Back to Feedback Basics Using Video Recordings
In order for students to learn effectively, feedback is essential. Providing feedback to students can have a huge impact on their learning. Instructors can provide their students with different types of feedback, including (1) webcam video, (2) screen recording, and (3) screen recording with webcam video. It is essential that instructors give quality feedback to students. Feedback should be timely, friendly, and specific. Videos can be used by instructors to provide feedback on assignments, not just on every assignment, but strategically so they can save time and improve quality.
Faculty Perceptions of Using Synchronous Video-based Communication Technology
Online learning has traditionally relied on asynchronous text-based communication. The COVID-19 pandemic, though, has provided many faculty members with new and/or additional experience using synchronous video-based communication. Questions remain, though, about how this experience will shape online teaching and learning in the future. We conducted a mixed method study to investigate faculty perceptions of using synchronous video-based communication technology. In this paper, we present the results of our inquiry and implications for future research and practice.
The Handoff: Transitioning from Synchronous to Asynchronous Teaching
Variety in teaching modes can benefit students, and paying attention to the transitions is as important as choosing the best mode for learning activities.
Improving Problem-Based Learning with Asynchronous Video
A thoughtful approach to incorporating video can allow problem-based learning to flourish in online settings.
Motivations Among Special Education Students and their Parents for Switching to an Online School
Research focusing on the experiences of special education students in online K–12 schools is scant despite growing numbers of enrollments. This study utilized an emailed survey to understand the motivations and experiences of a group of special education students (n = 30) and their parents (n = 29) while enrolled in an online K–12 school in the U.S. Responses indicated that the three most compelling reasons for choosing the school were flexibility, previous poor fit, and teacher availability. Qualitative analysis of open-ended responses produced two major themes—prior experiences and affordances of the learning environment—with sub-themes related to bullying, personnel, academics, disabilities and accommodations, health considerations, lack of support, self-determination, and the where, when, and how of online learning. These findings may help policy makers enact policies and online educators adapt their approach to better meet the needs of K–12 students with special needs.
Proctoring Software in Higher Ed
How common is the use of remote proctoring among North American colleges and universities? Should the higher education community be concerned?
Understanding How Asynchronous Video Can Be Critical to Learning Success
When teaching online, instructors often default to using synchronous activities, but asynchronous tools can provide effective learning opportunities in many situations.
Using Educational Data Mining to Identify and Analyze Student Learning Strategies in an Online Flipped Classroom
Analyzing the learning analytics from a course provides insights that can impact instructional design decisions. This study used educational data mining techniques, specifically a longitudinal k-means cluster analysis, to identify the strategies students used when completing the online portion of an online flipped spreadsheet course. An analysis of these results showed that students did tend to follow a specific learning strategy as they completed this course. However, students also self-regulated to some degree, based on the topic and context of specific lessons. These insights not only improve our understanding about the students taking the course, but they also provide guidance for how the instructional design of the course might be improved. Of note is the practical value of this proof-of-concept study in using educational data mining to improve the instructional design of a course.
Educational Technology
Our goal in this chapter is to explore the history of educational technology research by identifying research trends across the past 50 years. We surveyed 20 representative research papers from each decade ranging from 1970 to 2020. We used bibliometric data to select these representative papers and then qualitatively analyzed and manually coded them. We found that while the particular technologies investigated consistently changed, research generally progressed from addressing theoretical difficulties to determining the affordances of instructional technologies and finally to studying pedagogical strategies. We saw this trend on a macro level, occurring over 50 years. These findings imply that educational technology research (a) is iterative, beginning with the adoption of new technologies by practitioners; (b) relies on determining the effectiveness of instructional technologies; and (c) ultimately investigates teaching strategies related to technology.
"I Can Do Things Because I Feel Valuable"
This paper examines how authentic project experiences matter to instructional design students. We explored this through a single case study of an instructional design student (referred to as Abby) who participated as a member of an educational simulation design team at a university in the western United States. Our data consisted of interviews with Abby that we analyzed to understand how she depicted her participation in this authentic project. In general, Abby found her project involvement to open up both possibilities and constraints. Early in her involvement, when she encountered limitations she did not expect, those constraints showed up as most significant and she saw the project as a place of disenfranchisement that highlighted her inadequacies. Later, in conjunction with changes in the project structure and help from a supportive mentor, she reoriented to the possibilities her participation made available, all of which disrupted the cycle of disenfranchisement in which she seemed to be caught. Abby saw more clearly opportunities that had previously been obscured, and she became one of the project’s valued leaders. We conclude by discussing implications of these findings for understanding how authentic project experiences can fit into instructional design education.
Implementation and Instructional Design
The diffusion of innovations is a process in which a product or service is implemented by an innovator. The diffusion process includes knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, and confirmation. The authors describe important factors of implementation using the five stages of the diffusion process: knowledge, perception, decision, and implementation. This article also reviewed characteristics of a design itself that can impact rates of adoption: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability. It is recommended that instructional designers consider the phases of innovation adoption as a framework for creating their implementation plans.
