2014-2015 Annual Report Now Available

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The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center is pleased to announce the completion of our annual report for the 2014-15 academic year. This latest report is available at go.niu.edu/facdevreport14-15. Below are a few highlights.

During 2014-2015, the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center contributed to the university’s mission …to promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service by collaborating with various academic and support units to meet the ongoing and emerging needs of NIU faculty, staff, administrators, and graduate teaching assistants in their teaching, technology integration, professional development, and related needs. This was the sixteenth full academic year of operation for the center since we were reorganized in August 1998. Some of our significant accomplishments this year include:

  • Offering 157 programs for 1,609 participants, which totaled 4,980 hours of professional development
  • Conducting 1,206 consultations with 416 unique faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate teaching assistants from 77 academic and support units
  • Serving on 11 committees, councils, and organizations within NIU and the broader Faculty Development community
  • Recognized 4 recipients of Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, issued 11 Graduate Teaching Certificates, and was honored with 3 individual and department recognitions

14-15 Activities at a Glance

We hope you enjoy this new digital format for our annual report. Feel free to explore and learn more about our activities and accomplishments from the past year.

Sincerely,

Jason Rhode, Ph.D.
Director

Latest Trends in Educational Technology Use Identified in 2016 Horizon Report

2016 Horizon ReportThe New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) have jointly released the NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition. This 13th edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education.

The report identifies six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology across three adoption horizons spanning over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders, educational technologists, and faculty a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The report provides higher education leaders with in-depth insight into how trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.

“The release of this report kicks off the 15th year of the NMC Horizon Project, which has sparked crucial conversations and progressive strategies in institutions all over the world,”says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC. “We are so appreciative of ELI’s continued support and collaboration. Together we have been able to regularly provide timely analysis to universities and colleges.”

“This year’s report addresses a number of positive trends that are taking root in higher education,” notes ELI Director Malcolm Brown. “More institutions are developing programs that enable students and faculty to create and contribute innovations that advance national economies, and they are also reimagining the spaces and resources accessible to them to spur this kind of creativity.”


Watch the video summary

Key Trends Accelerating Higher Education Technology Adoption

The NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition identifies “Advancing Cultures of Innovation” and “Rethinking How Institutions Work” as long-term impact trends that for years affected decision-making and will continue to accelerate the adoption of educational technology in higher education over the next five years. “Redesigning Learning Spaces” and the “Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches” are mid-term impact trends expected to drive technology use in the next three to five years; meanwhile, “Growing Focus on Measuring Learning” and “Increasing Use of Blended Learning” are short-term impact trends, anticipated to impact institutions for the next one to two years before becoming commonplace.

Significant Challenges Impeding Higher Education Technology Adoption

A number of challenges are acknowledged as barriers to the mainstream use of technology in higher education. “Blending Formal and Informal Learning” and “Improving Digital Literacy” are perceived as solvable challenges, meaning they are well-understood and solutions have been identified. “Competing Models of Education” and “Personalizing Learning” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined and well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Balancing Our Connected and Unconnected Lives” and “Keeping Education Relevant.” Challenges in this category are complex to define, making them more difficult to address.

Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

Additionally, the report identifies bring your own device (BYOD) and learning analytics and adaptive learning as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the near-term horizon of one year or less. Augmented and virtual reality technologies and makerspaces are seen in the mid-term horizon of two to three years; affective computing and robotics are seen emerging in the far-term horizon of four to five years.

Topics from the NMC Horizon Report

The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed by the NMC and collaboratively conducted by the NMC and ELI that engaged an international body of experts in higher education, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in higher education. The report details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.

Download the Report

Free Online Workshop on “Quality Online Courses: Getting Students Started”

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Woman with laptop
Source: Pixabay CCO Public Domain

Northern Illinois University’s Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center is opening its virtual doors with an online workshop entitled “Quality Online Course Series: Getting Students Started“, offered on December 14, 2015, from 12 – 1:00 pm CT. This one hour, fully online session is part of a series of workshops focused on quality online course design and best practices in online teaching and learning. The series has been well received by the NIU community, but now we’d like to invite more of our colleagues in higher education.  There is no charge for participating in this workshop, but you will need to register in advance.

As you prepare your online course for next semester, or even next year, you might be wondering how to set the right tone and support student success by helping them to get started with a welcome, a course tour, or a navigation guide. In this workshop, you will explore best practices for introducing your course structure to your students and beginning to build community.

Learn more and register.

NIU Brings lynda.com to Campus

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Lynda

Northern Illinois University students, faculty, and staff are the beneficiaries of a campus-wide license agreement recently signed by NIU and lynda.com. Lynda.com, founded in 1995, is a leading online learning company that helps users ‘…. learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals’ (source: lynda.com/aboutus). They have become one of the most popular and successful video learning service available, offering members access to a broad and varied video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.

