ITC (Instructional Technology Council) eLearning 2014 notes

Orlando, Florida

February 14-18, 2014




Themes at 2014 eLearning:  

  • Importance of instructor and institutional presence in online classes and programs
  • Interaction and engagement for making online learning successful
  • Making your online program stand out, competitive
  • Providing good support for students, including preparing the students and faculty and having technical support
  • Understanding the big picture: how accreditation and federal laws and policies impact online programs



 Amy Jo Swing’s Notes on Some Interesting Sessions.

I presented a session on our new Lake Superior College POET TM online initiative titled “Quality Matters or Homegrown Peer Review: Do We Have to Choose?”  There were about 27 attendees and the ideas we presented were well-received. As we update our materials, I believe many people will want to view and use them.


Lake Superior College Communication Instructor Natalie Bothwell received a 2014 Distinguished eLearning Educator Award.


Session Notes


Dr. Sanford Shugart, President

Valencia College, Orlando

Keynote, Saturday night


Monastic model: colleges and universities were started to train clergy. (still regalia, still podiums in classrooms).

Preservation and transmission of culture (monks copying books, etc.)

Teacher as priest: consecration, authoritarian, no questioning, recitation only. Student is initiate, hoping to become the priest/teacher. Institution as conservator and authority.

All our colleges are imprinted a little bit with that classical monastic DNA. Gothic architecture, classical (Greek)

Mid-19th century through 1930s

German Polytechnic Model: (and American land grant universities 1862 morrow act)

                New knowledge and practical application

                Agriculture, technology, science (on a big scale)

Professor as researcher/inventor

Student is apprentice

Institution as engine of economy


Industrial Model: after WWII

Production of graduates for the workforce

GI bill: VA system, and VHA home loans, scholarships to college ( 3 million men went to college and overwhelmed the college systems)

Truman commission recommended that junior colleges be put together with technical training centers (Rosie the riveter trainings)= comprehensive community colleges but not much happened for a while

But then 19 years later, there were millions of new college-age kids (baby boomers). Starting around 1964-5, colleges exploded. (One a week at some point)

Deep DNA

Teacher as “assembly-line worker” (adjunct, large lectures)

Student as raw materials/product/scrap (if they don’t succeed)

Institution as national resource (dollar cost per FTE)


Commercial/Retail Model

                Early 1980s (hit a low enrollment, baby trough)

                Focus on growth in enrollment, revenue, market share, and brand, brand, brand

Deep DNA

                Student as customer

                Professor as ? (customer service rep)

                Institution as business



The learner at the center

Best expert at learning is the learner

Need an army of listeners who are trained to listen and analyze the information


The SIX “Ps”

  1. Preparation
    1. In e-learning, could we assess whether or not a learner is ready? And then give them ways to get ready if they need it.
  2. Place
    1. I need connection, a place where I belong
    2. Ask how students experience place, know they belong
  3. Pathway
    1. Students need more structure and clearer pathways, weakest learners have too many choices and need more advising and direction (need to require or encourage students to keep going, take classes in succession—Writing, writing, math, math, math).
    2. Fewer pathways (metamajors: STEM, LA, business). Narrow choices early so they can broaden them later. So they don’t fail early, so they don’t waste credits on things they don’t need)
  4. Plan
    1. Every student should make a plan as soon as possible, share it, have it approved and have to approve it again to change it. Most students only put a plan together when they are ready to graduate.
    2. My education plan…
  5. Purpose
    1. How do you design purpose into the process?
    2. Purpose is constructed in a social environment (tribe)
    3. Purpose emerges over time –weave discussions of purpose into every learning experience
  6. Person
    1. The student is a person (not a customer, number, FTE, product)
      1. Most students felt like a person when a faculty broke a rule to serve a student
      2. Hear the story, believe
      3. How in eLearning, do you personalize interactions even though it’s electronic?
    2. All students who succeed name a person as the most imporant of the reasons (instructor, tutor, another student, a librarian, a student service staff, an advisor).
      1. This is what a MOOC can never have




11:15 Sunday

Softchalk Cloud presentation

OER repository—also can just search and find stuff just to use in your IMS

Can get 30 day free trial–$495 a year for individual subscription (

Can store five separate content areas—with Learning objects

Activities—can use them anywhere that an embed code can be used.


Can make objects public or personal, can hyperlink or add them to IMS

Can see previous versions/revisions

Need a computer—can’t create on tablet

Will download program (SoftChalk create) to your computer

Converts from word format, takes out MS info, makes accessible HTML, creates a mobile page

Can make graphic assessable to visually impaired students: alt text and a long description

Add media: audio, add inline file (can add script right there for ADA)

Also can search for media in different repositories: YouTube, etc. Can give them CD or flashdrive content.

