This week on IDLive, Shanna Smith-Jaggars discusses her response to the US Dept. of Education's report on online learning. Widely cited as proof that online learning is better, the DOE study fails to address some of the broader implications of online learning. Dr. Jaggars addresses these issues and many more--a must listen.
In May 2009, the US Department of Education issued a meta-analysis and review of online learning studies that compared face-to-face, blended and online delivery modes, and found that: “On average, students in online learningconditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” Despite the caveats identified in the research, the conclusion, for some, was still: Online learning is better!Shanna Smith-Jaggars, Senior Research Associate at the Community Colleges Research Center challenges this assertion in her response to the meta-analysis (July 2010). Jaggars more fully explores the comparison of online and face-to-face instruction and finds only 7 studies out of 51 can be used to shed light on this question. Of these 7, Jaggars concludes that there is no significant difference between learning outcome achievement in face-to-face or online courses for certain student populations. Sound familiar? Time to channel our energies into more rewarding directions, perhaps.. As Jaggars puts it in this interesting interview, “what we really need to be doing is spending more time and effort in trying to figure out what are the most effective instructional practices in both modalities”
In a slight departure from our traditional format, we discuss several research papers that are being presented at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Research Symposium being held in Bloomington, Indiana from July 20 - July 23. Jennifer Maddrell, presenting on the influence of Backchannel Communication on Cognitive Load, discusses her paper and several others in this 30 minute discussion.
Dr. Helen Barrett, former faculty at the University of Alaska, Anchorage has spent nearly a decade investigating the use e-portfolios for enhancing stduent learning. In this show, she lays it on the line: e-portfolios that are designed as summative 'showcases' of achievement are missing an opportunity to have students focus on substantive learning.
Dr. Helen Barrett, recipient of the EIFEL lifetime achievement award for her contributions to e-portfolio research and development, joins us this week to put a firm emphasis on having students control their learning through e-portfolios. In addition to highlighting the ‘two faces of e-portfolios’, Helen makes the case that universities have been placing too great an emphasis on e-portfolios for summative learning.
Arlene Walker-Andrews, Associate Provost and Psychology Professor at the University of Montana, discusses how cognitive capacitiesand the ability to attend to information need not be considered as limited. In other words, cognitive overload need not exist. This suggests interesting implications for the design of instruction that is both scaffolded and learner-centered. Some great analogies and resources.
Having recently discussed the need to avoid cognitive overload in online courses, we take a step back to consider whether or not cognitive overload is actually an issue. As Arlene Walker-Andrews, Associate Provost and Psychology Professor at the University of Montana, points out: “I do not believe that attention and cognitive capacities are limited. In my view, attention shouldn’t be considered a finite resource, rather it should be characterized as “attending,” which suggests flexible, skilled action. Recent theories about attention suggest that although not all stimuli are analyzed, nonattended stimuli are not all filtered out and their impact on learning and memory will vary depending on relevance and/or personal experience.” Great stuff!
Join Arlene and the ID team this week to listen to what this means for individualizing the learning experience and tailoring instructional strategies to the cognitive abilities of learners.
Do you have your EdTechTalk stuff yet? Did you know there are T-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, buttons, magnets, and tote bags available? They're all based on Wordle interpretations of the EdTechTalk Delicious tags.
What are you waiting for? These are limited edition items. Shop now and avoid the rush!