Learning with Technology for Teaching Online (iTeach)

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The LMS market glacier is melting

Mon, 2017-02-13 16:22
Posted Sep 2, 2016 by (@philonedtech). The LMS market glacier is melting


Phil Hill is a partner at MindWires Consulting, co-publisher of the e-Literate blog and co-producer of e-Literate TV.

The world of edtech is strange and full of apparent contradictions. Venture capital investment has exploded since 2010, hitting an all-time high of $3.1 billion in 2015, with private equity and strategic acquisitions pushing this number even higher.

Dozens of startups, if not more, vie for the attention of presidents and provosts. If you look at adoption rates by schools, just one category continues to consume the majority of edtech attention and budgets in higher education: the much-maligned learning management system (LMS). But the glacier may be melting.

It would be easy to look at the market trends today for higher ed and think that nothing much has changed over the last decade. Despite the success of more recent entrants like Instructure and Schoology, Blackboard has, by far, the greatest market share, with companies like D2L, Sakai and open-source alternatives like Moodle far behind. The LMS oligopoly is nothing if not resilient, historically leaving little space for competition.

But this view by itself would be misleading. Higher education moves at glacial speeds, and judging the market based on the surface issues misses some important recent dynamics.

It’s true that Blackboard still has greater market share than any other technology player in higher education. But Instructure’s Canvas LMS won almost 80 percent of new higher education implementations this year — a shift that may reflect the growing influence of faculty, rather than institutional, priorities in LMS purchasing. Consider this: While the LMS reached a saturation point among colleges and universities around 2003, it is only in the past 3-4 years that the vast majority of courses or faculty members routinely used an LMS.

The challenges to higher education’s tech-enabled transformation are multifaceted.

The established legacy providers (e.g. Blackboard and D2L) are, in turn, investing millions of dollars in re-architecting their platforms to reside in the cloud and enable a new approach to the user experience. And while platform switching was historically driven by forced migrations (Blackboard buying competitors and terminating product lines), today’s selections are most often rooted in involuntary reasons, such as moving to the cloud or improving the end users’ experience.

Perhaps most significantly, most schools are no longer looking for just one system to manage the virtual classroom. We are now seeing entire institutions, such as Southern New Hampshire University and University of Maryland University College, designing new architectures where the LMS is but one core component. This move is enabling broader adoption of pedagogical approaches, such as competency-based education and personalized learning.

Once we get broader adoption of new pedagogies and new student support models, such as institution-wide or discipline-specific adoption, we may see longer-lasting trends and business models for the technologies outside the LMS. Technologies that generate analytics-driven feedback for faculty, provide targeted coaching or advising support for students or enable new learning modalities, such as flipped and blended classrooms, may very well be the beneficiaries of redirected spending and mind share.

Of course, the challenges to higher education’s tech-enabled transformation are multifaceted. Initiative fatigue abounds. Venture-backed apps and solutions are, all too often, reflective of dystopian fantasies about higher education’s mass disruption more so than the real-world needs of faculty — and students.

Key Issues in Teaching and Learning 2017

Mon, 2017-02-13 16:10

Key Issues in Teaching and Learning 2017 1. Faculty Development 2. Academic Transformation 3. Digital & Informational Literacies 4. Accessibility & Universal Design for Learning 5. CBE & Assessment for Student Learning 6. Open Education 7. Online & Blended Teaching & Learning 8. Learning Space Designs 9. Evolution of the Profession 10. Learning Analytics 11. Working with Emerging Technology 12. Evaluating Tech-Based Instructional Innovations 13. NGDLE and LMS services 14. Privacy and Security 15. Adaptive Teaching and Learning 16. iPASS

Want $500? The Leeward CC Innovative Online Teaching Award- APPLY NOW!

Mon, 2017-02-13 14:36

2015 – Christina Keaulana  ED 285  Associate of Arts in Teaching, Social Sciences


The “Leeward CC Innovative Online Teaching Award” (formerly, “The Outstanding Teaching with Laulima Innovation Award”) seeks to recognize a Leeward Community College faculty or lecturer who teaches an online course that recognizes innovation and excellence in technology-supported teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement.


Any faculty or lecturer who teaches an online course at Leeward CC (no hybrid courses, please). (A faculty or lecturer who previously applied may re-apply provided he/she has not been chosen as a recipient of this award within the last five (5) years.)

Award Information

  • Application form  Due Feb 28, 2017 3pm. Chancellors Office.
  • Evaluation rubric
  • The value of the award is $500.00
  • After the applications get processed, the applicants will be asked to schedule a date/time to record a 15-minute (maximum) showcase video of their course by demonstrating and verbally describing how their course meets or exceeds the criteria described in the Leeward CC Innovative Online Teaching Award 2016 Rubric.
  • The award committee may require access to the applicants’ courses as part of the selection process.
  • The winner and selected finalists will be showcased on the Innovative Online Teaching Award website following presentation of the award.

Applications are due to the Chancellor’s Office by Monday, February 28, 2017 at 3:00 PM.



Past Innovation Award Recipients 2016 – Warren Kawano BUSN 158 Business Division 2015 – Christina Keaulana ED 285 Associate of Arts in Teaching, Social Sciences 2014 – Jeff Judd ED 290 Associate of Arts in Teaching, Social Sciences 2013 – Michael Cawdery ED 285 Associate of Arts in Teaching, Social Sciences 2012 – Helmut Kae MICR 130 Microbiology, Math and Sciences 2011 – Lani Uyeno ENG 211 English, Language Arts 2010 – Pat Hurley LING102 English, Language Arts 2009 – Brent Hirata ED 279 Associate of Arts in Teaching, Social Sciences


APPLY NOW! The Leeward CC Innovative Online Teaching Award $500

Mon, 2017-02-06 15:33

2016 IOTA Winner Warren Kawano’s Online Course


The “Leeward CC Innovative Online Teaching Award” (formerly, “The Outstanding Teaching with Laulima Innovation Award”) seeks to recognize a Leeward Community College faculty or lecturer who teaches an online course that recognizes innovation and excellence in technology-supported teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement.


