Promoting academic integrity online

A new report from Faculty Focus that should be of interest to distance educators titled Promoting Academic Integrity in Online Education has just been released.

Although there’s some disagreement as to whether distance education is more susceptible to academic dishonesty than other forms of instruction, what isn’t up for debate is the fact that for as long as there’s been exams, there’s been cheating on exams. The online environment simply opens up a different set of challenges that aren’t typically seen in traditional face-to-face courses.

This free report features nine articles from Distance Education Report that will give you the latest techniques and technologies for mitigating cheating and other unethical behaviors in your online courses. The 20-page special report features these articles:

  • Combating Online Dishonesty with Communities of Integrity
  • The New News about Cheating for Distance Educators
  • A Problem of Core Values: Academic Integrity in Distance Learning
  • Student Authentication: What Are Your Duties Under the HEA Reauthorization?
  • 91 Ways to Maintain Academic Integrity in Online Courses
  • Remote Proctoring: Key to Secure Exam Administration?
  • A Chink in Our Armor: Can Technology Provide a True Online Proctored Exam?
  • Practical Tips for Preventing Cheating on Online Exams
  • Identity Gift: The Opposite of Identity Theft?

DEANZ Award 2010 – call for applications

Applications for the 2010 DEANZ award for Excellence in Distance, Open, Flexible and E-learning are now open.

The Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ) wishes to promote and reward excellence in e-learning, distance, open and flexible learning. The DEANZ Award is open to individuals or groups in New Zealand, or New Zealand citizens living overseas, who have completed a project that meets the criteria of the Award.

Awards are given for projects that

  • advance understanding of best practice in e-learning, distance, open and flexible learning in New Zealand;
  • are original or innovative in concept or application;
  • are relevant to and whose outcomes are useful to the e-learning, distance, open and flexible-learning community.

Up to three separate awards may be conferred biennially in conjunction with the DEANZ national conference, with the total amount of money awarded in any year not exceeding $NZ2,000. It is expected that applications for the DEANZ Award will be associated with the current conference theme, and Award recipients (who will be notified in advance) are encouraged to travel to the conference to attend the DEANZ Award ceremony that takes place as a part of the DEANZ conference, being held in Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand, from 25-28 April, 2010.

More details, including a download-able application form are available on the DEANZ website.

Online Learning as a Strategic Assett

A report of interest to anyone with responsibility for policy, strategy and implementation of eLearning at at an institutional level.

The APLU-Sloan National Commission on Online Learning conducted an extensive benchmarking study over a 15-month period in 2008–2009 designed to: (1) identify key factors that contribute to successful, strategic online learning initiatives; and (2) gain a better understanding of faculty attitudes toward online learning and how those attitudes might impact institutional efforts to initiate and grow online programs. The benchmarking study included interviews with more than 230 senior administrators, faculty, and students at 45 campuses across the country and a national web-based survey of faculty that generated almost 11,000 responses from faculty at 69 campuses. The benchmarking study is the largest study of this type regarding online learning yet conducted.

The powerpoint that can be downloaded from this site is worth a browse for a summary of the key findings.

Online learning more effective than face to face

A recent report from written for the U.S. Department of Education has concluded that Online & blended education is more effective than residential method alone.

This conclusion was reached after analyzing research studies undertaken from 1996 to 2008 that address this topic, concluding the following:

  1. Online education is more effective than face-to-face learning;
  2. Online learning combined with some face-to-face learning (blended learning) is the most effective;
  3. Face-to-face learning alone is the least effective method among the three types studied.

Note that these findings are specific to college-level learning as the researchers found that not enough studies exist to merit a valid comparison at the K-12 level.

The full version of this report is available here:

Dept of Education: “Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning” (PDF)


As we start the new year it’s always a good opportunity to plan for some of the places we may want to publish and share some of the exciting things we’re doing in the field of distance education. The Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research has recently published its list of eLearning conferences for 2009 (well, through to July 2009 anyway). There are conferences in pretty much every place you can imagine, covering all aspects of work in the eLearning/Distance Education field.

