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Lots of things shaking at E-Learn in Hawaii (like earthquakes)
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Time for some news on E-Learn in Honululu held October 13-17, 2006. This was the fourth straight year that I have attended this conference (Phoenix in 2003; DC in 2004; Vancouver in 2005; and now the Aloha State). It was perhaps the most picturesque place for a conference. What stunning views from the Sheraton Waikiki!!! Most sessions I gave had a window in the back of the room with a view of the Pacific and the hotel swimming pool and bar area as well as Diamond Head mountain to the righthand side.

My colleagues and I gave talks on blended learning in corporate training in Korea as well as Tawain. Other talks were on developing a sense of community online with Dr. Xiaojing Liu which won an outstanding paper award. Hooray for Xiaoing! Also gave talks on podcast, wikis, and blogs; as part of this, one of my graduate students and I gave a paper on Wikibooks. And I gave a talk to the University of Hawaii faculty and staff on my online survey tool, SurveyShare.

I was surpised how many people were interested in blended learning and transfer issues in corporate training settings. I figured that we would get 5-10 people but we got from 30-100 people at the various sessions. Perhaps there were not enough corporate training sessions at the conference or perhaps people are really interested in adult learning or perhaps these papers were just timely. We are actually studying blended learning China, Taiwan, Korea, US, and UK. All 9 talks went well I think. Seems like I was preparing one and then delivering it and then reloading for another talk for like 6 straight days. Happy to share paper with those who request them. Write to Here are the topics and titles.

1. Son, S., Oh. E. J., Bonk, C. J., & Kim, K. J. (2006, October). The future of blended learning in corporate and other training settings in Korea. Paper presented at the E-Learn Conference 2006—World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

2. Teng, Y., Bonk, C. J., & Kim, K. J. (2006, October). The current development of blended learning in workplace learning in Taiwan. Paper presented at the E-Learn Conference 2006—World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

3. Zhang, K., & Bonk, C. J. (2006, October). The R2D2 model for effective online teaching and enjoyable online learning. Paper presented at the E-Learn Conference 2006—World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

4. Liu, X., Magjuka, R. J., Bonk, C. J., & Lee, S. H. (2006, October). Does sense of community matter? An examination of participants’ perspectives in online courses. Paper presented at the E-Learn Conference 2006—World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

5. Lee, J., Bonk, C. J., & Park, A. (2006, October). Design of blended learning environment ensuring transfer of training. Paper presented at the E-Learn Conference 2006—World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

6. Sajjapanroj, S., Bonk, C. J., Lee. M., & Lin, G. (2006, October). The challenges and successes of wikibookian experts and want-to-bees. Paper presented at the E-Learn Conference 2006—World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

7. Bonk, C. J., Oh, E. J., & Teng, Y. (2006, October). Blended Learning: Situations, Solutions, and Several Surprises. Tutorial presentation at the E-Learn Conference 2006—World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

8. Bonk, C. J., Zhang, K., & Barton, S. M. (2006, October). Podcasts and Wikis and Blogs, Oh My!: Online Learning is Not in Kansas Anymore. Tutorial presentation at the E-Learn Conference 2006—World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.

After the conference, I gave this talk at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, "Introducing SurveyShare: Surveying the Online World."

The following papers were presented by my research team the same week in Dallas at AECT:

1. Liu, X., Magjuka, R. J., Bonk, C., J., & Lee, S. (2006, October). Participants’ perceptions of building learning communities in online MBA courses. Paper presented at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) 2006 Annual International Convention, Dallas, TX.

2. Su, B., Bonk, C., J., & Magjuka, R. J., (2006, October). Experiences versus preferences of online interactions. Paper presented at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) 2006 Annual International Convention, Dallas, TX.

3. Lee, S., Lee, J., Liu, X., Magjuka, R. J., & Bonk, C., J., & (2006, October). Analysis of case-based learning in an online MBA program: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Paper presented at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) 2006 Annual International Convention, Dallas, TX.

4. Kim, K. J., Bonk, C. J., Teng, Y., Son, S. J., Zeng, T., & Oh, E. J. (2006, October). Future trends of blended learning in workplace learning across different cultures. Paper presented at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) 2006 Annual International Convention, Dallas, TX.

It was some week!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, the E-Learn conference keynotes covered such areas as digital libraries, learning objects, authentic learning, and online learning in K-12 education (I was a keynote at the conference last year and spoke about how the learning world had become flat--see earlier blog post). Susan Patrick from the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) was the first speaker. While she looks young, she has many years of experience in K-12 education. She was highly passionate about the need to address K-12 learning with innovative ideas, risk taking, creativity, competition, and leadership.

Her interesting points included that the Intel science fair attracts 65,000 students from US classrooms and 6,000,000 from Chinese classrooms. Humm..who stands a better chance of winning. While her numbers related to the growth of online learning were a bit dated (2 millions learners in higher education and 500,000 in K-12 online), her points resonated with me. She noted that we are looking at 30 percent growth per year. There is huge potential for new programming if this trend continues. Unfortunately, she also had statistics on high school drop out rates (68-70 percent) as well as disapointing numbers related to reading, math, and science in the US. There are opportunities for greater self-directed learning online and for increasing student synthesis, evaluation, and analysis skills if done right.

