Remote Learning: A New Journey

In the time of Covid-19, we’ve been thrust into The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth. We have to battle villainous foes, make courageous choices, and strike a blow against the evil that threatens the land. This is the best way I know to describe the feeling as we find ourselves in with little to no advanced warning—forced by circumstance to teach all courses online. 

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Moneyball Learning

The Oakland Athletics were always a budget-minded franchise.

In 2001, they finished 16 games behind the winner of their division and lost to the New York Yankees in the first round of the postseason. Then lost three All-Star caliber players in the offseason. 

In 2002, they won their division, went on a 20-game winning streak in the regular season (breaking the American League record), and won as many games (and went as far in the playoffs) as the Yankees—who spent almost three times what the A’s did in player salaries.

How?

By playing Moneyball. 

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The Importance of Being Present in Your Online Course

You can have a well-designed course with relevant content and an expert instructor, yet the course can still be perceived as a negative experience by students. Why? The instructor was not “present” in the course. 

It takes more than grading to create instructor presence. Bangert defines instructor presence as “the ‘methods’ that instructors use to create the quality online instructional experiences that support and sustain productive communities of inquiry” (Bangert, 2008, p. 40). Without instructor support, courses quickly become barren.

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3 Core Learning Skills for the 21st Century

How do we prepare our learners to succeed in the 21st century? More to the point, how do we equip *adult* learners for ever changing careers, skills and needs when the traditional education system is behind them?

First, I want to outline three critical skills—then I’ll talk about an organization that I think does well in this area and how they are helping to promote that particular skill for any worker in their organization. There are more skills than these that are required, but these ones top my list.

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New Generation of Learning Design

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has become a buzzword. Many label practically any decision made by machines as AI, and it becomes difficult to discern the difference between true AI innovation based on Deep Learning from the clever relabeling of existing capabilities. Many of these pseudo-AI efforts require massive investments of time and money to simulate an AI-like experience. This makes it vital for us to know how to spot true innovation.

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Foster Collaboration with Open Pedagogy

Since this week is Open Educational Resources (OER) week, and 2018 was the year of open, I’m eager to touch on a topic that I feel passionate about that aligns with OER—Open Pedagogy. 

When I think of Open Pedagogy, it brings to mind areas that I have a background in—practices and theories related to teaching and learning with technology and social justice. Open Pedagogy has several meanings, but we’re going to focus on perspectives specific to OER and Open Educational Practices (OEP).  

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Shift Doesn’t Just Happen: Breaking Out of Imaginative Gridlock

On occasion I have a problem associated with the firing of the neurons in my brain. Some event triggers my amygdala, releases dopamine stimulating my frontal lobe—and I enter into a state of hyperarousal. My thoughts go into hyperdrive, and I charge over the hill like I am Braveheart leading an uprising against Edward the Longshanks. 

Some see this characteristic as me being overzealous. I prefer to think of myself as…enthusiastic. Either way—at some point I see a need to pause, reflect, and not lose a sense of balance. 

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Staying Relevant with Tech Trends While Meeting the Needs of Future Students

June 2018 marked my seventh year in the eLearning/Instructional Design field. In September 2018 I became a full time Instructional Designer. You would think that after seven years, I’d have all the knowledge, skills, and tools I need to do my job well.

Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m still learning.

Recently, I’ve been exploring and learning about the next generation of learners: Generation (Gen) Z.

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Three eLearning and Higher Education Trends for 2019

In December 2018, I sat down with Tara, our Lead Instructional Designer, to ask her about the trends she sees influencing eLearning and higher education in 2019. Tara consulted in various industries over the years. She now keeps the entire history of our team in her memory. Let’s see what she has to say.

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Imaginative Gridlock

In A Failure of Nerve; Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix, Edwin H. Friedman tells a fascinating story.

In 1493, the publishers of the Nuremberg Chronicle stood on the brink of a transformation that would profoundly change the way they lived, worked, and related to one other. But they couldn’t see it coming. They were so paralyzed by the emotional bombardments of their time they even left several pages at the end of the book blank so their readers could record “the rest of the events until the end of the world.” Continue reading “Imaginative Gridlock”