduate courses are offered in innovative approaches and such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented. Baseline for graduate courses for Fall 2014 is 25%.

Objective 4.D.1: Effective technologies are integrated into every function and structure across the institution. Baseline: In 2013, IT implementation was above the median on 24 of 49 indicators across 7 functional domains.

eLearning Team Mission and Strategies

eLearning and Emerging Technologies is on mission and dedicated to supporting faculty, contributing to teaching excellence, and enhancing student success through: exemplary instructional design, effective application and integration of instructional technologies, interactive digital media development, administration and enhancement of the university’s enterprise learning management system (Blackboard), and the deployment of innovative emerging technologies.

Our team has been centered on executing the following strategies:

  • Leverage exemplary instructional design and instructional technologies to: create pedagogically sound and learner centered instruction, improve and ensure course quality, enhance faculty effectiveness, and to increase student success and retention.
  • Accelerate the evaluation, implementation, and application of educational technologies by coordinating resources, assisting, equipping, and empowering faculty and students.
  • Partner with faculty, staff, and students, to showcase, advocate, and increase awareness of the effective application of innovative instructional technologies through sharing best practices.
  • Develop interactive digital media courseware and resources to enhance teaching and improve student learning.
  • Advance the capabilities and adoption of the university’s enterprise course management system (Blackboard) to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of content delivery, assessment, and communication to support innovative teaching and learner engagement.
  • Build institutional capacity to: integrate and implement technologies into teaching and learning practices, generate economies of scale, and increase their deployment across the institution.
  • Investigate, acquire, test, prototype, pilot, research, and evaluate cutting-edge emerging technologies that have the potential to transform education, enhance teaching, and improve student learning.
  • Survey, collect data, analyze, and evaluate the effectiveness of instructional technologies, services, and support.

The eLearning team provides a wide array of support and services designed to empower faculty and contribute to student success.

elearning_team_services

Are you a professor at GVSU? Contact the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team, we’re here to help at the intersection of teaching, learning, and technology!

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18th Annual Symposium a Success!

The 18th Annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium, held on May 1, was the largest symposium held at GVSU with over 160 attendees, a keynote by Provost Cimitile, recognition of the Julia VanderMolen who received the Pew FTLC Teaching with Technology Award, 5 Technology Test Kitchen “recipes”, and 25 ePoster sessions.

The Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium was sponsored by eLearning and Emerging Technologies, Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, and University Libraries.

If you missed attending this year, here are a few highlights:

  • WATCH the Symposium Keynote by Provost Cimitile

Save-the-date and see you next year in Allendale on Wednesday, April 29 for the 19th Annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium!

eLearning team attends #miBUG19

d6oxynsxsaapryvOn Friday, May 10, several members of the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team attended the #miBUG Michigan Blackboard Users Group Conference to connect, learn, and share best practices in using Blackboard in teaching and learning.

The conference brought together over 80 faculty, staff, instructional designers, and system administrators from all across the state of Michigan. The event was held at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Held every spring, the agenda included a keynote by Dr. Darcy Hardy entitled “It all Begins (and ends) with Quality”, and 3 breakout sessions. Sponsors for this year’s conference included: Blackboard, Washtenaw Community College, Qwickly, Respondus, ReadSpeaker, and Examity.

Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies, captured a few notes on his “EdTech with Eric” blog:

 

The SPRING TECH EXPO Seminars are here!

springtechexpologoAll month long in May, GVSU’s eLearning and Emerging Technologies team will be highlighting a variety of tools and pedagogical approaches to support online/hybrid and in-seat courses in our SPRING TECH EXPO Seminars.

Our faculty professional development seminars are the perfect opportunity to get some new ideas, tips, and insights on key issues related to teaching.

Workshop subjects include: everything Blackboard, getting started with using interactive rubrics and the Grade Center, formative assessment strategies, assessing and creating student video assignments with Panopto, discussion board best practices, improving the ADA accessibility of your courses with Ally, integrating Google into Blackboard, live videoconferencing with Collaborate, and much more!

Please register in Sprout at GVSU for seminars and visit the SPRING TECH EXPO Calendar to learn about what sessions are offered!

The Future and Online Learning

online_ed_higher

Back in 2017, The Chronicle of Higher Education and VitalSource released results from a survey entitled: “Online Education Heading toward the Future“. This report includes key findings regarding distance education as online learning moves into the mainstream.

The survey captured the feedback of 1,286 respondents including higher-ed administrators, chief information officers, provosts, chief academic officers, deans, program directors and chairs, and directors of educational media.

This blog post captures a few highlights as well as connections to the work of the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team at GVSU.

“Online education is not a fad… online education — that is, distance learning delivered digitally, whether for an entire course or part of one — is not going away. A majority of colleges and universities understand this and are working to find the best online learning solutions for their students and faculty members.”


Online Learning Enrollment Expands

Almost all, 94%, of the institutions responding to the survey indicate that they offer classes entirely online, while enrollment in these classes has also increased at most institutions.

onlinelearninggrowth.jpg

Figure retrieved from: “Online Education Heading toward the Future

Enrollment in Online and Hybrid Learning Increased by 30%

Grand Valley State University started offering online courses before 2007 and the number of online/hybrid courses and enrollment are increasing annually. Since 2016, GVSU’s enrollment in online and hybrid courses has increased by 30%. In fact, in the 2018-19 academic year, 375 online courses are being taught to 10,221 students or 38 percent of the university’s student body. Read more at: “eLearning Team supports growth in Online/Hybrid Learning at GVSU“.


Increases in Acceptance and in Strategic Priority

strategicplanonline.jpg

Figure retrieved from: “Online Education Heading toward the Future

strategyonline.jpg

Figure retrieved from: “Online Education Heading toward the Future

“There seems to be a growing desire among faculty to at least figure out what it means to teach online.”

Institutions plan to continue or increase the investment, including 72% increasing resources dedicated to online learning initiatives, as illustrated in the following chart:

useidtogrow.jpg

Figure retrieved from: “Online Education Heading toward the Future

Quality is Key

According to the survey, 86% of the institutions reported having course enrollment caps for online courses as well as an internal process to review course quality.

Quality Matters and the Online Learning consortium where mentioned as resources for external quality certification.

Blackboard Exemplary Course Award Winners at GVSU

GVSU faculty have received awards for their quality courses through the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award Program.

Good Practice Teaching Standards

The eLearning team’s, IDeL group has provided a series of good practice teaching standards are derived from the GVSU’s Online Education Council’s Online/Hybrid Course Peer Review Rubric. The recommendations and good practice guidelines are adapted from: Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric 2011 – 2013 Edition, Penn State Peer Review Guide, Chickering, A. & Gamson, Z. (1987) Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin (39)7, and the Blackboard Exemplary Course Rubric.


Instructional Design

51% of those responding to the survey indicated that their institution has 1 or 2 instructional designers, followed by 33% having 3 – 5. One of the important aspects of course quality has been contributed to the use of instructional designers in course creation.

instructionaldesignershired.jpg

Figure retrieved from: “Online Education Heading toward the Future

In a recent article by Campus Technology entitled: “Survey: Instructional Designers Drive Better Student Outcomes“, the importance of instructional design (ID) was raised in support of increasing the quality of online courses and in turn improving student learning as part of the 2019 CHLOE 3 REPORT. Read more in the “Working with Instructional Designers Improves Student Outcomes” blog post.

Connect with an Instructional Designer at GVSU!

At GVSU, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team includes 3 instructional designers making up the “IDeL” (Instructional Design for Learning) group.

When preparing, designing, or facilitating an online or hybrid course, please reach out to one of our instructional designers for support, join an Online and Hybrid Faculty Learning Community, and/or review a variety of tipsvideo advice, and good practice teaching recommendations.


Online Teaching Improves Teaching Skills and Strengthens the Institution

In general administrators surveyed indicate that online teaching improves the institution and face to face teaching also. As faculty are prepare to teach online through professional development, this shapes also their teaching in person, traditional courses.

onlineimprovesinstitution.jpg

Figure retrieved from: “Online Education Heading toward the Future

onlineteachingimproveskills.jpg

Figure retrieved from: “Online Education Heading toward the Future

eLearning and Emerging Technologies @GVSU

Learn more about the support provided to faculty in the design, development, and delivery of online, hybrid, and traditional courses on the eLearning and Emerging Technologies website.

The eLearning team provides a wide array of support and services designed to empower faculty and contribute to student success.

elearning_team_services

From getting started to advanced technology integration into teaching, the eLearning team is here to support faculty. We have expertise in instructional design through the IDeL team, creative multimedia production authoring capabilities through the Digital Studio, instructional technology support and learning management solutions such as Blackboard, and a wide array of innovative emerging technologies in the Atomic Object Technology Showcase.

In short, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is dedicated to supporting faculty, contributing to teaching excellence, and enhancing student success through:

Using Content, Grade Center, and Announcements in Blackboard to Support Student Learning

In 2016, Blackboard engaged in a study “Patterns in Blackboard Learn tool use: Five Course Design Archetypes” that included data from 70,000 courses from 927 institutions, with 3,374,462 unique learners.

Based on this study of over 3 million learners and 70,000 courses, it was found that 53% of courses were supplemental, meaning content-heavy with low interaction, following by complementary at 24% meaning one-way communication through content, announcements, and gradebook. Additional course archetypes are illustrated in the chart below:

archetypes.jpg

Chart retrieved from: “Patterns in Blackboard Learn tool use: Five Course Design Archetypes

Additionally, the Blackboard study found:

Courses with the largest amount of student activity take advantage of a diverse set of tools; campuses should identify and investigate these leading courses as sources for best practices and examples that can be adapted by other faculty in their courses.


Blackboard Use at GVSU

At GVSU, the eLearning team was interested in researching how Blackboard is being used by faculty and students. By leveraging the opensource BbStats Blackboard Building Block (which includes a “Latent Class Analysis Report”) by Dr. Szymon Machajewski, it was found that 72% of courses are using Blackboard in Holistic and Complementary ways, whereas 28% of courses fall into the content repository category in the Winter 2019 semester.

19% Holistic

  • 19% or 758 courses at GVSU fall into the Holistic category where 5 more more tools are used per course (eg. content, grade centerannouncements, and possibly assignments, discussions, and/or assessments).

53% Complementary 

  • 53% or 2,082 courses at GVSU are using at least 3 tools per course (eg. content, grade center, and announcements or assignments).

28% Content Repository

  • 28% or 1,088 courses at GVSU are using 2 or less tools pecourse (eg. content and announcements or discussion board). Additionally, there is no use of grade center, assignments, or assessments.
latencyuseofBb_W2019.jpg
Chart retrieved from: GVSU BbStats Blackboard Building Block, Latent Class Analysis Report
The eLearning team is on mission to support faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning. Further, we support the GVSU 2021 Strategic Plan in the use of course management tools such as Blackboard by faculty:

Objective 1.D.2: At least 93% of faculty members regularly use electronic course management tools, such as Blackboard, in their teaching.

We’re here to help!

Interested in learning more about leveraging Blackboard in teaching and learning to support student success at GVSU? Please feel free to contact the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team and be sure to also review: “Teaching with Blackboard” and “Blackboard and 7 Principles of Good Practice”.


  • The “Latent Class Analysis Report” is bundled into BbStats, an opensource Blackboard Building Block by Dr. Szymon Machajewski. The three course design categories were identified by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This software reports how many courses in this system match the latent analysis. Read more about the study in Springer journal TechTrends Patterns in Faculty Learning Management System Use.

eLearning Team supports Growth in Online/Hybrid Learning at GVSU

Recently, the Grand Rapids Business Journal published an article on the importance of data protection as online learning. Also highlighted was the significant growth in online and hybrid learning enrollment.

Enrollment in Online and Hybrid Learning Increased by 30%

“Grand Valley State University started offering online courses before 2007 and the number of online/hybrid courses and enrollment are increasing annually.”

Since 2016, GVSU’s enrollment in online and hybrid courses has increased by 30%. In fact, in the 2018-19 academic year, 375 online courses are being taught to 10,221 students or 38 percent of the university’s student body.

onlineenrollmentgvsu

Faculty Support in Online and Hybrid Course Design, Development, and Delivery

“All faculty who teach in online or hybrid formats must undergo a several-week training in online pedagogies and course design,” Schendel said. “All faculty at the university have access to Blackboard to support their in-seat classes, as well, and there are many workshops offered to help faculty integrate technologies into their classroom in ways that enhance teaching and learning.”

The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team at GVSU supports faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning in online, hybrid, and traditional course delivery.

The eLearning team provides a wide array of support and services designed to empower faculty and contribute to student success.

elearning_team_services

From getting started to advanced technology integration into teaching, the eLearning team is here to support faculty. We have expertise in instructional design through the IDeL team, creative multimedia production authoring capabilities through the Digital Studio, instructional technology support and learning management solutions such as Blackboard, and a wide array of innovative emerging technologies in the Atomic Object Technology Showcase.

In short, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is dedicated to supporting faculty, contributing to teaching excellence, and enhancing student success through:

Protecting Student Information

Susan Korzinek, associate vice president and chief information officer at GVSU, said when students are enrolling into an online/hybrid class, all internal and vendor systems that utilize student data are reviewed for data security best practices, Family Educational Rights Privacy Act regulations and General Data Protection Regulation prior to use.

She also said any student enrolled at GVSU must be admitted and enrolled prior to being allowed into an online/hybrid course, and GVSU provides a unique login and password for each individual who is admitted/enrolled.

“Students are instructed to keep logins/passwords confidential and expected to abide by GVSU policies,” she said. “Logging of user activity, including where they logged in from, date/time stamps of login and logout, that can be reviewed as needed. Logging of user activity within certain applications, like a course management system, that shows what areas were viewed or data manipulated that can be reviewed as needed.”


Learn more about the support provided to faculty in the design, development, and delivery of online, hybrid, and traditional courses on the eLearning and Emerging Technologies website.