Interesting that she noted a Gallup Poll which said that 40 percent of those surveyed think that students should take at least 1 online class prior to high school graduation. She also noted the State of Michigan's new requirement to do just that. And while 96 percent of kids believe that doing well in school is important, most kids say school is boring. Nearly 70 percent are not motivated and they simply lack challenges.

To resolve these issues, we need to modernize our learning environments. We also need to update our high school requirements. Technology can definitely help in that regard. She gave one other TIP--Trust, Integrity, and Passion. Those are the core values underlying leadership.

Jan Herrington from the University of Wollongong in Australia was the third keynote (I missed the 2nd one from Mary Marlino on Digital libraries since we had no power in our hotel and her talk was moved to late in the day--see below for details on why that was). Jan discussed authentic e-learning designs in higher education. Like her colleague Tom Reeves from the University of Georgia and Ron Oliver from Edith Cowan University in Australia have detailed in a book chapter in my Handbook of Blended Learning, there are many principles or factors in the design of authentic environments. Such factors include (1) authentic contexts, (2) authentic task selection, (3) expert performance assessment, (4) multiple perspectives, (5) collaboration, (6) articulation, (7) reflection, (8) scaffolding and coaching, and (9) authentic assessment. She noted that Tom Reeves believes that task selection is the key variable and I think I agree with that. Of course, many of these principles parallel those espoused by Brown, Collins, and Duguid on situated cognition back in 1988-1990.

Jan had many interesting and useful ideas. Some of these included real world scenarios for authentic contexts and planning a trip to Italy for tourism students or a planned Mission to Mars for engineering students for authentic tasks. Also, interviews with design experts and placing podcasts and vodcasts of expert guests on the web for expert performances and assessments. Using digital libraries, searching Google Scholar, and other online resources can help with multiple perspectives. Tools like wikis and blogs can help foster collaboration. And so might having students design an online journal (students write and publish to the online journal; perhaps all students can be board members of that online journal). Reflection activities might be developed through blogging as well as in other types of journaling. Scaffolding and coaching might be accomplished through track changes in Word documents. And finally, authentic assessment might be best displayed in electronic portfolios of student work. In addition, students might design web pages, create movie documentaries, develop products or presentations for stakeholders (as computer science and business students sometimes do for local businesses), and post downloadable reports online. They might write an occupational health and safety evaluation guide.

She also showed a research methods course for Edith Cowan that was a vitual environment wherein students did both quantitative and qualitative research. They used online data files, interviewed experts, etc. Across these tasks, students are doing something instead of simply being taught something. They are exploring, filtering information, performing real world tasks, conducting exciting research, making new connections, and sharing their discoveries. Now this is learning.

I only attended part of the final keynote session from Byan Eldridge on how digital repositories are revolutionizing the learning enterprise. He was attempting to provide a synthesis of instructional design, learning standards, and best practices. I did not stay long since I had to prepare a final presentation on Wikibooks later that morning. It looked interesting though. Some final comments about the presentations at eLearn--it is a highly international conference. Many people from Japan (our hotel must have had 60 percent Japanese) and Korea, Taiwan, Australia, UK, Thailand, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and South Africa. And some from Chile, Outer Mongolia, Germany, and New Zealand.

There were even two high school students presenting at E-Learn. Matthew Richards and Justin Baker presented with their advisor, Dr. David Brown, at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics. They had a roundtable presentation on "Massively Multi-player Online Gaming: Lessons Learned from an MMPG Short Course for High School Students." They also had a presentation on how "High School Student Research Success Lies in Mirroring Graduate Student Paradigms." It is amazing to see high school kids present at an international conference; especially with peer reviews. It is even more amazing when they stayed for a 5th year of high school since they love it so much. Yes, a 5th year! Here they are being treated as human beings instead of being drilled facts--they learn much more through inquiry, self-initiated learning, teacher coaching, synthesis, personal ambition, etc. This was excellent to see.

Not many people from last year at the conference except for Jon Dron from Brighton (he gave a great talk on why any color is ok as long as it is Blackboard). This was a highly entertaining talk. Jon is great!!!

Now in terms of the 2nd keynote which was moved to late in the day. This was due to earthquakes on Sunday the 14th. The conference was not on the big island which had the 2 big 6.8 amd 6.0 quakes next to it but we were still highly affected. As indicated, the conference was in Honolulu at the Sheraton Waikiki. Sunday was really crazy. I was on 19th floor of hotel and the bed I was on and the entire room really swayed back and forth. Many people I later talked to who were in rooms above me were highly scared. The 2nd quake hit a few seconds after the first one and we had no more power and elevators. I had to walk up and down 19 floors to get my props and to change clothes. Ke Zhang and I did our R2D2 presentation without PP slides--using my computer as the screen.

There was no power till 9 or 10 pm. All conference talks that day were done without PowerPoint. Ya!

