Encouraging Learner Agency and Active Learning Through Self-Mapped Learning Pathways

FSI Conference 2022 – Urbana-Champaign, Illinois (May 17, 2022)

Many educators would say that they want to find ways to encourage learners to take a more active role in directing and determining their learning goals. Heutagogy, or the study of self-determined learning, arose as a field that focused on helping students learn how to be learners. However, the challenge in implementing self-determined/active learning lies in how learners have different levels of preparation and confidence in their abilities. Not everyone is ready to take agency over their learning pathway. This session focused on various small and large strategies for implementing active learning in a course. The goal of this session was not just to hear about these outcomes – participants were encouraged to bring their own course activities so that we could look at ways to implement these ideas in real contexts.

Encouraging Learner Agency Through Self-Mapped Learning Pathways

OERxDomains Conference 2021 – Online (April 21, 2021)

This session took a brief look at the theory and practical application of Self-Mapped Learning Pathways.

Humanizing Online Learning in Times of Pandemic and Surveillance

Individualized Learning Through Self-Mapped Learning Pathways

Utilizing Gamification, Course Narratives, and Branching Scenarios to Bring a Unique Experience to Your Course

Campus Conversations – University of Nebraska (April 15, 2021)

I was originally invited to fly to the University of Nebraska to present several topics for one of their Campus Conversations sessions. The original date for that was in April 2020, but that of course was cancelled by the COVID 19 pandemic. We rescheduled for April 2021 online.

Designing Self-Mapped Learning Pathways to Support Online and Blended Instruction

AACE Innovate Learning Summit hands on workshop – Online (November 3, 2020)

Abstract: Are you interested in designing online courses that empower your students and get them to take charge of their learning? This participatory workshop will introduce you to the concept of self-mapped learning pathways (SMLP). You will learn how to apply SMLP to your online and/or blended courses in ways that will engage and motivate your students. SMLP allows instructors to create courses that support learner autonomy and self-regulation while also scaffolding learners that need more direct instruction or are not ready for full autonomy. We will show you how to take a traditional syllabus and reconfigure it so that it utilizes an SMLP approach. You will learn how you can apply various tools and social media platforms (including Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and blogging) to both deliver content and assess learning within your online course. We will share how to protect students’ privacy and share ideas for how to give students choices in what they do and how they share their learning. Bring your own device (a laptop will likely work best) and a syllabus you have used from a previous course. Upon completion, you will have a framework for creating an SMLP syllabus and the initial components will be in place.

(co-presented with Leigh A. Hall and Peggy Semingson)

Emergency Educational Measures in a Time of Pandemics, Anti-Racism Protests, and Political Chaos: Is This All Going… Anywhere?

Presented to RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia (June 24, 2020)

I was invited by a former co-worker to come speak to her current University in Austrailia (online) – they were interested in hearing about the problems U.S. education was facing during the pandemic and where it is going.

The Chopped Heutagogy Challenge: Can Learning Pathways be Designed to Allow for Self-Determined Learning Options?

OLC Innovate Conference – Online (June 16, 2020)

Calling anyone who wants to put their advanced course design theory skills to the test! Are you ready for the Chopped Heutagogy Challenge? We know that individualized learning experiences are difficult to create. How can we build something that allows learners to step out and create their own learning pathway?

(co-presented with Justin T. Dellinger)

The Challenge of Going Online: Humanizing in a Disconnected Context

Presented at Seattle Pacific University (January 31, 2020)

I was invited to fly out to Seattle Pacific University to talk to faculty from the School of Business who were developing an online version of their existing Masters in Data Analytics in Business

Abstract: While there is still some debate about whether or not online learning is effective, many instructors are already successfully navigating distance education despite the disconnected context it creates for learners. Their work has uncovered strategies for bringing connection to people that are often not even online at the same time. We looked at how to use principles of humanizing online education such as Community of Inquiry (creating different types of presence), authentic assessment, and engaging in community building within the specific context of actual course activities to tackle this challenge specifically for each individual course. Please bring your hard questions and ideas for an interactive discussion.

