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Conference Program

2016 Sponsors

BlackboardDistributed Systems Services, Inc.Pennsylvania Distance Learning Association

Abstract Booklet

If you would like to have a full list of sessions with rooms, times and abstracts, you can download the Abstract Booklet (PDF).

Interactive Schedule

Click on the sessions below to create a digital e-learning conference schedule

Time PISB 104 PISB 106 PISB 108 PISB 120
8:00am to 12:00pm Registration (Atrium)
9:00am to 9:10am Opening Remarks - President John Fry (PISB 120)
9:10am to 10:10am Keynote - Jeff Selingo (PISB 120)
10:15am to 11:00am Open Textbooks - The Presentation Your Publisher Rep Doesn't Want You to Hear - Beth Ten Have, Alan Hecht Online Exams & Academic Integrity: How to Reduce the Risk of Cheating - Maggie Regan, Rosalie Kreider, JD How to compete with cat videos that your students are watching - Amanda Golasa, Larissa Mogano Mixing it Up! How Interactive Online Presentations Can Enhance Both On-Campus and Online Courses - Valentina DeNardis
11:15am to 12:00pm Mobile App for Maternal and Child Health Field Experiences and Cultural Competency Training - Ray Lum, Renee Davis The Power of Practice: Teaching Real-World Skills Online - Morgan Loewith, Dr. Cathy Littlefield Interdisciplinary postdoctoral training on e-learning strategies for biomedical science educators - Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann, MD, PhD, MBA An Onboarding Strategy for New Online Learners - Michael Ciocco, William McCool
12:00pm – 1:45pm Lunch
1:45pm to 2:30pm 21st Century Skills & Brain Targeted Teaching: Re-Examining Online Education - Kristen Betts From a brick and mortar classroom to online biomedical science curriculum: The odyssey of a Master of Science bacteriology course - Elise M. Mosser, Ph.D., Mariana E. Bernui, Ph.D., Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann, MD, PhD, MBA, Frances Sun Conducting Student Focus Groups to Assess the Use of Academic Technologies - Lauren Keefe, Shain Amzovski Using the JAWS Screen Reader to Demonstrate how Blind Students Encounter and Use online Course Content - Dan Allen, Theresa Gagliardi, John Davis
2:30pm to 3:00pm Afternoon Break (Atrium)
3:00pm to 3:45pm Increasing Student Engagement Using Turn It In and Visual Presentations - Dana Kemery A graduate-level writing course/experience built in Blackboard - Scott Warnock, Dan Driscoll Lights, Camera, Blackboard - Increasing Engagement with Video and Multimedia - Russ Lichterman Making your Presence Known: Strategic use of video in online courses - Michael Gregory
3:45pm to 4:00pm Closing Remarks and Door Prize Drawing (Atrium)
4:00pm to 6:00pm Collaboratory (Atrium)

Open Textbooks - The Presentation Your Publisher Rep Doesn't Want You to Hear

Beth Ten Have, Alan Hecht

PISB 104 - 10:15am to 11:00am

It is estimated that the average college student spends over $1,000 per year in course textbooks… except they don’t. While some students look for used texts at lower costs, surveys indicate that about 65% of students skip purchasing textbooks altogether because of high costs or because they know they won’t read them anyway. This means that 2/3 of your class isn’t getting the information you assume they’re gleaning from the assigned readings, and that directly impacts student comprehension and performance. Open textbook initiatives attempt to make free, quality textbook resources available for adoption in courses on common topics, and the list is growing. This puts textbooks into the hands of many students who couldn’t otherwise afford them. Plus, many open textbooks allow updating and editing by others, so faculty members can create their own edition of the book and still distribute it for free to their students. This session will explore the potential for and trends in open textbooks as well as practical ideas for their use in higher education. The challenges of adopting open textbooks will be examined and numerous sources for open textbooks and other open educational resources (OER) will be presented.

