Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top Test Scores From Shanghai Stun Educators

With China’s debut in international standardized testing, students in Shanghai have surprised experts by outscoring their counterparts in dozens of other countries, in reading as well as in math and science, according to the results of a respected exam.........

Read more below -

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ESU Video Contest - Win an iPad - Let's go for an IDT sweep of all four categories!

Want a chance to win an iPad while having fun showing off your Emporia State spirit? ESU's marketing director is coordinating a video contest for contestants to express "What 'Empowered by E' (Empowered by Emporia State) Means to Me."

Guidelines and Rules HERE


There will be four categories: students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Individuals will be awarded an Apple iPad to the winner in each category. No more than four
iPads will be awarded. Team winners will get restaurant gift


Submissions will be accepted until February 4, 2011. The winner will be decided by February 11, 2011, at 4 p.m. CST. No more votes will be counted after that
time. Marketing and Media Relations will accept submissions immediately.

How does this work?
The final five selections from each category will be placed on ESU's Facebook where the winner will be decided by the number of "likes" it has received. (Watch this page or buzz-in announcement on Dec 04,
2010 for Facebook URL). In the case of a tie, the Director of Marketing
and Media Relations working with a student group will decide on the Best
in Show video. The winning Best in Show video will be placed on the
homepage of ESU's website by the end of February.


2 Minute Rule: Your movie may be two minutes long or less. We are using the common timecode standard, so your movie's length must be equal or less than
02:00:00. This limit includes credits and anything else, which might be
included in your final exported file.

Submission: Umair Abbasi, ESU Webmaster, Campus Box 4060. You can also drop them off at Marketing and Media Relations at 005 Plumb Hall in the basement. Please
leave or send the video with your full name, E number, email
address and your phone number.

Editing Software: You can use any editing software as long as you can give us your movie on a DVD or CD in Quicktime format. A minimum resolution of 640 pixels x
360 pixels is needed.

By entering the contest and sending us your video, you are releasing it for any use by Emporia State University.

Copyrighted Music: You are not permitted to include any copywritten music or performance in your movie. You are welcome to create your own music, but remember it
must be original -- copyrighted music performed by you is still
copyrighted and cannot be used without a signed release from you.

ESU logos: You are welcome to use any of the Emporia State logos found here.

Other Copyrights: In addition to the copyright music guidelines above, you are not permitted to use any copyrighted material of any kind in your films.
Please be very careful. Copyrighted material includes but is not limited
to film clips, television clips, audio clips, video game clips, books,
magazines, etc. Even featuring just the image of an item that is
copyrighted (like the cover) can violate the law so please be extremely
cautious to protect yourself.

Nudity is not permitted. Neither is foul language.

Dangerous Behavior: It is absolutely prohibited for any participant to engage in dangerous, reckless, illegal or otherwise negligent behavior in any aspect of the
creation of your movie. Any such behavior will lead to immediate
disqualification from the competition.

Team Members: You are welcome to form a team. However, if your movie wins, you will have to fight with the others over the one iPad. Or we will award you a
restaurant gift certificate so you can all have dinner on us.

Team Restrictions: ESU alumni, faculty, staff, and students enrolled for Spring 2011 at Emporia State University will be the only members allowed to

Again: Please follow the criteria below:

No profanity. No nudity. No graphic violence. No drug use. No hate speech.


If you have any questions please email:

**** 2:00:00 time limit, it will not be judged or screened. ****

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Emporia State IDT alumnus selected as 2011 KS Teacher of the Year

Curtis Chandler (MS in IDT '08) has been named the 2011 Kansas Teacher of the Year. Those of us who have worked with Curtis over the years and have seen his dynamic presentations know exactly why he was honored with this award. Curtis is a model teacher for the integration of technology into the classroom.

Read the article in the Topeka Capital-Journal -

WIBW news (video) -

Monday, November 15, 2010

Library Student Journal - call for manuscripts

IDT Students! How about publishing some of your scholarly work? See below.
Library Student Journal "especially encourages submissions relating to new technologies and future trends." No, were not in library and information sciences....but, we're close enough....and we know a lot about instructional design, training and new technologies.

*Library Student Journal *(LSJ) is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal for the fields of library and information science that is student-run and student-written. * Library Student Journal *seeks to publish the best papers from Library and Information Science (LIS) students worldwide, and to serve as a forum for discussion of LIS education, training, career paths, and future trends. Submissions may cover a wide range of topics, but should always relate to and advance the discussion of LIS topics. This is a rapidly evolving field. As such, LSJ especially encourages submissions relating to new technologies and future trends. Papers submitted to the peer-reviewed section of the journal should advance the existing literature with original ideas or original research.