Any faculty or lecturer who teaches an online course at Leeward CC (no hybrid courses, please). (A faculty or lecturer who previously applied may re-apply provided he/she has not been chosen as a recipient of this award within the last five (5) years.)

Award Information

  • Application form  Due Feb 28, 2017 3pm. Chancellors Office.
  • Evaluation rubric
  • The value of the award is $500.00
  • After the applications get processed, the applicants will be asked to schedule a date/time to record a 15-minute (maximum) showcase video of their course by demonstrating and verbally describing how their course meets or exceeds the criteria described in the Leeward CC Innovative Online Teaching Award 2016 Rubric.
  • The award committee may require access to the applicants’ courses as part of the selection process.
  • The winner and selected finalists will be showcased on the Innovative Online Teaching Award website following presentation of the award.

Applications are due to the Chancellor’s Office by Monday, February 28, 2017 at 3:00 PM.



  You are almost definitely not living in reality because your brain doesn’t want you to

Wed, 2017-02-01 12:55

You are almost definitely not living in reality because your brain doesn’t want you to

 Buster Benson, Quartz, Oct 14, 2016

Commentary by Stephen Downes

Good article listing sources of cognitive bias (always an interest of mine). Numerous links. “In order to avoid drowning in information overload, our brains need to skim and filter insane amounts of information…

  • Information overload sucks, so we aggressively filter.
  • Lack of meaning is confusing, so we fill in the gaps.
  • We need to act fast lest we lose our chance, so we jump to conclusions.
  • This isn’t getting easier, so we try to remember the important bits.

By keeping these four problems and their four consequences in mind (we) will ensure that we notice our own biases more often.” The item called to my recollection a CBC interview I listened to this morning with Julia Shaw, author of The Memory Illusion: Why you might not be who you think you are.At least, I think I listened to it.

Do Quizzes Improve Student Learning? A Look at the Evidence

Wed, 2017-02-01 12:32

February 1st, 2017


There’s a lot of talk these days about evidence-based instructional practices, so much that I’ve gotten worried we aren’t thinking enough about what that means. Let me see if I can explain with an example.

Recently I’ve been trying to locate the evidence that supports quizzing, wondering if it merits the evidence-based label. Tracking down this evidence in our discipline-based research is challenging because although quizzing has been studied across our disciplines, it’s not easily searchable. My collection of studies is good, but I know it’s not complete. As you might suspect, the results are mixed; they are more positive than negative, but still, a significant number of researchers don’t find that quizzes affect learning outcomes.

I’ve been looking closely at a set of seven studies, which you will find listed at the end of the article. (These studies were randomly selected—no empirical objective here.) Not all of the studies report the same positive results, but if they are viewed collectively, the use of quizzes seems to yield some impressive benefits. Students reported they spent more time reading and more time studying between tests, and that they were more motivated to come to class prepared when the course included quizzes. These quizzes also increased student participation, lowered failure rates, improved exam scores, resulted in better overall course grades, and did not lower course evaluations. That all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

But the devil is in the details, as in the specific combination of factors and conditions that produced the results. When I looked closely at this subset, I was amazed at the array of details that could potentially affect whether quizzes improve learning.

  • Are they pop quizzes or scheduled on the syllabus?
  • What types of questions are used (multiple choice, short answer, etc.)?
  • What’s the relationship between quiz questions and questions on the exam (same questions, similar questions, or completely different)?
  • How many quizzes are given throughout the semester?
  • When are the quizzes given—before content coverage or after? How soon after?
  • Do students take the quizzes in class or online?
  • Are the quizzes graded or ungraded? If graded, how much do they count?
  • Is the lowest score dropped?
  • What kind of feedback are students provided?

In addition to these design details, there are content variables derived from what’s being taught, the level at which it’s taught, the type of course, and the instructional method used to deliver it. And then there are student variables, such as their year in college and academic performance to date. In all likelihood, the classroom climate exerts some influence on the outcomes as well.

What this evidence tells us is that given a particular set of conditions, quizzes produce positive results, in most cases a range of them. And that gives us three things to consider. First, based on studies done in our disciplines, quizzes are an evidence-based instructional strategy only in a general sense. If your course design details and teaching context aren’t the same as those in the study, you aren’t assured the same results.

Second, to be sure that your quizzes produce the desired results, you need evidence. You can conduct your own empirical analysis. One of the benefits of all these different studies is that they provide a range of different ways quiz performance can be analyzed. That will give you the best evidence, but you can also do something quasi-empirical. You can look at exam scores in sections with and without quiz scores. You can ask students how a course with quizzes affects their attendance, preparation, and study habits. Or, you can carefully, thoughtfully, and objectively observe how quizzes are affecting learning. What we need to stop doing is assuming that just because an instructional strategy has been studied and judged effective, we can use that same strategy and accrue the same benefits.

Finally, looking at a set of studies (whether on quizzing or a range of other instructional strategies) illustrates the profound importance of instructional design. So often, when we decide on an instructional approach, we just do it. Without much thought or purposeful decision-making, we come up with a way to use quizzes. And yet it’s those easy, seemingly minor decisions about the details that determine the outcome.

Remember, though, that you haven’t gotten the whole story here. You’ve gotten the sum of a sample of studies done in our disciplines. Regular repeated testing has been studied elsewhere. In the next post, we’ll continue this consideration of what it means to be an evidence-based instructional strategy.


Azorlosa, J. W. (2011). The effect of announced quizzes on exam performance: II. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 38, 3-7.

Batsell, Jr., W. R., Perry, J. L., Hanley, E., and Hostetter, A. B., (2017). Ecological validity of the testing effect: The use of daily quizzes in introductory psychology. Teaching of Psychology, 44 (1), 18-23.

