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Monday, 21 May 2018

Methods to Increase Instructor Presence Online

The following article by  discusses some great techniques to help increase instructor presence online:

Faculty use asynchronous discussions to extend and enhance instructional practices in the online classroom. It is widely reported that online discussions play an integral role in facilitating students’ learning, as well as fostering dialogue, critical thinking, and reflective inquiry (Kayler & Weller, 2007; Morris, Finnegan, & Sz-Shyan, 2005). Despite faculty’s knowledge that discussion forums can serve as a useful learning tool, online discussions are not easy to establish and manage.
The Science of Online Discussions
Our working knowledge regarding distance education suggests that productive discussions are essential to learning in an asynchronous online environment. Online discussions effectively take the place of face-to-face classroom discussion. It has even been suggested that, if well facilitated, online discussions may allow for more in-depth and thoughtful learning than is possible in a face-to-face setting (Hawkes, 2006). Gao, Wang, and Sun (2009) contend that in a productive online discussion, it is essential for participants to embrace the following four dispositions:
  1. Discuss to comprehend. Cognitive efforts such as questioning, interpreting, elaborating, or relating information to prior knowledge should be the focus in any productive discussion. According to cognitive psychologists, students are more likely to understand and retain information when they participate in these cognitive activities (Gao, Zhang, & Franklin, 2013).
  2. Discuss to critique. Conflicting perspectives of students should be developed and examined in any productive discussion. Knowledge acquisition originates from cognitive conflicts from social interactions. These conflicts not only occur between students but also between an individual’s existing knowledge and new information encountered in discussions with other students. The real learning takes place when students re-examine their original positions on an issue and explore new resolutions. (Gao, Zhang, & Franklin, 2013).
  3. Discuss to construct knowledge. Gao, Zhang, and Franklin (2013) suggest that a productive discussion should offer students ample opportunities for interaction and collaboration with classmates. From a social constructivist perspective, individuals do not learn in isolation. It is only through this interaction that a richer understanding of the topic will take place.
  4. Discuss to share. Productive learning takes place when students are part of a larger, active community. A community of learners, which represents the ideal discussion forum environment, is one in which students embrace a sense of belonging, support each other, develop shared values, and enjoy their shared identity (Gao, Zhang, & Franklin, 2013).
The Art of Online Discussions
Along with science comes its partner: art. People who aren’t familiar with online teaching and learning will often ask, “Is it possible to mirror intellectual conversations held with students in a ground classroom in the online environment?” and “Can we engage in the subtleties of face-to-face dialogue in the online classroom?” Our answer is, “Yes.” Although students in the online classroom are separated by time and space, thoughtfully formulated discussions can close this gap. The following represent strategies to transform you into an online discussion forum artist:
  1. Touch all students in the forum. In most conversations, we acknowledge all participants, even those who are not speaking, by making eye contact, nodding, and responding as needed. The same applies to an online discussion. All students contribute in some way to the forum during a course; it is the teacher’s responsibility to acknowledge their efforts. Recognition can include a congratulatory post, a note of thanks, or a question or scenario designed to further thinking.
  2. Know what each student needs. What students say (and do not say) in the forum communicates their comfort level in the course. A student who actively participates in the forums may need the instructor to elevate thinking by artfully challenging perceptions and impressions. A student who expresses confusion about the content in the forums may benefit from a Classroom Assessment Technique (Angelo & Cross, 1993) to help the instructor gauge the point of confusion and reveal gaps in the student’s current knowledge.
  3. Be mindful of possibilities. Postings are not one size fits all. As online instructors, we risk hindering progress when we only award credit for posts that are lengthy, particularly at the undergraduate level. We always try not to penalize students who opt to take a brief turn in the conversation as long as the post is substantive, of merit, and adds to the discussion.
  4. Know when to lead and when to be led. There are times we want to guide the discussion and times when we should allow students to carry the weight. One common mistake instructors make in the online classroom is to attempt to drive every conversation. Occasionally students may need to take charge in order to learn the material.
Science and art are natural partners – both are a means of investigation of the world around us. When instructors make a concerted effort to balance both the science and art of facilitating a productive, enriching online discussion among a community of learners, the rewards are abundant.
Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Gao, F., Zhang, T., & Franklin, T. (2013). Designing asynchronous online discussion environments: Recent progress and possible future directions. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(3), 469-483.
Hawkes, M. (2006). Linguistic discourse variables as indicators of reflective online interaction. American Journal of Distance Education, 20(4), 231-244.
Kayler, M. & Weller, K. (2007). Pedagogy, self-assessment, and online discussion groups. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 10(1), 136–147.
Morris, K.V., Finnegan, C. & Sz-Shyan, W. (2005). Tracking student behavior, persistence, and achievement in online courses. Internet and Higher Education, 8(3), 221–231.
Stephanie Maher Palenque, MA and Meredith DeCosta, PhD teach at Grand Canyon University.

