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To Blog or Not to Blog: Student Perceptions of Blog Effectiveness…in a College-Level Course

“Blogs have the potential to increase reflection, sense of community and collaboration in undergraduate classrooms. Studies of their effectiveness are still limited. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the use of blogs in a large lecture class would enhance students’ perceived learning. Students in an undergraduate nutrition course were required to engage in blog conversations over the course of the semester to promote reflective learning. Sixty-seven undergraduates responded to a survey with dimensions on perceived learning and sense of community. Sense of community and computer expertise were identified as significant predictors of perceived learning, when controlled for age, gender, and previous blogging experience. While a majority of the students reported that blogging enhanced their learning and led them to think about course concepts outside the classroom, fewer perceived value in peer comments. Implications for integrating blogging into undergraduate classrooms are discussed.” The Internet and Higher Education, December 2010, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 206-213. Read article »

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Lear

“A systematic search of the research literature from 1996 through July 2008 identified more than a thousand empirical studies of online learning…the meta-analysis found that, on average, students in online learning conditions performed modestly better than those receiving face-to-face instruction. The difference between student outcomes for online and face-to-face classes — measured as the difference between treatment and control means, divided by the pooled standard deviation — was larger in those studies contrasting conditions that blended elements of online and face-to-face instruction with conditions taught entirely face-to-face. Analysts noted that these blended conditions often included additional learning time and instructional elements not received by students in control conditions. This finding suggests that the positive effects associated with blended learning should not be attributed to the media, per se. An unexpected finding was the small number of rigorous published studies contrasting online and face-to-face learning conditions for K-12 students. In light of this small corpus, caution is required in generalizing to the K-12 population because the results are derived for the most part from studies in other settings (e.g., medical training, higher education).” "Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning..." Technical Report. U.S. Dept. of Education, Washington, D.C.. Read article »

The ‘Unconference’: Technology Loosens Up the Academic Meeting

The "unconference" format – very loosely structured, mostly online, highly participatory - is growing as a complement to the strengths of the traditional academic conference. Howard, Jennifer, "The 'Unconference': Technology Loosens Up the Academic Meeting", Chronicle of Higher Education, May 23, 2010. Read article »

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We want to scour the world to try to find those things that strike us as truly forward-looking. President Jim Yong Kim

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