Braun, K. W., and Sellers, R. D. (2012). Using a “daily motivational quiz” to increase student preparation, attendance and participation. Issues in Accounting Education, 27 (1), 267-279.

Hardsell, L. (2009). The effect of quiz timing on exam performance. Journal of Education for Business, 84 (3), 135-141.

Hatteberg, S. J. and Steffy, K., (2013). Increasing reading compliance of undergraduates: An evaluation of compliance methods. Teaching Sociology, 41 (4), 346-352.

Johnson, B. C., and Kiviniemi, M. T. (2009). The effect of online chapter quizzes on exam performance in an undergraduate social psychology course. Teaching of Psychology, 36 (1), 33-37.

Kouyoumdjian, H. (2004). Influence of unannounced quizzes and cumulative final on attendance and study behavior. Teaching of Psychology, 31 (2), 110-111.

© Magna Publications. All rights reserved

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Online Resources

Wed, 2017-01-11 10:53

iLearn is designed to help online students succeed at learning online. Please pass on the different resources listed on this site to your online students.

Distance education?

How do you prepare?

How do you succeed?

How do you use Laulima?



Important Resources
  • iTeach– dedicated to helping distance faculty. Here are a few resources you can find at this site.

Every semester, new Laulima sites are automatically created for every course you teach. It is up to you to set up each course.

Get your Laulima courses ready

Laulima Support

If you have a question about Laulima you may want to refer to Laulima @ Leeward. If you need further help with Laulima please sign-up for an appointment.

If students do not see your course in Laulima

If your students do not see your course listed in the blue tab bar, check if it is listed under the under the “My Active Sites” tab. If it is not there, please fill out a “Request Assistance” form and provide detailed information about the course you are looking for.

Laulima Orientation Activity

Face-to-Face Laulima Orientation Activity for New DE Students

The Educational Media Center will be providing a face-to face Laulima Orientation Activity

Saturday August  20th from  8:00-9:00 am Room LC102 for new students on how to use Laulima. All DE students have received email notifications inviting them to the orientation activity.

Online Laulima Orientation Activity for New DE Students

The Educational Media Center also provides the Laulima Orientation Activity online for DE students. Here are the directions to complete the activity.

  1. Join the De student orientation Laulima course. After you log into Laulima, in the “My Workspace” tab to the left scroll down and click on “membership.”Once that pops up click on joinable sites. Scroll down until you see “DE Student Orientation. If it is not visible at first go to the top right where it says “show 20 items…” Click on the drop bar and click on “show 200 items…” then look for the DE course. Once you find the DE course click “join” right underneath it.After that you can find the course by either scrolling up and clicking on my “My Current Sites” or by clicking the “My Active Sites” tab at the very top of the page
  2. Here is a short video on how to join the DE Student Orientation course in Laulima. http://youtu.be/WR-bT93mkU4
  3. Complete the Laulima DE Orientation Activity Sheet. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1fIdPkTnyubD8nxGlcsTdj0duv5VXacrbIfyp7DwY_ZM/viewform
Student Evaluations

eCAFE is the ONLY online evaluation system used for distance courses at Leeward Community College. eCAFE is the official application for Course And Faculty Evaluations at the University of Hawaii. It is a UH system wide tool for faculty across all campuses to gather feedback from the students at the end of a course. Instructors and students login with their regular UH username and password. Please be mindful of the set-up period for Course evaluations.

Ecafe Online Course Evaluation Basics




Blackboard Collaborate Moderator Challenge (Spring 2017)

Wed, 2017-01-11 10:44
Blackboard Collaborate Moderator Challenge (Spring 2017) Register

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 1:30 PM – to – Friday, January 27, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Leeward CC now has the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra version, a completely re-designed Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing platform that’s simple, mobile-friendly, and can be used to support a 21st-century teaching and learning environment. Use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to facilitate interactive instruction and host meetings allowing you and your students to learn together and work collaboratively in a synchronous (live) online environment. Features include: two-way audio, multi-point video, interactive whiteboard, application and desktop sharing, breakout groups, session recording, and more.
Workshop Objectives

This is a two-part workshop, held online in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Part 1 will allow you to learn how to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, including hands-on activities to practice using it for interactive activities. Part 2 will allow you to demonstrate your learning by facilitating your own 5-10 minute interactive session with an audience using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to do the following:

  1. Interact with the audience using the mic and chat tools (*web cam and raise hand tools).
  2. Load and share an image, PowerPoint, or PDF to the media space.
    Use (and/or have Participants use) a few whiteboard tools (e.g. pointer tool, text tool, pen tool, eraser tool) to interact/engage with your audience and/or with your content or whiteboard on the media space.
  3. Use the polling tool with the audience, show the results, and clear the polling or end the polling session.
  4. Use Application Sharing to share an application on your computer or your computer’s desktop.
  5. *Use Breakout Groups to facilitate a small group activity – create groups, move participants into and out of Breakout Groups, move yourself (Moderator) from room to room.

Upon successful completion, you’ll earn the Blackboard Collaborate Moderator badge (useful to include as evidence in your dossier) and a new Blackboard Collaborate account with the ability to create multiple sessions in the new Ultra experience.

Workshop website: http://blogs.leeward.hawaii.edu/iteach/blackboard-collaborate-moderator-challenge/

UDL Online Activity Challenge

Wed, 2017-01-11 10:36
UDL Online Activity Challenge-Free

Online –Monday, January 23, 2017 at 12:00 AM – Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 3:00 AM (HST)

This challenge is designed to help you redesign an online learning activity, using the three core principles of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework.

The three core principles of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework.

