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The Complex and Distributed Nature of Future Online Learning Environments in Higher Education

We are currently experiencing a time of change for higher education institutions globally. Electronic networks are becoming faster and pervasive. Electronic devices are becoming more mobile, powerful, affordable, and ubiquitous. These factors have contributed to the rapid growth of online learning opportunities, which in turn has led to greater student choice and empowerment over the process of selecting learning options. These options include traditional degrees, certificates, micro-credentials (badges) multi-institutional degrees, and other forms of certification.

Commercial organizations (in contrast to higher education institutions) have typically led the way in providing more alternatives for learning and development. Students in today's world bring experiences and expectations to which educators must be prepared to acknowledge and adapt. In this presentation I will share what educators and universities can learn from business and industry and consumer technologies in terms of providing effective and engaging learning environments for students.

President AECT /  Head of Department, 
Instructional Systems and  Workforce Development, 
Mississippi State University
Dr. Trey Martindale is an Associate Professor and the Department Head of the Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development at Mississippi State University. Dr. Martindale's research and expertise is in the design and analysis of online learning environments. His work has been toward addressing faculty and student issues in online learning, including the following four components: instructional content and nature of existing online resources, learner issues (satisfaction, etc.) as influenced by the learning environment, how emerging social and networked tools can augment instructional strategies, open educational resources, formal learning, and informal learning in personal learning environments.

The necessity of Analysis prior to Implementation: Situation, Superiority and Cost-effectiveness: An introspection for Educational Technology

Although there are always pros and cons of using technology for education, in the field of AECT, we tend to proclaim all the positive sides and avoid to discuss its negative influences toward education. Being the professional community that understand both technology and education more than any other academic groups, we, as scholars in AECT, need to add a role as technology filterer rather than technology promoter only. We should not neglect that technology may bring many negative impacts on education Including rapid outdating, costly and hidden expenses, face-to-face interaction reducing, learning disturbing and learning weakening.For finding out the most appropriate way of dealing with technology, it’s necessary to conduct some analysis before implementing any kind of e-learning, including: 1. Superiority Analysis, to check if the approach of using technology is really superior than any other options;2. Situation & Conditions Analysis: to take prescriptive principles to choose the best way of integrating technology (or not) to reach the goal based on certain situation and condition; and 3. Cost-effectiveness Evaluation: to compare the holistic cost (money, manpower, effort and time) and the gains and advantage to see if it’s worthwhile or not.

Prof. Shih-Chang Hsin (信世昌) Ph.D.
President, TAECT/ Senior Vice President, National Tsing Hua University
Professor, Division of Chinese as a Second Language.
Professor, Chinese as a Second Language, National Taiwan Normal University
Professor Shih-chang Hsin (信世昌) is the Senior Vice President and professor of Teaching Chinese as a Second language in National Tsing Hua University 國立清華大學 (Hsinchu, Taiwan), and as the President of Taiwan Association of Educational Communications & Technology (2017-18). Prof. Hsin received his Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University–Bloomington, USA. He was visiting professor/scholar for some institutes including Free University (Germany), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) and Harvard University (US). His research interests include Chinese language teaching, distance education and computer-mediated learning. Based on his expertise, he has been invited to be the consultant for Chinese language programs in several universities in Hong Kong and Singapore, and as the board member for many international associations. He has conducted distance Chinese learning projects with numeral institutes in high school and college levels in Japan, US and Germany. In addition, he has organized over 20 international conferences and published over 20 Chinese textbooks totally in Europe, Japan and Taiwan.

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