CopyPastePlagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty and has been around for decades (Chao, Wilhelm, & Neureuther, 2009). In the digital age it is easier for students to access a wealth of information regarding a specific subject with just a few searches and clicks of their computer mouse. With this wealth of information at our fingertips, the potential for plagiarism is increased (Chao, Wilhelm, & Neureuther, 2009).

Fortunately, digital tools exist which can identify with a fairly high level of accuracy when plagiarism is detected in a document. Two of the top Plagiarism tools on the market today are Plagium, and TurnItIn (Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, 2016). These tools can quickly check and compare a submitted document to thousands of documents online and stored in online databases. With some training, the instructor can use the settings in these tools to filter out matches of commonly used terms within a specific topic, so that only information un-cited or unreferenced are tagged (Brown, Jordan, Rubin, & Arome, 2010). Thereby increasing the effectiveness of the tool.

plagiarismThe instructor’s role is educating students about what plagiarism is, and give instruction on how to avoid plagiarism. This instruction should include how to properly cite and reference materials obtained through library and internet sources (Jocoy, & Dibiase 2006). In addition, the instructor should provide examples of both the proper and improper method of paraphrasing information. The design of assignments and assessments in a way that mirrors real-life situations will also discourage plagiarism (Laureate Education, 2010). Using open resource and collaboration assignments and assessments allows students to discuss and refer to what they have learned in a way that removes the temptation to cheat or to resort to plagiarism. Read the rest of this entry »

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Technology and multimedia have become common place in online learning environments. In and of itself “technology can provide more efficStreaming Mediaient instructions, it does not necessarily provide more effective instruction” (Morrison, Ross, Kalman & Kemp, 2013, p. 224). Technology allows for the insertion of simulations, games and other interactions designed to engage and challenge learners. The drawback of the use of these tools is they are often inserted without the benefit of good instructional design (Morrison et al., 2013). In addition, the technologies introduces may not be in line with the course objectives and goals (Laureate Education, 2010).

Before implementing technology the instructor must determine the value of the technology in alignment with the course objectives and goals. If the technology or use of multimedia is not the best way to accomplish these objectives, it should be left out (Laureate Education, 2010). In addition the learning experience you are trying to achieve should match the appropriate technology (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012). The instructor should be comfortable with any technology prior to implementing it into a course (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). Instructors that are intimidated or fearful of technology are going to struggle in the online environment (Adams, 2009).Internet Technology

The other considerations one should make prior to adding technology and multimedia tools to a course is the student. The skills level of the student will dictate the tools one should incorporate (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). You will want to provide opportunities for students to expand in the skill and knowledge of different tools. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, via a tutorial, peer to peer learning, learning activities prior to the course, and others (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). The other consideration in using technology tools is the bandwidth available to house the tools you would like to use at your location, and the location of the students and their access to these tools. For instance if you are using tools that require a high-speed connection and you have students in remote or rural areas they may not be able to access the necessary tools (Laureate Education, 2010).

Accessibility

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Image  —  Posted: 02/06/2016 in Assignments

Those who have had the privilege of teaching in a face-to-face setting, understand the amount of preparation required to make the experience engaging, beneficial, and successful in meeting learning objectives. Many who have taught in this manner may believe changing to online instruction is going to require lest time, less effort, and less preparation, this is a common misperception. Online learning environments are usually much more complex than the environment of a traditional classroom, and may take more time to prepare and organize (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010).Technology

To bridge the gap of the distance between instructor and learner, the online classroom relies on different technologies for interactions which build relationships between the instructor and learner, learner to instructor, and from learner to learner. There is a wealth of different technologies that can be incorporated into the online environment.

For the instructor to properly set up an online learning experience, they must be well versed in all of the technology they plan to employ during the course they are facilitating. Being familiar with the basics include: “uploading text documents, setting up and creating discussion forums, and setting up and using the grade book” (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010, p. 57). Appropriate TechnologyIt may be necessary to take a course, complete a tutorial, or attend a workshop yourself to learn about the course management system (CMS) your institution uses, in the preparation for teaching a course online. Initially you may want a use a number of different technology tools in your course. It is best to start out simple with just those that you have mastered the use of, as you gain more skills with technology tools, you can add them to your course. Only add the technology tools that will help accomplish the learning objectives and outcomes not just it exists and can be used (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek (2008). Tools should be used when appropriate and are the best method to achieve the learning objectives.