  1. Provide Multiple Means of Representation
  2. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
  3. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement


How it Works

  • Mondays
    • On Monday morning you will receive an email with the current week’s “learning path”. Follow the path please. The learning path typically includes: Short overview of week’s topic Link to a challenge webpage overviewing the week’s topic with extra resources to peruse at will. Link to a worksheet you will copy, complete and change the settings to allow for commenting Link to upload and upload to the Google + Community. short close of previous week other info
  • Wednesdays
    • Wednesday email to check-in and see how it’s going. Respond to email if you need help. Reminder of Thursday posting deadline Learning path repeated from Monday. Notice of badges issued from previous week Short blurb on week’s topic other info Thursdays Complete your weekly worksheet by the end of Thursday, and post your results in the Google+ Community.
  • Fridays Pau hana email.
    • Thank you for posting worksheet on time. Reminder of Sunday deadline Short blurb on week’s topic other info
  • Sundays
    • Deadline to comment on other worksheets (2 minimum comments if you like doing the minimum). Provide further insight into to the participant’s results. Practice improving your online interaction with insightful commenting.

Earn a Letter of Completion

When you complete a weekly action plan worksheet and comment on others learners actions plans, you earn a badge.  Earn all 5 badges and you qualify for a Letter of Completion. This letter is a valuable piece of evidence for Contract Renewal, Tenure, and Promotion.


Save time with new custom templates in Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms

Mon, 2016-11-21 09:28
Brian Levee


We recently launched new tools in G Suite like Explore, Action items, and other features to help your teams save time and focus on what’s important: creating impactful work, quicker. We know time spent re-creating files in the workplace takes away from the time your team can spend collaborating and achieving results.

That’s why, today, we’re rolling out custom templates in G Suite for the Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms files your teams use the most.

With this new feature, your team can simply submit files to shared template galleries in the Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms home screens for your co-workers to adapt and use as needed. With these customizable templates, your teams can focus less on formatting and more on driving impact and sharing success.

G Suite for Business and Education customers can require templates be approvedbefore they appear in the gallery or restrict who can submit new templates. Admins can learn more about enabling and using custom templates on the G Suite Apps Updates Blog.

Google Team Drives Early Adopter Program now accepting applications

Mon, 2016-11-21 09:19



In September, we announced that we would soon launch an Early Adopter Program (EAP) for the Team Drives feature in Google Drive. We’re now ready to accept applications for that EAP, which will kick off shortly.

Team Drives are shared spaces where teams can store their files and guarantee that every member has the most up-to-date information, no matter the time or place. Team Drives make onboarding easy, because every person and Google Group added to a Team Drive gets instant access to that team’s documents. Moreover, Team Drives are designed to store the team’s work collectively, so if a document’s creator moves off of the team that document doesn’t go with them. Advanced access controls make Team Drives even more robust, preventing team members from accidentally removing or deleting files that others need.

Before applying for the Team Drives EAP, please note the following restrictions:

  • Only G Suite admins can sign up for the Team Drives EAP. If you are not the G Suite admin for your organization, please contact that individual and ask them to sign up.
  • Admins will need to enroll their entire primary domain in the EAP. They will be able to restrict Team Drives creation to certain organizational units, but all users in the domain will be able to see and access Team Drives. They will not be able to enroll secondary domains.
  • At the moment, Team Drives does not support some features, including adding members from outside of one’s domain, syncing to a desktop computer, and Vault capabilities.

Apply for the Team Drives Early Adopter Program (EAP) today, and help teams of all sizes at your organization work better together.

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Why It’s So Important to Lead By Example

Mon, 2016-11-21 09:15

I have been thinking about what it means to ‘lead by example’. It’s a relatively simple concept that was hammered into us as Royal Marines Officers. It makes the point that it’s not what you say, it’s what you do that counts. People follow the example you set through your behavior – not your words.

Demonstrate high standards – don’t preach them.

It’s one of the reasons why children of smokers are twice as likely to start smoking. It doesn’t matter what we say, what matters is the positive or negative example that we set.But how do we do this in reality – how do we actually lead by example?I think the first thing you have to do is be brutally honest with yourself. Ignore what you’re good at for now. What are your weaknesses? What behaviors do you have that are going to damage you or those around you in the long-term?This should hurt a little bit… but it’s a pain that will make you stronger in the long-term. It hurts but it doesn’t ‘harm’.If you’re struggling to think of some of your own weaknesses – ask someone to play a ‘critical friend’ and give you some feedback for improvement. What are the things that you do that are likely to have a negative impact over the long-term?This is the first step. Understanding that there is you as a person and then there is your performance. The two are completely separate.

The truth is that you are a person, flawed in your own way just like everyone else. That’s fine – ‘I’m okay, you’re okay.’

Your performance has nothing to do with you as an individual. Unless you can divorce your performance from your personality, it will be too painful to receive feedback and you’ll be on the slow path to self-development.If you’re able to separate your performance and your personality – you’ll be able to take critical feedback and be able to adapt and improve faster.

The most unhelpful belief people can have is that they are not flawed in some way. We all are. The strongest and most successful know that they’re flawed – they just work on it.

Now you know what you’re weaknesses are, you can start to work on them. Look for moments where you slip-up and make mistakes. Try and catch yourself and ask yourself the following…

What if everyone behaved like this?

Working in Groups and Facilitating Discussions

Mon, 2016-11-21 09:10

Some students are good at helping groups work together, address conflicts, and solve problems. Some aren’t. Teaching students group skills is not typically part of any academic discipline, but the work environment requires that students learn to use these skills effectively.

Group Composition

  • Do not let students pick their own groups.

groups if appropriate.

  • Before groups begin work, ask them to introduce themselves and share contact information.

Group Process Issues

  • Ask students in their groups to discuss the best and the worst group they ever belonged to. Then have them report their findings to the class and draw some general conclusions about what makes a group work well. Summarize this list of effective behaviors and write the list on a whiteboard or blackboard and/or post it online. It is also illuminating to have a classroom discussion about why these behaviors make a group work. You definitely do not need to be the expert. You just need to listen, summarize, and if appropriate ask the students how this approach to group work might help them in their careers. This discussion might even provide an opportunity for a grad to come to class and talk about work environment or for the students to talk about places where they have worked.
  • Ask students within their groups to discuss how they handle conflicts or what they do when they really disagree with somebody, report their findings, and discuss good conflict management strategies. If you need support in the conflict management strategies area, try searching the topic online, inviting a member of the student affairs staff to co-teach that class, or find a partner on the faculty who is experienced in this area.
  • Have each group pick an easy to use signal for stopping work when somebody feels ignored. This can be as simple as saying, “I’m stuck.”