LSJ recognizes that a complete discussion of LIS education requires a number of perspectives and a variety of formats. Along with articles of a scholarly nature, LSJ will also consider letters to the editors, editorials and opinion pieces, reviews of recent LIS monographs, and informational essays.

For more information about submitting work to LSJ, see information for authors on our website:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Emporia State IDT team takes TOP honors at PacifiCorp competition

Again this year, our ESU IDT team was selected as one of the three winning teams and overall winner at the PacifiCorp Design and Development Competition at the 2010 AECT Convention in Anaheim, CA.

Representing Emporia State University's Instructional Design and Technology department, Michael Schwind and teammate Rob Ervin were selected winners in the PacifiCorp design and development competition (which involves having teams of two students design and develop a detailed written solution and oral report in response to a quite complex instructional design case study). During the year-long competition, eleven teams competed in the first round of the
competition and six teams moved forward to the second round, with three teams being selected as winning finalists.

The ESU IDT team of Schwind and Ervin joined the other two winning teams and presented their instructional design solution at the 2010 Association for Education Communications and Technology (AECT) International Convention in Anaheim, CA.
Michael and Rob were awarded the Best Presentation ribbon at the Research and Theory/Design Development luncheon, for having the best overall project and presentation.
All of the IDT faculty were there to cheer-on Michael and Rob during their presentation and to celebrate their victory at the luncheon.

ESU IDT teams have entered the competition three times and have been named a winning finalist three times! For two years in a row, an ESU IDT team has been awarded Best Presentation.

Some history -
2007 - ESU IDT's first team, Sandy Valenti and Steve Harmon are selected as one of the winning finalist teams.
2009 - ESU IDT team, Liz Ermis and Jennifer Gibson are selected as one of the winning finalist teams and are awarded best presentation.
2010 - ESU IDT team, Michael Schwind and Rob Ervin are selected as one of the winning finalist teams and are awarded best presentation.

October 27, 2010 was indeed a proud day in ESU IDT history! Join me in congratulating Michael and Rob on their monumental accomplishment! Better yet, leave them a congratulations comment at our Ning site -
on our IDT blog - or
on our IDT Facebook page -

Friday, November 5, 2010

IDT Faculty - Excellence Engaged

Being a university professor involves more than teaching. University professors are also expected to excel in scholarly activity and service. They must produce externally reviewed articles/books, make presentations, and perform professional service. Emporia State University regards scholarly productivity as the primary vehicle for faculty development and enhancing the overall quality of the university. The Instructional Design and Technology Department's growing stature has in part been driven by increased faculty scholarship and its link to quality instruction and service to the discipline. Scholarly activity - presenting and publishing research - is an important component of tenure and promotion, but is also important for personal and professional development, as well.

Below, you will find a link to Excellence Engaged - a 44-page booklet (PDF), that lists faculty and staff research and awards. As you will see in the document, IDT faculty members not only deliver quality instruction, but are also (in my opinion) ESU's most productive faculty in terms of scholarly activity and service. Please take a moment to look over the booklet and pay special attention to the pages that list IDT faculty accomplishments (listed below).

State/National Awards/Recognitions
Page 4

Leadership Positions
Page 10

Externally Reviewed Publications
Pages 34-35 (and page 38)

Download a PDF of the document by visiting

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Emporia State University IDT Wins Best in Show at 2010 Pacificorp Design Competition

Congratulations to Michael Schwind and Rob Ervin! The Emporia State IDT Team won Best in Show at the 2010 Pacificorp Design Competition at AECT. Two years in a row!

AECT Keynote 2010 Day 2

Darcey Hardy

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The ROI of online programs

At my recent presentation (with other ESU online program people) for the Kansas Board of Regents, one of the Regents asked about the return on investment for ESU online programs.
Below is a link to an EDUCAUSE Quarterly article that addresses many of the online return on investment (ROI) issues that face traditionally face-to-face universities like ESU.....more specifically, why brick and mortar universities have difficulty realizing the ROI that online for-profit universities attain; instructors vs. faculty, savings on overhead, etc..

Anyone have some thoughts on this?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dr. Colorado selected as Phi Delta Kappa Emerging Leader

Another honor for Dr. Colorado!
Phi Delta Kappa press release below -

ESU Assistant Professor Selected as Emerging Leader

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Jozenia Colorado, assistant professor of instructional design and technology in the Teachers College at Emporia State University, has been recognized as an Emerging Leader by PDK International, a global association of education professionals. She grew up in Virginia Beach, Va., where she also worked as a computer resource teacher in the Virginia Beach City Public School System.

