Colin Simpson’s ed tech must reads of the week

 Do zoom meetings really help? A comparative analysis of synchronous and asynchronous online learning during Covid-19 pandemic from Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

The author of this article compare the experiences of US students who had both synchronous and asynchronous on-line learning experiences during the pandemic through a community of inquiry framework. They were interested in how these modes impact self-evaluated performance, actual grades and identification with their institutions and also considered measures of teaching, social and cognitive presence. Unsurprisingly perhaps, students in synchronous courses tended to feel greater social presence which did influence their grades and self-evaluation. This was less the case in asynchronous courses. What is perhaps missing is information about the nature of these courses, how they were designed and delivered. (Teacher presence is noted as having affected social and cognitive presence though). Thanks to my BusEco colleagues for sharing this.


The rise and fall of the HyFlex Approach in Mexico from Tech Trends

The practicalities of new modes of teaching can often come second to the simple need to get something done. This brief overview of the introduction of HyFlex teaching in Mexico, where students attend a synchronous class either on-line or in-person, highlights three key areas that need to be considered seriously in any type of technology enabled learning and teaching – technology resourcing and support, workloads and adequate guidance.


Defining different modes of learning: resolving confusion and contention through consensus from Online Learning

If there is one thing the academy loves, it is long debates about what things should be called and how they should be understood. The language around learning and teaching modes is no stranger to this. Terms like on-line learning, hybrid learning, hyflex learning, in-person learning, synchronous learning, and asynchronous learning often have local institutional variations. Johnson et al. from WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) surveyed more than 2000 educators and administrators from American universities about some provided definitions of these terms and found a surprising consensus in acceptance of the key terms. Maybe there is hope for us yet.


Adding a policy about the use of AI text generators from Anna Mills (Twitter)

There isn’t a lot in this twitter thread but Anna Mills is consistently one of the most thought-provoking people in the discussion about the practical impact of AI text generation on learning and assessment. Here she asks the question – What policy do you put in your syllabus around student use of #AI text generators/large language models to assist with coursework? Given that this can technically range from auto-correct and sentence completion to the generation of entire essays – where is the line? Are there educational benefits that might be found?

Colin Simpson has worked in education technology, teaching, learning design and academic development in the tertiary sector since 2003 at CIT, ANU, Swinburne and Monash University. He is also one of the leaders of the ASCILITE TELedvisors Network. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner


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