Group Facillitation Skills (for the professor)

There are at least two keys to effective group facilitation. One is active listening and the other is observing group dynamics.

Active Listening

* When you listen to what students are saying, try not to think about what you are going to say afterward. Listen with a clear mind (see Appendix B) and listen for themes. Then tell the students what you have heard or seen. For example, “You seem to be confused about who’s at fault in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. You seem to want to place the blame on one of the groups.” Rephrasing what the student said before responding assures the student that you have understood the student’s intended meaning. The student is then more open to listening to new information. This process creates the beginnings of a dialogue.

* Encourage students to speak with each other rather than to you alone. For example: “Jorge, that was an interesting idea. Susan, you seemed to react to what Jorge said. What do you think about the idea? Anybody else want to respond?”  I think of this aspect of group facilitation as weaving. You want to teach the students to listen to each other because it builds trust, encourages self-authorship, and teaches them how to treat differences of opinion respectfully. After you have exhausted a particular topic, summarize what you think you heard. For example: “It sounds as if you are concerned about being misunderstood or not being able to express yourself accurately. Some of you may be concerned about being attacked or dismissed for your opinions.” Then ask the students if you got it right or missed anything important.

Observing Group Dynamics

  • Watching group dynamics is like watching a pot of soup heat up. As the soup gets hotter you can see currents and bubbles in the pot. These currents affect the various ingredients in the soup differently depending on their density, size, and so forth. You can also see dynamics in any body of water by watching currents and the objects floating in the water. If you like to fish you have seen this phenomenon. If you haven’t noticed, perhaps you should go fishing. Once you experience dynamics in fluid, try watching a department meeting. Similar phenomena occur.
  • In your classes begin observing the connections among your students – either positive or negative. When some students speak, everybody listens. Others seem to evoke eye rolling, looking down or toward each other, or arm crossing. If there are out-of-class alliances in the group, students may speak in an invariant order. For example, as soon as Kemesha speaks, her friend Jamal may follow up. If people ignore Kemesha, Jamal may get agitated. If students have competitive relationships or are trying to outspeak each other, the follow-up is likely to be a contradiction or a challenge. There are gender patterns to this phenomenon as well (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule, 1986).
  • Be aware that sometimes the professor is the target of the dynamic process. You are the authority figure. Students who are engaged in the self-authorization process may begin to challenge authority. This is normal but uncomfortable for the target. Generally speaking, this is not personal, however personal it may feel. It is very important to respond impersonally. For example: “There seems to be some agitation [distress, upset, anger, and so on] in the conversation. Anybody want to talk about what’s going on?” Your role is to encourage reasonable expression of feelings and minimize student attacks or disrespect. You can refer to the class rules. You need to think of yourself as an observer and a person who helps students talk to each other. Remember to summarize what you have heard before adding your observations or additional information.
  • Do not join the conflict. Remember, your job in this situation is to observe the dynamics and label them, not to join the conflict. Take the lid off the pot before it boils over. What people really want is to be heard. Summarize what you’re hearing. That typically calms things down considerably.
  • If you know you will be teaching a class where conflict is inevitable, and you want to use conflict as an educational tool, invite a person with good group skills to join you for that class. Group process experts can be found in student affairs, in departments of communication, and possibly in the human resources department of your institution.
  • Learning to watch and use group dynamics as an educational tool is an endless process. Start where you are. If what you see doesn’t make sense to you, find somebody who is an experienced facilitator to discuss the situation with you. I recommend seeking out student affairs people, but there are also many academic departments that teach about groups. Ask your friends for suggestions. Do not talk to people who are more likely to have group counseling experience because what you are doing is not counseling and counseling issues will probably confuse the process.


* If you really want to explore this topic in greater depth, search out group decision-making styles online. Many assessment tools are available that can be used to help students develop a language for addressing and resolving differences of opinion. If you don’t feel comfortable participating in the clarification process as a facilitator, ask a staff member from student activities or residence life to help. Many of these people know how to use these tools. There are also potential partners in communication and business departments.

* Consider consulting a book on group dynamics. My favorite group dynamics book is Joining Together: Group Theory and Group Skills (Johnson & Johnson, 2013). This book organizes group process by issues and contains many exercises to illustrate each topic.


  • *Make the students assess the quality of the group work as part of their final grade. I usually ask students to write a short reflection paper after completion of a group project. This allows me to find out who really did what and how satisfied with the group the individual members were. If there are different renditions of what happened that is a good subject for a meeting with the group.
  • Remember, the key to good assessment of group skills is to identify specific behaviors that are the positive contributors. You can probably develop the list from the earlier student conversations about how good groups work.


Belenky, M.F., B.M. Clinchy, N.R. Goldberger and J.M. Tarule. 1986. Women’s Ways of Knowing. Basic Books, NY.

Johnson, D., & Johnson, F. (2013). Joining together: Group theory and group skills (11th ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Pearson.

Engaging and motivating each learner

Tue, 2016-11-15 15:31

Following our last article on the need for training to create value, we would now like to present another of the seven key principles that need to be implemented in order to optimize your training performance.

Learner motivation in corporate training is a tricky subject, especially where digital training is concerned. If the latter is not carried out properly, learners can be confused by the absence of a face-to-face trainer to stimulate them; they might be unaware of the potential benefits of the training; or they might get bored, feel that they’re wasting their time, be scared away by difficulties, etc.

This can result in very low participation and completion rates, which means that companies fail to get a return on their investment and, even more importantly, fail to meet the objectives that training is supposed to help them to achieve.

