Landing : Athabascau University


  • Terry Anderson posted to the wire December 12, 2013 - 3:07pm
    From GFC meeting, Athabasca is piloting Gmail - free software, but comes at a privacy cost.Can we afford it?
  • Terry Anderson commented on the blog To MOOC Or Not To MOOC December 12, 2013 - 8:07am
    Thanks Steve. Are you saying that use Canvas= MOOC.  How is Canvas different than Moodle? Terry
  • Terry Anderson commented on a wiki page titled Athabasca Learning Environment Score card. December 11, 2013 - 3:11pm
    I've removed a comment from the actual wiki to here for response. Someone wrote: **What about us going to where our students actually are on occassion?? We have a step in the right direction with a social media position coming into advancement but...
  • Terry Anderson created a wiki page Athabasca Learning Environment Score card. December 11, 2013 - 1:07pm
    This wiki is designed for us to accurately look at and assess our own Learning Environment. I've made a comparison to "Best practices". Even I have trouble understanding how a practice can be the "Best" in any context, but I meant it as a goal. I...
    • Not sure whether "technological neutrality" should be a criterion or a best practice to aspire to, but the idea there is that to realize our mission of opening access to education, we should not commit strictly to digital delivery modes as they leave out important groups of students who have no or poor access to digital tools and the Internet (e.g. prison inmates, remote reservations).

      Mark A. McCutcheon December 11, 2013 - 1:55pm

    • I've removed a comment from the actual wiki to here for response. Someone wrote:

      **What about us going to where our students actually are on occassion?? We have a step in the right direction with a social media position coming into advancement but we are coming late with some clunky interfaces.

      I guess what this means is using Facebook, LinkedIn etc??  I think we need a thorough discussion of this issue. there are certainly pros and cons, but using facebook for promotions is  a bit different than developing a network enabled teaching and learning context. Can this happen on an American system, with a dubious record for privacy protection and a practice of changing the rules of engagement???

      Terry Anderson December 11, 2013 - 3:11pm

    • By coincidence it was just today that I read a mailing from Magna: although unlikely to ever take one of their costly seminars, sometimes the content is of interest. This one tweaked my interest as it reflects thoughts I have had. I suspect the wider study could be looked up (could not find it myself), and as we get a new President (fingers crossed) this is a good time to look up metrics to set us on a new direction (hopefully the right one).

      The seven measurable aspects of an online program (with my rating for AU) are:

      1. Institutional and technical support - poor
      2. Course development - very poor
      3. Teaching and learning - not sure what this means, likely acceptable
      4. Course structure - OK although possibly dated
      5. Student support - OK but under threat with insufficient consultation (tutor model)
      6. Faculty support - poor
      7. Evaluation and assessment - this is an often overlooked aspect internally. Externally our evaluation processes are likely credible and generally accurate (assignments and exams) although maybe behind the times (in light of 1 and 2 we could not expect otherwise). Internally our evaluation processes have become meaningless and now that computerized, basically a joke.

      I think this touches some of the points you also have in your table. I hope the Presidential Selection Committee is considering candidates from the Planet Krypton, much of the mess we are in arose from misdirection from the top and that is likely the only way to get it fixed.

      Martin Connors December 18, 2013 - 9:34pm

  • Terry Anderson created a wiki page Contestant's Names Thesis Titles in the group International Online 3 Minute Thesis December 10, 2013 - 11:26am
      University Name                                               Thesis Title            ...
  • Terry Anderson created a wiki page 3 Minute Thesis Rules in the group International Online 3 Minute Thesis December 10, 2013 - 9:33am
      Rules A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration. No additional electronic media (e.g....
  • Terry Anderson posted to the wire December 5, 2013 - 3:58pm
    "Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice."—Nelson Mandela - RIP
  • Terry Anderson bookmarked New Atheists in the group Atheists at Large December 5, 2013 - 11:21am
    Links and videos to some of the most popular 'new" aetheist authors and academics. The New Atheism Richard Dawkins Daniel Dennett Sam Harris Christopher Hitchens Who Says Science has Nothing to Say About Morality?
    • Hi Terry,

      Thanx for the posting. 

      If I may comment that authors of christianism will infiltrate atheist efforts and tilt them off course. Through currency creation (out of nothing) they have endless funding to promote pseudo new atheists with all the means they need to travel, present and publish their corruption.

      Thank you

      - Harry

      Anonymous December 6, 2013 - 4:19am

    • Personally, I'm an old atheist, the sort that doesn't believe in the reality of something that all the available evidence shows to be fictitious. I'm also an afatherchristmasist, as it happens. I enjoy the the rituals and the social bonds that go along with Santa, but I'd be a bit embarrassed to insist that he is real in adult company. Of course, if he were real, I totally agree with Justin Trudeau that he would be Canadian.


