E-Learning Lessons K-12 Can Learn from Higher Ed.

Friday, April 3, Noon to 1 p.m. Eastern

Although online education is increasingly an option for K-12 students, colleges and universities have been much quicker to develop online courses and incorporate them into their curricula. Our experts discussed e-learning lessons from higher education, plus insights on dual-enrollment programs.

Stephen Canipe, program director for MSEd Math & Science and Instructional Design and Technology at the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University
E-Learning Lessons K-12 Can Learn from Higher Ed.(04/03/2009) 
11:36 Moderator: Katie Ash:  We're now accepting questions for this chat. Please start sending them in! The chat itself will begin in about 25 minutes.
12:00 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Hello everyone and welcome to today's chat about the lessons that K-12 educators can learn about online learning from higher education. We'd like to thank our sponsor of this chat, CDW-G.

12:01 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Hello everyone and welcome to today's chat about the lessons that K-12 educators can learn about online learning from higher education. We'd like to thank our sponsor of this chat, CDW-G.

12:01 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Hello everyone and welcome to today's chat

12:02 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

I'm here with Stephen Canipe, the program director of MSEd Math & Science and Instructional Design and Technology at the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University.

12:03 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Unfortunately, Bryan Setser is unable to join us this morning, but I recently wrote a story about this very topic for this year's issue of Technology Counts and will be participating in the discussion as well.

12:03 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

We've got a lot of questions, and we want to get through as many as we can, so let's get started. Steve - maybe you would like to share what your background is?

12:03 Steve C:  Thanks Katie --Hello Everyone,
Just a little background -- I have been involved in the educational arena for over 40 years!! I have taught at the high school and University level; had experience as a building principal, central office staff, state dept of education and now a director of master's level science, math, and technology at a large private online University - Walden University.

My educational background is a BS in biology from Appalachian State Univ in NC; MS in biology from Michigan State Univ; and my EdD in Educational Leadership from Duke Univ.

Glad to be with you today and share my thoughts and hopefully insights on issues of concern to you.

12:03 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Great!
12:04 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Let's start with a question from Virginia about what kinds of skills online teachers need to know.

12:04 [Comment From Virginia TRT]
How are teachers prepared for facilitating online learning?
12:05 Steve C:  In our programs we have developed a specific training program to allow them to exist and thrive in an onlinie environment. This has evolved over the years and is now pretty structured -- all new faculty at Walden have to participate befiore tehy get to be in a classroom
12:06 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Maura has a follow-up question about that for you.

12:06 [Comment From Maura]
How do universities address professional development for professors just beginning to teach online? How will K-12 educators address this need for PD?
12:07 Steve C:  I should point out that I am not a speed typist and ask everyone to excuse my typos!!

Great question Maura -- I believe that in order to be effective it will be necessary to set up some type of training program that addresses teh fears and p[itfalls. At teh K-12 level this could easily be done in PD
12:08 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Here's a more general question about online learning at K-12 and higher ed levels from Kevin.

12:08 [Comment From Kevin]
Why do you think e-learning has increased much more rapidly at the higher ed level than it has in K-12
12:09 Steve C:  Hi Kevin
I thik there are a number of reasons -- perhaps chief among them is teh perceived maturity level of our students. K-12 are sometimes perceived as not being mature enough to handle teh "freedom" that is possible in online.

Not sure I agree with that because I know of several states that are now requiring at least one online experience for graduation.
12:10 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Good point. I also know that some of the folks in the online education field that I spoke with for my story said that higher education isn't as subject to some of the same constraints as K-12 educators are.

12:11 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Part of that may have to do with funding - which brings me to a question by Dan S.