Navigating Worlds of Significance: How Design Critiques Matter to Studio Participants
 In this chapter we explore the design critique as a way that students and instructors (or other critics) navigate the complex worlds of significance made available to them through their involvement in studio pedagogy. We do this by first situating design critiques in a body of research and theoretical literature that explains what it means for studio participants to use critiques to navigate worlds of significance, and then by presenting a case study of a critique process we have used with design students that is sensitive to their attempts to navigate their own worlds of significance. This process was developed in our instructional design graduate program, where beginners are enrolled in a first-year, introductory studio class in instructional design, and their critics are enrolled in a second-year, advanced instructional design class. Over the duration of a semester, the more advanced students lead three hour-long critique sessions with a small number of beginning students after the beginners have reached various milestones in their first instructional design project. The case helps illustrate how critiques can be framed in a manner that better enables both students and critics to pursue possibilities the studio makes available to them, building a life that matters and that they can view as being excellent and worthwhile.
Simulations and Games
Using simulation games, learners can explore real-world scenarios in a safe environment. Simulation try, simulation watch, simulation evaluate, and simulation play are examples of simulation game scenarios that can help students learn. It is critical to establish a theme for your game in order to bring balance between the tone, visuals, audio, video, text, and other elements involved in its development. In addition, learners should be presented with a variety of challenges of varying levels of difficulty. Finally, you should consider how to manage interactions in simulations and games. There are three common ways: Variables, Triggers, and Conditions. Learning through simulation games could help learners to comprehend new concepts and then apply what they learn in a safe and controlled environment
A/B Testing on Open Textbooks
This study examined the feasibility of employing A/B tests for continuous improvement by focusing on user perceptions of quality of six chapters of a popular open textbook over the course of a year. Results indicated non-significant differences in all cases but also suggest that future work in this area should (a) employ A/B testing at a broader, less-granular (e.g., platform-level) scale to increase sample sizes, (b) explore autonomous approaches to experimentation and improvement, such as bandit algorithms, and (c) rely upon more universally collected dependent variables to reduce sample size limitations emerging from self-reports.
The Interaction of Open Educational Resources (OER) Use and Course Difficulty on Student Course Grades in a Community College
Students report that not being able to afford course materials has adverse academic consequences. It is possible that this would be more problematic in relatively more difficult courses. Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are openly licensed and often available at low or no cost to students. This study examined the interaction between OER use through a campus zero textbook cost (ZTC) initiative and course difficulty on student course grades from 35 different courses at a community college while controlling for student gender, previous grade point average, and Pell grant eligibility status. Although the main effect of increasing course difficulty is decreasing individual students’ grades, there was a significant interaction between OER use and course difficulty. Student grades in sections using OER declined at a lower rate compared to the decline in student grades in sections without OER use. The findings indicate that one particular context, course difficulty, may be important for understanding the efficacy of OER adoption.
Recognizing and Overcoming Obstacles of OER
Despite the benefits of open educational resources, their adoption in higher education is hampered by real but solvable barriers.
Sharing and Self-promoting
Researchers have documented an array of ways Twitter hashtags offer digital spaces where educators can connect around interests and needs. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators tweeted using various pandemic-related Twitter hashtags. In this study, we analyze data from two such hashtags: #remoteteaching and #remotelearning. We first data mined more than 36,000 tweets and then analyzed a random sample of 1,148 tweets and the accounts which sent those tweets. Our results suggest that the hashtags functioned as spaces in which a variety of education stakeholders engaged in activities that included knowledge sharing, social sharing, and information broadcasting. Alongside and sometimes entangled with such sharing, there was also a great deal of self-promotion. We discuss how these spaces appeared to offer potential benefits to educators navigating the transition to remote teaching but also consider how the presence of self-promotion may suggest downsides to such social mediums. We conclude with implications of these findings for education stakeholders and future research.
"We are trying to communicate the best we can"
While educators’ uses of social media for purposes such as professional learning and networking are now well-established, our understanding of how educational institutions use social media—especially to engage key stakeholders during periods of crisis—is limited. In this study, we used a public data mining research approach to examine how K-12 school districts in the United States used Twitter as a communication tool during a critical period of the COVID-19 pandemic, March-April, 2020. Through a three-step grounded theory approach of 1,357 district tweets from 492 school districts, we found that the themes of messages fell into three categories, announcements, community oriented, or unrelated. Announcements were more common during the early stages of the pandemic (and were engaged with more collaboratively), with community-building posts more common later on. This study demonstrates the potential of district social media use as a communication platform and a means to impact public perceptions and support.
