#ETOM19 – Evaluating Distance Education: Are you ready?

ETOM Summer 2019 Retreat


JUNE 10-11, 2019

Kettunen Center – Tustin, MI
14901 4H Drive,Tustin, Michigan

Conference Files


  • There are 21 core components that are reviewed by the site reviewers.
  • Criteria for accreditation is focused on the university’s mission that is tied to: resources, teaching and learning quality/evaluation, and integrity.
    • Mission = clear and articulated publicly
    • Integrity = ethical and responsible conduct
    • Teaching and Learning Quality, Resources, and Support = provide high quality education, wherever and however delivered
    • Teaching and Learning Evaluation and Improvement = demonstrate responsibility for quality educational programs, evaluation of learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement
    • Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness = processes are sufficient to fulfill it’s mission
  • Distance Education – Regular and substantive interaction between students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously (not primarily initiated by the student) – this is being updated by negotiated rulemaking
  • Distance-delivered courses – 75% of instruction and interaction occurs via electronic communication when faculty and students are separated physically from each other
  • Distance-delivered programs – 50% of more of the required courses may be taken as distance-delivered courses


  • Faculty certification process
  • Faculty oversight, policies, procedures
  • Integrated mission, strategic plan with distance education
  • Process for developing and approving and evaluating new online courses
  • Required orientation for students

Opportunities for Growth

  • Re-certification
  • Ongoing course evaluation
  • Reporting, analytics, predictive early alerts
  • Student support services
  • Exam proctoring services

Student Identity – HEOA

  • The same student that enrolls, is the same student that participates? Login and password is what most institutions are doing. Some moving to proctored exams.
  • Examples: systems to monitor repetition of IP and email addresses, student identity verification protocols.
  • Costs – If there is an extra cost for students around identity, students must be informed at the time of registration.

Questions to Ask

  • How does interactions (substantive and regular) compare in the syllabus of an online and a traditional course?

Board Meeting at Center Lake

IMG_2994 copy

Eric Kunnen, elected President of ETOM with the passing of the hat and bell…IMG_2995.JPG

C-RAC Distance Education Guidelines

  • Online learning is appropriate to the institution’s mission and purpose.
    • Sample Evidence: Distance ed is mentioned in mission and/or goals, institutional goals are mentioned in distance documents, distance ed fits within the mission.
  • The institution’s plans for developing, sustaining and, if appropriate, expanding online learning offerings are integrated into its regular planning and evaluation processes.
    • Sample Evidence: Needs analysis reports, documented plans for maintaining or expanding online learning (eg. strategic plans), institutional budget documents and technology plans explicitly include distance education, offices and administrators are involved in planning/evaluation.
  • Online learning is incorporated into the institution’s systems of governance and academic oversight.
    • Sample Evidence: Online program and course evaluations, documented approved processes for distance education (same as traditional), committee meeting notes outlining faculty roles in approval, design, and implementation of distance education, policies/processes outline the assurance of academic rigor
  • Curricula for the institution’s online learning offerings are coherent, cohesive, and comparable in academic rigor to programs offered in traditional instructional formats.
    • Sample Evidence: Program descriptions and course syllabi, enrollment cap policies, benchmark online curricula with f2f programs and courses, interaction between students and faculty facilitated within the LMS and evidence to show it occurs
  • The institution evaluates the effectiveness of it’s online offerings, including the extent to which the online learning goals are achieved, and uses the results of evaluations to enhance the attainment of goals.
    • Sample Evidence: Program reviews for online courses/programs, accreditation documents, yearly reports, graduation/retention rate plans and reports, assessment office reports.
  • Faculty responsible for delivering the online learning curricula and evaluating the students’ success in achieving the online learning goals are appropriately qualified and effectively supported.
    • Sample Evidence: Personal data and vitas for all faculty paired with programs, faculty training and evaluation, faculty and program handbooks, list of technical and pedagogical training provided with dates and attendance/completion data, faculty evaluation data.
  • The institution provides effective student and academic services to support students enrolled in online learning offerings.
    • Sample Evidence: Technical support hours listed/accessible on the web, readiness quiz and orientation for online students, websites for online access to financial aid, registration, library resources, tutoring, career counseling, etc., student complaint process clearly defined on syllabi, marketing material and websites.
  • The institution provides sufficient resources to support and if appropriate expand it’s online learning offerings.
    • Sample Evidence: Budget trends and projections for distance education, multi-year budget lines showing ongoing funding for resources supporting online learning, scalable technology plans that specifically address online learning, strategic plan for distance education with action items and budget projections.
  • The institution assures the integrity of its online learning offerings.
    • Sample Evidence: Institutional policies on academic integrity explicitly referencing online learning, academic integrity is part of online student orientation, faculty training on academic integrity and pedagogical ways to reduce cheating, academic integrity is addressed in syllabi, student verification and authentication.