12:11 [Comment From Dan S]
Is the implementation of K-12 e learning going to be funded by for profit educational institutions much like we see in the higher education sector?
12:14 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Funding is definitely an issue here. I'm not sure if we can really predict how it will happen, but I know as of now, the funding models for K-12 virtual schools differ greatly.
12:14 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Some are funded by the state, and others go through for-profit companies that specialize in online learning.
12:14 Steve C:  Dan
I am not sure that eLearning is bound to be funded by for-profit schools. There are a number of iniitiatives in my home state of NC with the Carolina OnLine programs where a student can take classes from any of teh 16 campuses of teh greater University of NC system.

I think that for profits have had earlier experience in doing the online learning and maybe able to help others interested. We do have programs to produce trained faculty --

At teh high school level because of the relative low cost of getting into the programs just about any system can afford it -- quality is teh concern for me
12:15 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Here's a question from Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, another reporter here at EdWeek who worked on Technology Counts
12:15 [Comment From Kathleen Kennedy Manzo]
Do universities generally have more resources, better technologies to get e-learning projects going more quickly and effectively? Don't their customers (students) have greater expectations/demands for these kinds of learning opportunities?
12:16 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Steve, could that be one reason that online learning has taken off in higher ed quicker than K-12?

12:16 Steve C:  That is a good question -- universitied - for profit, private, or public often do have more resources based on teh structure of the organization. I think that all levels of students need to have high expectattions -- we need to do this for our students at whatever level.
12:17 Steve C:  Not having to have 5 hours a day of being with studnets and having to not only teach but monitor lunch/bathroom duties are also not at teh university level
12:17 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Here's a question that gets to the quality of online learning from Donna

12:18 [Comment From Donna]
How do you ensure consistency in the quality of learning between students learning in the classroom and students learning online? This is a common concern I hear from my teachers when we are discussing online education.
12:19 Steve C:  While I can only directly speak to what we do at Walden -- I would surmise that most do something similar...

we have an strong assessment program that matches objectives to performance measured by rubrics. We take these data and where there is a disconenct between what we thought we taught and what students actually learned triggers a re-look at the entire process
12:19 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

That sounds similar to a suggestion made by Anthony.

12:19 [Comment From Anthony Pfeiffer]
Why not have standards for online learning? Also, why not intergrate exiting courses including college and adult and merge with the K-12 needs.
12:20 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Steve, do you think that virtual education has the potential to create a "bridge" between K-12 and higher education?

12:22 Steve C:  Anthony -- this is a great idea nad is being done in a number of places in land-based institutions -- it treates leareners as learners -- but there are some differences in pedagogy (kids) and androgogy (adult) -- so not sure that all issues can cross.

BAck in 1987 I started a program to do just what you suggest when we paired my high school with a community colelge and had just learners -- the CC director and I knew who was paying for what btu teh studnets did not -- merged across teh spectrum
12:22 Moderator: Katie Ash:  I know some schools and states are really taking advantage of the partnerships between local colleges and universities through dual-enrollment programs where students can earn college credit while they're still in high school. For example, New Mexico has a new program called IDEAL-NM that does exactly that.
12:22 Steve C:  KAtie--Virtual edcuation would certainly make this whole process easire now that in 1987
12:22 Moderator: Katie Ash:  


12:23 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Can you talk about some of the differences between teaching kids and adults, Steve? And how that might affect the way teachers teach online in K-12 and higher ed?
12:24 Steve C:  One of teh prime ways is the motiviation of adults in learning -- they need less extrinsic motivational factors. Adult learners will always try to make immediate meaning of tehir learnign an place it in context more that K-12 kids. Remember of course that tehse are a bit general since maturity is on a continuum
12:25 Moderator: Katie Ash:  


12:25 Steve C:  Differences with kids is that you probably need flasier presentations
12:25 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Interesting question from Margaret

12:25 [Comment From Margaret Sorensen]
I am a PhD Candidate in K-12 Leadership at Walden. Christensen suggests that the early development in innovation tends to take place outside well established markets or uses. I am interested in uses of technology in the vast wasteland of parent-school involvement in K-12. Do you see uses of such things as virtual parent communities developing?
12:26 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Could virtual ed help increase parental involvement in their child's education?
12:27 Steve C:  MArgaret -- glad you asked before I answer that let me tell ouor audience to do the following if you want an eye opener -- got to Beloit College's website and see what this years freshmen have never experienced..
12:28 Steve C:  Having the ability to get to parents in a virtual world MArgaret is a key factor -- getting parents involved in their child's edcuation is easier since in many cases we do teaching in an asychronous fashion
12:28 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

What are some of the benefits of teaching in an asynchronous environment?

