Author: kdempsey60

Moodle Workshops for New Faculty

Moodle Workshops for New Faculty

Moodle Overview for New Faculty – Presentation Moodle Basics Workshop Moodle Assignments Workshop  

How do we “Make it Stick?”

How do we “Make it Stick?”

For most of my childhood and adult learning, I DID IT, as Frank Sinatra says, MY WAY!  As I’ve come to learn it was more appropriately, THE HARD WAY; the wrong strategy for me to learn!!  After reading the book, Make It Stick: The Science […]

Andragogy & Pedagogy

Andragogy & Pedagogy

How might we use knowledge of andragogy and pedagogy to enhance our ability to leverage educational technology for teaching and learning?

I recently took a new position which involved a change in my roles and responsibilities. One of these new responsibilities is the support of our Learning Management System, Moodle. Prior to this I was at a Blackboard school and had little knowledge of or experience using Moodle. Now all of a sudden I had to jump in with both feet to learn it quickly. I scrambled to take a online course on Moodle Basics and also signed up for a Moodle MOOC that was self paced. Yikes.

I epitomize the adult learner and have been directing my own learning for most of my adult life. Malcolm Knowles (1980) suggests that adult learners are ready to learn when they assume new social or life roles and want to apply new learning immediately. Bingo! I have always been the kind of learner who needs to know WHY I am learning something and learn the best when the subject is of immediate use to me. At work we call this “just-in-time” training. I spend a good proportion of my time teaching and coaching faculty with one-on-one sessions where they have an immediate need to know a certain technology app/tool. This can be very rewarding but challenging at times. If I don’t know the technology they want me to teach them I am under pressure to quickly learn it myself. The breadth of technology apps/tools we support makes it almost impossible to be an expert in any one of them. I need to know how to find information quickly to deepen my knowledge quickly. Being in the faculty development role has required many hours of self-directed learning where I need to stay one step ahead of my “students.” According to Cyril O. Houle in his seminal study, The Inquiring Mind, I fall into one of three types of continuing learners. I am goal-oriented and use education as a means of accomplishing fairly clear-cut objectives.” (Houle, 1961, p. 15)

Connecting and Acting

How might we use knowledge of andragogy and pedagogy to enhance our ability to leverage educational technology for teaching and learning?

Experience is the best teacher, regardless of age, but the amount and quality of experiences one has may shape their ability to learn throughout life. As an instructional technologist, faculty developer and adult learner myself, I have found that self directed learning provides some of my best experiences, and subsequently can help my students form theirs as well. Providing faculty with meaningful learning experiences that are a break from the norm can challenge their perception of how learning is done. Many spend years teaching in a traditional classroom yet find themselves having to now learn technologies on their own or with my help.


I constantly ask myself what it takes to create effective adult learning (andragogy), and how the styles of student instruction (pedagogy) contrast to adult learning. A common mantra in higher ed is to create “lifelong learners,” or what I like to think as developing our students to have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. I know that our student’s ability to learn now will greatly impact their ability to learn later as adults. I firmly believe that the ability of a student to have as many quality experiences as possible will craft the best adult learners who can then draw upon those experiences. Strong experiences within pedagogy leads to successful andragogy.

The approaches of andragogy are considerably different than that of pedagogy. This summer we are going to upgrade our Moodle LMS. The user interface will look much different and may prove to be a source of concern for faculty who need to learn this new system. As I design professional development opportunities to learn the new Moodle system I will do so while keeping in mind the six essential principles of Andragogy. (Knowles, 1980):

    1. Adults need to know why they need to know something before they are taught it. Colgate faculty all need to use our Moodle LMS and post readings, assignments and grades. In order to use the new system they will have to spend some time learning it.
    2. The self-concept of adults is heavily dependent upon a move towards self direction. Most faculty would prefer to learn on their own with textual or video tutorials. The days of the 20 person workshop are over.
    3. Prior experiences provide a rich resource for learning. If a faculty member has spent time on sites like or Youtube and is comfortable with self directed learning they will be more successful in future learning.
    4. Adults typically become ready to learn when they experience a need to cope with a life situation or perform a task. Again, they all need to use Moodle and will need to learn it before the fall semester begins.