I have never had a day like that before. Long long lines for food. Our hotel was great though for serving food. We were all lucky to be at the Sheraton Waikiki. Not much damage in Honolulu, but I heard on big Island there is some. Fortunately, the weather was great for the 3 days after the earthquake and 3 days before it. It is the best place for a conference--better than Vancouver even where the conference was the year before.

Good to be home now.

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Scotland visit and the next generation of learner and learning environment
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Hi all. Sorry no post recently. I have been hard at work on a book (not busy--people know I do not use that word. Kindergarten kids are busy not me and hopefully not you either.). The book is called: “A Web of Learning (Part I): 100+ Ideas for Online Learner Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing.” Part 2 will be related to online motivation and retention and another 100 strategies for 10 aspects of motivation (10 each for feedback, climate, engagement, variety, etc.). The third part, if there is one, will be 100 ideas for blended learning.

I have not been feeling well the past 2 months but finally am ok. Perhaps I got e-coli virus that was in the news. Not sure. But ok now and the energy is back.

Was in Scotland for 11 days in September. Lots of interesting e-learning projects happening there; especially at Napier University in Edinburgh where I spent a few days and gave 3 talks (on wikis, podcasts, and blogs; on blended learning; and on how the learning world has become flat). I also managed to also present at the University of Aberdeen as well as Robert Gordon University when there which are both in Aberdeen (a 2 hour train ride to the north of Edinburgh). Good people. Second time to present at both the Univ of Aberdeen which has a beatiful and very old campus some of dating back like 800 years. It is definitely worth a visit. And then there is Napier University and the Craighouse campus with its simply stunning views. Wish I had been feeling better that week but I was ok.

I got a chance to see some good friends during the during the annual Advanced Learning Technologies (ALT-C) Conference which was in Edinburgh when I was there. People like Diana Oblinger, Tim O'Shea, and Diane Oblinger were the keynotes and famous folks like Terry Anderson and Gilly Salmon chaired the different conference themes or strands. Seems a heavy emphasis on podcasting, the use of wikis, and blogging during this conference. Also, a theme to consider the next generation of learners so there were many presenters on that as well as much attention to personalized learning environments.

One interesting fact was that a workshop on brainstorming what the generation of online learning environments might look like, attracted the president of Desire to Learn (John Baker). John stood in the back of the room next to me; I noticed that no one from Blackboard was in the room--they were likely too busy filing their next lawsuit or looking for technology that they needed to patent which likely existed 20 years before they thought of it. I applaud DesireToLearn for their desire to learn here. John listened intently while adding an idea or 2 to the 30-40 minute conversation that we had. Wow! Did the people in the room realize the power that they all had? All they had to do was turn around and make suggestions to John and let them build some stuff that Blackboard never conceived of patenting. How could they conceive of next generation learning tools when they are so busy patenting stuff developed decades ago? DesireToLearn and those in the room look forward not back. All of us in the room wanted to be using something better--more learner centered or focused. A learning environment inviting people to learn not simply tracking if and when people were in the system.

Anyway, the room was packed with people; as I hinted, it was standing room only. The session chair, in fact, would not let anyone else in the room so I snuck in the back door and listened. After 3-4 short presentations showcasing what is happening and might be coming, they had small groups of 8-10 people discuss what might happen next and list their pts or design their new system. It was fascinating hearing the conversations. And, what was really funny (though quite typical and unfortunate) was to see one person from a particular group next to me go up to present and not say anything that the group said, just the pts he wanted to make. Smile. And this group has some great insights or so I thought.

I also got the Loch Ness when in Scotland but saw no monster. Darn! The bus ride to get there made me nausious. I visited 3 different castles when there--one south of Aberdeen, the Edinburgh Castle, and one at Loch Ness. I hope to put some pics in my Flickr site soon. Scotland is a wonderful place.

Oh, speaking of the next generation of learner, there is a wonderful article today in the USA Today front page of the Life section (see on wireless learning on college campuses. It features Ball State as it was claimed to be the most unwired college campus by Intel in a 2005. I think IU had that distinction the prior year with Purdue right behind it ( What does this say about Indiana colleges and universities? Well, we are highly technology supported. And perhaps our public relations personnel are pretty good. Indiana is a good place to work if you are into technology rich learning environments or do research on it like me. Lots going on here and even more to come.

Back to the USA Today article--it had an interesting story of a student to downloaded his course schedule everyday, added to his electronic portfolio in teacher education (including lesson plans), downloaded music, chatted with friends, checked email, checked out his Facebook site, etc. Technology for this generation is second nature. They live off of Internet access as well as text messaging friends with their cell phones. Is that a problem as some in the article argue. Perhaps. But I think this generation is simply taking advantage of the ways of communicating of this particular age.

They are coping. They are also showing us what works or might work. I recommend you read the article. It is a good one. Here is a quote from it: "'This is so core to their social experience — to their identities — to what it means to be a young person and a student in 2006,' says Richard Katz of the non-profit Educause, which promotes the use of information technology in higher education." This quote reminds me of my blog post a few months about how we gain a sense of identity from our online activities; especially our blogs. All for now.
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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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