Wk 3

  1. After reviewing the Quality Matters Checklist, what are three best practices you can extract. List each one and explain its significance and importance. Be sure to give an example of how using this idea would make either delivery or assessment better in a specific eLearning context.

Use patterns and activity structures to make students comfortable with process so more of their effort can go towards learning content. (Newberry) – This is important because students need to understand what they are supposed to be doing in order to be able to focus on content. Using a pattern, especially in e-learning, prevents the students from having to spend extra time trying to figure out what the instructor expects from the each week, it also gives the instructor stability when planning modules/sessions. The process of delivering of the course material will then become more manageable and smooth, like a mathematical process. When the instructor is developing a particular lesson he will have it organized and will know exactly what order to present it. The students will also know what to expect and it will make it more comfortable as more content is presented.

Course Navigation facilitates ease of use. (Quality Matters) – The frustration that can accompany the technology that is involved in e-learning can be debilitating if the navigation of the course is not user friendly. The syllabus, course material, assignments, grades, discussions, etc. should all be easily accessible. These important features of a class should not be difficult to find; the student should be able to click the link a access the information needed. If everything is organized properly and the student does not need to follow multiple links to get the information the frustration involved in trying to figure out the course requirements is no longer an issue. This way the student can focus their time on the content and learning activities rather than trying to find out what readings to do, what to watch, what to discuss, and what assignments to do in all different places.

Focus on the quality of discussion boards rather than the quantity. –Rather then requiring specific number of discussion posts students should be required to engage in quality discussions. Requiring quantity is like giving busy work in a f2f classroom. It gets tedious, boring, and pointless. This way students can focus on digging deeper into a discussion rather then finding things to say in order to fill a quota. This allows the instructor to assess whether or not the students are focusing on the content and gaining the ability to apply it.

  1. After reviewing the readings (and other sources that you locate on your own) what are some ideas that you can take from the work of Chickering and Gamson? How well do their suggestions map to online education in general? How well do they map to the students and/or content you might teach or develop for?

Chickering and Gamson’s 7 Principles is a great framework for any course designer. They incorporate points that I believe are relevant to any learning process. Matt Jadud’s idea of an online class as a “community” is a great way to view e-learning. If one should be so fortunate to have peers that contribute to the “community” and encourage others, then the class should be a great success. Palloff and Pratt also refer to a community like environment, “students construct knowledge by gathering together and synthesizing information by using inquiry, communication, critical thinking, and problem solving.” Unfortunately, that is not always the case, there will often be those that do not participate, those that dominate, or those that are not as knowledgeable as others. These are issues that instructors/designers must be aware of and have techniques to try to avoid or work around these issues.

The 7 Principles focus largely on communication between the instructor and the student. This is extremely important in online education because the f2f time is not present in order to have dialogue. “Chickering and Gamson focus on contact between students and faculty, consideration of multiple approaches to learning, and engagement of students in learning.” (Arbaugh) They briefly touch on learning styles in principle 7, which I believe is a priority.

I would definitely use these principles a building block to develop any course. The delivery would have to be tweaked depending on the audience, and issues and problems that could occur with specific groups would have to be addressed as well. For example, feedback – a graduate student could benefit from a few brief sentences with corrections, where as a middle school student may need more praise for their correct responses considering positive reinforcement is extremely important to them as overall person at that age.

  1. According to the text, what are Objectives, Outcomes and Competencies. Provide an example of each.

Objectives: “What students will learn, generally at the end of a unit of study.” (Paloff & Pratt).   This is the first step out of the 3. For example during week one I had to do introductions in all of my class. The objective was to get students comfortable communicating, familiar with their classmates, and used to the process.

Outcomes: “What students will be able to know or do, generally at the end of a course.” (Paloff & Pratt) For example, at the end of the ETEC 543 students will be able to conduct a research study using action research techniques.

Competencies: “How students demonstrate knowledge or skill acquisition, generally at the end of a program of study. (Paloff & Pratt) This is what students will be able to dl at the end of the IT masters program. Students will be able to design an effective online course or incorporate technology into the classroom in a highly effective way.

  1. 4. List the six levels in Bloom’s taxonomy. Now list one eLearning task, question or assignment for each level.

Knowledge: Provide a definition of Instructional Technology, either from someone else or one that you have come up with on you own.

Comprehension: Summarize the idea behind Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Application: Demonstrate how Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used in designing an online course.

Analysis: What evidence is there for the success of Bloom’s Taxonomy being applied to instructional technology.

Synthesis: Create an outline of an online course using Bloom’s Taxonomy and Chickering & Gamson’s 7 Principles.

