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Grading Soft Skills (GRASS) Project - Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes more . . .  
GRASS project as part of her keynote at the Next Generation Learning (NGL) conference: http://du.se/ngl2014. The NGL conference is the major conference on e-learning in higher education and beyond in Sweden. Grading Soft Skills (GRASS) is a 3-year research project financially supported by EU (project reference number: 543029-LLP-1-2013-1-RS-KA3-KA3MP), focusing on representing soft skills of learners of various ages and at different levels of education in a quantitative, measurable way, so that these skills can become the subject of formal validation and recognition. The project is being developed with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) of the EU, the flagship European funding programme in the field of education and training . The key objective of LLP is to enable individuals at all stages of their lives to pursue stimulating learning opportunities across Europe. The GRASS project is categorized as an LLP transversal programme key action 3 (KA3) project. KA3 projects are about the use of ICT tools to enhance learning environments and experiences. GRASS addresses KA3 p riority 3.1.2, Innovative pedagogy and assessment methods for diverse learning pathways . See the project description page for details. The project has officially started on Jan 01, 2014.
 
New book! Teaching in Blended Learning Environments: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry more . . .  
Norman D. Vaughan, Martha Cleveland-Innes, and D. Randy Garrison. Teaching in Blended Leaning Environments provides a coherent framework in which to explore the transformative concept of blended learning. Blended learning can be defined as the organic integration of thoughtfully selected and complementary face-to-face and online approaches and technologies. A direct result of the transformative innovation of virtual communication and online learning communities, blended learning environments have created new ways for teachers and students to engage, interact, and collaborate. The authors argue that this new learning environment necessitates significant role adjustments for instructors and generates a need to understand the aspects of teaching presence required of deep and meaningful learning outcomes. Built upon the theoretical framework of the Community of Inquiry ‚?? the premise that higher education is both a collaborative and individually constructivist learning experience ‚?? the authors present seven principles that provide a valuable set of tools for harnessing the opportunities for teaching and learning available through technology. Focusing on teaching practices related to the design, facilitation, direction and assessment of blended learning experiences, Teaching in Blended Learning Environments addresses the growing demand for improved teaching in higher education.
 
Free new book: Increasing access through mobile learning (2014) more . . .  
By Mohamed Ally (Editor), Avgoustos Tsinakos (Editor). We live today in a hugely "mobilised" world. Estimates put mobile subscriptions at more than 6 billion globally, with at least 75% of these being in developing countries. And nearly 2.5 billion of the world's population can now access the Internet, a third doing so through mobile devices alone. As the use of mobile devices increases, so is interest in harnessing their power for education and training. Mobile learning (mLearning) is an emerging field that, with the availability of Open Educational Resources and rapid growth of mobile technologies, has immense potential to revolutionise education ‚?? in the classroom, in the workplace, and for informal learning, wherever that may be. With mLearning, education becomes accessible and affordable for everyone. Many countries have major initiatives underway already to provide mobile technologies to their citizens. These are significant efforts, well aligned with the Commonwealth of Learning's mandate and UNESCO's goal of Education for All in the 21st century. Increasing Access through Mobile Learning contributes to the advancement of the mLearning field by presenting comprehensive, up-to-date information about its current state and emerging potential. This book will help educators and trainers in designing, developing and implementing high-quality mLearning curricula, materials and delivery modes that use the latest mobile applications and technologies. The 16 chapters, written by 30 contributors from around the world, address a wide range of topics, from operational practicalities and best practices to challenges and future opportunities. Researchers studying the use of mLearning in education and training, including as a means of supporting lifelong learning, will also find the experiences shared in this book to be of particular interest.
 
New free book: Global Mobile Learning Implementations and Trends (2013) more . . .  
By Avgoustos Tsinakos (Editor) and Mohamed Ally (Editor). Global Mobile Learning Implementations and Trends is edited by two internationally recognized mobile learning experts and the chapter authors are from around the world. They have extensive expertise in mobile learning. The book presents information on implementation of mobile learning around the world and trends in mobile learning. It is a valuable resource for educators and trainers who want to find out about mobile learning around the world and who would like to conduct research on mobile learning.
 