Friday, 11 May 2018

25 Awesome Social Media Tools for Education

1. The Connected Educator
A great site for connecting with other educators is edConnectr. It gives educators several avenues with which to find other like-minded educators. A Visual Mapping Engine narrows down certain criteria allowing educators to save valuable time and energy.
2. Edmodo
Edmodo acts as a playground for teaching and learning with a place for posts, calendars, and general communication for teachers and students. Linking to students becomes simpler and more efficient as well as more effective when students enjoy the presentation of it. It makes it easy to share valuable apps with students.
3. TedEd
TedEd offers a variation of TED Talks with shorter, often-animated clips of subjects such as science, technology, social studies, literature, language, art, health, psychology, and business and economics. With communities and clubs, the site also makes it effortless for collaboration.
4. Google+
Besides great graphics and themes, Google+ takes teachers to their students with circles that make managing virtual communication an art. Students might need to know more about a particular lesson because they didn’t quite get it the first time. Pull them into a circle of their own with just the right tools to connect them to their path to understanding and learning.
5. Facebook
The great part about Facebook is that everyone is on it. Students love connecting with their friends and family with Facebook so telling them to check out the page where you post only makes sense. However, it’s very important to stay professional and have a separate personal account.
6. Twitter
The best way to use Twitter for teaching is as a reminder to students that they need to complete an assignment for a particular due date or that they have an exam coming up soon so study this or that. Sometimes teachers even use it for inspiration by sending a famous quote.
7. Instagram
Students love Instagram for so many reasons but mainly for the photos and effects available to them. Teachers can create assignments that tap into the need to Instagram such as photo essays where students take photos, upload, and add captions or students can even create campaigns for certain organizations or just for a lesson.
8. Vimeo
If you want to share videos on Facebook or Twitter, use Vimeo. But, there’s a whole lot more teachers can use it for such as uploading and storing video then utilizing it as a tool to teach students more about creating video. Vimeo teaches for you at Vimeo Video School with lessons and tutorials.
9. WordPress
With so many themes to choose from, WordPress has become a popular way for teachers to set up a web of communication and lessons with their students. Chalkboard is an educational theme that prepares students for learning and helps teachers outline goals and objectives while still providing great visuals. Teachers can also use it to inspire students to write more by having them create their own blogs and meet the WordPress Challenges.
10. Blogger
Like WordPress, Blogger connects teachers to students using unique themes as well as diary-style writing. With access to teachers’ posted links, lessons, and thoughts students become more successful and comfortable with the teacher when learning online.
11. Skype
Using Skype means connecting with anyone, anywhere, at any time. This means students not only connect with teachers but teachers encourage students to broaden their view of the world. Set up virtual connections by contacting other teachers then connect the students to each other. Also, Skype has a whole portal dedicated to educators who can use it to teach various lessons already set up by the Skype team.
12. Pinterest
The celebrated platform for pinning favorite pix can be a great teaching and learning tool. It also encourages quick collaboration between teachers on all sorts of subjects and interests. Teachers can set up a Pinterest page for one particular class or a series of classes with Pins that focus on themes or subtopics important to the lesson at hand.
13. YouTube
Educators of any level can click on the education category within YouTube and find several subcategories such as university, science, business, and engineering. YouTube even has a special section dedicated to teachers and how to teach with it. But, even if teachers never visited that section, they could teach using all the great videos available according to subjects or searches.
14. TeacherTube
