Teaching Online workshop a great success
26th April 2013
The Royal Geographical Society (above) was the venue for the latest collaborative workshop hosted by Epigeum. The coming together of authors, reviewers and collaborating universities for the development of the latest programme entitled, Teaching Online, proved to be thoroughly productive and rewarding for all involved.
Below we have encapsulated some key messages from the timeline of the event courtesy of our #epigeum discussion on Twitter:
jennymackness (@jennymackness) 17 Apr: An alternative perspective on the meaning of 'open' in Higher Education http://wp.me/pk4z6
Iain MacLaren (@iainmacl) 17 Apr: Busy morning with #epigeum at imperial College http://yfrog.com/h2z5turj
Iain MacLaren (@iainmacl) 16 Apr: #epigeum great to see our entire group throw out learning styles pseudoscience
Nick Noakes (@nnoakes) 16 Apr: #epigeum development group also has a people who are existing epigeum course users … user group? Mark, Nick, Ian, others?
Victoria Pavry (@EpiEditor) 16 Apr: #epigeum http://pic.twitter.com/05LcuNhKLU
Victoria Pavry (@EpiEditor) 16 Apr: Time for the breakout sessions! The development group of unis meet course author&reviewers to talk content. #epigeum collaboration at work!
Rhiannon Litterick (@RhiannonLitt 16) Apr: Discussing course outlines at the Teaching Online workshop @Epigeum #epigeum
Epigeum tweets (@Epigeum) 16 Apr: @Ben_Hutchens explains how universities can effectively implement #Epigeum courses and notes key considerations pic.twitter.com/WJub9RoDi1
Iain MacLaren (@iainmacl) 16 Apr: #epigeum for those new to working in epigeum consortia, let me reassure you the process works
Seb Schmoller (@sebschmoller) 16 Apr: Impressed with the technical presentation from @Epigeum about its production methods. It generally signals "these people have got a grip".
Epigeum tweets (@Epigeum) 16 Apr: Head of Production James Connor is giving an overview of how #Epigeum courses can be delivered/customized http://pic.twitter.com/LR6oIGgNdp
Epigeum tweets (@Epigeum) 16 Apr: Our head of editorial Victoria Pavry has just delivered an excellent overview of the #Epigeum pedagogy @RGS_IBGhttp://pic.twitter.com/Rx8TZpJ1pr
Epigeum tweets (@Epigeum) 15 Apr: Dinner at The Aubrey was a great end to the first day of the #Epigeum workshop for #TeachingOnline
jennymackness (@jennymackness) 15 Apr: Working with @epigeum team in London developing 'Teaching Online' course. Thinking about this in relation tohttp://lisahistory.net/wordpress/2013/04/three-online-class-types
Teaching Online workshop fast approaching
11th April 2013
Epigeum’s latest collaboration,Teaching Online, is entering the workshop stage of development next week. Delegates from the ‘development group’ of universities are travelling to the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington (London, UK) from as far away as Florida, New Zealand and Hong Kong to meet the course authors, reviewers and Epigeum team.
This is a crucial part of the program development process. Proposed course outlines are discussed in detail and any key issues regarding the program are highlighted and resolved prior to the intensive writing phase.
The Epigeum team are very excited about bringing together all the stakeholders of the project for the first time to launch the new program.
Follow us @epigeum!
We will be discussing the workshop and Teaching Online topics on Twitter #epigeum
About the program
The Teaching Online program is designed to empower faculty to make the transition from traditional to online teaching. The program will investigate the differences between face-to-face and online teaching, guide participants through the basics of online course design and pedagogy, introduce a range of technology tools, and provide advice on supporting students who are studying online.
The program is designed to cater for the needs of all levels of teaching staff, from newly-qualified faculty through to established instructors who are required to offer more teaching online or improve their existing online program.
Lead Adviser Professor Karen Swan is heading up a team of outstanding authors and reviewers to write the 6-course program:
• Course 1: An Introduction to Teaching Online
Author: Professor Karen Swan, Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and a Faculty Associate of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois, Springfield.
Reviewer: Seb Schmoller, former Chief Executive of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).
• Course 2: Mastering pedagogy in the online environment
Author: Dr Peter Shea, Associate Professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York, with joint appointments in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice and the Department of Informatics.
Reviewer: Dr Lawrence Ragan, Director of Faculty Development for Penn State’s World Campus.
