Posts tagged internship
My Action Research is Embracing a Learning Management System Change. This move was needed because our currently Learning Management System will no longer be supported. We had to make a decision to move with a Blackboard platform or to an entirely different system. My research will document the pilot phase of the new platform change and drafting how to make a smooth transition to the new system. Presently, there are 1,000 students in our pilot phase. Currently, 47 have participated in the anonymous survey. 85% of those responding are female. The remaining 15% are male. Almost half of those surveyed felt this Learning Management System was easy to use.
Change is never easy. I envision that this research will help our department best transition to the new Learning Management System once we hope the system up for full usage. I hope the feedback received in this limited pilot will help our department make changes and analyze what worked and what did not work. I expect that the next time we issue an anonymous questionnaire with the same questions that the results will be better.
The strategy that has been used is to start with a limited pilot. This pilot phase will help contribute feedback on how to move forward. There have been many articles referenced to a universities change to a new Learning Management System. Articles read include Petherbridge, D., & Chapman, D. (2007). Upgrading or Replacing Your Learning Management System: Implications for Student Support. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 10(1), 4. Retrieved from EBSCOhost and Barbian, J. (2002). Great Expectations. Training, 39(9), 102. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Our department has been working hard to make this an easy transition for students. Early reports indicate that we still have a way to go.
Faculty and students will need to understand that this change was the result of Blackboard phasing out the product that we were on. While they had ample time to add many of the features that our students and faculty loved about the current version, Blackboard has neglected to include many requested features. The current plan is to promote training sessions on the new product. Internally we have determined that the transition will take a year. Faculty will have the year to determine when they would like to start teaching in the new platform.
This is a large project that involves many people to implement. The project includes a faculty trainer, a staff member to make training documents for faculty, staff, and students, help desk support staff to provide assistance, and a course developer. Each course will need to be individually migrated to the new system. This involves an engineer to work behind the scenes to move course over. All these people must work together for a common goal of having all faculty and students in the new system by August 2012.
There are two managers and a department director to implement the transition. These three individuals provide the leadership to set the operations of the project and set the priorities of the transition. Before the start of the pilot began, we met internally to view first hand how the product looked for a course that had been migrated to the new platform. We used these sessions to determine any early warnings that may appear with faculty who opted to be in the pilot. These sessions helped us work through much of the transition plan.
This version of Blackboard provides more features for students who have learning disabilities. They have built in more accessibility into the product for screen readers. The system is also more aesthetically appealing. Blackboard has invested into mobility in this version of their product. One of the most sought after features with our previous version of Blackboard is the ability to learn on the go. This new version allows our department to test that feature out. During this pilot phase we are relying heavily on feedback. That feedback will help us map out the official roll out of the product. As the pilot continue this semester, I look forward to continuing to collect data and determine how to make modifications based on the data that will be provided.
I have confidence that I have selected a topic that is relevant to my position and one that I have great interest in learning more about. I would like to pursue an action research topic regarding a college face-to-face class that does not have an online Blackboard component compared to a face-to-face class that has a Blackboard component utilizing the discussion board tools. Specifically I would like to answer the question: Do students in a hybrid course actively engage in online discussions and display a greater understanding of the topic(s) by the end of the course compared to a course with no Blackboard discussion thread?
Our university will be starting a course redesign project. The basic plan is for instructors to formulate ways to enhance their face-to-face sections; moving away from the presentation of hour long lectures. I propose that active dialogue outside the classroom will help students engage more with the course content. I hope to begin looking for willing professors who will let me poll their students and generate questionnaires that will support or refute this action research.
This research will benefit me as I work with faculty members who are interested in using the tools available via Blackboard in their face-to-face class. By researching this subject I will be able to better support them and offer strategies that will enhance their instruction. The research gained here will help me present ideas to faculty who come to us for support.
This week in our Web Conference we discussed the Internship and Field-Based Experiences and Activities that would be on-going throughout the M. Ed Education Technology Leadership program. Several of my classmates had reservation that the assignment was so open ended. The fact that the assignment was open ended was actually my favorite part about the assignment. This way I am able to fit the internship into my current setting rather than have a lot of hoops and hurdles. I have participated in Internships where there were precise activities and procedures. Most of those internships made me feel like a robot.
I was glad to know that many of the feelings I had, several of my classmates shared. The web conference was a great therapy session and made me feel confident that I would be able to complete the required assignments. I learned that the Wiki should always be the point of reference for new documents pertaining to the Internship. This course has been a wonderful experience and the web conferences have been a great way to communicate virtually.