The PDK Emerging Leader program recognizes top educators under age 40 from around the world for their leadership. A committee made up of PDK’s past Emerging Leaders selected the 20 honorees from a competitive field of applicants, based on their outstanding professional accomplishments.

In addition to being honored at the 2011 PDK International Conference on Innovations in Teaching and Learning, honorees also have the opportunity to be published by PDK, apply for grants, and participate in PDK initiatives.

“Honoring these young leaders is one of PDK’s most important initiatives,” said William J. Bushaw, PDK International’s executive director. “We know the future of education is in good hands with leaders like these making a difference in the lives of our students.”

Colorado has worked in the area of instructional design and technology at various levels of education, including K-12 and higher education. Currently, she teaches online courses for the instructional design and technology master's degree program, as well as traditional on-campus undergraduate classes. Her research interests include the role of learner characteristics in the learning environment, self-regulated learning, social community in the classroom, technology management, issues in distance education, and integrating technology into the K-12 environment. She has presented at local, state, and national conferences.

“Within all levels, I worked with faculty to integrate technology into the learning environment,” she said.

She is a member of the PDK Flint Hills chapter, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, Association for Educational Communications and Technology, and Pi Lambda Theta. She has received several awards, including the 2010 Innovation in Teaching Award from Colleague 2 Colleague (C2C) and the Educause Jane N. Ryland Fellowship Award.

For more information on PDK’s 2010-2011 Class of Emerging Leaders, go to Information about PDK International is at

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MPATI - Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction

I just added another section in the History of IDT portion of IT 700 - It's about an interesting initiative back in the 1960's called MPATI - The Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction.

Have you ever heard of MPATI? - The Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction? If you answered NO, read on! If you answered YES, well to be honest, I probably don't believe you, so read on anyway!

The following is from Wikipedia -
Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction. (2009, December 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:12, August 25, 2010, from

The Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction (MPATI) was a special broadcasting initiative designed to broadcast educational television programming to schools, especially in areas where local educational television stations are either hard to receive or unavailable.

From 1961 through 1968, MPATI's programming broadcast from two DC-6AB aircraft based at the Purdue University Airport in West Lafayette, Indiana, using a broadcasting technique known as Stratovision.

The undertaking began as a three-year experiment in 1960, with MPATI organizing, producing, and broadcasting instructional television with seed-money from the Ford Foundation. This was a nonprofit organization of educators and television producers that pioneered instructional television for enriching education in public schools throughout the midwest. This was in times prior to the advent of satellite television transmission. By 1963, MPATI moved into its second phase where it relied totally on membership fees but it was never financially stable. MPATI found it difficult to get enough member schools to finance the organization. In its third reorganization, MPATI, unable to meet its expenses through membership fees, ceased producing and broadcasting courses in 1968 and became a tape library.

One of the two aircraft would go aloft for six to eight hours at a time; take up a twenty minute figure-eight station centered over Montpelier, Indiana (35 miles north of Muncie, Indiana) at an altitude of 23,000 feet. From this position the range of transmission was approximately 200 miles in diameter; stations transmission included both Chicago and Detroit metropolitan areas. When on station the plane would reduce speed, and then lower a forty-foot antenna mast which was gyroscopically stabilized so that the antenna always aligned from the aircraft to the center of the earth. This stabilization feature helped to maintain polarization of the signals from these planes. Beam characteristics of the antenna were sharp and reception was optimized by placing the reception antenna as near as practical to the ground and pointing it toward the Montpelier location to minimize multipath canceling and interference.

Programming from the planes was always pre-recorded; program slates, taped classroom instruction and test patterns with canned music were all that was aired from the MPATI planes. Frequently snowy pictures were what students saw from the low power transmitters of KS2XGA or KS2XGD channels 72 and 76 UHF respectively.

The television equipment and transmitters were powered by a gas-turbine electrical power plant in the aft end of the DC-6 fuselage; equipment similar in design to auxiliary power units later jet transport aircraft use for engine starting.

Other MPATI Links:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dr. Colorado makes the Online Emporia Gazette

That's right, The Emporia Gazette covered Dr. Colorado's C2C -
So, what was the front page photo? The first place winner of the junior division of the ranch horse competition at the Flint Hills Beef Fest, of course! We know what's important in Emporia! (o.k., they did put her photo in the print edition) Update - a very small photo

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Congratulations, Dr. Colorado!