Can make lesson interactive. Text poppers, quizzes, iframes (pdf files—instead of linking), matching exercises/activities, (keep students in the room—not leaving to go to other sites)


Any part can add images, hyperlinks, and/or media.

2 GB of storage, about 150 lessons in the cloud

IN D2L EDIT COURSE external learning tool, new link. Then post link from the cloud. Send user id for security. Then go into content, new external tool—add your lesson.

Softchalk grade center—allows you to see which students completed assessment, can change attempts, can view lessons, send to gradebook, etc. Then can view lesson too.


When you revise, add, or change lesson in the cloud, it will change in the IMS.


To see a demo and get a free 30-day trial, go to:


Key Note: Sunday, February 16

Dr. Christina Royal

Provost and CAO, Inver Hills Community College


“The Future of eLearning in Higher Education: Shifts, Trends, and the Expected and Unexpected”

World Future Society looks at top 10 breakthroughs to transform life in the next 20-30 year: #8 is cirtual education or distance learning.

Unlearning: “It’s easier for companies to come up with new ideas than to let go of old ones.” Peter Druker

With so much new information, we have to unlearn things we thought we knew.


What do we need to unlearn at our institutions and eLearning? Beginning and endings, two year college idea, compartmental learning

Traditional classroom is gone: blended learning will emerge (most course will include elearning)

Institutions need to re-engineer physical spaces

New trend: “data Driven”: drives decisions, recognized need for better info, predictive analytics, utilize learner analytics

Put analytics in the hands of learners: dashboards, etc. real-time feedback on how they are doing.

Trends? The perfect storm: by 2030 over 50% of colleges will collapse (Frey)

Credentialing will be challenged (if students can show they have the skills employers need without a degree—MOOCs, etc.)

NO need for textbooks (worrying words “leverage”—collaboration—one college comp class)

Open resources are good but there is no clear system of evaluation and credibility, peer reviewed texts/materials. As the peer review piece improved, free materials will be the norm?

We will play games to earn a degree (great game-based curriculum but expensive right now)

Habits are changing. Kids don’t think of playing games as learning. Games work because they are:

Highly motivating, provide immediate feedback, lower stakes/less pressure, collaboration and competition

Workforce is becoming more relevant (STEM, etc.) inspire students

Our jobs won’ exist? Lots of shifting in job roles.

Credentialing will be challenged, Educators as coaches

Big opportunities for ISDs

Invent next IMS

Say good bye to learning theories of 50s and 60s

Listen to students

Disruptive education (learning styles don’t really exist)

Be change agents—faculty development and facilitate internal transition




3:30 Sunday session: NCCC’s Quality Review Project: A Recipe for success (Niagara County Community College)


Quality review process came about because of challenges—retention, etc.

They have required program for new online faculty

Hard to get faculty to come back for training/course redesign

Their strategic plan is looking at retention, success, graduation rates

Risk factors for online success: time of registration, poor advising, age, engagement and course design, developmental needs, gender, technical factors/business processes, first time e-Learners, previous college success/GPA, Learning Styles : some of these are faculty decision/some are administrative


Student Success Approved Initiatives

  1. Quality Review Project
  2. eLearning student support specialist
  3. call-em-all credits to contact students
  4. Creation of eLearning students success orientation (Softchalk)
  5. Purchase of softchalk licenses
  6. LMS and technology workshops for students
  7. NCCC Online guide to teaching online (softchalk)
  8. Professional development opportunities

Recipe for Quality Online Courses

  1. right instructor
  2. Measurable outcomes
  3. Content for 21st century learning
  4. Multiple assessment methods
  5. Provides framework for interaction
  6. Visible and attentive instructor

Looked at QW but the process was hard to follow, to find peer review teams. Can adapt.


SUNY network: COI framework (about #6—interaction and presence)

NCCC Quality Review Project

  • faculty drive
  • Rubric does not evaluate faculty
  • Rubric adapted from QM
  • Voluntary
  • Continuous quality review


Two people review the course. Then they send review to Instructional designer—who looks at it and summarizes it. All team meet with faculty.


At first, no one passes. Then they gave faculty more tools and helped them improve. Now 20 courses have “passed” and received certification. Another 18 are coming… Those who pass, get certificate and stamp (eLearning approved).

Like LSC, totally faculty (except the ID—who is in the faculty union) all materials are available to use?

Standards: many faculty fail in the accessibility standard

Why have your course reviewed?