If YouTube doesn’t make the cut, try TeacherTube. It’s dedicated to all sorts of education, from the basics to more complicated work. Interestingly, the tabs for docs and audio are some of the more useful resources within it. However, it’s the idea of TeacherTube and it’s tools that make it so useful because teachers can use it to communicate with students and there’s no question that this is within an educational format.
For academics whose main goal is to share research papers, Academia.edudraws a crowd of over five million visitors. Academics can monitor the effect of their research and keep tabs on the research of the other academics that they follow. It’s a great tool for anyone needing data and information on various subjects and interests.
16. LinkedIn
While acting as a professional social forum for employers to connect with applicants or search for potential employees, LinkedIn is used for so much more than that. Having students post professional resumes there and then contacting them about the job market and the business world around them keeps them in touch with reality and the endless possibilities through a targeted education.
17. LabRoots
Access millions of documents and hundreds of scientific news feeds by usingLabRoots, a social networking site catering to scientists, engineers and technical professionals. Besides the plethora of information, it helps stay connected with colleagues and peers. Pulling students into the mix gives them a cutting edge feel and insight into precious tools and information.
18. ResearchGate
Ijad Madisch founded ResearchGate, which is similar to LabRoots bringing scientists together for collaboration. The difference really lies with the mission and the creators who are scientists working to give visibility to the dedicated researchers all over the world.
Not a science lab, provides a place for artists to start blogs or an art group as well as connect and share information. Mostly made of Europeans, also highlights art news, events and exhibitions and helps artists find jobs and learn more about funding their projects. Teachers can use this for motivation and to help students get a feel for other artists’ work.
20. CultureInside
Focusing on the gallery concept, CultureInside creates space for online galleries and actual galleries. It might just be an artist’s dream if used correctly. With the guidance of a teacher, students can profit from their creativity as well. There’s also a feature called lightbox, which connects artists and helps promote artwork in other artists’ lightboxes.
21. GogoYoko
GogoYoko began as a solution to the problem many musicians and artists have. They don’t make the money they deserve. Sharing and streaming music through GogoYoko keeps users listening and needing more, so teachers can use it to do the same. On top of that, GogoYoko helps musicians and artists sell and promote their music.
22. Sgrouples
If there’s concern about privacy, Sgrouples promotes itself as a networking site that allows users to have ultimate control over who belongs to what group. It’s supposed to reflect how we click together with our “small” group. More importantly, the site doesn’t share anyone’s information, so staying private really means anything shared, remains in that group.
23. DailyMotion
A French video sharing site, DailyMotion adds an edge to social media by presenting users with a “news” feed of the latest videos. Teachers can use it for themselves in order to keep up-to-date on bizarre and informative social networking but also for posting their own videos or sharing some of the unique videos available through DailyMotion.
24. RebelMouse
The New York Times, Mashable, Wired, and Time magazine among others toutRebelMouse as the best tool for organizing all the social media networks any one individual uses. While also used by publishers or larger organizations, RebelMouse brings the many networks together for one person and creates a presence that fits a teacher’s agenda.
25. HootSuite
Another powerful social networking manager, HootSuite makes it easier to access various forms of social media and analyze how valuable the use of one media is over another. Sometimes getting caught up in the social media craze can be overwhelming so using HootSuite helps make sense all the media at the same time.

Journal 1- Pedagogy of Online Learning


Faculty resistance to engage in online education can be found across varying levels of education universally.  With a growing tech savvy population not only in North America, but globally, it is imperative now more so than ever to recognize these resistances in order better help address the future of online education.  


