Select 2 or 3 (or more!) of the following questions, and post your thoughts and answers below. We look forward to reading and responding to your answers and opinions.

A. MET Offerings
  • When choosing your Master's program, were you aware of all these existing options? What were your reasons for choosing UBC?
  • As competitors to UBC's MET, do these other programs offer options that you think would be beneficial for UBC to consider?

B. PhD / EdD
  • Do any of the offered doctorate programs appeal to you? Why or why not?
  • Do you think that UBC should offer a doctorate program in educational technology?  Why or why not?
  • What factors will, or have been considerations in your choice of institutions for completing your PhD?
  • Would you or did you consider an online format for completing your PhD?   (e.g. University of Phoenix, Capella University)  Why or Why not?
  • If planning to complete a doctorate, will you complete your PhD in the domain of Technology and Education? Why or why not?

C. New Innovations
  • In the Market Opportunities introductory section, the diagram identifies a range of possible future markets. Review the diagram, then briefly expand on some of the ideas presented or present new ones. As you share your ideas, try and identify whether your ideas are new market, low end disruptive innovations, or sustaining innovations.


Kim
7/20/2012

Test 1

Reply
May Bacon
7/23/2012

Q: When choosing your Master's program, were you aware of all these existing options? What were your reasons for choosing UBC?

My reasons for choosing the MET program were somewhat unusual since I was a full-time stay-at-home mom who had been out of the educational system for almost three years, so initially I was just searching for a Master's degree that would enrich my credentials, be interesting and affordable (i.e. the degree didn't necessarily have to be in Ed. Tech., it just had to be worthwhile and interesting). Among the choices I looked at, the MET program had the most positive points for me: entirely online (so I could continue to stay at home with my daughter until I found employment), a my own pace (2-3 courses per semester) and it married my professional training (B.Ed. in Kindergarten and Elementary Education) and my personal interests in technology, blogging, design and online communication.

I'm impressed with the options that exist now, most of which I did not encounter during my search, but I'm still glad I chose UBC. The format is ideal for me because it is entirely online. Initially I was looking for a program (F2F or blended) in the Ottawa area, but when I realized that there were great fully online options (and that there was nothing as desirable near home), I was very excited at the prospect of learning online. My dad did his MBA entirely online a few years ago and had found the experience very rewarding, both intellectually and professionally, which encouraged me to do something similar.

Q: As competitors to UBC's MET, do these other programs offer options that you think would be beneficial for UBC to consider?

Perusing the competitors, one of the advantage I would note over the MET program is that the University of Alberta offers narrowly focused programs, focusing on elementary or secondary education or educational psychology. However, since the program is face to face, it is not an option I would ever have considered (because of location and the rigidity of the schedule). It might be useful, though, for UBC to adopt a more specialized focus such as that one, because there are significant differences between using technology in a second grade classroom, and using it to design university-level courses.

Reply
Steve MacKenzie
7/23/2012

Hi May,

It sounds like you had good reasons for taking the online version and I am glad to hear that it has worked out for you. Personally, I had options, but after talking to some of my colleagues doing the exact same masters in a F2F setting at UBC-Okanagan, I chose the online version, even though it was more expensive. Why? Because, in the F2F format, they have to meet at specific times and there is only one perspective expressed at any one time. In this program, I can get a flavor for everyone’s views at my leisure, scanning through one’s that are that don’t match up with my interests, and diving into those that do.

Although, this program sounds like more work than my colleagues are experiencing, I don’t mind and I get the impression that I am getting far more out of the program. Again, partially because I think I can focus on the parts and people that interest me, rather than being subjected to a more general overview of the topics and viewpoints. And I agree that it probably would have been even more interesting if we had been able to focus on our areas of expertise (like offered at U of A), such as high school or sciences, as we would be collaborating with more like-minded colleagues.

Cheers, Steve

Steve MacKenzie
7/23/2012

C. New Innovations

One of the things that I enjoy about this particular MET course is its open online blog style. Although other students within the MET program, including past students of the course, do not participate in this course blog, it is entirely possible for this kind of collaboration to take place. As a value added, or sustaining innovation, I believe an innovative program could be created by opening up the program to past students.