  • Improve design, retention and success
  • Gain new ideas for teaching
  • Build network with other online faculty
  • Learn grow and excel at teaching
  • Receive recognition with certificate
  • Show commitment to continuous instructional improvement.



  • Improved design
  • Improve student engagement
  • Improve completion rates C or better
  • Faculty gain new ideas for structuring and teaching online
  • Build network with other online faculty
  • Becomes better and more “visible” online educators


Go to tools

  • Softchalk
  • Jing
  • Camtasia
  • Voicethread: introductions, free for three sessions? Or $59 a year.
  • Gotomeeting—live session, check ins, first week, virtual office hours, etc.
  • Remind 101
  • IMS


Future plans

  • Place logo for approved courses in our banner SIS
  • Increase number of reviews per year
  • Show and share: blog posts, tips of the week, short videos, f2f workshops and demos

All materials on blog: pre-checklist, rubric, etc.





“Throw Me a Lifeline!” Faculty Tips for Working Smarter, Not Harder in Your Online Classes

Dr. Laurie A Grosik

Dr. Melissa Kagarise

St. Francis University

One all online undergraduate program: a health science, 7 week classes (4-5 semesters to complete program)


What do students want?

  • Engagement
  • Interaction
  • Sense of community (a part of your college)


  • Tell them about college activities, resources, campus events (with pictures)
  • Program community site (?LAS?)
    • Online “student union”
    • Main point of contact with students –message/pager
  • Post about 3 times a week (intro, check-in, good job)
  • Take the campus to the students


  • Week one intro
    • Faculty intro with picture
    • Student intros with pictures
  • Let students know you are a real person
  • Pictures are really important
  • Detailed instructions, due dates, required responses, graded (their original posting due Wednesday, responses due Sunday)
  • Very strict with deadlines and grading (responses, etc.)

First Timers

  • Provide with overview
    • Address technical difficulties
  • Orientation (if they don’t finish orientation, they can’t get into the courses)
    • Program policies
    • Learning styles inventory (submit assignment)
    • Practice using LMS (quizzes, dropbox, etc.)
    • Make a learning plan
    • Orientation introduces LMS, has PDF help sheet, can be offered in real time, audio recording available 24/7


  • Instructor contact (24-48 hour response)
  • Expectation of students
  • Academic accommodations
  • Academic integrity
    • SafeAssign and TurnItIn
  • Netiquette
  • Late assignment policy


  • Overview of entire course (all assignments)
  • Checklist structure
  • Deadlines emphasized

Start Here (required before content opens. Students get access to class 48 hours before first class day)

  • Course description and objectives
  • Navigates each menu item
  • Highlight important course components
  • Quick policy review
    • Refund policy
    • Academic integrity—including APA
    • Late policy
    • Last day of class
    • Satisfactory academic progress

Virtual Presence

  • Meetings
    • Live presentations (several times)
    • Free conference pro
  • Asynchronous student presentation (in discussions)
    • Record audio presentation
    • Post to discussion
    • Required responses


  • Word comments—individualized
  • Save as PDF when you are done so they can’t change them
  • Rubrics for all assignments (included in syllabi from the beginning)


  • Course rhythm–consistency
  • Cadence across programs/classes
  • Limits surprises for students and faculty (technology is transparent so students can concentrate on content)




“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Support for Faculty and Students All!”

Glenda Prince, Course Design Consultant

Morgan Felty, Student Engagement and Technical Specialist

Oklahoma City Community College

Uses Moodle, about 175 online faculty members


Were part of the Achieving the Dream (ATD) initiative: online involvement was recognized as area of emphasis

Efforts are data-driven, includes tasks force

Challenge: to prepare students and faculty for online learning

How: mirrored levels of support in different delivery levels

Since implementing Fall 2012, success increased…% in one year

Video tutorials for faculty to teach with LMS (in sections/modules)

Moodle instructor training course. Moodle students training course. Includes Survival Guides.

These includes videos (Panopto type with showing how to do it all)

Orientation to the orientation. Every student who is enrolled in the college get enrolled in the course, but they aren’t required to go through it. Many instructors require them to complete it for a grade. Have to go through one part to get to the next one.

If they “pass” the final assessment 80% or more, then they get an email. They can use that for instructor assignments and so they don’t have to take it every term.

Survival guides—(negative connotation); online and in print


Online student readiness tool: several sections, ask questions about technology and study habits, plan

Faculty like the survival guides the best

Instructor Support

  • Moodle Instructor training course
  • Instructor survival guide
  • Faculty preparedness checklist
  • LMS faculty training
  • CTL website


Student Support

  • LMS Student orientation
  • Student survival guide
  • Student online readiness tool
  • Moodle student training



“Funky and Free”

Melissa Copeland

Instructional designer and adjunct faculty: they design classes (2-3 multimedia technologists and 5 designers)

University of Central Oklahoma

PDF file of all the 60 new cool tools can be downloaded here.  60 Cool Tools: LotsofCoolTools  


It’s not really about the technology—it’s about making the class exciting.