      Jon Dron December 20, 2013 - 6:08pm

  • From the Times "How much does it cost to develop a Mooc? How many staff hours does it take to deliver it? The University of London International Programmes was the first English institution to offer massive open online courses on Coursera, the...
  • Terry Anderson posted to the wire November 26, 2013 - 1:07am
    Hongxin Yan & Sandra Law's award winning article on Flash modules for math at AU published in Open Praxis
  • This interview focuses on a plug for his F2F conferences, but it is interesting to see 8 techniques for reaching this student market and asking which we excel at at AU.  
    • You’re right Terry, these eight techniques are very interesting and the core of marketing online ed - which is a significant part of any SEM strategy. I’d like to say that we excel at all eight, but the honest answer is, we don’t. I won’t address every point in detail, but I’ll touch on the ones we (Advancement, Brand, Marketing & Recruitment) find most challenging and end with the ones we do pretty good (always end on a positive, I say).


      Creating a Value Proposition in a changing Economy: This one is tough because the value proposition of any of online learning experience is (at least, should be) flexibility and convenience. When AU was basically the only degree-granting institution offering quality and comprehensive distance (and now, online) PSE it was easy to lean on the flexibility/convenient angle. We filled a niche that no one else did. We no longer hold that coveted corner of the market. What we can say is that we’ve been doing it longer than anyone else (apart from Open University, UK), more than 40 years and we continue to push forward with groundbreaking research specifically in this field. The core positioning statement and brand promise that came out of the rebrand project was, “Focused on the future of learning”.

      - Building your online Brand: So many think of “brand” as a twenty-first-century buzzword. The reality is that brand forces institutions and organizations to take a long hard  look at how external audiences (customers, students) see them, and most importantly, what they say about them. AU has had strong student satisfaction rates, however, retention rates are not where they should be. Why? Where’s the disconnect? Why is AU better known internationally than domestically? Building a strong brand is a proactive, conscious effort – every day – at every touch point.  Initiatives to build a strong brand have been, until very recently, under resourced and in most cases, non-existent. The idea of “build it they will come” was never a reality – it takes a lot of work and resources to raise awareness and instill brand loyalty. Having just gone through an extensive rebrand of the university most people at AU are at least, somewhat familiar with the process. However, this is just the beginning. There is still much work to be done to create a strong AU brand.

      - Storytelling:  Creatively telling the AU story – not just through another student or alumni testimonial (all universities do this and they almost all sound the same), but strategically writing creative narratives that strengthen the AU brand, generate leads and grow enrolment.  Writers with the special talent for storytelling are needed more than ever as we begin to integrate social media and online content into the AU brand experience.


      -       Agile marketing and Using Analytics to Drive Marketing Decisions: this point mentions “marketing teams”. The reality at AU is that Advancement has one marketing and social media manager, and myself – there are no marketing resources embedded within faculties attached to specific programs – aside from Faculty of Business marketing/recruitment team, we’re it. We have an online web strategist/manager and an awesome web team that has invaluable expertise in helping define and track web metrics that align with our marketing goals as well as analyzing user experience and behaviours. This creates a means of measuring progress and success. We track alignments with specific marketing campaigns and spikes in engagement and/or enrolments with specific audiences. But there is a downside to this positive point; marketing budgets and marketing success are integrally tied together. Currently AU’s marketing budget is 0.5 per cent of our general revenue. Prior to 2011, conservative marketing budgets generally ran between three and nine per cent of general revenues. Since then, marketing spending has risen 30 per cent as a percentage of revenues, and 40 per cent as a percentage of overall organizational budgets. For 2013, total marketing expenditures are on track to grow by more than 6 per cent. If we’re expected to compete in the marketplace, AU’s 0.5 per cent marketing budget isn’t going to take us very far.

      -       To MOOC or not to MOOC:  I don’t have to tell you, Terry, that AU has major players in this area. And this may be the start of another Landing discussion: how do we leverage AU’s MOOC capabilities and advantages in the marketplace?

      I’ve written more than I intended. I’m sure others will want discuss these and/or the other points from this interview, but bottom line is, even though we are tackling all of these points head on we have a lot of work to do. “It takes a village”.

      Nancy Biamonte November 25, 2013 - 3:34pm

  • Terry Anderson posted to the wire November 18, 2013 - 11:30am
    History of a pro Tar Sands history series including photo from 1898 at Athabasca Landing at
  • Abstract: In this paper we revisit the major forms and structures that have been developed by educators and institutions to support both distance and campus based education. In addition to individual learning, some students, content and systems...
  • Terry Anderson posted to the wire November 12, 2013 - 7:55am
    Trying to assess adoption factors for Landing in light of new Ed tech adoption index. Teacher relationship worries me!
  • Terry Anderson posted to the wire November 6, 2013 - 8:02am
    Open Education University collaboration launches with Athabasca as founding partner! see
  • Terry Anderson posted to the wire November 3, 2013 - 9:14am
    John forgot the link to his poll in the wire post below. It is
  • Terry Anderson posted to the wire November 1, 2013 - 2:02pm
    Just posted on the new Landing "Related Content" plugin - is it a 'game changer?
  • Terry Anderson published a blog post The Landing’s Boundary Crossing new set tool. November 1, 2013 - 1:35pm
    I’m just getting used to the Landings new ‘Related Items' feature. It may be a game changer! The Landing serves as an online gathering space for the Athabasca University community. One of the problems is that it is feature loaded...
  • Terry Anderson posted to the wire October 29, 2013 - 8:31am
    How web literate are you? New draft standard from Mozilla (thx to Jon)