10th Annual Desire2Learn Users Conference
Boston July 15-18 2013
The following notes were taken
while attending the Desire2Learn conference in July 2013.
While there was time to attend only a dozen or so of the
over 200 presentations made,
many of the talks were recorded, and most presenters provided slides.
If you see a talk in the conference schedule or list of talks above that you
want to know more about please send me email.
- Guide Student Success in a Way Never Thought Possible
Dr. Denley developed and deployed a predictive analytics
application, Desire2Learn Degree Compass, to help with the problem
of student success at Austin Peay State University and seven other
institutions in the state of Tennessee.
Problem to solve: students come to college/university and have many
courses to choose from. Which ones fit them best?
There is too much unknown info for students to decide.
The software Degree Compass aims to give one page to students
showing their program
description, their degree map and a list of possible
jobs aligned with
their program/degree. A degree map is a table of courses fit to their
program and their ability as judged by their past course performance
and the performance of all previous students with similar courses and
programs. The map ranks courses for a best fit to the student's current
Think of a more complicated system than a preference rating system
- Programmed Instruction: Keeping Students on Task
Jon Moe, Normandale Community College
Programmed Instruction is a strategy for tying
course materials and assignments to the delivery timeline of live,
hybrid, and on-line courses.
to keep students prepared for class and meeting deadlines.
This talk was about using D2L release conditions (dates, times, do first, ...)
to control students' paths through content and activities.
Very serious about all students following the course path (no reading ahead
- Heutagogy: Supporting Self-Directed Learning In and Out of an LMS
John St.Clair, Ed.D., Desire2Learn
In a nutshell, the 3 "gogys" pedagogy, andragogy, and heutagogy
travel through these ideas:
- concentration on methods to teach (emphasis on teaching)
- learner centered not teacher-centered (not just teacher's methods)
plus adult student focus
- a further step into self-determined or self-directed learning
- Using Desire2Learn Solutions to Implement the U-Pace Model of Online Instruction
Raymond Fleming, Dylan Barth, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
U-Pace, a new model for online instruction in higher education, integrates
content mastery and Amplified Assistance in a self-paced format.
instruction has been shown to produce significantly greater academic
success and learning than conventional classroom instruction and
other types of online instruction.
Problem: trying to improve success in large Psych 101 class
- self-paced instruction
- amplified assistance
- auto-generated praise, warnings and directions
- mastery instruction
- do over without seeing any answers
- advance to more material only after mastery
- higher-order MC questions
- time-restricted questions (no time to look up answers), question variations,
- A grade when pass all 24 quizzes
A- grade when pass first 23 quizzes
F only pass first 13 or fewer quizzes
- good student reviews
- students perceive more control over their learning
aiding students with less support at home for attending school
- works well with large classes
- remarkable student improvement
- 15 courses to date, more coming (see slide)
- Enhance the Learning Experience through an Integrated Program Design
Jennifer Frahm, Aims Community College
Maria Savoldi, Mercury Online Education in K-12 schools
Wendy Maneri and Amy Thompson, New York Chiropractic College
Three short sessions in this one hour slot.
- Jennifer Frahm said that students
expect mobility, knowledge and stress/fun from their programs.
The college models what instructors should learn about teaching using D2L
through the design of a faculty training course.
- Maria Savoldi talked
about parents having online access to their students' progress history
(useful for teacher meetings); student and teacher eportfolios; a
parent orientation D2L course.
- Wendy Maneri and Amy Thompson
discussed their Virtual Health Center using D2L including the
challenges of similar course content appearing in many courses.
- no slides or video from conference
Panel on MOOCs - their value, benefits and role in the future of education.
- Rich Seidner, Director of Education Strategy at Desire2Learn.
- Wendy Wilson, Fanshawe College.
- Jennifer Kosiak, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse.
- Allison Horn, Accenture.
- MOOC: Massive Open Online Course
LOOC: Local Open Online Course (limited audience)
SPOC: Special Private Online Course ;)
- sees possibility of using MOOCs for all first year courses
to lessen cost per course for students
- sees D2L as an "open courses" environment to support MOOCs
- first college in Ontario with a MOOC "Applied Sustainability"
- course is free, with no credit (get a letter of completion)
- wanted 200 students but 537 signed up
- designed without star faculty as seen in some MOOCs (eg Stanford)
- designed without a talking head - need a good one to be engaging,
instead used the format "teacher as a learner" with the
teacher acting as interviewer and presenter
- 4 levels of participation:
- green - do only quizzes
silver - do quizzes and forums
gold - quizzes plus some tasks (least popular)
platinum - quizzes plus a project
- coloured badges were very well liked by students
- very positive feedback from students (they liked the subject)
- hope to offer a flipped MOOC in future where students create
and contribute course content
- finish rate was 17% (94/537), with 33 students working above the
This rate is about double the average for MOOCs in general.
