Sunday, October 11, 2009

Where's the PowerPoint?

First a note about presentations. I am using a "presentation blog" instead of Power Point! This is a great example of the transformations we are going to discuss:


  • Paper-Centric (where did I put that?)
  • Static and singular (difficult to update and distribute after-the-fact)
  • Non-Interactive (Where are the responses, additions, and suggestions?)


  • Web-Native (everyplace, anytime & active hyperlinks to resources)
  • Active Updating (simple, push-button updating online)
  • Interactive (open to input from selected group or worldwide readers)
  • Syndicated worldwide instantly via RSS (see the syndications in right column)
  • Each posting title is a hyper-link to more info (just click in the headings)

Setting the Context - Percent of Majors

Percent of all majors 1971 -> 2004:
  • English: from 7.6 % of the majors to 3.9 %
  • Foreign language/literatures: from 2.5 % to 1.3 %
  • Philosophy/religious studies: from 0.9 % to 0.7 %
  • History: from 18.5 % to 10.7 %
  • Business: from 13.7 % to 21.9 %

Setting Context - Did you Know?

This compilation of factoids is from 2008 - many of the facts are actually from prior years.

Change is taking place.

Change is accelerating.

Computer time is allocated for kindergarteners now.

Social Networks are creating a new society which shares visuals, values and friends worldwide.

University of Manitoba Educational Theorist George Siemens suggests that knowledge resides, not only in our brains, but also in the extended social networks we create online.

Setting Context - Recession Realities in Higher Ed

We all have seen the impact of the recession on our students and our universities. In many states, the impact has not been fully felt because of billions of dollars in federal stimulus money that will run out in 2011. When the funds run out, many universities will be adversely affected. A precious few will be prepared for the devastating funding shortfall by having cast their nets wider to reach more prospective students and serve those who have not been fully served.

The linked blog traces the the impact of the recession across the country over the past year.

Access and Reach

Online learning at the University of Illinois at Springfield has provided access for students who have been disenfranchised from higher education by geography, employment demands, life circumstances, and other considerations.

The response has been overwhelming - data for this fall semester:

· 26.2% of UIS students are online majors.
· At 1,301, the majors increased by 101 from Fall 2008
· 30.9% of credits were generated in online courses.
· 50.4% of UIS students took at least one course online.
· 30.2% were registered only in online courses.
· The average age for online students is 35.

Casting the Net Wider

Online students at the University of Illinois at Springfield are located in 47 states and ten countries this semester. Nearly all of these students - on average in their mid-30's - are paying for their studies. They are motivated, responsive, and demand quality teaching and learning.

In the attached link, Larry Abramson of National Public Radio visited UIS nearly two years ago and dropped in on a Compartive Literature online class taught by Professor Sara Cordell.

Quality of Online/Blended Teaching/Learning

The US Dept of Education announced earlier this year that we could no longer say that blended and online learning was as good as face-to-face learning. Rather, they unequivocally stated that both blended and online learning have been shown to be superior to face-to-face in post-secondary empirical studies. In a meta-study that evaluated more than 1,000 other studies, applied rigorous standards and considered only the very best, they found online delivery to be superior (full report linked to title).

The long-running annual NSSE study conducted by Indiana University last year found more collaborative and active learning among first year and senior college students enrolled in online classes. They reported "online classes seem to stimulate more intellectual challenge and educational gains."

Reach Online - for Faculty Publication/Research/Service

The reach of the Internet is extraordinary. Opportunities abound to self-publish, collaborate, and research online.

In the past day, here's where some of the people visiting my Online Learning blog were located:

Enter the words educational technology into and out of tens of millions of replies, you will find another of my blogs near the top. Enter the words into (Google in India) and it will still appear on the first page.

There are more than 5,000 RSS subscribers and another couple thousand email subscribers.

All the result of simply posting thoughts and links to news and research in my field. Imagine what YOU could do!

A new WAVE of Tools

The buzz this week is all about Google Wave - the tool that answers the question, what if we were to re-create email with today's Web 2.0 abilities? I received an invitation to beta-test this new tool that combines Wiki, chat, translator, and much more. The third-party applications are being released daily.

A couple hundred of learning professionals (many are noted experts) listed their top ten Web 2.0 tools. A matrix of their responses so far:

Technology Petting Zoo

This begins our little technology petting zoo. Feel free to experiment with these tools.

Imagine all of these tools in the hands of students to collect video, complete group projects, access learning materials in mobile mode without lugging around a laptop.

Contact Info

Ray Schroeder, Director
Center for Online Learning, Research and Service
University of Illinois at Springfield
Springfield, IL 62703