In this model, former students would be allowed to review present students’ posts and communicate in a supplementary forum (set up specifically for this type of collaboration) that would enable a more beneficial learning experience for all. I know that many colleagues in this program have stated that they will be sad when their program finishes and wish that there was a way to continue participating in this learning experience. Many more experienced former students have considerable knowledge to share with their peers and would likely relish the idea of staying in the loop and mentoring less experienced colleagues. I know that I could be counted upon to be in this group. Not only would I benefit from helping others, but I would be able to continue learning and gaining valuable insight into this field as an active and ongoing participant.

Through this process, UBC would be providing the opportunity for all former and present MET students to participate in an organic community of practice for ongoing learning. Past students could also offer insight into their active and experiential learning using technology in their classrooms. In a field of constant change and need of innovative and educated leaders, UBC would be a visionary in the struggle to improve educators’ media and computer literacy and help them make informed and expert decisions about pedagogy, technology and its implementation in schools. Although I am not sure about my colleagues, personally, I still feel that I have much to learn and would benefit from the collaborative, active and experimental learning environment of the MET program.

Cheers, Steve

Reply
Marie-France Hétu
7/25/2012

Hello Steve,

What a fabulous idea to open up MET blog format courses to current and former students. I believe their participation to even this week 12 OER would greatly enrich everyone's learning experience.

I suppose that the regular UBC blog does invite present and past students to exchange ideas and learning . . . but topics specifically discussed in courses are not always carried over to the main blog.

I like the idea of an organic community of ongoing learning . . . a living, growing organism that needs to be fed (with knowledge) and taken care of - quite the imagery!

Thanks for sharing!

Marie-France

Reply
Dan
7/27/2012

Hi Marie-France,
Are you talking about this site? http://metprogram.ning.com/

Either way, it would be nice to maintain a link between MET alumni and students. That might require hiring someone to moderate discussions actively, and set up reasons for everyone to communicate. Something like a collaborative problem/solution page or action/academic research page where profs at UBC and teachers or instructional designers work on projects together. This requires $. Does UBC have any to spare for such a project? And would the project be fruitful enough to warrant sustained funding?

Marie-France Hétu
7/27/2012

Hello Dan,

Yes I do mean that website, but there is also the
http://blogs.ubc.ca/
There are quite interesting blogs on this site, and you can create links with past and present colleagues according to interests or start your own blog according your interests.

Cheers!

Marie-France

gillian
7/23/2012

C. New Innovations ...
As I near the end of my MET journey, what appealed to me most on the New Market Opportunities diagram was continued Pro-D opportunities for MET grads. While I am looking forward to completing my Master's, I know that I am also going to miss the opportunities to collaborate in such a supportive and often dynamic CoP.
I think it would be great to continue to collaborate in some structured way ... former MET grads putting on Moodle Moots for example or participate in or lead monthly Webinars to stay up to date on the ed tech world.
For me, this is something that I personally desire as there are few of my colleagues that I can discuss issues related to ed tech whether it be tools or theory. I don't want to lapse into stagnation.

Reply
Danielle
7/24/2012

Hi Gillian,

I completely agree! I thought the same thing when I saw the option for continued Pro-D opportunities for MET grads. While we may explore opportunities to collaborate informally, as some of us already do, a MET related Pro-D program would certainly be more attractive as we would be better equipped to keep up to date with the latest technologies and practices.

Danielle

Reply
Danielle
7/24/2012

Hi Gillian,

I completely agree! I thought the same thing when I saw the option for continued Pro-D opportunities for MET grads. While we may explore opportunities to collaborate informally, as some of us already do, a MET related Pro-D program would certainly be more attractive as we would be better equipped to keep up to date with the latest technologies and practices.

Danielle

Reply
Regen Schmidt
7/24/2012

Hello Gillian & Danielle,

Yes, I agree as well to initiate some sort of MET-sponsored pro-d events in order to attract more educators who are more than willing to discuss current ed tech options and concerns. Not sure how it is at other schools, but the district in which I teach seems to have too general of pro-d focus and therefore lacks interest for some. Our province is even trying to strip teacher autonomy in regards to choice of pro-d activtiies one particpates within.

Thanks for the comments Gillian & Danielle.

-Regen

Reply
Helen
7/25/2012

Perhaps the idea of creating a uniquely MET-UBC MOOC might interest some. I've read and investigated more on this since the self-guided learning investigation last week and am considering join into a MOOC just to see how they work. I've looked at the 'Mother of all MOOC' linked from G. Siemans' website. (see: http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/2011/05/19/this-will-be-fun-mother-of-all-moocs/) You can link to the actual MOOC site to get an idea of topics, schedule etc.

With all the talent from the MET course, the UBC MOOC could have a truly international offering - collaboration, community and learning - openly offered to teachers around the world.

Thoughts, anyone?
Helen

gillian
7/25/2012

Danielle, Regen and Helen ... keep an eye out for my venture pitch next week ;P. I think you may find it interesting ...

Denise
7/27/2012

HI Helen,

I think the MOOC is a great suggestion. Would you think it was a disruptive new innovation for UBC?

I was at a conference today and a Vice Chancellor of a Uni here in Australia was talking about any of the challenges for the traditional university. He mentioned MOOC and also edX (MIT and Harvard collaboration) and Coursera (Princeton, Penn, Michigan). Interestingly he commented that he wasn't convinced about their business cases (or lack of)!

Coursera - http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/04/18/princeton-penn-and-michigan-join-mooc-party

edX - https://www.edx.org/

Denise

Danielle
7/24/2012

When choosing your master’s program, were you aware of all these existing options? What are your reasons for choosing UBC?

I did do a bit or research before I started the MET program. But at the time, UBC was the only university offering a fully online master of education technology program that also offered the kind of courses that were relevant to my needs.

Do you think that UBC should offer a doctorate program and education technology? Why or why not?

I most certainly do think that UBC should offer a doctorate program and education technology. The MET program offers a broad spectrum of courses and learning opportunities. Those of us who want to specialize would greatly benefit from a PhD program that allows us to apply what we have learned in the MET program at a deeper level and with greater relevance.

If planning to complete a doctorate, will you complete your PhD in the domain of education technology? Why or why not?

To be honest, I think that UBC will offer a PhD for those wanting to further their education in this field. I think if there is enough demand, it will happen. I may hold off until a PhD with the faculty of education technology is offered.

Reply
Regen Schmidt
7/24/2012

Hey again Danielle,

Very true for most of us I think. At the time of looking, UBC is/was the only university offering a fully online masters program in ed tech. It is also very fitting that the masters program is offered via online courses to better support/participate in concepts that we are learning about within the program. I also think that they (UBC) will eventually offer a PhD within this field. The quesiton is...will it also be online to some extent.

So Danielle, Would it matter to you whether UBC's eventual PhD program is delivered in person (face-to-face) or online?

Thanks for your comments.

-Regen

Reply
Danielle
7/25/2012

Hi Regen,

Thanks for your reply. I would indeed prefer an online PhD as I am living overseas at the moment. With the way ICT has advanced in terms of live synchronous communication, there is really no need to meet in person. Though I know there are many who prefer the personal aspect of face-to-face communication. So perhaps a blended offering as well.

Danielle N.

Helen
7/25/2012

Regen & Danielle, I would consider joining into a phd program if offered online since it is convenient, flexible and opens opportunities beyond the walls of a static facility or location. It's not about 'bums in seats' but minds in action. The option of doing more work with synchronous tools when 'classroom' time is essential could certainly be considered. I agree with Danielle in terms of not being tied to the physical location of a BC campus to continue my learning journey. The MET program has shown how it can be done. But course designers and visionaries can't stop looking for the next opportunity in this ed. tech marketplace since there is growing need and demand.
Helen

Jon
7/24/2012

"If planning to complete a doctorate, will you complete your PhD in the domain of Technology and Education? Why or why not?"

Yes I would complete my doctorate in Educational Technology. The world we live in is one that was once viewed as being a vast, disparate and difficult place to navigate. Now, more than ever, we are becoming more connected. With a simple click, double tap, or slide of a button, the user can now be “transported” to various locations around the globe; immersing oneself into cultures, places and peoples of interests. The technologies that we are using today are certainly (well for the most part) not going to be the technologies of the future. Being part of an educational technology community keeps you on the edge of where technology and education is moving and address important societal problems and create and disseminate new knowledge.

"Would you or did you consider an online format for completing your PhD? (e.g. University of Phoenix, Capella University) Why or Why not?"

This is a difficult question to answer. Part of me would really like to take part in a online format of a doctorate program, but the validity and overall credibility of the online doctorate programs seems to not have the same grounds when compared to the “brick and mortar” institutional settings. Phd’s are not a cheap investment into ones future and if it is a path that I choose to walk down, I would like to know that the end result is going to be recognized globally.

Reply
Regen Schmidt
7/24/2012

Hey Jon,

What you mention seems to be a common trend thus far on this weeks discussion, as you stated..... "Being part of an educational technology community keeps you on the edge of where technology and education is moving and address important societal problems and create and disseminate new knowledge."

It appears MET students want to stay connected with current technology and make informed decisions regarding technology use within education. This is a great ambition to sustain.

As for your last comments, I also have reservations about enrolling in an online PhD program for credibility reasons and the high cost ($50,000) of tuition. UBC seems to be recognized worldwide so my question in response to your comments is...

Would you consider enrolling in an online PhD program offered in the future by UBC? Why? or Why not?

Thanks for your comments Jon.
-Regen

Reply
Jon
7/24/2012

That is a really good question to ponder Regen. I have no idea really. I think with the advancement of web 2.0 tools and the capacity to have the F2F connection with peers, colleagues, and advisors might make the online PhD environment doable. Maybe a blended environment would be the key to a online PhD program.

Jon

Deborah S.
7/24/2012

When choosing your Master's program, were you aware of all these existing options? What were your reasons for choosing UBC?

I did an extensive search before applying to UBC’s program. I knew I wanted a program that was online as I am too busy with parenting and my job to commit to attending a face-to-face program. I needed more flexibility than a traditional face-to-face classroom could offer. Also, there weren’t many options in Ontario for this type of master’s degree when I started the MET program.

Another important factor in my decision was the reputation of the university. I completed some research on UBC’s rankings and the program itself as part of my due diligence process. I was also fortunate enough to speak with a graduate of the program and was able to get the detailed information I was seeking.

If planning to complete a doctorate, will you complete your PhD in the domain of Technology and Education? Why or why not?

I would like to complete a PhD but at the moment I’m leaning more toward completing one in accounting or auditing since that is my background and my original degree. The MET program has helped me get into the swing of doing research and academic writing which I’ve been away from for a number of years. This is my eighth course in the program and I have really enjoyed the diversity in the elective courses and the fact that I can bring what I’m learning directly into the classroom to use with my students. Who knows…I may decide to complete a PhD in this area instead.

Deborah

Reply
Regen Schmidt
7/24/2012

Hey Deborah,

Interesting to hear how this MET program has so many applications. I never thought someone from the field of accounting/teaching would be interested in such a program.

Yes, the online accessibility of the MET program is amazing and I'm sure it has enabled so many to further their education (thank-you UBC).

If you plan on staying within accounting/auditing would you need a Masters Degree or would you aply for a PhD without it? Or do you already have a Masters in accounting?

Thanks for your response and comments.

-Regen

Reply
Deborah S.
7/25/2012

Hi Regen,
I don't need a master's degree to begin a PhD in accounting/auditing since I have a CA designation. Preparing for that exam is like a master's degree and then some : )

Deborah

Regen Schmidt
7/26/2012

Hey Deborah,

I see. I didn't know about the CA designation. It is funny how Masters degree's in different areas contain drastically different forms of knowledge. I can't imagine completing a science masters such as Math/Physics/Chemisty/etc.

Thanks for clarifying.

-Regen

Valerie Wells
7/24/2012

When choosing your Master's program, were you aware of all these existing options? What were your reasons for choosing UBC?

I also did an extensive search before choosing UBC's MET program. Memorial University offers a program and in fact my husband did it years ago. While they offered many courses they generally did not appeal to me and did not have the option of completing the degree online.

UBC was the program that caught my interest and the fact that it was fully online was a great fit with my schedule. Also UBC had a good reputation for providing high quality programs which was important to me.

If planning to complete a doctorate, will you complete your PhD in the domain of Technology and Education? Why or why not?

If I decide to go on and complete a PhD I think I would continue on with Technology and Education. One of the reasons I took the MET program was my interest in the relationship between technology and teaching and learning. There is so much potential in the use of technology with students and I would like to pursue these possibilities further. I feel that in completing this program I have only grazed the surface. I would be interested in doing research into how technology can enhance student writing. I have seen some instances in my own context where the use of technology has engaged reluctant writers in the writing process. Coincidence?, or is there a strong connection?

Valerie

Reply
Marie-France Hétu
7/25/2012

Hello Valerie,

You mention that part of the reason for choosing the MET program over others was its excellent reputation. What is it that procures MET this reputation and how did you find out about it?

You are right, the possibilities for technology within education and learning are endless. If I were to consider a Post-graduate degree, I think I would be interested in exploring the holistic approach to fostering technology in various educational domains.

Marie-France

Reply
Marie-France Hétu
7/25/2012

Hello Jon,

It is too bad that online doctorate programs are not comparable to ones within institutional settings. In my opinion, that should not be so. I think the same rigourous standards for graduate and post-graduate degreees need to apply whether they are entirely online or not - thus both delivery formats should equally be recognized.

Marie-France

Reply
Shawn Harris
7/25/2012

When choosing your Master's program, were you aware of all these existing options? What were your reasons for choosing UBC?

I was not fully aware at first of all the existing options when I chose the Master’s program. In fact the UBC MET program was recommended to me by a friend of mine who got a scholarship to study with UBC and thought it was a great program and one which would suit me well. I did some research and what caught my interest was the fact that it was a fully online program. The mere fact that I live and work in the Caribbean; it was the ideal program for me as it seemed quite flexible with my day job and affordable. I have been teaching Technology in Education for the past 8 years and so I thought I could use some additional information to boost my teaching strategies and to add to my credentials.


If planning to complete a doctorate, will you complete your PhD in the domain of Technology and Education? Why or why not?

Without a doubt I am ready to complete a PhD in the domain of Technology and Education especially if it’s fully online. This is my field of interest, and I do feel that without the PhD I would not feel complete on a personal and professional level. I have been integrating technology within the classroom for some time now and have seen where it has had a tremendous effect on learning especially in improving literacy as this is seen as the fuel on which society runs. Of all the strategies that have been discovered, the usage of technologies in literacy instructions have been the center of attention in our classrooms and wider society. For this reason, and more I would want to complete my PhD to see how else I can support increasing literacy in the classrooms here in the Caribbean with the use of technology.

~ Shawn

Reply
Marie-France Hétu
7/25/2012

Hello Shawn,

One of the great advantages of the MET program, beyond being online is that it is global. What an enriching opportunity it is to learn from individuals around the world.
I think this is why I might choose to achieve a PHD online if at all. Imagine the potential of communicating with professors all over the world - it would be a stimulating experience I think.

You seem to have a very precise goal in mind and a steady thirst for knowledge . . . Good luck to you with your future endeavours - a whole nation may well benefit from your knowledge and experience.

Marie-France

Reply
Shawn Harris
7/25/2012

Hi Marie France,

I do have a goal in mind and thirst for knowledge as you rightly put it. I would love to get my name out there in a wonderful way helping individuals from the rich knowledge I have garnered from the MET program and especially from this 522 course. This is my 6th course and it’s the best one so far. I really doubt any other will beat this one in terms of the knowledge shared throughout these presentations and collaborations which assist me with my daily planning and teaching strategies at my institution. I do look forward week after week to see how and what will be presented. 522 is an awesome experience, it is learning in action and it is through this course I have gotten some momentum to continue my educational journey!

~Shawn

Dennis Pratt
7/25/2012

If planning to complete a doctorate, will you complete your PhD in the domain of Technology and Education? Why or why not?

At this point I would not continue further education in technology, unless I feel like I am getting out of touch with technology after a few years and need a refresher course, but I do not think this is likely. I am interested in taking more courses that focus on Career and Technology Studies or Adult Education and may look for programs like this in the future.

I feel like I have spent enough time sitting in front of a computer screen for now, and would even prefer my next courses to be face-to-face for the interactions and change of content delivery. I appreciate the freedom these courses have given me over the past 3 years but am ready for a break from my computer for sure.

Dennis

Reply
Marie-France Hétu
7/25/2012

Hi Dennis,

It is interesting to hear you see that you would like to take a break from your computer . . .
I can't imagine being away from my computer even when I finish my studies. Certainly it is my creative tool and I know I will still use it to create and communicate, even if it is not to study.
I must admit that doing a PHD in person also has its advantages. I think I would rather enjoy teaching seminars as an assistant professor and meeting my professors in person - somehow that would be lacking in a fully online course.

Marie-France

Reply
Dave
7/26/2012

I believe that the MET should offer an extension into a Master's program as many of us have access to spaces and resources which could serve as research sites. By having research associated with the use of technology and various approaches it also builds the ability of the program and learners to adapt to new ideas and revise old ones.

When considering a doctorate I would want to know the potential for research area, the opportunities to carry out a blended approach and also to be able to do doctoral work while still working as an educator as I believe it provides a relevant framework to anchor research on educational technology. Too often the theory is too separated from the application.

Reply
Regen Schmidt
7/26/2012

Hello again Dave,

I also believe is great to continue being an educator while taking related coursework which can then be applied within the classroom. A blended approach offered by a PhD would be a good mix of coursework and face-to-face. Even some of the online universities offering fully online PhD's reuqire 3-4 face-to-face weekend meeting times designed to take place over the entire PhD time.

Thanks again for the comments.

-Regen

Reply
Denise
7/27/2012

HI Dave,

I am interested in your comment about a MET extension with sites serving as research. Were you thinking of an additional option of a research project option within the MET? It would certainly add a different focus.

Or were you suggesting that MET grads could be involved in research with UBC using their own workplaces as part of multicentre research sites.

I like both ideas - they are a bit different and the research angle furthers our knowledge without it being limited to a PhD approach.

Denise

Reply
Dave
7/27/2012

Hi Denise

I think both options work though having a research site may depend upon where you teach and the willingness of the particular school to participate.

Dave

Meggan
7/26/2012

When choosing your Master's program, were you aware of all these existing options? What were your reasons for choosing UBC?

When I was selecting my Master's program the timing of courses was a vital element. Working as a Teacher on Call, I did not have a consistent schedule that I could work my courses around. This meant that I needed flexibility and an entirely online program was a great source of that. It gave me control and choice over my program. As well, I looked to do my program in an area that would be useful for my future in education. As technology is expanding in the classroom, it seemed a logical choice to be my focus, since expanding my own technological horizons would mean expanding my teaching options and giving more to my school and my students at the same time.

Would you or did you consider an online format for completing your PhD? (e.g. University of Phoenix, Capella University) Why or Why not?

Although I love the idea of online education, I am currently hesitant to do a PhD online, due mostly to the reputations of the universities that are offering them. Part of the appeal of the MET program was, to me at least, that it was coming from a well respected institution and I knew that I would be getting a quality education, not just more letters to put on my business card. Although several of the universities offering these programs are very large and successful ventures, they are sometimes viewed as 'slacker' type schools, which is not something I would want. If more universities were to expand their programs into the online realm I would definitely consider these programs.

-Meggan

Reply
Regen Schmidt
7/26/2012

Hey Meggan,

Great points. Yes, UBC is quite respected world wide so I think our MET designations will be easily recognized as legitimate once complete. I also feel that online PhD's are quite new and not as accepted as their face-to-face counterparts.

My question to you......
Is it the format (online) of the PhD that impacts credibility, or is it the instition offering the online PhD that determines credibility?

Or, if the instituiton remains the 'constant' and the degree format becomes the variable, the quesiton would go something like this....
Which is more credible: a face-to-face PhD from UBC in Educational Tecnhology or an online PhD from UBC in Educational Technology?

Thanks for your post Meggan.
-Regen

Reply
Janet
7/26/2012

When choosing your Master's program, were you aware of all these existing options? What were your reasons for choosing UBC?

So, I appear to be at the foolish end of the scale because I didn't check out any other options! Two of my colleagues highly recommended the MET program and after discussing it at length with both of them, I applied. There were a few practical reasons, though:

1. My school district reimburses us for every approved masters course taken (and passed). The MET program had been previously approved by the district, so I didn't have to jump through that hoop.
2. The BC College of Teachers (or whatever it is now) recognized the MET program for the Master's designation on the pay scale. I didn't have to go through any extra work making sure out of province degrees were recognized by the BCCT.
3. My original degree was through UBC making reducing the number of transcripts I had to get to apply (Yes, I am inherently lazy!).
4. UBC is a well-recognized university.

When I am done the MET program, I am planning to take a break from post-grad education for a while, but would be interested in the future in doing a PhD in Educational Technology. I think for a PhD, I would enjoy doing part of it online, but I think a f2f component or term might be valuable, too.

Thanks,
Janet

Reply
Regen Schmidt
7/26/2012

Hey Janet,

Excuse me for being nosy, but as myself and I'm sure many others are wondering... Which BC district reimburses tuition for masters courses? This is crazy!!!!! Is there a limit to how many masters degrees can be taken by one person?

Ah, a break sounds nice. As for the PhD, a mix of online and f2f has been suggested by others too. I'm not sure of the format of a PhD, or how many courses are required?, but what do you think about leaving the exact mix/blend of online and f2f up to each individual student by offering all the courses in both formats and leaving it up to the decision of each consumer?

Thanks for your post.
-Regen

Reply
Janet
7/27/2012

Hi Regen,

I teach in Quesnel, BC, and YEARS ago, in order to improve the quality of teachers and probably to encourage teachers to stay in the district, the district offered tuition reimbursement for masters degrees. The nice part is that they refund the money after every course (as long as you pass it, of course), not at the end of the program. I think there are a couple of other districts that do the same, but not many. You have to have a contract in the district and teach in the district for at least two years after you complete the degree. I am not sure if they pay for more than one masters ... you have to go through an approved institute and get approval from the district before starting as they will only pay for a certain number per year.

As for your second question, I have never really been interested in a PhD until I started this program. I agree that leaving the ratio of the "blendedness" of an online doctorate up to the individual would be an attractive option. The cost of the program, plus having to be off work for to enrol in a traditional doctorate would be prohibitive to many people, I think. Especially those of use who live outside of cities that have universities, as relocation costs could be huge.

Cheers,
Janet

Denise
7/27/2012

HI janet,

Well Regen might have been stunned by a district offering to reimburse every approved masters - but what a fantastic approach to developing a skilled teacher workforce for the future! And what a good motivator for teachers to contemplate and be motivated to take on a masters.

Someone was thinking strategically when they thought of this.

Denise

Reply
Janet
7/27/2012

Hi Denise,
I agree. As our community is fairly rural, pro-d is limited and funding for attending outside pro-d opportunities has been reduced to almost non-existent. For me, the MET program has been the BEST pro-d I have ever engaged in. Our district has one of the highest ratios of masters degree teachers in BC; I think the pro-d that occurs while doing your masters can really have a positive effect on your teaching and therefore the students and I think that was the district's original aim years ago. Fortunately for us, they have continued to include it in our local contract and have (as of yet) shown no signs of changing that.

Cheers,
Janet

Dan
7/27/2012

1. Do any of the offered doctorate programs appeal to you? Why or why not?

The doctoral programs don’t appeal to me because I don’t want to spend another four years as a student in over-drive and because I keep hearing that the job market is saturated with PhDs.

Also, I find that far too many articles I’ve read are very poorly written. They go on and on, are very redundant, contain way more words than necessary, can’t get to the point or end up clouding their own message with unnecessary and complexificationalized wordiness… get my drift?

When I studied chemistry and read research articles, every sentence had a purpose and every single word counted. When I read poorly written articles on education topics, I wonder how I could ever possibly reason with the author. Research is increasingly done by teams, and I would find it difficult to work with people who can’t get to the point. I’m not perfect in this regard, and can ramble with the best of them at times, but I generally value brevity for the sake of clarity. So do a couple other people…

“Do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few.”
- Pythagoras

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
- Albert Einstein


2. Do you think that UBC should offer a doctorate program in educational technology? Why or why not?

If UBC is going to offer a doctoral program, I hope they severely limit the number of places for students so as not to set people up for jobs that don’t exist. Four years is a long time to spend to end up with a job you could have had with a Master’s. Limiting the number of places for doctoral students would also increase the chances of fully funding their work. Having students work while trying to complete grad school is unreasonable unless that's actually what the student wants.

Another point: I hope that the PhD supervisors do everything they can to strictly limit the duration of the program to four years. I believe that's how the NYU PhD in Ed Tech works. Sure, things happen that can cause delays, but the possibility of such problems occurring should be built in to the time frame of the students' program. Students need to get on with their lives and should not be forced to remain in their programs for an excessively long time. Besides, eventually they would complain and the PhD program's reputation would erode.

If a PhD program is created, I hope the program developers make a point of linking the research directly with practice by forming partnerships with teachers. The field of education seems like it’s way behind the times and almost entirely disconnected with academic research. I’ve been a part of teams that developed course materials that were created in ways that go against basic e-learning principles that were published long ago (Mayer & Clark, 2003) and there's no excuse for that. For my part, I could only control what I was working on and applied what I learned about e-learning research as well as possible.


3. Would you or did you consider an online format for completing your PhD? Why or Why not?

I would never consider doing a PhD online. I just don’t see how anyone would consider my research to be credible.

