ODU

I'm Dissertating!

I didn't know it before now, but dissertating isn't just a made-up word that I have been tossing around today as I yell to the world that I began collecting data for my dissertation research. I can't get into a lot of details as the folks I am observing and surveying this semester may stop by my blog and I wouldn't want to lead any witnesses! However, I will try to post some vague tidbits at milestones in the process ... and I will be keeping an off-line journal of the experience which I will upload when all is said and done. Most importantly for publication now, (a) my committee approved my proposal in June, (b) the ODU IRB approved my proposal in July, and (c) today I began dissertating!

Distance Education: Centralization vs Decentralization

We tend to get our undies in a bundle over learner-learner; learner-content; learner-teacher interactions, but this issue of the learner-institution transaction / interaction deserves a lot more attention. Last night at ODU, we had our new student orientation with doctoral students coming into the program this semester (held on Adobe Connect with participants all over North America and recorded for those who could not attend) and we spent over an hour just going over issues of learner-institution interaction .. what log on do I need to register for classes? who do I contact about financial aid? how do I submit my plan of work to the university? where do I get the software do I need to connect into class? how do I access recordings of sessions of classes I miss? While this is far from the "sexy" side of instruction (if there is one?), it is where the rubber meets the road in formal education. Students tend to love or leave a program based on how fantastic / horrid these learner-institution transactions are handled.

Comps Time

I just received my first of 3 essay questions for my comps. I hate to wish away weeks of my life, but I can't wait for Thanksgiving :)

IDT 873: Cognitive Task Analysis for Troubleshooting

IDT 873: Self-Pacing versus Instructor-Pacing

IDT 873: Note-taking Generative Strategy

Facilitating Group Written Projects

Facilitation of group written projects is a challenge for instructional designers working within a distance learning setting. The following provides suggested practices for facilitating such projects using web based collaborative writing technologies.

Lesson Analysis

This report is a lesson analysis of two education courses offered by the University of Regina in Canada and developed and delivered by Dr. Alec Couros, a University of Regina faculty member. Both courses are offered by the Faculty of Education and focus on technology use in the classroom. While the subject matter is similar, the courses target different learners and employ different instructional strategies, media, and interaction. The following provides a design, functional, and interactional analysis of one lesson from each course.

Policy Issues in Distance Education

This report assesses six issues that are of particular importance to distance educators, including 1) student copyright and privacy protections, 2) tuition and fee structures, 3) library resources and services, 4) copyright and ownership of course material, 5) instructor compensation and support, and 6) Internet access and connection support. This assessment highlights examples of how various institutions address these issues within their formal policy statements and provides an analysis of each policy issue.

Interaction in Distance Education

This paper provides a brief review of how interaction is considered within current distance education literature since Moore’s 1989 call for clarity. The following summarizes how human and non-human interaction types have been considered within the context of computer mediated distant education and examines both the Student-to-Content Interaction Strategies Taxonomy and the Community of Inquiry Model as frameworks for future examination of computer mediated interaction within a distance education setting.

Athabasca University: System Analysis

This paper surveys the distance education system at Athabasca University.

Network Analysis: The Role of Ties

This paper surveys sociology literature to consider prior theory and research on social networks with the goal of assessing how knowledge-based networks function. Findings from network analysis, including theory and research surrounding Granovetter’s network ties theory, provide insight into how networks are structured and the implications for innovation, diffusion, economic outcomes, and collective action. Network analysis theory and research provides support for knowledge-based networks as conduits for innovation and knowledge sharing. Knowledge management practices should focus on the development of weak tie bridges across organizational units and promote interdependence among strong tie network units.

Self-Regulated Learning: Literature Review

What follows is a review and analysis of the theoretical perspectives and research findings related to how social factors within the learning environment influence a learner’s likelihood and ability to selfregulate. The objective is to assess what (if any) social features influence a learner’s ability to self-regulate and how those features should be considered within the design of instruction to increase a learner’s self-regulation.

Backchannel Interactions

The focus of this report is to review the literature for assessments of the effect of computer-mediated backchannel interaction during live instructional presentation. The goal is to consider the impact on the learner as both a receiver of instructional messages sent from the instructor, as well as an active participant within the learning process.

Message Design: Reading Reflection W5

Message Design: Reading Reflection W7

Message Design: Reading Reflection W6

Message Design: Reading Reflection W4

Knowledge Creation and Sharing

Pulled from the bowels of BB ... What can instructional designers (IDers) do to facilitate and enhance the process of knowledge "transfer"? I think it is important to for us (designers, teachers, etc) to get beyond conceiving of training as an "intervention" to address a problem (gap in performance, attitude, etc). Rather than focusing on identification and correction of instructional problems, it seems we need to also consider opportunity identification. As in most planning activities, opportunity identification includes considering 1) where are we today? 2) where do we need to be in the future? 3) what do we need to do to get there? As such, instruction and knowledge transfer initiatives focus on #3. By focusing on opportunity identification (as part of a bigger picture organizational planning process) vs.

Message Design: Reading Reflection W3

Message Design: Reading Reflection W2

Message Design: Reading Reflection W1

Goodbye to IU! Hello to ODU!

News that I will be heading to the graduation ceremony at Indiana University on Saturday, December 15th and starting the PhD program in Instructional Design and Technology at Old Dominion University a few weeks later in January of '08. It looks to be a great program with awesome people. The PhD program is offered with both residential and distance learning options and I plan to take advantage of both! I'll miss working day to day with the folks I've met along the way at IU, but I'm certain we can look forward to a lifetime of connections and crossing paths!

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