Michigan Colleges Online Report

  • MCO – Celebrating 20 Years!
  • Goals to support colleges, share costs and resources, network, provide professional development opportunities and more…
  • The mission of Michigan Colleges Online is “to connect the teaching and student support capacity of Michigan community colleges so learners can access affordable, high quality learning experiences whenever and wherever needed.”
  • In the first year, 47 courses were offered by 12 colleges beginning in the summer 2019.
  • MCCVLC developed Online Course Quality Guidelines and Rubric… this gave birth to Quality Matters in 2000.
  • In 2002, MCCVLC was awarded a FIPSE grant to build orientation resources.
  • Current work includes an MCO OER Initiative – Improving student success and completion, lower costs, increasing cross institution faculty collaboration. oercommons.org/hubs/mco
  • Students have saved over $14 million dollars since the OER initiative began across the community colleges!IMG_3003.jpg
  • Faculty conversations have begun in the following courses: public speaking, abnormal psychology, calculus I & II, physics, sociology, social work.
  • Save the date for October 18, 2019 MI OER SUMMIT hosted by Delta College, University Center, Michigan. Jess Mitchell will be the presenter talking about inclusive design.
  • MCO Accessibility Community of Practice – Share knowledge and review best practices, convene monthly. Monthly meet up on a variety of topics: LMS accessibility, Blackboard Ally, Math course accessibility, REV, ReadSpeaker, etc.
  • MCO Collaborative Programs – MRI, CT, EEG technician certificate programs.
  • MCO Collaborate Purchases
    • Pisces Online Collaboration Platform used for online tutoring, advising, office hours, counseling, etc.
    • Packback is offering a research study opportunity to increase student engagement, grades, and course completion through the support of Packback platform.
    • Additional tools and solutions are available such as: NetTutor, BlackBelt Help, Fit Faculty, …
  • MCO Professional Development – OER, Blue by Explorance, OER 4 Sale!, Advisors Guide to MCO, Using AI supported technology in Online Courses, PISCES, AWS, and more!

SAVE THE DATE – The ETOM Fall Conference will be held
at Grand Valley State University on November 8!

#ETOM18 – Highlights from the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan Spring Retreat

ETOM 2018 Spring Retreat
June 11-12, 2018 at the Kettunen Center – Tustin, MI

The Spring Retreat is a yearly ETOM event with an administrative focus on distance education and educational technology.  Gathering together to compare notes, share best practices, and discuss current issues and trends in online and hybrid teaching and learning provides great value for directors of online programs, instructional designers/technologists, and faculty.


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Distance Education the HLC Perspective

Presenter: Dr. Tom Bordenkircher

Session Description: Distance Education the HLC Perspective – Tom Bordenkircher, Ph.D., Higher Learning Commission

Dr. Bordenkircher will provide a general overview of regional accreditation and the expectations of institutions accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. There will be particular focus on federal and commission rules for distance education courses and programs. He will then discuss best practices as when offering programs at distance. Common pitfalls and red flags will be reviewed through provided case studies. This will also be an opportunity to provide feedback to the HLC on the criteria and accreditation process. This session will end with a look forward to the future of accreditation and proposed changes on the horizon.


  • Keys for assurance documentation is all about “evidence”.
  • 75% or more offered by distance methods are Distance Courses.
  • 50% or more of courses in a program are Distance Programs.
  • HLC approves capacity to offer distance and/or correspondence education.
  • Program has an entrance and an exit and you get a credential.
  • Peer reviewer – examine blended or hybrid courses to see if they conform to the Distance definition.
  • Investigate if it’s possible to “cobble” together a Distance degree with existing distance courses.
  • The level of faculty interaction is a distinct difference between distance education and correspondence courses.
  • Distance education: Education that uses one or more of the following technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, synchronously or asynchronously. Technology may include: internet, 1 and 2 way transmissions through broadcast.
  • Higher ed has only 60% of market with 40% being for profit. And this is still changing.
  • HLC does not review student identity verification protocols. This is a responsibility of the federal government. The student who registers is the same student that participates and completes. Institutions should have systems to monitor repetition of IP and email addresses.
  • If a fee is required for student identity such as a proctored exam, the institution must disclose the cost at the time of registration.
  • HLC guidelines align with C-RAC. All require evidence around what activities support.
  • Clearly demonstrate institutional capacity, planning, quality, support, and evaluation relative to distance education.
  • Ensure distance education is integrated into assurance argument.

Be sure to focus on the CRAC Guidelines as these are criteria used by HLC for distance education.

Presentation Files:

Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) and Michigan Colleges Online (MCO) Updates

Ronda Edwards (MCO Executive Director), Carl Weckerle (ETOM President), Stacy Whiddon (President-Elect). Ronda will provide an update on MCO initiatives and issues around online learning – including, SARA, accessibility, group technology purchases, MCO OER repository, MCO professional development series for 2018-2019. Carl and Stacy will provide an update on recent ETOM initiatives and lead a discussion on future ETOM member benefits.

ETOM vision and mission statements have been revised.

  • ETOM Vision StatementETOM is the premier instructional technology-focused post-secondary entity in the state of Michigan. We provide access to high quality, low cost professional development activities and certification focused on educational technology and distance learning.  ETOM provides a network for sharing and collaboration among faculty and staff.  By maintaining a strong relationship with the Michigan Colleges Online (MCO), ETOM is recognized as the primary source for professional development relating to successful post-secondary student learning through technology in the State of Michigan.
  • ETOM Mission StatementThe Educational Technology Organization of Michigan is a non-profit organization dedicated to the use of instructional technologies in higher education with an emphasis on distance learning. Established in December of 1980, ETOM has, and continues to be, a valuable resource for Michigan community colleges, universities, related businesses, other educational organizations and interested individuals.
  • 2018 Plans
    • New this year will be a year long calendar of events that include conferences as well as monthly meet ups.
    • This Fall the ETOM conference will be held on November 2 at Macomb Community College. Keynote speaker will be Michelle Pacansky-Brock who will talk on the topic of Humanizing Online Education.
    • Meet up topics to include guest speakers or experts on a variety of topics: quality, accessibility, OER, online orientations, academic integrity, HLC, QM, etc.

