Seven of my fifth grade students have created an app that they would like to get developed to share with anyone who wishes to obtain the app. The app is to prevent bullying. Please visit their site at GoFundMe.com/BullyNoMore6 and also kickstarter.com/BullyNoMore.


New Course


Hi everyone,

I have been soooo busy. Have not had time to write. However, I wanted to let everyone know I have designed a mock course for my E-learning course this quarter. I think you will enjoy it. This is the address: https://marcinoproject-course8844.wikispaces.com/

If you would like to take the course, it is fun. Let me know on the wiki and I will provide you with a join code so you can see what fun I have had creating this course.


MD6: Keynote Video Comments for Colleagues’ Presentation


Last night, three of us watched videos that we had created for completion of an assignment in MD6 of our Principles of Distance class. We were to present a short video to introduce the keynote speaker for a national conference.

I left these comments on Elizabeth Hurley’s Blog:


Hi Elizabeth,
As we discussed last night, I especially liked your project about virtual learning. You addressed how important it is in today’s learning environment. I thought your mix of observing students of all ages was appropriate for this video and your topic. I believe you and I are somewhat aligned in our thinking of integrating virtual learning. If I may, I would like to add your resources to my file. It was good that you also displayed the fact of researchers studying the effects of virtual learning. Your vocal presentation was streamlined and there was no faltering. Each section of your video led to the next, up to the point of the introduction of your keynote speaker who was observed “waiting in the wings.” Great job!! According to the rubric, I would give you top points across the board.

I left these comments on Orin Carpenter’s Blog:


Hi Orin,
As we discussed last night, after viewing your video, I especially liked your “talking head.” You did not waiver from each segment of your video. The entire video flowed very smoothly. As we were talking last night, I wondered how you accomplished the moving cloud background. It was very effective. It also related well to your topic of blended learning. I thought your presentation of your keynote speaker’s credentials was effective. You provided remarks about his achievements and research, which is paramount to any thoughts of incorporating a different strategy or method of learning. The focus on examples of how students learn through using technology integration was effective. The presentation of the student examples showed us how students are using the strategies of blended learning to improve their skills. According to the rubric, I believe you met each requirement and should receive maximum points.

MD6: Movie Project

This is the movie project I have been working on for this quarter. It is about virtual worlds in distance education. The annotated bibliography is also attached.

The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAEfoW5RTWg


Annotated Bibliography

Baldi, P. & Lopes, C. (2012) The universal campus: an open virtual 3-D world infrastructure for research and education.

This study theorizes that Virtual Worlds are going to change the way in which students, learners and employees interact with each other in business, academia and play. The hypotheses states that positive collaboration results from the ability to meet and collaborate in a safe and fun environment. This study was not to select randomized participants; however, it was a study to compare the inner workings of several virtual worlds and the impact they can have on education in general. The results provided strengths and limitations of virtual worlds and embrace the virtual worlds as an emerging important and collaborative educational platform.

Ghanbarzadeh R, et al. (2014). A Decade of Research on the Use of Three-Dimensional Virtual Worlds in Health Care: A Systematic Literature Review.

The purpose of this study was to characterize different application areas of various 3DVWs in health and medical context and categorize them into meaningful categories. This study employs a systematic literature review on the application areas of 3DVWs in health care. Their research resulted in 62 papers from five top-ranking scientific databases published from 1990 to 2013 that describe the use of 3DVWs for health care specific purposes. The team’s hypotheses were whether virtual word applications could benefit healthcare workers by utilizing innovative ways to carry out death related activities in a medical environment. It should be noted here that the team researched medical studies carried out in Second Life. For example, Patel et al used Second Life for performance assessment of 63 surgeons in clinical scenarios. Another example used in Second Life was Schwab, et al. that explored the use of Second Life virtual simulation technology to administer mock oral examinations to emergency medicine residents.

Gregory, S. (2015). Virtual worlds and distance education: Cases and applications. Nova Science Publishers (eBooks)

The author noted a gap in the literature about the application of virtual worlds in education. The author states there is a lot “show and tell” and “how to guides” however, these do engage in theory and research to disseminate facts. The framework for this book is an analysis of discussions and recent theoretical empirical research focused on the successful use of virtual worlds in universities and colleges. The book presents exemplars that examine the pros and cons of virtual worlds in distance education.

Koles, B. & Nagy, P. Virtual worlds as digital workplaces: Conceptualizing the affordances of virtual worlds to expand the social and professional spheres in organization.