Evaluation: Review your course outline and justify your decision to prioritize certain techniques.

  1. According to the text, what is “learner focused teaching”? How does this concept relate to the work of Chickering and Gamson? Provide some ideas for providing “learner focused teaching” in an eLearning setting and give at lest one example.

“…students construct knowledge by gathering together and synthesizing information by using inquiry, communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. (Hubba and Freed) The instructor’s role is to facilitate the process, and instructors and students together assess learning…” (Palloff and Pratt) In the 7 principles Chickering and Gamson focus on the instructor facilitating and encouraging communication. He gives a base of information in which the students are to read and then they are responsible for further research to build on what they are given. The instructor keeps the students on track.

Example: Discussion board – an environement is provided for the students to share knowledge that is gained through course content and independent research. The instructor and other students must engage in the discussions which leads to conversation of the topic just as a discussion in a f2f classroom.

  1. Explain how the readings this week (and your own research) connects with the Blackboard discussion.

The readings this week were all very informative. They got me thinking about the foundation of online design. The BB discussion gave us the option of 3 different topics. I chose Chickering and Gamson, the other two topics being Bloom’s Taxonomy and Quality Matters. The discussion allowed me to apply what I had learned in the readings, furthermore, they encouraged me to consider how I would incorporate them into my future classes.

  1. Quote your best entry from this week’s Blackboard discussion. Explain why you chose it and what it demonstrates about your understanding, learning process etc.

I agree 100% with you on the requriements of x amount of responses and the difficulty with keeping track of everything.  Students are definietly graded on their class interaction in a f2f classroom but I don’t believe that it is as harsh of a standard.  I read a blog post that had some quotes that argued against Chickering and Gamson in e-learning that relate to your question and I find to be very true: “The Learner is assumed to have infinite time,and if they want to contribute, they are also assumed to have infinite wellsprings of patience and desire in order to overcome infrequent communications and support from core team members, poor documentation, and specialized tools.” He also touches on points such as classmates who “run” the discussions and members of the “community” who are more experiebces and more knowledgeable often reject those who have less content knowledge making it very difficult to participate a learn effectively.  With that said, I believe Chikcering and Gamson have a fabulous basis for the deisgn of e-learning courses but at Jadud stated in the blog there are definitely some issues that can effect leaners in this type of environment.


I liked this most because I thought it brought up some good points and it also added to the discussion and engaged others.

  1. Identify the student you think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

I think Laura Mitobe was an important student in the Chickering and Gamson discussion. Not only did she get the topic started but she did a great job engaging the in the continuing discussion. I must add I thought she had a very valid point in saying this: “I have taken several classes with Dr. Newberry and it seems to me we always had the Discussion board, or the blog. I don’t remember having both. I agree that it is a lot to keep up with and does not feel as connected. There is overlap in some of the questions as well. I have been wondering why we are doing both in this class.”

I find keeping up with both is a little overwhelming.

  1. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

I learned a lot on the foundation of designing an online course. Although there are very specific steps laid out, each designer should be paying close attention to what works best for them and their students. The instructor is a facilitator and what works best for on class or group may not work as well for the next. Just like in a f2f classroom instructors need to be aware of the different learning styles that are present in their students and use communication to reach each one.

I will definitely make sure that students are aware that communication is key. If they do not understand something then the instructor will never know if the student doesn’t take the initiative to communicate. Communicate, communicate, communicate!!!


Session 2

  1. What are three key things associated with delivery of eLearning?

Communication is key to keep students engaged. “There are several ways to keep communicate with students including email, discussions, text based chat, and of course via audio channels.” (Newberry). It has been observed that when students fail to communicate it often results in poor performance in the class. It is beneficial to grade the communication aspect in order to encourage participation.

Quality control is important to minimize frustrations that can accompany e-learning. “Instructors need to devise ways to capture and hold student attention…” (Haugen, LaBarre, & Melrose 2001).

As an e-learning instructor utilizing faculty time effectively is completely different than it is in a traditional classroom. It is imperative for the instructor to be organized and knowledgeable of content and the technology programs that are being used in the delivery of the class.

  1. What is the difference between assessment and evaluation? Why is understanding the difference important in eLearning?

Assessment is the process whereby the instructors interaction with the students informs the instructor of how well the students are learning the material. It provides the information needed to make changes to the course as needed. Evaluation measures the quality of the students work and how well the are retaining the course content and their ability to apply it.

  1. One of the readings this week suggests that a chat room should be set up to promote social interaction in online classes. Which reading is this and what are the pros and cons to this suggestion.