The Ecology of Study Abroad for Language Learning
This report presents a review of study abroad research conducted from an ecological perspective (Kramsch, 2003; Leather & van Dam, 2003; van Lier, 2004) and identifies areas of inquiry that are lacking compared to second language acquisition and other fields (i.e., linguistics, psychology). It identifies value-based views as a high-priority area of interest and draws on frameworks in other fields to outline how language learning research could effectively describe the moral ecology of study abroad for language learning.
Educational Psychology
The purpose of this study was to evaluate and thematically synthesize educational psychology and counseling research over the last 50 years. We used bibliometric measures to identify the top 20 articles for each decade, from 1970–2019. We then systematically reviewed and coded each article, looking for thematic trends. Themes for each decade were discussed in detail. Some of these major themes included schema theory in the ’70s, self-efficacy and self-regulation in the ’80s, cognitive load in the ’90s, motivation in the 2000s, and student learning outcomes in the 2010s. A preliminary discussion about where the field is going during the 2020s is also included. While some themes were decade specific, we found that several themes spanned the entire 50 years. Those themes included the following: (a) teachers; (b) self-concept, self-efficacy, and self-regulation; (c) motivation; (d) measurement tools and statistical processes; and (e) cognitive load. Taken together, the field of educational psychology and counseling has evolved and shifted over the last 50 years with the research bearing evidence of important themes across time.
Higher Education
Research within the field of higher education has rapidly expanded over the past 50 years. The purpose of this study was to synthesize the research of higher education from 1970 through 2020 and identify the trends and themes in that time period. While many authors have surveyed higher education research by studying all publications (output), we reviewed the field by focusing on the publications that made the biggest impact through the number of citations (outcome). We used a bibliometric literature analysis to identify the 20 most highly cited journal articles of each decade and then measured the number of citations. This comparison of citation counts allowed us to trace the growth and changes in topics of the most interest to higher education researchers and determine which themes had the most impact on the field. Themes centering on students and learning—such as effective teaching, retention, engagement, assessment, feedback, and employability—were the most common among the high-impact articles. Our findings suggest that over time, the field of higher education has moved away from a teacher-centered approach and more towards a student-centered focus in order to encourage deep, applied learning. The results of our analysis also showed that many of the identified trends are connected to the social, political, and economic influences of the same time periods, including an increasingly diverse and growing student population and a transformation in education delivery methods.
Research Impact Metrics
By analyzing 50 years of citation counts of 51,281 research articles across 86 education journals in conjunction with textual analysis of article titles and abstracts, we explore how a variety of article features, such as title length, use of a subtitle, reading difficulty, and open access status, have historically influenced the impact of education research articles. Results indicate that (a) shorter titles are more likely to be cited than long titles, (b) articles with subtitles (designated with a colon) are more likely to be cited, (c) articles with lengthy and more technical abstracts are more likely to be cited, and (d) open access status has no effect.
Teaching and Teacher Education
By undertaking a comprehensive analysis of the top cited research articles in teaching and teacher education over the past 50 years, this chapter identifies trends and issues in this field leading up to and including the year 2020. Data sources included articles from thirteen professional journals on teaching and teacher education. We identified the 20 top cited articles of each decade from 1970 to 2020, resulting in 120 articles comprised of empirical studies, theoretical works, literature reviews, and conceptual papers. Then, we analyzed each article individually for content and compared the articles to identify key themes throughout the decades. Results show that broad changes took place in the field of teaching and teacher education over the past 50 years. We observed the following trends: (a) increased focus on teacher education improvement and reform, including a move from focusing on teacher practice within teacher education programs toward a focus on teacher beliefs, efficacy, and attrition; (b) increased awareness of sociocultural factors within teaching and teacher education; and (c) increased acknowledgment of the unique needs of ESL students, which was reflected by changes in the field of ESL teaching. The implications of this analysis are that as teaching and teacher education evolves, and as researchers and practitioners seek for ways to further improve the field, teaching and teacher education will continue to move toward more student-centered, culturally-aware approaches.
Why Do Faculty Resist Change?
Background: Much of what an educator needs to know to be successful is invisible to lay observers, leading to the assumption that teaching requires little formal study. Aims: This study is based on an 8- month faculty development workshop on student-centered teaching. Faculty members who made no noticeable changes in their teaching practices were compared to faculty who made noticeable and significant changes. Method: Using a qualitative narrative approach based on a structured interview, we aimed to categorize the features of changers and resisters. Results: Faculty resisters did not see any need for changes in the way we teach, did not believe student-centered teaching to be more effective, could not appropriately define student-centered teaching, were motivated by extrinsic factors, and felt unvalued. Conversely, faculty changers were excited for changes and saw the need for change and for student-centered teaching, were intrinsically motivated, and felt valued as faculty members. Conclusion: We hypothesize that a main reason for resistance is the status quo bias. Implications for faculty development are discussed.