Chatbots, Game Theory, and AI: Adapting Learning for Humans, or Innovating Humans Out of the Picture?

OLC Innovate Conference – Denver, CO (April 4, 2019)

How can teachers utilize chatbots and artificial intelligence in ways that won’t remove humans out of the education picture? Using tools like Twine and Recast.AI chatobts, this session focused on how to build adaptive content that allows learners to create their own heutagogical educational pathways based on individual needs.

Determining Learning Pathway Choices Utilizing Process Mining Analysis on Click Stream Data in a Traditional College Course

9th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK19) – Tempe, AZ (March 7, 2019)

This poster presentation detailed preliminary research into the pathways that learners utilize to move through a course when given two modalities to choose from: one that is instructor-led and one that is student-directed. Process Mining Analysis was utilized to examine and cluster clickstream data from an online college-level History course designed with dual modality choices. This poster examines some of the results from different approaches to clustering the available data. The results of this analysis could potentially lead to the creation of predictive artificial intelligence models that can assist learners as they navigate modality choices.

(co-presented with Justin T. Dellinger, Nikola Milikic, Igor Jovic, and Kim Breuer)

Self-Mapped Learning Pathways: Researching Tools that Enable Individualized Heutagogical Competency-Based Learning

OLC Innovate Conference – Nashville, TN (April 19, 2018)

Self-Mapped Learning Pathways are an innovative instructional approach that facilitates learner agency while moving learners towards heutagogical/self-determined learning. Learners create their own individualized pathways through a course that potentially encompasses several different modalities. This session examines current research into practical applications of Self-Mapped Learning Pathways in traditional college courses.

(co-presented with Justin T. Dellinger and Kim Breuer)

Practical and Creative Applications of Heutagogy with Self-Mapped Learning Pathways

OLC Innovate Conference – Nashville, TN (April 18, 2018)

Can open, customizable, self-mapped learning pathways make the transition from conceptual heutagogical idea to practical classroom application? This interactive presentation explored the pros and cons of this emerging learning design approach by collaboratively brainstorming ideas with participants for how they can practically apply customizable pathway concepts to their courses.

Designing Innovative Courses with Self-Determined / Heutagogical Learning Pathway Mapping

OLC Innovate Conference – New Orleans, LA (April 5, 2017)

Expanding upon the previous year’s customizable pathways session, this innovation lab looked at how to design courses that allow learners to map and follow their own personalized learning pathway. Based on the dual-layer MOOC model (DALMOOC / HumanMOOC), this lab looked at current ideas and future directions as well.

Exploring Virtual Reality, Synchronous Learning, and Google Apps with Preservice Teachers with an Interactive Technology Workshop and Tutorial

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education 2017 conference – Austin, Texas (March 7, 2017)

This best practices session focuses on the rationale, structure, content, and procedures of a structured hands-on exploration of advanced technology tools as it connected to literacy-focused instruction for preservice elementary teachers. The technology carnival workshop was attended by preservice teachers and was facilitated by faculty. The rationale for the student-centered technology carnival centered on engaging preservice teachers in a large public university-based teacher preparation program around three technology tools they might not ordinarily consider for technology integration: Virtual Reality, Synchronous Learning, and selected Google Apps for Education (GAFE). Objectives of the technology carnival for preservice teachers included helping preservice teacher to explore and evaluate the tools and to identify applications towards their future literacy teaching in the classroom. Handouts and resources were provided.

(co-presented with lead presenter Peggy Semingson and Dana Owens)

Examining the Interaction Between Wearables and Virtual / Augmented Reality From a Design and Theoretical Perspective

aWEAR16: Wearable Technologies, Knowledge Development, and Learning – Stanford, CA (November 14, 2016)

As wearable devices and augmented / virtual reality become more prominent in the educational landscape, educators are faced with many dilemmas. New technology is costly. Research into effective usage is slim. Practical application examples are few and far between. Additionally, as these technologies merge or interact with each other and existing educational situations, new possibilities and challenges are created. As is usually the case with any emerging technology, learning theory and philosophy are often left out of the conversation in the rush to implement (or block) new ideas. This session examined the confluence of virtual/augmented reality and wearable devices through a dual lens of instructional design and educational philosophy.