The Haugan article suggests creating an online chatroom. Some pros are that it is a beneficial way of including synchronous aspects to the class and it allows students to get to know each other because they can elaborate on the conversation in real time. Some cons are that it can be a distraction, it is close to impossible to require this type of communication due to the asynchronous nature of elearning, and it is difficult to make this a graded activity which will discourage students from using it.

  1. What is “deep learning” as discussed in the readings? Is “deep learning” something we should promote in online learning? Why and how?

Stansfeild, McLellan, and Connolly describe deep learning as a process in which the student understands the content and is able to relate it to previous knowledge and experience. It is a transformative experience that causes them to link this new information to other situations.

Deep learning should absolutely be promoted in elearning, as it should in a traditional class. More importantly, most elearning classes are designed in a way that requires students to be able to apply their knowledge and show that they are retaining the information. Students are given many opportunities to voice their opinions as well as learn from others allowing students to create a learning experience that can be taken into their everyday life.

  1. Identify and explain each of Kolb’s four-stage learning cycle.

Experience: new information in introduced

Observation & Reflection: the student reflects on the newly gained knowledge and begins to relate it to previous knowledge.

Formation of abstract concepts & generalizations: The new knowledge is linked to the existing knowledge and relationship between the two are explored.

Hypothesis tested by active experimentation: The new knowledge is applied to current and future experiences. It is now information that can be used in effective problem solving and can be put into practice.

  1. Explain how the readings this week (and your own research) connects with the Blackboard discussion.

The BB discussion elaborates on deep and shallow learning and interaction between students and instructors. The readings focus on the best ways to make elearning successful. It not only elaborates on the pros and cons but it explains important aspects that should be included in order to have a successful elearning experience. All of the readings highlight the interaction that takes place and the advantages of having an active discussion forum as well as the positive effects of grading student interaction. It describes the importance of instructor interaction and the effects positive and negative effects in could have on the student’s motivation.

  1. Quote your best entry from this week’s Blackboard discussion. Explain why you chose it and what it demonstrates about your understanding, learning process etc.

Daniel. I really like how you broke down deep learning and numerous resources you used in your description. Do you think students that are truly interested in the particular feild they are studying subconsciously choose whether the content is learned deeply or shallowly? For example, as a liberal studies major I was required to take certain math classes, much of the information I felt made no sense and I found it frustrating to learn.  Now that I am seeing common core everywhere I am often shocked at some of the knowledge I retained and my ability to apply it.

I like this entry mostly because Daniel’s post made me apply my new knowledge of deep learning to an actual experience. This demonstrates the power of deep learning. I didn’t realize while I was sitting in those classes that the learning process that was taking place was labeled as either deep or shallow. Looking back I am able to recognize the different teaching methods as well as personal interests that caused this deep learning to occur.

  1. Identify the student you think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

Victor Barocas! He was extremely thorough, he included lots of resources, and I thought is question section was outstanding. He his classmates to engage in a discussion and to dig deeper into the topic.

  1. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

The information that I learned in this session really caused me to start to think about the elearning process. I honestly did not care for it before I started this quarter and was quite terrified. I can’t say that that fear is completely gone but it’s slowly making it’s way out of my life. I think that reading about the importance of certain aspects and the method that is behind activities like discussions and blogs has made it a little less tedious.

I enjoyed the deep/shallow learning portion because I was able to relate it to a prior experience. It also proved the point of the importance of teaching techniques.

Not only do I believe this session was important to me as a future educator, but as a student as well.



Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2009). Assessing the online learner: Resources and strategies for faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


E-learning Comparison

Competency Based Model vs Blended/Hybrid Courses and the Blended Classroom
Make sure you have read the Online Delivery Models information from Educause then engage in this discussion. The article discusses the modes listed below. Choose any two and compare and contrast delivery and assessment considerations for the pair. To do this well you will probably have to research more information about one or more of your choices of modes to work with.

Ad Hoc Online Courses and Programs

Fully Online Programs


Educational Partnerships

Competency-Based Education

Blended/Hybrid Courses and the Flipped Classroom


Competency based vs Blended/Hybrid Courses and the Flipped Classroom

An article on http://www.ed.gov gives a simple definition of Competency based learning: “Competency based strategies provide flexibility in the way that credit can me earned or awarded, and provide students with personalized learning opportunities. These strategies include online and blended learning…”[i] Blended/Hybrid courses is defined as combining “online and face-to-face class time in a structured manner”[ii] and the Flipped classroom “involves courses that move the traditional lecture, or content dissemination, away from face-to-face hours and into online delivery outside of class time. The face-to-face class time is used for practice and actual application rather than for introducing the content being studied.”[iii] The delivery methods for these e-learning strategies contain many of the same elements, the difference being that Competency based has more flexibility in how the classes are run. Students have the opportunity to meet face-to face as needed. This allows for students needing one on one time with a teacher to have that extra help and those who do not need face-to-face time to continue with self-paced learning. Blended/Hybrid and Flipped classrooms allow for content to be presented through technological means, which in turn opens face-to-face time to be used for application and individualized help. The teacher also has the flexibility to choose the make up of the flip.[iv]