12:28 Steve C:  MArgaret is this a topic of your disswertation? SOunds like it could be/
12:29 Moderator: Katie Ash:  I know when we talked, Steve, you mentioned that as a high school principal, you saw quite a few kids who might have been able to benefit from learning asynchronously.
12:29 Steve C:  

One is not bound by constraints of time -- I can work best when I leave my regualr job at 7 PM -- another person can do it during insomnia at 4 AM -- or I can talk with fols from around the worls without one or the other of us being sleep deprived

12:30 Steve C:  It gets us oout of teh immediacy issue -- and allows a better thought process and time to consider what we want to say. This chat is real-time and tehre are some folks who might not be able to participate because of work etc.
12:31 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Right - so it could be easier for students with busy schedules to fit in more learning with a more flexible schedule.
12:31 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Here's a comment I hear often when talking about virtual education from Bill Van Lente
12:31 Steve C:  Absolutely -- fit the time to the availability .. For example on this chat if we did this as a Blog all could be involved at their schedule
12:31 [Comment From Bill Van Lente]
Has anyone considered that kids today are more technology savy than many adult learners? While motivation and control may be more of a challenge re pedagogy than androgogy, I'm wondering if K-12 students might be every bit as receptive to on-line and blended learning as adult learners. Has any one seen any research in this regard?
12:33 Steve C:  Bill good point -- I am not too sure with teh research at teh K-12 level -- have seen some relational research out of TX but it was a very small sampel size. The point of the readiness is a key -- that is why I find the Beloit college survey interesting
12:34 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Just to get back to asynchronous learning for a second - Kelly Wade makes a good point about participation.
12:34 [Comment From Kelly Wade]
It is also a strategy to include EL students who are shy about participating in a synchronous environment.
12:34 Moderator: Katie Ash:  This leads into a question submitted by EdWeek reporter Mary Ann Zehr
12:34 [Comment From Mary Ann Zehr]
Do these courses seem to enable foreign students, who may feel less comfortable than native English speakers to speak up in class, to participate more fully in the course?
12:35 Moderator: Katie Ash:  This is something about virtual education that gets brought up a lot. Students who may be shy, for any reason, about speaking up in class, are often much more willing to participate in discussions online, where they have time to think about their responses before posting them.
12:35 Steve C:  One of teh issues with ELL or ESL or whatever term is used is understanding nuances -- in an environemtn like beign shy -- in a regular 4 walls class they can hide behind the door -- in a vitrual class there is no door and no place to hide -- we do need to be aware of concerns about their comfort level but they are sort of "forced" to participate
12:36 Steve C:  There is teh anonymous factor at play
12:36 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

That's true.

12:36 Steve C:  I found the link to teh Beloit info I mentioned earlier
12:36 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Do you think that online education might encourage more direct contact between teachers and students than face-to-face learning?
12:37 Steve C:  It certainly would help that -- we have a large number of folks who work together in class but in our case at Walden never "see" each other until our graduation ceremony -- we have 2 per year
12:38 Steve C:  We have a space in our classrooms called teh Cafe where we try to virtually emulate the Student Union
12:38 Steve C:  Just a place to chat and hang out -- share good news and talk
12:38 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

So there are online spaces available for that sort of interaction.