If you do attend one of these please remember to share what you learned from it through a comment on this blog or by sending an email to a DEANZ exec member so we can share it with others in the DEANZ newsletter.

New Designs for eLearning

Designing and implementing e-learning, the popular web-based guide to planning and delivering e-learning courses, from the national training system’s e-learning strategy, Australian Flexible Learning Framework (Framework), has undergone a $30,000 makeover.

The upgrade includes new and emerging e-learning strategies and tools, such as wikis and virtual classrooms, added to the website’s extensive online gallery.

Education in a Digital World

EdDigWorld.jpg Recently published by the Commonwealth of Learning is this edited e-book titled Education for a Digital World – advice, guidelines and effective practice from around the globe. This 500-page volume contains a comprehensive collection of proven strategies and tools for effective online teaching, based on the principles of learning as a social process. It offers practical, contemporary guidance to support e-learning decision-making, instructional choices, as well as program and course planning, and development.

There are five sections in the book, with contributed chapters under the headings of:

  • The impact of Instructional technologies
  • Preparing Online Courses
  • Implementing Technology
  • eLearning in Action
  • Engagement and Communication

The book itself has been designed in such a way that it could be used as a handbook for a course on the topic – with each of the 31 very informative chapters introduced with a list of learning outcomes that should be achieved as the reader works his/her way through the chapter.

There’s simply too much in this book for me to do it justice with a brief mention here – suffice to say that there is something of value in here for everyone, from the newcomers to the topic to those who are well down the track. Another excellent piece of work from the Commonwealth of Learning!

Theory and Practice of Online Education

Terry Anderson has released the second edition of his popular Theory and Practice of Online Learning. The book is available for purchase or as a free download (click here to download the entire book in .pdf format). Topics include social media, philosophies of technology, mobile learning, cost decisions about technology, libraries, learner support and more. The broad range of subjects, both theoretical and practical, should be of immense interest to readers of the DEANZ blog.

Tips for Synchronous eLearning


With a long weekend coming up in New Zealand here’s a bit of reading that may be of interest to some. The eLearning Guild have released the latest in their series of free e-books, this one titled 144 Tips on Synchronous e-Learning.

As is usual in previous ELG publications, the tips range in length from one-sentence ideas all the way up to multi-page discourses. You will find tips in these categories…

  • Blending Synchronous Learning with Other Learning Modalities
  • Designers of Synchronous Presentations, Courses, and Webinars
  • Managers Who Lead Synchronous Learning Efforts
  • Synchronous Speakers and Instructors
  • Technical Production, Planning, and Preparation

All of the tips have been submitted by practitioners, and there’s a lot of very useful stuff here – particularly for those who are entering the field, or for those who may be in a position of creating manuals or staff development activities to support those working in your school or institution. There’s quite a bit of advertising included from Adobe about their synchronous eLearning product – but even this is informative and usefully presented.

Digital Strategy 2.0 for consultation


The Draft Digital Strategy 2.0 document has been released for public consultation.

Digital Strategy 1.0 was released during 2005.  It was designed as an action plan to maximise ICT opportunities and create a vision of a digital future for New Zealand.

The refreshed Draft Digital Strategy 2.0 builds on input from a series of workshops held in late 2007, the Digital Future Summit 2.0 held last year, as well as the significant progress on Digital Strategy 1.0. The Digital Strategy Report on Progress 2007 sets out those achievements.

New Zealand’s research community is essential to innovation. It is responsible for the creation of new technologies and has a key role in supporting new education topics and methodologies.  Hence your participation and feedback is important to shape New Zealand’s digital future and the development of an updated Digital Strategy.

The Draft Digital Strategy 2.0 is available on the Digital Strategy website.  Consultation on the Draft Digital Strategy 2.0 will be for four weeks, from 14 April to 12 May 2008, and will include opportunities for feedback to be given via new tools, such as a wiki and online dialogue boxes.

DEANZ members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with this document, in particular, the section on “Connection” which outlines a number of action areas that will be of particular interest to those who are exploring the use of online technologies as part of their distance ed programmes.