The competency model alleviates time constraints as well as costs. In 2012 The University of Wisconsin announced its plan to implement a competency based model that “will allow students to start classes anytime they like, work at their own pace, and earn credit for what they already know. Students can demonstrate college-level competencies—no matter where they learned the material—as soon as they can prove that they know it.”[v] This does not limit the sources of information in turn opening up a greater variety of learning experiences. In contrast, the blended/hybrid and flipped classrooms are constrained by semester/quarter deadlines.

The Competency based method has the ability to open up a world of opportunities all types of students. For those who are self motivated and have the ability and desire to collect an learn information at an accelerated speed, they can complete classes a shorter time. As for those who may need the extra time due to learning styles or lifestyles, this model gives the flexibility to learn as time allows. I am excited to see how the competency based method play out in the education world.
[i] http://www.ed.gov/oii-news/competency-based-learning-or-personalized-learning

[ii] http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/online-educational-delivery-models-descriptive-view

[iii] http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/online-educational-delivery-models-descriptive-view

[iv] http://www.cte.cornell.edu/teaching-ideas/designing-your-course/flipping-the-classroom.html

[v] http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/online-educational-delivery-models-descriptive-view


Hi! My name is Rachel Griffith and do not work in the sense of a “9-5” job. I am a mother of three young children ages 7,4, &3, I am the wife of a US Marine, I am a wardrobe stylist and recently decided to bridge that into photography business. I graduated from SDSU last Dec. with a Liberal Studies degree just in time for our family to move from San Diego to Joshua Tree. This was a very exciting time for me as I had waited years to be in the same city long enough to finish my bachelors. Here’s to hoping I’m around long enough to finish my masters!

I am a creative soul and I see everything as an inspiration. I often start projects which I fail to complete because it just takes too long and I  interest. I am absolutely terrified of these online classes because I am far from organized and self-discipline is not my strong suit. I am the person that sits down to finish assignments at 8pm and I am up until 3am because I remembered that awesome picture I want to edit or that conceptual photo shoot I have to do that I need wardrobe for.

Up until this week my experience with e-learning has been limited to using blackboard as part of a traditional university setting. This is my first attempt at taking courses completely online.

I am taking this class because it is part of the Instructional Technology Program. I have chosen this program for a few reasons: 1. the world of technology has infiltrated our schools and I want to be a step ahead of my students 2. I didn’t see going into a credential program as an option with my current location in Joshua Tree or with my current family dynamic 3. I planned on getting my masters at some point and figured there was no reason to wait considering a Liberal Studies degree without a credential is like a high school diploma ;-).

I have sen first hand how technology is becoming part of the routine in the elementary classrooms. I want to be able to provide my students with the best possible use of technology without losing the interpersonal communication that I find so important.  I feel that if I am knowledgeable about the technology that is available than I will be able to incorporate it into the classroom in a highly effective manner.  I am excited for what this course has to offer and dive into the world of instructional technology.

Favorite Discussion Post

I did notice how your statistics contradicted those that I found on e-learningindustry.com, and I would assume it is biased considering it is a site that is supporting this specific learning technique. I also wonder how and where the research is gathered. I would like to believe there is going to be a transition period where the success rates are not extremely high because people are still getting used to the process. But, I believe this current generation of young children won’t have a second thought when it comes to e-learning, it will be second nature. Just like any other learning style there will be those that will be forced to adapt.

This post was a response to a classmates response to my original post.  It is my favorite because as I was writing I began to ask my self many other questions about e-learning.  If a teacher is not proficient will it be detrimental to his students? Will some students be “left behind” because it just isn’t their learning style?  Will this lead to a more complicated class room as teachers will have to be hit so many learning styles? I believe the answer to these question could very easily be yes.  But, if a teacher is educated then these technology based classrooms could open a world of possibilities that could be the answer to the struggle with learning styles.  I have so much to learn and I am excited to gain the tools I need to bring technology into my future classrooms.



Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2009). Assessing the online learner: Resources and strategies for faculty (pp. 24-25). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.