I have been very fortunate with my experiences as a student with online learning.  With that said I still have yet to be on the other side of the fence and be an online educator.  As of now I primarily teach face to face in a clinical setting at a dental hygiene college.  Reflecting back to my own experiences with this topic, I do recall having a recent conversion with the program coordinator about the possibility of offering some dental hygiene courses online or even looking into developing online courses for a degree component.  I recognize that this does require years of preparation to execute correctly. The initial reaction to this conversation was defiantly concerns about time, costs, and resources. Simply put the initial conversation was more along the lines of that they did not want to deal with this possible expansion of the program as it will be a lot of work.  I believe this resistance can be common for many different programs that have become comfortable in the ways they are conducted.  The idea of developing or transitioning to something different or new can be daunting to those that are perhaps set in their ways of teaching or even unwilling to adapt new formats of delivery even if it could benefit them in the long term.


Upon research I found several articles expanding on ideas that could help address ways to reduce the resistance of engaging in online education.  Sibley and Whitaker (2015) discuss the importance of institutional support systems to ease this transition through elements of incentives and providing the appropriate training by stating “Faculty must have evidence of efficacy, access to easy points of entry, confidence in institutional support, and incentives to develop online instructional capacity” (Sibley and Whitaker, 2015).  They suggest several potential incentives that can be utilized by institutions to help engage  or entice resistance faculty into participating online learning including:  
  • Providing compensation as salary, research funds, or time (e.g., a course buy-out)
  • Appealing to a sense of curiosity and a desire to develop new skills for those attracted to experimental work or invigorated by the chance to reimagine their courses
  • Delivering training and support to lower the barriers and to decrease the time and effort needed to develop or adapt new instructional approaches
  • Activating a sense of mission and loyalty to their students and the institution
  • Increasing a sense of relevance for those who want to remain current in the rapidly changing environment of higher education
  • Recognizing effective engagement in online learning in the institutional reward systems (Sibley and Whitaker, 2015)
After reviewing these ideas about the potential of incentives, I could see the college I teach at adapting some of these if not all approaches in the future to help ensure faculty participation in online learning. 


After reading Sibley and Whitaker’s (2015) article, I feel more confident in the future of engaging resistance faulty member into at least considering the option of teaching a course online given that they are provided with the appropriate support and resources.  Like any change there needs to be a willingness to be vulnerable to what we do not know and to be open to what could be learned.  For the institution in which I teach at, there are several didactic courses that could be transitioned into online courses.  I feel that even starting with one course would be a start. I feel that I can approach the idea of this more confidently now to my superiors.


Sibley and Whitaker (2015). Engaging Faculty in Online Education. Retrieved from:

Engaging Faculty in Online Education

Key Takeaways

  • By drawing on direct experience, facilitating learning from peers, and exploring engagement practices, Brown University's online development team is creating an online learning "adoption wave" among faculty.
  • The online development team continues to introduce ways of helping faculty and senior administrators more fully understand and expand on the opportunities online learning presents.
  • An institution steeped in the traditions of residential education and initially dubious of online education now builds on its early success with online learning.
Karen Sibley, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Dean, School of Professional Studies, and Ren Whitaker, Director of Online Development, School of Professional Studies, Brown University
The initial resistance to online learning by many institutional leaders has given way to urgency about engaging faculty in online instruction. Even at traditional residential universities and colleges with well-established excellence in seminar, lecture, and lab instruction, experimentation with online learning is rampant as institutions rush to adopt educational technology and online pedagogy. Administrators may urge action, and some faculty view exploring online teaching and learning as an inviting and even invigorating challenge, but others still decline to participate. Many faculty have yet to use technology in their instruction — even something as basic as the campus learning management system — much less experiment with flipped or hybrid classes. This leaves many IT, ed tech, and online learning professionals challenged to move their institutions and faculty online and into the 21st century of education.
Because mandates rarely succeed in the higher education culture, finding ways to ease the pedagogical transition for inexperienced, curious, and even reluctant faculty members is critical. Those professionals charged with introducing and implementing online education must give faculty the opportunity to better understand, explore, experience, critique, and ultimately accept or reject this form of pedagogy.