Online Exams & Academic Integrity: How to Reduce the Risk of Cheating

Maggie Regan, Rosalie Kreider, JD

PISB 106 - 10:15am to 11:00am

Online courses give students the opportunity to learn anytime, anywhere. This creates a challenge with one of the key components in a course - assessments. Online exams have made it harder for instructors to monitor who is actually taking the exam and easier for students to cheat. When students take an exam online they can be tempted to ask a friend for help or Google the answers. This past year, Drexel’s LeBow College of Business has been using a tool to monitor students’ testing environment to prevent cheating. The tool uses a webcam to record a student’s exam session. In addition to using this tool we have tried other strategies including setting time limits, utilizing test banks, and randomizing questions. By putting these safeguards in place, cheating has been minimized. In this session, participants will review the challenges of the online testing environment and strategies for overcoming them. Examples of the technology utilized will also be shown.

How to Compete with Cat Videos That Your Students are Watching

Amanda Golasa, Larissa Mogano

PISB 108 - 10:15am to 11:00am

Whether you are teaching an online, hybrid, face to face course, or just want to record an event, this topic is for you. This session will start with video best practices and then demonstrate examples of both synchronous and asynchronous uses of video. From lighting to sound, this session will help you get your video right every time. Even if you or your institution do not have a state of the art studio for video recordings, producing high quality videos is still possible. This session will demonstrate what high quality video lectures and live streaming look like at Drexel University. Keeping students engaged every week with lecture videos or live stream is not always an easy task. But this session aims to make that a little easier.

Mixing it Up! How Interactive Online Presentations Can Enhance Both On-Campus and Online Courses

Valentina DeNardis

PISB 120 - 10:15am to 11:00am

This presentation will demonstrate how two types of interactive software, Articulate Storyline and Microsoft Office Mix, can be used to benefit both flipped on-campus classes and online courses. The speaker will first explain how she turned two traditional courses into (1) a flipped on-campus course and (2) a completely online course, and how these new formats enhance student learning. The speaker will then show how, in both of these formats, interactive e-learning presentations help students master a large amount of background material in order to work more effectively in other areas of a course. The two courses the speaker will focus on, a flipped on-campus Latin language course and an online classical art and culture course, require understanding of background information in Greek and Roman mythology. The speaker will share samples of the "mythology learning modules" created for both of these courses which (1) give Latin students a background in mythological stories to have a more productive class when translating Latin texts and (2) provide classical culture students with an efficient way to gain a working knowledge of the mythological characters they will be analyzing in art and culture. In addition to sharing some of her finished "mythology learning modules," the speaker will demonstrate how to use different features of Articulate Storyline and Microsoft Office Mix to create an interactive e-learning presentation, pointing out the advantages of each of the two programs, and how each program can enhance the learning experience of students in both flipped and online courses.

Mobile App for Maternal and Child Health Field Experiences and Cultural Competency Training

Ray Lum, Renee Davis

PISB 104 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

The purpose of this presentation is to illustrate the development strategy of a mobile application (app) used for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Program at the Dornsife School Public Health. The app will foster collaborative learning related to student field experiences and cultural/linguistic competency. A recent National Center of Cultural Competence survey of MCH Training Programs identified a need for instructional materials, curricula, model programs, and multimedia products specific to MCH and cultural/linguistic competency training. As a result, the app was funded through an Innovative Teaching Award from the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health.

The innovation of this project is the design of a mobile application developed by the Drexel University Online team with MCH faculty guidance for classroom education. The presentation shows how the app promotes collaborative learning among students related to MCH and cultural/linguistic competency activities and experiences. Features of the app include student responses to (1) cultural competency case studies from the NCCC module training series, (2) links and reflection on the MCH Navigator MCH Leadership self-assessment tool, and (3) student reflections and peer to peer communication related to field experience sites.

The evaluation criteria of the mobile app is noted below:

  • Relevance: App focus has a strong connection to app purpose & is appropriate for student
  • Engagement: Student is highly motivated to use the app
  • User Friendly Instructions: App is easy to learn/use, directions are clear/simple to follow
  • Sharing: Specific performance summary or student product is saved in app and can be exported to the teacher or for a broader audience
  • Feedback: Student is provided specific feedback
  • Customization: App offers flexibility to alter content and settings to meet student needs
  • The mobile app and its evaluation will be shared among other MCH programs to develop innovative field experiences and cultural/linguistic competencies.