(co-presented with Justin T. Dellinger)

Customizable Modality Pathway Courses: Research Results and Design Implications of Empowering Learner Choice

Learning With MOOCS III: Being and Learning in a Digital Age – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (October 7, 2016)

The recent design framework called Customizable Modality Pathway Courses began with the 2014 Data, Analytics, and Learning MOOC and has continued to develop over the last two years. This approach blends together customizable pathways, student-centered design, contextualized personal learning, and learning pathway mapping. The basic design structure creates two modality possibilities for engaging the course topic: an instructor-centered guided pathway and a student-centered self-directed pathway. Learners can choose one modality, both modalities, or a changing mixture of modalities at any point in the course. The resulting pathway that each learner creates is a customized learning journey tailor-made by each individual for their specific sociocultural needs and affordances. This session covered the results of the research on Customizable Modality Pathway Course design, including the pros and cons uncovered by quantitative and qualitative analysis. Additionally, the implications for instructional design and tool development were discussed. This included suggestions of how to decrease design presence when enabling pathway choices, scaffolding learners from instructor guidance to self-regulated learning, implications of tool choices, and how to design a course with multiple pathway options.

(co-presented with Justin T. Dellinger)

Utilizing Innovative Customizable Pathways / Dual-Layer MOOC Course Design For True Individualized Learning

OLC Innovate Conference – New Orleans, LA (April 20, 2016)

Recent work on customizable pathways course design points to interesting possibilities for individualized learning. This session discussed how to create dual-layer courses.

The Impact of MOOCs on Traditional Online Courses

Digital Learning Research Network – Stanford, CA (October 16, 2015)

Starting in 2008, the MOOC became an overhyped buzzword that some felt posed a major threat to traditional higher education systems. These courses would replace the professor with fully automated platforms and change the landscape of the university at large. As they have continued to evolve, it has become increasingly evident that MOOCs are a symptom of learner and system needs, and serve to complement fully online, blended, and face-to-face classrooms rather than replace them. In the post-hype period, it is valuable to look at how these courses address the aforementioned needs, if they actually do, and how MOOC design strategies can affect traditional online courses, both in positive and negative ways. This session included a brief case study of a large fully-online history course at the University of Texas at Arlington attempting to incorporate elements learned from MOOCs, such as multimodal pathways, microlearning, moving out of the learning management system, and use of social media. More importantly, this session posited larger questions to the group about feasibility, conceptualization, and implementation to spur further discussion.

(co-presented with lead presenter Justin T. Dellinger)

Customizable Modalities for Individualized Learning: Examining Patterns of Engagement in Dual-Layer MOOCs

Digital Learning Research Network – Stanford, CA (October 16, 2015)

Dual-layer MOOCs are a recent attempt to transfer control over learning experience to MOOC participants in ways that personalized learning designs often cannot accomplish. A dual-layer MOOC design involves creating two complete and complementary learning pathways for the course, with each pathway focusing on different epistemological modalities. The overarching idea is to allow MOOC participants to navigate the course pathways in a way that best suits their particular learning needs, by utilizing one modality, both modalities, or a custom combination of either modality at different timeframes in the course. Any pathway through the modalities would count as “completing” the course. A dual-layer MOOC might have an instructivist modality focused on traditional content delivery and discussion paired with a connectivist modality focused on networked and social learning. This study sought to investigate the experiences of participants in the “Data, Analytics, and Learning” MOOC (DALMOOC), a dual-layer MOOC organized in Fall 2014. Using a mixed-methods approach, course participant patterns of engagement were analyzed to investigate the differences between participation strategies, as well as to identify participants that utilized different pathways through course modalities. After initial quantitative analysis of course participation traces, a subset of participants were invited to participate in follow-up semi-structured qualitative interviews with the goal of providing more depth to the analysis of their patterns of engagement. Additionally, online discussion postings and social media activity created during DALMOOC were analyzed to help inform interview questions. Thus, the main goal of this study was to examine differences in participation strategies across both course modalities as well as to utilize study findings to refine, improve, and focus future research and design of the dual-layer model of MOOCs.