Institutional Support: Incentives

With knowledge of the salient research evidence and familiarity with the concepts of online learning, faculty members can understand its value to students. Asynchronous online learning provides students more time and flexibility for class participation, and it enables reflection and thoughtful engagement while allowing students to meet personal and professional obligations. Well-designed and executed online courses can provide an engaging, resource-rich learning environment in which students share their ideas, research, and knowledge with others in a collaborative peer-to-peer learning experience. Students have the opportunity to develop an expanded network of peers, faculty, and experts that brings new information and fresh perspectives to the experience, enhancing the outcomes for both students and faculty.
In contrast to the benefits for students, the advantages for faculty faced with creating and teaching online courses might not be obvious. The time and effort required to use new technology, to plan and develop a course, to work with instructional designers who have little or no knowledge of the academic discipline, and to teach in "new ways" may seem a daunting task and a drain on their time with little potential for reward. Faculty might believe that this time would be better spent in research, writing, and other professional activities that garner higher recognition and reward than teaching.
Institutional leaders can communicate clearly the value added by technology-assisted learning at their institution and how online learning can enhance the student experience, but they need to provide incentives and support to secure faculty participation. Although assessing and reporting institutional benefits and success from online instruction are necessary, they are not always sufficient to influence faculty. Faculty must have evidence of efficacy, access to easy points of entry, confidence in institutional support, and incentives to develop online instructional capacity.
Incentives for faculty to develop knowledge and skills in online learning can include:
  • Providing compensation as salary, research funds, or time (e.g., a course buy-out)
  • Appealing to a sense of curiosity and a desire to develop new skills for those attracted to experimental work or invigorated by the chance to reimagine their courses
  • Delivering training and support to lower the barriers and to decrease the time and effort needed to develop or adapt new instructional approaches
  • Activating a sense of mission and loyalty to their students and the institution
  • Increasing a sense of relevance for those who want to remain current in the rapidly changing environment of higher education
  • Recognizing effective engagement in online learning in the institutional reward systems

Inform and Inspire: Ed Tech and Instructional Design Teams

While early experiments with online learning aimed to enhance brand identity, address the need to remain current, and pursue new revenue sources, technology-mediated instruction has become part of the higher education landscape. Some who witnessed the early days of online education or saw poorly designed online courses might still judge online learning with these outdated or low-quality examples in mind. They may think that online learning consists only of lecture-capture videos and PowerPoint presentations viewed by students at their leisure, followed by online quizzes to test understanding.
"MOOC mania" did much to promote the idea of online learning, but the media's focus on huge enrollments raised criticism of low completion rates — often not an accurate measure of a MOOC's success. Questions about the lack of rigor or low student engagement emerged in qualitative assessments of online instruction, while dreams of lower costs and broader access held quantitative allure.
Those who recognize online education as a specialized discipline that requires time and thoughtful attention believe that some of these initial efforts damaged public perception of online learning by misrepresenting its potential and fostering conclusions that it is of lower quality than traditional classroom learning. Faculty need to recognize it as a distinctly different medium with qualities and advantages of its own.
What can ed tech and online instructional development teams do to clarify what online education is, what it isn't, and what it can be? First, to counteract misperceptions and assumptions, they can provide faculty a more complete, accurate, and realistic picture of what quality design and facilitation look like in online education. By showing faculty examples of well-designed online courses and best practices in online pedagogy, these teams can inspire faculty to experiment with technology-enhanced teaching to produce courses of the highest quality. Next, they should encourage early adopters to share with colleagues their experience working with the design and tech support teams as well as their experience teaching online. This might encourage other faculty to investigate and experiment with online education.

