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Learning Technology Resources

2nd Annual Northwest Regional Instructional Technology Showcase

On Friday, February 22, 2013, the Learning Technology Development Council (LTDC) held the 2nd Annual Northwest Regional Instructional Technology Showcase, "E3 with Learning Technology: Efficiency, Effectiveness and Engagement" at UW-Stout. >Recorded sessions 

Richard E. Mayer - Interview by Mike O'Donoghue. On the role and design of video for learning (November 2011).

Professor Richard Mayer discusses in this video interview his interest in helping people learn in such a way that helps them to apply, or transfer, that learning to their particular situation. This interest led him to explore the use of graphics, video and animation, to help learning. Mayer cautions that media does not cause learning, but that it is the instructional method that causes learning. He adds that media will not improve poorly-designed instruction; media is best used to add value to well-designed instruction. Mayer describes principles of multi-media design that he has developed through his evidence-based research and offers suggestions on how to introduce technology in the classroom. He concludes by suggesting that to create high-quality multi-media requires collaboration between those expert of various fields, such as production, subject matter, instructional design, and cognitive science of learning. Mayer, Richard E., interview by Mike O'Donoghue. On the role and design of video for learning (November 2011).

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Megan E. Bradley, et al. "Ask and You Will Receive: How Question Type Influences Quantity and Quality of Online Discussions." British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 39 No. 5 (2008), 888 – 900.

Overview: In an attempt to promote and improve the quality and quantity of educational online discussion boards the researchers sought to demonstrate impact questions have on students. They found that question type influences both quantity and quality of student responses. They tested six question types: Direct Link, Course Link, Brainstorm, Limited Focal, Open Focal, and Application.


  • Highest Word Count: Limited Focal and Direct Link questions generated the most words. Followed by Brainstorm and Open Focal.
  • Most Complete Answers: Limited Focal and Open Focal followed by Brainstorm and Direct Link.
  • Generated Highest Order Think: Course Link, Brainstorm and Direct Link question resulted in highest levels of thinking. Open Focal and Application question types resulted in the lowest level of thinking. >pdf
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Deborah Vess. "Asynchronous Discussion and Communication Patterns in Online and Hybrid History Courses." Communication Studies Vol. 54 No. 4 (October 2005), 355 – 364.

Overview: The author compared the quality of student-to-student interaction in an online world civilization history course using software facilitated discussion boards and another section using a more traditional face-to-face hybrid course. She formatted the discussion groups with the utilization of role playing.

  • Student-to-student interactions were more authentic and elaborate in the pure online course.
  • Student-to-student interaction in the traditional course was more constrained and tended to be more instructor-to-student oriented.
  • Students in the traditional hybrid course did report greater comfort engaging in in-class discussions after exchanging posts on the discussion boards.
  • Significantly, the author pointed out that the students in the fully online class were older non-traditional students and their maturity level most likely influenced the higher level of online discussion. >pdf
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"Online Assessment." Online Teaching and Learning Resource Guide (Virginia Commonwealth University: Center for Teaching Excellence). 91 – 126.

Overview: The article gives suggestions on how to conduct quality assessments for online or hybrid courses that promote higher-order thinking, better learning outcomes, and thwart cheating. It also demonstrates the pros and cons, and differences between formative and summative assessments as well as provides tools to get the most out of both means of assessment.

  • Concept mapping, pages 94 – 95.
  • Determining Prior Knowledge (Pre-course tests), pages 95 – 96.
  • Classroom Assessment Techniques (CAT's), pages 96 – 98.
  • Blogging or Learning Journals, pages 98 – 99.
  • Surveys (illuminates where students don't understand material), page 99.
  • Practice Quizzes (Studies show those who take them do better), pages 100 – 101.
  • StudyMate (A study aid that uses common games to help study for tests), pages 101 – 104.
  • Quizzes, Tests, and Exams (Practices to thwart cheating on online quizzes, tests, and exams), pages 108 – 109.
  • The article also provides suggested practices regarding Rubrics (pages 104 – 106), Assignments (106 – 108), Respondus (109 – 111), LON-CAPA (111 – 115), and Peer Review/ Peer Feedback (115 – 116). >pdf
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Fox, Steve. "Teaching Matters: Rethinking the Hybrid Course." Chronicle of Higher Education Vol. 56 No. 21 (February 2010).

Overview: The article argued that although students are more willing to take part in an online discussion, hybrid courses may not fulfill the needs of students. Mr. Fox asserted students prefer online discussion boards because it is a passive means of communication, but this could thwart their ability to communicate face-to-face. Mr. Fox gave four ways to hybridize a university course not as a means of promoting passive communication, but rather active in-class, face-to-face discussion.

  • Start a class blog. Post everything online: the syllabus, links to assigned readings, day-to-day schedules, links to outside articles of interest, observations about class discussions. Update it regularly.
  • Create a continuum. The goal is to make the class experience part of a continuum, instead of a couple of blocks of 50 or 90 minutes twice a week. The blog subtly makes the class a part of their daily life, unlike the passive e-mail experience.
  • Require class participation. Mr. Fox has had considerable success, especially when he posts juicy topics. He definitely sees participation from those who might not otherwise participate in a "live" discussion.
  • Help students become more comfortable with class discussions. Instructors should remember that as faculty members, they come into the classroom prepped and with lecture notes in hand—yet they expect students to come up with coherent arguments on the spot. Even if they've done the readings, that can be tough. >pdf
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Beck, Robert J. "Teaching International Law as a Partially Online Course: the Hybrid/Blended Approach to Pedagogy." International Studies Perspective, Vol. 11 (2012), 273 – 290.

Overview: This article recounted the author's experience of teaching International Law as a ''blended'' or ''hybrid'' course during the Spring and Fall semesters of 2007. The author is well versed in the language of education and found his students liked his web-enhanced activities because they were convenient, students were able to re-watch videos and lectures, and the online materials helped further the students understanding of course content.

  • 88 percent (Fall semester 2007)/ 90 percent (Spring semester 2007) of his students found the voice over PowerPoint helpful and easily accessible and wanted them to continue.
  • 5 percent (Fall) / 25 percent (Spring) of the mid-term and 18 percent (Fall)/ 10 percent (Spring) of the end-term responses appreciated the convenience of online material.
  • 30 percent (Fall)/ 12 percent (Spring) of the mid-term and 5 percent (Fall)/ 7 percent (Spring) of the end-term responses liked the ability to watch the videos repeatedly.
  • 14 percent (Fall)/ 12 percent (Spring) of the mid-term and 4 percent (Fall)/ 17 percent (Spring) of the end-term responses believed the online material increases their comprehension of class content.  >pdf
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Forte, James A. and Vicki Root. "To ITV or Not to ITV: A Comparison of Hybrid and Web-enhanced Approaches to Teaching a Macro-course in Human Behavior in the Social Environment." Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, No. 21 (2011), 82 – 96.

Overview: The authors used ITV in the hybrid course to facilitate class activity and compared the learning outcomes to a traditional face-to-face course with supplemented online material. They found that the differences in grade outcomes were marginal.

  • The mean course grade for the web-enhanced class was 90.2 percent with a range of 76 – 98. The mean course grade for the hybrid course was 90.6 percent with a range of 70 – 97.
  • The mean grades for the 10 – 12 page research paper were 22.8 points of a possible 25 for the hybrid course and 23.2 points of a possible 25 for web-enhanced.
  • The students reported a higher mean of satisfaction regarding class expectations, how much they felt they learned, and teacher effectiveness in the hybrid course opposed to the web-enhanced course, albeit the statistical difference was minor. >pdf
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