Show #124 Online Education for Dummies with Susan Manning and Kevin Johnson

Women of Web 3  #124 Online Education for Dummies with Susan Manning and Kevin Johnson

This was a wonderful conversation with the co-authors of "Online Education for Dummies," Susan Manning and Kevin Johnson. Due to some technical difficulties with the stream on EdTechTalk, we hosted this session on Elluminate which gave us an opportunity to see some of their online resources and book excerpts as they shared some of their best tips and advice about online education. We were also able to involve participants in a brainstorming session on the whiteboard about criteria for a successful online experience. You can listen to the audio recording on EdTechTalk or view the full Elluminate recording here . Their website has excerpts from their book including a wonderful "cheat sheet" to help students decide if online education is for them.: The cheat sheet provides tips for evaluating online programs and habits of successful online students among other suggestions.

Link to full Elluminate recording of this session:


Chat: May 2, 2010 

00:14 - Peggy George 

takes a second to get the recording started :-) 

00:21 - Susan Manning 

Kevin do you have that photo? 

00:25 - Susan Manning 

of dummies book cover

00:29 - Peggy George 

I'm very excited to hear from Susan and Kevin!! 

00:46 - Peggy George 

I got to hear their interview with Steve Hargadon on Future of Education and it was outstanding! 

01:07 - Susan Manning 

I'm glad you got to hear that, Peggy! 

01:09 - Susan Manning 


01:21 - Peggy George 

even listened to it twice :-) 

01:53 - Kevin Johnson 

02:57 - Peggy George 

love that!! caught the fire!! :-) 

03:19 - Susan Manning 

03:28 - Susan Manning 

he was 5 

03:57 - Peggy George 

Welcome Maureen and Jen--so glad you found us! 

04:01 - Sharon Peters 

LOL, really? 

04:12 - cheri.toledo 

that's great 

04:21 - Peggy George 

online learning has opened so many possibilities!! 

04:48 - Peggy George 

what a great story!! 

05:35 - Peggy George 

isn't that such a wonderful thing that you can co-teach with people from anywhere??!! 

05:42 - Kevin Johnson 

06:00 - Peggy George 

feel free to bring anything up in web tour you would like 

06:10 - Kevin Johnson 

Good evening Jen, Maureen, mslaneeus, and Nick 

 06:20 - mslaneeus 

Good evening. 

 06:31 - Peggy George 

Welcome Nick!! 

06:49 - Sharon Peters 

Hi Nick, great to have you with us tonight 

06:56 - cheri.toledo 

Yea, he made it 

07:47 - Sharon Peters 

I am taking an online course right now - to get me ready to teach the IB programme at my new school; and I also have some questions about motivation and dealing with online inertia.... 

08:02 - Peggy George 

are any of them open courses that anyone can participate in? 

08:13 - cheri.toledo 


08:29 - Susan Manning 

08:51 - Sharon Peters 

Yeah, I have some questions about online courses that such institutions such as MIT sponsor.... 

08:55 - Susan Manning 

The UW Stout courses are for credit and cost.  The ION courses also cost, but if you're a member school, it is significantly decreased. 

09:47 - Peggy George 

thanks Susan 

10:06 - Sharon Peters 

It depends on the teacher... 

10:06 - Peggy George 

great answer--it depends :-) 

10:35 - Maureen (bcdtech) 

Good question... personally I like blended courses better than just online. I like to actually meet people f2f once in a while. 

11:10 - Peggy George 

@Maureen--many people think that is the best alternative--blended learning with both online and f2f 

11:28 - cheri.toledo 

@Maureen - the synchronous tools can give you that blended experience 

12:02 - Maureen (bcdtech) 

@Peggy- I do learn a lot from online courses, but really feel more connected when I have a chance to actually meet the people involved 

12:11 - Peggy George 

they were just talking about accreditation for online courses tonight in EdTechWeekly :-) 

12:35 - Peggy George 

Hi Joyce! So glad you found us!! 

12:49 - Kevin Johnson 

Hi Joyce 

14:21 - cheri.toledo 

Yes, I've heard that too 

14:30 - Peggy George 

yes that happens so often with online courses and webinars! 

14:55 - Peggy George 

someone in the room said only seat time or university hours count for their re-certification 

15:07 - Peggy George 

Welcome seani!! 

