Paul O'Connor has contributed a blog post to start our conversation on the strategic theme of Learning Technology. Thank you Paul your thoughts!
Click "Read more" to see Paul's entire post, then please add to the discussion with your own comment. New to blogging? See the Dec. 22 post: "How to post a comment".
All yours, Paul. --Scott
Learning Technology - from Paul O'Connor, Chemistry Instructor and Educational Technology Coordinator
Rates of participation in on‐line and hybrid learning at Douglas College are lower than at many other BC post‐secondary institutions. Given returning (2nd career) students, the adoption of online technologies both in the K‐12 school system and in the under‐30 generation, does on‐line and hybrid learning represent an opportunity for Douglas College to expand its geographical reach and its ability to serve students? Where do we strategically want to go on this topic and what infrastructure changes are needed to facilitate that?
We must attract adult learners to avoid a reduction in the number of students at the College. To do this we need to offer online and hybrid programs, not just individual hybrid or online courses. Entire credentials (e.g., a post-degree diploma) or path to a credential (e.g., the first two years of a degree) must be offered in an accessible format. Thus, we need to identify which existing and new programs should be offered in the hybrid or online format.
Developing new hybrid and online courses will mean investing in people: faculty members need the time, and the skills, to develop, revise and teach hybrid and online courses. We need additional instructional designers and media developers to ensure that we make best use of the technologies. Additional technical support for faculty and students will be needed through CEIT's Help Desk. Furthermore, it is essential that we develop quality courses that are peer reviewed to ensure the principles of good course design are implemented and that the resources be available so courses can be reviewed and revised every 5 years.
A full time Hybrid and Online Activity Coordinator will be needed to: organize faculty workshops, coordinate support for faculty teaching online for the first time, organize peer mentoring, facilitate peer review, promote the Hybrid Development Course, and coordinate student support.
The maximum class size for hybrid and online courses will need to be established. Having 20-30 students allows for quality student interaction and a manageable workload for faculty members. (Bates, A.W., Poole, G.; Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education. 2003, Wiley. Pg 216)
Now what do you think? Let's hear your comments on the theme of Learning Technology.