Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CNIE 2009 Ottawa - Day Two Sessions

The first session the day that I attended was " Canada's e-PhDs". It was a review of current e-PhD programmes online - their challenges, retention and professional socialization. It is anticipated that the growth of e-PhD programmes will be exponential which is a great thing for someone like me who is currently exploring online doctoral programme options (if anyone know of an online EdD programme that costs less than $40 K, please let me know).

Interestingly enough, a quick comparison was done with residential PhD programes. Residential programmes have the following charateistics:
  • No formal prep for teaching, service, or positions outside academe
  • 50% completion rate
  • 7-8 years to complet
  • 4-5 years to withdraw
  • Distance ed completion rate 60%
Some food for thought. All in all an interesting survey of online programmes from a retention perspective, but not the information session that I had expected.

The next session I sat in on was presented by my NSCC colleagues Carolyn and Kelly - An Online Chemo Prep Programme for Cancer Care Nova Scotia - this was an amazing programme delivered online to a total of 75 pharmacy technicians around NS on chemo preparation, to ensure standard approaches and practices in the mixing of these toxic medicines.

The program was delivered using Elluminate and a discussion board with a hands on "playbox" - inexpensively made up of the tools and equipment used in chemo prep. Learners used the playbox to practice and the theory was delivered and discussed through Elluminate and the discussion board. All participants got together face to face once to take an OSPE - and Objective Standardized Practical Exam.

This was an amazing programme that sets an example for delivering any intensive hands on course online through the combination of a "playbox" and an OSPE - very very cool and I will be definitely looking at this model for delivering such courses as IT hardware and networking. Great job Carolyn and Kelly!!...

The next session was "Developing a Community of Inquiry in a Mobile Learning Context" and was delivered by a team from Athabasca University. Much of the world (China was mentioned with over 500,000,000 mobile devices) is going directly from little technology right to mobile devices and this team has developed a model for mobile learning. One of the questions they are investigating is how is learning the same and different on a mobile device? To date there has not been a lot of research done on mobile technology and mobile learning, but as Clarke (1994) said - "learning doesn't change because the medium changes". Hmmm... I wonder if that is really true?

The remainder of the session discussed their evolving model of mobile learning which includes a device aspect, a learner aspect, and a social aspect with an information context (it's represented by a complex Venn diagram). Interesting stuff and something to think about. They did provide a great rubric and it's located here - - check it out...

The last session of the day was "Project-Based, Competency-Based Blended Program Innovation" by Dr. Michael Sutton of Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

This is an amazing accellerated professional degree completion program for business people looking for a BBA - no courses, but a series of competency assessed projects that run in project streams, each stream a major competency. a totalof over 40 major comptencies were identified in conjunction with business leaders and they were grouped in sets.

Learners need a miniumum of six years of business experience tp get in and the programme takes approx 18 months to complete if done in contiguous semesters.

This is the way adult education should be delivered - not hung up on courses and grades but focussed on applied project learning an competencies - a very cool presentation and a great way to deliver adult education...

Day Two was a little more mixed in the quality of the presentations, but the information was great and very thought provoking - a lot of learning that will take some time to reflect upon. Hmmm...

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