12:39 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Here's a question/comment from Michael Flory.
12:39 [Comment From Michael Flory]
In the early days of online higher education, there was reservation by employers over the quality of education received at online schools -- this has largely passed. Could there be an equal reluctance by colleges to accept students who took multiple high school courses online? What can K-12 do to assure students/parents/employers/colleges that the classes are rigorous?
12:39 Steve C:  Katie -- in each of our virtual classrooms absoultely -- I think that this is the case with all virtual schools and I definitely would recommend it -- makes those conenctions
12:39 Moderator: Katie Ash:  I had one person tell me that higher ed in some ways made it easier for K-12 educators looking into virtual schooling because it proved that learning online can be just as rigorous and effective as learning face-to-face.
12:40 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Do you think there's still a stigma attached to online learning, especially in the K-12 arena?
12:40 Steve C:  Michael -- there is always a little fear of what is outside our own comfort level -- and I would think that it might be a problem for some -- just as accepting home schooled students was -- btu with experience it becoems less of a problem
12:41 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Melissa has a similar comment.
12:41 [Comment From Melissa]
Some high schools are providing "extended learning opportunities" including online courses as a way to meet high school graduation requirements, especially those requirements students have previously (or repeatedly) failed. And yet not all high school staff are not necessarily pleased or "on board" with this approach. Any guidance you'd like to offer?
12:42 Moderator: Katie Ash:  I think one important piece to mention is the importance of both student and faculty support for virtual education.
12:42 Steve C:  Is there a stigma -- yes but less now that before. about all I would offer is that make sure that the programs are quality adn get accrediting bodies on baord -- just like Walden we are accredited byt eh NorthCentral Regional accrediting body -- our University offices are in Minenappolis -- same group that does Notre Dame, Michigan, Illinois, etc
12:43 Moderator: Katie Ash:  There have definitely been cases, in both higher ed and K-12, where online schools haven't met expectations.
12:43 Moderator: Katie Ash:  But like Steve said, that's not the case with all virtual schools.
12:44 Steve C:  True -- and that is unfortuante for all teh good schools that are out there adn play by the rules...will there be some K-12 schools that are less that we would hope probably but it does nto mean that teh process itself is falwed -- only that school's implementation of the idea
12:45 Moderator: Katie Ash:  You mentioned to me, Steve, that although higher ed and K-12 schools teach different age groups, the design principles of the programs are pretty similar.
12:45 Moderator: Katie Ash:  There need to be goals and a way to make sure those goals are being met.
12:45 Steve C:  They are -- both need to start with standards, both need to set forth reasonable objectives, adn both need to meeasure and assess with quality -- that is sort of teh bottom line
12:46 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Sure. Here's another comment from Bill.
12:46 [Comment From Bill Van Lente]
Nothing like experience to overcome limiting assuptions about how we as adulsts and students can learn. I had people who were in great fear at the start of an on-line graduat course, become true believers and fully engaged, once we got on with it. It took some hand holding at first, but they were very pleased with the experience and I was with what they learned, both curriculum and how they could learn on-line.
12:47 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

And here's a question from Barbara about one of her concerns -

12:47 [Comment From Barbara]
Isn't there a concern about who is actually taking the online class, by employers and colleges. How do you prevent fraud?
12:47 Steve C:  At Walden we use teh national or international bodies that are the oversight groups -- for K-12 I would encourage them to use tehir oversight groups' standards. Bill I agree totally with your thought...
12:48 Steve C:  BArbara -- your question goes to teh heart of the issue -- how do you ever manage integrity. COuld someone cheat -- of course -- do students cheat in land-based schools -- yes.

To try to catch tehm we have some policies and procedures -- do we catch every cheater -- probay not -- do the best we can
12:49 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

What about a blended approach to learning - that seems to be something that K-12 educators are embracing more and more.

