Monthly Archives: April 2016

Workshop: Mix It Up with Blended Learning: A Step-by-Step Guide for Blended Learning

Sofia Nteliopoulou
Athabasca University
Karaoli & Dimitriou 49, Greece
Abstract: The term “blended learning” is being used with increased frequency in both academic and corporate circles. Blended
courses (also known as hybrid or mixed-mode courses) are classes combining online and face-to-face instruction (Reay,
2001; Rooney, 2003; Sands, 2002; Ward & LaBranche, 2003; Young, 2002). This workshop will provide a basic
introduction to blended learning systems and share some practical guidelines that are highly relevant to those who are
implementing such systems. To accomplish these goals, the workshop will address five important questions related to
blended learning such as: What will my blend be? How and when will students and I interact? How will I determine students
are learning? How and when will I introduce and collect student work? Am I ready to deliver this course?

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Blending AR and Mobile Learning Workshop

Avgoustos Tsinakos, Chris Lytridis, Persa Karamanoli
Dept. of Computing and Informatics Engineering
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology
Kavala, Greece
Abstract: The purpose of this workshop is the demonstration of how Mobile Learning can be blended with Augmented Reality to produce educational mobile applications. The workshop will focus on the tools to develop such applications, namely App Inventor, an open-source mobile development environment, and Aurasma, a free augmented reality platform.

App Inventor is a web-based programming environment developed by MIT, where Android applications are created. The projects created in AppInventor are stored in MIT App Inventor’s servers and are accessible from anywhere. Applications can be run in a connected physical device or in an emulator. The environment allows the use of almost all the features that the Android operating system allows, such as the use of graphics components, location services or the camera, and so the production of a wide variety of applications is possible, ranging from graphics-based games to educational applications. The advantage of the platform is that the design and implementation of an application are done using a visual block-based environment, and therefore no particular programming skills are required.

Aurasma on the other hand is a free web-based platform, which allows the creation of Augmented Reality scenarios. After the creation of the scenario on the Aurasma Studio on the browser, the Aurasma mobile application can be used to detect objects and superimpose graphics in order to enhance the physical world. The process of creating this scenario is fairly simple since it requires first the upload of the trigger images and then the selection of the graphics that will be displayed upon detection of the trigger image. The graphics can be simple images, buttons, videos or animated 3D models, which in turn can perform various actions when pressed, such as open a web page or play a sound. After the presentation of the main features of these two platforms, the workshop will conclude with a demonstration of how App Inventor software can be used in conjunction with Aurasma for the development of an educational mobile application.

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Workshop: Go Gaming in the Foreign Language Classroom

Maria (Melina) Laina
3rd Gymnasium Vyronas
Athens, Greece
Angeliki (Angela) Metallinou
Arsakeia – Tositseia schools of Greece
Athens, Greece
Abstract: This workshop refers mostly to foreign language teachers of the primary and secondary level, with or without teaching
experience, who would like to integrate gamification via blended learning in the curriculum, in due to change and differentiate the formative way of teaching the formative way of teaching, by implementing differentiated, intercurricular, intercultural activities and transformative learning. There should be a preparation phase for the workshop, as the participants ought to work on the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) principle.

During the workshop there will be a short introduction to gamification and how it could be combined with blended learning (flipped classroom) and school curricula. Selected digital game applications are presented and implemented. At the feedback phase the participants should fill in an online-questionnaire. All projects will be published on Padlet and on workshop’s closed facebook page

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Workshop: Hybrid Education for Teacher Development

Scott Dunham
Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College
Toronto, ON, Canada
Abstract: The Teacher Education Program (TEP) at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College underwent a transition from
traditional format to hybrid format for the 2015-16 academic year. This course is a requirement for new teachers at our institution, and focuses on the pedagogical considerations for the adult learner in effectively teaching within the Doctor of Chiropractic program.

The transition from a 54 hour in-class course to a blended course of 18 in-class hours, 18 directed independent learning, and 18 online hours has been met with rave reviews from our students. This workshop will focus on the challenges and opportunities presented with transitioning a course to hybrid format. The strategies implemented for fostering online communication and delivering relevant curriculum to those who will be teaching within a hybrid environment will be explored.

Attendees can expect to gain knowledge in the opportunities and obstacles presented with transitioning a long-standing traditional-format course into hybrid format. Feedback from the course will demonstrate effective practices for more effective use of technology in the education of teachers of adult learners. Those hoping to transition traditionally inperson
courses will also gain invaluable insight into the planning process and roll-out of the hybrid version.

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Practitioner’s Presentation: Do-it-yourself Corpora for Language Learning in a Blended Context

Elżbieta Gajek
Institute of Applied Linguistics
University of Warsaw
Warsaw, Poland
Abstract: This poster presents a blended course in which students of different specialties get the same tasks to learn how to use corpus based methods and tools to achieve their own individual learning goals. They get to know basic concepts of what corpus linguistics is, then they learn tools, e.g. a concordance programme AntConc and methods how to create their own corpus, how to make a corpus-based glossary. They compare information obtained from various reference corpora in English and in Polish. They are guided in the process of building their corpus either for language learning or for language research, while working on their own texts. They are also informed on intellectual property protection and copyright issues. Finally, they present a glossary of terms extracted from the corpus and a reflective essay in which they discuss
their progress in terms of language learning strategies and acquisition of specialist terminology.