Join me in congratulating our own Dr. Zeni Colorado on receiving the 2010 Colleague 2 Colleague (C2C) Innovation in Teaching Award at the 11th Annual Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology (SIDLIT) Conference. Several of you were on hand at the conference to see her receive her much-deserved award!

The annual Innovation in Teaching Award is presented by C2C to the faculty member who best incorporates creative and innovative teaching strategies into his/her courses: Creates student-focused, learning-oriented innovations in technology to facilitate learning. Demonstrates best practices in online course design including innovative strategies that actively engage students. Actively pursues avenues for personal continuous improvement to facilitate the uses of technology in online learning.

C2C web site -
SIDLIT web site -

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spring 2010 Master's Project Videos YouTube Playlist

If you were not able to see the Spring 2010 Master's Project presentations last Friday, do the next best thing! Check out the videos:

Spring 2010 IDT Master's Project Presentations

Photo Slideshow of the Spring 2010 IDT Master's Project Presentations at Emporia State University on Friday, May 14, 2010.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

IDT Spring 2010 Online Presentations Recording

Here is a link to the recording of the IDT Spring 2010 Online Presentations. The recording was started late and there were multiple audio issues. However, most of the movies played fine. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Global Competition Selects 10 Innovative Digital Media & Learning Projects to Share $1.7 Million

Ten winners of the MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition were announced today in conjunction with the celebration of National Lab Day in Washington, DC, to promote math and science education across the country. The winners will share $1.7 million to use games, mobile phone applications, virtual worlds, and social networks to create the learning labs of the 21st century.

Funded by MacArthur and administered by the virtual network of learning institutions HASTAC, the competition winners include a project to show youth-produced videos on 2,200 Los Angeles city buses; the next generation of a graphical programming language that allows young people to create their own interactive stories, games, and animations; and an online game that teaches kids the environmental impact of their personal choices.

Read the press release ››

Winners of the 2010 competition ››
PDF, 12 pages

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

College, Inc. - FRONTLINE Documentary

College, Inc. - A very interesting documentary about for-profit colleges and universities. View the entire program at -

Synopsis from

In College, Inc., correspondent Martin Smith investigates the promise and explosive growth of the for-profit higher education industry. Through interviews with school executives, government officials, admissions counselors, former students and industry observers, the film explores the tension between the industry -- which says it's helping an underserved student population obtain a quality education and marketable job skills -- and critics who charge the for-profits with churning out worthless degrees that leave students with a mountain of debt.

At the center of it all stands a vulnerable population of potential students, often working adults eager for a university degree to move up the career ladder. FRONTLINE talks to a former staffer at a California-based for-profit university who says she was under pressure to sign up growing numbers of new students. "I didn't realize just how many students we were expected to recruit," says the former enrollment counselor. "They used to tell us, you know, 'Dig deep. Get to their pain. Get to what's bothering them. So, that way, you can convince them that a college degree is going to solve all their problems.'"

Graduates of another for-profit school -- a college nursing program in California -- tell FRONTLINE that they received their diplomas without ever setting foot in a hospital. Graduates at other for-profit schools report being unable to find a job, or make their student loan payments, because their degree was perceived to be of little worth by prospective employers. One woman who enrolled in a for-profit doctorate program in Dallas later learned that the school never acquired the proper accreditation she would need to get the job she trained for. She is now sinking in over $200,000 in student debt.

The biggest player in the for-profit sector is the University of Phoenix -- now the largest college in the U.S. with total enrollment approaching half a million students. Its revenues of almost $4 billion last year, up 25 percent from 2008, have made it a darling of Wall Street. Former top executive of the University of Phoenix Mark DeFusco told FRONTLINE how the company's business-approach to higher education has paid off: "If you think about any business in America, what business would give up two months of business -- just essentially close down?" he asks. "[At the University of Phoenix], people go to school all year round. We start classes every five weeks. We built campuses by a freeway because we figured that's where the people were."

"The education system that was created hundreds of years ago needs to change," says Michael Clifford, a major education entrepreneur who speaks with FRONTLINE. Clifford, a former musician who never attended college, purchases struggling traditional colleges and turns them into for-profit companies. "The big opportunity," he says, "is the inefficiencies of some of the state systems, and the ability to transform schools and academic programs to better meet the needs of the people that need jobs."

