eLearning

EDUCAUSE Study of Faculty, Students, and Information Technology

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EDUCAUSE has recently released the “2019 Study of Undergraduate STUDENTS and Information Technology“, along with it’s pair the “2019 Study of FACULTY and Information Technology“.

These surveys provide insight into faculty and students – and their use of technology in education.  This research has been ongoing since 2004 with 40,000 students from 118 institutions and 9,500 faculty from 119 institutions participating in this year’s survey.

See also: GVSU participated in this research study in 2015, see: “ECAR Study of Students and Technology at GVSU


ECAR > Study Findings

While this report contains a wealth of information of value to higher ed, here are a few of the findings and recommendations from the FACULTY and STUDENT report through the lens of eLearning and Emerging Technologies at GVSU:


Key Findings

  • ECAR FACULTY > A majority (51%) of faculty prefer to teach in a blended environment that includes both face-to-face and online components.
  • ECAR STUDENT > While the majority of students (70%) prefer mostly or completely face-to-face learning environments, specific demographic factors influence these preferences. (Students who are married or in a domestic partnership, those who are independent with dependents, those who work 40 or more hours a week, students age 25 and older, and individuals who identified as having both a physical and a learning disability that require technology for their coursework all had a stronger preference for classes that are mostly or completely online.)
  • ECAR STUDENT > Labs and demonstrations, faculty/student conferences, and lectures were rated as the most preferred activities in completely face-to-face environments. (Students see in-class lectures as opportunities to engage with instructors, peers, and course content, and they see technology as a means to that engagement. The majority of students prefer some form of blended environment for collaborations or projects with peers, homework/assignment submission, peer reviewing/peer grading, exams, quizzes or tests, and asking questions.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400The eLearning team at GVSU provides support for faculty teaching online, hybrid and traditional classes. Our goal is to assist faculty in finding the correct balance of leveraging online tools and activities through Blackboard to save time and increase effectiveness. A few examples include: online content, pre-class quizzes, and communicating live or asynchronously.

At GVSU, 24.1% of students were enrolled in at least one online or hybrid course in the Fall 2019 semester. This is up from 20.4% in 2018. In addition, in the spring/summer semester, 57.8% of students were taking at least one distance education course in 2019, up from 49.7% in 2018.

See also: “Enrollments Grow in Online Learning while Enhancing Teaching Effectiveness

  • ECAR FACULTY > Many faculty aren’t using online student success tools, but when they do use them, a majority find them at least moderately useful. (This year we found that, for each tool we asked about, between 27% and 39% of faculty didn’t use student success tools, while between 15% and 27% of faculty told us that these tools were not available to them.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400While GVSU does not currently offer an enterprise early alert tool that takes advantage of data in the Blackboard learning management system such as Starfish Retention Solutions, there are tools that can be used at GVSU to monitor students.

For example, faculty can focus on student success and retention with existing  Blackboard features, such as proactively contacting inactive students, students with missing deadlines, or poor performance. Specifically, the Blackboard Grade Center shows the date of last course access for students and gradebook colors can be set to trigger alerts for faculty based on student performance.

The Retention CenterPerformance Dashboard and Item Statistics provide faculty with information about student activity as well as the ability to monitor students at-risk. Using these tools can assist faculty in determining whether students in classees are falling behind or neglecting to check Blackboard regularly. The goal is always to intervene early on, so they get back on track quickly.

  • ECAR FACULTY > Faculty’s receiving training on integrating technology in the classroom is associated with increased use of mobile technology in the classroom. (Among faculty who received professional development training on integrating technology in their classroom, fewer than half (47%) reported banning smartphones in their classrooms. Among faculty who did not receive such training, 63% banned these devices.)
  • ECAR STUDENT > Two-thirds of students agreed that their instructors use technology to engage them in class, but it is not always with the devices students already own. (Significantly fewer students said they are encouraged to use their personal technology as tools to deepen their learning. Half of the respondents said their instructors ask them to use their laptops in class, and only a quarter reported they were encouraged to use their smartphones.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400The eLearning team at GVSU provides over 20 seminars on a variety of technologies and pedagogical strategies and guidance designed to support student success each semester. Further, our team offers a yearly “Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium“, faculty consultations, Online and Hybrid Faculty Learning Communitiesweekly open office hours, and digital studio spaces are offered to faculty so that the eLearning team can “Support faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning”. To zero in on emerging technologies, we offer a dedicated space (Atomic Object Technology Showcase) to explore extended reality experiences.