The authors’ study was to investigate ways in which the workplace could benefit from implementation of virtual worlds to expand social and professional spheres. The hypotheses were whether virtual worlds could reduce the prevalence of social hierarchies. This is quite common in F2F environments. In a virtual world, it is a safe environment and the avatars are on equal ground. Collaboration and communication can be completed synchronously with real-time interactions. Virtual worlds reduce bias for stereotyping and cultural and ethnic composites. The theoretical framework was conceptualizing potential organizational affordances. The authors discuss risks and disadvantages as well as the positive outcomes that can be achieved with virtual worlds. The authors conceded that more research is needed to study the psychological impact of virtual exposure that could also impact organizations. As with any distance education practices, what is the motivating factor?

Reinsmith-Jones, et al. Use of second life in social work education: Virtual world experiences and their effect on students.

This study evaluated students’ perspectives of the educational value of learning experiences in Second Life. The research question was whether virtual world learning could be useful in teaching social work values, skills, and knowledge as well as developing critical thinking skills and providing appropriate emotional experiences. The methodology was a mixed methodology in order to provide the most accurate evaluation; to survey students studying social work as contrasted to medical, corporate and other academia courses. Several universities were polled to determine if virtual worlds would be a part of their online curriculum. Seventy student surveys and journal entries provided excellent analytical data in that virtual worlds proved to be a worthwhile investment. Particularly in social work education, students need an activity whereby they could relate to others who are culturally and ethnically different from them. Online instruction does not provide for this type interaction to practice their skills. The virtual environment provides a safe atmosphere for building trust and rapport with other avatars without revealing personal information unless freely given. As with all of the previous literature journaled, the authors concluded that further development is required to iron out technical glitches that occur periodically.

Scullion, et al. (2014) Collaboration through simulation: Pilot implementation of an online 3-D             environment.

The authors of this study’s research question was what would be the value in investigating participants’ success in utilizing virtual worlds to advance academia. The authors theorized online virtual worlds could enhance learning. The methodology was a random sampling of

survey of 720 university students, which was mostly a quantitative study, however, utilizing a few open-ended questions. The students were participants in the virtual world UNITE, which is similar to Second Life. The students were granted access to UNITE for a period of ten weeks, during which time students developed their own processes. This study was a mixed method design within a pragmatic worldview. Data analysis concluded that all students agreed that the use of virtual worlds should be included in distance education to create critical thinking and gain meaningful knowledge. All of the participants agreed that collaboration in the virtual world aided in building their self-confidence, which had been lacking in a F2F environment. The authors concluded there is a gap in the literature for evidence that virtual worlds in a totally positive contribution to distance learning.

Short, D. Designing a 3-D virtual HRD environment from a scholar-practitioner perspective

The study concentrated on developing training within organizations without interrupting the workforce with elements such as travel and missed time from the workplace that would provide adequate professional development. The hypotheses were how could research and theory inform practice to create a better solution for real-life organizational problems. The methodology was an experimental design involving employees of ABC company, constructed in Second Life. The company employed over 17,000 people in 20 countries. The learning platform was offered to all employees who wished to participate in the experiment. The overall conclusion was that the virtual environment was a positive learning environment, which met the criteria for implementing a virtual world-training program. The initial program was so successful that the results justified moving into more enterprise-friendly 3-D environment. This case study provides information for HRD practitioners on how to use 3D environments as a supplement to more traditional training tools. The author concluded that the study was informed by literature, thus yielding a beneficial result. Although this study was a positive study, there continues to be a gap in the literature and requires that the scholar-practitioner implement higher standards of rigor and get ahead of the current research.


The 3-D virtual world continues to be an emerging technology in that innovations have been discussed extensively as the potential delivery for online learning environments. There are few empirical studies that provide concrete evidence that a totally 3-D world would be possible for distance education. However, several studies have been conducted that provide ample discussion as to the success of implementing virtual worlds into online curriculum. Virtual worlds in distance learning are for all categories of learners from university students to medical, and corporate professional development. Virtual worlds offers many opportunities not offered in F2F environments, not to mention the financial savings to all concerned. The University of London reports that virtual worlds in education are approaching a “plateau of productivity” with useful applications demonstrating complex activities. However, to reduce Gartner’s plateau of productivity, of a sleeping technology, it is essential that innovators allow pedagogy to drive the technology, which as I predict we will see holographic 3-D virtual worlds become the new kid on the block. All in all, virtual worlds are an important tool to aid any distance learner. I had the opportunity to experience Second Life in my Master’s course in Technology and it proved to be a fun and exciting venue for group collaboration. No one was intimidated and no one felt left out as does occur with other types of group activities in Google hangouts, Skype collaboration and others. With Skype, for more than 3 persons, a fee is charged, whereas, in virtual worlds, any number of students can participate. Hopefully, this document and the movie will demonstrate some of the positive attributes of virtual worlds.