Learners in any particular course may be familiar to the online environment or it may be their first experience. With this in mind it is important that you communicate clear expectations in regard to many topics they will need to understand. This includes elements they will need to become successful at in navigating the CMS site. Instructional StrategiesYou will need to have a course syllabus, weekly discussions and rubrics, assignments and rubrics, forums for posting bios, contacting the instructor, links for school policies, and instructions on how to access course resources via the school library or other web links (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). Much of the course expectations will be outlined in the course syllabus and rubrics. The syllabus should include an overview of the course, learning objectives and outcomes, what resources and materials the student will need, course technology requirements and some information on support if they encounter any difficulties (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). By clearly outlining the expectations and requirements of the learners, enables learners to plan their other responsibilities around their course work and provide them with a level of comfort in meeting the objectives.

As a new online instructor, there are a lot of different things to consider, to prepare, to design. One of the items that must be kept in mind throughout all of the preparation is “who is your learner audience” (Morrison, Ross, Kalman, & Kemp, 2013). You will need to ask questions regarding your audience and their prior knowledge regarding technology you want to use. You will need to keep an open mind about how you have constructed your course, continually looking for ways to improve the course materials, rubrics, syllabus, and other aspects. As you get questions from the learners you will see where perhaps there is confusion, you may not have been specific enough, or you did not provide enough direction for a new learner to understand the technology. SuccessYou will revise your course a minimum of three times before you get something that truly works for you and your learners (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). Be willing to change up if you see something that is not working. A high level of interaction (presence) on your part during the first couple of weeks will show your students you are interested in their learning and will ensure they have what they need to be successful.

References

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kalman, H. K., & Kemp, J. E. (2013). Designing effective instruction (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2008). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

I would like to welcome my peer students in course EIDT 6510. As you can see, this is the blog I have been using throughout my courses at Walden. I am excited to start this course and look forward to working with you over the next eight weeks.  This is my second to last class, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Please post any comments you may have.

Jordyn

DiscussionConstructing Quality Questions for Discussion

Discussion forums are one way that students in online classes can collaborate and interact. Research has shown collaborative learning to be very beneficial. “Collaborative efforts help learners achieve a deeper level of knowledge generation while moving from independence to interdependence” (Palloff & Pratt, 2007, p. 157). Because online discussion is asynchronous and students are managing time and space differences, making these forums beneficial becomes a real challenge.

It has been shown that “students tend to judge the quality of distance education based on their perceived interaction in the distance education course” (Song & McNary, 2011, p. 1). Because of the importance of this type of interaction and its place in effective learning, development of quality discussions forums is essential (Song & McNary, 2011). Review the resource by Horton and formulate a response to the following questions:

  • What are the necessary items that need to be supplied to learners on all discussion forums? Please include how the items should be designed and what criterion should the learner expect to adhere to in initial posts and subsequent responses.
  • What are rules and suggestions for the moderator of a discussion? Include suggestions on keeping the conversation lively without dominating.

Book Excerpt: E-Learning by Design

(Horton, W., Designing for the Virtural Classroom, E-Learning by Design). Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons. Inc. Used with permission from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Post: Post your initial response by Wednesday of this week. Please include at least one reference from the assigned course work and one additional reference from individual research.

Respond: Respond to at least two of your peer’s posts by Saturday, you can either do this by:

  • Asking a question
  • Expanding their thoughts
  • Posting a contrary view
  • Use a personal experience in support of the point the peer developed
  • Others

Reply: Reply to posts to your initial response by Sunday of this week.

References

Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey –Bass.

Song, L., & McNary, S. W. (2011). Understanding students’ online interaction: Analysis of discussion board postings. Journal of Interactive Online Learning (10)1, 1-14.

Discussion Posts will be scored according to the following rubric

Discussion Rubric Discussion Rubric

 

 

 

 

Link  —  Posted: 08/16/2015 in Assignments

When working on a project it is impossible to avoid a certain level of scope creep. Scope creep is “the natural tendency of the client, as well as project team members, to try to improve the projects output as the project progresses (Portny et al., 2018, p. 346). It is important to any project to have a formalized process for dealing with scope creep, without this process in place you may find you have extended the scope of the project without the time or resources to be successful (Portny et al., 2008).