The blended learning environment provides opportunities for individual learning to fulfil students’ own aims based on their own materials. For example some of them work on their own texts written in a foreign language to compare the usage of selected words in the text with the usage in the reference corpus. Translators-to-be learn how to find exact meaning of words for the corpus data. They are able to collect media texts to identify collocation of words of their interest. In this teaching and learning context students are co-creators of the course as the teacher proposes a framework which is filled with students’ do-it-yourself corpora either their own texts or collected texts from various sources respecting intellectual property rights. Blended teaching environment proves to be suitable for the specificity of the content taught. Students work on texts of their interest while using ICT-tools for linguistic analysis.

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Practitioner’s Presentation: Student-Generated Tutorials Using iBooks

Phil Cowcill
Development Made Simple
North Bay, ON, Canada
Abstract: One of the best methods to ensure you understand a topic is to teach that topic to someone else. In a very simple way, this is what the students of Canadore College’s post-graduate Mobile Application Development program did. Students were first asked to think about a topic that was covered in the previous semester that they had trouble with. Once each student selected their topic, they were given the assignment of creating a tutorial that contains:

  • An overview of the tutorial
  • Put the tutorial in context of the mobile application development field
  • Step-by-step instructions on making a product or service
  • Screen captures demonstrating the process
  • A video showing the tutorial being built
  • Audio support for the tutorial
  • A short quiz/review to ensure the learner understands the contents of the tutorial

Once all the students submit their tutorials from a common iBook template, they are then merged together into one large document. The finished document with all the tutorials is then shared with next year’s class. The advantages of this iBook assignment were:

  • Students learned how to create a publication in iBooks
  • Cemented their knowledge on a particular topic
  • Students had to apply their knowledge on instructional design to create a learning tutorial
  • The student created interactions using a variety of quiz questions
  • Incorporated interactive widgets from a third party
  • Learned how to record the computer screen while dictating a tutorial
  • Provided a resource for next year’s students

In this practitioner presentation, we will look at some of the sample tutorials created by the class. As time permits, participants in this presentation can follow along and create their own iBook. If you would like to create your own iBook, you’ll need to bring your own Mac with iBook Author installed. Sample files will be handed out so you can develop your
own iBook very quickly.

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Panel: Implementation Strategies for Successful Blended Learning

Mohamed Ally (Chair)
Athabasca University
Athabasca, BC, Canada
Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas
Athabasca University
Athabasca, BC, Canada
Avgoustos Tsinakos
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Institute of Technology
Kavala, Greece
Gwen Willis-Darpoh
American Institutes for Research
Washington, DC, USA
Hend Merza
Arab Open University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Abstract: As organizations around the world move to blended learning they need to acquire the expertise to implement blended learning successfully. For some organizations, blended learning is a new initiative and they need help on how to prepare and implement blended learning. The panel members will deliver short presentations on a variety of topics related to successful implementation of blended learning. The first presentation will be on the definition and models of blended learning which will be followed by recent research on blended learning. It is important for educators and trainers to know about effective models to use and what the research says so that they can be guided by the research. The third presentation will be on how different technologies can be used in blended learning, especially the use of emerging technologies to provide flexible learning opportunities. This will be followed by a presentation of the type of support and importance of providing support to learners in blended learning. The last presentation will cover best practices in blended learning that organizations can use to implement blended learning successfully.

The presentations will be followed by questions and comments from the audience. At the end of the panel discussion, the panel members will be asked to identify one challenge for implementing blended learning successfully and how to overcome the challenge.

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Panel: Challenges of Implementing a Blended Learning MSc Program: the MSc “Analysis and Management of Manmade and Natural Disasters” Initiative

Dimitrios Emmanouloudis
(Chair)
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Institute of Technology
Kavala, Greece
Michail Chalaris
Hellenic Fire Academy
Athens, Greece
Konstantinos Simitsis
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Institute of Technology
Kavala, Greece
Maria Roussi
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Institute of Technology
Kavala, Greece
Abstract: The present proposal is based on the recent establishment of the MSc program “ Analysis and Management of Manmade and Natural Disasters” , conducted by four departments of the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology and the Fire Officers Faculty of Hellenic Fire Academy.