"From a business perspective, it's a great story," says Jeffrey Silber, a senior analyst at BMO Capital Markets, the investment banking arm of the Bank of Montreal. "You're serving a market that's been traditionally underserved. ... And it's a very profitable business -- it generates a lot of free cash flow."

And the cash cow of the for-profit education industry is the federal government. Though they enroll 10 percent of all post-secondary students, for-profit schools receive almost a quarter of federal financial aid. But Department of Education figures for 2009 show that 44 percent of the students who defaulted within three years of graduation were from for-profit schools, leading to serious questions about one of the key pillars of the profit degree college movement: that their degrees help students boost their earning power. This is a subject of increasing concern to the Obama administration, which, last month, remade the federal student loan program, and is now proposing changes that may make it harder for the for-profit colleges to qualify.

"One of the ideas the Department of Education has put out there is that in order for a college to be eligible to receive money from student loans, it actually has to show that the education it's providing has enough value in the job market so that students can pay their loans back," says Kevin Carey of the Washington think tank Education Sector. "Now, the for-profit colleges, I think this makes them very nervous," Carey says. "They're worried because they know that many of their members are charging a lot of money; that many of their members have students who are defaulting en masse after they graduate. They're afraid that this rule will cut them out of the program. But in many ways, that's the point."

FRONTLINE also finds that the regulators that oversee university accreditation are looking closer at the for-profits and, in some cases, threatening to withdraw the required accreditation that keeps them eligible for federal student loans. "We've elevated the scrutiny tremendously," says Dr. Sylvia Manning, president of the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits many post-secondary institutions. "It is really inappropriate for accreditation to be purchased the way a taxi license can be purchased. ... When we see any problematic institution being acquired and being changed we put it on a short leash."

Friday, April 9, 2010

UPS Thinks Out of the Box on Driver Training

Thanks to John D. and Ken M. for sending this!

by Jennifer Levitz
Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wall Street Journal

Vexed that some 30% of driver candidates flunk its traditional training, United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is moving beyond the classroom to ready its rookies for the road.

In the place of books and lectures are videogames, a contraption that simulates walking on ice and an obstacle course around an artificial village.

Based on results so far, the world's largest package-delivery company is convinced that 20-somethings -- the bulk of UPS driver recruits -- respond best to high-tech instruction and a chance to hone skills.

Driver training is crucial for Atlanta-based UPS, which employs 99,000 U.S. drivers and says it will need to hire 25,000 over the next five years to replace retiring Baby Boomers.

Candidates vying for a driver's job, which pays an average of $74,000 annually, now spend one week at Integrad, an 11,500-square-foot, low-slung brick UPS training center 10 miles outside of Washington, D.C. There they move from one station to another practicing the company's "340 Methods," prescribed by UPS industrial engineers to save seconds and improve safety in every task from lifting and loading boxes to selecting a package from a shelf in the truck.

They play a videogame that places them in the driver's seat and has them identify obstacles. They progress from computer simulations to "Clarksville," a village of miniature houses and faux businesses on the property where they drive a real truck and must successfully execute five deliveries in 19 minutes.

So far, the new methods, designed by UPS and researchers from Virginia Tech, are proving successful, UPS says. Of the 1,629 trainees who have completed Integrad since it began as an experiment in 2007, only 10% have failed the training program, which takes a total of six weeks overall and includes 30 days driving a truck in the real world. UPS is known for promoting within, and many driver candidates began as UPS package handlers or other employees.

By getting out of the traditional classroom and using technology and hands-on learning, "we've enhanced the probability of success of these new drivers," says Allen Hill, UPS's senior vice president of human resources. A second Integrad will open in the Chicago area in the summer, and the training methods will eventually go company-wide, he says.

"Are you ready for this? Shake the nerves out! Take a deep breath," cheers Chris Breslin, a graying Integrad instructor, rallying his fresh-faced recruits on a recent day.

As Nick Byrnes, a 23-year-old with a buzz cut and black Ray-Ban sunglasses, drove through Clarksville, a UPS instructor tossed a football in his path. Mr. Byrnes hit the brakes. But then, when he hopped out to deliver a package, instructor Mike Keys sneaked an orange traffic cone in front of the truck.

Mr. Byrnes hopped back in and started up. "Stop! Stop! Ugh!" yelled Mr. Keys. He picked up the cone. "This is a kid who was playing football around your vehicle and went to get his ball."

Mr. Byrnes looked shaken and slapped his forehead. The lesson stuck: At the next stop, he checked for cones.

