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Active Learning with Technology: Myths, Magic, or Just a lot of Bonk

The IRLT community was cordially invited to attend a keynote address by noted researcher and speaker Professor Curt Bonk from Indiana University. The address was arranged in celebration of the opening of the Seneca/York TEL Institute in the new Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Building on the York Keele campus. It was held on Monday, December 8, 2003 in Room 0001 in the TEL Building from 10:30 am to noon.

This event was jointly sponsored by the York Institute for Research on Learning Technologies, the York Centre for the Support of Teaching, the York Faculty of Arts, Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, Office of Research and Innovation, and Centre for Professional Development.

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Myths and debates abound about the benefits of technology integration in higher education. The battles are even more heated related to trends in online learning. Based on extensive research, Curt Bonk will dispel myths related to the sophistication of instructional technologies, the difficulty of teaching with technology, time constraints, common obstacles, possible supports, and overall impact. Dr. Bonk will highlight instructional technologies and pedagogical strategies currently emerging to meet diverse student needs. He will also provide dozens of active learning ideas and solutions that motivate students and creatively engage them in deeper learning experiences. Instead of relying on magic, these techniques will be based on ten motivational principles related to tone or climate, feedback, engagement, meaningfulness, choice, variety, curiosity, tension, interactivity and collaboration, and goal setting.

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Dr. Curtis J. Bonk is a former CPA and corporate controller who is now a Professor of Educational Psychology as well as Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University. He also is founding member of the Center for Research on Learning and Technology at IU and a Senior Research Fellow with the Advanced Distributed Learning Lab in Washington, DC. Curt received the Burton Gorman Teaching Award in 1999, the Wilbert Hites Mentoring Award in 2000, the CyberStar Award from the Indiana Information Technology Association in 2002, and the Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual in Higher Education award from the U.S. Distance Learning Association in 2003. In 2003, he also received a State of Indiana award for Innovative Teaching in a Distance Education Program. During the past two years, Bonk has presented at universities in New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Finland, and the United Arab Emirates. He has more than 100 publications on topics such as online learning pedagogy, computer conferencing, motivation, future e-learning trends, and assessment and evaluation, including a 1998 book, "Electronic Collaborators" that was cited as a "Breakthrough Book" in Lingua Franca. He is President of CourseShare and SurveyShare. For further information see

  Curt Bonk

Ron Owston