In response to this, John Keller’s A.R.C.S. model (1983) suggests four steps toward sparking and maintaining learner motivation and engagement.


You can hold people’s attention in two ways: via stimulation based on surprise and/or via stimulation based on questions. There are several effective methods for achieving this, including active participation, varied formats, humor, unusual turns of phrase, storytelling, or problem solving.


This involves reassuring learners by using familiar points of reference, for example by showing them that they will be using already acquired skills, highlighting the important present and future benefits of training, connecting training to their needs, etc.


It’s important to reassure learners about their chances of success (especially by clearly setting out objectives and assessment criteria) and about their progress throughout the training program (by indicating the steps they have completed and by providing regular feedback), so that they fully understand the training and assessment process.


Training must bring satisfaction by responding to extrinsic motivations (recognition, certificates, etc.) and intrinsic motivations (a feeling of success, enjoyment, personal fulfillment, etc.) Satisfaction can also arise from gamification (badges, likes, etc.), which makes training more fun and thus more effective.

By ensuring that learners are motivated to follow their digital training, organizations can be sure that most of them acquire the skills they need in the fastest and most constructive way possible. Training, if it meets its aims, can also create a virtuous circle as described by Edward Lawler. Training must be a motivating factor that triggers staff engagement, enhances corporate performance, and helps to ensure talent retention.

Collaboration, Communication, and Cooperation

Tue, 2016-11-15 15:09
 In thinking about the Coherent Organization, the original proposal from my colleague Harold Jarche was that were two key attitudes: collaboration and cooperation. And I find myself talking about collaboration and communication.  It’s time to try to reconcile those, and propose why I think collaboration is a new business watchword.

So, Harold argues that there are two key ways of working, collaborating and cooperating.  To him, collaboration is when you’re committed to a goal to achieve, whether involuntarily or voluntarily.  Cooperation, for him, is when you have the willingness to continue to contribute on an ongoing basis: putting out your own work, commenting on others, and answering questions. And he suggests that cooperation is the more important, as it’s more voluntary. And I agree that it’s likely that needs will drive collaboration, and cooperation comes from within (and in a safe environment).  I think he’s talking about personal commitment, and rightly so.

So why do I talk about communication and collaboration? Because the vehicle for cooperation is communication, and so we not only need the impetus to contribute, but the skills. He’s talking about creating an effective network, and I’m talking about getting the job done.  He’s nurturing a culture, and I’m about developing practices.  Which are both needed and mutually reinforcing, and so I think we’re agreeing furiously.

And as I write this, my own thinking is changing. I do believe collaboration is what’s going to get things done for organizations in the short term, but I think there are two notions of collaboration.  One is the traditional form of a team working on a project. However, there’s another approach that takes the longer term view.  Here, it’s about people keeping a casual eye on what’s going on and serendipitous sparks fan flames.  That does require cooperation, of course.

I’ve recently been reading Stephen Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From, and Keith Sawyer’s Group Genius  (both recommended), and it’s clear that true innovation is about getting people to work together over time.  Real innovation percolates, suffers mistakes, and can’t be forced or planned. While I think progress can be made by teams working on specific needs, the change in my thinking is realizing that the longer term process of real innovation requires continual contribution in networks. What Sawyer terms ‘collaboration webs’.  And this will require cooperation.

As an aside, there are still big opportunities for collaboration tools.  On a recent #lrnchat, a colleague shared how she was collaborating on presentations using Google Slides. And I’ve done much important work with others using Google Docs and Sheets.  And tools exist for diagramming, and white boarding, and more.  Still, the tools feel embryonic. I want voice and text live as well as comments. I want to have flexible representations mixed in, so I can be working on numbers and diagrams and text in one doc (a brief eulogy here for the fabulous program Trapeze that had a revolutionary document model decades ago).

While collaboration may get the immediate focus and the ink inches (I guess pixels these days – because of new tools, and the immediate business benefits – I think the longer term need will be to create an environment where the culture, the practices, and the tools are aligned for successful learning.  I think there’re reasons to focus on both, but the important thing is to recognize the differences and get both right. Amy Edmondson, in her book on organizational agility Teaming, suggested using the term ‘learning’ instead of innovation, as it focused on longer term and made it safer.  So perhaps I’ll talk about organizational learning for the long term, and use collaboration for the short term work.  What do you think?

Collaboration, Communication, and Cooperation

Learnlets by Clark

The post Collaboration, Communication, and Cooperation appeared first on Learnlets.

ecafe Instructor Setup Ends Tomorrow

Tue, 2016-11-15 14:51
If you are using eCafe for your online course evaluations please login, set-up and enable your course evaluations at https://www.hawaii.edu/ecafe/

For Distance Courses:

The Leeward Distance Education Committee has approved the following recommended survey questions. We highly encourage you to use these questions.

​They are listed under the Campus specific questions. ​

This will help to establish consistent evaluations each semester for your online course and can be compared across courses and disciplines.  

  1. Online communication with class members and the instructor helped me to learn course materials in an effective manner.

  2. The instructor appears to have a thorough knowledge of the subject.

  3. The instructor treate

  4. d students with respect.

  5. The instructor was willing to help and respond to questions in a timely manner.

  6. Assignments are returned promptly.

  7. Work requirements, course objectives, and grading system were clear from the beginning.

  8. The instructor presented the course materials in a clear and organized way.

  9. The amount of work required is appropriate for the credit received.

  10. The course workload was well-distributed throughout the semester.

  11. The materials provided by the instructor were relevant to the course objectives.

  12. The activities & assessments in the course were reflective of course objectives.

  13. I learn to apply principles from this course to new situations.

  14. What did you like least about your online course experience?

  15. What did you like most about your online course experience?

  16. I would recommend this instructor to other students.

Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this course?*  This question is added to all Leeward CC surveys.