Baldi, P. & Lopes, C. (2012) The universal campus: an open virtual 3-D world infrastructure for             research and education. retrieved from             http://elearnmag.acm.org/archive.cfm?aid=2206888

Ghanbarzadeh R, Ghapanchi AH, Blumenstein M, Talaei-Khoei. A decade of research on the use             of three-dimensional virtual worlds in health care: A systematic literature review. J Med             Internet Res 2014; 16(2): e47. retrieved from http://www.jmir.org/2014/2/e47 doi 10.2196/jmir.3097

Koles, B. & Nagy, P. Virtual worlds as digital workplaces: Conceptualizing the affordances of  virtual worlds to expand the social and professional spheres in             organization. Organizational Psychology Review, May 2014; v. 4, (2): pp. 175-195.             October 22, 2013. retrieved from             http://online.sagepub.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/search/results doi:


Reinsmith-Jones, et al. Use of second life in social work education: Virtual world experiences

and their effect on students. Journal of Social Work Education

V 51: 90–108, 2015 retreived from             http://content.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=



fgeyx44Dt6fIA. doi. 10.1080/10437797.2015.977167

Scullion, D., Livingstone, D. & Stansfiield, M. Collaboration through simulation: Pilot             implementation of an online 3-D environment. Simulation & Gaming 2014 V 45 (3) 394-

Sage Publications. retrieved from                         http://sag.sagepub.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/content/45/3/394.full.pdf+html. doi:            10.1177/1046878114530814

Short, D. Designing a 3-D virtual HRD environment from a scholar-practitioner perspective.             August 2013; v 15, ( 3): pp. 270283 May 22, 2013. Advances in Developing

            Developing Human Resources Sage Publications. retrieved             from             http://adh.sagepub.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/content/15/3/270.full.pdf+html.

doi: 10.1177/1523422313487838

Moving Towards Dynamic Technologies: 8842 Blog Post MD5



Today we are to reflect on a concept map we have created to illustrate the movement towards technology and media in distance education. This lesson is concerned with static and dynamic technology and media. Static technology and media can be defined as:Moller (2008) states that static technologies assist learners in capturing information, however, do little to aid in building and creating new knowledge. As a technology instructor, I can readily agree with this statement. Students can be exposed to videos, read textbooks, listen to podcasts, and these are great to impart knowledge, however, in my opinion, students need hands-on for creativity. Students need challenges and problems to solve in order to gain a better understanding of just how technology and media work. On the other hand, dynamic technology and media allow students to use higher-order, critical thinking skills to solve problems. Games, virtual worlds and simulations require deeper thought processes and is at the end of the spectrum of learning. Using digital tools is like hiking, as I explained to my students. You have low ground, high ground and middle of the road. When you are on low terrain, there is not much challenge, which is like the traditional classroom. Instruction is teacher-led. CCSS requires more student-centered learning, which will prepare students for eLearning and beyond. As you move along, you reach middle ground, which is a little more rocky. Students begin to use social media, chat rooms, learn about wikkis and blogs. They are learning something new to integrate into curriculum to enhance their presentations: ppts, keynotes. As we climb higher, the challenge becomes greater. Now creativity enters into the picture and students must think deeper and more critically. They have to actually use the tools they have seen demos of and heard about. Now is the time to use gaming, simulations, software to build and create and finally produce an end product such as a 3-D printed house or movie with sound bytes and animations. They must enter virtual worlds and collaborate with other individuals and learn to solve world problems. In reflecting, I think I have moved past the middle-of-the-road because I have been using virtual worlds, creating movies and instructing in technology for quite a while. I am very comfortable in the dynamic end of the spectrum. I am a Common Sense Media Instructor and have used Vokis, glogster and many other web 2.0 tools myself as well as taught the use of several web 2.0 tools to students and teachers alike. I hope the concept is self explanatory. I welcome your comments and suggestions.                           Slide1


Moller, L. (2008). Static and dynamic technological tools.

Comments to Classmates Blogs for MD4: 8842: Dr. Moller


I have posted comments on the following sites:

https://elizabethhurleyblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/module-4-engaging-learners/comment-page-1/#comment-20 As others post for MD4, I will comment.

Next: July 23, 2015



July 24, 2015


Engaged Learning Strategies


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MD4: Blog Post: Engaged Learning Strategies

Instructions: With your graphic organizer, include a reflection describing how you can bring the technological tools learners are using outside the classroom into the educational process, and which tools and strategies are best for this purpose. Make sure to explain why each tool works well in a learning environment and the benefits and advantages it provides.

Content: The students need to be engaged in the content for a course. The content needs to be challenging in order to hold the interest of the student. Podcasts, videos and online databases can be accessed in order to make the content more interesting. problems cannot be resolved unless one seeks solutions in different venues. The tools mentioned above help to connect knowledge to what is already known.