UPS isn't the only company using new training tools. Food service company Sodexo Inc. has recruited chefs through "Second Life" virtual job fairs and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) has taught programming techniques through videogames. FedEx Corp. says it, too, has moved toward more hands-on learning in the past five years, although it adds the change wasn't prompted by a high failure rate among trainees.

On a recent day, UPS students at Integrad moved through "kinetic learning" modules. In one corner, they practiced loading and unloading packages from a UPS truck with clear sides, timed by instructors.

UPS allows 15.5 seconds to park a truck and retrieve one package from the cargo, which is arranged in order of delivery.

Over at the "slip and fall" machine, an instructor greased a tiled runway in preparation for a regular drill: Students must carry a 10-pound box down the surface -- while wearing shoes with no real tread. Luckily they wear a safety harness, as most flail around like drunken ice skaters until they are taught to stand straight and take slow baby steps. (This is the one time UPS relents on its rule that drivers walk at a "brisk pace," or 2.5 paces per second.)

In another corner, Rich Gossman, at 37 the oldest in the group, was slumped at a videogame that tests recruits' ability to find sales leads for UPS, something today's drivers are expected to do. The game puts his avatar in rooms where he has to identify competitors' packages.

Mr. Gossman, a married father, works overnight at a UPS warehouse, unloading packages for $12.50 an hour. Being a UPS driver appeals to him because of the pay and job security.

"This has been the most stressful week of my life," he said. But as he played the game Mr. Gossman got a pat on the back from UPS supervisor, Peggy Emmart. "I saw you identify that competitor package," she said.

"I saw that FedEx package and went, click, let's get 'em," said Mr. Gossman.

Trainees must pay attention to detail and appearance and work as a team. Students whose brown uniforms aren't ironed properly -- hanger creases are forbidden -- lose points for their teams, as does any trainee caught without his keys. UPS requires drivers to wear keys on their ring fingers to avoid wasting time searching for them.

"Raise your hands," Mr. Breslin ordered one group. Five jingling pairs of hands went up. "Good job," he said, clapping. "See how easy it is to bond with your keys?"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

8 Big Mistakes Online Students Make

A good article from U.S. News and World Report (Thanks to Tod M. for sending this)

8 Big Mistakes Online Students Make by Kim Clark

Posted March 25, 2010

Teachers of online courses say students often fall victim to these common mistakes, which can cost them lots of money and hurt their academic records:

1. Not checking out the school. Since most employers and others colleges won't accept the credits, it's a waste of time and money to choose an unaccredited school. Verify a college's accreditation with the federal government. Checking with prospective employers or your current one to see what online colleges have served their workers well is a great way to find respected online schools. Finally, students just starting out with online courses may need lots of technical and academic support, so they will be happier if they opt for colleges that staff help lines when they are likely to be doing their homework—which often means nights and weekends.

2. Signing up for a course without budgeting at least 10 hours a week of study every week the course is in session—with no vacations! While online students save time on commuting, they spend much more time reading and studying, says Charlotte Babb, a Spartanburg, S.C., writer who has taught English and communications classes online and at two bricks-and-mortar campuses. It's better to find out the work expectations before you sign the tuition check, rather than be swamped when it is too late. Be warned: Many online courses require students to post thoughtful, well-written comments at least twice a day, at least four days a week. Some of Babb's University of Phoenix courses are so compressed that in the first week, students have to write a 700-word essay and complete five grammar quizzes. The rest of the five-work term is similarly loaded with papers and quizzes. Don't think, as one of her students did, that you can skate by while taking a long-planned honeymoon in the middle of the course. The newlywed got a zero for that week, Babb remembers. Students who want an A often spend 15 to 20 hours a week on the class, or about 100 hours over a five-week course, she says. The good news, she notes, is that some of the time can be broken up into 10-minute blocks at convenient intervals: before breakfast, during lunch, or even while waiting in line at the supermarket, if your school offers good phone apps.

3. Being unrealistic about your learning style. Do you do everything at the last minute? Do you need face-to-face interaction? Do you retain more by listening and watching someone talk than by reading? If so, online courses are probably a bad option. Nick Delzotto, a Honolulu teacher who has taught online and regular classes, says students who need lots of social support and are looking for a classic college experience will be much happier in a traditional college environment. Online courses work best for those who are very self-disciplined and can absorb lots of information by reading online.

4. Committing to an online course without first ensuring your technology matches the school's. Students with dial-up or slow Internet connections or with only limited access to computers are more likely to have trouble doing their assignments on time. And many online schools require students to turn in assignments in Microsoft Word or Excel formats.