(co-presented with Justin T. Dellinger, Vitomir Kovanovic, and Srecko Joksimovic)

My Theory Can Whip Your Theory: The Ontological Smackdown to End All Ontological Smackdowns

Digital Learning Research Network – Stanford, CA (October 17, 2015)

Many voices through the decades have promised a future educational technology utopia that promises equality and access for all. This wonderful future would be supported by technology that is neutral in design, access, utility, and purpose. However, the egalitarian promises of educational technology have fallen short in reality. In many cases, the technology that we use in education often supports the paradigms that are already dominant in education. This panel discussion examined how various theoretical lenses respond to these problems in educational technology. The panelists represent postmodernism, connectivism, metamodernism, pragmaticism, socio-constructivism, & curriculum theory (encompassing content, product, process and critical perspectives). The paradigms and issues that were discussed include how forms of digital scholarship and online learning align with particular theoretical foundations, and how the tools we use/choose to use are influenced by our theoretical perspectives.

(Panel discussion with moderator Bonnie Stewart, along with co-panelists Maha Bali, Rebecca Hogue, Whitney Kilgore, and Rolin Moe)

Challenges and Opportunities of Dual-Layer MOOCs: Reflections from an edX Deployment Study

11th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL 2015) – Gothenburg, Sweden (June 7-11, 2015)

This interactive event is meant to engage the CSCL community in brainstorming about what affordances in MOOCs would enable application of and research extending theories and best practices from our field. To provide a concrete focus as a foundation for this discussion, we present the innovative design of a recent edX MOOC entitled Data, Analytics, and Learning (DALMOOC). We have integrated several innovative forms of support for discussion based learning, social learning, and self-regulated learning. In particular, we have integrated a layer referred to as ProSolo, which supports social learning and self-directed learning. In further support of self-directed learning, intelligent tutor style exercises have been integrated, which offer immediate feedback and hints to students. We have integrated a social recommendation approach to support effective help seeking in the threaded discussion forums as well as collaborative reflections in the form of synchronous chat exercises facilitated by software agents. The event included an overview, offering the opportunity for active engagement in the MOOC, structured brainstorming, and interactive, whole group feedback.

(lead author/presenter Carolyn P Rose along with co-presenters Oliver Ferschke, Gaurav Tomar, DiYi Yang, Iris Howley, Vincent Aleven, George Siemens, Dragan Gasevic, & Ryan Baker)

Is the MOOC Truly Dead, Just Taking a Breather, or Still Gaining Momentum?

8th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium – Dallas, TX (April 24, 2015)

What if the most important lessons to be learned from MOOCs will still thrive long after the MOOC is a distant memory?

Understanding Instructional Designs and Teaching Strategies of Massive Open Online Courses

American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting – Chicago, Illinois (April 18, 2015)

Presentation of a research paper: This study examined instructional designs and teaching strategies of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), with a focus on the activities and expectations for students to complete the courses. It is hoped that such an examination will help in the development of a course taxonomy which will help learners set better expectations before they take college-level courses. This effort will also provide guidance for instructional design and technology choices beyond MOOC settings in a global learning environment, since emerging designs such as MOOCs are often designed for learners who would otherwise not having an opportunity to learn. Therefore, this taxonomy could be helpful to learners from different cultures, due to differences in language backgrounds and cultural experiences of learning.

(co-presented with Dr. Lin Lin)

Lessons Learned While Designing and Implementing a Multiple Pathways xMOOC + cMOOC

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education 2015 conference – Las Vegas, Nevada (March 5, 2015)

Brief paper presentation: While most Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are typically divided into xMOOCs and cMOOCs, a few instructors are already combining the two paradigms. This paper discusses the issues surrounding the design and implementation of the edX Data, Analytics and Learning course. This course combined the instructivism of xMOOCs with the connectivism of cMOOCs. The goal of this design was to allow students to choose from multiple pathways through the content and activities. This paper focuses on lessons learned as well as how to proceed in shaping the future of this emerging course structure.

