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eLearn Magazine: A Recap of the 18th Annual Sloan Consortium Conference on Online Learning


New Issue of JALN released, featuring 2011 Best in Track Award Winners.


Creating an Institutional Culture that Embraces Accessibility and Supports Online Student Success  - By Kristen Betts, Director of Online and Blended Learning, Armstrong Atlantic State University. Kristen Betts will be presenting “From Compliance to Culture: Building an Effective Infrastructure to Support Accessibility and Online Student Success” on October 11, 2012.


Online and On the Move - By Emily Boles, Senior Instructional Developer, University of Illinois, Springfield. Ray Schroeder will be presenting "Online and On the Move: Mobile Online Learning" on October 10, 2012.

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Today's Campus Highlights Sloan-C Annual Conference in Nov-Dec Issue

Missed the event? Purchase the full set of recordings now – 65+ sessions for just $119!

Download the Proceedings

View the pictures of the conference

Watch the keynote and plenary recordings:

Keynote Address: Democratizing Higher Education
Sebastian Thrun, VP & Fellow Google

Plenary Panel: Evolution or Revolution? What's Happening with Traditional Online Learning?
Jeff Young (The Chronicle of Higher Education, US) - Panel Moderator
Jose Cruz (The Education Trust, US)
Alan Drimmer (University of Phoenix, US)
Jack Wilson (University of Massachusetts, US)

Plenary Address: Citizen Science - Authentic Participation in Research
Arfon Smith (Citizen Science-Adler Planetarium, US)

Press Release: October 9, 2012
Sonic Foundry Partners with the Sloan Consortium to Webcast International Conference on Online Learning

Best in Track Awards Winners Announced. Read the Press Release.

Call for Presentations for the 2013 conference will open in February 2013.

Check out last year's conference.


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Save the Dates

22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

AMS Education Program: Leading the Way in Online Instruction Since 1996

James Brey (American Meteorological Society, US)
Kira Nugnes (American Meteorological Society, US)
Additional Authors
Joseph Moran (American Meteorological Society, US)
Elizabeth Mills (American Meteorological Society, US)
Ira Geer (American Meteorological Society, US)
Session Information
October 11, 2012 - 2:25pm
Faculty and Professional Development & Support
Areas of Special Interest: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Online Learning and Community Colleges
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Oceanic 3
Session Duration: 
35 Minutes

Not sure how to teach lab science online? We do! Come learn how to offer a lab science course that uses real-world data.

