Eric Kunnen\’s GRCC Blog

ETOM – Fall Conference 2007
October 12, 2007, 8:47 pm
Filed under: Conferences

ETOM 2007 Fall Conference

October 12, 2007

Mott Community College

Flint, MI

The Educational Teleconsortium of Michigan is a non-profit organization dedicated to the use of instructional telecommunications in higher education with an emphasis on distance learning.


1. Keynote: “e-Learning Mythbusters: Is Conventional Wisdom Wrong?”

Barry Dahl, Lake Superior College, MN

Many people have expressed their opinions about eLearning Expressed opinions often shape what we believe to be true about the world. This conventional wisdom often become an obstacle blocking our view form the reality that is going on around us. If enough people say something does it make it true?

“eLearning is expensive if you do it well.” Are you sure about that? “face to face instruction is superior to eLearning” Can you prove that? “eLearning promotes anytime, anywhere learning.” That’s a nice catch phrase, but what does it mean?

In this session, Barry Dahl will explore some of the elearning myths and realities and make a case for the examination of some unconventional wisdom when it comes to elearning in higher ed.

Myth or Reality? The “Distance” in Distance Ed, does it mean anything?

  • 1/3 of Lake Superior state students are located within 10 minutes, 1/3 within 30 minutes
  • Ummm, no it doesn’t, or at least not much.
  • Do they enroll online because of distance?
  • Nope? OK, why?
  • Convenience, work schedule, flexible pacing, cost.

Myth or Reality? Developing a sense of community is important?

  • How important is it to develop a sense of community among students in an online course? (In order of response: very important, important, somewhat, slightly)
  • Umm, it sounds good, but why?
  • In what way?
  • How does it impact learning?

Myth or Reality? Students want a sense of community in eLearning?

  • True or False? Most say false.
  • Um, no, they don’t!
  • They rank community low on importance.
  • Of course they are wrong… aren’t they?

Myth or Reality? eLearning Enables Anytime, Anywhere Learning

  • AAL – Potentially the single most significant educational initiative in decades.
  • Umm, no they can’t…

Myth or Reality? “Native Net-gennials” Get It

  • No, the don’t.
  • They get MySpace and FaceBook.
  • They get IM and text.
  • They have very few technology skills that we expect them to use in eLearning.
  • Is that their problem, or ours?

Myth or Reality? Online students plagiarize more than “traditional students” on-ground students.

  • True or False? Most say false.
  • Really? Prove it!
  • Could it be that online students get caught more.

Myth or Reality? The overall quality of online learning will never meet or exceed that of traditional face to face learning.

  • True or False?
  • QualityMatters is sufficient. Design/Teaching/Learning. Learning level is high in student assessment (learning assessments), course design meets standards (qualitymatters), teaching level is high (performance eval).

Myth or Reality? Highly interactive courses are better than courses with little interaction.

  • True or False? Almost a match in results.
  • What is interaction?
  • Does Action = Interaction?
  • Umm, no it doesn’t.
  • How exactly does one interact with static content?
  • Interactive is the most overused and abused term in eLearning today.

What is VLE?

  • VLE stands for Virtual Learning Environment.
  • Examples: Blackboard, WebCT, Desire2Learn, eCollege, Moodle, Sakai, Educator.
  • A rose by any name? IMS/CMS/LMS

Myth or Reality? How important is a good VLE?

  • Absolutely essential, very important, important, slightly, really not necessary. Most say very important, then important, and absolutely essential.


  • Personal Learning Environment.
  • In my opinion: Using a closed VLE is actually retarding the development of eLearning.
  • Embracing Web 2.0 concepts in a more open, more personalized learning environment is the future. Google search on PLE.

Myth or Reality? Online faculty work harder.

  • True or False? Most say true.
  • Umm, really? All of them?
  • Highly interactive, highly engaged faculty work very hard – regardless of the delivery method.
  • Does everyone fit that definition?

Myth or Reality? Online students are less satisfied with their college experience than F-2-F students?

  • True or false? Most say false.
  • Use comparative surveys for proof.
  • SSI and PSOL say that most students are saying that they are more satisfied with online/elearning.

Web accessibility is not my job

  • Um, yes, it is.
  • If you truly believe that, then stop teaching on the web.

Entertaining students is not my job.

  • Um, yes, it is.
  • Engagement, motivation, etc.
  • If you truly believe that then stop teaching on the web.
  • Have you listened to an incredibly boring keynote address?

Blended learning is better than online?

  • Best of both worlds?
  • I can’t come to campus… so now I can’t take classes.
  • It is an alternative to campus based courses/format. Blended is not the same as an online course.

2. Web 2.0 Whirlwind

Barry Dahl, Lake Superior College, MN

Web 2.0 consists of hundreds of free Web applications, many of which are useful in higher education. Many of these tools allow students to work collaboratively while at a distance, and provide free alternatives to costly programs that are often required to complete the online coursework. Barry will demonstration applications related to digital photos and video, digital music tools, one to one and one to many communications, mapping, social bookmarking, web office tools, and even old fashioned tools like blogs and wikis.