5. Not checking out the teacher. "If they haven't taught online before, drop," jokes Babb. Teaching online is very different from teaching a standard course, and it can take teachers a few courses to learn the tricks, she says.

6. Taking on too much too soon. Ted Smith, a California geologist who has taught courses at traditional colleges and at three online colleges, suggests anyone making the switch to online schooling start with just one easy course—ideally, an online course on "how to succeed in an online course." "I have seen too many students sign up for a full load the first time and quickly become overwhelmed by the workload, technology challenges, or both," Smith says.

7. Thinking that since it is an online course, it is OK to "copy and paste." Smith says most of the reputable online schools and teachers use anticheating software such as and can easily catch cheaters.

8. Being unprepared or unwilling to cooperate with a virtual team. Many online courses require students to connect electronically with other students and prepare joint projects. Students who put things off until the last minute or don't cooperate often cause problems for such teams, Babb notes. Working with a virtual team is part of the education. "Learning to resolve and prevent these difficulties is a valuable skill in an employee."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ESU to launch dual degree program with China

Big news from the Emporia State University IDT department! We're headed to China!
IDT will be the first program from ESU in this program and one of the first graduate programs in the country for the AASCU-CCIEE program (at least that's how I understand it).
This also means that there may soon be opportunities for IDT students in the US to travel to China for the summer - How cool is that?

From -

Emporia State University will be one of 17 public universities in the United States participating in a program aimed at creating dual degree opportunities with selected universities in China. When ESU’s participation begins in 2011, the Sino-American 1+2+1 Dual Degree Program will bring Chinese students to the ESU campus for two years of their college experience, as well as offer students and faculty from ESU opportunities to study in China.

Early last year, ESU applied to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the China Center for International Educational Exchange (CCIEE) to join the program hosted by these two organizations.

“We’re pleased that the mission of our institution as well as the outstanding quality of our academic programs helped us receive favorable consideration,” said Dr. James Williams, ESU’s vice president for strategic partnerships and associate provost for enrollment management.

The partnership with AACSU and CCIEE will allow ESU to connect with new higher education institutions in China, identifying students who will participate in the exchange program. Chinese students will spend the first year of their college education in their native country as ESU identifies the courses needed during their second and third years on the Emporia campus. The students will spend the final year of their coursework back in their native country.

“The program helps us identify and target students at universities in China to come here to ESU, and in turn, gives our students the opportunity to experience education in China,” said Harry Imbeau, director of international education at ESU.

Imbeau’s position will expand to include direct responsibility for coordination of ESU’s interests in the 1+2+1 program. He will work directly with CCIEE to extend opportunities for faculty exchange and academic research above and beyond the student exchange opportunities.

Additionally, ESU will work directly within the context of the AASCU/CCIEE program to develop opportunities to expand the high quality graduate education programs ESU offers.

“As we initially sought entry into the partnership program, we were interested in working with AASCU and CCIEE to offer a dual graduate degree,” Williams said.

“Faculty interest on campus to coordinate this type of dual degree has been very high and this seemed liked the perfect opportunity to explore this new opportunity,” Williams continued, adding that both AASCU and CCIEE were very interested in the idea and have embraced the concept as part of the partnership.

As plans are being finalized, ESU officials hope that faculty in the university’s Instructional Design and Technology graduate program will begin instructing students in a dual graduate degree program.

“IDT faculty and the leadership of the Teachers College have been very supportive and excited about this opportunity,” said Dr. Tes Mehring, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We are excited about expanding the opportunities for both our domestic students and students in China to participate in this outstanding learning opportunity.”

Imbeau, Williams, and Dr. Marcus Childress, chair of ESU’s instructional design and technology department, will travel to China in mid-June to participate in the 10th anniversary celebration of the AASCU/CCIEE 1+2+1 program as well as meet with colleagues from selected institutions to iron out details of both the undergraduate and graduate opportunities.

Over the last five years, ESU has worked hard to develop a greater international presence, said Dr. Michael R. Lane, president. “This new opportunity is recognition that ESU is an institution that provides outstanding opportunities for our students and faculty to gain a global perspective. I am pleased with both the diversity these programs bring to our campus and our community as well as the resources they provide to supplement campus-based programs,” Lane continued.

“This is an example of how ESU creates high quality learning opportunities for faculty, staff and students as well as opportunities for members of the Emporia community,” Lane said.