Extended Abstract

Since 1996, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) has been developing online educational materials, both for K-12 teacher professional development as well as for the undergraduate classroom. During the Fall and Spring semesters, AMS partners with NOAA, NASA, and SUNY Brockport to offer DataStreme Atmosphere, Ocean and Earth's Climate System. These online, professional development courses are delivered to small groups of K-12 teachers through Local Implementation Teams (LITs) in nearly all 50 states, with twice-weekly online study materials, weekly mentoring, and several face-to-face meetings, supplemented by a printed textbook and investigations manual. LITs recruit local teachers for participation, but for those interested candidates who do not live close to a LIT, they can apply to take the course completely online via the AMS Education Program website. These courses have been completed by more than 16,500 teachers, increasing their knowledge of online geoscience resources and confidence in understanding the dynamic Earth system. With the additional support of NSF and NOAA, AMS developed AMS Weather Studies, AMS Ocean Studies, and AMS Climate Studies. These high-caliber, scientifically-authentic, introductory, undergraduate-level courses investigate current topics in Earth science through the use of real-world environmental data and are spinoffs of the courses for teachers. Designed to be adaptable to traditional, hybrid, or online instructional settings, these courses have already been adopted by more than 675 colleges and universities across the United States, with an increasing number offering the courses completely online or in a hybrid learning environment. The courses consist of a fully-integrated set of printed and online learning materials including a comprehensive textbook, investigations manual, course website, faculty website, and a faculty resource CD. Instructors can use these materials in any combination. Updated yearly, the investigations manual contains 30 laboratory activities, two per textbook chapter, and innovatively connects with an optional third online component, Current Weather/Ocean/Climate Studies, via the course website. These online investigations reference data from the NWS, reports from the IPCC, and contain real-world data from other lead scientific organizations. The course website is an all-inclusive webpage that provides links to numerous external sources that further engage students. Other course website resources include the Daily Weather Summary (AMS Weather Studies), updated daily (during the fall and spring semesters) with a comprehensive analysis of the synoptic weather in the United States for the previous 24 hours, as well as historical weather events. The Weekly Weather, Ocean, and Climate News are freshly prepared every Monday with important news from these sciences. Algebra- and calculus-level math applications (AMS Weather Studies), along with access to COMET modules, chapter self-test questions, and geoscience career information are other resources found on the course website. In addition, course instructors receive a Faculty CD that contains a faculty manual including learning objectives and suggestions for course implementation, as well as investigations manual answer forms compatible with any course management system, test bank questions and answers, textbook images, and PowerPoint® presentations for each chapter. The investigations manual answer forms, found on the faculty CD, are files compatible with Respondus®, test-generating software for which many institutions are licensed (answer forms are also provided in Respondus® format). The faculty member has the option of delivering questions through their course management system to allow automatic scoring and immediate results for their students. This feature allows for full integration to a college's e-learning environment. AMS Weather Studies, AMS Ocean Studies, and AMS Climate Studies may be implemented as a new institutional course offering, a revision of an existing course, the expansion of an existing course to include a lab component, or may be used to create an online course, particularly as an online lab science course. These courses can be taught by experienced science faculty or those new to teaching the subject matter. Mentoring by AMS-trained course instructors is available to all new instructors. AMS has received positive feedback from instructors who have used the mentoring program. A license is required for institutions using both the textbook and the investigations manual. The license includes the textbook, investigations manual, and course and faculty websites, or the investigations manual and/or course website alone. A textbook-only option is available; however, does not include any of the faculty resources or access to the course and faculty websites. Central to the American Meteorological Society's development of these courses is their implementation at colleges serving large minority-student populations. Since 2002, the AMS has initiated course implementation through NSF-supported Geoscience Diversity/National Dissemination Projects. Participating U.S. institutions include Historically Black College and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions. As a result of the AMS Ocean Studies Diversity Project, 75 institutions have offered the course to more than 3000 students. The 145 institutions that participated in the AMS Weather Studies Diversity Project have offered the course to more than 10,000 students. With the support of NSF and NASA, and a partnership with Second Nature, the organizing entity behind the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the AMS Climate Studies Diversity Project recruited 25 MSI faculty members for the inaugural workshop held in May 2012. Subsequent workshops will be held throughout the next 3 years, targeting 100 MSIs. Commitment to diversity is also part of the DataStreme courses for teachers. Teachers at schools with high minority populations are given preference. As part of our presentation, the speaker will share his personal experiences (both trials and tribulations) of offering AMS Weather Studies online for 8 years at the University of Wisconsin and offering a DataStreme course to Wisconsin teachers. Actual excerpts of our coursework, showcasing our innovative approach to using real-time data, will also be presented. AMS Weather Studies, AMS Ocean Studies, and AMS Climate Studies aim to interest all students in the geosciences and increase scientific literacy through the use of real-world data. For more information, please visit

Lead Presenter

Jim Brey is the Director of the Education Program of the American Meteorological Society since May, 2008. Prior to that he was a Professor of Geography and Geology at the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley. He has been active in delivering AMS K-12 DataStreme courses to teachers in Wisconsin and a leader in the development and offering of the AMS Weather Studies and Ocean Studies undergraduate courses. He contributed to the development of AMS Weather Studies and DataStreme Water in the Earth System. He participated in the ORION conferences focusing on ocean education issues and served on the IOOS Key Messages and Themes Committee. He considers himself to be a broad field earth system scientist and geographer. Brey is considered an expert in progressive educational delivery methods and the latest in pedagogical and technical innovation. He also is committed to further development of the AMS Education Program’s weather and ocean studies workshops for faculty of minority serving institutions. His research interests include new education and training approaches, work force development in STEM fields, effects of climatological hazards on subtropical agricultural production systems and the use of Geographical Information Systems in hazard mitigation, telecommunications and agriculture. Brey obtained his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in geography from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.