Next CIDER presentation, May 6

We would like to invite you to the next presentation in our series of free CIDER sessions. Our next session features a presentation and discussion with Dr. Norm Friesen, Canada Research Chair in E-Learning Practices at Thompson Rivers University.

Title: Re-Thinking E-Learning Research

In education, novel practices, applications, and forms – from bulletin boards to Webcasts, and from online educational games to open educational resources – have been proliferating rapidly. However, research of these changing forms and practices has gravitated towards the methods and philosophical frameworks used to investigate and design earlier instructional technologies and practices: Technical progress is seen as single-handedly “impacting” education, human action is understood as fundamentally rational and rule-bound, and phenomena like education and communication are understood according to strictly functional models.

In this talk, Dr. Friesen will describe how these understandings have been contradicted by unpredictable developments in technology and practice, and by changes in the theory underpinning research itself. Referring to his 2009 book, “Re-Thinking E-Learning Research: Foundations, Methods and Practices”, he will outline ways in which research in distance education and e-learning can be re-thought, to catch up to new theoretical, technical and empirical developments.

When: Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 11am-12pm MDT (Edmonton)

Where: Online via Elluminate at:

2010 Summer Research Symposium: ‘The Evolution from Distance Education to Distributed Learning

Now this is organization! An announcement of a symposium more than a year ahead of time. I doubt I can make it, but it promises to be an excellent event. And the IU – Bloomington campus is gorgeous. And be sure to pick up some BBQ ribs at Smokin’ Jack’s when you’re there.

2010 Summer Research Symposium: ‘The Evolution from Distance Education to Distributed Learning

Bloomington, Indiana
July 19-23, 2010

The AECT Summer Research Symposium will be held in Bloomington, Indiana July
19 – 23, 2010 at the Memorial Union hotel on the campus of Indiana University. This bi-annual event is designed to draw the best minds together for an intensive intellectual exchange of ideas on a focused topic that would culminate in the publication of a Symposium Proceeding. The goal of the symposium is to bring a group of scholars together in a format that encourages in-depth dialogue and different perspectives on predefined topics and problems.

The goal of the third AECT Research Symposia is to develop, in a collaborative manner, a new model specifically designed for teaching and learning at a distance, which combines the untapped power of technology with research-based knowledge-building pedagogy including a blueprint or vision of the future, standards, and best practices. Specifically, four “tracks” or areas of concentration will be explored. These are: instructional design, interaction, technology, and organizational alignment or support.

The focus of symposia sessions is on active audience participation and exchange rather than presentation. Presentations at the symposium will be held in a discussion-centered environment, so each presenter will be asked to adhere to a strict 5-10 minute time limit for formally presenting their ideas, followed by participation in 45-50 minutes of discussion of their ideas with session attendees. Attendees are expected to read the papers prior to attending so that everyone is prepared to participate and contribute to the discussion. All papers will be made available to registrants prior to the symposium.

You can find specific submission guidelines and more detailed information at:

It is the intention of the symposium to not only draw participation from academics in the field of instructional technology, but also to include the perspectives of experienced practitioners from areas that are concerned with technology applications that might be adapted to distance education. For instance game designers, e-commerce specialists, human factors researchers, educational psychologists, sociologists and those involved in other closely related fields such as learning science and informatics are encouraged to submit proposals. Proposals from persons working in the commercial areas of distributed education are also welcome.

We hope to see you in Bloomington!