New book: From margin to mainstream - mobile technologies transforming lives and libraries (2013) more . . .  
By Mohamed Ally and Gill Needham. An up-to-date showcase of the innovative and inspiring work that libraries are doing across the world to interact with their users and deliver resources via mobile devices. Mobile technology is now the norm for accessing information for a growing swathe of library users. As mobile devices become increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, so users' expectations of being able to access information and services through them are on the rise. Libraries and information centres must respond to the challenge with ever-more inventive and effective solutions for providing content to users anywhere and anytime using a range of technologies. Librarians have a major role to play in facilitating access and providing the services required in order to access quality information.
 
MDDE 665 Wins Prestigious Award more . . .  
Athabasca University's course Collaboration and Mentoring in Educational Environments (MDDE 665) has been awarded the 2013 Commonwealth of Learning Award of Excellence for Distance Education Materials. The course is offered through the Master of Education program at the university's Centre for Distance Education.
 
Upcoming presentations and workshops through the Faculty of Graduate Studies more . . .  
The Faculty of Graduate Studies is pleased to announce the following presentations/workshops for the 2013-2014 academic year. Further sessions will be added once they are confirmed. Those interested in attending a presentation must contact [email protected] to register. Please include the program you are in, your student ID number and how you will attend the session (if applicable). Further information will be provided at that time.
 
New Book: Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning: Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practicemore . . .  
by Rory McGreal (Editor), Wanjira Kinuthia (Editor), Stewart Marshall (Editor), Tim McNamara (Editor). Open Educational Resources (OER) ‚?? that is, teaching, learning and research materials that their owners make free to others to use, revise and share ‚?? offer a powerful means of expanding the reach and effectiveness of worldwide education. Those resources can be full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, software, and other materials and techniques used to promote and support universal access to knowledge. This book, initiated by the UNESCO/COL Chair in OER, is one in a series of publications by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) examining OER. It describes the movement in detail, providing readers with insight into OER's significant benefits, its theory and practice, and its achievements and challenges. The 16 chapters, written by some of the leading international experts on the subject, are organised into four parts by theme: OER in Academia ‚?? describes how OER are widening the international community of scholars, following MIT's lead in sharing its resources and looking to the model set by the OpenCourseWare Consortium; OER in Practice ‚?? presents case studies and descriptions of OER initiatives underway on three continents; Diffusion of OER ‚?? discusses various approaches to releasing and "opening" content, from building communities of users that support lifelong learning to harnessing new mobile technologies that enhance OER access on the Internet. Producing, Sharing and Using OER ‚?? examines the pedagogical, organisational, personal and technical issues that producing organisations and institutions need to address in designing, sharing and using OER. Instructional designers, curriculum developers, educational technologists, teachers, researchers, students, others involved in creating, studying or using OER: all will find this timely resource informative and inspiring.
 
Giovanni Farias receives the Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures Award more . . .  
Giovanni is currently an EdD student with our Centre. He has been awarded $15,000. /year for 4 years. It was a competitive pool of applications with more applications than last year. This is the second year that AU has been given the opportunity to offer this award. Depending upon the amount of funding received from AI-TF a second call for applications may occur later this year. The award is to support academically superior graduate students leading to a master's or doctoral degree. The scholarship is designed to enable these promising students to succeed in areas of scientific research which are strategically important to Alberta. These areas are: Information and Communication Technology ( ICT ), Nanotechnology, and Omics in and of themselves or additionally which support the areas of Health, Bio-industries, Energy, and Environment (Alberta Innovates- Technology Futures). Sincerest congratulations!
 
