Online Learning SLOAN Consortium features large GCU presence

Grand Canyon University played its biggest role yet at the prestigious annual SLOAN Consortium, a leading professional online learning society devoted to advancing quality e-Education. Faculty from the College of Education and the College of Doctoral Studies discussed topics related to the theme “Online Learning: A Universe of Opportunity.”

Provost Hank Radda led a team of 11 to the conference in Orlando to deliver nine presentations during the three day event in November. The keynote addresses featured Hal Plotkin from the US Department of Education, Daphne Koller, a Stanford University professor, and Anant Agarwal, an MIT professor.

The prevailing topic addressed at the conference was the rise of MOOC’s – Massively Open Online Conferences. The MOOC format allows a large number of students – in the tens of thousands – to sign up for a course that would ordinarily be offered to only a few dozen students.

A MOOC runs largely unmediated with open self-directed material, which includes relevant course content, quizzes, assessments and a final. These courses highlight the role of the social presence in learning that continues to beg the question – “How do we take online instruction and make it seem unmediated?”

Here is a list of speakers from GCU and the topics they presented on at the 19th Annual SLOAN Consortium:

  • Emily Bergquist & Rick Holbeck – Classroom assessment Techniques
  • Dr. Ted Cross & Dr. Jean Mandernach — Managing the stress of the online classroom
  • Roland Berman, Dr. Hank Radda & Dr. Ted Cross — The impact of a voluntary scholarly community on online students
  • Kathy Decker & Doula Zaharopoulos — Why do online students fail accounting?
  • Dr. Michael Berger & Dr. Ronald Berman — The use of data analytics to try and support students who are struggling with writing early in the doctoral program
  • Dr. Jean Mandernach, Kelly Sanderson & Dr. Ted Cross — Fostering interaction through formative feedback in asynchronous discussions
  • Dr. Michael Berger — The impact of online faculty social presence on postsecondary online student achievement
  • Eva St. Arnauld & Dr. Debbie Rickey — Implementing virtual supervision in student teaching
  • Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatrick & Dr. Kimberly LaPrade — Reflective practice: Significance in teaching

Participation in the SLOAN Consortium aligns with the efforts of GCU’s Center for Innovation and Research (CIRT).


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