Training and Support

Faculty have expertise in scholarship and in classroom instruction, but for many, online learning remains a new and discomforting area. While faculty rely on technology in their own scholarship, when it comes to teaching, some see technology as standing betweenthem and their students — not as an aid to instruction or a means to connect more effectively with their students. Some feel intimidated or overwhelmed by new learning technologies, or fear that they will appear inept to tech-savvy students or colleagues. Others are offended at "being asked to relearn" how they teach.
Ed tech and online learning professionals can lessen these concerns by listening closely to and working respectfully with faculty to build trust and positive, productive relationships. They should do everything in their power to be seen as a respected, highly skilled, and supportive resource, giving faculty the confidence to ask novice questions or take appropriate risks with their course designs. Mutual trust and respect enable tech and design experts to provide the training and support faculty need.
With time a scarce and valued resource and faculty attention directed to many compelling obligations, online course design and facilitation training must be easy to access and digest. Initial instruction in online pedagogy must focus on the highest-level priorities and skip everything else. Greater understanding and ability can come later, when the faculty member is proficient at the basics and has the confidence and curiosity to further develop their course design and facilitation skills.
Ed tech and online development teams need not reinvent the wheel to develop this kind of training. Many institutions have effective programs, resources, and best practices for online faculty and are happy to share them with colleagues. Borrow before you build whenever possible to save time and effort.
The online development team at Brown University has a highly effective faculty onboarding and development process that is somewhat time intensive initially. To start, an interested (or simply curious) faculty member meets with the director of online development to discuss teaching online, bring up questions and concerns, and explore a course or course concept for possible development.
Next, the faculty member is introduced to the Course Development Process Model(figure 1). The model illustrates the key milestones and deliverables involved in online course development and facilitation, as well as what is required from both the faculty member and the design team at each stage. Clarifying the process and expectations right from the start removes any mystery about the process and prepares faculty for the work ahead. During this conversation some faculty members realize they can't devote the time and effort required to develop a course and make an informed decision not to participate — at least at that time. This step can save everyone involved much frustration, time, and effort.
Figure 1. Online course development process, School of Professional Studies, Brown University
Once a faculty member decides to develop an online course, a dedicated instructional designer (ID) is assigned to the project. The ID meets the faculty member on a weekly basis and begins by asking: What excites you about this course? What do your students love about it? By uncovering the instructor's vision and passion for teaching and for the subject matter, the ID can help imbue the course with the instructor's energy and personality and build in points of connection between professor and student.
Whether preparing a new course or redesigning an existing face-to-face course for the online environment, the ID and faculty member discuss the course learning objectives and consider how to accomplish each in the most engaging and effective way. The key questions are: What should students be able to do as a result of this course? What activities or assignments will generate evidence of student understanding and provide the instructor with an effective means of assessment?
If needed, the ID may introduce the course development worksheet (figure 2) to help the faculty member draft or refine learning objectives. This worksheet prompts faculty to consider different and potentially more meaningful ways to engage and assess student learning while taking full advantage of resources available online.
figure 2
Figure 2. Online course development worksheet, School of Professional Studies, Brown University
Prior to the start of their courses, faculty who are new to online teaching participate as students in the four-week, fully online course "FLO: Facilitating Learning Online"(figure 3), to experience online learning first-hand. Each week, they spend approximately one hour in FLO exploring the challenges and opportunities presented by online learning. Faculty also become familiar with Canvas, the LMS in which they will ultimately develop and lead their own courses. FLO is asynchronous; faculty participate as a cohort and must keep up with weekly assignments and discussions. Instructional designers lead the course and are quickly recognized as collaborative leaders and skilled pedagogical guides with expertise in online learning. Perhaps most importantly, faculty have the chance to experiment and ask questions about online learning in a low-risk environment and to build new professional relationships with colleagues across campus through the shared online experience.
figure 3
Figure 3. Opening screen for FLO: Facilitating Learning Online, School of Professional Studies, Brown University
After faculty have completed FLO and fully developed their courses, they receive the Pre-launch Instructor Checklist from their IDs, conduct a final quality check, and resolve any issues before course launch. The checklist encourages faculty to test course functionality and confirms their readiness to facilitate and assess student work using the LMS. Each checklist item connects to an Online Video Tutorial, so faculty can troubleshoot problems on their own whenever possible rather than depending on ID or IT support. This helps build confidence and empowers the faculty members to take ownership of their courses.
The role of the IT, ed tech, and ID professionals does not end when a course launches. As the course runs, particularly in its first iteration, the IT, ID, and ed tech teams respond quickly to the technological snags and unexpected issues that inevitably arise. This not only supports a positive student experience, but it also ensures that faculty feel supported. Their comfort level encourages them to continue teaching online. Even after the course concludes, asking both faculty and students to share their online experience helps guide improvements to the next iteration of each course.
There is no substitute for positive, authentic, front-line experience with quality online education. Faculty who are well-supported by their institution and online learning specialists become the most effective champions for online learning and can address their peers' concerns. At Brown University, the online learning "adoption wave" started with a few interested faculty members who accepted the challenge of teaching online and flourished with support from the university's online learning professionals.


