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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

Increasing Student Engagement While Reducing Textbook Costs Using GinkgoTree

#Twitter: 
#blended07331
Presenter(s)
Tanya Joosten (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, USA)
Dylan Barth (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA)
Additional Authors
Nicole Weber (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2014 - 4:30pm
Track: 
Teaching & Learning Effectiveness
Areas of Special Interest: 
Innovative Blends
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Innovation and Experimentation
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
All
Session Type: 
Information Session
Location: 
Governor's Square 14
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Session: 
Information Session 3
Virtual Session
Abstract

UW-Milwaukee's Learning Technology Center will discuss findings from a pilot project that demonstrate increased student engagement and reduced textbook costs through instructors' use of GinkgoTree.

Extended Abstract

As Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently advocated, the eradication of printed textbooks and a move toward more digitally-based content is necessary for all types of education (Lederman, 2012). With the increasing cost of publisher-created textbooks, there is an accompanying need and responsibility to help provide students with affordable alternatives. Cost of course materials should not be an obstacle to receiving a quality education nor to enrolling in courses that traditionally require expensive textbooks. Recent research about the costs of textbooks (EDUCAUSE, 2013) found that the average cost for students is $138 per book.

In order to address these concerns, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee's (UWM's) Learning Technology Center (LTC) has been exploring the effective use of open textbook authoring and open education resources (OER) for teaching and learning. This project has focused on the creation of textbook alternatives by initiating a pilot study of the web-based application, Ginkgotree, that instructors can use to curate digital content (i.e., text, images, websites, videos, slides, and more). The UWM LTC has conducted initial data analysis on focus group and survey data collected from instructors who piloted the tool in their online and blended courses during the 2013-14 academic year. This initial analysis of data shows that GinkgoTree allowed instructors to guide student learning more effectively through increased functionality in packaging their content; increase student access to content by providing up-to-date materials more affordably; enhance students' sense of engagement with both the content and the instructors; and share their content expertise more directly with students, creating a richer, more vibrant student learning experience.

Furthermore, the UWMLTC will also share our experiences during the pilot specifically related to providing instructors with adequate faculty development materials, managing instructor expectations about time and cost, and documenting problem reports and feature requests. As evidenced by their comments regarding enhancing the packaging of their content, the access to the course materials, and the interactivity around their course materials, instructors have been enthusiastic about using the Ginkgotree application, incorporating OER materials into their courses, and having their content appear in a way that promotes increased student learning and engagement. While instructors have been pleased with the tool thus far, they have also had reservations about expenses (e.g., their time in collecting materials and costs to students for using free OER materials) and increased functionality (e.g., ability to annotate websites to further aid student comprehension and social annotation that would improve class). This session will be facilitated by the pilot project lead and an instructor who used GinkgoTree in his blended writing course.

Lead Presenter

Tanya Joosten is the Director (Interim) at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Learning Technology Center (LTC) where almost 3000 instructors (faculty, academic staff, and TA's) are supported in their use of digital technologies to facilitate teaching and learning. UWM offers over 40 online and blended degree programs to its app. 30,000 students.
Tanya is active in blended and online learning where she has taught online and blended classes for over a decade, co-chairs the UWM Online Program Council (OPC), is the campus liaison for online and blended programming, is a mentor for the Sloan-C certificate in online teaching, and is the 2013 chair of the Sloan-C Blended conference (#blend13) in Milwaukee (http://sloanconsortium.org/blended).

In leading the UWM LTC, she oversees the recognized faculty development team for online and blended teaching, the UWM Certificate in Blended and Online Teaching, the online and blended teachers users group (OBTUG), and the Sloan-C blended faculty development program. Also, she has worked with dozens of universities and colleges across the globe on developing their teaching and learning strategies and supporting instructors' use of technology.

Tanya is the author of Social Media for Educators. Her work and expertise on social media, virtual worlds, and other emerging technologies has been highlighted in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Ed Tech Magazine, eCampus News, EDUCAUSE Review, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, and other news and media publications.

She is helping develop plans for the future of education as she is a member of the UWM digital future steering committee, State of Wisconsin Superintendent's digital learning advisory council member, EDUCAUSE Evolving Technologies Steering Committee, EDUCAUSE IT Status committee, NMC Horizon Project Higher Ed Advisory Board, and Sage Publications digital media advisory board member.