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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

Online Teaching to Promote Engaged Learning Methods for Teachers and Professors Internationally

Paula Iaeger (University of North Texas, US)
Robert Insley (University of North Texas, US)
Additional Authors
Abdurrahman Ekinci (Mardin Artuklu University, TR)
Session Information
October 10, 2012 - 3:00pm
Faculty and Professional Development & Support
Areas of Special Interest: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
International Programs
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Europe 8
Session Duration: 
35 Minutes

This presentation explains how teacher training promoting engaged learning in Turkey and Uganda will be enhanced by the use of digital badges.

Extended Abstract

In September of 2011, with the help of a two million dollar grant, the MacArthur fund, HASTAC, and Mozilla opened a competition for ways to promote the use of alternative credentials and to establish a common system to allow for an open access for the storing and reporting of digital badges. The winners were announced in March 2012. A digital badge is an electronic credential that indicates a specific level of proficiency in a certain area or competency. Badges can be used to note traditional academic achievements or the acquisition of more generalized skills such as collaboration, teamwork, leadership, and other 21st century skills that employers often cite as necessary to succeed in the workplace. Jeffrey R. Young of The Chronicle of Higher Education in the January 8th 2012 edition in his article "Badges' Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas" outlines the issues that promote and concern people regarding digital badges. UCLA's Eva L. Baker (assessment specialist) gave a Presidential Address for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in 2007 in which she discussed assessments and focused specifically on the development of a merit-badge system similar to that used by the scouts (go to to hear that speech). She predicted that as qualifications will shift attention from "schoolwork to usable and compelling skills from school life to real life"; people will assemble their collection of these digital badges through a common repository of accomplishment, student learning outcomes, and the credentials of the awarding entity or institution to show others and to seek employment (Joseph, 2012). Both Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education and Dr. Martha J. Kanter, Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education have openly discussed the positive uses of badges to measure competencies for youth and adults. The April 2012 Technology, College, and Community (TCC) Conference was the first to offer badges to participants for contributions to the conference that were then reported through Badgestack's and Mozilla's software to publically report on the badges earned. It was clear that there was a need expressed in several of the sessions for more detailed training on how to promote greater interactivity and deeper learning through online courses or components of face to face or blended courses. This team of researchers listened to the discussions and incorporated much of what was presented by winners of the competition for exploring the uses of digital badges. Badges were also discussed at the 2012 Comparative International Education Society (CIES) Annual Conference as an extension of DIY (Teach Yourself) programs promoted in Sub-Saharan Africa and in collaboration with open license textbooks. In 2012, a group of educators who specialize in engaged learning pedagogies and have significant corporate training experience and university-level teaching experience in both education and business courses joined forces and began preparing badges to promote self-regulated learning and engaged learning techniques in the classroom. These badges will go live in the summer of 2012. These same researchers are involved with a wider team that is exploring the introduction and reinforcement of lifelong learning skills in primary- through college-level programs using the Europa eight legislated competencies for lifelong learning, as seen in the curriculum and resources for Texas, Barbados, Uganda, and Turkey. The use of engaged learning methods to reinforce these concepts are also examined. In reviewing the Turkish student learning outcomes and the teaching materials, it was pointed out by the team leader for the Turkish professionals that while the curriculum has been updated for the country to a more active learning model; the teachers responsible for implementing that material were taught classroom management and teaching skills that best suited a more rote memorization and lecture based approach to education. This was also true in Uganda according to our Ugandan team leader. This certainly impacts the learning for the students, but it also impacts job satisfaction ratings and a sense of wellbeing for the teachers and professors. From these discussions surrounding the larger four country comparative project, it was noted that that there is a need to enhance teacher training in the area we are most qualified to address; engaged and self-regulated learning in an online format. This presentation will engage the participants in some of the components of digital badges designed to promote more active learning in the classroom and prepare the next generation of teachers to utilize the online resources to enhance their skills. The project is not designed to replace in-service training, but it could be used as a cost efficient addition to training conducted in groups at a school or university or as personal projects to earn a better understanding of ways to teach. This may initially seem foreign to teachers who were not trained to identify learning styles and promote creative thinking, collaborative learning, discussions, analytical thinking, or something as exciting as Apple's Challenge Based Learning projects ( ) in the classroom. During this presentation the participants will have a sample mini-session, receive a copy of the student learning outcomes for these and related digital badges, and be introduced in ways that badges may be used within courses as well as promoting greater competency in teaching. The badges are designed using online tools such as Microsoft Learning Content Development System (LCDS) which is also available in Turkish that will enhance the learning experience. A handout on this tool will also be included. Goal 1: Demonstrate how digital badges can be used to enhance an understanding of engaged learning methods in the classroom. Goal 2: Engage participants in using the tools used to develop the coursework for the units on engaged learning. References Baker, E. (1992). Assessment: Let's see what our kids can do. Technos Quarterly 1:4. Joseph, Barry. (February, 17, 2012). On digital badges, participatory learning, flipped classrooms. DMLCentral. Retrieved from . Young, Jeffrey R. (January, 8, 2012). Badges' earned online pose challenge to traditional college diplomas. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Lead Presenter

Paula Iaeger has done special research projects for the provost and the office of educational innovation at the University of North Texas. She has taught workshops on the use of experiential learning and technology in the classroom. Dr. Iaeger's research interests focus on engaged learning, lifelong learning, assessment, and access to higher education internationally.