Members of this subscription-based company range from individuals committed to life-long learning, to corporate, academic, and government institutions. The campus-wide agreement provides the NIU community unlimited access to lynda.com’s extensive collection of courses on many subjects. These include 3D + Animation, Business, Audio + Music, Business, CAD, Design, Developer, Education + Elearning, IT, Marketing, Photography, Video, and Web. Within each of these subject areas are multiple topics. Each course can offer a range of video tutorials, documents, and exercises. Under the topic of Education and Elearning, there are 170 courses and more than 7,000 video tutorials. A sampling of video tutorial titles includes Universal Principles of Design, Teacher Tech Tips, College Prep: Writing a Strong Essay, Student Tools, Microsoft Excel/Word/PowerPoint, Captivate, and Prezi. Although there are other websites that host tutorials on a plethora of subjects, such as YouTube, a common complaint is the lack of consistent quality.

With the availability of this new resource, faculty and instructors may want to consider how they might supplement and enhance their own instruction as they prepare for the spring semester. One possible scenario might have students viewing tutorials that build skills to better complete a course assignment. For example, an assignment might require students to create a class presentation. The course instructor might include links to tutorials on using PowerPoint or Prezi. In another scenario, an instructor might offer students an option to complete an assignment in a video format rather than submitting a more conventional MS Word document. Students with limited experience capturing, editing, and encoding video could benefit by reviewing one of more video tutorials on this subject. Faculty have the option to create and share a playlist of tutorials on a specific topic for their students. Students also have options, including the ability to take notes that synch with video tutorials, which can assist in the learning process.

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to explore this resource that NIU has made available. Please note that it is necessary to enter lynda.com by going through the NIU portal go.niu.edu/lynda and then logging in with the NIU Account ID and password. For those individuals who have a current subscription account with lynda.com, they will be asked to migrate their previous account information to a new NIU account. Once logged in to lynda.com, users can browse the online training library, watch training courses, manage training courses and their account, and even problem solve with a lynda.com specialist.

The Division of Information Technology – Training and Communication will host an open forum about lynda.com on Thursday, November 19th, in the HSC Regency Room from 10:00 am to 10:30 am. Two NIU teaching staff will share how they have already used lynda.com in their own courses. In addition, the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center is planning on offering a number of workshops to assist faculty and staff to use lynda.com. These include an online webinar to introduce features of lynda.com in December and a hands-on workshop to be offered during the spring 2016 semester. Please visit  the Faculty Development’s Upcoming Programs webpage in order to register for one or both of these workshops.

For a series of instructional tutorials on how to use lynda.com, visit go.niu.edu/lyndahowto.

Faculty Student Relationships Tutorial

11-LAS-Reception-0819-SW-8_690x460The faculty student relationship can be one of the most gratifying experiences for college students.  Faculty who have positive relationships with their students during those interactions can help them succeed academically and increase their overall satisfaction with their educational experience at the university (Pascarella,1980; Fusani, 1994). However this can be achieved only when faculty demonstrate professional conduct in their interactions with students and promote a culture of mutual trust and respect.  NIU has a new online resource that can provide guidance, support, and recommendations to faculty to promote positive interaction, and help preserve the safety of students, faculty, and the institution. The ‘Faculty-Student Relationships: Maintaining Roles and Responsibilities’ online tutorial is now available for viewing by all teaching staff, including faculty, instructors, and graduate teaching assistants.

The tutorial content was originally developed for a faculty-student relationship workshop by NIU faculty/staff members Deborah Haliczer, Sarah Klaper and Toni Tollerud.  A major element of this material is the inclusion of Michael Davis’ Seven Step Guide to Ethical Decision making (Davis, 1999), which offers a practical framework for avoiding perceptions of improper relationships with students. Teaching faculty who are familiar these seven steps are better prepared to respond to challenging situations.

The material was compiled, formatted, and recorded as an instructional module by staff from the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. This resource was design to incorporate a number of features that enhance the learning experience. Users are not required to login, and no information is collected, stored, or shared. Once the session begins, it is self-running, automatically advancing from slide to slide. However, users have the option to advance the slides on their own, pause, go to a previous slide, or exit from the session by closing the browser tab. In addition to having an accompanying voice narration, the transcribed notes for each slide can be viewed on a side panel. Users can also download the entire transcription either as a MS Word or Adobe PDF version for their own review. This benefits a range of users and situations, including those who have a hearing impairment, whose first language is not English, or who cannot play the audio because they may be viewing it from a computer in a public setting, such as a library.

This self-running module was designed to incorporate a number of other features that enhance the learning experience. Interactive case scenarios are included that describe a range of situations that pose ethical dilemmas for teaching staff. An interactive quiz asks users to consider a ‘better’ response or action to take from among a list of possible options. While the posted options are not meant to represent an exhaustive list of possibilities, an explanation is provided for selecting one response over another. Users can also download a transcript of the case scenarios.

Faculty-Student Relationships Tutorial

The Faculty-Student Relationships: Maintaining Roles and Responsibilities’ online tutorial can be viewed either on a desktop/laptop computer, or on mobile devices. The tutorial can be viewed from http://go.niu.edu/Relation.

For more information on this tutorial, contact Dan Cabrera (dcabrera@niu.edu).

 

References

Davis, M. (1999). Ethics and the University. New York: Routledge Publishers, Inc.

Fusani, D. (1994). Extra-class Communication: Frequency, immediacy, self-disclosure, and satisfaction in student-faculty interaction outside the classroom. Journal of Applied Communications Research, 22, 232-255.

Pascarella, E. (1980). Student-faculty informal contact and college outcomes. Review of Educational Research, 50, 545-595.

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