Michigan Colleges Online

  • OER Initiative
    • Goals: improving student success and completion, lowering costs for students, increasing inter-institutional faculty collaboration
    • Developed a MCO microsite repository on OER Commons
    • Over $4 million of savings just last year. 15 schools are involved in the OER initiative.
    • Faculty grants have been offered in OER adoption, adaption, and development categories.
    • 5 OER faculty conversations have occurred through online webinars.
    • Michigan OER Summit will be held on September 21, 2018 hosted by St. Clair County Community College, Port Huron.
  • MCO Accessibility Community of Practice
    • Share knowledge and review best practices that can assist colleges as they become compliant with federal regulations.
    • MCO shared a 9 key items that colleges should address to begin to be compliant.  Webinars have been also created for web content, procurement, etc. Agendas will be forthcoming.
  • MCO Collaborative Programs Initiative
    • Goal to build capacity in financial model for high cost low enrollment programs.
    • Additional sessions will continue for a collaborative programs: eg. MRI Associate Degree, Computed Tomography Certificate, EEG Technician Certificate with option for an Associate Degree.
  • Collaborative Purchases
    • BlackBeltHelp – US based help desk call center. Licensed reduced costs close to 45% off standard rates.
    • Fit Faculty – Qualifications management software.
  • Professional Development
    • Landscape of Web Accessibility in Higher Ed
    • FitFaculty
    • Ready Set Go – Developing a CBE Program
    • MCO/TechSmith Vendor Program
    • Creating an Accessible Syllabus
    • MCO Repository Group Training
    • MCO OER Faculty Conversations for Science, Math, Composition, History, and Psychology
    • Creating Accessible PowerPoint and PDF Files
    • Intellis Learning Demo
    • Kaltura Video Platform Demo
    • NetTutor Demonstration
  • Stats
    • Online enrollment growth is up 5%. ITC reports 8% increase from Fall 2016-17.
    • Online students – 40% male 60% female, ages 18-25 60%, and reside locally.

Accessibility in Action Across the College – Roundtable

Shaelynn Long-Kish, Mid Michigan Community College

  • Discussions on how many colleges have received OCR complaints and the process for campuses to bring new awareness for the importance of accessibility.

Save the Date for the ETOM Fall Conference!


About ETOM

ETOM – Educational Technology Organization of Michigan
Michigan’s Distance Learning Resource

The Educational Technology Organization of Michigan is a non-profit organization dedicated to the use of instructional telecommunications in higher education with an emphasis on distance learning. Established in December of 1980, ETOM has, and continues to be, a valuable resource for Michigan colleges and universities, related businesses, other educational organizations, and other interested individuals.


#ETOM17 – Fall Conference Keynote



Over the past decade, the Internet has had a profound impact on higher education, enabling the phenomenal growth of online learning. The altered learning environments created by web-based courses not only eliminate barriers of time and space, providing increased access to higher education, they challenge our traditional notions of teaching and learning. A common concern among educators is that the mediated nature of online learning might prevent students from developing the sense that they are interacting with others, which social learning theories suggest supports learning. The antidote to this issue is the development of social presence in online classes. Drawing from her recent co-edited book, Social Presence in Online Learning, Dr. Karen Swan will explore the notion of social presence and its importance to the success of online classes. Attention will be paid to learning designs and teaching strategies that support the development of social presence.

51oIkLQHg9L._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_Karen Swan is the Stukel Professor of Educational Research and a Research Associate in the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) at the University of Illinois Springfield. For the past 20 years, she has been teaching online, researching online learning, and writing extensively about her experiences. She received the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, National University Technology Network (NUTN) Distinguished Service Award, and the Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award for her work in this area. She is also an OLC Fellow and a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.


  • What is social presence?
    • Social Presence: What Is It And Why Does It Matter?
    • The degree in which one is perceived as a “real person” in medicated communication.
    • Social Presence = Quality of a Medium – There is a range of media from text to video to provide an element of immediacy.
    • Social Presence Theory, Media Richness Theory, Affective Channel Capacity
    • Social Presence in e-Learning Article
    • Tips: Use names when communicating with students online. Sharing social experiences. Sharing interactions and personalities. Ability to project identities.
  • Community of Inquiry Framework – Social / Cognitive / Teaching Presence


  • Social presence translates to actual learning, perceived learning, and higher satisfaction of students in courses.