The Power of Practice: Teaching Real-World Skills Online

Morgan Loewith, Dr. Cathy Littlefield

PISB 106 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

With online and blended courses growing at a rapid pace, opportunities for students to practice real-world skills and interact with each other are few and far between. Determined to provide her students with active learning opportunities to help them hone and develop skills within a community of their peers, Dr. Cathy Littlefield, Associate Professor, Organizational Leadership & Management at Peirce College, saw an opportunity with ApprenNet. For the last two years, Dr. Littlefield has used ApprenNet’s video and mobile-based solution to provide her online students ways to build skills through frequent practice, peer interactivity, self reflection, and coaching.

This session highlights how one early adopter uses ApprenNet in her courses to help her students improve their real-world skills. Learn how you can replicate the magic of a live classroom experience in an online world.

Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Training on e-Learning Strategies for Biomedical Science Educators

Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann, MD, PhD, MBA

PISB 108 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Graduate programs in biomedical sciences are still primarily taught in a traditional, lecture-based format. Blended courses and flipped classrooms are not broadly used, and fully online curricula are rare in this area of graduate education. Developing online and blended curriculum in the biomedical sciences can be challenging due to limitations in the knowledge and training of scientists in the area of instructional design, best practices and trends in pedagogy, digital literacy (e.g., evolving learning management systems), and other e-learning technologies. A significant challenge for some science faculty is to understand how all of these apply to teaching complex scientific concepts and skills to graduate students. This should come as no surprise since graduate and post-graduate programs in biomedical fields typically focus on training scientists to be researchers in an area of expertise, with little or no formal instruction in teaching and pedagogy. Academic scientists typically develop their own teaching styles and skills as they advance in their careers. In addition, with the help of instructional designers and training available through their institution’s instructional technology centers, the biomedical scientist can overcome some of the inherent limitations in the educational skillset. However, deep penetration of online and blended learning in higher education and in our own biomedical graduate programs at Drexel University College of Medicine, and the emergence of new e-learning approaches (e.g., digital game-based learning) underscore the need to develop training programs for the next generation of higher education science faculty. This presentation reviews a model of interdisciplinary post-graduate program for PhD trainees in four major areas of professional development are: (1) teaching in an online and blended format; (2) design and development of educational digital games; (3) scholarly research in the field of emerging teaching technologies in higher education; and (4) entrepreneurship. There will also be discussion with respect to the development of this unique postdoctoral training program that addresses many of the future needs of science higher education while enhancing the research and development pathway that it serves.

An Onboarding Strategy for New Online Learners

Michael Ciocco, William McCool

PISB 120 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Whether digital natives entering higher education or nontraditional learners returning after many years, students need careful guidance as they embark into the online learning environment for the first time. Training and dissemination of information about the technologies, policies, and expectations is vital. But ensuring that students receive this information in a timely fashion can be a challenge. While some students may embrace the opportunity to prepare for their first online course, many others may not get the message that training was offered, or worse, they may seek to circumvent training completely. Unfortunately, it is often the case that new online learners who do not receive training struggle in their first online class.

Over the past 9 years, Rowan University has evolved its training program for first time online learners. The result is an onboarding strategy that combines administrative controls and a unique training course design to deliver on demand, fast, and efficient training. Through integration of various systems, Rowan has the ability to ensure that students taking their first online course must register for training and complete it. Students are immersed in the online learning environment with full access to all technologies and support. The course content is designed to impart Rowan specific knowledge in a mandatory module, then provides a series of optional training opportunities allowing students to gauge their own need for additional knowledge. In this session, we will provide an overview of the strategy, including administrative implementation, technology integration, and training course design. We will also discuss how the training course is used as a recruiting and retention tool.

21st Century Skills & Brain Targeted Teaching: Re-Examining Online Education

Kristen Betts

PISB 104 - 1:45pm to 2:30pm

Online education provides flexible opportunities for students seeking degree and certificate programs. While flexibility is important, quality and the student experience must be central. This session explores how course alignment with 21st century skills and the integration of Brain Targeted Teaching strategies can increase student engagement, personalize the educational experience, and provide students with transferable skills for today’s dynamic and global workforce, career advancement, or advanced studies. Workforce needs and 21st Century Skills will be discussed and an overview of the Brain Targeted Teaching model will be shared. Brain Targeted Teaching strategies for meeting online course objectives and program outcomes will be demonstrated. Additionally, assessment artifacts will be presented.

