#MVUsym16 – Managing Quality in Online Learning

IMG_7756Session Description

A panel of online learning experts will discuss issues of quality as they pertain to online teachers and instruction, online content and course design, and program evaluation.


Peter Arashiro, Director of Instructional Product Design, MVU
Kristin Flynn, Interim Executive Director of Student Learning Services, MVU
Joe Friedhoff, Vice President of Research, Policy, and Professional Learning, MVU.


Session Presentation Slides

Redefining Quality Online Instruction

  • Moved contracted instructors to part time employees.
  • HumanEx screener tool was used to find student-centered staff with empathy, positive attitude, results oriented, etc. Phone screener was a 30 minute call with over 200 interviews.

Uniform Onboarding Experience and Establishing Consistency Online

  • Common policies around academic integrity.
  • Shared best practices in engagement, efficiency, feedback.
  • Collaboration opportunities via Google Apps for Education
  • Pre-flight Checklists
  • Instructor monitor checklists for classroom observations.

Do your faculty have a growth mindset? “When we are failing we are learning…”


Building Capacity Online

  • Annual performance reviews.
  • Ongoing professional development includes “synergy” sessions with part time faculty.
  • “Collaboration of the Minds” is an event to bring everyone together to compare notes and share best practices.
  • Webinars are offered regularly.
  • 1-1 Coaching Opportunity.
  • Reflection is captured through blogging.

Managing Quality through the Course Design Process

  • DESIGN is intentional (produces useful results, derived from process, able to stand on their own)
  • QM is used to monitor Quality
  • Scope and Sequence, Standards, Meeting Objectives, Alignment of Assessments (Iterative process is key.)


Program Evaluation BEFORE

  • iNACOL, QM, AdvancED



Program Evaluation DURING

  • Learning Analytics


  • Monitoring Gradebook and Student Achievement


  • Tracking Login and Activity within Blackboard


  • Tracking Tool Activities in Courses


  • Tracking Completion


Program Evaluation AFTER


#MVUsym16 – Digital Badging in Educational Settings

Session Description
Digital badging provides a mechanism to acknowledge both formal and informal learning by students. This session will provide an overview of digital badging and highlight several Michigan badging projects that are underway.

Michelle Ribrant, Assistant Director, Office of Education Improvement and Innovation (MDE)

See > mibadges.org


  • Career and College Readiness is a focus of MDE.

  • Personalized learning is based on intentional instruction and integration, competency-based education, flexible learning options with a foundation of multi-tiered systems of support.
  • Personalized Learning
    • Choice, Context, Pacing, Relevance, Proficiency
  • Personalized Teaching
    • Collaboration, Flexibility, Student Ownership, Faciliation
  • Educational Technology
    • Access, Customization, Engagement, Data Use
  • Open badges are part of a reporting system. Competency-based pathways include: demonstrated mastery vs seat time, explicit and measurable learning objectives, rapid and differentiated support, application of knowledge, and flexible learning options and multiple pathways.
  • How do we recognize and value the way we learn…
  • Badges are digital documentation of skills and achievement. A badge is a digital icon and within the badge are credentials of who issued, what did the user have to do to earn the badge, and the evidence of outcomes/standards of the badge that is earned.

Image from Classhack

  • Students has control of what they have learned, and they can share their badge on social media via Mozilla open badges.
  • Badges can play an integral role by supporting recognition on a skill or competency level and allowing learners to create custom pathways.
  • Why badges? Schools and the workforce can see student learning that happens in and out of school in informal settings. Completion of a project, mastery of a skill, and life experience represents student learning. Provide a comprehensive picture and demonstrated evidence of gained competencies. Student ownership of their learning. Assurance of credibility.
  • Considerations for issuing badges: Aligned to standards (academic, industry, out of school learning). Multiple pathways to demonstrate content. Communication of badges and levels of accomplishments.
  • Credibility is important in badging. There is informal credibility, but also there are formal badges and the continuum therein.
  • Cyber security badges is a good example. It could take a student years to get through the “gold standard” certification.
  • Sample MDE badges include Digital Adventures bade for Detroit Public TV, FIRST Lego League, MiBadges, CS First (Google program). MDE is using MSU’s badges.msu.edu site to help manage badges.
  • Credly is another great solution to issuing and collecting badges.
  • FIRST in Michigan is a great example of what is happening locally. https://www.firstbadges.com This includes attendance badges of 60 hours and then there are levels of additional badging in 2nd and 3rd level.
  • Moving ahead:
    • Continue work with partners to develop criteria for awarding badges to ensure legitimacy
    • Alignment to TRIG, 21st Century Afterschool Learning, First Robotics, 21 Things for Students, CS First, DPTV, and other initiatives.
    • Design/enhance reporting systems that include competencies and badges to indicate student skills and knowledge aligned to career and college readiness.

#MVUsym16 – Effective Leadership for Blended Learning

FullSizeRender (76)

Session Description
This session will highlight emerging standards for blended instruction, lessons from recent blended learning research and strategies to effectively implement blended instruction into practice. Representatives of the MVU MyBlend team will share key implementation considerations as well as supports available to Michigan school leaders based on the work of and training from the Clayton Christenson Institute and The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University.

Jamie DeWitt, Manager of Blended Learning Services, MVU; Stacey Schuh, Blended-Learning Coach, MVU


“The challenge for our education system is to leverage the learning sciences and modern technology to create engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences for all learners that mirror students’ daily lives and the reality of their futures.” – National Education Technology Plan

  • Our kids are learning today, differently that we have experienced in learning in growing up. How can we best take advantage of the technology and students’ experience.
  • Blended learning is about taking advantage of the benefits of face to face with the digital.
  • Clayton Christensen Institute – Blended learning is combining the following: through online learning, brick and mortar location away from home,  modalities are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.
  • Good instruction is about deeper level thinking, having objectives, students are engaged and participating in the learning, conversational, relevancy, motivation, drive to learn, feedback.

Students should be able to tell us what they are learning, not what app they are using… Technology is a tool not an outcome.

  • Focused on instructional goals, and strategies chose to meet goals, not just use technology.
  • Intentional integration of technologies.  Teacher is the most important in a blended learning environment with combining the F2F and Online. The sweetspot is the classroom, personalized learning, more feedback, time on task.
  • Blended learning is an even mix of online and face to face.

Blended Learning graph
Image from Christensen Institute

  • Blended learning requires a change in mindset as a teacher as well as support and resources. There is so much on your plate as a teacher. The mindset change is the beginning, along with qualities such as coaching and mentoring, and finally skills of both adaptive and technical.


Image from iNACOL

  • Supporting teachers to try new things is really important. Students as well as teachers learn from failure.
  • Continuous improvement of student learning.
  • What happens when change starts with a group of innovative teachers? The early adopters are excited. There is often though a missing piece to the adoption because of the support network and resources are limited. In order to make change move forward, support needs to be aligned with teacher needs.
  • A visionary is important and a leader advocating change is important and it also encourages change. The innovative administrators keep going and help to encourage.
  • The key is to combine the innovative leaders with the excited teachers to develop integrated solutions for the success of all students!
  • Purpose-driven PD to enhance teaching and learning that is job-embedded is key.
  • Developing learning communities is important so that teachers can help teachers.
  • Take advantage of MVU resources as well as local REMC and district resources as well as social networks like #MichEd

Session Slides