(co-presented with Justin T. Dellinger)

Microlearning as a Tool to Engage Students in Online and Blended Learning

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education 2015 conference – Las Vegas, Nevada (March 3, 2015)

This best practices session focuses on exploration of the topic of using microlearning in both online and blended learning environments. The session provided a definition of microlearning as well as the creation and location of microcontent, drawing on key ideas and principles from Theo Hug (2006; 2010). According to Hug (2010), microlearning overlaps theoretically and in practice with the topic of mobile learning. Microlearning experiences, for instance, can include short bursts of asynchronous learning such as brief readings of digital text(s), a brief video segment followed by a 2-3 question quiz, or a micropodcast. Instructors can use microlearning in flexible and fluid ways within, or in addition to the regular course content. Concrete examples of microlearning from across subject areas were explored; teaching ideas and handouts were also provided.

(co-presented with lead author Peggy Semingson and Justin T. Dellinger)

Designing a Dual Layer xMOOC + cMOOC

Texas Community College Technology Forum – Plano, TX (November 7, 2014)

While some feel that the philosophical differences between xMOOCs and cMOOCs are too great to bridge, what if a bridge were possible? What if this new “dual layer” MOOC could support other possibilities like adaptive and problem-based learning? This session examined how these questions fit into the greater MOOC discussion, as well as lay out an idea for combining xMOOCs and cMOOCs based on the Learning and Teaching as Communicative Actions Theory.

(co-presented with Justin T. Dellinger and Brittany Usman)

Are MOOCs Really Just Bad Course Design Digitized?

Sloan C’s 7th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium – Dallas, TX (April 10, 2014)

MOOCs: new innovative idea or old idea with a new facade? Is there really a difference between open courses and open learning design?

(co-presented with Harriet Watkins of UT Arlington)

Social Interaction and Peer Mentorship at Universities in a Post-Course Future

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education 2014 conference – Jacksonville, FL (March 19, 2014)

Presentation of brief conference paper: “While the predictions of the death of the University are premature and mostly unfounded, one of the foundational units of learning at universities – the course – may be changing. As learning becomes more student-centered, multimedia and interaction are being leveraged in deconstructed open courses to form peer mentorship networks, also known as personal learning networks. This paper examined how these networks could be an important foundational step in moving towards a thriving student-centered, post-course future at universities. Emerging college systems that leverage personal learning networks based on interaction and multimedia were also examined.”

Leveraging Sociocultural Theory to Create a Mentorship Program for Doctoral Students

Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age international conference – Fort Worth, TX (October 23, 2013)

Presentation of conference paper: “This paper details a proposed doctoral student connections program that is based on sociocultural theory. It is designed to assist new students with starting their educational journey. This program is designed to leverage social interactions, peer mentorship, personal reflection, purposeful planning, and existing resources to assist students in navigating a department’s doctoral program culture.”

Online Learning Innovation: Community, Openness, and Turning Things Inside Out

National University Technology Network Conference – Kansas City, MI (September 18, 2012)

Open learning, flipped classrooms, MOOCs, mobile learning, and many other ideas are turning courses on their heads. Students and faculty are growing tired of the same cookie-cutter approach to online learning. This session explored new models that increase engagement for students and how institutions can support these new ideas.

(co-presented with Sarrah Sarraj of UT Arlington)

The Web Is Changing: It’s Time to Dethrone the LMS

Texas Distance Learning Association Conference – Houston, TX (March 21-23, 2010)

Rapid changes in online learning concepts such as learning communities, personal learning environments, and complexity are driving a need to dismantle the learning management system as we know it. LMS systems and instructional design are in need of major overhauls and are in danger of becoming obsolete if they don”t evolve. Students need a place to connect and collaborate at complex levels rather than hide behind a “walled garden.” Two colleagues at UT Arlington presented a new paradigm as an innovative alternative to the existing LMS concept as we know it.