  • ECAR FACULTY > Faculty give high ratings to support services for accessibility technology, when they use them.
  • ECAR STUDENT > Only half of the students who have physical and/or learning disabilities and who need accessible technologies or accommodations rated their institution’s support positively. (Nearly a quarter said their institution’s support (21%) and awareness (24%) was poor or fair. Of particular concern is the 11% of students with disabilities who said their institution was not aware at all of their technology needs, which suggests many may experience barriers to disclosing their disability, including stigma and their own lack of awareness of available support services.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400The eLearning team at GVSU supports inclusive education through professional development for faculty in the adoption of Universal Design for Learning principles, along with specific support for accessibility with Blackboard Ally and Panopto video captioning.


Recommendations

  • ECAR FACULTY > Promote benefits and strategies for engaging in online teaching through mentoring and the creation of sustainable learning communities. Academic departments need to consider changes to their tenure requisites to reward faculty who choose to engage in course development and online instruction. (Faculty report strong preferences for face-to-face learning environments, but with increasing offerings and enrollments in online classes, institutions need to provide professional development to faculty who have the interest and skills to teach online.)
  • ECAR STUDENT > Continue to promote online success tools and provide training to students on their use through orientations and advisement sessions. (…explore the possibilities of predictive analytics with the use of success tools as a supplement to the personalized support of student advisors.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400While GVSU does not currently offer an enterprise early alert tool that takes advantage of data in the Blackboard learning management system such as Starfish Retention Solutions, there are tools that can be used at GVSU to monitor students.

For example, faculty can focus on student success and retention with existing  Blackboard features, such as proactively contacting inactive students, students with missing deadlines, or poor performance. Specifically, the Blackboard Grade Center shows the date of last course access for students and gradebook colors can be set to trigger alerts for faculty based on student performance.

The Retention CenterPerformance Dashboard and Item Statistics provide faculty with information about student activity as well as the ability to monitor students at-risk. Using these tools can assist faculty in determining whether students in classees are falling behind or neglecting to check Blackboard regularly. The goal is always to intervene early on, so they get back on track quickly.

Finally, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team, along with the Office of the Provost, Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, and University Libraries, collaborated on a new Online/Hybrid Orientation for students. This site is designed to take students through best practices in learning online, encouraging them to be mindful of time management techniques and skills for success.

  • ECAR FACULTY > Increase awareness among IT support services staff that quality services for faculty contribute to faculty’s overall ratings of their technology experiences. IT support staff are first responders to faculty technology issues and can make a real difference in faculty experiences.
  • ECAR FACULTY > Facilitate faculty professional development on integrating technology into teaching. (Promote professional development for faculty on effectively incorporating mobile technologies into their classrooms. Bans on all technology devices in the classroom will likely decrease student engagement. These bans disproportionately affect minority students and students with disabilities needing accommodations. Quash the “devices in the classroom” debate by leveraging mobile technologies in students’ hands to increase engagement and learning.)
  • ECAR STUDENT > Allow students to use the devices that are most important to their academic success in the classroom. (Provide training to faculty on the purposeful integration of student-owned technology for more inclusive, active, and engaged learning. Offer alternatives to in-class tech bans, such as involving students in the development of their class’s technology policy and designated seating for device users.)

CZnzUuCt_400x400Our eLearning and Emerging Technologies team provides a wide array of services and resources designed to facilitate digital learning at GVSU through supporting faculty in delivering high quality, innovative teaching.

