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October 27, 2010 / dlitgroup

ETOM – Fall Conference Notes

From left to right: Szymon Machajewski, Eric Kunnen, Bill Faber, and Garry Brand at Mott Community College

2010 ETOM Fall Conference

October 22, 2010
Mott Community College Regional Technology Center
Flint, Michigan

The ETOM 2010 Fall Conference welcomes faculty, staff and administrators to join your colleagues across the state for a wonderful opportunity to learn, network and share. This year’s conference will highlight some of the exciting teaching and learning experiences achieved by Michigan faculty and staff. There will be ample opportunity to network and share with others. Make the most of your professional development and travel dollars – attend the ETOM 2010 Fall Conference!

70 in attendance at the ETOM conference, including Szymon Machajewski, Eric Kunnen, Bill Faber, and Garry Brand.

SESSION 1: Keynote Presentation by Maria Anderson, Mathematics Professor at Muskegon Community College on “Levers of Change in Higher Education”.

We’ve seen many major industries undergo dramatic change in the last decade (i.e. manufacturing, newspapers, and customer service). While education seems “untouchable” to those within the system, there are many “levers of change” that have the potential for dramatic restructuring of higher education as well. Online courses, adaptive computer assessment systems, open-source textbooks, edupunks, pay-by-the-month degrees, … these are just some of the levers that are prying at the corners of higher education. In this presentation Maria will identify many of the levers of change that have the potential to shift higher education, resources to learn more about these, and a few scenarios that describe some of the possible futures of higher education.


  • Industrial model of learning – raw materials (students) are processed through an assembly line (courses) to achieve a final product (graduates)
  • Learning in more than just knowledge.
  • Customization is part of learning (intellectuals, critical thinkers, creative thinkers, researchers, engaged citizens, global citizens, collaborators, organizers, socializers, explainers, leaders, partners, athletes, entrepreneurs, performers) – none of this do we measure!!!
  • Change pressure – technology is pushing separation of content, learning, and certification. (You don’t need a professor to learn…) We don’t just need content experts. We need “learning coaches” and the customization for learning to best occur.
  • Change pressure – financing.
  • Change pressure – students… and parents? (stealth change pressures)
  • Airplane Model = Start in batches (boarding), academic year takes off at the same time, if there are empty seats the course still takes off, if there are too many empty seats the flight is cancelled, even if the route is more expensive it’s important to offer it, some pay different rates. (Sell the seats at a discount? Frequent learner clubs – frequent flyer?)
  • Subway Model = Whole system exists, get on and get off when you need to. Straighterline offers first semester courses only on a subscription basis / per month and per class. Western Governers University offers pay for time not credits. Competency-based, mentors not teachers, coaching is separate from evaluation. Alverno College is assessing each student as an individual INSTEAD of measure performance as a snapshot in time, against a curve that strips away individual achievement.
  • Ability Based Learning – Communication, analysis, prob solving, social interaction ..
  • Open Education Model – learning object repositories, merlot/orange grove, not may people use it. Someone has to pay for it. Academic Earth searches open courseware. Kahn Academy
  • Edupunk movement – do it yourself learning.
  • Peer to peer – facebook, twitter, p2pu, school of everything, etc.
  • Massive open online course – freemium model. PLENK
  • Change needs to come from:
    • Well-behaved (mathematical, model-based) – information rich, no tech upheavels, stable players, high barriers to entry, change happens in a stable way, no great social pressure to change
    • Badly-behaved (scenario planning) – uncertain tech evolution, uncertain demand, uncertain performance of new business models, unstable macroeconomic, shifting values, morals, regulation
    • Scenario planning – assume every important outcome may happen and plan the best business options for each case.
    • Shift to prepare.
  • Futures
    • Pharmaceuticals – energy, focus, memory, creativity
    • Ubiquitous Technology – seamless
    • Genetic modification
    • Universal translation
    • Brain-technology interface.
    • Fund critical areas of brain drain
    • Rising energy costs
    • End of student loans
  • What can we do to prepare for this disruptive change?
    • So much about content organization, it’s the human that is important in online courses.
    • Content is going to quickly become a dead-end.
    • Think about the “customizations” and how to provide and quantify them.
    • Shift the focus from content to personal development and coaching.
    • Higher education is a bit like the Titanic, we are headed toward something and we need to be prepared.
    • Either we begin NOW to push education away from content delivery, and toward human development, or we’ll go down with the ship.


SESSION 2: Revisiting the Quality and Variety of Graphic Design in Online Education

Professor Peter Beaugard

Explores the emerging graphic design teaching/learning methods for ALN through projects created by millenial students.


  • Why reevaluate graphic design in ALN? Taking on campus content and put it online requires planning and preparation.
  • Meaningful emotional content.
  • Nike – allows custom shoe design.
  • Starbucks – Eye contact with customers and how are you doing, rather than what do you want. It is about the experience and customer specific desires.
  • Multimedia – words/picts/video
  • Spacial Contiguity – near words and pictures
  • Coherence – Exclusion of extraneous words and pictures
  • Modality – Animation and narration better than animation and written text
  • Redundancy – Just animation and narration (not animation, narration, and on screen text)
  • Individual Differences – Low knowledge learners vs. high knowledge learners and high spatial learners vs low spatial learners.
  • Navigability – where the user is
  • Consistency – commands perform the same
  • Use of Affordances – align users conceptual module with interface
  • Presence – interface place relative to other artifacts
  • Directionality – a sense of purpose
  • Sense of Resources – understand the resources available
  • Anticipation – what will happen to each available action
  • Reassuring Feedback – how interactions respond
  • Motivations – why the user should interact

SESSION 3: Using Online Journals for Reflective Learning

Chris Emmons, Instructor

This is a presentation about an undergraduate course with an onground class session design which is choreographed to include a mini-lecture, followed by student presentations, and afterwards an appropriate small group activity.


  • Discussion board used for interaction and group activities.
  • The Bb 9.1 Journal tool was also used for reflection, a personal presentation, and the required readings.
  • Moodle doesn’t have a discussion/journal grading tool that works effectively so Blackboard’s tool was mentioned as a nice solution that makes grading much easier.

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