- a math MOOC for incoming college students to prepare for
post-high-school courses using mathematics
- a 6 week online course plus 1 week on campus
- results: students improved their math skills and got into the programs
- course enrollment was made up from
- usual students needing math preparation for college
- high-school teachers and their students
- others who wanted to learn math for free
- the MOOC began with pre-existing learning objects of math areas
where students traditionally had problems; the learning objects
would show a discussion of the problem and various
approaches to solutions, increasing in detail and ending with
a self-check question or quiz
- to pass to the next level of a module required 50% mark on the
- 3 minute videos called 'Minute of Math' explained the math with a
real-world example for context
- online tutors were made up from math teachers who had already taken the
- for student practice questions, the MOOC uses WeBWorK, a free,
open-source online homework system for math and sciences courses
- implementation details and lessons learned:
- easier management with a single email address for communications
- the course was designed and developed in the short space of 1 month
using existing learning objects and changes were made on the fly
- intelligent D2L agents triggered email to students upon completion
or failure of elements of the course
- support structure must be rock solid - help desk, FAQ, central email,
just-in-time onscreen help
- be very clear about required technical skills
- students want to see answers in their question feedback
- want to design a course for self-paced use instead of the 7 week
timetable now used
- want/need to have more student-course communication
- want a common login to the tools used in the course (eg D2L, WeBWorK)
- each tool used has its own learning curve
- used heavy analytics to track students through modules and where
students returned to a previous module to refresh learning
- Accenture is a global tech services company whose interest in
MOOC stems from keeping a skilled workforce (200K+ employees in
52 countries); using open education technology is an
effective way to continue their internal training programs
- they are partners with and sponsors of MIT OpenCourseware
- value in the credibility of experts in the subject field
- no need to reinvent, instead use customization and underwriting
- eg 2 day software testing course made by Accenture (completed
by thousands, so well tested) can be handed over to MIT for their use
- online learning makes more sense than travelling to learning seminars
- differences with school MOOCS:
- need training now - more skills needed now than courses available
- need courses on demand - not on a school calendar
- Panel discussion
- MOOC completion rate:
- in brick and mortar schools, anyone not really committed has been
filtered out already so the completion rate is very high
but with MOOCs there is no filtering (except an Internet connection)
and while the MOOC % rate looks much lower (7% to 20%) the absolute
numbers of students completing MOOC courses is much higher because
the number of students starting courses is much higher
- future: sharing MOOCs across institutions
- course credit:
- divide into course providers and course accreditors
- need valid accreditation methods
- MOOCs cannot replace social and other experiences provided
from attending a college or university
- A MOOC Journey: An Implementation Story
Cari Mathwig Ramseier, Maggie McHugh and Jennifer Kosiak, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse.
Tanya Chisholm, Desire2Learn
Add notes here.
- slides: MathMOOCJourney_FUSION2013_d5.pdf
- Return Design: Boosting Student Engagement by Using Desire2Learn Solutions to Apply Online Instructional Strategies to Face-to-Face Courses
Brian Danielson and Danette DiMarco, Slippery Rock University PA
Return-Design at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, is
a process where successful online instructional strategies that use
Desire2Learn technology are brought back to the face-to-face learning
Add notes here.
- Gaming Part 1
Game play has some very positive opportunities for application in a learning
environment. It is social and cooperative -requiring students to interact
positively to accomplish their goals. Games actively engage the user requiring
interaction, collaboration, strategy, creativity and multi-tasking.
Add notes here.
- Rich Seidner, Desire2Learn
- Karen Fletcher, Maryville University - St. Louis
- Justin Lai, Desire2Learn
- Kellian Adams, Green Door Labs
- slides: Gaming Strategy Vision Session - FUSION 2013.pptx
- A learning system to meet the knowledge needs of a complex era
Wednesday, July 17, 1:30PM, MIT
This was a talk about MOOCS held at MIT, not at the D2L conference.
Add notes here.
How knowledge is generated, evaluated, and shared has changed
dramatically with development of the internet. Society's knowledge
systems, particularly higher education, have not yet responded
holistically or systematically to the new attributes of knowledge:
decentralized, socially generated, global, emergent, and complex.
Online learning, more recently MOOCs, reflect and embody the legacy
education system where knowledge is generally treated as a static
entity that can be transferred from the mind of the educator to the
mind of the student. This presentation will explore the attributes
needed in a knowledge system that is capable of a) incorporating the
ways in which knowledge is generated through social systems and b)
meeting the needs of a complex society where learning needs no longer
follow the traditional narrative of higher education.
About the speaker:
George Siemens is a writer, theorist, speaker, and researcher on
learning, networks, technology, analytics and visualization, openness,
and organizational effectiveness in digital environments. He is the
originator of Connectivism theory and author of the article
Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age and the book
Knowing Knowledge - an exploration of the impact of the changed
context and characteristics of knowledge. He has been involved in
MOOCs for half a decade, having taught the first MOOC course in 2008,
"Connectivism and Connective Knowledge," in 2008, with 2300 enrolled
Mathematics Faculty CTE Liaison
Last modification date: Wed Aug 28 22:39:38 2013.