#ET4Online – It’s a wrap!

The OLC Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium was a great conference and learning experience!  With nearly 700 and 350+ virtual attendees from 25 countries and 43 states, it was a great opportunity to learn how a variety of institutions are creating flexible learning options for students through the application of educational technologies. There were also 38 vendors and 8 launch pad exhibits that provided a unique ability to think beyond the current deployment of technology at our institutions while seeing what additional solutions may be available to help solve instructional problems.

The focus on online learning continues to be mission critical for universities and colleges in higher ed.  Blended and online instruction is also growing rapidly in K-12.  As we look to the future, it is helpful to collaborate and share experiences at conferences such as #ET4Online.

Here is an infographic from the Online Learning Consortium on “Keeping Pace with the Changing Face of Online Learning“:

To access the full report, please see the 2015 Infographics - OLC page.

To access the full report, please see the 2015 Infographics – OLC page.

#ET4Online – Developing and Implementing a Faculty Workshop for Active Learning Classrooms in Higher Education: A Case Study


Session Details

Nate Evans (Michigan State University, USA)
David Goodrich (Michigan State University, USA)
  • Shared Google Doc by Session Participants
  • Goal is to experience active learning while learning how best to leverage the room.
  • MSU has 8 active learning classrooms and 3 flex spaces with moveable furniture.


  • Online Module 1 – Background to Active Learning Classrooms
  • Online Module 2 – Best Practices and Mini-Lesson Prep
  • Day 1 – REAL Room Tech and Faculty Panel
  • Day 2 – Faculty Mini-Lessons
  • Session Slides
  • Leveraging “Communities of Inquiry” and “First Principles of Instruction“. coi
  • Plans for the future to change from a 4 session to a 2 session academy.
  • Gathering student satisfaction and research are part of the next steps.


#ET4Online – Thought Vectors in Concept Space


Session Details

Gardner Campbell (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA)
  • 646 with 350+ virtual attendees from 25 countries and 43 states at OLC.  There were 38 vendors and 8 launch pad exhibits.
  • Emergence Technologies – Things that happen out of complexity or that can’t be known in advance.
  • Technologies of Emergence
  • The connectedness of things is what the educator contemplates




  • The thought vectors from learners in a shared learning space where concepts emerge. Language itself is a technology of emergence.
  • Help students to envision complex alternatives.
  • VCU’s New Media cMOOC: Live in Concert [Video]

  • How can we make the entire experience a learning environment. The syllabus, the outline, etc.
  • Can you syllabus be interactive enough to teach?  Can you insert questions into the syllabus to prompt students such as: “Do you have a blog?” And then branch out to guide them on how to create one.
  • What would it look like to put “Easter eggs” in your course for students to uncover or discover?
  • TAGSExplorer


  • Academic Learning Transformation Lab – “ALT Lab models and inspires connected learning for a networked world through faculty development, student engagement, communities of practice, and technology enhanced active learning. We cultivate distinctive experiences of deeper learning fostered by high engagement for student success.”

#ET4Online – Discovering and Developing a Highly Effective Model for Supporting Online Programs and Projects At Your University


Session Description

Dan Hillman and Robert Haley
Boston University, USA
  • Session Presentation [PPT]
  • Key principles for putting courses together:Commitment to instructional design of the highest quality, high level of faculty involvement in design and delivery of course content, support at every stage of the student life cycle, strategic technological innovation
  • 17 fully online programs with more than 3,000 students.
  • 26 staff supporting.


  • Design side for online courses and prep for launch (yellow), and then the delivery goes over to the student side (orange area).  With the blue area being the “utility belt”.
  • All courses are built by instructional designers.  Faculty don’t have access to the course content development/authoring tools.
  • Course Development


  • Student Services – These are what makes thing special. Providing wrap around student and faculty support as the courses are running. Giving attention to the students… encourage instructors to send welcome messages.  If a student hasn’t logged in, they will notify the instructor and raise a flag.
  • Team – Combined staff of Instructional Designers, Student Services Coordinators, Media/Technical Specialists.  Instructional Designers focus on course design.There are 4 teams made up of: 2 instructional designers, 1 senior instructional designer, 1 senior student services coordinate and 1 student services coordinator.
  • Courses are designed in a 6 month process.
  • Student Services focus on assisting students:


  • The “Team Utility Belt” provides faculty with multimedia support and development needs.
  • Boston University uses Blackboard for course delivery and Adobe Connect for live office hours and classrooms.
  • Investigation Teams are set up to review additional options and tools like: plagiarism, student orientation, student ID verification, accessibility, analytics, student outreach, retention center, voicethread, etc.

#ET4Online – Reducing the Costs of College New Directions for Faculty eAuthoring


Workshop Description

Noreen Barajas-Murphy
University of La Verne, USA
Erin Gratz
University of La Verne, USA


  • Session Presentation [PPT] and Slideshare
  • Session Outcomes: Define eAuthoring course content taxonomy, Identify the benefits of collaboration between instructional designers, librarians, and faculty in the design and publication, Analyze cost savings to students, Review data of student learning using eAuthored content vs traditional textbooks
  • Does custom publishing work to improve attitude and learning outcomes? – Romine and Banerjee 2013
  • Content can be compiled in course management system or curated in an external system like Ginkgotree.
  • LEVELS: regular textbook, custom textbook (course cartridges), compiled resources say in Blackboard, external curated resources in systems like Ginkgotree, e-authored textbooks, and e-authored interactive adaptive texts

faculty + librarians + instructional designers + time = key to success in e-authoring

  • What are 3 bullets of actions you can take on your campus in the near future to enhance collaboration and the building of eAuthoring.
  • Textbook costs have increased 82% from 2002 to 2012. Custom textbooks and content via OER resources can help reduce costs.
  • Concerns shared as who owns this content?


#ET4Online – Learning Personafied: Employing UX Research Methods in Online Teaching

Session Description

Jessica L. Knott
Michigan State University


  • Agile Development Process
  • UX – User Experience Research
  • Target the user experience for enhancing the course experience for students.
  • Session Slides
  • User experience focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through obeservation techniques.
  • Polls and Surveys – Wedgies is a site for polling.  Other tools:  Google Forms, Qualtrics, and more.
  • A/B Testing – Place 2 options in front of users and see what they do.
  • How do we maximize/optimize: content, audiences, usability, contextual experiences for students.
  • Have you ever done a user A/B test with students to see which course home page they like better?
  • Lynda.com has a good overview of user experience testing “Foundations of UX: Usability Testing
  • Personas are valuable for empathy and to put yourself in your students’ shoes. They can inform design decisions, help you identify student groups for feedback, help identify team composition.

How can we as educators intentionally design our courses that contribute to effective learning using the principles of #UX?

#ET4Online – Burn the Box: Emerging Technologies That Educate, Engage, and Empower


Session Description


  • Todays learners are no longer traditional. They are mobile, social, connected, etc.
  • Nearpod – This is a live classroom presentation tool for synchronous activities that offers polling and student response.  Can be used as class is beginning for welcome and for introduction, attendance, in class quizzes, etc.
  • Camtasia – This is a screen capture tool that allows you to create screencasts.  Recording your screen and your web cam is possible. Welcome messages for students, course tours, lectures, student feedback, etc.
  • Session Presentation Prezi

Let’s burn the box and change the way we educate, engage, and empower our students.