Student Success! Rural and Remote Maternity Education (RRME) program more . . .  
On Feb 28, 2013, Mariea Spray and Sue Erdman-Burton, two MDE students at Athabasca, saw a proposal for a DE project that they had developed for one of their courses become a reality - the Rural and Remote Maternity Education (RRME) program went on-line.¬†Based at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) in northern Ontario, the program uses DE to deliver high-risk and specialized obstetrical education to registered nurses serving remote and rural communities. Many of these professionals have trouble accessing best-practice education because of their isolated locations ‚?? a single two-day program in Toronto can easily cost $2,500 in travel, living and course costs. "Our intensive, six month program costs $2,000 per person and is almost entirely delivered on-line" said Mariea, who is the Staff Education and Professional Practice Manager at SLMHC. "We also have a practicum of one to two weeks during which our students receive hands-on training at the SLMHC which is itself state-of-the-art with computerized mannequins capable of simulating a woman in labour."
 
New Book: Teaching in Blended Learning Environments: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry more . . .  
Teaching in Blended Leaning Environments provides a coherent framework in which to explore the transformative concept of blended learning. Blended learning can be defined as the organic integration of thoughtfully selected and complementary face-to-face and online approaches and technologies. A direct result of the transformative innovation of virtual communication and online learning communities, blended learning environments have created new ways for teachers and students to engage, interact, and collaborate. The authors argue that this new learning environment necessitates significant role adjustments for instructors and generates a need to understand the aspects of teaching presence required of deep and meaningful learning outcomes. Built upon the theoretical framework of the Community of Inquiry ‚?? the premise that higher education is both a collaborative and individually constructivist learning experience ‚?? the authors present seven principles that provide a valuable set of tools for harnessing the opportunities for teaching and learning available through technology. Focusing on teaching practices related to the design, facilitation, direction and assessment of blended learning experiences, Teaching in Blended Learning Environments addresses the growing demand for improved teaching in higher education. Authors: Norman D. Vaughan, Martha Cleveland-Innes, and D. Randy Garrison
 
About CDE's e-portfolio processmore . . .  
In this video, Dr. Debra Hoven provides a brief overview of the e-portfolio project. For more information, please visit our e-porfolio site:http://cde.lms.athabascau.ca/course/view.php?id=102
 
AU's EdTech Innovation conference calls on edtech innovators and funders to fill a Canadian voidmore . . .  
Educational technology ‚?? edtech for short ‚?? has forever changed the learning landscape in the past decade, and in the coming years, these changes are only bound to accelerate. George Siemens hopes the first-ever EdTech Innovation conference in Canada will help Canadian education stakeholders both to discover homegrown edtech innovations and run with them so that Canada remains a leader in the field.
 
The JIME Cambridge OER 2012 special issuemore . . .  
A special issue of selected papers from the Cambridge OER 2012 conference, edited by Anna Comas-Quinn, Alannah Fitzgerald and Ian Fairweather. Contribution by Dianne Conrad and Rory McGreal of Athabasca University.
 
Anderson: Presentation given at the Universidade Aberta in Lisbon on open access publishing, MOOCs and equivalencymore . . .  
Video
 
New article: Disruptive Pedagogies and Technologies in Universities (Anderson and McGreal)more . . .  
This paper is a reaction to the increasing high cost of higher education and the resulting inaccessibility for the millions of potential learners now seeking opportunities for quality higher education opportunities. The paper examines the cost centers associated with campus-based and online education systems and then suggests that disaggregation may prove to be a cost-effective way to reduce tuition payments, while maintaining quality. The paper suggests that discount service models, now available to consumers in many industries may also be attractive in new models of higher education. The paper also briefly looks at the Open Educational Resources University initiative, a pilot, collaborative project attempting to test some of these innovations in a consortium of high quality, accredited public universities. Finally, we note both the disruptive characteristics of this model and commiserate opportunities for innovative providers of higher education.
 
e-Portfolio News more . . .  
A recent regulation change has made e-portfolios an official part of the M.Ed. (Distance Education) program.
 
