Signature pedagogies for e-learning in higher education and beyond

March 6, 2017

http://hdl.handle.net/1880/51848

This report explores the notion of signature pedagogies within the field of e-learning for higher education. We build on previous work that examined signature pedagogies in education, linking the concepts of signature pedagogies, the profession of education and e-learning as a means to help educators develop their practice and understanding of the profession.

Background

In November 2016, approximately thirty scholars, practitioners, industry leaders and government officials assembled at The White House for the “Technology in English” event, which was a collaborative effort between The White House Office of Global Engagement and the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs. The event was part of the inter-agency English for All initiative, announced by President Obama earlier in 2016 (United States Department of State, 2016). The purpose of the event was to gather together individuals with combined expertise in educational technology and English language learning and teaching. Sarah Elaine Eaton, one of the authors of this report, was among those invited to take part in The White House event.

One outcome of the meeting was a commitment to develop a prototype or resource that would serve as an Open Educational Resource (OER), not only for participants of programs sponsored by the U.S Department of State, and educators generally. The project is to be presented at the TESOL 2017 International Convention and English Language Expo in Seattle, Washington State.

In addition, experts were invited to develop and contribute additional resources that would benefit educators in their professional development. This report was prepared as an additional Open Educational Resource for use by those interested in developing their knowledge of signature pedagogies for e-learning in education.

Here is a citation for the report, which you can download for free online:

Eaton, S. E., Brown, B., Schroeder, M., Lock, J. & Jacobsen, M. (2017). Signature pedagogies for e-learning in higher education and beyond. Calgary: University of Calgary. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/51848

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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

 

 

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New research project: Student learning in synchronous online classes

January 23, 2017
Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you involved with online learner as a student or an educator? Have you ever wondered how effective those real-time synchronous (webinar) sessions are for students?

A couple of colleagues and I were wondering the same thing, so we set up a research project to study it.

The primary research question guiding this inquiry is:

  1. How do online synchronous sessions support student learning in professional graduate programs engaging in research active opportunities for scholarship of the profession?

Secondary research questions include:

  1. To what extent do online synchronous sessions impact student learning in researching authentic problems of practice through distance delivery courses?
  2. How do the online synchronous sessions align with the learning outcomes for research design courses?
  3. What signature pedagogies make for successful learning during online synchronous sessions?

Check out our full research brief here:

Eaton, S. E., Brown, B., & Schroeder, M. (2017). Student learning in synchronous online classes: Research project brief. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/51792 doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.29667.55844

We are grateful to the Office of Teaching and Learning, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, who awarded funding for this project under the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant, 2016-2017.

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10 Tips for Succeeding in Virtual Teams

March 27, 2014

Almost all of the online courses I teach involve group work of some kind. Some groups thrive in their virtual teams and others fail miserably. After observing what works and what does not, here are ten tips to those who are new to online collaborative projects:

  1. Give one another the benefit of the doubt.
  2. Be kind to each other. Point out one another’s strengths.
  3. Refrain from commenting on each other’s weaknesses.
  4. When in doubt, assume good intentions. Tone is very difficult to “hear” in online communications. If you find yourself miffed or offended, take a step back. Are you sure that you are not making an assumption about the other person’s intention? Then ask yourself, “Is this really the hill I want to die on?” Forgiveness is important in virtual teams.
  5. Focus on supporting each other through the process.  No one gets left behind and if there’s an assigned leader, that person doesn’t forge too far ahead. Instead, keep the group together and moving forward.It’s a journey and your job is to make it up the mountain together.
  6. Be flexible with one another. Scheduling can be especially challenging in an online context. Change up the meeting times to accommodate people from different time zones. Don’t expect the same person to always get up at 2:00 a.m. for a meeting.
  7. Ask what you can do to help or what others need most from you. Don’t assume that your virtual team mates know your strengths.
  8. Avoid writing frustrations down and sharing them. If you need to work out issues, find a way to talk about it (e.g. Skype or phone).
  9. Sometimes you are right and sometimes you are wrong. It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about working together.
  10. Everyone is responsible for making back-ups of the work along the way. If one person’s system crashes, they get a virus or their laptop is stolen, the other members of the team all have copies of the back-ups. Using online storage such as Dropbox or Google drive is a great idea, but it’s not the only idea. Back everything up.

