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Teaching/Learning Center: E-LEARNING

The Value of eLearning

Otis College is aware of and embraces the potential learning-enhancing value of e-Learning in various manifestations. Myriad literature suggests that, when executed thoughtfully, eLearning can help students manage their schedules, review class materials, and organize their efforts productively and thereby enhance overall learning in specific courses. While the college continually gathers input from faculty members, chairs, directors, and others in the Student Learning and Success division, it strives to move forward with the help and guidance of the eLearning Advisory Committee toward achieving some of the benefits that e-Learning can bring, including bridging geographic divides to create a continuing learning relationship between faculty and students by matching technology with student needs, course learning objectives, and the College mission. Currently, eLearning at Otis College comprises both blended (with micro option) and online course delivery that enhances: 

  • Interactivity, customization, and flexibility for students and faculty
  • Teaching effectiveness and academic excellence
  • Student success 
  • Opportunities for degree completion
  • Remedial learning opportunities
  • Academic emergency recovery capacity
  • Market competitiveness.

eLearning Defined

BLENDED

Blended Learning is a form of eLearning that “blends” face-to-face teaching with online delivery. Roughly 30%-50% (about 5-8 weeks) of course instruction occurs online. The Teaching/Learning Center assists faculty members in incorporating new technologies into courses wherever appropriate.

"Disruptive innovations fundamentally transform a sector by replacing expensive, complicated, and inaccessible products or services with much less expensive, simpler and more convenient alternatives. Blended Learning is a disruptive innovation in education that can take many forms. Check out the infographic to learn more about what is blended learning, why it's spreading, and how it works in real and virtual classrooms." Knewton.com

MICRO-BLENDED Is an intermediate step in which online delivery of course instruction may only occur for 2 weeks. This allows faculty to experiment with eLearning.
COMPLETELY ONLINE

Online courses provide 100% of course content and instruction online, or online in combination with one or two face-to-face intensives to provide community reinforcement, workshop time, and group critiques.

For the past few years online courses have been offered in the LAS Department during the summer. Assessments show that the quality of learning and student satisfaction is very good. These courses are great for students who need to return home for the summer, but still complete their degree. Spring 2017, Otis College began experimenting offering two online courses during the regular semester.

TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED

These courses use Instructional Technologies on a regular basis.

There are many instances where the use of appropriate technology in courses is beneficial to both faculty and students. In addition to O-Space and email, technologies used may include blogs, the DID, wikis, learning objects, video projects, Tumblr, Zoom, etc. This use of technology is overwhelmingly appreciated by students, 96% of whom have reported on surveys for several years that they like the use of appropriate technology in their courses.

 

 

Otis College Faculty share what they have learned over the last year and a half teaching Blended Learning Classes. They discuss what is best taught online or face-to-face, how to keep community while not in person, and how to take advantage of video demos between meetings.

Blended Learning

E-Learning courses are offered in support of student success in that they afford students and faculty members more flexible schedules, students can repeat or review online portions of courses from home between in-class meetings, and students can work on those portions of courses when they are most motivated to engage them.

Otis College has seen great success in particular with BLENDED course offerings. 

Blended Learning offerings are courses in which 30 - 50% of the content and instruction is delivered online (not just homework tasks). Such courses also meet face-to-face, as traditional courses do, yet students and faculty members are required to spend less “seat time” in the studio or classroom. In developing such courses, Otis College has responded to and engaged numerous faculty members who have expressed keen interest in online pedagogy orientation, training, and research through a curricular innovation grant program.

FIRST STEP IN BLENDING = TAKE BRICKS + CLICKS


To Date @ Otis College:

  • 91 Bricks + Clicks alumni
  • 293 e-Learning courses have been offered (Blended + Online) since summer 2008

(current as of 10/18/2016)

Jason Burton teaching a student using the iPad

Mode of Learning

The classes defined above can include elements of asynchronous or synchronous learning. 

ASYNCHRONOUS

  • Uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people.
  • Asynchronous classes allow for flexibility in the student's participation in activities.
  • Examples include email, listservs, online discussion boards, wikis and blogs.
  • Course management systems such as Digication (O-Space) support online interaction, allowing users to organize discussions, post and reply to messages, and upload and access multimedia.

SYNCHRONOUS

  • Refers to a group of people learning the same things at the same time, like lectures and class discussions.
  • Online synchronous learning would include voice chats, video-conferencing (Zoom), and webinars.

Otis College eLearning courses include additional criteria for effectiveness due to the online nature of course delivery and interaction. To ensure a successful experience for faculty and students, it is important to work closely with the college Instructional Designer and complete the eLearning Course Proposal form every semester. 

online course proposal process

How Can E-Learning Serve Studio?

In this video, Randy Lavender (Provost, 27-year veteran studio Professor, and Bricks + Clicks alumnus) discusses this frequently asked question.

E-Learning Advisory Committee

In 2012 the eAC was formalized to lead e-Learning activity in support of student and college success. The committee plans and oversees College e-Learning initiatives, reviews and recommends for implementation course and program proposals, and assesses these for the College. The committee convenes monthly to review the status of pending and new developments, or as needed at the request of the Provost or any member in coordination with all members.
 
The eAC is comprised of individuals representing a cross-section of the Otis College Academic community meeting once a month. Current members of eAC include: one faculty representative, the Instructional Designer, the Director of Library and Learning Centers, the Dean of Continuing Education and Pre-College Programs, the Assistant Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Provost’s Office. 

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