15:39 - Peggy George 

good way to describe it--getting a little messy out there :-) 

17:15 - Peggy George 

17:18 - cheri.toledo 

@Peggy - let's put up a whiteboard 

17:37 - Peggy George 

you've got it :-) 

17:59 - Peggy George 

this will be a fun variation for WOW 3! 

19:47 - Peggy George 

great list!! thanks everyone!! 

20:06 - Peggy George 

now it's your turn Susan and Kevin!! 

20:36 - Peggy George 

student to student work is so important--not all learning comes from the instructor! 

20:51 - Peggy George 

yes MEDIA!! and so much easier to share it online :-) 

21:34 - Maureen (bcdtech) 

How about making sure the instructor keeps up with the work as well... I took a course where the instructor rarely commented, and got behind 

21:41 - Peggy George 

great points Susan!! 

21:45 - Kevin Johnson 

21:48 - Maureen (bcdtech) 

Yes, presence is so important 

21:49 - Peggy George 

is this in your book???? :-) 

22:29 - Susan Manning 

It is kind of in the book, but subtly....if you read between the lines we say this is what makes an awesome course 

22:51 - Susan Manning 

the book is really written for adults who have to take courses and don't have a clue 

23:09 - Maureen (bcdtech) 

How about multiple ways to complete the assignments? 

23:11 - Kevin Johnson 

Another great resource: 

23:15 - Kevin Johnson 

23:18 - Peggy George 

tell us more about why someone interested in online courses should read your book :-) 

25:23 - Peggy George 

25:30 - Sharon Peters 

Excellent advice! 

25:43 - Peggy George 

I love the Dummies books!! Great way to learn!! 

26:00 - Sharon Peters 

How pertinent do you think your book could be for educators and learners in developing nations? Do you think it could cross cultures? 

26:12 - Peggy George 

you can go straight to what you need and don't have to read the entire book!! 

27:08 - Peggy George 

great strategy to read the book from the student perspective to evaluate it 

27:34 - cheri.toledo 

Would the principles in the book transfer to other learning delivery; e.g., mobile learning 

28:11 - Peggy George 

Moodle now has a mobile learning app :-) 

28:15 - mslaneeus 

Is this book meant for online students in the U.S.?  Or is there information for Canadian students too? 

28:21 - Peggy George 

thanks for joining us seani! 

31:22 - Peggy George 

that's very exciting information! 

32:21 - Peggy George 

good point about the opportunity to get their education from the US if that is what they want-regardless of where they live! 

34:22 - Peggy George 

so Kevin--I was doing it at the same time 

34:29 - Peggy George 


34:39 - Peggy George 

very helpful to see these pages :-) 

35:18 - Peggy George 

what a great guide!! 

35:52 - Peggy George

36:17 - Peggy George 

great suggestion!! :-) 

38:10 - Peggy George 

these are such great tips!! I have grandkids who are considering online courses and they really need to read this!! they do have a lot of misconceptions about it 

38:24 - mslaneeus 

Whoops.  That resonated.  I am definitely a wallflower with these web presentations... 

38:31 - Peggy George 


38:49 - cheri.toledo 

I'm usually a lurker too :-) 

38:54 - Peggy George 

that's the good thing though mslaneeus!! it's ok to be a lurker until you're comfortable jumping in :-) 

39:10 - Peggy George 

there should be alternatives for different learning styles 

39:41 - mslaneeus 

It's intimidating.  Everyone knows each feel as though you are interrupting a conversation among friends. 

39:45 - mslaneeus 

Up to me to get over that. 

40:03 - Peggy George 

that is so true!! they work to the deadline so you can't get a conversation going 

40:29 - Sharon Peters 

So important, I agree 

40:34 - Peggy George 

good strategy Nick! 

41:08 - Peggy George 

there's definitely a difference between quantity of posts and quality of posts 

41:22 - Sharon Peters 

the online course I am taking is a bit frustrating right now.... too much info to read and not enough ways to engage with it, plus inertia on the part of the course participants 

42:05 - Sharon Peters 

no discussion right now! 

43:20 - Peggy George 

what kind of accountability do you have for the required reading Sharon? 

43:51 - Sharon Peters 


44:01 - Peggy George 

love it!!! 

44:59 - Peggy George 

good example for us to talk about Sharon 

45:33 - Susan Manning 

Theinstructor needs to create assignments that ask you to put it into prtactice 

45:39 - Susan Manning 

use it or lose it 

45:52 - Peggy George 

are you encouraged to contribute to a forum in the class Sharon? 

