An Analysis and Critique of the United States Department of Education/Institute of Education Sciences New Report on Using Technology to Support Postsecondary Learning: Insights, Suggestions, and Methods

Concurrent Session 6
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Brief Abstract

The United States Department of Education/Institute of Education Sciences(IES) released a new report on May 8, 2019, entitled,  Using Technology to Support Postsecondary Student Learning.  The 104-page report  is based on a meta-analysis of the research on online learning in colleges and universities. The authors of the report were a panel of scholars and practitioners in higher education and staff from Abt Associates of Bethesda, Maryland.  During this session, the lead panelist who was one of the authors of the report will present its findings and subject them to an analysis and critique by three experienced online education administrators, researchers, and faculty.

 

Presenters

Anthony G. Picciano is a professor in Education Leadership program at Hunter College, the Ph.D. Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He has held several administrative appointments at the City University and State University of New York. Dr. Picciano started his career working with computer systems in the late 1960s. He taught his first college-level course in computer programming and systems analysis in 1971. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was involved with developing computer facilities, computer-assisted instruction (CAI) laboratories, and data networks at the City University of New York. He started teaching online in 1996. In 1998, Dr. Picciano co-founded CUNY Online, a multi-million dollar initiative funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that provided support to faculty using the Internet for course development. He was a founding member and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Online Learning Consortium (formerly the Sloan Consortium). Dr. Picciano's research interests are education leadership, education policy, Internet-based teaching and learning, and multimedia instructional models. With Jeff Seaman, Dr. Picciano has conducted major national studies on the extent and nature of online and blended learning in American K-12 school districts. He has authored numerous articles and frequently speaks and presents at conferences on education and technology. He has authored sixteen books including: The Community College in the Post-Recession Reform Era: Aims and Outcomes of a Decade of Experimentation. (in press, Routledge, Taylor & Francis) Online Education: Foundations, Planning, and Pedagogy (1st Ed). (2018, Routledge/Taylor & Francis). CUNY's First Fifty Years: Triumphs and Ordeals of a People's University (2018, Routledge/Taylor & Francis) Educational Leadership and Planning for Technology, 5th Edition (2011, Pearson) Data-Driven Decision Making for Effective School Leadership (2006, Pearson) Distance Learning: Making Connections across Virtual Space and Time (2001, Pearson) Educational Research Primer (2004, Continuum) The Great Education-Industrial Complex: Ideology, Technology, and Profit (2013, Routledge/Taylor & Francis) Blended Learning: Research Perspectives, Volume 1 (2007, The Sloan Consortium) Blended Learning: Research Perspectives, Volume 2 (2014, Routledge/Taylor & Francis) Conducting Research in Online and Blended Learning Environments: New Pedagogical Frontiers (2016, Routledge/Taylor & Francis). Online Education Policy and Practice: The Past, Present, and Future of the Digital University (2017, New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis, Publisher). Dr. Picciano was elected to the Inaugural Class of the Sloan Consortium Fellows in recognition of outstanding publications that have advanced the field of online learning. Dr. Picciano was the 2010 recipient of the Sloan Consortium National Award for Outstanding Achievement in Online Education by an Individual. Visit Dr. Picciano website at: http://anthonypicciano.com
Eric E. Fredericksen is the associate vice president of online learning at the University of Rochester and associate professor in educational leadership at the Warner School of Education. A national leader in online education, Fredericksen provides leadership for the exploration of online learning initiatives across the University. Previously, he was the associate vice provost at the University, where he provided leadership and services that supported the academic and research missions of the University. Prior to the University of Rochester, Fredericksen served as the director of academic technology and media services at Cornell University. As a senior manager in Cornell Information Technologies, he helped craft Cornell's presence and direction in the use of contemporary technologies to support research, outreach, and teaching & learning both in and out of the classroom. Before Cornell, Fredericksen was the assistant provost for advanced learning technology in the Office of the Provost in the State University of New York System Administration, where he provided leadership and direction for all of SUNY's system-wide programs focused on the innovative use of technology to support teaching and learning. This included the nationally-recognized SUNY Learning Network - winner of the EDUCAUSE Award for Systemic Progress in Teaching and Learning and Sloan-C Awards for Excellence in Faculty Development and Excellence in Institution-wide Online Programming. It also included the SUNY Teaching Learning and Technology program and Project MERLOT, which were designed to complement the classroom with technology-supported instruction. Fredericksen was also a co-principal investigator and administrative officer for three multi-year, multi-million dollar grants on Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALN) from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He was responsible for the fiscal management, strategic planning, policy development, faculty development, marketing & promotion, technical support center for faculty and students, and operations and technology infrastructure. He managed a distributed statewide staff of IT, administrative, instructional design, and faculty support professionals. Under his leadership, the program grew from two campuses offering eight courses to 119 enrollments to 53 campuses offering 2,500 courses to more than 40,000 enrollments in just seven years. He has also designed, developed, and taught online courses for the Department of Educational Theory and Practice in the Graduate School of Education at the University at Albany for the past 12 years. Fredericksen is active in national efforts, including EDUCAUSE, the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative and the Online Learning Consortium (formerly Sloan-C). He was chair of the Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning and previously served as chair of the Sloan-C Awards Program for Excellence in Online Teaching and Learning. He also served on the advisory board for Enterprise Learning at NYU. In 2012, Fredericksen was elected to the board of directors for the Sloan Consortium and currently serves as the President of the Board of OLC. He was honored as a Sloan-C Fellow in 2013.
Mary Niemiec is the Associate Vice President for Digital Education and Director of University of Nebraska Online Worldwide. Ms. Niemiec has worked in the areas of online and blended learning for more than twenty years. In addition to her University responsibilities, she represents and promotes the University nationally by serving in leadership roles in various professional organizations. Ms. Niemiec is currently on the Board of Directors for the Online Learning Consortium and the Center for Online Leadership Advisory Board. Ms. Niemiec also serves as Co-Chair for the Nebraska Information Technology Commission’s Education Council.
Dr. Peter Shea is Associate Provost for Online Learning and Associate Professor in the School of Education and the College of Computing and Information at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is also Editor of the journal Online Learning, the official journal of the Online Learning Consortium. His research focuses on the development of communities dedicated to learning in online environments. He has published widely on this topic in journals such as Computers and Education, JALN, Internet and Higher Education, The Journal of Educational Computing Research, Interactive Learning Environments and others. He is past director of the SUNY Learning Network, the online education enterprise of the 64 campus and 400,000 students in the SUNY system. Peter's research has been supported by the US Department of Education and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He has been co-recipient of three national awards for online learning, faculty development and online programs from EDUCAUSE and the Sloan Consortium.