– website with resources,etc.

– presentations for handouts

– free tools to use

Zoho –

– Writer = Doc (embed)

– Sheet = Excel (embed)

– Show = Powerpoint

– Polls = Surveys

– Creator = Web Forms

Communication Tools

– Meebo = IM


  • Talked with William Drummond from Lawrence Tech. He mentioned using Wimba Live Classroom for synchronous activities such as student groups, lectures, office hours, and ALSO for lecture capture. Lecture capture is an interesting perspective of leveraging and using the Wimba Live Classroom.
  • Talked with Ted Wykoff from Kellogg CC. He mentioned working on moving from 6.3 of Blackboard Basic to 7.3 Blackboard Enterprise. We also talked about building blocks and Blackboard Scholar.

3. Mixed/Hybrid Learning – What is your institution doing?

Jan Oliver

Hybrid/mixed delivery. We have been led to believe that it should be the best of both worlds? Instruction can be delivered in different ways; different learning styles can be targeted; and more class sections can be delivered without adding more classrooms. BUT; do students really want this? Do they think it simply is twice as much work? Do instructors need online instructor training prior to teaching a mixed/hybrid course? This is to be an open discussion on what you have seen work and/or what you have been struggling with… where do you see the future heading.


  • Blended learning seems to work for courses like secondary ed (time to fit into teaching schedules, lab courses, clinical courses, construction trades, etc.).
  • How do you define it? At GRCC Hybrid courses have an online component and a face to face requirement not to exceed 50%. The Sloan-C definition is: 80% online, 20-79% blended/hybrid, 1-29% web facilitated, 0% traditional.
  • Google search Sloan-C, Blending In Research Report =
  • Some discussion around the notion that – isn’t blended becoming the norm… that is traditional classes with an online component.
  • Some discussion around compensation.
  • Some discussion around training and professional development.
  • Some discussion around Univ of Central Florida – Reduced Seat Time Classes and how to manage better facilities and class scheduling.
  • The session ended with some great conversations around teaching in general, quality of online AND traditional courses, and what students (in the end) desire and believe about online/hybrid courses.

4. Streaming Classroom Content

Randy Schapel & Marc Smith

Mott Community College has developed an in house solution that combines open source and closed source application to bring classroom recorded content to your students via the web. Using carefully selected applications and equipment we have kept costs and simplicity under control while delivering an Adobe Flash based content that can be used on almost any platform. Our two recording options include screen capture with audio overlay and a fully autonomous camera tracking solution called Autoauditorium.

  • The request….
    • Extend capability of Camtasia. Can it include video of the instructor?
  • Scope of the project…
    • Record screen.
    • Record audio.
    • Record video of instructor.
    • Restrict playback to those students in the class.
  • Research…
    • Look for solutions such as Camtasia. Problem is is it is too complicated. Many steps to get it out to the web.
    • Think “Tape Recorder” concept = Username, Class, Title and click Start
    • Adobe Presenter
    • Taski (No Audio)
    • Mediasite
      (Lectopia + Apreso, Tegrity)

      • Hardware and Software
      • Hosted
      • Pricey, ongoing maintenance.
      • Starter system + 1 year of hosting is 25K.
      • Better FPS for video, will now convert to Flash.
      • Searchable (OCR)
    • Build our own was the decision.
  • Build Path
    • Content Capture (video/audio/screen) – 2 options are video/audio/screen and audio/screen.
    • Compression
    • Delivery
  • Autoauditorium
    • Four camera system
      • Spotting camera
      • Tracking camera
      • Whiteboard camera
      • Computer screen camera
    • Automatically merges cuts between cameras and cutins.
    • Need video for nursing for sure, sign language, trades, anytime where face to face demos are important.
    • Sony cameras
    • Panasonic video mixer
    • AA with video capture cards
    • AA with video out
    • Autoauditorium pc with proprietary software on linux.
    • Canopus ADVC110
  • Screen Capture and Audio
    • Capture Station
    • Epiphan VGA2USB
    • Audio Mixer
  • Compression
    • DVGrab, FFMEG, mencoder
    • Vp6 encoder is the compressor
    • Output, stills/mp3/mp4/flv(vp6)
  • Fms server
    • Flash media streaming server.
  • Web
    • Generate a individual webpage that contains a list of available classroom content.
    • Keep meta data to a minimum.
    • Students need to authenticate their IP to restrict access.
    • 3 hour window
    • Flowplayer – is the player. Had consulted with author to add reposition track with stills.
  • Cost
    • FMS server $5,000
    • FMS software $2,000
    • Compressor $6,000
    • Compressor VP6 3,000
    • Autoauditorium $60,000
    • DV converter $300
    • Capture station $1,000
    • Sound $1,000
    • Epiphan Frame Grabber $300
    • Sound $1,200
    • Capture Station $1,000
  • Questions?

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