  • Adult’s orientation to learning is life-centered, and they see education as a process of developing increased competency levels to achieve their full potential. Their lives are their teaching jobs and how well they perform depends on not only their subject knowledge but the way they deliver instruction. Being capable of using the Moodle LMS is critical to their delivering instruction.


  1. The motivation for adult learners is internal and not external. The desire to be successful and collect that monthly paycheck is definitely an internal motivation.

When looking at these principles it is evident that I need to shape faculty development to encourage more self direction then what is typically taught in the college classroom, where teachers have responsibility in the learning process.

As much as it’s my job to offer workshops to teach faculty I know the potential for educational technology to empower faculty to do more self-directed learning. Some ways I can use technology are: use Screencast-O-Matic to record short Colgate-specific tutorials, encourage the use of, and direct faculty to the Moodle Youtube channel to watch the series of video tutorials available on the new version.  

A Learning Organization.

Another idea I have that fits well within the Andragogy principle is to form a learning organization or communities of practice (CoP) around specific technologies faculty use here at Colgate. Teams reach high functioning levels because they are extraordinary learning organizations – the learning that a group engages in propels it to greatness (Aguilar, 2016, pg. 185) These can be groups of faculty who share a common interest in a topic and who come together to fulfil individual and group goals. These groups can be from different disciplines and focus on sharing best practices and creating new knowledge and should meet on an ongoing basis. Each group’s specific goals inform the technologies that support it. As Harvard’s Teresa Amabile advises, “Set up work groups so that people will stimulate each other and learn from each other, so that they’re not homogeneous in terms of their backgrounds and training. You want people who can really cross-fertilize each other’s ideas.” (Pink 2009, pg. 174)

Next Steps

I really like the idea behind the learning communities (Aguilar, 2016) and bringing Goldilocks to the groups you set up (Pink 2009). I think this will be a challenge for me but agree with Pink’s advice to begin with a diverse group, make it a no competition zone, and emphasize their shared mission.

Key Questions

  • How are new potential community members going to be identified, chosen, developed, and supported by the community?
  • How should the knowledge created by the community be shared beyond the community?


Knowles, M. S. (1988). The modern practice of adult education: from pedagogy to andragogy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Cambridge Adult Education.

Houle, C. O. (1963). The inquiring mind. University of Madison Press, Madison.

Aguilar, E. (2016). The art of coaching teams: building resilient communities that transform schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Pink, D. H. (2009). Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.

My Twitter Chat Experiences

My Twitter Chat Experiences

On the evenings of March 6th and 10th, I participated in two Twitter Chats with the hashtags #GAFEChat and #QMIDAChat. It was probably my 5th/6th time Twitter chatting, ever. I have used Twitter for my own professional development since I first signed on back in 2011. As […]

Why Twitter Chat?

Why Twitter Chat?

WHAT ARE TWITTER CHATS? Twitter chats are one of the best ways for educators to connect with other educators, exchange and debate ideas, ask for help and provide assistance, find new resources and take action. You meet at a set ‘meeting time’ to engage in conversations […]

Digital Citizenship Letter To Colgate Freshmen

Digital Citizenship Letter To Colgate Freshmen

disclaimer: not an actual letter – an EDT-520 project

Dear Incoming Freshman,


Welcome to Colgate University. This letter is designed to help you navigate the technology resources available on campus and to understand the ways we support all students to become strong digital citizens as they utilize Colgate’s network, online databases, software, blogosphere, media services resources.

While in high school you probably developed an online presence. If you were responsible utilizing technology, you maintained proper digital citizenship – an important skill that will be vital during your years here on campus and beyond. Author Terry Heick defines digital citizenship as “the self-monitored habits that sustain and improve the digital communities you enjoy or depend on.” (2016, March 5)

Now that you’re here on the Colgate campus we ask if you received any training in digital citizenship while in high school? Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, believes “for the most part, students in college today never received any form of digital citizenship training when they were in high school or middle school.”(2012, July) Regardless of your answer, this is a very good point, because the expectectation is you’ll behave properly when you arrive at college, often without any training. We are offering several sessions on how to formulate a digital citizenship plan in Case Library in the coming weeks. An email will be forthcoming with more details and to sign up.