We support faculty, contribute to teaching excellence, and enhance student success through:

Our eLearning team encourages faculty to review our website, follow and like us on  social media (GVSUeLearn on Twitter, GVSUeLearn on Facebook, listen in on our  teaching and technology podcast (T-Squared), read our email newsletters, and to stay up to date by viewing our gvsuelearn.wordpress.com blog highlights as well!

CZnzUuCt_400x400Tbe eLearning team facilitates 3 Online and Hybrid Faculty Learning Communities across all GVSU campus locations, designed to explore best practices and pedagogy in teaching at a distance, while encouraging learning from peers. Further our team provides over 20 seminars on a variety of technologies and pedagogical strategies and guidance designed to best support faculty. Finally, we offer a yearly “Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium“, faculty consultations, weekly open office hours, and digital studio spaces are offered to faculty so that the eLearning team can “Support faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning”.

  • ECAR FACULTY > Increase faculty awareness of student needs and accessibility support services, particularly among non-AA institutions. (Disability disclosure rates remain low among students, limiting faculty awareness and ability to address accessibility needs in the classroom. When faculty use accessibility support services, however, they report high levels of satisfaction with those services.)
  • ECAR STUDENT > Establish a campus community to address accessibility issues and give “accessibility evangelists” a seat at the table. Colleagues and students with disabilities can be valuable consultants who offer perspectives on the barriers they experience with tech inaccessibility in their learning environments. Partner with units across campus such as disability services, advisement, health services, and admissions to educate all students on the available accessible technology services and how to request them. Tap the expertise of teaching and learning centers and instructional designers to train faculty on the universal design for learning (UDL) framework to promote inclusive strategies that benefit all learners.

CZnzUuCt_400x400The eLearning team at GVSU supports inclusive education through professional development for faculty in the adoption of Universal Design for Learning principles, along with specific support for accessibility with Blackboard Ally and Panopto video captioning.

Enrollments Grow in Online Learning while enhancing Teaching Effectiveness

Recently, an article in InsideHigher Ed “Online Enrollments Grow, but Pace Slows” featured new federal data that show that more than 1/3 of all 2018 college and university students took at least one online course, and online enrollments have grown.

In fact, 34.7% of students have taken at least one online course in 2018, making up 3,677,689 students. Further, there were 3,259,560 students enrolled in exclusively distance education courses.

In comparison, according to the federal data report, overall enrollment in higher education was down -1.1%.

Enrollment in online courses at GVSU continues to grow as do the national numbers.

At GVSU, 24.1% of students were enrolled in at least one online or hybrid course in the Fall 2019 semester. This is up from 20.4% in 2018. In addition, in the spring/summer semester, 57.8% of students were taking at least one distance education course in 2019, up from 49.7% in 2018.

Here is a chart of the number of the unduplicated count of students enrolled in at least one online or hybrid course from 2016 through 2019 at GVSU:

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Related, in a recent “Faculty Attitudes on Technology Survey” administered by InsideHigher Ed, results indicate that professors’ are showing a steady acceptance of online learning.

In fact, professors also indicate that teaching online makes them better and more effective in their practice:

  • Three-quarters (77%) of instructors who have taught online say they have developed pedagogical skills and practices that have improved their teaching.

  • 75% think more critically about engaging students with content; 65% make better use of multimedia content; 63% more likely to experiment and make changes to try to improve the learning experience.

  • Two-thirds of instructors who had converted face-to-face course to an online or hybrid (blended) class said that they spent less time lecturing (65%) and incorporated more active learning techniques into the new course (69%).

Based on the Inside Higher Ed survey, now more than 46% of faculty members have taught an online course.

Further, for those faculty that have taught online, 61% agree that online courses can produce equivalent student outcomes.

As far as the adoption of using technology in teaching:

  • Nearly four in 10 instructors (39 percent) say they fully support the increased use of educational technologies, up from 32 percent in 2018 and 29 percent in 2017.

  • Professors who support educational technologies say they do so because “some students simply cannot attend a face-to-face class due to work or family obligations“ (64%) and “students learn better when I engage them with effective technology tools“ (57%).

  • Rated colleges positively on encouraging experimentation with new approaches to teaching (56% agree) and providing adequate technical support for creating and teaching online courses (52% agree for both).


