Dear Commons Community,
I spent a full day attending the EDUCAUSE ELI Annual Meeting yesterday. In addition to spending time with colleagues from around the country, one of the main highlights for me was the morning invitation session organized by Tanya Joosten, Co-Project Director, National Research Center for Distance Education and Technology Advancement (DETA), University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The three hour session examined research issues related to online learning outcomes and practices. A major result of this session was that attendees concluded gathering more data from students on their individual goals and aspirations for enrolling in an online program was most critical and one that has not received enough attention in the scholarship.
I also attended the afternoon plenary session presented by Peter E. Doolittle, Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning, and Executive Director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research at Virginia Tech. Peter’s talk From Silver Bullets to First Principles: Effectively Leveraging Technology in Higher Education, was well received as he reminded the audience of how instructional technology needs to be evaluated. He used MOOCs and electronic portfolios as examples of applications that while receiving a good deal of attention and hype, have not been embraced in practice by the higher education community.
A most informative day!