Imbeau, Williams and Childress will continue to work with faculty, staff and the community to create a successful experience for all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ermis Lecture Recording

Here is a link to last night's guest lecture. Thank you everyone who made it! And thanks again, Liz for speaking with the IDT Community!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Seventh Annual Survey of Online Learning

Just Released: The seventh annual Sloan Survey of Online Learning reveals that online enrollment rose by nearly 17 percent from a year earlier. The survey, a collaborative effort between the Babson Survey Research Group, the College Board and the Sloan Consortium, is the leading barometer of online learning in the United States. Using results from more than 2,500 colleges and universities nationwide, the report finds approximately 4.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2008.

The complete report, “Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009” is available here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Augmented Reality

O.K. folks, this is pretty cool! And Dr. Eberle promises me that there are some decent educational/training applications for this!
An augmented reality map of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter -
You will need to print the map and follow the directions at the site (need a Mac/PC and webcam).

More about this marker-based technology at -
And here's an interesting application for the retail clothing world -

I will post this at our IDT Ning site and we can talk about it more! -

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning
A study of online learning from the US Dept. of Education (released June 2009)

Download from -

UNC-Charlotte has a nice (and succinct) overview of the study -

A systematic search of the research literature from 1996 through July 2008 identified more than a thousand empirical studies of online learning. Analysts screened these studies to find those that (a) contrasted an online to a face-to-face condition, (b) measured student learning outcomes, (c) used a rigorous research design, and (d) provided adequate information to calculate an effect size. As a result of this screening, 51 independent effects were identified that could be subjected to meta-analysis. The meta-analysis found that, on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction. The difference between student outcomes for online and face-to-face classes-measured as the difference between treatment and control means, divided by the pooled standard deviation-was larger in those studies contrasting conditions that blended elements of online and face-to-face instruction with conditions taught entirely face-to-face. Analysts noted that these blended conditions often included additional learning time and instructional elements not received by students in control conditions. This finding suggests that the positive effects associated with blended learning should not be attributed to the media, per se. An unexpected finding was the small number of rigorous published studies contrasting online and face-to-face learning conditions for K-12 students. In light of this small corpus, caution is required in generalizing to the K-12 population because the results are derived for the most part from studies in other settings (e.g., medical training, higher education).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2010 Horizon Report

The 2010 Horizon Report is now available - (.pdf also available at this site)

The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the NMC’s Horizon Project, a research-oriented effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have considerable impact on teaching, learning, and creative expression within higher education.

Six technologies to watch -

Mobile computing
Open content
Electronic books
Simple augmented reality
Gesture based computing
Visual data analysis

Saturday, January 23, 2010

AECT Elections - Now in progress - until Feb. 26

I want to encourage all IDT students/alumni who are members of The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) to login and vote. Elections will be open until February 26, 2010.

Remember, AECT members can join as many divisions as desired (at no cost) and may vote in any of the division elections. ESU IDT alumnus, Enilda Romero is on the ballot for the Research and Theory Division Graduate Student Board representative. Currently, Dr. Colorado is president-elect of the Research and Theory Division and Dr. Childress is a past-president of the division and current AECT board representative and AECT executive committee member.

Not a member, yet? The $50 Student Membership comes with all Member Benefits, including free online access to many publications, such as The Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology (Third edition) - 928 pages (quite a deal!) and a one-year subscription to TechTrends For Leaders in Education and Training, and other member-only benefits.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

IDT Webinar - ID in Higher Ed. - Feb. 9th 8-9p.m. (Central)

IDT webinars are BACK!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 from 8pm to 9pm (Central)

Elizabeth Ermis, Instructional Technologist at Guilford College in North Carolina will be discussing the role of instructional design in her position. Liz is also a recent graduate of the IDT program and one member of the winning team of the 2009 Pacificorp Instructional Design competition sponsored through the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

Go to -

Those who have not yet used Adobe Connect Pro, sometime before the start time, visit and follow the instructions in steps 1 and 2 (under Create Meetings). Install the Adobe Acrobat Connect Add-in for Windows or Macintosh Operating Systems. The Acrobat Connect Add-in allows you to share your screen and upload files to meetings. Test your computer to make sure that you are set up with all of the tools you will need to participate in the meeting.

Before the webinar is due to begin, direct your browser to

Enter the room with your login and password (your ESU/Blackboard login and password) - if you are a current ESU student/faculty/staff member

Enter as a Guest - if you are an ESU alum. or guest (or if you have any difficulty logging in with your ESU login)

AECT 2010 Call for Proposals

Come join Instructional Design and Technology faculty and fellow students at the 2010 AECT Convention! The Call for Proposals is now available! You can access it by going to the following link: