EDUC 6179 Week 6 Assignment: Plagiarism Detection and Prevention

Week 6 Plagiarism Detection and Prevention

What plagiarism detection software is available to online instructors?

If the instructor wants additional detection software other than the one that is built into the course that they are facilitating they just need to go to Google and type in plagiarism detection software and they will have more than a handful to choose from. The ones that I am familiar with and am Turnitin. Another one that is supposed to be good is Grammarly. The instructor can use these or choose from a list.

How can the design of assessments help prevent academic dishonesty?

One of the best designs is an essay format where the student has to answer the question in his or her own words and give examples. To avoid plagiarism on quizzes and exams is to change the questions and the order.  Make the exams timed or proctored. Change the assessments up. Some institutions require exams to be timed and proctored. Others have a camera system.

In an effort to reduce the opportunity for plagiarism or cheating, what facilitation strategies do you propose to use as a current or future online instructor?  

Teach the student about plagiarism and what kinds of plagiarism are out there. Teach the student to paraphrase and correctly site.  The key is giving credit to whom credit is due. No essay should have more than 10% from direct quotes even if the material is cited. Teach the student that using their own material from a previous class is considered to be self-plagiarism and is considered cheating. Educating students on plagiarism can deter it.

What additional considerations for online teaching should be made to help detect or prevent cheating and plagiarism?

According to the Palloff Pratt most students don’t have cheating in mind when they take a course, but want to learn the material (Laureate Education, Inc., 2012). The instructors should encourage collaboration with the intent of the student learning the material (Laureate Education, Inc., 2012). They believe that this will discourage the thought of cheating. Then the instructor should design their exams in such a way that cheating is deterred because if the student has studied they will not think of cheating but will pass the exam.

Reference

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Plagiarism and cheating. Baltimore, MD: Author.

 

 

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EDUC 6179 Week 5 Assignment: Impact of Technology on Adult Learning

Blog Assignment: Impact of Technology on Adult Learning

What impact can technology have on adult learning?

Technology has a great impact on adult learning. It is important that the university has a great IT department to keep the online classroom up and running. Adult learners are for the most part very busy and rely on the classroom being open 24/7. Late at night or early morning may be the only times that some are able to really study or do assignments.

What should online instructors consider before incorporating technology into the online learning environment?

The online instructor should be competent in every tool that they will be using in the online classroom. They should be able to explain or send the student to a link that will assist them in using the technology efficiently. The instructor should also make sure that the technology used in conducive to the course (Laureate Education Inc., 2012). Also, there are some students who make live in rural areas and do not have networks that have the speed to keep up with some forms of technology such as Web 2.0 (Laureate Education Inc., 2012).

What implications do usability and accessibility of technologies have on adult learning?

The use of more smart phones, iPads, and Android Tablets are becoming the norm for mobile technology.  The universities are being forced to make sure that the student has online classroom accessibility and usability for these mobile devices (Laureate Education Inc., 2012). The adult learner is on the move and wants to be able to connect to their classroom anywhere.

What technologies are most appealing to you for teaching online? Explain.

I like the technology of the media videos that are built into the online classroom that has been in this course and other courses presented by the university. I also like using YouTube. I believe video presentations are so useful. A picture is worth a thousand words but a video is priceless when it comes to comprehension. The beautiful aspect of it is that one can stop then review over and over again. The learner uses visual and auditory senses. After taking this course and EDUC 6177 I have learned how to blog. Therefore, I can see myself incorporating that tool as well for collaboration projects

Reference

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Enhancing the online experience. Baltimore, MD: Author.

EDUC 6179 Week 4 Assignment: Internet-Based Multimedia Resources for Online Learning

Week 4

Blog Assignment: Internet-Based Multimedia Resources for Online Learning

“MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community”.

https://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htm

This is a good source of information on just about any subject one can think of. This resource is great for the teacher as well as for the learner. It can be used in an Open Education setting of for those who need to work on improving in some area of education. The only concern that I would have is that Merlot has a lot of text and I would not want the learner to feel overwhelmed.

This link gives 25 best websites for educational videos

http://www.refseek.com/directory/educational_videos.html

Along with using YouTube and PBS for online education videos, here is a list of sites that will assist the visual learner. As an adult educator, there will be students that may have trouble comprehending in the written form only and may need to see a visual presentation about a particular assignment or subject.

A big concern is making sure that all of the students have the skill level to be able to use the resources that I will be incorporating (Conrad & Donaldson (2011). I will have to make sure that I have resources that will assist the student. One way is to communicate early in the course.

 

Reference

Conrad, R., & Donaldson, J. A. (2011). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction (Updated ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

EDUC 6179 Week 3 Assignment Launching the Online Learning Experience

Week 3: Launching the Online Learning Experience

Palloff and Pratt agree that the first two weeks of Launching the Online Experience are very crucial (Laureate Education Inc., 2012). This is the time that the facilitator is breaking the ice and getting to know their learners. When students sign in and introduce themselves, the facilitator should make sure to respond to each student. This helps to break the ice. There should also be an introductory announcement from the facilitator that includes contact information and available hours. Within the first two weeks, the facilitator should be familiar with their students. The classroom and tools that will be used should also be set up. Additionally, the instructor should be totally prepared and be competent in the tools that they are sharing with the class (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010).These things are very important because the online environment should be a welcoming experience. It is like preparing for a special event that will last for weeks.

There is nothing worse for a student that to be confused in the early stages and feel lost. Communication is important. When the student knows how to navigate, find resources, and know what is expected of him or her they can focus on their weekly assignments. If they need assistance they are not afraid to reach out.

Additional considerations that the instructor should take into account are that their students are different and may come with different technology skills and experiences that may require more patience (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010). They may need additional help and resources. The instructor should always be open for questions and give a timely response.

 

Reference

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Launching the online learning experience. Baltimore, MD: Author.

 

EDUC 6179 Week 1 Assignment

Assignment: Online Learning Communities

Week 1

In this week’s lesson Dr. Rena Palloff and Dr. Keith Pratt discus Online Learning Communities. The facilitator plays a very significant role in the online learning community. They are guiding the class represent a “safety net” and their presence should be visible (Laureate Education Inc., 2012). Essential elements of the online community consist of learners with a common goal to learn a subject and a process by which this can be achieved (Laureate Education Inc.,  2012).  It is the responsibility of the facilitator and the learners to make the online community successful.

The online learning community is significantly impacted when learners do not experience isolation from the facilitator and their peers. Although they are self-directed, they work as a team via discussion forums and collaborative learning projects. This is important because they may not have the faceto face interaction; they know that they are not alone in cyber world.

One thing that is constantly changing is technology. The sustainability of the online community will require advanced, enhanced, and new technology. It is a good idea for the facilitator to continue to learn and then incorporate new technology in their online classrooms.

Any good building has a firm foundation. An online community is no different. When a facilitator leads and organizes their online classroom as a community of people working together there will be success. The learners will follow and be more motivated by the instructions given within the course. They know that the facilitator and their peers will be there if they need assistance.

Reference

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Online learning communities. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Online Learning

Although Online Learning is growing in our society, there are still  many questions. In this post various theories, concepts, and aspects will be covered. Additionally, this post will give information on how learners and educators are  successful by using this educational platform.

Emerging Technologies for Visual Impaired Learners

Emerging Technologies for Visual Impaired Learners

The purpose of this blog is to inform adult educators and interested readers of existing and emerging technologies designed to assist adult learners who are visually impaired. These technologies will enhance the lives of the learner as they achieve their educational and information literacy goals

Visual Impairment Overview

Visual impairment and low vision are terms to describe vision loss that cannot be corrected to a normal level with prescription glasses, contact lenses, or medicine.  For example, anyone who has an acuity of 20/70 (low vision) or 20/200 or less (legally blind) are visually impaired. To be blind is the inability to see.

There are many causes for visual impairment. For example: hereditary, eye injuries, and underlining diseases. It is estimated that 10 million Americans are blind or have low vision and one million adults over the age of 40 are blind and 2.4 million are visually impaired) (Mandal, n.d.)  Mandal (n.d.), also noted that 46% of the working adults have visual impairments and 32% of legally blind adults are still employed. According to the American Disability Act (ADA) employers with 15 or more employees are required to make reasonable accommodations for their employees with disabilities.

There are products and technology on the market that will assist those who are visually impaired to go to school and work. I will share what these products and technologies can do to enhance the lives of adult learners.

Technology #1 Magnification

There are monitors, large print keyboards, books, and software, 20/20/pens/markers just to name a few of the technologies that assist the visual impaired with vision enhancement.

Technology #2 Speech Access

There is speech software that assists the visual impaired or blind learner. This software will read a textbook or eBook to the student.

I chose these technologies because I once had 20/20 vision with corrected lenses and one day I woke up and my vision had changed. I did not know whether I would be able to continue to work. But I was blessed to find visual solutions that allowed me to continue to work and earn 3 degrees. Many adults have trouble seeing. Some are major impairments and some impairment will affect the adult learner at a slower rate. In any event, they adult educator can assist the learner in achieving their educational goals.

Technology #1 Magnification (Part I)

There are a variety of conditions that cause one to be visually impaired or have low vision. Based on the condition and the severity will determine the power of magnification, type of magnifying tools, and lighting that is necessary to make objects or print appear larger. The basic magnifying glass is just the beginning in the field of magnification.

Handheld Magnifiers

If there is a low vision store in your area, it is a good idea to visit the store. You will be amazed at the powers and types of magnifying glasses there are. Most people use the handheld types to view short notes, prescription bottles, menus, ingredients, and price tags when you see 2X, 3X, etc. on the magnifier, this indicates the power of the lens. For example 2X means that whatever you are viewing is magnified 2 times the original size. As power increases, lens diameter and field of view decrease. Some magnifying glasses come with a light.

Stand Magnifiers

Stand magnifiers aid those who want or need hands free tool. Adult learners will find this type helpful for writing, reading books, or newspaper. They can use this tool at home, in the classroom, or library.

Spectacle Magnifiers

Spectacle magnifiers are designed for near viewing distances. They allow the hands to be free. Adult learners will be able to read books, magazines, and letters. New technology has made the lenses to be thin and look like a regular pair of glasses.

Telescopic

Telescopes can be used to view objects that are near, far away and anywhere in between. Adult learners will find this magnification very helpful when reading street and building signs as well as working on the computer. They can be monocular for one eye or binocular for both eyes.

Video Magnifiers

Video magnifiers are electronic magnification devices that are available in desk-top and hand-held designs. The adult learner can change the image of the object being viewed. Text color (black letters on yellow background, for example), brightness, and contrast can easily be adjusted to make the object or text easier to see. There are portable models available allowing the adult learner to bring to the classroom or lab. Magnification power ranges from 1.5 X to 50X. This is fantastic!

Technology #1 Magnification (Part II)

As we can see, that there is magnification technology that many may never know about until they or a loved one is faced with a visual impairment. Low vision can be just as frightening as having no sight. It is an adjustment. I just described some manual aids but what about this new era of software that can be installed in our computers? I am glad, you asked. Let me introduce you to a magnification software program that has enhanced my life and others globally.

This program can enhance adult learners who are visually impaired or just want to reduce the strain of reading small font. This program has allowed many to also remain employed and stay connected in this age of social media, social networking, and mobile learning. I started with the 8.0 and currently have the 9.1 version. The current version is 10.1. I have used the CD to download on my desktop and laptop computers.  They do have Windows and Mac versions. To contact ZoomText go to: http://www.aisquared.com/products/zoomtext/

ZoomText

Ai Squared has been the world’s leader in screen magnification and screen reading software for 20 years (Ai Squared, 2016).  I was first introduced to this software in 2004 when I stared experiencing visual impairment issues. It literally allowed me to remain employed for 10 years and earn 3 degrees. I still use this program for all of my computer work. ZoomText has three versions:

ZoomText Magnifier

The current version is ZoomText 10.1. It magnifies up to 36X on your computer screen. The adult learner will be able to set the power of magnification needed and start reading.

ZoomText Magnifier and Reader

This version not only has magnification but also has a screen reader. This allows the material on the screen to be read aloud and the user will be able to hear through their computer speakers. The user can also set the number of words that they want read per minute. The nice thing is that in most cases can use the reader for Adobe Reader PDF documents. The only problem that I have experienced with the reader is that I have not been able to get Zoom Text to read encrypted documents. For example Harvard Business Reviews.  If there is a way around it, I have not figured it out yet. Also, when I want something read aloud from the internet, I have to copy the document and paste in a Word doc.

As a side bar, most colleges and universities do work with those who have disabilities. What I have found is that for those with a visual impairment, the school does have an eBook version of the course textbook. You may have to purchase the textbook, and then show a receipt that will allow the school to issue the eBook version in PDF.

ZoomText Fusion

This version allows for magnification and reader plus full screen reading. This version is for those who want to transition from magnification to full screen reading. I have not used this version before. However, I have been pleased with their other products.

Video Games and Learning

The gaming industry is not only popular amongst children but adults love to play video games as well. How do the visually impaired children and adults participate in the fun and excitement? Fortunately, there are organizations and companies that have devoted their resources in this area for those who are visually impaired.

Additionally, because many video games have great audio effects, many who are visual impaired have learned to play and master mainstream video games. For example, “blind gamer Brice Mellen from Lincoln, Nebraska, who beat Ed Boon (developer of Mortal Kombat) in a game of Mortal Kombat” (Game Accessibility, 2016). Some gamers make regular video games more accessible to them by using “Accessible Quake – an accessible modification (or “MOD”) for Quake 1, developed by Matthew Atkinson & Sabahattin Gucukoglu of AGRIP” (Game Accessibility, 2016).

Games (board and video) are not just for fun and competition. Video games will help the adult learner solve problems. Video games are well designed problem solving spaces that gives feedback, monitor, and gives assessments of progress within that community while the player uses  their minds, bodies and smart tools (Squire, 2011, p. ix).

To find games for the visually impaired, just do a Google search for “video games for the blind and visually impaired.

Technology #2 Speech Access (Part 1)

“Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen with a speech synthesizer or Braille display” (AFB, 2016).  For the blind that cannot see anything, they must rely on their sense of hearing but can use a Braille display to communicate with the program. For the low vision adult learner a screen reader can be very helpful when they have pain, strain, or tired eyes. As a side bar, those with physical disabilities and disabilities such as dyslexia can also benefit from screen reading technology. Screen readers allow the user ultimate control. The screen reader can read a letter, word, sentence, paragraph, or whatever is displayed on the entire page depending on the commands that the user communicates to the program’s synthesizer.

JAWS (Available for Windows)

There are quite a few screen readers on the market. However, the most popular is called JAWS (Job Access with Speech). JAWS have been around for 20 years. JAWS works with Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and more.  JAWS supports Windows® 8.1 and Windows 10, including touch screens and gestures (Freedom Scientific, 2016).

VoiceOver OSX (Built-in for MAC)

For Mac user, there is a built in VoiceOver OSX. VoiceOver. “VoiceOver gives you complete control of your Mac, with no need to see the screen” (Apple, 2016). The voice of Mac is Alex. VoiceOver is controlled by using the same gestures for iOS (Apple, 2016).

Open and Distance Education

For the adult blind or visual impaired learner, screen readers are a very valuable asset. Just think of how tired the eyes become of those who have normal vision. Eyes of those with low vision can tire easier from reading textbooks and other printed material. Many who attend open or online courses now can get their textbooks in an eBook format which is beneficial for those who use screen readers. Additionally, many of the articles and journals are also available in an Adobe PDF format.  I am still researching to see if screen readers can read articles that are encrypted.  I would think that there should be an un-encrypted version of the resources for those who are blind or visually impaired.

Technology #2 Speech Access (Part 2)

The use of Smartphone and tablets have become useful and in many   a necessity for many in the 21st Century. These mobile devices are just one of a student’s few school supplies that they pack in their book bags. Without special software and Apps, the blind and visually impaired students would be severely challenged. Fortunately there are developers have that have understood the needs of the blind and introduced features that render smartphones and tablets of great use to them (Cassidy, 2014).  There are built in assistive technology and Apps that can be installed in their devices that become screen readers. There are fees for some of the Apps but there are also some free ones out there. Adult educators can make good use of the following 5 tools to assist their learners explained by Richard Cassidy (Cassidy, 2014). To view article go to: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2014/09/excellent-tools-help-visually-impaired-students-mobile-technology/

VoiceOver (in OS X & iOS)

We covered this earlier in this blog. This feature is on the iPhones, iPads, and Mac. (Apple devices)

BrailleTouch (iOS)

This “revolutionary” app allows the visually impaired to type on their iPhone or iPod Touch’s

touchscreen using Braille, with some reporting a typing speed of 30 words per minute or more.

List Recorder (iOS)

This app primarily creates general lists but can be used for learning purposes. Use its features tohelp your students organize any kind of information they want. Regardless of the discipline being taught, all information can be broken down into lists to aid mnemonic memorizing.

Audible (iOS, Android)

Podcasts are a great way to learn new material, but for those who prefer full-length books, Audible can be carried on their mobile devices to listen to the books whenever and wherever.

Audio Exam Player (iOS)

Help your visually impaired students avoid any embarrassment caused by having to be read exam questions out loud to them.

I came across a very interesting piece on YouTube. This  training was sponsored by the Utah Assistive Technology Program of Utah State University, and presented by Everette Bacon and Jerry Nealey of Utah Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired” (Utah Assistive Technology. 2014). They featured Apps for the iPhone. They featured the KNFD Reader app, Tap Tap C App, 2 Apps that that reads currency (U.S. and Foreign) and more. This is a must see!

YouTube is an excellent resource to get an idea of tools for the blind and visually impaired. They have the visual and audio. It is amazing what those who are blind and visually impaired have learned to accomplish with the emerging technologies tools that are on the market. For the blind and visually impaired adult learners, the future looks bright.

The Future of Educational Technologies

The future of educational technology for everyone who uses the internet is constantly changing. As these technologies change those organizations and individuals with innovative abilities and passion for those who are blind or visually impaired will change as well. All of the tools that the visually impaired now have will be redesigned. Software will be upgraded to keep up with the systems that Windows, Mac, and other operating systems that come and go on the market.

What is really amazing is how interested are those with low vision are to continue to learn the new innovative technologies as they come out. They are not allowing their visual challenges to thwart their goals from being obtained.Educators have the responsibility to welcome and embrace these new technologies with their visually impaired learners and have patience with them. A thought to remember is that “everyone is blind” in some way or the other (Omvig, 2005. P. 76).  It is all about attitude and how one views their blindness. For the blind and visually impaired, they want technology like the rest of society. God Bless!

References

AFB. (2016). American Foundation for the Blind. Screen Readers. Retrieved from

https://www.afb.org/ProdBrowseCatResults.asp?CatID=49

Ai Squared. (2016). ZoomText. Retrieved from

ZoomText

Apple. (2016). Accessibility. VoiceOver for OSX. A Feature that Speaks for Itself. Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/accessibility/osx/voiceover/

Cassidy, R. (2014). 5 Excellent Tools to Assist Visually Impaired Students. Retrieved fromhttp://www.emergingedtech.com/2014/09/excellent-tools-help-visually-impaired-students-mobile-technologyPublished on Dec 18, 2014

Eshenbach Optik. (2015). Types of Magnification. Retrieved  fromhttp://www.eschenbach.com/consumers-low-vision-devices-for-the-visually-impaired-types-of-magnification-devices.htm

FindLaw. (n.d). The American Disability Act-Overview. Retrieved from http://civilrights.findlaw.com/discrimination/the-americans-with-disabilities-act-overview.html

Freedom Scientific. (2016).  Blindness Solution: JAWS. Retrieved from

http://www.freedomscientific.com/Products/Blindness/JAWS

Game Accessibility. (2016). No Pictures Please! Visually Impaired Gamers: Where to go & What to Play! Retrieved from http://game-accessibility.com/documentation/visually-impaired-gamers-where-to-go-what-to-play/

Mandal, A. (n.d.). News-Medical. What is Visual Impairment? Retrieved fromhttp://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-visual-impairment.asp

Omvig, J.  H. (2005). The blindnessrevoluntion: Jernigan in his own words (Hc).

Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Perkins. (2016). Assistive Technology. Retrieved from

http://www.perkinsproducts.org/store/en/

Squire, K. (2011). Video games and learning: Teaching and participatory culture in the digital age. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Utah Assistive Technology Program. (2014). iPhone apps for the blind and visually impaired. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMlUGYCzC9w

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging Technologies for Visual Impaired Learners

The purpose of this blog is to inform adult educators and interested readers of existing and emerging technologies designed to assist adult learners who are visually impaired. These technologies will enhance the lives of the learner as they achieve their educational and information literacy goals.

Visual Impairment Overview

Visual impairment and low vision are terms to describe vision loss that cannot be corrected to a normal level with prescription glasses, contact lenses, or medicine.  For example, anyone who has an acuity of 20/70 (low vision) or 20/200 or less (legally blind) are visually impaired. To be blind is the inability to see.

There are many causes for visual impairment. For example: hereditary, eye injuries, and underlining diseases. It is estimated that 10 million Americans are blind or have low vision. There are approximately 10 million people in the Uni46% of working-age adults have vision impairments and 32% of legally blind adults of working age are gainfully employed. (ted States who are blind or visually impaired (one million adults over the age of 40 are blind and 2.4 million are visually impaired) (Mandal, n.d.)  Mandal (n.d.), also noted that 46% of the working adults have visual impairments and 32% of legally blind adults are still employed. According to the American Disability Act (ADA) employers with 15 or more employees are required to make reasonable accommodations for their employees with disabilities.

There are products and technology on the market that will assist those who are visually impaired to go to school and work. I will share what these products and technologies can do to enhance the lives of adult learners.

 

References

FindLaw. (n.d). The American Disability Act-Overview. Retrieved from

http://civilrights.findlaw.com/discrimination/the-americans-with-disabilities-act-overview.html

Mandal, A. (n.d.). News-Medical. What is Visual Impairment? Retrieved from

http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-visual-impairment.aspx