Thursday, May 14, 2009

CNIE 2009 Ottawa - Day Three

The first session I attended on Day Three of CNIE 2009 was "BOLD - Blended Online Learning Design - An International Research Initiative". The study Web site is The study was conducted at two universities ("X" and "Y"). Several things came out of study:
  • A mix of synchronous and asynchronous online delivery was best - a psychological and sociological connection develops with faculty and learners
  • Flexibility was a key element liked by faculty, learners and others surveyed
  • Equity of access was important (comparing F2F and online)
Instructional Designer feedback included:
  • Potential to create more active learning environments
  • Important for ESL learners - can re-read and review multiple times
  • Easier to monitor learner participation
Learner Feedback included:
  • Flexibility
  • Quality
  • Group Reflection
Faculty Feedback included:
  • Ease
  • Flexibility
  • Everything at their fingertips
There was lower attrition in synchronous courses as compared to asynchronous course - learners wanted a synchronous component to foster group and community.

An ongoing study, BOLD validate a lot of my thoughts on what works in any delivery method - we really do need to be delivery agnostic - focus on strong outcomes and course development that creates the best course possible that can be delivered in multiple ways. Hmmm...

The second session of the morning was "Computer Learning 2.0 - A (Re)Design" This seesion was presented by three librarians from Red Deer College. The team, resonsible for computer learning at Red Deer College moved to a project-based multiple modes of delivery system of computer training at RDC. They shifted to projects with rubrics - learners needed to apply learning and higher level thinking to complete projects as opposed to completing "Menu" style assignments. They came up with some really innovative projects that not only allowed learners to grasp and obtain the technical skills that they needed, but also developed critical thinking and problem-solving skills too.

They have developed a series of online "Lib Guides", including one for this presentation - very cool stuff.

The closing keynote, "Fuelling Innovation Through Millennial Entrepreneurship" was by Andrew Fisher, Executive VP at Wesley Clover, an investment vehicle for Terry Matthews, founder of Newbridge Networks and Mitel among other companies.

Much of his presentation had to do with how innovation and entrepreneurship went together and that as innovative educators there was much we could do with regards to commercialization etc. of our innovative ideas and products.

An OK presentation, but I felt that he didn't really "grab" the audience, probably not always an easy thing to do on closing a conference. He did have a valid point - as educators we do nee dto at least think about entrepreneurship and commercialization and organizations like Wesley Clover who could support further innovation. Hmmm...

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