What We Can Learn from Bryn Mawr’s Online Learning Experiment

The Online Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon is a project for creating and using online learning modules as part of college courses.

On the “worth watching” list of experiments in online learning is a project at Bryn Mawr, a small liberal arts college that values personal interaction with students. Although using online learning at a college like Bryn Mawr sounds a little counter-intuitive, faculty involved in the project hope to “reinforce their hands-on teaching model rather than to subvert it” by using online course modules. How does this kind of model work, and what can we learn from this online learning experiment?

Making the Switch to Online Evaluations

Paper evaluations may soon be a thing of the past.

A new online evaluation system at the College will help make course evaluations more humane and environmentally responsible, as well as more useful for instructors. Click through to read more about why we’re making the switch.

The Final Last Word on MOOCs

A graphic from Daphne Koeller's TED Talk that shows the effectiveness of one-on-one tutoring vs other configurations for learning.

It’s easy to find criticism with new ideas, and massive open online courses are no exception. In this post, Gene responds to a scathing review of an introductory statistics course offered by Udacity. Massive Open Online Courses, he says, can offer professors ways to interact with students on an individual level that large lecture courses cannot.

Inconvenient Truths about MOOCs

Broadcasting from W&M Weather Vane

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have been unavoidable in discussions of the role of technology in higher education. In this post, Gene gives an overview of those discussions, as well as the reasons why we need to pay attention to how MOOCs could transform the ways that we teach and learn.

The MOOCs that (Almost) Ate UVA

Broadcasting from W&M Weather Vane

As I’ve confessed recently, I’m not very good at predicting the future of technology.  I missed wireless and YouTube, and there were nights when I had serious doubts about this whole “world wide web” thing.  Nonetheless, recent events seem to suggest that even in those of us working in traditional institutions might need to pay some […]

Using Surveys to Foster Individual Responsibility for Learning


How might an instructor use surveys to help teach a class? In this post, Gene talks about his technique of having students fill out electronic survey to help him tailor his syllabus to groups of students as well as encourage them to take responsibility for their own learning.

When Encountering the Talking Dog


Writing and electronic textbooks has never been easier than with Apple’s new application, the Apple iBooks Author, which allows amateur users to integrate images and media in their e-texts. E-texts are also more and more accessible to readers, but what sorts of questions should we be asking about our entrenched textbook practices, especially in light of Apple’s increasingly proprietary forays into the education marketplace?

Using Qualtrics for Survey Research


At a recent Swem and IT brown bag on survey research I gave a presentation on Qualtrics, a survey research tool that many faculty and students have been using for research at William & Mary.

On Experts and Expertise with Paul Heideman (Podcast)

Gene Roche sits down with W&M biology professor Paul Heideman to talk about research in the field of expertise and how to apply it to student learning. In this podcast, they talk about what it means to be an expert as well as how experts think about and solve problems differently than novices.

Why We’re in the Prediction Business

Join the committee to help us decide which LMS we should use!

In some ways my job is to be a bit of a predictor. We have to be constantly surveying the technology landscape to separate significant technology tools and techniques from the passing fads or temporary enthusiasms. Mercifully, most of my predictions are pretty private–like when I walked out of a demo in 1999 and told anyone who would listen that this wireless stuff would never catch on; it was just too slow and insecure. (I also ridiculed YouTube, which now serves up four billion videos a day, including hundreds of channels dedicated to “serious” learning.)