• Course 3: Designing and developing your online course
Author: Dr Jennifer Richardson, Associate Professor in Learning, Design and Technology (LDT) at the College of Education at Purdue University.
Reviewer: Professor Mark Brown, Director of the National Centre for Teaching and Learning at Massey University, New Zealand.
• Course 4: Being a successful online teacher
Author: Dr Norman Vaughan, Professor in the Department of Education, Faculty of Teaching and Learning at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.
Reviewer: Jenny Mackness, Independent online education consultant, specializing in content authoring, teaching and facilitating national and international online courses in higher education.
• Course 5: Using technology tools in teaching online
Author: Phylise Banner, Director of Teaching and Curriculum Quality at American Public University System.
Reviewer: Nick Noakes, Director of the Centre for Enhanced Learning and Teaching at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
• Course 6: Studying online – a guide for students
Author: Dr Laurie Dringus, Professor of Information Systems in the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences, Nova Southeastern University.
Reviewer: Dr Rhona Sharpe, Head of the Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development at Oxford Brookes University.
The Rise of English for Academic Studies
Universities across the globe are following a trend that is becoming more prevalent with each passing year – they are offering their courses in English. Last year the Politecnico di Milano controversially announced that from 2014 it will be teaching all of its degree courses in English in a push to capture more of the market for international students. This is a trend observed in other non-English speaking countries such as Korea where at Korea University over 40% of courses are currently delivered in English with a push to reach 50% by 2015 (see photo below). More recently the Hebrew University of Jerusalem gave its doctoral students the option of submitting their theses in English or Hebrew.
At Epigeum we are working on an exciting new project to support English Language Centres (ELCs) in their migration to online delivery of class teaching. Traditionally ELCs deliver their English classes in the face-to-face format. However with the increasing demand for English-based degrees and a growing consensus that English is the international language of choice there is an increased burden on these centres to increase their output and reach more students. This is especially the case for universities offering science-based subjects because science is largely reported in English as highlighted in the Guardian last month. At the moment Epigeum are restricting this collaboration to invitation only and we will shortly be releasing more information on the project in our join a development group area of the website.
Nick Steneck in Nature
Leading research ethics expert and lead adviser on Epigeum’s Research Integrity prorgam, Nick Steneck, PhD, from the University of Michigan is featured in a recent Nature article on the rehabilitation of researchers who have committed research misconduct through attendance on a ‘RePAIR’ (Restoring Professionalism and Integrity in Research) course, which is delivered face-to-face at a cost of $3000 per head. The article focuses mainly on the new rehab scheme but fails to point out that whilst Universities may be willing to spend $1500 year for a membership in RePAIR and over $3,000 to send one researcher for their "repair," they could actually spend an equivalent amount to provide quality awareness training for every researcher. In addition there is no reference to the weighty cost of research misconduct occurring in the first place. As Nick Steneck points out, “it could cost as much as $10,000s if not $100,000 to find a researcher guilty”. A recent case involving a scientist who held positions at the universities of Glasgow, Liverpool and the National University of Singapore has concluded with a guilty verdict. The outcome of the investigation revealed that there had been fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism associated with 21 published papers.
Research misconduct is a rapidly rising problem and this is reflected in the number of retractions from scientific journals. The number of withdrawals is increasing at a staggering rate reaching 400 in 2011 as described first in Nature here and the trend is depicted in the graph below.
So why does research misconduct occur in the first place? Desires,incentives and pressures seem to be the root causes for cheating according to a recent CNN interview with Bruce Weinstein, author of "Is It Still Cheating If I Don't Get Caught?". Whatever the reason, one thing is for certain, research integrity is on shaky ground right now and reform is urgently needed.
Optimistic outlook for higher education
American higher education has been in somewhat of a trough recently, with spiralling debt for students and falling completion rates (the US has slipped to 14th in global rankings for university graduation rates). However it's not all doom and gloom with budget cuts no longer top of the agenda in the eyes of the Association of American State Colleges and Universities. In addition to this, the largest state by student and resident population, California, recently released a budget which will see their universities receive an extra $250 million in state funding.
Florida Atlantic University has recently joined the Teaching Online development group (what is a development group? See here). Teaching Online is designed to provide lecturers with the knowledge and skills they need to design and teach effective and engaging online courses. If you would like be part of this collaboration please contact our sales team. Epigeum currently has customers based across five continents (North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia), for a list of our customers see here.