Extended Abstract

The United States Department of Education/Institute of Education Sciences(IES) released a new report on May 8, 2019, entitled,  Using Technology to Support Postsecondary Student Learning.  The 104-page report  is based on a meta-analysis of the research on online learning in colleges and universities. The authors of the report were a panel of scholars and practitioners in higher education and staff from Abt Associates of Bethesda, Maryland.

This practice guide, developed by the What Works Clearinghouse™ (WWC) in conjunction with an expert panel, focuses on promising uses of technologies associated with improving postsecondary student learning outcomes. It provides higher education instructors, instructional designers, administrators, and other staff with specific recommendations for supporting learning through the effective use of technology.

This practice guide makes five evidence-based recommendations (see below) around how to use technology to support postsecondary learning. Each recommendation includes examples of technologies and how to implement them, advice on how to overcome potential obstacles, and a summary of the research evidence that supports the recommendation.

Practice Recommendations:

  • Use communication and collaboration tools to increase interaction among students and between students and instructors.
  • Use varied, personalized, and readily available digital resources to design and deliver instructional content.
  • Incorporate technology that models and fosters self-regulated learning strategies.
  • Use technology to provide timely and targeted feedback on student performance.
  • Use simulation technologies that help students engage in complex problem-solving.

During this session, the lead panelist who was one of the authors of the report will present its findings and subject them to an analysis and critique by three experienced online education administrators, researchers, and faculty.