Ecafe Basics What is eCAFE? eCAFE is the official application for Course And Faculty Evaluations at the University of Hawaii. It is a UH system wide tool for faculty across all campuses to gather feedback from the students at the end of a course. Who can use eCAFE? UH instructors teaching one or more classes and students enrolled in one or more classes can use eCAFE. eCAFE can also be set up for staff members from the different campuses, colleges, divisions, departments and subjects to administer eCAFE for their organization. How do I get access to eCAFE? UH instructors and students login with their regular UH username and password. Staff members must be set up before they have access. If your organization would like to set up an administrative eCAFE account, please contact your campus coordinator. How does eCAFE work? There are a number a resources to learn about eCAFE: OverviewFrequently Asked QuestionsWalkthrough and Videos How can I get help with eCAFE? Contact eCAFE via the Request Assistance form and someone will get back to you.

The University of Hawaiʻi is proposing a bold new $1.2 billion capital improvement strategy

Tue, 2016-11-01 15:34
Capital improvement plan focuses on improving student spaces

November 1, 2016  |   |  Comments

Sakamaki classroom

The University of Hawaiʻi is proposing a bold new $1.2 billion capital improvement strategy that modernizes its classrooms, laboratories and offices while addressing its deferred maintenance backlog. Under the 6-Year Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Plan, as buildings are renovated or replaced, classrooms and laboratories will be redesigned and recreated into quality learning and teaching spaces.

“Instead of traditional classrooms lined with rows of single desks, flexible furniture with various seating options can be utilized to encourage small group discussion and dynamic learning configurations,” said UH Vice President for Administration Jan Gouveia, who oversees the UH Office of Capital Improvements for UH’s ten campus system.

“Our 6-Year CIP Plan takes into consideration multiple factors that comprehensively address the impact of aging facilities on the overall learning and research experience through the eyes of our students and faculty,” she continued.

Pivot toward prioritizing facility needs and capital investments

The 6-Year CIP Plan pivots away from the one-dimensional focus on deferred maintenance and capital renewal that simply restores facilities to their original state for their original purpose. Instead, the plan sets forth a new concept when approaching the prioritization of facility needs and capital investments at the university.

CIP plan’s working principals
  • Target those facilities with the highest utility and poorest conditions through upgrades to the interior/exterior structures, building roofs, mechanical and electrical systems, pedestrian pathways and roadways.
  • Prioritize classrooms, laboratories and student spaces with a focus on improving the learning and research environment.
  • Rethink space as university space, rather than departmental space, and evaluate whether areas can be repurposed or consolidated to support priority programs and address facility needs through flexible and adaptable space management.

The plan is designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and communication while maximizing the efficiency of both the capital and operational dollar.

The 6-Year CIP Plan goes before the UH Board of Regents Committee on Planning and Facilities November 3. If approved, it will then go before the full board on November 17.

How to learn and learn-to-learn

Tue, 2016-11-01 12:49

I was asked by a colleague to answer some questions for a project on how to learn.  I naturally decided to answer in a blog post ;).

Q1. In your working life, how have you learnt effectively from experience, please provide an example if possible? (e.g. how have you used intentional practice, learnt from failure, learnt from ambitious projects and/or used reflection)

I try to look at feedback and reflect, specifically deciding how I will do things differently next time.  So, I regularly read the feedback comments I get on my latest presentations (it really helps when that’s timely, hours or at most days, not weeks).  While obviously reveling in the positive ones, I look for constructive feedback that I can try to improve upon.  For example, the very first time I ran a workshop for the eLearning Guild, while most liked it two people asked for their money back. (I was really upset.) However, I looked at their rationale, and realized I’d made specific mistakes.  The Guild was somewhat reluctant to try me again, but I documented the exact two things that were wrong, and gave them my specific changes and why those change would address the problems. I’ve been doing workshops at Guild events for around a decade now!  (E.g. my Revolution/elearning strategy workshop at the upcoming DevLearn).

Q2. In your working life, how have you learnt effectively from people, please provide an example if possible? (e.g. how have you learnt from project teams, mentors, coaches and/or broader social networks)

I learn from folks in a variety of ways, but the key is asking questions.  I’ve asked questions and gotten answers from my social networks.  I’ve been very fortunate to have valuable mentors throughout my career. I’ve worked for smart and good people, and they’ve been willing to share. Most have given me some stretch assignments that required me to work in my ZoPD, and then feedback to learn from the outcomes.  And I would ask them along the way. I’ve also learned from collaborative assignments, working and learning together. But mostly I’ve learned from my close colleagues. For example, with my ITA colleagues, we have a chat channel open, and we’re regularly pointing things out, asking each other questions, and in general staying linked both professionally and personally.

Q3. In your working life, how have you learnt effectively from courses, research or investigation, please provide an example if possible? (e.g. how have you learnt from reading on the web, reading books or attending courses)

I read, a lot.  I’m not only reading things pointed to via my social network (both professional and personal interests), but I use the library.  I seldom take courses any more, both having developed my own learning skills and from plain hubris, but when I do I try to follow the instructions, extend the implications to  my own experience, and see if I think I can apply them or ask about the barriers I am anticipating.  But I really try to alternate my pleasure reading with reading that advances my understanding (here are a Deeper eLearning reading list and a Revolution reading list).  I write book reviews as a way to reflect on my learning (e.g. an article that points to two), but even for myself I try to take notes and look for the implications.

Q4. What’s your top advice for someone who wishes to develop faster and learn complex skills in modern workplaces? 

Stay curious, my friends.  Seriously, as a general mindset I think that a continuing interest in what’s going on is essential.  I strongly believe in personal responsibility for learning, and that means not only doing it, but reflecting.  Meta-Learning, or Learning to Learn, is a crucial focus and area to track.  Then, several specific steps. I like my colleague Harold Jarche’s Seek-Sense-Share model for Personal Knowledge Mastery. I think experimenting with different media, and working out how to manage the flow of information is critical.  Given that learning is action and reflection, I think experimentation and reflection are a crucial part of self-learning.  Experiment with different ways to represent your understanding: write, diagram, make an audio or video file.   Look for links.  And then share your reflections on your learning, and your learning to learn. Be concrete about what you think your learning processes are, and look at how others learn.