online communication is an excellent medium for social interaction

  • Quality Matters is helpful in the “design” of the course. Whereas,  COI is social constructivist measures “during” the course.
  • Social presence is a mediating variable between teaching and cognitive presence.
  • Verbal immediacy behaviors can lesson the psychological distance in online classes.
    • Use ice breakers and initial courses activities to encourage trust
    • Model the use of verbal social presence indicators
    • Encourage students to engage and share their course experiences.
  • Student learning is related to quantity and quality of postings in online discussions.
    • Use discussions as a requirement in grading
    • Use rubrics
    • Require students to respond to other students
    • Stress unique nature of discussions in student orientations
  • Learning occurs socially within communities of practice.
  • Course design can increase social presence. You need a place for students to interact.
    • Include multiple opportunities for discussion
    • Timely feedback in assignments and tests
  • Instructors develop social presence through their interactions with students in a variety of activities.
    • Assessment feedback.
    • Audio feedback.
    • Reference student activities in feedback.
    • Journals
  • The quality and quantity of instructor interactions with students is linked to student learning.
    • Announcements
    • Clear expectations
    • Provide timely and supportive feedback
    • Establish communication expectations as far as instructor response time for email, etc.
  • Instructor social presence and social presence of peers are unique.
    • Instructor social presence related to perceived learning
    • Student social presence is related to student satisfaction
  • Social presence develops over time.
    • Model use and sustain over time throughout the course
  • Greater learning from scaffolding.
  • Vicarious interaction in online course discussion may be an important source of learning. AKA Lurkers who read and not post still learn.
  • Students will do what you expect them to do. If you treat them like prisoners they will not perform. Trust your students. Incorporate social elements in a variety of technology mediums from synchronous to asynchronous – from email to announcements to text in a variety of methods – text, audio, photo, videos.

Media alone doesn’t establish social presence, people do, yet we need to deliberately support the development of social presence by leveraging media and technologies to expand learning because we know learning is a social process.


#ETOM17 – Summer Retreat

centerlake.jpgSummer Retreat for the Educational Technology Organization begins at the Kettunen Center with just over 30 attendees from community colleges and universities across the state.

Tackling Wicked Problems Using Design Thinking
Dr. Leigh Graves Wolf, Michigan State University

The goals of the workshop are two-fold. First, participants will engage in an embodied experience using design thinking. This will give participants first-hand and participatory knowledge of design thinking techniques and processes. Second, participants will be using these design thinking methods to address a “wicked problem” identified by ETOM, which will produce solutions (and questions) for the ETOM retreat.

Our presenter is Dr. Leigh Graves Wolf. Leigh Graves Wolf is a teacher-scholar and her work centers around online education, emerging technologies and relationships mediated by and with technology. She has worked across the educational spectrum from K12 to Higher to further and lifelong. She has been a disc jockey, network administrator, teacher, instructional technologist and now professor. She believes passionately in collaboration and community and is currently the Assistant Director of the MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning & Technology, and academic specialist in the Dean’s office in the MSU College of Education, and a fixed-term Associate professor of Educational Technology at Michigan State University.


  • Session Materials
  • How can we use Design Thinking to tackle this wicked problem: “Adequate Assessment of Online Classes”

Design Thinking is a mindset. Design Thinking is about having an intentional process in order to get new, relevant solutions that create positive impact. It’s human-centered. It’s collaborative. It’s optimistic. It’s experimental. – Eleanor Horowitz

Stanford dSchool


British Design Council Double Diamond

The IBM Loop

Design Thinking for Libraries

Rules of Design Thinking

  1. The human rule – all design activity is ultimately social in nature
  2. The ambiguity rule – design thinkers must preserve ambiguity
  3. The re-design rule – all design is re-design
  4. The tangibility rule – making ideas tangible always facilitates communication


  • Diversity, Empathy, Ambiguity —> Possibilities then open up…

Wicked Problems

A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems. (Kolko, 2012)

Group Work

  • Attendees split up to work in teams to attempt to address: “Adequate Assessment of Online Classes”

Michigan Colleges Online Update

  • Save the Date for the Fall Conference, October 27, located at Mid Michigan Community College.
  • Online Enrollments – CHLOE report, is Online Growth Rate Slowing Down? ITC enrollment report indicated a 1% increase from Fall 2015-16. Age of online students 53% are 18-25, 44% are 26+. MCO reports up 1-2% with a total of 66,115 enrollments.
  • What is the cause of flat enrollment growth rates? What are some strategies to move the needle with online enrollment?
  • SARA – 47 states CA, FL, and MA are not currently members. SARA members need to be posting a SARA Student Complaint Process.
  • MCO OER Repository Initiative
    • Goals: Improve student success and completion, lower costs for students, increasing inter-institutional faculty collaboration
    • Steering Committee: Faculty, IDs, DE Admins, Librarians
    • oercommons.org/hubs/mco (402 assets shared in last year, with 30 uniquely authored)
    • Faculty grants for adoption (4), adaption projects (5), and development projects (3)
    • MI OER Summit – September 22, 2017 hosted by Kellogg Community College. Call for proposals due June 23.
    • MR Technologist Program: Kellogg CC, GVSU, Lansing CC, GRCC, Mid-Michigan, Lake Michigan – program received JRCERT accreditation.
    • New certificate programs coming: Computed Tomography Tech, Electroencephalogram Tech
    • Help Desk Initiative – Kirtland, KVCC, LMC, NCMC, Mott, provides 24/7 model that augments your campus help desk. Provides for CRAC Guidelines and SARA.
    • Collaborative Purchases: NetTutor, TechSmith, ZOOM, ReadSpeaker

Table Talks

  • Focused sessions on student orientation, virtual reality, course quality, encouraging support for online learning across campus, etc.

