Thank you to all of our presenters, students, participants, and guests for making the program and the event a success this year. We are fortunate to teach and work in an innovative environment dedicated to seeing our students synthesize their programs of study with their lives and career goals.
The keynote, MOOC discussion, and Student Panel will be archived for future access. More details to follow.
The theme was community and how we can deepen our connections with one another in online teaching and learning. We learned that forming community is more than an online event. Community is a human event that is an integral part of online teaching and learning.
Keynote speaker Rena Palloff noted that “High levels of interaction create high levels of presence in the online learning environment.” It is vital that instructors are present and attentive to student learning in all aspects of the course design and teaching.
Social presence online correlates with increased learner satisfaction and deeper learning.
We learned that teaching a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) can be a very personal and community building experience. Anthony Robinson, Kathryn Jablokow, and Anna Divinsky, MOOC faculty at Penn State, were surprised by students’ effort, willingness to help one another, passion, and the amount of personal contact experienced in the MOOC environment delivered through Coursera. Learn more about Penn State’s MOOC offerings on our Coursera page.
Our Penn State Online students gave us important insights about their experience as online adult learners. The students came to the University Park
Campus from Florida, North Carolina, Texas, California, Maryland, Brooklyn, and places throughout Pennsylvania to share their experiences. Here are some highlights suggestions to improve that experience as online learners:
- Flexibility in academic schedules is a plus, while managing time to complete the amount of work can be a challenge;
- Case-based learning helps students to think critically and apply what they know to enrich their learning and careers;
- Personalized, critical feedback is an important teaching behavior especially for online learners;
- Sensitivity to timezones, technology compatibility, sensitivity to workload, and timeliness of responses, are vital for effective online instruction.
Why Penn State Online? Students say: The network, the value of a Penn State degree, the faculty, the initiative to innovate. They want to go to a ranked, division I school. The alumni association of Penn State is unique and a factor to be involved in a large network of Penn State alumni even long after graduation.
Here are some highlights from the Twitter feed tagged: #wcfc13