Open Access Week: Learn about OERs more . . .  
Detailed information about Open Access week can be found at the website: http://openaccess.athabascau.ca/
 
New book! M-Libraries 3: Transforming libraries with mobile technology more . . .  
Ally, M. and Needham, G. (2012). M-Libraries 3: Transforming libraries with mobile technology. Facet Publishing, UK.
 
Athabasca University's FIRST Graduate Student Conference! more . . .  
The theme of the conference "*/Research and the Knowledge Frontier in an Online Environment/*" exemplifies the mission and the goals of Athabasca University as a leader in open and distance education. This conference will not only highlight the work being done by our graduate students using the latest in distance technology as a tool to facilitate interactive discourse, but will also enable students and faculty to discuss research in a traditional ‚??in person' format. *Call for Abstracts:* Please encourage graduate students from all disciplines to submit a proposal for an oral presentation or a poster that can be presented either in-person or virtually. Abstracts must be submitted electronically on the conference website and are due by *April 15, 2012*. Please visit our website: http://fgs2012.ca. You may also contact [email protected] for any questions.
 
MDE to MEd Degree Conversion more . . .  
The deadline for conversion is July 31, 2012. Alumni who wish to convert their MDE degree to MEd should complete and submit the online Parchment Replacement Request Form along with the required $60 fee. Choose "Other" in the list of check boxes and indicate "Convert MDE degree to MED".
 
First UNESCO Mobile Learning Weekmore . . .  
CDE Professor, Dr. Mohamed Ally, was an expert participant at the First UNESCO Mobile Learning Week at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Officials from Ministries of Education, international experts and practitioners in mobile learning, as well as representatives from major partners in the mobile learning field were invited to share innovative ways of learning with, and through, mobile technologies, and of using them to achieve the Education for All goals and improve the quality of education. For more information on the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week, go to the URL below.
 
Building a Dream: Nepal Updatemore . . .  
This is the third in a series of occasional letters from Susan Bainbridge to The Insider (AU newsletter) by Susan Bainbridge, an AU doctoral student in distance education, who teaches at the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates and has been working in support of the Mansingh Dharma School in Kathmandu, Nepal.
 
New Article: Design-Based Research : A Decade of Progress in Education Research?more . . .  
I was fortunate enough to recruit Atahabasca University doctoral student Julie Shattuck and together we analysed the 5 most widely cited DBR articles over each of the ten years since the methodology was first promoted. You are welcome to read the results published this week Terry Anderson and Julie Shattuck (2012) Design-Based Research : A Decade of Progress in Education Research? Educational Researcher, 41: 16-25,http://edr.sagepub.com/content/41/1/16.full
 
CDE Faculty Awarded SSHRC Grant: The Community of Inquiry and Mobile Learning more . . .  
The research will identify how communities of inquiry can develop via mobile technology‚??particularly how student interaction may differ when compared to more traditional devices for online learning such as desktop and laptop computers‚??and how communities of inquiry may relate to the relationship between learner, device, and social aspect identified in the FRAME model of mobile learning.
 
Dr. Baggaley co-edits two new booksmore . . .  
Sage has launched two new books co-edited by Jon Baggaley and Tian Belawati, Rector of the Open University of Indonesia. The launch took place in October at the annual conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities in Hanoi, Vietnam. The books are Distance Education Technologies in Asia and Policy and Practice in Asian Distance Education. In his foreword to the first, Sir John Daniel calls it "a most stimulating book...it has coherence, a breadth of coverage, and a rigour of analysis that is rare in such collections." Prof. Gajaraj Dhanarajan describes the second book as "a valuable resource for all those interested or engaged in open and distance learning...it contributes enormously to the growing base of distance education literature in the world." For more about the conference: http://aaou2010.hou.edu.vn/index.php
 
