At CEOEL we are starting to work on developing a new degree for UW System’s Flexible Option. Before embarking on this new journey, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the last one. I had the opportunity to work with a great group of faculty and instructional designers this past year while developing UW Extension’s first degree, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA). In this post, I’ll highlight just a few ways that this degree incorporates research-based recommendations for designing and delivering learning experiences to self-directed, self-paced learners. These practices address factors such as learner characteristics, assessment methods, and presentation of materials.
In this post, I’ll share what my colleague Moses Wolfenstein and I learned about instructional designers’ fears during a group discussion at the 2016 Distance Teaching and Learning Conference (DTLC) in Madison, Wisconsin. I’ll also share a handout with some strategies for conquering fear in design.
Context of the Discussion
Moses and I came up with the idea of leading a discussion about fear and design after reminiscing about various projects we had worked on. Many times, some kind of fear or anxiety got in the way of the project’s success. We searched briefly and did not find anything that specifically addressed fear in instructional design. After that, we decided that we wanted to hear from other designers about their experiences. This led to a discussion on “The Dark Side of Instructional Design” at the conference in August.
It’s a busy time around here! With the fall semester starting and new competency-based program development in full swing, everyone is working hard to deliver the best learning experiences possible. Back-to-school season is exciting but challenging for learners, instructors, and those of us in supporting roles. Part of that hard work is curating learning resources – open educational resources (OERs). Today’s post will explore how some of our faculty are approaching OERs.
In the midst of all this preparation, I’ve recently heard conversations about how important thoughtfully curated learning resources are to a student’s success, and it occurred to me it might be interesting to look back at the transcript of a conversation I had with Kim Kostka about using OERs. Kim and her colleagues Tom Neal and Tony Millevolte assembled and annotated an array of OERs for one of our Flexible Option competency sets.
Here are some of the highlights from my conversation with Kim.
While Virtual Reality (VR) has been around for some time, it is only recently that major companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and HTC have been developing headsets for home use. While many new VR owners are using these headsets for games, there also exists potential for VR in other environments. Oculus & Facebook, the owners of Oculus and the Oculus Rift VR headset, recently held their inaugural Launch Pad event at Facebook HQ
in Palo Alto, CA to discuss how to further the possibilities of VR in areas outside of games. Participants were asked to fill out an application detailing what they thought was missing in the VR space, and how they feel they could best contribute to the field. I was one of those 100 participants invited out to Facebook for a day of workshops and support from the Oculus team to try to develop a tool in VR, in my case a visualization tool for our Data Science program.
The spring semester is over, summer is here, and that means faculty retreats! This year at our University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management retreat, a major theme we explored was student engagement. How do we keep students motivated and actively learning in online courses? Below you will find the synopsis of our session on student engagement, along with some resources if you want to learn more.