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The Design, Development, and Deployment of an Online, Portable, Blended Course for the Energy Industry Using Open-source Tools: Technological, Logistic, and Instructional Design Issues

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering Education for Modern Needs Part I: Non-traditional Learning Methods and Expanding Student Markets

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count

16

Page Numbers

25.1284.1 - 25.1284.16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--22041

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22041

Download Count

26

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Paper Authors

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Ioan Gelu Ionas University of Missouri

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Ioan Gelu Ionas is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri. He received his Ph.D. in information science and learning technologies from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He also holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering, an M.B.A. degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a Ph.D. in management from the University of Sibiu, Romania. Ionas has taught for more than 10 years in engineering, business, and education and co-authored several books and book chapters. His research interests focus on causal reasoning and understanding, online learning, and cross-disciplinary research at the confluence of learning, cognition, and technology.

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Matthew A. Easter University of Missouri

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Matthew Easter is an Associate Research Professor at the University of Missouri. He recently earned his doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Missouri. His research includes investigating how conceptual change theories relate to cognitive theories of motivation. He also assists in the development and study of online learning environments in the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri.

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William H. Miller University of Missouri, Columbia

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William H. Miller is Professor Emeritus in the Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he has taught graduate nuclear engineering for 35 years. He is the author of more than 125 technical papers and has made more than 1,000 presentations to the public on issues concerning energy, the environment, radiation, and nuclear power. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Missouri and a certified Health Physicist. His Ph.D. was in nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He is currently a Research Scientist at the Missouri University Research Reactor.

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Gayla M. Neumeyer University of Missouri Research Reactor

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Gayla Neumeyer is Manager of energy industry educational program development with the MU Research Reactor, and the MU Energy Systems and Resources program. She is a founding member and Secretary of the Missouri Energy Workforce Consortium (an affiliate of the national Center for Energy Workforce Development).

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Valerie Deitz Taylor Center for Energy Workforce Development

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Valerie Taylor is an educational consultant for non-profits, including the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD). For the center, Taylor focuses on career awareness, workforce development models, and processes, as well as initiating and managing partnerships with related associations, youth-focused groups, and the military. Before becoming an independent consultant, Taylor directed education departments for several professional associations, including the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Society for Marketing Professional Services, the Special Libraries Association, and the American Academy of Audiology. Taylor’s work in distance learning has been featured in Communication News magazine, as well as the book Online Learning Strategies: Association Models for Success published by the American Society for Association Executives.

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Gwen K. Weakley Kansas City Power & Light

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With 20 years experience in training leadership, teamwork and technical content as well as organizational development, Gwen Weakley has strong skills and experience in needs assessment, program development and management, change management, leadership development and succession, curriculum development, and competency profiling. At KCPL, she works in the delivery unit to provide leadership and technical training solutions for all levels of employees and providing organizational consulting for organizational effectiveness, team-building, and change. She has a B.A. in business administration - management from Park University and earned a master’s in HRD/organization development from Friends University. She is a part-time Senior Research Specialist at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR). Additionally, she is an adjunct faculty member for Webster University and Friends University.

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Abstract

Designing Online Courses for Portability: Technological and Instructional Design ChallengesMore and more often we learn of new courses or entire academic programs being brought online.While technologies have advanced in recent years, the question how to blend computertechnology with sound instructional design practices is very much alive, and even moreimportant when targeting content portability and authors are not computer savvy. This paperexplores the challenges faced in designing and implementing an online introductory course forthe energy industry when the primary objectives are reach, access, portability of content, andease of future content update.Proposed by the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) the course is designed forworkers in the energy industry. We were provided with the course content (theoretical) that at thetime was still under development by a third party. Using our experience developing online andblended curriculum for the energy industry, our task was to provide a contextualization of thetheoretical content through the use of scenarios and implement the final product in an onlineformat.From an instructional design perspective, with the theoretical content at hand, thecontextualization of the content through scenarios seemed easy at the beginning. The challengesbegan to surface when we started analyzing in more depth our options for standards and softwareapplications. Below is a summary of the challenges we faced and some of the key decisions wemade during this process, organized by the four objectives we set for ourselves: reach, access,portability, and easy update. While presented individually in the paragraph below, the final paperwill also include a section that will discuss how the technical and instructional designconsiderations intermixed to produce a pathway towards the final product.Reach. Will discuss a variety of options considered for the delivery of this course, accompaniedby a pro and con analysis. Will also provide an overview of the decisions made and their impacton the other objectives.Access. Will discuss pros and cons of the two major competing technologies that support thedevelopment of portable online learning content - Adobe Flash and the mix of HTML, CSS, andJavaScript as well as our decisions. Will include a discussion about the various softwareapplications available for developing the learning content for the standards we chose to use forportability (SCORM), with a focus on open source software.Portability. Will discuss the various standards available today for packaging online learningcontent for portability, analyzing their pros and cons and supporting our decision to use theSCOM standard.Ease of update. Will provide an analysis of how the need for content update impacts thetechnology and software we are using for development.

Ionas, I. G., & Easter, M. A., & Miller, W. H., & Neumeyer, G. M., & Taylor, V. D., & Weakley, G. K. (2012, June), The Design, Development, and Deployment of an Online, Portable, Blended Course for the Energy Industry Using Open-source Tools: Technological, Logistic, and Instructional Design Issues Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22041

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