46:01 - Sharon Peters 

Yes, Peggy 

46:09 - Peggy George 

does anyone do it? 

46:11 - Susan Manning 

and there's a lot of evidence that unless we design courses that require a "do" activity, just absorbing information doesn't create lasting change 

46:36 - Susan Manning 

so I would encourage him to create application assignments that are then shared in smaller teams for peer review and feedback 

46:38 - Peggy George 

for sure, Susan!! they will do the minimum they need to do to earn the credit 

46:52 - Sharon Peters 

cool idea 

47:12 - cheri.toledo 

47:22 - cheri.toledo 

Here's an article I wrote about asking good questions 

47:26 - Sharon Peters 

Thanks for that 

47:32 - Peggy George 

thanks Cheri! 

47:33 - Susan Manning 

as a student, I would beg the instructor to reconsider communication 

47:53 - Susan Manning 

oh, for sure! 

48:22 - Susan Manning 

I call that whispering 

48:27 - Peggy George 


48:30 - Susan Manning 

which is half the art of facilitation 

48:59 - Peggy George 

we have about 5 minutes remaing--want to share WOWs of Week? 

49:05 - Peggy George 


49:09 - cheri.toledo 

ONe more question 

49:12 - Peggy George 


49:20 - cheri.toledo 

we started late :-) 

49:38 - Sharon Peters 


49:42 - Peggy George 

love to hear about rumors like that!! 

49:52 - Peggy George 

Technology Tool Belt for Teachers :-) 

49:58 - cheri.toledo 

technology toolbelt for teachers 

50:29 - Peggy George 

what a great idea!! almost like the FAQ sections of online courses!! 

50:51 - Sharon Peters 

am so glad that we got to use Elluminate tonight 

50:51 - Peggy George 

wonderful conversation!!! thank you so much Susan and Kevin!! 

51:56 - Peggy George 

oh yes :-) 

52:03 - cheri.toledo 


52:11 - cheri.toledo 

love the odds 

53:11 - Peggy George 

woo hoo! Congratulations Nick!! 

53:13 - Sharon Peters 

how much fun! 

53:20 - Peggy George 

when are you going to put it on Kindle??? 

53:24 - Kevin Johnson 

[email protected] 

53:40 - Nick Toledo 1 

thank you 

53:40 - Peggy George 

didn't see it there 

53:51 - cheri.toledo 


53:54 - Sharon Peters 

how cool, I have a Kindle, this could be useful for me to bring to Africa 

53:58 - Peggy George 

great to know 

54:40 - Peggy George 

we can share our WOWs in web tour :-) 

54:51 - cheri.toledo 

55:10 - Peggy George 

stop/pause the sound :-) 

55:12 - Kevin Johnson 


55:37 - Peggy George 

56:14 - Maureen (bcdtech) 

Wow- looks great- thanks Peggy 

56:53 - Kevin Johnson 

57:04 - Peggy George 

58:01 - Susan Manning 

wow, this is going to keep me busy! 

58:09 - Peggy George

58:25 - cheri.toledo 

Susan and Kevin - thanks again!!! 

58:26 - Peggy George 

definitely!! isn't this fun??~~ 

58:31 - cheri.toledo 

We need to meet up again :-) 

58:54 - Peggy George 

that's so exciting for the SLA students!!! 

59:05 - Peggy George 

thrilled to see the recording posted! 

59:47 - Susan Manning 

thank YOU! 

59:52 - Kevin Johnson 

Thank You!!! 

59:53 - Kevin Johnson 


59:55 - Peggy George 

wonderful!!! so great to have you with us tonight Susan and Kevin!! 

1:00:00 - Maureen (bcdtech) 

thank you 

1:00:05 - Peggy George 

this worked great!!! 

1:00:10 - Susan Manning 

I had a blast..thank you for having us! 

1:00:20 - Peggy George 

thank you Maureen and mslaneeus and Nick for joining us!!! 

1:00:26 - mslaneeus 

Thank you. 

1:00:27 - cheri.toledo 

Thanks everyone!! 

1:00:33 - Peggy George 

I'll post the link to the recording on ETT :-) 

1:00:40 - Susan Manning 

Good night 

1:00:42 - Peggy George 

good night everyone!