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Anticipating Uncertainty: The case for blended learning. Anne Forster: Adjunct Associate Professor UNE and UMUC Macquarie University: Learning and Teaching.

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Presentation on theme: "Anticipating Uncertainty: The case for blended learning. Anne Forster: Adjunct Associate Professor UNE and UMUC Macquarie University: Learning and Teaching."— Presentation transcript:

1 Anticipating Uncertainty: The case for blended learning. Anne Forster: Adjunct Associate Professor UNE and UMUC Macquarie University: Learning and Teaching Week Centre for Open Education Session Friday 24 September 2010

2 The Earth Provides acrylics, metal leaf, and oil stick, 100x230 cm Artist, Carol Dance

3 Study in Blue acrylics 180x120 cm OUTLINE 1.Unpacking the title 2.Workload issues 3.Supporting learning and teaching 4.Design and the art of learning and teaching 5.Community building 6.Challenges ahead

4 Anticipating Uncertainty Anticipate: To take action in advance, to forestall, to consider before the due time Uncertainty: Doubtful, dubious, not definitely known, unspecified, what if...? Anxiety: troubled about some uncertain event, being in disturbing suspense Calm: free from agitation or disturbance Treatment: Exposure: face the fears, get control Taleb (2007): The Black Swan Theory: high impact, hard to predict, a rare event eg 911, the Global Financial Crisis Treatment: build systems that are robust, not too big to fail, apply resilient architecture, act on experience and data

5 Individual Knowledge in the Internet Age Larry Sanger (2010) Don Tapscott: unnecessary memorization Tapscott and Williams argued that we should adopt collaborative learning as the core model of pedagogy, Is fostering an online social life a replacement for reading boring old books? Andrew Keens The Cult of the Amateur Maggie Jacksons Distracted Mark Bauerleins The Dumbest Generation Jaron Laniers essay Digital Maoism.

6 Larry Sanger founder of Wikipedia I fear the place of a creative society with a reasonably deep well of liberally educated critical thinkers, we will have a society of drones, enculturated by hive minds, who are able to work together online but who are largely innocent of the texts and habits of study that encourage deep and independent thought.

7 Flow acrylics 106x77x74x62x59 cm Blended Learning: design Designing programs to meet needs. Technology enabled. A mixture of media, methods and modes of delivery. Live and/or asynchronous. DESIGN: the arrangement of parts, details, form etc, so as to produce a complete and artistic unit (Webster)

8 Blended learning: getting the mixture right New pedagogical approaches, collaborative, networked. Learners more responsible and co-producers. Alternative and authentic assessment techniques. Activity based learning environments. Emphasis on resource based learning, design once and repurpose. Adaptive and responsive to campus growth and revenue issues. Leverages existing tenured faculty. Grows by using flexible, sessional, or casual faculty and professional staff.

9 Shea (2009) The Educational Experience: Presence

10 Support is critical to learning effectiveness Cognitive presence: The extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse in a critical community of inquiry. Social presence: The ability of participants to identify with the community (e.g. course of study), communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop inter-personal relationships by way of projecting their individual personalities Teaching presence: The design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes Shea & Bidjerano (2008)

11 The New Atlas acrylics 160x108 cm Workload Issues Enterprise level Program level Students Instructors Global 24 x 7

12 Enterprise level: (Sporto 2010) University of Maryland University College Online enrollment > 177,000 Head count > 86,000 Enrollment > 272,000 2nd largest state institution in the US > 100 degree programs fully online

13 UMUC Enterprise level services Course Delivery LMS IT infrastructure 24 x 7 support Digital library Operational T&L support Syllabi, scheduling Course and faculty evaluations Robust systems Administrative faculty services and support Recruitment & Contracts Services Pay office Training Student assessments data Administrative student support: Marketing Advising Registration Graduations Self service

14 The Committee acrylics 107x162 cm

15 Program level: Master of Distance Education and E-Learning: UMUC and Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany

16 Oldenburg – Foundations – Costing and Budgeting – Learner support – Multimedia in DE – Assessment – Globalization and development UMUC – DE Technologies – Training at a distance – DE in K-12 – Library and copyright – Instructional design – Leadership – DE systems – Business in DE Course development partnership Sporto, 2010

17 Program co-ordination: MDE example 1 FT Director: Partnership and UMUC leadership, UMUC courses and people, social networks 1 FT Co-ordinator Oldenburg courses and people, research series 14 courses, (5 core), all online 3 specialisation streams: technology, training, policy 239 students: leaders, instructors, designers, all sectors global adjunct faculty, virtual 6-10 teaching assistants, local and virtual 6-10 expert visiting faculty, virtual

