blogger counters

Friday, August 24, 2007

Articles of Note: What Caught the Corgi's Eye... Aug 24, 2007

We dig through databases, online journals, an e-learning magazines for online learning articles of interest. In this weekly series, we present a few articles that you might find useful, thought-provoking, or simply interesting.

Instead of simply giving you the citation, we'll provide a brief overview and synopsis of the article. We hope you find this to be helpful!

Articles that caught the Corgi’s eye this week:

Ndasi, H. (2006) The use of innovative methods to deliver technology education laboratory classes via distance learning: A strategy to increase enrollment. Journal of Technology Education 17(2): 33-42.

Ndasi reports on advances in the delivery of technology education laboratory classes using distance learning. The author addresses the decline in technology education and suggests that distance education can help correct the problem. “Technology education programs with a history of hands-on learning at the undergraduate level have been slow to implement distance learning techniques and strategies” (Ndahi, 2006, p.34).

The author analzyed where attempts are being made to incorporate distance lab classes and found that they include engineering mechanics, environmental monitoring, electronics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, strength of materials.

Instructional technologies and lab course delivery methods utilized include two-way audio and video, compressed video, Internet CDs, virtual software (simulations), and videotapes.

Instructional events and activities studied included learning kits, demonstration labs (especially if / when too dangerous), field trips, and residential and summer schools. The study concludes that the effectiveness of distance learning in replicating technology education laboratories is mixed. There is a need for more technology to result in more sustained student engagement. Assessment is very important as well.

The author concludes that technology education laboratories delivered via distance learning can be effective, and that they are improving. They, however, should not replace face-to-face labs, but should represent an alternative form. The study seems to reinforce a hybrid model of education.

Simpson, V. and Oliver, M. (2007). Electronic voting systems for lectures then and now: A comparison of research and practice. Australasian Journal of Education Technology. 23(2): 187-208.

The authors report on the results of two separate literature reviews on the use of electronic voting systems in online education, the first conducted in 2002, the second in 2006. They also compare and contrast the results, with the goal of finding strategies to address the problem of lecture-dominated online learning: “Lectures are still seen as the dominant form of teaching and are associated with the tendency to emphasize content transmission over student engagement (Simpson & Oliver, 2007, p. 188).

The search included indexes of journals and scholarly publications, as well as web-based search engines. In 2002, the study found that electronic voting systems were often used in science and engineering disciplines. In 2006, articles had also been published on the use of electronic voting systems in economics, management, psychology, philosophy, medicine, and statistics. In 2002, electronic voting systems were used mainly in large groups. In 2006, large groups still prevailed, but small groups were also beginning to use them.

The electronic voting systems helped students and instructors know more about themselves and each other. On the instructor side, the systems helped the lecturers increase their understanding of the students and gauge effectiveness. On the student side, the systems helped them understand the material, check their knowledge, gain an idea of instructor expectations, and helped mastery of difficult materials. Pedagogically, the systems address the fact that content transmission is not the most effective way to teach, and that in order to achieve student learning goals, it is important to improve student engagement and to provide quality feedback. The electronic voting systems address those pedagogical issues. The electronic voting systems also can be used in order to provide an environment of constant attunement and to help improve teaching and teaching methods.

Falowo, R.O. (2007). Factors impeding implementation of web-based distance learning. AACE Journal, 15(3), 315-338.

This is a good web-based distance education overview for a person who is new to web-based learning and who would like to have an idea of definitions, history, contexts, opportunities, expectations, and challenges. The article begins with current definitions of distance learning, and then follows with a discussion of the demographics of distance learning and characteristics of distance students.

The reader will find basic, yet useful discussion of student, faculty, and organizational institutional barriers. Student barriers include technological problems, lack of instructor feedback, and ambiguous directions. Faculty barriers include legal issues, copyright and ownership questions, perceived negative impact on the pursuit of tenure, lack of prestige, inadequate training. Organizational institutional barriers include undercapitalized and under-funded distance learning efforts (insufficient personnel, supplies, budgets), lack of funds, lack of training and technology, and finally, course quality concerns.

The article provides a very nice overview, especially for someone new to the field, or an administrator who is seeking to add distance education to face-to-face offerings. This is not a report on the latest research, but a useful overview for newbies.

About the Corgi (the Queen's companion animal of choice):

The Corgi digs through databases, online journals, an e-learning magazines for online learning articles of interest. In this weekly series, we present a few articles that you, dear reader & faithful E-Learning Queen (or King), might find useful, thought-provoking, or simply interesting. Instead of simply giving you the citation, we'll provide a brief overview and synopsis of the article. We hope you find this to be helpful!

Friday, August 03, 2007

You're Invited! An Elluminate Event

Every month, Elluminate has a free webinar about how our actual customers use Elluminate Live! and our free vRoom product to collaborate on really cool projects around the world. Each month, we feature a few exciting vRoom customers and speakers. This isn't a death by PowerPoint session! Come prepared to participate!

You can sign up for this month's event at: The event is live, and held online at 1pm ET on August 7 2007 at 1pm ET. You can join from a Mac or a PC or a Linux computer, and all you need is a set of speakers. If you want to talk you'll need a mic. Sign up early as seats are limited!

An iPod shuffle will be given away to a lucky participant.
If you want your own free, unlimited 3-user webconferencing vRoom, see

Here's part of the agenda for August 7th:

In our August vRoom webinar, author and eLearning expert Susan Smith Nash will explain how you can use principles of learning theory and an understanding of cognitive architecture to create first-rate, web-based presentations that are engaging, effective, and inspiring.
vRoom user Joe Donlon, a technician for Continuing Education at Confederation College , will be on hand to share how the virtual meeting room enabled a hearing-challenged student to gain independence in the classroom. We'll also be hearing from Geneva Scoville of EBUS Academy about how she's using vRoom to bring exciting live interviews wih remote guests into the classroom.

Don't miss this opportunity to maximize the use of your virtual room. Even if you attended previous vRoom sessions, you're sure to pick up a few new tips and tricks. Plus, you could be the winner of an iPod Shuffle!

You may also wish to check out an very useful new book by George Henderson and Susan Smith Nash: Excellence in College Teaching and Learning. The book is now available through Charles C. Thomas publishers.

Blog Archive