Collaboration: It is important for students to collaborate, particularly if they are completing group assignments. Tools available for collaboration include web chats

(Skype, Google Hangouts and Virtual Worlds). Social interaction is necessary to prevent a feeling of isolation in distance learning. Collaboration aids in getting new ideas and information that could be useful to an individual project or a group project. In Virtual Worlds, avatars can role-play as well as in game simulations like Minecraft. Students can experience and engage indirectly.

Communication: Unlike brick and mortar schools, online students do not have an opportunity to have physical contact with other students. Communication is essential to the success of students’ participation in coursework. Therefore, blogs, wikis, blackboard discussion forums, e-mail, hangouts and virtual worlds are the solution to communicating with other students. Although you don’t visually see the person, through these methods of communication, you can establish a rapport. As an aside, in several of my elementary and middle school classes, we had pen pals in other schools before the use of technology was available in the classrooms. Students find all of the above very meaningful.

Reflection: All of the tools are great. If we are speaking online learning environments, I think Virtual Worlds is one of the best tools because students who are shy can feel safe and free to speak and voice their opinions and suggestions. It provides an interaction with other classmates as though in a live environment. Blogs are also great for expressing one’s thoughts in writing. As I said, all of the above are excellent tools and strategies because they provide students the opportunity to explore and work outside the box and gain more knowledge relative to what is already known.


Bourne, J., & Moore, J. C., (2005). Introduction. In Bourne, J., & Moore, J. C., (Eds.), Elements of quality online education: Vol. 6. Engaging communities (pp. 710). The Sloan Consortium.

Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190−193.

Siemens, G. (2008, January). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. ITForum.

MD3: Assessing Collaborative Efforts


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MD3: Blog Post-2 (Assessing Collaborative Efforts)

How should participation in a collaborative learning community be assessed?

In an online learning environment, it is important to provide students with timely responses. A systematic process needs to be in place offering fair, explicit assessment. If assessment is planned and communication is meaningful, this will result in a positive experience for both students and instructors (Palloff & Pratt, 2007).

Traditionally, grading was thought to be the most effective means of assessment. However, as everything evolves, assessment is evolving as well. Assessment is now seen as a progressive progress that develops throughout the students’ participation in courses, not simply replying to questions at the end of a course. Students within a collaborative community need to meet clear expectations and receive feedback. The feedback from peers as well as the instructor is critical for positive progression to occur (Laureate Education, Inc. (2008).

How do the varying levels of skill and knowledge students bring to a course affect the instructor’s “fair and equitable assessment” of learning?

Learners are going to bring their unique abilities to the group. The following link is a video clip that helps demonstrate the varying degrees of background brought to a group and the video itself is a method of assessment. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KPNCjW1Lp0)

Another strategy to aid in assessing is to have individual members post assignments to a group collaborative document such as Google Docs, and receive points based on their contributions. These can be added to the group’s overall grade of their final project. This way the group is assessed on the project given while the individual learner is still held accountable for their work. This can help achieve “fair and equitable” assessment of learning (Anderson, 2011).

If a student does not want to network or collaborate in a learning community for an online course, what should the other members of the learning community do?

Oftentimes online learners feel isolated from other students and instructors. Collaborative community learning can offset isolation by discussions being generated that are open-ended requiring critical thinking to formulate ideas and feedback. In online learning communities, some students may feel a bit inadequate with technology, which could discourage them from participating. Through group discussions, other students can encourage participation for those who are holding back, by talking about themselves and their experiences in previous groups. Expectations for group members can be established and acknowledged by each member so that each understands their part.

What role should the instructor play?

Unless the Instructor is included in the project as a point of contact, for instance in Google Docs, the Instructor cannot actually see what is taking place or who is participating; therefore, the Instructor needs to establish clear guidelines for expectations so that each member will have an equal opportunity to contribute and have an understanding of their part in the assignment. Siemens (2008) discusses that sometimes a participant is reluctant to participate because the student prefers to work alone and therefore that brings up a different scenario of what the Instructor should do. The Instructor should ensure that the course and assignment are of a quality design and interesting to the individuals. However, as Psychology teaches us, some people are “loners” and will remain that way. It does not mean they cannot participate or contribute; their contributions will have to be recognized in a different manner.

What impact would this have on his or her assessment plan?

The Instructor would most likely have to diversify the assessment plan to accommodate the student is not participating in the group project, based on an individual assessment of the student’s skills and knowledge development. Of course, the assessment is going to depend or whether the students are simply deliberately not participating or whether there is an issue that has not been resolved. For distance education of adult learners, I would suppose the first is not the situation but rather, the student is a “silent” participant. The student could be assigned to produce an assignment on a Wiki, Blog or Chat room in order to demonstrate skills and knowledge of the content.


Anderson, T. (2011). The theory and practice on online learning. Edmonton, AB. AU             Press

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education: Assessment of             collaborative learning. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective             strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.