18 Social presence: Example

19 MDE & eL Social Networks MDE Hub MDE Blog MDE Faculty Forum MDE Lounge Capstone wiki : e- portfolios and research projects New technologies wiki Allisons toolbox Buddy system Internship program Orientation Alumni network Faculty professional development and shared projects Itinerant video: 10 th anniversary Sporto, (2009)

20 Cognitive Presence: The student experience Helena Distance education student with an Australian university Lives in Vancouver, Canada Helena2.mp4

21 Teaching presence: example Dr Gila Kurtz, Director Center at Bar Ilan University, Israel. The center is responsible for developing and assimilating new e-Learning methods by incorporating state-of-the-art technologies into the on-campus courses at the university.

22 Dr Gila Kurtz Web 2.0: Characteristics and Challenges for Education Adjunct Associate Professor, UMUC Advanced Technologies in DE learn/fr_english.html


24 Ask a Busy Person acrylics 140x190 cm Graeme Innes AM (Human Rights Commissioner) Workload and lifeload The Individual

25 Supporting the workforce: part-time and dispersed Adjunct: something added to another thing but not essentially a part of it; as, water absorbed by a sponge is its adjunct (Webster, 1983) Disintermediation > outsourcing The RED Report ( 2008) Recognition-Enhancement-Development 16 Australian Universities 15 % EFT are casual 40-50% of all teaching is done by sessional staff Disguises the head count and supervisory load eg 62 people collapse into 2.64 FTE A Common Thread acrylics 175 x 140 cms

26 Firing the Imagination acrylics and gold leaf 235x180 cm Designing great learning experiences Re thinking student and faculty contracts Quality enhancement depends on everyone including sessional teachers Identifying and recognising new roles, not just absorbing more and more Taking action and responsibility Thinking within and beyond the classroom

27 Community building: lessons learned Stella Sporto, MDE & eL, (2010) Thinking beyond the classroom Need for active leadership and moderation. Mix interactive and one-way, public and private communications. Enthusiasm is contagious and experimentation critical. Students want to be involved but need a helping hand, willing to lead projects. A few active participants, most choose to observe.

28 Stay Focussed acrylics and gold leaf 92x140 cm

29 Challenges Ahead Target by 2012, funding based on actual enrollments - no limits. Target by 2020, 20% of HE students will be from lowest socio-economic quartile. Target by 2025, 40% of 25 – 34 year olds will be HE qualified. Target by 2020, we will need the equivalent of 20 new universities with 12,000 students each. Consequence, growth of private sector providers and corporate universities.

30 The Focus is on QUALITY Improving cognitive, social and teaching presence will be critical. The increased participation in DE and eL will drive better support systems in the need to satisfy and retain students and faculty. Some students will not get a return on their investment in education - defaults on loans will be a brand issue TEQSA : Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency with increased audit powers. Will accredit and evaluate performance of all providers, will register and de-register.

31 BL empowers ingenious designs Learning and teaching is an art. There is a palette of colour, form and media from which to choose. A focus on design is a focus on creativity and innovation. Embrace the reality of the digital world. Strengthen personal management skills. Leverage the trade-offs that are now available. Anticipate uncertainty.

32 Me, Myself and Us acrylics 75x101 cm

33 References Taleb, N.,N., (2007). The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. New York, Random House Sanger, L., (2010). Individual knowledge in the Internet age in EDUCAUSE Review, vol.45, 2, pp Sporto, S., (2010) presentation at the USDLA'2010 Conference, St. Louis, May 4, 2010, found at Sporto, S., 2009, presentation Using social software in the MDE, found at Shea, P. & Bidjerano, T., (2009). Community of inquiry as a theoretical framework to foster epistemic engagement and cognitive presence in online education. In Computers & Education 52, pp Shea, P., (2009). Presentation at SLN SOL summit meeting, February,, found at on-the-future-of-online-learning on-the-future-of-online-learning Percy, A., (Ed), The RED Report: Recognition, Enhancement, Development. The contribution of sessional teachers to higher education. The Australian Learning and Teaching Council an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Webster, (1983). Websters New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition.

34 The Art of Carol Dance /index.html Marianne Newman Gallery Suite 1 / 1 Albany Street Crows Nest NSW Australia

35 Questions Contact Anne Forster

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