Reply
Dan
7/27/2012

Here's the reference:
Clark, R. C. & Mayer, R. E. (2003). e-learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Reply
Marie-France Hétu
7/28/2012



Hi Dan,

I am particularly interested in your comment: "I would never consider doing a PhD online. I just don’t see how anyone would consider my research to be credible."

Quite a few colleagues have expressed similar opinions to the effect that the value of an online PhD would not be the same as in-person. This opens up an interesting debate.

As I understand it, at the moment there are not many PhD fully online programs out there, and those that exist don't particularly stand out as having a good reputation.

I consider the MET program to be as reputable as any face-to-face Master's program, and I don't see why a PhD cannot be as quality oriented. I was also pleasantly surprised to read that quite a few colleagues have experienced more of a learning community through MET than other face-to-face Master's programs.

I believe that PhD programs can be just as stimulating and worthwhile experiences and certainly as reputable as on campus experiences. I agree that online PhD's would not be possible in many domains, namely the scientific ones that require lab work for example. But I could certainly see UBC offering a PhD in Educational Technology - in which case I would be tempted to enroll.

In the context of 'research' I think working in a global context with professors all over the world would be an enriching experience and could add value to a research. Although I agree that some research needs to be conducted in more clinical settings.

With the many modes of communication, close collaboration between professors and post-graduate students can be more than adequate. Webinars, Skype, illuminate or chat forums through BlackBoard are all numerous means students can take part in conferences, exchange with colleagues and work on research.

Any thoughts?

Marie-France

Reply
Denise
7/28/2012

HI Marie-france

I agree with you. We have all experienced a great deal of learning and collaboration with the MET being completely online. While I am not sure I want to do a PhD I could see myself being able to research and collaborate from a distance but I would probably love the opportunity to come to Canada to visit as part of that and meet colleagues!

Maybe the challenge for UBC would be to develop a really credible online (or blended program).

Denise

Tim Roos
7/28/2012

•When choosing your Master's program, were you aware of all these existing options? What were your reasons for choosing UBC?

Yes I was aware of several of these choices for a Master's program in Educational Technology. The two things that attracted me to UBC was the credibility of the university and the local nature of the actual university. Even though the program is 100% online as I wanted, I still felt the opportunity to be face-to-face in case of any significant problems was important. Maybe this was just because I had not completed any fully-online course up to now but it was a comfort. UBC offered a flexible program that met my goals and needs at a competitive price. The tax benefits as a working Canadian citizen also made the program price more attractive than a US program.

•In the Market Opportunities introductory section, the diagram identifies a range of possible future markets. Review the diagram, then briefly expand on some of the ideas presented or present new ones. As you share your ideas, try and identify whether your ideas are new market, low end disruptive innovations, or sustaining innovations.

I would think my idea would be a new market idea but I feel that an emphasis on educational technology programs; especially professional development programs in the K-12 sector would be an important and helpful expansion of the MET program. There are many teachers who do not have the time, money or energy to focus on a fully integrated educational technology degree. If we, as educational technology leaders feel that what we know and do will play a significant part in th future of education, then that should be important for all teachers. Providing professional development in a prolonged way to other teachers who may be interested (with regard to possible degree programs) in other areas of education should be a priority. UBC could, with active help from MET students (even as part of the MET program) provide this ongoing professional development by building professional learning communities of practice.

Tim

Reply
Kim
7/29/2012

Hi Tim,

Always so interesting to read why others chose the MET program. You chose it to be still local - while I chose it to be far from local! (I live in NL, and had 2 degrees from MUN, so needed a graduate degree to be academically different!)

I had never thought of professional development of fellow staff as a possible extension of the MET program - excellent idea! Do you think there should be a course(s) in the MET program specifically geared to this group of learners, or are the current adult learners courses sufficient?

Smiles, Kim

Reply
Tim Roos
7/30/2012

Hi Kim:

I would suggest that the courses should be geared specifically towards the non-technological teachers. These teachers are typicaly leary of technology and have a far different appraoch than typical MET students. The course should include significant learner input in course goals and allow for some individualization of the program. I also feel it needs prolonged attention with shorter periods of instruction and interaction with the course presenters. These teachers would be best served by receiving instruction and feedback on their classroom application as they apply the principles and ideas learned. A short session of instruction and interaction followed by classroom application and then reconnect for feedback and analysis.

Tim

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