12:49 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Where students spend part of their time online and part in the classroom.
12:50 Moderator: Katie Ash:  That might address some of the issues that we've talked about -- maintaining student motivation, keeping direct contact with students in a variety of ways, providing a space for social interaction, etc.
12:50 Steve C:  Using a hybrid approach is something that we do in our doctroal programs -- we have online of course but wwe also have a series of meetings (we call residences) where students actually do get together in a F2F environemnet.
12:51 Steve C:  Our residences can be at fun places like in Spain and Chile -- our students are from all over and it si posibel to attend one and get some cultrual awareness as well as learn and meet
12:51 Moderator: Katie Ash:  I know the NEA believes strongly that the social element of actually being in school is a very important part of learning, especially for younger students.
12:52 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Here's a question from Lisa B:

12:52 [Comment From Lisa B]
Dont you think that a lot of these concerns about online learning are generational? I think it is important to create the proper infrastructure, but our kids and teenagers are quite adept to being online and learning via the internet.
12:52 Steve C:  The social learnign theory is a key -- particuarly in K-12 -- another differenncein androgogy -- not as strong but still there. This is why we build those social rooms and also provide students teh oportunity to form study groups in teh classes
12:53 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

As "digital natives" grow up and become teachers themselves, do you think some of the concerns that educators have right now will be assuaged?

12:53 Steve C:  Lisa -- you may be absolutely correct -- the old term was digital natives or immigrants -- sometimes now referred to as teh millenials
12:54 Steve C:  Some of us in edcuation over 40 eyars as I have been have seen lots of change -- we just must embrace it and as some of the students say "go with teh flow"
12:55 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

And part of it may be demand from students, as Kelly commented.

12:55 [Comment From Kelly Wade]
Students are not only receptive, they are DEMANDING online learning access. If they don't get it in public schools, they are choosing private and virtual options outside their districts. This loss of ADA is driving projects like the one I coordinate for a county office of education in CA>
12:56 Steve C:  Kelly -- one of teh things, as you know, is that adaptive and assitive technologies are getting better all teh time. Also in an online environmetn -- no one can see or know my handicap unless I elect to tell tehm -- allowing me to respond without any prejudices -- good or bad.
12:56 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

One point that I think we should bring up here is that many virtual ed. enthusiasts will tell you that online learning isn't the best choice for all students, but the real value lies in having that option available to all students.

12:57 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Not all kids might want to take advantage of it, but it's good to have it there, for the ones who do.
12:57 [Comment From Allison F.]
please clarify ADA
12:57 Moderator: Katie Ash:  ADA - average daily attendance
12:58 Steve C:  

KAtie -- good point -- availabel to all not required for all is maybe the best idea. IN K-12 where budgets are getting squeezed you may see it as a cost effective option bveing considered -- hope not required at teh moment until there is a better cadre of producers of quality materilas

12:58 Moderator: Katie Ash:  I think we have time for about one more question. This one is from Melissa.
12:58 [Comment From Melissa]
What resources/organizations have you found most helpful in designing quality online experiences for students? Our state university system (via our adult learning campus) provides a powerful online training for adjunct professors; I was amazed to discover so many new resources to guide my instructional practices (online and offline), many of which would further enhance K-12 as well as post-secondary instruction.
12:59 Steve C:  I was reading as Americans with Disabilities Act
1:00 Steve C:  Some states doe a beter job than others -- soem just say do it and leave. Others provide assistance -- we do teh assistance rout at Walden -- we do not expect folks without background to become good instructional designers
1:00 Steve C:  Wow -- my typing is deteriorating!! Sorry folks
1:01 Moderator: Katie Ash:  

Yeah, the resources that states have available to them and the resources that they take advantage of vary greatly from place to place.

1:01 Moderator: Katie Ash:  I think that's about all the time that we have.
1:01 Moderator: Katie Ash:  Thank you very much, Steve, for participating in this chat and answering all these questions!
1:01 Moderator: Katie Ash:  And thanks to all our readers who submitted such great questions!
1:01 Steve C:  It has been my great pelasure in talking with you today via this electronic means -- hope to have the opportuntiiy to do it again sometime. Thanks for your great questions.
1:02 Moderator: Katie Ash:  A transcript of this chat will be made available on this page, shortly.
1:02 Moderator: Katie Ash:  And we'd also like the thank the sponsor of this chat, CDW-G.

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