(co-presented with Harriet Watkins of UT Arlington)

Get Those EduPunks Off of My Lawn!

National University Telecommunications Network Conference – Saratoga Springs, NY (June 21-23, 2009)

“Edupunk” is defined as an approach to teaching that results from the do-it-yourself (DIY) attitude of some educators that are leaving behind corporate controlled technologies and pre-defined applications for the more open and less controlled arena of Web 2.0 technologies. In the rush to ride the “web 2.0” bandwagon, many educators and administrators are left in the dust when I comes to knowing what product is being delivered for the investment of time and capitol. This session examined issues related to the identification and development of distance learning content; the use of outside tools in online courses; and the changing and evolving role of LMS services and content as online learning technologies and pedagogy continue to advance.

(co-presented with Tim Gottleber of North Lake College)

Will Web 3.0 Make Us Change the Way We Educate? (v2.0)

Sloan-C International Symposium on Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning – San Francisco, CA (June 17-19, 2009)

Web 3.0 is just around the corner, but learning management system programs and instructional design models are not ready for the road ahead. This session called for a new vision and direction for Learning Management Systems as well as touch on a new Instructional Design method.

(co-presented with Harriet Watkins of UT Arlington)

Will Web 3.0 Make Us Change the Way We Educate? (v1.0)

Texas Distance Learning Association Conference – Corpus Christi, TX (April 6-9, 2009)

Web 3.0 is just around the corner. What does this mean for online teaching and instructional design? This session explored the future of the Internet, call for a new vision and direction for Learning Management Systems, and touch on a new Instructional Design method.

(co-presented with Harriet Watkins of UT Arlington)

The Future of the Internet: Web 3.0 and 3-D Web

National University Telecommunications Network Conference – Park City, UT (June 9-11, 2008)

As the Internet continues to grow and evolve, educational leaders need to be ready to influence the merger and growth of two separate areas: the semantic web and online virtual communities.

Effective Instructional Design Techniques in Moodle and Second Life [hands-on session]

Texas Distance Learning Association Conference – Galveston, TX (March 24-27, 2008)

Filled with many “ghee-whiz” tools and a wide range of emerging technologies, Moodle is quickly becoming a popular online LMS option. This session looked at how to create an interactive, pedagogically sound, active learning environment using available tools, third party plug-ins, and the Sloodle project (Second Life + Moodle).

Cutting Edge Innovations in Online Learning: Web 2.0 for Everybody

Innovations in Online Learning Conference – Austin, TX (May 24, 2007)

Web 2.0 applications are web-based, typically free to the user, support collaboration and interaction, and are responsive to learners. With these tools educators now have a plethora of online tools, such as Skype, Odeo, and Slideshare, which encourage collaboration and the sharing of ideas. This showcase demonstrated several of these tools and give participants ideas on how to apply them to support deeper learning.

(co-presented with Katrina Adams of UT Dallas)

3-D Learning Management System: Moodle + Second Life

Texas Distance Learning Association Conference – Galveston, TX (March 28, 2007)

Out beyond the cutting edge of technology, an unusual alliance is forming. Moodle and Second Life are being integrated in a project called Sloodle. Anyone interested in the next big step in online learning will benefit from this exploration of the educational impact of this new project.

Web2.0 Alphabet Soup: CSS, RSS, XML, and AJAX

Texas Distance Learning Association Conference – Galveston, TX (March 27, 2007)

More than just a new version of the Internet, Web2.0 is an entirely new way of looking at web design. Anyone involved in the design of online classes will benefit from this exploration of the changes that the Web2.0 revolution is bringing to instructional design.

Do-It-Yourself LMS: Open-Source and High-Tech Possibilities

Innovations in Online Learning Conference – Austin, TX (June 1, 2006)

This presentation examined open-source LMS/CMS systems. Integration of different programs was examined, as well as how to design a custom system from the ground up. The benefits and pitfalls of this approach were examined, and ideas for integrating high-tech solutions into a custom system were explored.

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