Video: Dr. Cleveland-Innes goes to cooking schoolmore . . .  
Dr. Cleveland-Innes thought she was just invited to speak at the Open EdTech Summit in Barcelona in October, 2010. Little did she know that she would go to cooking school. As she comments, "the food and the cooking activity became a prop for us to get to know each other, share a lot of experiences and ideas about learning, teaching, education, and technology in general . . . " To hear her comments, advance to 3:00. The video is 13:40 in duration. For more about the conference, please see: http://www.openedtech.org/
 
New book on online conferencesmore . . .  
After a long gestation, Lynn Anderson and myself have finally seen the images of our new book Online Conferences: Professional Development for a Networked Era. The book is available from IAPpublishers for $39 and for a free preview at Google Books. For some reason the book can also be ordered from Amazon.UK, but not yet from Amazon .com or .ca We still haven't held it in our hot little hands, but maybe that is appropriate for a book on online conferences. Supposedly a copy is on its way for Lynn and I to drool over!
 
Join CDE's Social Networking Sitemore . . .  
If you have an AU login or are an invited guest, this is your site. You can use this site to share, communicate and connect. Make and join groups, blog, create wikis, share files, share bookmarks, share photos, discuss, comment...you are in control.
 
New book coming soon: An Introduction to Distance Education: Understanding Teaching and Learning in a New Eramore . . .  
An Introduction to Distance Education is a comprehensive look at the field today, outlining current theories, practices and goals. The book reviews the influence of past distance education theory and practice, along with current changes. It outlines the practical skills and information that are essential to effective distance education design, delivery and navigation. This volume brings together seminal contributors who have and who are currently researching and shaping our understanding and practice of distance education. A discussion of past and present practices in higher and distance education leads to an understanding of accessible education and the appropriate use of Web 2.0 technology. Utilizing a student-guided approach, each chapter offers the following pedagogical features to engage and support the teaching and learning process: 1) Key Questions to Consider: Students can use these questions as triggers for further thoughts related to the topic. Instructors can use these questions for classroom and online discussion. 2)Thinking Points: Strategically placed throughout the text, these points act as a springboard for further reflection and classroom discussion. A perfect textbook for Educational Technology PhD, Masters and Certificate programs, students will find An Introduction to Distance Education a solid foundation from which to explore and develop new approaches to designing and implementing online courses. - M. F. Cleveland-Innes is a faculty member and program director in the Center for Distance Education at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada. - D. R. Garrison is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre and a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. COMING SOON!
 
Free book: Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Trainingmore . . .  
Dowload the entire book or each chapter separately. - OR - Purchase paperback for $39.95 (Candadian dollars).
 
Free AWARD WINNING Book Download: Theory and Practice of Online Learningmore . . .  
Awarded the Charles A. Wedemeyer Award by the University Continuing Education Association. The Charles A. Wedemeyer Award recognizes publications of merit that make significant contributions to research in the field of distance education. DOWNLOAD FREE: 2nd edition of the Theory and Practice of Online Learning at http://www.aupress.ca/books/Terry_Anderson.php edited by Terry Anderson. This 2nd edition and its individual chapters continue to be freely available online under a Creative Commons license. The 2nd edition is also available in print for a purchase price of $39.95 Canadian.
 
Free book: A Designer's Log: Case Studies in Instructional Designmore . . .  
From the introduction: "This book deals with the design of distance education at an emerging dual-mode university, that is, a university offering courses both on-campus and via distance education or online in a variety of manners. It was written from the point of view of an instructional designer (ID) working alongside university professors in designing their courses for distance delivery.¬Ļ It originated as my logbook, which I kept over a period of three years and in which I relate the ups and downs as well as the dos and don'ts of designing learning materials for students studying at a distance. It introduces you to ten faculty members with whom I shared this experience and lifts the veil on a seldom-reported, essentially undocumented, working environment. Before presenting the cases, I will outline the underlying research study as well as introduce the design model that served as my original design prototype."
 
Why is Athabasca University a great place to work and study?more . . .  
Video: Views of employees and students about why AU is a great place to be.
Alberta Youtube Video