About eLearning and Emerging Technologies

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eLearning and Emerging Technologies provides a wide array of services and resources designed to facilitate digital learning at GVSU through supporting faculty in delivering high quality, innovative teaching.

We support faculty, contribute to teaching excellence, and enhance student success through:

Top 9 Posts from 2019

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At GVSU, the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is here to support faculty pursuing innovation in teaching and learning. Our team is 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)
  • deployment of innovative emerging technologies

Reflecting back on 2019, we would like to recognize and celebrate the work of faculty at GVSU in their efforts to advance education through the application of technology in teaching. Digital transformation brings about tremendous opportunities and we are excited to collaborate to pioneer the future of education.

In the past year, our gvsuelearn.wordpress.com blog has had 4,849 views by 3,295 visitors, and we have published 56 posts!

Here are the top 9 most viewed posts from the eLearning and Emerging Technologies blog in the year 2019:

#1 – 7 Things you didn’t know that Blackboard can do!

#2 – Blackboard Achievements, Badges, and Quick-and-Easy Certificates

#3 – Teaching with the Lightboard @GVSU

#4 – Using Blackboard Goals to Monitor Curriculum and for Accreditation

#5 – Virtual Office Hours for Student Success with Blackboard Collaborate and IM

#6 – GVSU Offers Virtual Reality Space for Faculty and Students

#7 – Designing Quality Courses in Blackboard with Cheryl Kautz

#8 – How to use Blackboard Analytics to Support your Students at GVSU

#9 – First ever hackGVSU ‘hackathon’ brings Innovative ideas to enhance Blackboard at GVSU

GVSU explores Extended Reality in the Showcase

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Photo Credit: Amanda Pitts

Extended Reality (XR) is a frequent topic among those in higher education. XR is about engaging students across a wide array of digital experiences, including: virtual, augmented, mixed, and haptics-based interactions.

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of the physical “real world” environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.

In the showcase we have multiple Augmented Reality experiences including the MERGE CUBE and the CURISCOPE AR T-Shirt. The Merge Cube includes multiple apps that can transpose various three dimensional holographic applications a user can experience, while the Curiscope T-Shirt pairs with an application named Virtual-tee to provide an anatomical visualization of the human body.

Justin Robinson, student assistant in the showcase, is currently developing an app for the Merge Cube to assist GVSU medical students in the study of Moro Infant Reflexes.

The app will project a “virtual” baby that will respond to the movement of the cube in the same way a baby would respond tilted in a given direction. This provide students with the understanding of infant reflexes without having to use an actual child.

Here are a couple of photos of the AR experience that Justin is developing in collaboration with Hunter Bridwell, digital media developer, in eLearning and Emerging Technologies.

Merge Cube    Merge Cube AR Experience

“The Technology Showcase gives me and other students the ability to experience and develop the future of learning and entertainment and I’m blessed to be a part of it.” – Justin Robinson

GVSU Alum visits the Showcase

We were grateful and thankful to have a recent visit by a GVSU alumna, Lily Snyder. A graduate of GVSU in 2010, Lily went on to receive project management and ScrumMaster certificates while pioneering the way in virtual reality through her experiences as COO for Doghead Simulations.

Lily is a writer and speaker and has provided keynote addresses at a variety of events, including the Cincinnati Tech Frontier Series, Seattle Startup Week, and IILeX Europe in Amsterdam.

Here is an excerpt from a recent post on Lily’s LinkedIn profile regarding her visit to the Atomic Object Technology Showcase at Grand Valley State University:

“Super stoked to have gotten a tour of the GVSU – Atomic Object TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE today. I met enthusiastic students and GV’s associate director of eLearning, Eric Kunnen along with Hunter Bridwell M.S., Digital Media Director. If you want to know how universities are implementing emerging technology like virtual reality, you should reach out to them. Grand Valley State University is my Alma Mater and I’m proud to see their continued dedication to their students, education, and technology.”
#digitialtransformation #education #virtualreality #augmentedreality
Showcase Behind the Scenes
Photo courtesy: Lily SnyderPictured left to right: Carson (student assistant), Lily Snyder, Hunter Bridwell, Eric Kunnen
Pictured left to right:
Carson (student assistant), Lily Snyder, Hunter Bridwell, and Eric Kunnen

GVSU hosts the ETOM 2019 “Active Teaching – Active Learning” Fall Conference

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Introducing the… 2019 ETOM Fall Conference Attendees

After 4 years, the ETOM 2019 Fall Conference returned to Grand Valley State University! 