Digital Citizenship. (2012), by Dan Callahan, retrieved from

In his blog post, The Importance of Digital Citizenship in Social Media, Andrew Marcinek wrote that students “must understand the repercussions of irresponsibly using social and digital media and what affects it may have on their future.” How often have you used tech devices without considering any potential negative consequences? We want to encourage you to be aware of the importance of developing a proactive approach to managing your online activities as it will have a direct impact on your Colgate class work, as well as future graduate school or career opportunities.



R. (2012, March 16). Infamy Just a Screenshot Away [Digital image]. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from
We encourage you to begin to formulate a digital citizenship plan to heighten your awareness of how important it is to manage your reputation. Most students spend a great deal of time online, leaving behind a digital trail of evidence from their posts, comments, tweets and status updates. You may present yourself one way, academically or on the job and then by a web search another side emerges where there is a conflict with your reputation. If you don’t make an effort to be careful with your online activities you may ruin your reputation without being aware that it is even happening.

Please take a moment to read about the Five Important Components of Digital Citizenship written by Professor Jason Ohler, from the University of Alaska. (2011, February 1) He asks: “Should we teach our kids to have two lives, or one?” The five most important components of digital citizenship answer this question. This is part of the library session we will be offering in the next few weeks as you settle in as a student here at Colgate.  These sessions are designed to attain our goal to help every Colgate student utilize technology in a responsible manner.

Students don’t have separate lives – one unplugged from technology at school and one digitally connected outside of school. It’s very obvious that students are always connected. You will find that each of your professors has their own policy about the use of digital devices in class. Some may not allow technology use during class time. However, many use digital devices as a main component of class session. Colgate suggests the five components below be used as a guide for you to learn what it means to be digitally responsible:


Ohler refers to this component as “a sense of balance that considers opportunity as well as responsibility, empowerment as well as caution, personal fulfillment as well as community and global well-being.” (2011, February 1) You can think of it as online ethical behavior; a set of standards that each of us follow, guiding our interactions with others. Colgate has a set of behavioral standards that students are to adhere to while interacting with others, allowing you to make ethical decisions. You decide to either act ethically or unethically, which means you will follow the school’s standards or not.

On the other hand, morals are used to determine right or wrong. You decide based on your belief system, religion and upbringing. Educators Mike S. Ribble and Dr. Gerald D. Bailey state that “true north tells us when we are going in the right direction and when we are going in some other direction.” (2005, August) The use of technology has complicated our internal compass because different rules are needed. So, if you post something online in a moment of frustration, it can be viewed by perfect strangers.

2. Safety and Security

There are two parts to this: First, understand how your actions may harm others and consider if your online behavior is inappropriate. Second, protect your own privacy. Robert Madden from Pew Research reports that 63 percent of adults are on social media and 58 percent set their Facebook settings as “private” so only their friends can view it. (2012, February 23) You should consider that friends of your friends on Facebook may be able to view your posts.

The same Pew research found that students recognize the importance of monitoring comments they post, along with comments posted by others. According to the report, 56 percent of social media users ages 18 to 29 have deleted comments. This could be because potential employers are checking social media when evaluating new hires.

3. Cyberbullying

14 states have anti-bullying laws that involve cyberbullying, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center. Javiar Pena, director of National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment, believes that bullying has become an issue on college campuses because “students are not willing to step forward and report a bullying incident.” (2011, November 7) This issue has evolved into cyberbullying, harassing others with the use of images or text. At Colgate we believe it is important to understand the devastating effects of cyberbullying and how it violates ethical behavior principles. As a student, please become familiar with cyberbullying and the consequences for this type of behavior.

4. Sexting

As you may know this behavior involves using a cell phone to transmit photos of a sexual nature. We are interested if another Pew Research survey by Parker, Lenhart and Moore of college students aligns with your experience. It found that ‘sexting’ is becoming a big problem. (2011, August 28) Over 50 % of students said they have received sexual images, 80 % received texts and 10 % of those messages were sent without consent of the receiver. Tiffani Kisler, a professor at the University of Rhode Island, said “it is important to help everyone, especially students, to understand the importance of setting boundaries around their use of technology.” (2011, September 1) As a Colgate student we can’t emphasize enough the need for diligence, as your use of technology is not without the possibility of consequences.

5. Copyright and Plagiarism

Another Pew Research Center report, The Digital Revolution and Higher Education says plagiarism is increasing and it is a problem for all schools. Over 1,000 college presidents responded and over half indicated that the issue of plagiarism has continued to increase over the past 10 years.

Facts about plagiarism:

  • – The Center for Academic Integrity conducted a study and concluded that almost 80 percent of college students admitted to cheating at least once.
  • – The Psychological Record conducted a survey and found that 36 % of undergraduates admitted to plagiarizing written material.
  • A poll conducted by US News and World Reports found that 90 percent of students held a belief that those who cheat are not caught and if they are, they are not properly disciplined.

At Colgate students charged with plagiarism face the consequences of an academic violation, which means a failing grade, course, or suspension. See Code of Student Conduct.

We hope from this letter you recognize the importance of cyberbullying and plagiarism, as they are forefront in the media, but please consider the need to manage your online presence and how your online activities and posts impact your academic work, future career, and fellow Colgate students.

At the end of the day, Digital citizenship means you should adapt a personal set of ethics and values to your use of technology. Your responsible behavior and a well-developed reputation are more important than ever because there may be a record of what you say and do. Please don’t live in fear but consider your actions, possible outcomes and consequences, and be proactive in your approach to all your online-based interactions.

Colgate University


Steyer, J. (2012, July 23). Digital Citizenship Basics for College Students. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from

Heick, T. (2016, March 5). Definition Of Digital Citizenship. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from

Marcinek, A. (2011, January 26). The Importance of Digital Citizenship in Social Media. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from

Ohler, J. (2011, February 1). Character Education for the Digital Age. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from

Ribble, M. S., & Bailey, G. D. (2005, August). Retrieved February 18, 2017, from

Madden, M. (2012, February 23). Privacy management on social media sites. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from

Bullying and Cyberbullying Laws Across America. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2017, from

Pena, J. (2011, November 07). Study finds cyberbullying a problem among college students. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from

Kissler, T. S. (2011, September 1) Study Shows More Than Half Of All College Students Have Been ‘Sexted’ Retrieved February 18, 2017, from

Adams, S. K. (2011, July 21). Survey Suggests ‘Sexting’ Rampant in College. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from

Parker, K., Lenhart, A., & Moore, K. (2011, August 28). The Digital Revolution and Higher Education[PDF]. Washington, D.C. 20036: Pew Research Center.

Evaluation Rubric for Educational Technology Apps/Tools

Evaluation Rubric for Educational Technology Apps/Tools

A tool I created to use when evaluating new apps/tools for use in the classroom:

Do Faculty use iPads for Academic Teaching?

Do Faculty use iPads for Academic Teaching?

I found a very insightful paper that investigates the how, why and if college faculty use iPads in teaching. The SAMR model was used to analyze the level of use of those faculty who did use the iPads for teaching. Aiyegbayo (2015) interviewed 84 academics […]

The Future of the LMS

The Future of the LMS

3496890_origAccording to moodlenews the future of online learning and the LMS in particular looks promising! That’s good because it’s a big part of what I do for a living!!

As we move forward what further developments can we expect to see in e-learning?

  • VR and AR – virtual and augmented reality. remember those words because they will be HUGE factors in the years to come. Most people learn best by seeing and doing so VR and AR will provide real-world scenarios.
  • Increased Personalization – no more “one-size-fits-all.” Better for the non traditional learner, like many of us.
  • More Gaming to engage the millennials
  • More feedback to learners and collecting data to help personalize even more.
  • ROBOTS?  The jury is out here but stay tuned…
Digital Pedagogy interview with @zoe_leblanc

Digital Pedagogy interview with @zoe_leblanc

Listen! In this Leading Lines podcast episode, Zoe LeBlanc, a doctoral student at Vanderbilt talks about her experiments in digital pedagogy, her approach to using educational technology, and her career path as an aspiring digital historian. Zoe studies networks, ideas, and spaces in modern history, and […]