Monday, August 15, 2011

Motivating Adult Learners Video

Here's my video.  I think I did everything correct.  Please send me your feedback before we have to share with the rest of the class.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Static -vs- Dynamic Technologies

As a student, we interact with both static and dynamic technologies on a regular basis.  Those that are static seem to be what I have interacted with the most during my course program thus far.  I have worked with many of the dynamic technologies, but most have been on a personal level rather than in my distance education experience.  I think as time moves forward, we will be able to see more dynamic technologies being embraced and brought into more learning environments.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Engaging Learners with New Strategies and Tools

Many of the tools that we use now within our technological world can be brought into the educational environment.  For example, social networking is now more visible than ever.  Instead of using these medias for personal use, they can instead be used within learning environments.

Blogs, wikis, LinkedIn and ConceptShare are all useful for collaboration because they allow the learners to work on an individual basis and also provide the opportunity for others to collaborate.  Communication is vital, particularly in online learning environments.  Skype, Twitter, discussion boards, conference calls and email each provide a gateway for communicating with a range of individuals.  Medias such as Moodle, Blackboard, Captivate, WebCT and the Internet provide ample opportunities to get the necessary content that is needed within a learning environment.

Each of these tools are important, student friendly, and many of them are being used regularly within our everday lives.  Having these qualities provides a smoother course for implementing them into the educational process.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Assessing Collaborative Efforts

How students are assessed has changed considerably from the memorization method that has been used in the past.  Siemens mentioned that the growth of collaboration within learning environments cause caused a new need in the area of assessments.  Some suggestions that were made were to create assessments that can be loaded into a peer environment and that  assess each other such as through rating articles.  To assist the evaluator, another method of assessment is encouraging participation in open communities with opportunities for feedback.  Contribution logs through systems such as wikis or learning management systems also provide methods of assessing in a collaborative learning community as well.  Assessments should be fair and direct, based on stated outcomes, and also equitable.  We have moved beyond marked-assessments and student growth is now considered.   

Often students who do not want to collaboration in a learning community have lost  their sense of self and they can often contribute the most.  In these situations, the evaluator must often change the assessment model based on a community type of approach and through the learners working together.  They can also provide experiences for working in a highly functioning learning community.  Blogging provides a “balanced diet” when it comes to addressing these types of learners since it’s an individual action but incorporates the community as a whole.  Another method that evaluators can use is through bringing in individuals from that industry.  Learners within the community can assist as well by ensuring that a high level of trust and connectedness is created and also by allowing those individuals to have external connections to highly knit groups.

Siemens, G. (2008). Assessment of collaborative learning. Vodocast. Laureate Education, Inc.

Siemens, G. (2008). Learning communities. Vodocast. Laureate Education, Inc.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Motivating Adult Learners Storyboard

Here's my storyboard from the video presentation.  Please send me any feedback that you may have and also all suggestions on methods to create the video, other ideas, etc.  Thanks!! 

  •        During the beginning of the video I will define what motivation is and also determine what makes someone an adult learner.

What’s the difference…?
  •        Many people think that you can address most learners in the same style, but this is indeed not true.  It’s very dependent upon the type of learner you are working with.  Following the introduction, I will discuss the differences between adult and youth learners.

Importance of Motivation in Education
  •        Understanding why motivation is vital within education is very necessary to ensure student success.  Here I will discuss its importance and focus on why it is particularly important for adult learners.

Suggestions on how to motivate adult learners
  •      There are many methods that can and should be used to keep adult learners motivated throughout their learning process.  Here I will share some methods on how this can be done successfully.


Some resources being used for this video include:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Elements of Distance Education Diffusion: Collaborative Interaction

Collaborative interaction has come a long way in distance education.  Interaction in distance education settings is generally different from the traditional classroom.  This is due to the fact that “distance teaching seems to be more effective to independent, autonomous adult learners who prefer to control their own learning situations, while traditional teaching make children's learning more comfortable” (Hailan Chen, 1998, ¶ 2). 

“The most frequent method for encouraging student interaction appears to be regular discussion questions posed by the instructor” (Jason Baker, 1999, ¶ 14).  Interaction has grown over time and has allowed more methods of collaboration.  One way that this has happen is through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.  According to Curt Vavra, “becoming comfortable communicating in an online environment with family and friends allows people to practice and develop skills for later use in educational or business settings” (2010, ¶ 1).    

Micah Miner pointed out that another way collaborative interaction is increasing in distance education is through the use of Wikis.  According to his blog, “wikis can promote collaboration in group assignments, encourage negotiation, and make students comfortable with new generation of technology tools” (2010, ¶ 2).  We can also see this throughout programs at Walden University that involve students utilizing Wikis for courses.  As time continues to progress, we will continue to see collaborative interactions become more common and plentiful in the future.

Baker, Jason. (February 1999). Student Interaction in Online Distance Education.  Retrieved on July 2, 2011 from

Chen, Hailan. (1998). Interaction in Distance Education.  Retrieved on July 1, 2011 from

Miner, Micah. (2010). Ed Tech, Social Science Teaching, & Urban Education.   Retrieved on July 1, 2011 from…/

Vavra, Curt. (2010, September 30). Collaborative Interaction: An Important Element of Distance Education. Retrieved on July 2, 2011 from

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Next Generation of Distance Education

Simonson stated “if we look at past patterns in educational technology, we can expect exponential growth of distance education to continue” (2011).  Currently there is a larger presence of distance education within K-12, Higher Education and also within training for corporations.  As we move more in our technological society and see how it is continuing to evolve, we must accept that change is inevitable (Simonson, 2011). Moller, Huett, Foshay and Coleman understand the need for the change within K-12 education according to their findings.  In their third article, they mentioned that “distance education in the K-12 arena is often referred to as “virtual schooling” and learning through virtual schooling is one of the fastest growing areas for K-12 schools “ (Roblyer, 2006).

Another point that was made is that “we are better able to enlarge our own beliefs and more likely to take risks when supported by a community of learners” (Grabinger, 1996).  Though this may be true, we must consider how learners prefer to learn and their backgrounds.  “It seems plausible that, given the lack of collaborative learning background of many learners, our educational system is producing learners who prefer, or are able only to interact with the content and/or the instructor, but not each other” (Moller, Huett, Foshay and Coleman, 2008, page 74).  The type of learner who typically engages in web-based educational courses (adult, independent learners with higher internal loci of control) have goals and preferences when it comes to online learning that may not lend themselves well to learning communities” (Navarro & Shoe- maker, 2000; Reisetter & Boris, 2004).

Being someone who has worked in a distance education environment both as a student and as an employee, I understand and agree with these points.  As this trend continues to grow and move to the next level, it is necessary that distance education evolves because the way of doing things and also the type of learners has changed over time. One cannot stick to the old ways of doing things; they must be more innovative and effective.  I also understand that many students may not ideally work well within the traditional models that can be seen within the current spectrum of distance education. It’s important that those that are responsible for the implementation and who design the instruction create various methods for learning.  This could include both the use of learning communities and allow independent work.

Grabinger, R. S. (1996). Rich environments for active learning. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.),The handbook of re- search for educational communications and technology (pp. 403-437). New York: McMillan.

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W. & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5), 63–67.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 1: Training and Development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70–75. 

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, July/August). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 2: Higher Education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66–70.  

Navarro, P. & Shoemaker, J. (2000). Performance and perception of distance learners in cyberspace. The American Journal of Distance Education14(2), 15-35. 

Roblyer, M. (2006). Virtually successful: Defeating the dropout problem through on- line school programs. Phi Delta Kappan, 88(1), 31-36.