Archive for April, 2013

Types of Online Classes

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Lisa Lane, and educational blogger and online instructor suggested three main kinds of online classes. Which have you taken? Which will you teach?

The McClass

Run inside an LMS, or even better by Coursera or Udacity, and/or offered by proponents of the mass-produced course (U of Phoenix, Ashford, etc), the McClass features recorded lectures, an unmoderated internal discussion (if any), and grading by graduate students, peers or staff (and soon robo-graders). All xMOOCs are in this category, but so are classes created by teams of instructional designers or course developers and “content experts”, but facilitated (I hesitate to use the word “taught”) by less experienced instructors or program coordinators. Sartorial analogy: one size fits all.

She hesitates to say “teach” and I do also.

The sub sandwich class

It’s a six inch or a twelve — you can change the mix of ingredients inside but the options are standardized. Sub sandwich classes are offered by community colleges and universities dependent on a single Learning Management System, the inherent design of which influences (and may determine) instructor pedagogy. Even built on a whole wheat system like Canvas or an in-house product, the defaults of the LMS are easy to adopt without requiring an examination of ones own pedagogy. Hallmarks include dependence on publisher-produced materials, and an internal, traditional moderated discussion of issues, usually lacking a constructivist focus. Quality varies and is partly dependent on the freshness of the ingredients.

Even the best online courses can get a little stale.

The artisanal class

Created by the instructor, the artisanal class includes only those elements that help realize the instructor’s pedagogy. The design is developed based on knowledge and experience as an active, independent teacher. The artisanal class may exist inside an LMS, but when it does the LMS is substantially customized, and often external web elements are brought in to replace built-in features (blogs, wikis, etc). Hallmarks include a foundation in free and open or home-made formats, innovative assessment techniques, and a distinct lack of top-down control. Discussion may be distributed or focused on content creation. Flaws add character and provide opportunity for community creativity. Most cMOOCs fit this model, but so do classes offered by public institutions who allow faculty substantial control over the design and deployment of their work.

The cMOOC, by the way, is a Connectivist MOOC, more focused on learners generating and creating knowledge.

Kudos to EDMT Student Sarah Moeller!!

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

On Wednesday, April 10, 2013, Sarah Moeller was given an award at the faculty appreciation banquet in the Dental School at U of M where she is part-time faculty.

According to her email to the EDMT faculty,

“In the dental school each dental hygiene class 1st,2nd, 3rd and 4th year students chose a most appreciated faculty member and the award is presented at the annual faculty appreciation banquet. The dental hygiene 2nd year students chose me. I am honored, thankful and completely surprised as part-time faculty members do not usually win an award.  The students told me that one of their biggest reasons for them choosing me is that I took the time to create interactive activities to help them to learn. I basically put the skills that I have learned throughout my EDMT program so far to practice and it is making a big impact on student learning and the students stressed that they enjoy learning so much more with the incorporation of technology. I just wanted to say thank you all so much. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a student in the EDMT program and I have learned so much relevant information for my career.

You are all outstanding,

Thank you!  

Sarah Moeller”

Sarah Moeller

We are so grateful to know that Sarah is using the knowledge and skills acquired through the EDMT MA program to support the learning of her students.

Way to go, Sarah!!!

We appreciate hearing from you,

EDMT Faculty!