To meet the expectations of today's students and to serve them well, institutions need to capture the benefits offered by new technology and online instruction and embed best practices in their learning culture. Since faculty participation can neither be mandated nor fabricated, institutions must make online learning attractive, accessible, and valuable to faculty. Their engagement can evolve through a growing appreciation for the educational value of online learning that develops through personal experience — experience best acquired with guidance from knowledgeable and trusted colleagues.
Teams of instructional technology specialists, instructional designers, and education technologists are an important university asset. They work with faculty to overcome resistance to online learning, correct misperceptions, and help faculty create high-quality learning experiences with this important instructional medium. A talented instructional design team provides an effective bridge between the face-to-face instructional platform and a flipped, blended, online, or LMS-supported approach to learning that meets the needs of the increasingly diversified and geographically distributed student populations in higher education.

EDUC 4151 Design & Develop Interactive eLearning Self Directed

  1. Do you currently read any blogs? Why or why not?-Yes I do occasionally refer to blogs but usually it is more for personal gains.  For example I will often come across travel blogs when I am planning a trip.  Or I will often come across food blogs when looking for a particular recipe.
  2. How do you feel about your abilities as a blogger? Do you have any concerns?  I feel that my ability as a blogger has improved over the years.  My skills have been enhanced by many of the Provincial instructor courses as well as through the Online eLearning eCertificate program.
  3. What goal would you like to meet with this blog?  I hope that this blog continues to be a sound resource that I can refer back to when I am developing online courses as well as a place that I can keep adding any new and helpful findings for future endevours of online education. 

Sunday, 6 August 2017


Hello everyone,
My name is Jaspal (Jas) and this is the first online course I'm taking for this certificate in online instruction.  I am from a small town on Vancouver Island (Ucluelet) but have been living in Burnaby for the past 12 years.  I have been a dental hygienist for 9 years now.  I  am a clinical instructor at the Vancouver College of Dental Hygiene.  I have had much of my educational journey through online courses, most recently completing my Masters in Health Studies.   I have always had an interest in online education and am excited to learn more about this world! The following blog has some great resources and reflections on eLearning. 

Journal 3- Summarizing you Learning


I have learned a wealth of information about developing an effective online course.  Besides the technical specifications, understanding some of the different theories used in general education such as constructivism, in the classrooms and how it can translate into an online format was enlightening.  Developing an effective online course requires a lot of insight on not only the course content but also considerations for the generations of learners you will be teaching. 


After completing the activities, assignments and reflecting on my own past experiences with online courses, I have developed a greater appreciation for the amount of time it can take to develop and facilitate online courses.  Having only been on the student side thus far, I have mostly resonated with student challenges when it comes to eLearning.  At times I have found with eLearning that life can get in the way and may cause a delay in completing the course work required.  I have found that by having open and good communication with my instructors helpful in overcoming these types of challenges.  This would definitely be something I would want to emulate in the future courses I may teach online one day.


 After completing the challenges and opportunities of eLearning assignment I have gained more knowledge in what challenges can arise for instructors, as well as how to minimize them.  In addition, I have developed a better sense of the importance following some form of quality guidelines to ensure the course is not only successful and more positive for the learners and students but also effective and efficient.


This course was an excellent start to gain new learning and look back at underlying techniques in which education can be applied to online courses.  I feel that for my online course I would need to research a bit more on approaches best used for healthcare eLearning courses.  I would also like to try and follow approaches that create a supportive and positive learning environment as those types of courses in my past online learning journey have been the most memorable and enjoyable for me.