I will pull from personal experience to discuss scope creep and how it can impact the outcome of projects. I have an older home, I am slowly working to remodel. The basement is used primarily for storage, with the exception of the laundry room. My home is less than a mile from a lake, resulting in a high water table in the Spring. My basement has a sump pump to keep the basement from flooding. Last Spring, the sump pump stopped working and the basement was flooded with 6 inches of water. This resulted in the items that were not stored in plastic storage bins getting damaged. I quickly replaced the sump pump, drained the water, and set up fans to dry everything out. However, there was substantial damage.

So here were the goals of my project:

  • Sort everything that was damaged
  • Dispose of damaged items (rented a large dumpster)
  • Organize and store all non-damaged items in plastic bins
  • Set up a space that could be used for weather emergencies (I live in Tornado Alley)

Saturday morning arrived and the group assisting took a tour of the basement. As a group we discussed the options of the best way to accomplish the task. I did highlight I would supervise the project making the determination of what could possibly be saved and make notes of items that would have to be replaced.

It was decided to bring everything damaged into the front yard, this way it could be sorted, determined if it was going to be disposed of, if it could be donated, or if I was going to keep. This seemed like a great idea to get everything out, send in a few folks to finish the clean-up in the basement, and then have a nice clean place to restore any items I was keeping.

In a short period of time, I started sorting in the front yard. I realized that many of the items that were being brought out had no damage, but were not in plastic bins, this should have been my first clue that scope creep was happening. Instead of stopping and checking on what was going on in the basement, I continued to sort into the three categories (discard, donate, keep), with the stuff I was putting into the discard pile being hauled to the dumpster, the donate pile was being boxed, and the keep category was being sorted for repacking into plastic bins. This went on until about lunch. After we had lunch, I thought it would be a good time to see the progress and determine if everyone would be needed on day two. As everyone was eating, I headed to the basement. To my shock, the entire basement had been emptied into the front yard, or directly to the dumpster (which was on the route from the basement to the front yard). This included all of the items I had already stored in plastic bins.

Because I was so involved in the actual process of sorting, I lost track of the overall progress and direction of the project.

My friends (project team members) it would be great to empty and clean the entire basement, installing shelves in one of the rooms for the storage bins to sit on, and a different room used to set up all of my tools used for remodeling my home. I could have said no to the shelving, I did not, as I had thought of installing some in the future. I understood the logic of completely emptying the basement for cleaning and reorganizing after everything was sorted. So it made sense they were trying to improve the project and had logical and valid reasons, however, it was not in the original plan.

While I appreciated them looking long term, this required more resources: purchase of shelving, more storage bins, and extending the timeline to set up the shelving, and a thorough cleaning of the entire basement instead of just the areas where the damaged items had been stored. I figured since I had the help, free of charge, it would be nice to get it all done at once, not realizing this was going to be a BIG mistake.

By the midpoint of the project (Sat night), the cleanup was completed, and half of the shelving was set up. The sorting was going slower than anticipated, partly because the sorter (me) spent time buying the needed materials. I was still hopeful we would be able to complete the project by Sunday night, if I concentrated on the sorting on Sunday.

Sunday dawned with clear skies and a comfortable temperature for working outdoors. Everyone arrived and picked up where they had left off on Saturday night. I started on sorting, the shelving was in the process of being completed, donated items were boxed as they were sorted, and the items to be kept were categorized and put in plastic bins. At lunch, I took another survey of the progress. Here is where I noticed that the dumpster had far more materials in it than I had sorted. I asked what had been put in the dumpster, and I was informed anything that had substantial damage was just dumped in the dumpster as is was brought out of the basement and did not go through the sorting process. Therefore, I had lost sight of anything I lost without the benefit of knowing what it was or if I would need to replace.

To compound the problem about an hour after lunch, it got very windy and started to rain, not uncommon in the Midwest. About 30% of the items from the basement were sitting in the front yard about to be soaked by a torrential downpour. So a quick thought contingency plan….what to do with the stuff on the front lawn….

Option 1: Cover it with tarps.

Pro: It would stay mostly dry.

Con: It would still be there on Monday and I would be at work, possibility of being stolen.