Storyfi/ pictochart/pearltrees?

Sixty tools—list of all of them are in the presentation

Other tools:

I mind maps

Time toast: timelines


Hipster : playlist site –free and not copyright infringement



glogster: education version and student version

Podcasts: 1-2 minutes (audiobooth and podomatic)

Make online students call instructor every semester. 70% say that they have never spoken to online instructor before.





Private youtube account for speeches

Bubblus: mind-mapping tool

Dragontape: mixes youtube videos and cut and mix them with soundhound.

Tubechop: grab small chunk of video

Chirp: ipad app. Kind of electronic version.


Teacherkit: enrollment, take pictures, seating charts, etc. good for onground classes.

Khan academy: badges, free lessons


Funky and Free


Webaim: ADA color checker

Adobe Kuler—to help with color schemes—finds colors in a picture, etc. for PowerPoints, prezi etc





Tuesday session:

Differentiating Your Online Programs from Your Competitors: Marking, Recruiting, and Retention.”

Dan Lim and David Tao from Adventist University of Health Sciences (Florida)

What is one thing that differentiates your online courses/programs?

Quality? Longevity? Costs?

(all low cost, flexible, fully online, good student services, etc.)

People make decision emotionally—how can you market to student’s emotions/reptilian brain?

How can you market into one single thing? (emotional connection)

Need institutional presence

Pain points

  • Perceived reputation and quality
  • May not be valued by employer


  • Unique history/story
  • Unique mission
  • Unique brand

Tedtalk: people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. (Apple products)


Pain points:

  • No campus atmosphere
  • No face time


  • Strong presence
  • Synchronous presence
  • Asynchronous presence
    • Videos
    • Audio

Institutional Presence

  • Synch sessions
  • Examples
  • Camera makes class seem more real, develop instructor-student relationship

All their course have required synchronous meetings (use Blackboard collaborate)

Customer Service

Pain point

  • Getting through
  • Take down fortress (red tape)
  • Lead nurturing
  • Accurate and helpful information
  • Address student concerns

Need Quick Instructor Response

  • Set response time policy
  • Training and reminders for faculty
  • Monitor performance
  • Maintain a safety net: student manager/mentor

For every 300 students, there is a retention staff—manager (students can always call that one person even if their instructor is not engaging enough, not communicating quickly enough)



They have 95+% retention rate—and drop out rate is usually family/personal reasons.

Nurturing Student Management

Pain points

  • Too many hoops
  • Little support


  • Scale student support (1 to 300 students)
  • Sole responsibility is as a student manager

Real 24/7 technical support

  • Upfront about possibly wait time
  • Get to the fix
  • Streamlined escalation path


Robust and meaningful interaction

Pain point

  • Isolation
  • No social interaction


  • Synchronous analogy: charcoal in BBQ (need more than one piece of charcoal to cook the steak)
  • It’s about networking


Strong Retention

  • Low dropout rate to single digit
  • Keep it personal, family, and health reasons
  • Use student testimonials
  • Show them the light at the end of the tunnel (what they will get when they are done?)


Marketing: One Simple Thing (OST) or Paragraph (OSP)

Not top ten reasons—ONE

Their OST

  • Reputation
  • Highly engaged instructors
  • Strong social networks
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • 24/7 support
  • Near 100% retention rate

Retention Implications

  • Look at our students’ pain points and then match our strengths with those!
  • 60% of decisions are made prior to students even contacting institution
  • Highlight most compelling differentiation
  • Manage at risk students and remind them of pain points (that your college can help those pain points and other colleges may not…)

Might want to outsource marketing if you want a quick return on investment














Jody Ondich’s Notes from the 2014 ITC eLearning Conference:




Session #1 LB I learn campus


Linn-Benton community college Oregon

Competency based elearning campus



Solution groups, wiki, campus wide involvement, sessions about the project over lunch,

Systems change in financial aid but working with existing structure, accreditation submission, bargaining agreements to pay faculty per student per week

Got financial support from administration and a grant to start this. 50,000 from college, 2.9 million in a grant

Program development

     Balance new and existing

     Early adopters

     Staffing and hiring–people who can do a little of everything Competency based

     Transitional vs full. Still tying to credit units

     College system

      Federal govt system

     100% online


How often can people to start?

      Each week, on a Wednesday 

      52 weeks a year

      30 hours of work per credit unit

What is competent?

     80%  is passing

     1 course at a time

 Admission criteria

     Mandatory orientation

  Academic construct

      Proctoring service

      24 hour turnaround time regardless of day of week

      Prescribed courses only

Using  Canvas as an LMS, Ellucian Open Learning  for registration

Unbundling the faculty role. Student navigator role–communication with student, makes sure the student finishes, not a faculty role. Faculty Content Expert is feh person who is more teaching. Faculty assessment evaluator is faculty who provides feedback and indicates when student has passed the assignment. Wants a faster turnaround on things, match skills of person with job. Advising role separated out this way. Standardized assessment tools. Keep costs down. 


Curriculum development process

    Using Approved Course Outcome Guides


         Purchased materials/which materials?

         Develop own /open ed?

         Starting with business administration and using all three Break up course content

         Break into credit units

         Distribute content equalLy

         Logical sequencing

         Associate outcomes with credit units Considerations

       Adaptive content/personalized work

       Logging into different systems

       Permission requests

       Content development time and costs


           ADA compliance


Break credit unit into modules




       Web sites

       Self checks

            Computer based and instant feedback Assessment types

       Practice opportunities

       80% competence


 Credit unit assessment

        Calculated for overall grade


        Human  feedback

Course development completions

       Sequencing, links, directions, eval, using rubric Gathering analytical 


Business model

     Self supporting sustaining in 5 years

      Tuition and fees will differ    


Looking at credit for private learning, CLEP One course shell that all students flow through.  One per year Course load for faculty a number of students, not credit load Find a calendar for a student, not for a course Can take competency exams at any time. May not be able to offer that at first. Navigator can advise on process Released when previous step proved Not a flexible finish. All about completion.



Session #2 Badges and Gamification


University of Illinois and university of central Florida use open badges Show formal and informal learning sets Shared badges gives a common language Has metadata that avoids copying Insertion URL tied to a person and institution Various foundations supporting this Measure competency Open Badges Works especially well with skill based learning and programs Competency based learning lends itself well to this Very economical Something used in gaming, which helps them dig a bit A way to acknowledging something is finished without a grade Can be based on a skill or a commutative summation  Different kind of reward system Can be used with non course activities, too Badges sent through email, avoids grade issue Be careful not to use copyrighted art Delivery system–Credly, Mozilla Open Badging, Basno Badges used by moocs Claim code awarded to student, then have to go to Credly to claim them Create a badge backpack. Send these or share these on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Are there automatic badges issued?

D2L will have a badging module eventually, creating prototype Create a portfolio?

Can’t withdraw a badge

Will show who is accepting badges

Verification can be added, which is that Credly has verified that the account belongs to that user School verified ones have a meta data tag so employers could see this was a valid badge 


Session #3: Modular/Competency-based learning


Focused on the concept of modular, or competency based learning.  Linn-Benton college in Oregon is working towards opening one of its programs–business administration–in a “start when you want, finish in 1 credit/30 hour competency chunks” style. The specifics are this: Each Wednesday, a student can start a module.  They can take the time that they need–and there is a cut off, although the cut off may be changed after they have some experience–but the intention is that each student will take one of these at a time, and finish it in a week.  The estimate is that the student will need 30 hours for each module, and right now, they are calling each module the equivalent of 1 credit.  (so in a typical 16 week semester, a student might take 15-16 credits, but in a different format).  Each module builds on the last. The teachers are assigned to students in slightly different ways.  The teachers are paid on a per student basis.  And students pay on a per module basis.  But there are three roles–the guide, which is a non-faculty position that is more like an academic counselor, and sees that the student finishes.  There is a content provider, who may design the course module, but also is available for answering questions, etc. And there is an assessment provider, who is not the designer, and who grades.  This ensures clear and unbiased grading, in their opinion, and consistency. The program is 100% on line. It works 52 weeks a year, although there was some amusement in the group about holiday weeks, etc.  80% is passing for each module.  There is a mandatory orientation.  Students get work feedback in a 24 hour timeline/turnaround.  Some of the content is developed by the college. Some is using OERs.  And some it purchased from a publisher, as it is exactly what is wanted.

More resources Two workshops looked at various kinds of resources for students and teachers.  Out of them, I pulled a few that might be useful:    Pearltrees, to organize presentations and facilitate group work   StudyStack  allows users to create Learning Objects, some much like SoftChalk, and to use OERs already on the site   create timelines   fast demo capture with webcam    create pocasts, make mixes    being able to discuss using voice, online, not just text   Khan Academy–tons of very solid OER    check accessibility.  lots of tools   a great set of tools about copyright