From a Brick and Mortar Classroom to Online Biomedical Science Curriculum: The Odyssey of a Master of Science Bacteriology Course

Elise M. Mosser, Ph.D., Mariana E. Bernui, Ph.D., Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann, MD, PhD, MBA, Frances Sun

PISB 106 - 1:45pm to 2:30pm

Drexel University is a pioneer in online education in multiple disciplines. However, as is true of most top-rated graduate academic institutions, online course offerings in the life sciences remains limited. Until recently, Drexel University College of Medicine had only three online programs: (1) a Master of Science (MS) in laboratory animal science, (2) a MS in clinical research, and (3) a certificate program in clinical research and no online curriculum specific to core areas of basic science. In 2012, the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology initiated a plan to convert its existing traditional MS program in Molecular Medicine (MSMM) into a fully online program. This development plan will near completion in 2016. This session reviews some of the challenges faced in this process and lessons learned from overcoming them. From the faculty perspective, whether it’s a traditional (face-to-face), hybrid or online course, getting students engaged in discussions of the primary scientific literature is typically challenging. Furthermore, there are scant resources available for traditionally trained faculty who are designing courses for students interested in the medical and research fields. The presenters will showcase the development and implementation of the online version of the MSMM course “Bacteria and Bacterial Infections”. They will discuss e-learning technologies currently implemented to engage online students in scientific research discussions, a common learning activity in graduate level science education to develop students’ critical thinking skills (i.e., data interpretation and analysis, experimental design, problem solving, scientific writing and collaborative work). Using this course as a case study, the panel will discuss its successes in graduate level science education, as well as future plans for improvement.

Conducting Student Focus Groups to Assess the Use of Academic Technologies

Lauren Keefe, Shain Amzovski

PISB 108 - 1:45pm to 2:30pm

Faculty and students engage with academic technologies at a greater rate than ever before. In considering the student experience within Temple University’s Learning Management System, this presentation will demonstrate how Computer Services conducted its first Blackboard Student Focus Group project in the Fall of 2015. Attendees will participate in an interactive discussion facilitated by the use of survey tools, assessment methodologies, and analysis methods. Ultimately, this will assist administrators as they explore student experiences through evaluating the effectiveness and flexibility of the Blackboard LMS.

Using the JAWS Screen Reader to Demonstrate how Blind Students Encounter and Use online Course Content

Dan Allen, Theresa Gagliardi, John Davis

PISB 120 - 1:45pm to 2:30pm

Have you ever wondered how blind students use the Web? What challenges do they encounter while attempting to accomplish their tasks and goals online? How do they navigate the complicated world of online courses?

Blind students navigate the Web via screen readers, which are essentially web browsers that convert text into speech. While screen readers open up the possible for blind students to use the Web, success is not guaranteed, and is dependent upon whether or not the online environment was created with accessibility in mind. There are a number of screen readers available; the most used and one of the most full-featured is a product called JAWS (Job Access With Speech).

In higher education, we are increasingly appreciating the necessity and value in ensuring that our online environments are accessible to all potential learners, including those with disabilities. At Drexel University, through the ongoing training provided by the University’s Online Accessibility Committee, and also the efforts of units such as the Learning Technologies Group, LeBow College of Business’s Instructional Technical Services, and the office of Information Resources and Technologies, we are steadily increasing the awareness of accessibility best practices as we grow and develop our online programs.

We have learned that one of the most effective techniques in advancing the conversation on accessibility is to keep the needs of students front and center. In this workshop we will do that by using JAWS to demonstrate the challenges faced by blind students in online courses.

We will demonstrate:

  • How blind students benefit from properly structured Word documents
  • The importance of creating ALT text for images
  • How to ensure the accessibility of Power Point files
  • The value of using intuitive text for links and headings
  • How to ensure the accessibility of tables and forms.