The purpose of the MSc Program is to train the personnel of the Fire Service and Civil Protection officers through innovative procedures and methods to risk and Crisis Management, Social and Economic Impact of Disasters, Enviromental Disaster and Technological Accidents, electrical-mechanical disasters, spread of oil spills and fires, Construction Analysis, Reduction Project and Flood Diversion, Geoinformatics in Disaster Management, EU Civil Protection Mechanism, etc. A number of particularities apply to the development of the teaching modalities : firstly the particular work conditions of the students attending the MSc, regarding their disponibility for in situ presence in classes and the major geographical dispersion of those willing to attend the Program; secondly, the fact that the academic and research staff involved in the educational procedure is also geographically dispersed (Kavala, Athens, Crete, etc); thirdly that the administrative handling is equally complicated (two different Organisations). Based on those particularities, the MSc educational procedure was initially organized conforming to distance learning principles; this involved ten receiver “classrooms”, situated in different counties in Greece, where the physical presence of students in those locations would be blended with the virtually presence of the instructor(s) using synchronous technologies and assisted by asynchronous LMS. This modality was not applied due to major legal obstacles; the status of blended learning is not yet defined in Greek laws and consequently, it would not be recognized by the Greek Ministry of Education. So far, only the asynchronous distance learning is established, but the legal framework is clearly outdated. The existing legal vacuum does not allow any synchronous distance learning or blended learning techniques as the mainstream of a formal curriculum. Consequently, according to the applied scenario students were placed into two groups, located in Athens and Thessaloniki and the program is actually mirrored in these two locations with the in situ presence of the academic staff who travels back and forth to physically attend the classes. Therefore there was a major negative affection on the expenses and the complication of the Master Program.

The panel consists of Professor Emmanouloudis, director of the MSc program, who will present the the principles and the vision of the MSc program ; Dr Chalaris, Dean of the Fire Officers Faculty who will present the particularities of implementing a MSc program in the academic program of the Fire Officers Faculty; Mr Simitsis, legal representative of EMATTECH, who will examine the legal modalities of the case; and Dr Roussi, executive secretary of the MSc program, who will present the and logistics of this initiative. The situation been exposed, the panel will be interested in discussing with the auditory the different aspects and is already eager for its experienced feedback.

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Panel: Benefits and Challenges of the Blended Learning Approach in Second and Foreign Language Learning

Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas
(Chair)
Athabasca University
Athabasca, AB, Canada

Yasemin Bayyurt
Boğaziçi University
Istanbul, Turkey

Elżbieta Gajek
University of Warsaw
Warsaw Poland

Angeliki (Angela) Metallinou
Arsakeia-Tositseia Schools Psychico
Athens, Greece

Maria (Melina) Laina
University of Athens
Athens, Greece
Kavala, Greece

Abstract: The many benefits and challenges of applying blended learning methods and technologies have been widely discussed in
the computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) literature, even if not directly referred to as blended learning. Blended approaches in second and foreign language learning leverage new, previously unexperienced, digital technologies, novel pedagogical strategies, and new language-rich contexts to offer an innovative approach to untethered language learning that meets the preferences of the 21st century learner. Blended learning practice has to be founded on the body of systematic theory, research, and practice that provides evidence and reflects a multitude of potential educational circumstances. This panel discussion is a forum for language learning practitioners and researchers to report on and discuss how they have implemented blended learning, what strategies and designs worked and what approaches did not provide desirable outcomes. Case studies presented in this panel reflect a variety of problems and solutions as experienced and explored in a real world language learning milieu.

The panel members will thus share their observations supported by case studies from their unique language learning and teaching contexts. These short presentations will address a variety of issues related to successful implementation of blended learning in a language classroom. The panelists will represent four different countries and diverse perspectives,
including the good, the bad, and the ugly of mobile-assisted language learning, the potential consequences of the BYOD (bring your own device) policy, blended learning in a state and a private secondary level school in Greece, and benefits and challenges of applying blended learning in a Turkish university context. The panelist will identify the key challenges
and ways of addressing them. Questions and comments from the audience will be addressed as well. By sharing their expert perceptions, practices, findings and conclusions, and addressing the comments from the audience, the panelists aim to contribute to the progress of blended language learning. The panel is intended for second and foreign language teachers, academics, researchers, instructional designers, and students, and all other who are interested in the topic.

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Panel: Technology for Blended Learning

Helmi Norman
National University of Malaysia
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Kahled Suwais
Arab Open University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Husein Mansour
Naif Arab University for Security Sciences
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Przemyslaw Pawluk
George Brown College
Toronto, ON, Canada
Kaburlasos Vassilis
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Institute of Technology
Kavala, Greece
Abstract: The many benefits and challenges of applying blended learning methods and technologies have been widely discussed in contexts. Blended approaches gain grounds in various domains from language learning to technology learning. Blended learning practice has to be founded on a theoretical foundation while technology provides tools allowing to realize the vision painted by theoreticians. This panel discussion is a forum for learning practitioners and researchers to report on and discuss how they have implemented blended learning, what technologies did they use to achieve desirable outcomes. The panel members will thus share their observations supported by case studies from their unique learning and teaching contexts. These short presentations will address a variety of issues related to successful implementation of blended learning and applications of various technologies. The panelists will represent different countries and diverse perspectives on learning technology, the potential areas of development, and their vision of the future of blended learning technology. The panelist will identify the key challenges and ways of addressing them.

Questions and comments from the audience will be addressed as well. By sharing their expertise, practices, findings and conclusions, and addressing the comments from the audience, the panelists aim to contribute to the better understanding of blended learning technology.

The panel is intended for teachers, academics, researchers, instructional designers, and students, and all other who are interested in the topic.

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