Pedagogy / Andragogy

A vision of students today

by Marty Crossland on April 12, 2010

Here is a fascinating, thought-provoking video about how students view education today. It’s a product by a professor at Kansas State University, completed by his students. Pay close attention!


Millennials are more educated, but less employed

by Marty Crossland on February 24, 2010

Studies about millennials (young people born between 1980 and 1995 or 2000, depending on whose definition you use) are revealing that many of them now have a high level of education. But rather than take their knowledge and skills into the workplace, many are choosing to put their time and talents into altruistic endeavors, and striving to make a difference in their world.

For more background on the Millennials and what they tend to believe and do, see my earlier post: What is is with our students? The Millennials are here!

Read the article from USA Today at this link: Millennials.

Watch this video from CBS News to get an update:


A whole new way of thinking

by Marty Crossland on January 20, 2010

Author and speaker Daniel Pink has completed some very provocative work on trends in business and the economy. He is a hugely entertaining speaker, especially when he shares that he was a woefully unsuccessful student in law school. Dan shares three macro-level drivers of 21st century careers:

  • Abundance
  • Asia
  • Automation

This talk was delivered around 2006 while promoting his book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. I have watched it multiple times, and it has profoundly affected how I think about how we should be planning our learning and our careers for the future. For us as educators, it should really spark discussion about what a higher education general education curriculum should look like. Ask yourself questions like these:”What types of careers will American students need to be prepared for in five or ten years?” “How do we identify the proper learning outcomes and the teaching methods to ensure our students are achieving them?” “What assessment methods and tools will allow us to measure student progress toward these outcomes?”

Once you’ve finished the presentation, watch this ten-minute question and answer session with Mr. Pink:


What is it with our students? The millennials are here!

by Marty Crossland on November 2, 2009

I first saw this video a year or so ago and was intrigued. We are now having a conversation in our church board about how to relate to young people of the millennial generation. I have also been in multiple discussions with other faculty members about what “the millennials factor” could mean for our teaching and other interactions with this age group of students.

I wanted to share with you and document for myself (again!) this insightful piece that CBS 60 Minutes did about a year ago. Watch it and ponder!

Watch CBS News Videos Online


Well, a major study has formally analyzed and found out what a lot of us in online learning suspected or even thought we knew all along. This brand new study just released from the Department of Education is a comprehensive meta-analysis (that is, it is a comprehensive analysis of a large number of individual studies summarized analytically). The study started with 1,332 studies about online learning. They winnowed this set down to 46 rigorous studies that compared at least one element of online versus face-to-face learning, and from this group derived 51 effects.

Some of their key findings that I found most relevant are:

  1. For older (i.e. adult) learners, students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.
  2. Instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction.
  3. Studies in which learners in the online condition spent more time on task than learners in the face-to-face condition found a greater benefit for online learning.
  4. Most of the variations in which different studies implemented online learning did not affect student learning outcomes significantly.
  5. The effectiveness of online learning approaches appears quite broad across different content and learner types.
  6. Effect sizes were larger for studies in which the online and face-to-face conditions varied in terms of curriculum materials and aspects of instructional approach in addition to the medium of instruction.
  7. Blended and purely online learning conditions implemented within a single study generally result in similar student learning outcomes.
  8. Elements such as video or online quizzes do not appear to influence the amount that students learn in an online class.
  9. Online learning can be enhanced by giving learners control of their interactions with media and prompting learning reflection.
  10. Providing guidance for learning for groups of students appears less successful than does using such mechanisms with individual learners.

The authors provide these comments in the Conclusions section of their Executive Summary:

In recent experimental and quasi-experimental studies contrasting blends of online and face-to-face instruction with conventional face-to-face classes, blended instruction has been more effective, providing a rationale for the effort required to design and implement blended approaches. Even when used by itself, online learning appears to offer a modest advantage over conventional classroom instruction.

However, several caveats are in order: Despite what appears to be strong support for online learning applications, the studies in this meta-analysis do not demonstrate that online learning is superior as a medium. In many of the studies showing an advantage for online learning, the online and classroom conditions differed in terms of time spent, curriculum and pedagogy. It was the combination of elements in the treatment conditions (which was likely to have included additional learning time and materials as well as additional opportunities for collaboration) that produced the observed learning advantages. At the same time, one should note that online learning is much more conducive to the expansion of learning time than is face-to-face instruction.

Read the full study. It is really fascinating and encouraging.


The State of Creativity — OETA television series

March 18, 2009 Teaching With Technology

The OETA educational TV network has begun airing a wonderful series on Creativity in the state of Oklahoma, entitled “State of Creativity.” It is of special interest to me because in episode 102, first aired last night (March 17), they highlight the providers of some exciting virtual reality business education curricula that I am currently […]

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Quality standards for online courses

September 16, 2008 Teaching With Technology

I recently attended the annual FUSION conference for users of the Desire2Learn learning management system. One of the gems I discovered is the Southern Regional Education Board. I picked up a really useful pamphlet entitled “Standards for Quality Online Courses.” It is a very succinct yet comprehensive framework for assessing online course quality. You can […]

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Bloom’s Rose: A tool for creating practical assignments at a different levels of learning

July 25, 2008 Teaching With Technology

I discovered an entry on Wikipedia for Bloom’s taxonomy, called Bloom’s Rose. It was created by John M. Kennedy. The original version had a number of typos and was somewhat hard to follow. So I created an alternative version of it using Mindjet Mindmanager. It provides, for each of the levels of learning described by […]

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Rethinking the old PowerPoint routine

May 28, 2008 Teaching With Technology

I’ve discovered a couple of new approaches to preparing presentations. They are especially relevant to those of us who are deeply steeped in traditional bullet-point approaches using PowerPoint. One approach and book that I’m really enjoying reading it Beyond Bullet Points, by Cliff Atkinson. Another is an online presentation titled Brain Rules: what all presenters […]

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“Chunking” your online course content

May 14, 2008 Teaching With Technology

In an earlier post I introduced the notion of “chunking” your course content. What this means in a practical sense is that you should think of your course materials in terms of bite-size segments that your students can digest easily. For example, if you’re using a typical textbook, the chapters are probably subdivided by subheadings […]

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Tips for no-fail online course production

May 8, 2008 Teaching With Technology

A recent article in Campus Technology provides some really good tips for creating high-quality, successful online courses. You should read the article to get all the fine points, but below are the 5 tips: Create a plan. Embrace “chunking.” Emphasize quality. Make it interesting! Keep it relevant. Be sure and read the entire article at […]

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Mobile Learning in Higher Education

April 23, 2008 Teaching With Technology

I just read a very interesting article by Ruth Reynard on the Campus Technology website. It talks about how the new generation of learners is no longer satisfied with the linear approach to learning that many of us grew up with, and still practice to a large degree when teaching our students. Today’s young students […]

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Sobering video on what students think

October 27, 2007 Effective Learning

Dr. Andy Lang at ORU just sent me a link to this video on YouTube. At Kansas State University a group of 200 students in a cultural anthropology course surveyed themselves about their experiences in college so far. Wow! As a more senior faculty member in higher education, even as one who views himself as […]

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How to Make Pedagogically Meaningful Animations for Teaching and Research Using PowerPoint and Camtasia

September 27, 2007 Teaching With Technology

I just discovered a very interesting tutorial on using PowerPoint and Camtasia Studio to create teaching animations. The paper reviews and compares some of the various methods to accomplish the creation of such animations for illustrating concepts in cell biology and biochemistry. The techniques are universal, however, and can be employed in nearly any field […]

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