Increasing Student Engagement Using Turn It In and Visual Presentations

Dana Kemery

PISB 104 - 3:00pm to 3:45pm

This presentation will demonstrate how two types of interactive software, Articulate Storyline and Microsoft Office Mix, can be used to benefit both flipped on-campus classes and online courses. The speaker will first explain how she turned two traditional courses into (1) a flipped on-campus course and (2) a completely online course, and how these new formats enhance student learning. The speaker will then show how, in both of these formats, interactive e-learning presentations help students master a large amount of background material in order to work more effectively in other areas of a course. The two courses the speaker will focus on, a flipped on-campus Latin language course and an online classical art and culture course, require understanding of background information in Greek and Roman mythology. The speaker will share samples of the "mythology learning modules" created for both of these courses which (1) give Latin students a background in mythological stories to have a more productive class when translating Latin texts and (2) provide classical culture students with an efficient way to gain a working knowledge of the mythological characters they will be analyzing in art and culture. In addition to sharing some of her finished "mythology learning modules," the speaker will demonstrate how to use different features of Articulate Storyline and Microsoft Office Mix to create an interactive e-learning presentation, pointing out the advantages of each of the two programs, and how each program can enhance the learning experience of students in both flipped and online courses.

A graduate-level writing course/experience built in Blackboard

Scott Warnock, Dan Driscoll

PISB 106 - 3:00pm to 3:45pm

Supporting graduate students’ writing is a challenge at many universities. The rhetorical and intellectual demands of particular disciplinary graduate genres - e.g., literature reviews, thesis proposals - often spur graduate faculty to seek writing help outside their programs. We are developing a Blackboard Learn Course designed to lead graduate students through writing that supports their program work. The course creates an ongoing online “writer’s group”: Through a series of customized modules designed by a program’s faculty, students in a particular program participate in focused writing tasks/genres. An academic program can identify these key tasks/genres, such as a literature review or annotated bibliography, and then structure student progress through a series of modules. Each module has several steps/activities:

  • Pedagogical scaffolding (video, text) for that assignment.
  • A discussion thread for peer review.
  • A project dropbox.
  • A discussion thread for reflection about the assignment.

We will use our in-progress project to discuss the intersection of writing pedagogies and learning technology, identifying ways that such a digital course can provide novel support both inside and outside of a program’s curriculum. This intersection helps us raise several broader points, which we will open for discussion. One, this course may work best if programs commit to providing credit for it; the e-learning environment thus might help programs re-think “credentialing.” Two, the course exemplifies the fundamental flexibility and openness of e-learning. The course modules digitally somewhat reproduce the collegial “dissertation workshop” throughout the student graduate experience; peer-driven writing interactions thus happen throughout the program, based on the tasks/genres important to that program. Finally, the digital structure provides an efficient, effective way of joining the expertise of particular graduate programs with an institution’s writing program. This project offers a method of addressing the writing challenges for graduate students through the creation of a digitally-facilitated, writing-centered learning community.

Lights, Camera, Blackboard - Increasing Engagement with Video and Multimedia

Russ Lichterman

PISB 108 - 3:00pm to 3:45pm

The online instructor often struggles with creating dynamic content and engaging students effectively. Online courses frequently rely on journal articles, textbook sections, and discussion boards as their foundation, but when the instructor and students are faceless entities on the other side of a computer screen students can lose the connection they would have in a face-to-face environment. At Wilmington University we strive to add synchronous and asynchronous multimedia and video pieces to as many online courses as possible to provide a richer online experience. Using Blackboard Collaborate and other multimedia tools we attempt to create a rich, dynamic environment for online learners. This session will share tips, tricks, tools, and examples to take online courses in Blackboard to the next level.

Making your Presence Known: Strategic Use of Video in Online Courses

Michael Gregory

PISB 120 - 3:00pm to 3:45pm

Video has the power to break down barriers and reach online students with more effectiveness than many people realize. In a research survey, students were asked to compare online courses that included videos of their instructor on-screen and courses with videos that did not include their instructor on-screen. With convincing results, the students preferred to see their instructor on-screen, with the main reasons being engagement and personal connection.

In this presentation, suggestions for creating well-placed, short, and personal course videos will be given. Topic and content ideas will also be covered.

Making your presence known with some strategically placed videos will boost your student engagement and create a stronger connection between you and your students. The key is to focus on what you as the instructor can add in your unique way through a video.