Dec 5, 2011

ICDE interview

The ICDE Secretariat has asked me, as the President of EDEN, to answer the following two questions for their annual printed publication Highlights:
  1. What has been the most promising development within ODL in your region in 2011?
  2. Where do the main challenges lie in your region?
When I received the questions, I immediately thought of the dire economy as the toughest challenge for education in Europe. At the same time it appeared to me that Ipads and other mobile gadgets in combination with the growing culture for sharing through social media were the most promising developments in 2011. Another personal observation is that video lectures seem to pop up all over the Internet.

Nov 26, 2011

Online Learning Interview

Estela Gomes has asked me to answer these six interview questions for a course in her Master Degree in ELearning Pedagogy at the Open University of Portugal.

Nov 6, 2011

Never Waste a Crisis

Athens in late October was the perfect time and place for EDEN´s Open Classroom conference - Never Waste a Crisis. With the political and economical backdrop, I was intrigued by the optimistic attitude of the 206 delegates from 28 countries who focused more on opportunities for change than on the dire economic situation in Europe. Several of the presenters argued that an educational crisis will spur innovation and that the need for cost effective education will result in many opportunities for e-learning.

Oct 24, 2011

Boldic Award for our Scandinavian online program in multimediajournalism

The Boldic Award 2011 was anounced Friday, October 21th in Stockholm, and it was awarded the Scandinavian project Multimedia journalistikk by NKI Nettstudier, Berghs School of Communication and the Danish School of Media and Journalism.

Kristiina Müllersdorf (Berghs) and
Morten Flate Paulsen (NKI Nettstudier)
at the Boldic Award Ceremony

Oct 15, 2011

Penn State Alumni Feature

In March, I was interviewed by the Penn State Education Alumni Magazine. I did more or less forget about it, so I was surprised when I found the printed version in my mailbox today. Anyway, my original answers to the interview questions back in March are presented below the online version of the Magazine:

Oct 13, 2011

Elephant carpaccio for SCRUM Masters

Sergey Dmitriev
This week I attended a two day SCRUM Master course to learn more about the methodology we use in the development of SESAM - the learning management system (LMS) at NKI Nettstudier. The course was lead by Sergey Dmitriev (picture below), an inspiring and knowledgable coach, moderator and teacher from

Here are some of my reflections after the course:

Oct 8, 2011

Launching NKI's new Quality Barometers

Why I'm excited?

Because we are soon launching our new Quality Barometers for online teachers and courses - which I have spent much time and energy to design, specify and implement.

So, what are quality barometers?

Well, I perceive it as tools that continuously monitor and report quality in transparent ways. I strongly believe that transparent quality barometers are efficient and cost effective quality improvement tools.

Quality barometers are especially useful in online education environments with individual or flexible start-up and progression plans. Continuous monitoring is probably hard to implement in semester based educational environments.

NKI has several years of experience with a response barometer that monitors how much time it takes from a student submits an assignment to the teacher provides feedback and a grade. Since all students have individual progress plans and can submit their assignments 365 days a year, the response barometer continuously provides transparent information about our teachers' individual and collective response time.  During the last three months (summer vacation time included), our 140 online teachers have a collective response time of two days. I'm proud to tell that their average collective response time throughout 2010 was 1.8 days.

How could such barometers measure quality?

Thermometers measure temperatures in degrees, and ordinary barometers measure pressure in pascal or bar. I suggest that quality barometers could measure in quality in VESS (meaning VEry Satisfied or Satisfied). The idea comes from the fact that NKI uses a 5-point Likert-scale as shown in the figure. The five alternatives are Very satisfied, Satisfied, Neutral, Dissatisfied and Very Dissatisfied. With these five alternatives, we calculate the percentage of Very satisfied and Satisfied out of the total evaluations. If the evaluations are equally distributed among all five alternatives, the calculated quality would be 40%. A lower VESS reading indicates that you may have quality challenges.

How do NKI's new quality barometers for teachers work?

You have to have some patience, since I need a few more days to finish the English version of the nano-course  I'm developing to explain how it works.

I'll be back - in a few days.

Sep 10, 2011

Ukeavisen Nettstudier og fleksibel læring

Ukeavisen Nettstudier og fleksibel læring er et forsøk på å lage en automatisk generert nettavis som presenterer relevante artikler av interesse for nordmenn som er opptatt av nettstudier og fleksibel læring. Innholdet genereres automatisk på bakgrunn av utvalgte norske twitter og Facebook kanaler. Jeg har valgt ukentlig oppdatering fordi de aktuelle kanalene ikke produserer nok stoff til å lage en daglig avis.

Ukeavisen Nettstudier og Fleksibel Læring
Noen av de første utgavene tyder på at dette fungerer ganske bra:
23. november 2011
16. november 2011
09. november 2011 
02. november 2011

Aug 31, 2011

The Morten Flate Paulsen Daily

I wonder if an online teacher can set up a meaningful daily for an online course?
  • If you have a twitter account, it takes only five minutes to set up a new daily
  • It presents an impressing layout of relevant articles based on your twitter account
  • You probably need to set up a special twitter account for the course
  • And I suppose you need to configure the daily carefully to include the right content
Advice and comments are appreciated.

Aug 15, 2011

Lærerseminar på Globalskolen

Den 11. og 12. august deltok jeg på Globalskolens seminar på Møre Folkehøgskole i Ørsta, og smilet på veggen utenfor rommet mitt kan symbolisere både utviklingen til Globalskolen og min opplevelse av seminaret.

Aug 14, 2011

Online Teachers Deserve Decent Support Services

How can we help online teachers excel, and which support services provide excellence in online teaching?

Mathis Bongo
with his Teacher
of the year Award
Mathis Bongo at Sámi University College received NADE's Teacher of the year Award for innovative use of technology in online education for reindeer herders. NKI Nettstudier has several times acknowledged excellence in online teaching. Bjørn Helgeby was for example awarded for outstanding online teaching both in 2000 and 2004. The laudations focused on his rapid and good feedback to students.

Aug 10, 2011

Gode nettlærere fortjener et godt støtteapparat

Hva gjør nettlærere gode, og hvordan kan nettskolene tilby et støtteapparat som bidrar til nettopp det?

Mathis Bongo (Se ved Samisk Høgskole fikk nylig NFFs pris som årets nettlærer for innovativ bruk av teknologi i praktisk utdanning. NKI har også ved flere anledninger gitt spesiell anerkjennelse til utmerkede nettlærere. Bjørn Helgeby ble for eksempel utpekt som NKIs beste nettlærer både i 2000 og i 2004. Begrunnelsen var først og fremst at han ga studentene både raske og gode tilbakemeldinger.

Aug 5, 2011

Nettstudier i EDENs hage

I fjor sommer ble jeg valgt til president i EDEN - European Distance and E-learning Network, og i dette innlegget ser jeg med skandinaviske øyne på årskonferansen i Dublin i juni. Samtidig ønsker jeg å formidle noen av mulighetene vi får ved å delta i EDENs faglige nettverk og aktiviteter.