Ok, so that’s how I learn, how about you?

About Clark Quinn Clark @ 5:03 pm

Learnlets is a blog capturing Clark Quinn’s learnings about learning, and serves as the official Quinnovation blog. I’m an independent consultant making companies smarter by improving their organizational learning experience design processes and infrastructure, e.g. their strategy.  I’ve a Ph.D. in applied cognitive science, and my interests are at the intersection of learning, organizational strategy, technology, design, and wisdom.

Many years ago now, in the early days of the internet, I responded to a request for predictions about the future of computing, and I wrote (and I paraphrase, I can’t find it now) “in the future there will be lots of little interactive and engaging applications that will teach you anything you need to know, including how to make little interactive and engaging applications”. The requester liked my suggestion, and it was included in the published collection (now if I could only remember who, where, and when). Those little interactive and engaging applications are learnlets.

BTW, I think that there’s an incredible opportunity in marketing for such learnlets (marketing is really customer education), and if you’d like to talk about it, feel free to contact me.

Of course, for the purposes here, the learnlets are my learnings about learning (and, occasionally, about life, the universe, and everything).

I work through Quinnovation, am the author of Engaging Learning: Designing e-Learning Simulation Games, Designing mLearning: Tapping Into the Mobile Revolution for Organizational Performance, The Mobile Academy: mLearning for Higher Education, and Revolutionize Learning & Development: Performance and Innovation Strategy for the Information Age, am Senior Director of Interaction & Mobile for the Internet Time Alliance, and speak and publish regularly in the usual places and some relatively unusual.

I have worked with new media for learning for over 30 years now in a variety of roles focusing on the design of innovative and yet pragmatic solutions. I’ve been an academic teaching interaction design while researching learning technology design, held several senior management positions in the elearning space, and now consult to organizations on learning technology strategy.  Learning technology is my passion (I like helping people, and I like doing it through technology since I like toys), and I’d be doing it even if I were independently wealthy (and you’re welcome to make that happen).


Tue, 2016-11-01 12:36

What does a PDF bring to mind? Pages and pages of words? Lengthy research documents? Boredom at its peak? And no escape?

Well to some extent that’s true, considering the omnipresent nature of these documents that haunt you everywhere. PDFs have almost become a standard for writing company announcements, policies, terms and conditions, how to’s, newsletters, training material and what not. While some PDFs may be short, quite many of them – such as those used for writing policies & procedures, or for training purposes may be mercilessly long.

One of the biggest myths surrounding e-learning is that it is simply information presented on a computer screen. NO. Printed paper material could do that. E-learning is much beyond just saving paper – it is the realization of the full potential of instructional design by harnessing the functionalities provided by IT, such as interactivity, animations, call to actions, etc., in a manner that takes care of the cognitive load on learners. So, lengthy PDFs cannot be a part of an effective e-learning course. Existing PDFs, can however be converted into short e-learning courses, keeping the following things in mind:

Chunking content

Chunking content will be the basic task of converting any PDF to a course. The onus is on instructional designers to read through the entire document and divide it into portions.

  1. Begin by dividing the entire PDF into large identifiable sections.
  2. Scrutinize each section to assess if it can be made smaller. Any section which can function as a standalone topic should NOT be combined with any other. With e-learning or m-learning, small is big.
  3. Each standalone topic must have its own defined objective which elucidates what specific knowledge it would impart. Learners must feel motivated to take a course by learning from the objective that they will add these specific skills/knowledge to themselves. Learn how to write objectives here.
  4. Break paragraphs from the PDF into bullet points wherever possible. For example, if there is a one-page continuous introduction which talks about why compliance training is important, extract the points stated there and put them in a numbered/bulleted list “Benefits of Compliance Training”.
  5. While creating lists, do not go for more than 2 levels of indentation, i.e.
  • Many levels of sub-division may cause learners to lose mental track of the main sub heading. If there are too many subcategories that need to be covered, convert them into standalone topics as suggested in point
  • Use hyperlinks to connect these topics. This keeps pages neat while adding depth to the course.

Designing the layout

One of the drawbacks of PDFs is that they aren’t generally very appealing to the eye. Content is packed together so close, that learners tend to mentally reject it as soon as they encounter it. The result is, they might scroll up and down the doc, but actual learning hardly happens. While converting a PDF into an e-learning object, this drawback must be kept in mind. Using standardized colors creates an impact. If possible, use different color schemes for different kinds of topics, say all compliance training modules in black and red, while all marketing related modules in blue and black. Keep text neat and adequately spaced, but beware: adequately does not mean too much, spacing should be optimum. A pilot test or taking the opinion of a third person helps.

Embedding multimedia and interactivity

  1. Adding multimedia such as images, labelled diagrams, videos, etc. are literally worth thousands of words if you can add the right multimedia element at the right place. Don’t give in to the temptation of adding ‘empty’ multimedia just for the sake of it. This is the most common problem with images because of easily available resources such as shutterstock, flickr, etc.
  2. For explaining processes, diagrammatic life-cycles or chain processes can be incorporated wherein each step or stage in the process is clickable for further information.
  3. For difficult words or technical terminologies, create mouse over events. By hovering the mouse over a new term, a one-line description should appear in a bubble or box. This clarifies concepts to the core without students having to move to different pages or access the internet to understand. Remember: the easier it is to learn, the more they will.
  4. Use call-to-action (CTA) buttons in contrasting colors. CTA verbs such as ‘click’, ‘read’, ‘begin the course’, etc. create a sense of urgency and catch learners’ attention to find out more.
  5. Also embed quizzes or short crossword puzzles to increase interactivity as well as test the learning of trainees. Create them at the end of each short module and collect their scores. This will keep them motivated throughout the course.

PDFs are a source of rich and high quality material but often fail to keep learners on track. Thankfully, e-learning saves the day! Good luck!