Option 2: Take it back to the basement.

Pro: It would be dry and unable to be stolen.

Con: It would be back where it could be further damaged by a flooded basement, it would not get sorted, and it would have to be hauled back downstairs and back upstairs for sorting in the future.

Option 3: Put in in the third bedroom.

Pro: It would be dry, unable to be stolen, more accessible for sorting than in the basement, and it could be stored there quicker than in the basement.

Con: Having the time to sort.

These options quickly ran through my mind as the rain continued to intensify. I decided on Option 3. It was a mad dash to move the items from the front yard to the third bedroom (fortunately, this room is used sparingly). In addition to the items still needing to be sorted, the items marked for donation needed to be moved inside as well. I decided it would be easier to move them all to this room.

The move of the items to this room went very quickly, but was not very organized. I am still working through sorting these items, still finding random boxes mixed in I need to donate. I continue to work on this project on breaks between classes. I hope to have this completed in the near future.

The lessons I learned from this project and in taking this course. I needed a better communication plan from the start (Portny et al, 2008). I needed to clearly outline the tasks that were to be done, defining the scope, and limiting my helpful friends to keeping focused on the task at hand and not on what would be the best overall process (Portny et al., 2008). I should have said no in a firm but kind manner to adding the shelving (Laureate Education, n.d.). In addition, I should have had a contingency plan for the weather. I probably should have limited the amount of items that were brought up at any one time to be sorted. In addition, I could have delegated some of the sorting and tracking of lost items to a trusted member of the team after clearly defining my expectations and need to track the lost items (Laureate Education, n.d.).

I look forward to working on personal and professional projects in the future. With the knowledge learned in the course, I am confident the projects will be better planned and have a much higher potential to be successful.

References

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Monitoring projects [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The same message received via email, voice mail, or face-to-face will have different interpretations; as illustrated by the assignment this week. One of the first rules of communication highlighted in one of this week resource videos was to make sure “communications are clear, concise, and focused” (Laureate, n.d.). The communication for this week’s assignment did not meet these basic requirements.

The sender of the communication (Jane) to the recipient (Mark) is very ambiguous in her communication. Ambiguity kills and results in misunderstanding and even hurt feelings (Laureate, n.d.). It almost feels as if Jane is blaming Mark for the missing report, we do not know from the email if the missing report is Mark’s or a different report from which Jane can obtain the information she needs. In addition, Mark may have more than one report he is working on, Jane does not specify the report nor the specific information she needs. Without stating clearly and concisely the information she is needed and a timeframe for her deadline to be met, Mark may not understand the importance of this message.

In addition, it is important that communications be customized based on individual personalities (Laureate, n.d.). Jane started to acknowledge how busy Mark is by acknowledging this is the first line of her statement. She made a serious error by inserting a “but” after this statement, undermining her sense of empathy. Had she stated: “I know you have been busy and possibly in that all day meeting today. I really need an ETA on the missing report”, leaving out the “but” the communication would have come across as more sincere.

Hearing the voice mail of the same information was a bit better than the email. In the voice mail you were able to hear the tone of voice Jane used. Jane does not come across in the voice mail as negative towards Mark as she did in the email. However, because it was worded exactly as the email the issue of ambiguity is still present and Mark may still not have a sense of urgency regarding completing this task.

The final modality presented the information in video format, with the intent of showing a face-to-face interaction. Though we could see Jane, it was not any more effective than the email, and in my opinion less effective than the voice mail. It did not reflect how someone would hold a conversation. We did get to see Jane’s body language to some degree, most was hidden by the wall she was talking over. It gave me the impression she did not want to interact with Mark. She also shakes her head no throughout indicating that she has no faith in Mark to get her what she is asking from him.

In all communications it is not just what is said, but effective communication is also influenced by “your spirit and attitude, tonality, body language, timing, and the personality of the recipient” (Laureate, n.d.). In a situation where you need to request important information from someone else, it is recommended to document this via a formal request (written). Therefore, the appropriate form for this communication would be email. One should remember when composing any form of communication, all communications should have a clear purpose, state the situation, include a solution and specify the form of response required. Jane’s communication was lacking many of these important components.

References

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Communicating with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Practitioner voices: Strategies for working with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). The art of effective communication [Multimedia program]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu