Online graduate programs in the NIU College of Education continue to perform near the top of the country, according to new rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.
NIU places fourth (tied with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) in the current honor roll of 200 schools, earning a fifth consecutive spot among the nation’s Top 5 and its sixth nod overall.
Among the nine other Illinois schools ranked, only the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (tied for 10th) and the University of St. Francis (tied for 29th) are in the Top 50. Ten universities in the Mid-American Conference are ranked, including Buffalo and Ohio, which are among the five institutions tied for 10th.
Dean Laurie Elish-Piper considers the college’s annual recognition as “evidence of our high-quality online graduate programs.”
“Our faculty are at the cutting-edge of designing and delivering online education that is rigorous, engaging and interactive,” Elish-Piper said. “Our faculty, advisers and support staff are available to assist students in our online programs every step of the way so they can be successful in their programs and in their professions.”
The NIU College of Education offers three online master’s degrees within the departments of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA) and Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF). Read more...
Laurie Elish-Piper and David Walker
A delegation of scholars from the NIU College of Education will travel in November to Taiwan for APERA-TERA 2016, a biannual conference of the Asia-Pacific and Taiwan educational research associations.
NIU and the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (MWERA) are co-sponsors of the conference, which draws thousands of scholars eager for academic discussions and opportunities for collaboration.
Dean Laurie Elish-Piper and Associate Dean David Walker, who will deliver keynote addresses Friday, Nov. 11, lead the NIU contingent that also includes Wei-Chen Hung, chair of the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment, and ETRA professors Laura Ruth Johnson, Isti Sanga and Tom Smith.
Scheduled from Wednesday, Nov. 9, through Saturday, Nov. 12, the conference takes place at National Sun Yat-sen University in Koahsiung.
Walker, a former president of MWERA, called for that organization to expand its international partnerships during his 2014 speech to the annual conference. In attendance that year were academic colleagues from China and Taiwan.
“Our relationship grew,” said Walker, who also is a professor of educational research.
Meanwhile, Hung enjoys a long camaraderie with National Sun Yat-sen University. Read more...
Two ETRA graduate courses—Advanced Instruction Media Design and Instructional Technology Program Development—which were designed and developed by ETRA/IT faculty, recently received Exemplary Course distinction from Blackboard Inc.
Jason Rhode, Ph.D., Director of the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center at NIU, who incorporated great ideas to the existing elements of the courses when offered the job to teach them, was recognized with two 2016 Exemplary Course Awards.
The Blackboard Exemplary Course Program recognizes faculty and course designers from schools, colleges and universities around the world who develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.
Selom Assignon, M.S.Ed., ETRA alumnus and doctoral student, was also among Blackboard’s 2016 Exemplary Course winners for his expertise in developing a course titled Web Development I. “This is because I’m being taught by the best of the best and the results speak for themselves,” he said about ETRA’s influence on his teaching and course design.
The Blackboard Exemplary Course Award highlights technologically rich, engaging, well designed, and pedagogically sound courses that showcase best practices for the user community. Submissions were judged by peers and by experts on the following components: course design; interaction and collaboration; assessment; and learner support. Read more...
The NIU College of Education recently has been approved to begin offering two new Ph.D. programs. The first, the Ph.D. degree in Instructional Technology, is offered through the college’s Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA); the second, the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, is offered through the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education (CAHE).
Both Ph.D. degrees replace existing Ed.D. degrees in their respective disciplines.
“The reason we decided to offer the Ph.D. in Instructional Technology is to further strengthen ETRA’s position as a leader in instructional technology, research and scholarship,” said Wei-Chen Hung, ETRA’s chair.
“Our Ed.D. degree was already heavily focused on research, and as the national trend in instructional technology is toward research, we felt the Ph.D. would be more beneficial to our students,” he said, adding that the addition of the Ph.D. will help improve the research, theoretical, and practical preparation of the graduates, especially those seeking future careers in academia, public education, government, and in the business and not-for-profit sectors Read more...
The College of Education’s Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA) this summer provided an intensive, two-week workshop to faculty and staff of the Royal Commission of Jubail, Colleges and Institutes Sector (JCIS), a group of three institutions of higher education located in Jubail Industrial City in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia on the Arabian Gulf.
The program, “Online Teaching and Development,” was designed to boost confidence and hone skills necessary for JCIS to successfully integrate online technology into its teaching practices. The workshop was held at Jubail Industrial College and attracted some 30 participants. The participants were all faculty from different departments from the JCIS institutions who were chosen to be trained to become trainers.
The eLearning Project Committee, led by Fahad Al-Shahrani, a 2014 graduate of ETRA’s doctoral program in instructional technology, and now a JCIS faculty member and chairman of the organization’s E-learning Project, were leading the effort. After identifying skills gaps that prevented the JCIS faculty from teaching online most effectively, Al-Shahrani approached Wei-Chen Hung, chair of ETRA department, about creating a partnership to eliminate those gaps. The two organizations collaborated to identify the best training approach and best time to deliver the training. Read more...