#ETOM16 – Creating Caption for the Accessible Video with Limited Tools

fullsizerender-12Presenter: Julia VanderMolen, Grand Valley State University

Closed Captioning provides support for students who are hearing impaired or use English-as-a-Second-Language. Not only will this meet the needs of your students, but it will also help your organization meet Section 508 compliance requirements. This session will provide tips and tools for the creation of closed captions, explanation of caption formats and video player compatibility, as well as an overview of automated workflows and integration with lecture capture and video platforms.


  • Meeting the students’ needs is of utmost concern. By creating accessible instruction, all learners are given opportunity.
  • Challenges of making a online courses accessible:
    • Technical Challenges
    • Pedagogical Challenges
  • Brainshark was used to narrate lectures. Import PPT, YouTube, PDF, and you can narrate each piece slide by slide.  The note pages from Brainshark are includes as a transcript.
  • Blue Microphone is an excellent microphone.
  • Logitech headset is also a great tool, rather than using the onboard laptop.
  • Uses Lightboard to also create content and that is uploaded to YouTube for captioning.
  • 10 Tips for Creating Course Content
    • Provide an accessibility statement
    • Clearly name files and links
    • Present content in as flat a navigational structure as possible
    • Chunk videos
    • Provide closed captioning for all videos
    • Present instructions or handouts in HTML
    • Semantic structure
    • Avoid auto play
    • Avoid drop down
    • Use an accessibility checklist
  • Speechnotes.co is used for voice to text.
  • Dictation.io is similar to Speechnotes.
  • H5P.org allows you to add annotations in YouTube.
  • Screencast-o-matic is used for weekly tours in the online class.
  • YouTube can be used to edit your video captions after they are automatically captioned.
  • Presentation Slides Available

#ETOM16 – Credentialing Online Faculty with Badges: How To Do It & Why You Should Try

Presenters:  Shaelynn Long-Kish and Marisa Enos, Mid Michigan Community College

img_1250MMCC has recently implemented a badge-granting credentialing opportunity for faculty members interested in teaching online. There are 5 self-paced modules our faculty go through, and successful completion earns them badges that are visible in their LMS profiles. We built this training from scratch, using gamification and backwards design as our primary methodologies, and we want to share with you what we learned, why we love it, and what you can do to implement this at your own institutions.


  • MMCC created a badge-granting credentialing module.
  • Self-paced using badges out of the LMS.
  • Each unit takes 30-45 minutes to complete.
  • Why badging? Confront the reduction of attendance at training sessions. Lack of engagement. Better management of time for faculty.
  • Badges offer:
    • clear goals
    • visual fulfilment
    • focused content
    • independent activity
    • engaging experience
  • Research process took 6 months of reading, research, asking questions.
  • Resources used: Wikipedia “Gamification, Game Theory, Andragogy” and James McGonigal (Reality is Broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world.), EDUCAUSE 7 Things, etc.
  • Major game elements: immediate feedback, narrative, collaborative problem-solving, master and leveling up, progress mechanics, player control, scaffolded learning, social connection.
  • Used backwards design: learning outcomes, assessments/measurements, and then content, practice.
  • TPACK model was used: content | pedagogical knowledge | technology proficiency
  • 5 modules meet the credential competency.
  • Final Badges: Learning Outcome Artisan, Engagement and Interaction Architect, Online Roles & Responsibilities Champion, Assessment Agent, Accessibility Advocate
  • Going Live: Needed communication to faculty and marketing to help everyone understand the change and the why.
  • Offered a $100 stipend for first time completers.
  • Maintaining Online Credentialing: need to check completion, update those that received badges, and then send stipend, and also keep track of the database of recipients
  • Used: Best Practices in Online Faculty Development to extend and add to and update the modules:
    • ADA Training = Accessibility Advocate
    • Timeliness = Online Roles & Responsibilities Champion
    • Practice Discussion Forums = Assessment Agent
    • Continuing Development = Add more Workshops
  • A survey was deployed to measure success of online training and badges initiative.
  • A certificate is mailed out after faculty complete all the badges.
  • Future, develop an online orientation for students that receive badges.
  • Establish a badge that will “re-certify” for ongoing online teaching certification.
  • Presentation Slides


#ETOM16 – Davenport’s Global Campus University: Building a competency-based faculty training platform to impact student success.

img_1242Presenter: Kriss Ferluga, Davenport University

Numerous studies tell us that interactions between students and instructors factor heavily into student satisfaction with their learning.  Seeking to improve student learning experiences through instructor preparedness, Davenport University created Global Campus University (GCU), an online, competency-based, faculty training program that features interaction-driven teaching topics such as teaching strategies, discussions, feedback, and instructor presence.


  • Global Campus University (GCU) – Research-driven, competency based training program, skill building, instructor preparing.
  • Online instructors are required to complete the GCU. The course is available for 4 weeks.
  • Teaching at Davenport (library, experiential learning, formative assessments, Davenport’s excellence system, etc.) and Core Teaching Topics (developing learning objectives, increasing student engagement, establishing instructor presence, providing constructive feedback, flipped classroom, learning styles and teaching strategies, and creating effective course discussions, etc.) are the 2 main content themes in the training.
  • The following pedagogical format is followed: learning objectives, topic overview, activity, assessment.


