QM 7th Annual Conference Attendees

QM Conference-Group2015

MnSCU attendees at QM 7th Annual Conference on Quality Assurance in Online Learning in San Antonio, TX  (November 2015)

Seventeen individuals from eleven MnSCU institutions attended the QM 7th Annual Conference on Quality Assurance in Online Learning.  Collectively these individuals were part of ten different conference presentations.

Pictured from left to right: Karen Laplant (Hennepin Technical College), Elizabeth McMahon (Northland Community and Technical College), Elizabeth Mayers (Central Lakes College), Robin O’Callaghan (Winona State University), Emily Stark (MSU, Mankato), Mary Bohman (Winona State University), Michael Manderfeld (MSU, Mankato), Ron Legon (QM Executive Director), Jane Sprangers (Hennepin Technical College), Rita Rahoi-Gilchrest (Winona State University), Kim Hansen (Riverland Community College), Jill Holmes (Riverland Community College), Julie Reginek (Ridgewater College), Sheryl Barton (Riverland Community College), Tara Hammill (Rochester Community and Technical College) & Catherine Artac (MSU, Moorhead). Missing from photo: Carol Lacey (Metropolitan State University), Roseann Wolak (St. Cloud State University)

When asked to jot down a few thoughts about the main conference “take-aways”, here’s what a few of them shared:

Emily Stark (MSU, Mankato): “Lots of discussion about accessibility–sessions that discussed tech tools generally also noted the accessibility of those tools. Lots of instructors doing interesting things in their classes–digital badging, building online communities with interesting apps and assignments. Also, a focus on the instructors’ role in engaging students–can’t just assume students are engaged–need to use good course design to actively capture their interest and show the relevance of material to their own lives.”

Tara Hammill (Rochester Community and Technical College): “Variety of websites resources shared related to CBE – CBE Network, O*NET Online, University of Wisconsin’s Flex Path, CBE National Landscape and Ecosystem.  QM faculty eCommons around campuses that promote collaboration and partnerships and QM Matters Monday to share updates in regard to Quality Matters.”

Catherine Artac (MSU, Moorhead): “CBE may not just be a trend I can continue to ignore, seems to be sticking around; all folks are struggling with accessibility issues, but seems to be greater awareness and support; OER gaining traction and more schools are moving away from traditional textbooks.”

Kim Hansen (Riverland Community College): “Since we do not have the luxury of an Instructional Designer at our college, I took advantage of many presentations that focused on course design.  The willingness of people to share samples of their work was highly beneficial.  Having ideas from several sources allows a person to mix and match to come up with something that works for individual situations.  The different approaches to course mapping will be an invaluable resource in the development of a new course that our department has planned for next year.”

Rita Rahoi-Gilchrest (Winona State University): “Teaching tips as well as research ideas/ways to talk about QM with fellow faculty.  A few examples – Community of inquiry – combination of Social Presence, Cognitive Presence, and Teaching Presence to foster the positive educational experience; Use screen captures to explain initial course navigation with the advance student welcome email; Try to have students practice all needed tools within the first three weeks of the course; Concept of transactional distance from Michael Moore, 1991 – “a psychological and communications gap, a space of potential misunderstanding between the inputs of the instructor and those of the learner.”

Robin O’Callaghan (Winona State University): “I thought the Community of inquiry pre-conference session was excellent. The presented talked about social, cognitive and teaching presence. It was interesting to learn a little more about the theory and research behind these topics.  This might also be a good way for us to start discussion with our faculty about QM, online course design and building a “Community of inquiry” around online course design.  

I also attended the Gamification pre-conference session. They had some resources and templates they made available.  Based on this session and others I have attended….you need to a firm game plan if you are going to gamify your course.  The presenters also walked us through a few options on where to start, how to divide up the components of the course, set objectives and how to measure success.”

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