The event was held on Friday November 8 in the Kirkhof Center on GVSU’s Allendale Campus. There were over 90 administrators, faculty, and staff in attendance from 22 institutions, and the conference included 12 breakout sessions and a keynote. GVSU faculty Robert Talbert, Lissa Brunan, Sherry Johnson, and Jeremy Robinson shared their expertise by providing presentations at the conference.


Missed all of the action? Here is a recap post with all of the highlights:

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Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies, GVSU and President of ETOM welcomed attendees to the Fall Conference

Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of  eLearning and Emerging Technologies, currently serving as President of the Executive Board of ETOM provided a short description of the history and work of ETOM throughout the year.

The Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM), is a non-profit that has been around since 1980 – always focused on expanding the use of instructional technologies in teaching and learning.

The following photos are from the earlier days of ETOM, as leaders from colleges across the state came together to collaborate and partner to combine resources and to spur on new ideas to improve education.

As with many organizations, the momentum is spurred on by the ETOM Executive Board. made up from online learning administrators from colleges and university’s across the state.

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Sue Korzinek, Associate VP and CIO, welcomed attendees to GVSU.

GVSU’s Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Sue Korzinek, provided a brief welcome on behalf of Grand Valley.

In addition to the fall conference, ETOM provides a spring retreat geared toward distance learning  administrators as well as online meet ups that are held every other month focusing on a variety of trends and important topics connected to online teaching and learning.

Finally, ETOM provides a Teaching Certification course for faculty new to teaching online. ETOM.ORG is the place to go for more information.

Before kicking off with the keynote, Garry Brand, Executive Director of ETOM and Business Law professor at GVSU, provided a special presentation and recognition of Ronda Edwards, Executive Director of Michigan Colleges Online, who is retiring from her position this year.

ETOM presented Ronda with a lifetime membership for her years of advocacy and promotion of the use of technology to support education.

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From left to right: Garry Brand, Executive Director of ETOM, Stacy Whiddon, Associate Dean of Distance Learning at Schoolcraft College, and Ronda Edwards, Executive Director of Michigan Colleges Online

The conference theme this year was Active Teaching and Active Learning.  The highlighted keynote was provided by Robert Talbert, who is a leader and author in the area of flipped learning. His talk was entitled: “Active Learning: Three reasons to embrace it, three reasons to avoid it, and three questions to consider”

  • Robert Talbert is a Professor of Mathematics in the Mathematics Department at Grand Valley State University. He holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Tennessee Technological University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics from Vanderbilt University.

Watch Robert Talbert’s ETOM 2019 Keynote Presentation

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Thank you to our presenters and attendees for an amazing event, pioneering the future for active learning and active teaching to support student success!

eLearning Team attends EDUCAUSE Annual Conference

IMG_5986Eric Kunnen, Sherry Barricklow, and Hunter Bridwell from the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team traveled to Chicago for the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois. With over 8,300+ attendees and large exhibit hall, the conference was full of innovative ideas.

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Representing Grand Valley State University, Eric Kunnen, Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies delivered a presentation with John Scott, Product Manager, Blackboard Inc. along with the College of Southern Nevada and the University of Kentucky. Their session was entitled: “Leveraging Data-Driven Decision Making to Drive Student Success, Retention, and Accessibility Initiatives

Here are a few posts and notes from Eric Kunnen’s “EdTech with Eric” blog:

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Sherry Barricklow, Hunter Bridwell, and Eric Kunnen arrive in Chicago… ready to learn about the latest and greatest in #edtech…