  • Student evaluation of teaching surveys are delivered and this was used in developing some of the content for the training. Use a variety of instruction, effective communication, helpful feedback, use examples while teaching, establishing clear expectations.
  • Comments too from students was faculty needing improvement in the following area: communication skills, teaching techniques, and sympathize with students.
  • Students desired faculty more faculty Blackboard skills.


  • Quality matters and peer view are important as well as formative assessment of students of their course experience during the semester.
  • While it used to be delivered instructor facilitated and time/place bound, the online training is now competency-based and has brought benefits:
    • Outcomes focus
    • Variable scheduling (self-paced)
    • Fixed assessment criteria

#ETOM16 – Using Open Educational Resources (#OER) to Improve Student Success


Presenter: Garry Brand, Grand Rapids Community College

This session will start with an overview of Grand Rapids Community College’s OER Initiative (www.grcc.edu/open). In our first year, GRCC is on track to save students one (1) million dollars! However, there’s more to OER than saving students money. We’ll look at some research and initial findings that show it may also improve online student success.


“Teaching, learning, and research materials in any media that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.”

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#ETOM16 – School is a Game… But is it a good game?

November 11, 2016
Mott Community College
Flint, MI

picture of Barry FishmanBarry J. Fishman, from the University of Michigan, will provide our keynote address entitled “School is a Game… But is it a good game?” We want our students to be deeply engaged with our subject matter. We want them to work hard and take on intellectual challenges. We want them to take risks and try new things. And perhaps most importantly, we want our students to be resilient in the face failure. So why it is that the design of our educational system – including colleges and universities – encourages exactly the opposite behaviors? I propose that our grading and assessment systems are the heart of the problem.

In this talk, I describe an approach called gameful learning – based on observations of one of the most durable and natural environments for learning – learning from play. This is not about learning by playing games. Rather, this talk posits that learning in school is already a kind of game, but a poorly designed one. The goal is to design a better game, and a better system.

What makes for great engagement? Three keys: feeling like you can make choices that matter, being part of something bigger than yourself, and being supported as you develop competence. Great games do this. University courses… not often enough. This talk presents a vision for how university classrooms can be as engaging as good games, and introduces GradeCraft, an application designed at the University of Michigan, that supports “gameful” teaching and learning.



“Most ideas about teaching are not new, but not everyone knows the old ideas.” – Euclid, c. 300 BCE

  • Trends: Badges, Personalized Learning, Makerspaces, MOOCs (open ed), Learning Analytics, 1:1 and BYOD, Assessment and Accountability
  • Student engagement is key and we want students to be:
    • Deeply engaged with subject matter
    • Take on intellectual challenges
    • Take risks and try new things
    • Resilient in the face of failure
  • The way our system is designed it encourages exactly the opposite of the above.
  • In school, risks do not equal rewards.  Students are only focused on the grade vs the process of learning. We are telling students that all the really counts is the final score.
  • Well designed games:
    • Get players engaged early and keep them engaged
    • Appeal to the players sense of curiosity
    • Encourage players to take risks.
  • People will play them because they are challenging, not despite the challenge.
  • What is a game?
    • “A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome.”
  • Education is a practice field. Rules make a game if there are no rules it is “play”.
  • Gamification is insufficient:
    • Points
    • Badges
    • Rewards
    • Leaderboards
    • Avatars/Characters
    • These are all superficial elements of games. We need to change the underlying mechanics of our courses if we want to change motivation and engagement.
  • 10 Principles of why “Good” Games are also Great Learning Environments
    • Clear Learning Goals
    • Employ a Mix of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
    • Support Autonomy
    • Encourage a Sense of Belonging
    • Support Feelings of Competence
    • Lowered Risk of Failure and Productive Failure
      • Without failure there is no learning… goal is not to achieve an “A” but competence.
      • It’s not: win some, lose some > rather > win some, learn some
    • Encourage Exploration
    • Encourage Identity Play
    • Lots of Practice and Reinforcement
      • Engaging in meaningful practice is needed for learning.
    • Embedded Assessment
      • We stop education for delivering assessment rather than engaging students in the act of learning. We need to use technology to generate data while learning is happening. Badges is an example.
  • When teaching embodies these 10 principles, we call it gameful.
  • Game design at the University of Michigan:
  • Gameful beyond courses eg. “Talent Gateway“:
    • Experimentation
    • Risk-taking
    • Help-seeking
    • Much student learning happens beyond and across classroom experiences. How are we helping our students make sense of those experiences and capitalize on them?
  • Self-Determination Theory
    • Autonomy
    • Belonging
    • Competence


  • Tips for Gameful Learning in Courses:
    • Change the Grading Frame
    • Increase Choice
    • Create a Sense of Mission
    • Encourage Risk Taking
  • Do not use “extra credit”, no curves – these are terrible because it rations success and it can hide learning.
  • Gradecraft – a tool that integrates with your classroom and learning management system to support gameful learning.
    • 58 courses have used gradecraft with 5,100 students
    • Paid beta starts in winter
  • Pedagogical Resources on Gameful Design
  • “We consume entertainment but take part in play.”
  • How do we engage in academic innovation, see: “Academic Innovation at the U of Michigan

What can we do in our course design to create gameful learning opportunities for students.