Working in virtual teams can be challenging, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. With a bit of patience, common sense and a good sense of humour, you’ll be surprised how much you can achieve in a virtual team.

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This blog has had over 1.6 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


How to create excellent online discussion board questions

January 26, 2013

This semester I have incorporated an activity into my online courses. Students are required to facilitate the online discussion board for one or two weeks, depending on which course they are in. We use an online learning platform called Blackboard, but there are a number of different platforms available.

Here is a handy 1-page resource I created to help my  students develop and facilitate great questions that enhance learning, keep participants focussed and encourage in-depth online discussions.

View this document on Scribd

Click here to download your own copy of it: How to facilitate a Blackboard discussion

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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


Thrilled to be nominated for a TechRev Award

April 14, 2012

TechRev Award, nomination Exceptional Webinars, Sarah Eaton, Sarah Elaine Eaton, Calgary, webinar, webinarsOne of the projects I’m involved in is Exceptional Webinars, where we run train-the-trainer programs on how to develop and deliver great webinars. We started in 2011 and have run live courses and workshops, as well as e-learning training programs.

Since we started, we’ve had almost 200 people through the various programs, working with teachers, non-profit organizations, professional speakers, workshop facilitators, adult educators and corporate trainers.

Last week, we were honoured and thrilled to receive a notice saying that we have been nominated for a TechRev Award. Those who are selected as TechRev Innovators meet these criteria:

TechRev Innovators may be at any stage in their company’s life cycle. We are pleased to include those companies who are pre-commercial as well as those who are firmly established with a history of success.
Companies from across the broad spectrum of advanced technology innovation are eligible to be considered for TechRev Innovator recognition.
Global trend analysis may suggest greater potential in certain key sub-sectors such as geomatics, clean tech and wireless, while companies in ICT, life science technologies and advanced engineering among others are also considered important to regional innovation sustainability.
The winners are announced in September. For now, we are honoured to be nominated for the award.
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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


Today’s Webinar: How To Use Google Forms

December 7, 2011

Google Forms for Educators

How to Build, Design and Use Google Forms

Learn how to build, design and use Google forms for educational contexts such as:

  • registration forms for events
  • sign-up forms for volunteers
  • sign-up forms for intramurals
  • program evaluation
  • any other uses you can think of

This one-hour “how to” session goes step by step to show you everything you need to know. By the end of this session you should be ready to build your own forms with ease. In case you need a refresher, this program includes a take-home manual in .pdf format so you can easily remember the steps later on when you need them.

Here’s what past participants of this program have said:

“I learned so much in an hour. I very much appreciate the quality of the presenter.  Thanks!” – Susan Sanders, UMKC, Kansas City, USA

“This webinar is well-paced and gives an good grounding in the use of Google Forms. Sarah knows her subject and handles questions with grace and confidence.” Sue Goodrich, University of Southern Maine, East Boothay, Maine, USA

“Sarah possesses an invaluable combination of skills—a great mastery of content, the ability to make that knowledge understandable and useful to others, and an engaging, interactive and well-paced delivery.” – Barbara Lindsey, University of Connecticut, Connecticut, USA

Enrollees will receive a free e-Textbook.

Register here.

If you can’t make the live program, you can also check out the recording.

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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


E-learning Principles: Five Free, Downloadable Resources

July 18, 2011

Here are five excellent downloadable resources that clearly outline basic e-learning principles in clear, easy-to-understand language:

Six principles of effective e-learning by Ruth Clark (Free 10-page .pdf from the eLearning Guild)

E-Learning: A Guidebook of Principles, Procedures and Practices by Som Naidu, Ph.D. (a free 100-page .pdf book published by the Commonwealth of Learning)

Efficiency in e-Learning: Proven Instructional Methods for Faster, Better, Online Learning by Frank Nguyen and Ruth Colvin Clark (Free 8-page downloadable .pdf from the e-Learning Guild)

E-learning Tools and Resources: Putting Principles into Practice by Wendy Chambers (A 41-page .pdf. I’ll put in plug for Wendy here. She’s a personal friend of mine and I can tell you, she really knows her stuff.)

Back to Basics: Using Adult Learning Principles to Create E-Learning Success by Steven R. Aragon (a 10-page .pdf. Note: This document opens in a separate window.)

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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


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