#ETOM16 and MCO Summer Retreat

The Educational Technology Organization of Michigan and Michigan Colleges Online join together every year for a summer retreat.  This #ETOM16/MCO Summer Retreat is focused on distance education and educational technology. This year more than 30 attendees from a variety of university and community colleges joined together to discuss research and good practice around supporting student success in online learning as well as the use of open educational resources.

Online Student Success – From Theory to Practice

How Do We Know?


Presenter: Bill Knapp, Chief Academic Technology Officer at Lakeland Community College
Session Links via Diigo

We will consider the research, literature, and evidence surrounding Online Student Success related to learner engagement, student satisfaction, retention, persistence, and student achievement (GPA). This highly interactive session will include presentations of research material and case studies interspersed with small group breakout session. Small groups will reflect on the research findings in an effort to identify what we know and what we think we know about (assumptions and beliefs) student success and online learning. The case studies will reflect innovative approaches to campus initiatives aimed a improving online student success and measuring learning outcomes.

Our presenter is Bill Knapp. Bill serves as the Chief Academic Technologies Officer at Lakeland Community College in northeast Ohio, where he oversees the Library, the Center for Learning Innovation, Technical Customer Services, and Distance Learning. Bill has over eighteen years of experience in supporting the campus community in learning technologies and distance learning. He has presented at national, regional, and state conference on a wide range of topics related to online teaching & learning.


  • Persistance – NCES uses retention as an institutional measure and persistence as a student measure. In other words institutions retain and students persist.

“Students are more likely to become committed to the institution and, therefore stay, when they come to undersand that the institution is committed to them.” – Vince Tinto

  • Tinto’s Model of Student Retention – Includes prior qualifications, individual attributes, family attributes as inputs, followed by goal and institutional commitment. The social and acdemic integration is important and key in preventing drop outs.
  • Student Persistence and Online Learning (Hart, 2012)
    • Sense of Belonging to a Learning Community
    • Student Motivation
    • Peer and Family Support
    • Time Management
    • Increased Communication with Instructor
  • Social Presence is key and the student is more likely to complete the course. – Gomez/Yen 2009
  • Measuring Social Presence
    • Social Context (informal)
    • Online Communication (meaningful)
    • Interactivity (responsive)
    • Online Privacy (confidential)
  • Community of Inquiry

    • Teaching Presence
    • Social Presence
    • Cognitive Presence
  • Faculty Involvement – Croxton (2014) “Online course interactivity, particularly between students and instructor, plays an important role in a student’s choice to persist in an online course.” <<< This is key for persistence.
  • The interactivity and student GPA. Online instructors tend to make minimal use of interactive technologies. The more interpersonal interaction the better the student GPA. Creating an Effective Online Instructor Presence – Community College Research Center
  • Virtual Office Hours – The average satisfaction in classes that offered virtual office hours was HIGHER than the classes without… (Pitts, 2009) It is important to at least offer them as the perception is that you are available as an instructor.
  • Early Alert LMS Analytics – Self-regulating learning in order of importance: regular study, late submissions, number of session logins, proof of reading course materials.
  • Open Textbooks and Learning Outcomes – Withdrawl rates: 21% using a commercial textbook and 6% with open textbooks. Credit load: Students in courses using OER enrolled in significantly higher number of credits the following semester.
  • Building a Culture of Inquiry – “It is up to us to take advantage of the research and data that is there to carry use forward.”
  • Grade, completion, and attrition rate comparison for online/hybrid/face to face classes are helpful to measure. These data can inform the knowing of the differences between face to face and online learning and if there are further questions to ask or areas to target to improve.
  • Innovative online orientations using video – research has shown that withdrawl rates were improved (withdraw rates were reduced) by 13%!
  • What would it look like if more universities and colleges implemented a mandatory online orientation before students could register for an online class.
  • Student support services are important for student success including embedded librarians, tutors, or student success center staff.
  • What could Lakeland do to help you be more successful in online courses?
    • Reliable Technology, Video, More Online Courses, Assignment Reminders, Consistency in Online Course Design/Navigation, Instructor Availability, Timely Feedback, Faculty Involvement, Online Testing,
  • More session resources:

ETOM Board Meeting around the Campfire at Center Lake


Michigan Colleges Online Update

Ronda Edwards, Executive Director for Michigan College ONline, will provide an update on MCO initiatives and issues around online learning – including SARA, HLC accreditation, group technology purchases, MCO OER repository, MCO professional development series for 2016-2017.


  • MCO Survey – Distance Education Survey Results
    • Online enrollments nationally up 4.7% and in Michigan down 3.7%. This is the first year that there has been a decline. Reasons seem to be around faculty contract and the offering of less sections. Some colleges also indicate higher HLC requirements for qualified instructors required some reduction.
    • Online programs nationally 92% offer at least 1 and in Michigan 75% offer online degrees. Enrollment tends to grow when you have a strategic direction of courses offered with online programs.
    • Course development, average length of time to develop is 3 to 6 months with an average number of 10 courses developed and 173 courses were developed newly.
    • 88% have mandatory training to teach online.
    • Re-certification of online teaching credentials is at 8%.
    • 75% of colleges have gone through HLC approval for courses and programs.
    • SARA – Currently 3 colleges completed the state application, 5 colleges have completed and submitted to the state, 5 colleges will seek individual state authorizations, 1 college seeking funds next year, 1 college approved, 7 colleges haven’t decided yet, 1 college does not register out-of-state students.
    • 50% of institutions use an internal quality standard followed by QM:
    • 58% of institutions report use of OER textbooks:
    • 33% of institutions use a team development model when developing an online course, with the average number of new online courses being created within the past at 9.6 courses.
    • Average length of time to develop an online course is 3-6 months at 67%
    • Greatest challenges reported include adequate assessment of DL courses followed by accessibility and budgets:
    • Faculty policies requiring response/interaction with students:
    • Required orientations:
  • Last week it was announced that the US Dept of Ed will push to finalize rule on state approval of online programs before the end of the year.
  • Michigan Colleges Online – OER Repository Initiative is now available in beta. The goal is to improve student success and completion, lower costs, inter-institutional faculty collaboration. Steering committee includes faculty, instructional designers, DE admins, and librarians.
  • OER activities have been underway with webinars, training, repository hub/group, publishing, adopting/adapting, grants for OER work, policy work, working with bookstores, and next tracking savings and evaluating success.
  • OER Commons has a variety of excellent webinars available on faculty and how they are using open resources.
  • MCO Collaborative Programs – MRI Technician Program includes: Kellogg, Lake Michigan, Mid-Michigan, GRCC, Lansing CC, and GVSU.
  • MCO Collaborative Purchases – Include: NetTutor, TechSmith (50% off), ZOOM, ReadSpeaker. ReadSpeaker is an accessibility tool and is offered 40% off. Next year, captioning, online testing, Camtasia Relay.
  • Professional development this year:
    • More OER Training
    • Online Remedial Math
    • Competency Based Courses
    • Authentication Options (Currently only required to have a unique password/account.)
    • Pell Grant Fraud
    • Authentic Assesment
    • Net Tutor
    • Instructor Review
    • Program Review
    • Gamification
  • Help Desk Initiative – Working on a 24×7 model with Kirtland, KVCC, LMC, NCMC, Mott via Black Belt Help. This is used to augment what you already have.
  • MCO Guided Digital Pathway Tool – Provides a student success strategy that provides a tech solution which crosses institutional silos and connects with all students. Explore options for college, scheduling tool, advisors/mentors communication tool. Students can use the pathways tool to explore career interest, explore majors and programs at the college, take free assessments for personality, learning preferences, ready for online, etc., financial planning, connect with college and develop a plan, maintain connections with college throughout academic career.

Setting up Your Own OER Initiative

During this presentation, Nicole Finkbeiner, Associate Director of Institutional Relations at OpenStax, will utilize her experience working with colleges and universities across the country to outline the key components of a successful OER initiative. She’ll cover key metrics, real-world examples of successful strategies, and suggestions on how to adapt an OER initiative to your specific budget and campus culture. Nicole will also preview the new OpenStax authoring tool that makes it easy for faculty to customize their textbooks, and the new initiative with bookstores.


  • Measure Outcomes not Actions
    • Number of faculty using OER
    • Number of students using OER
    • Amount of savings for students (Average is $98 per student savings)
    • Student Success (grades, completion, etc.)
  • Actions that contribute to, but don’t equal success
    • Holding a meeting
    • Having a workshop
  • Report sample for OpenStax uses:
    • 859 students using OpenStax books saving $84,000
    • 2.5% of the students are using OpenStax in this example so that impact can be much larger
  • Focus on Scale “How many students will be impacted by OER”
    • Key to transformative change
    • Focus on high-enrollment courses
  • Start with easy wins to impact students now!
  • We = not me – there really needs to be a designated leader and a champion.
  • Have a leader but include: faculty, admin, librarians, instructional support, bookstore, students, …everyone!
  • Successful initiatives take several approaches simultaneously.
  • Implementation Strategies:
    • Expressed support from administration – eg. email from Provost as to the recommendation and adoption of the initiative.
    • Presentations during department meetings
    • Ask faculty directly to try the OpenStax books in a pilot
    • Promote “Textbook Heroes” and ask them to promote OER
    • Hold faculty workshops and offer a stipend for evaluating and reviewing OER resources
    • Provide an OER grant program (orientation day, measurable outcomes, efficacy studies) and easy wins are looking at OpenStax high enrolled courses with adoptions at scale.
    • Connect work to faculty tenure or promotion
    • Involve students – student government, student newspapers
    • Include a search filter for OER classes in your SIS ($40 low cost/no cost courses).
  • Writing OER
    • Start with adopting current textbooks as OpenStax texts (or other such as Saylor)
    • Reinventing the wheel is time consuming and costly vs finding existing resources
    • Independent peer review is critical for scale, other institutions to adopt
    • Check with OER groups firs to see if another project is underway
  • Modifying OER
    • Most faculty say they want to modify OER, but few actually do
    • Modifying OER can increase print copy costs, ability to sell used copies
    • Check licenses carefully
  • OpenStax CNX
    • Can be used to custom and publish open education resources.
  • Custom Print Options via accesyourtextbook.com
    • Can be used to create a custom print version of an OpenStax textbook.