Monthly Archives: January 2011

Defeating the Kobayashi Maru: Supporting Student Retention by Balancing the Needs of the Many and the One

Joni Dunlap and I recently had the following paper published in EDUCAUSE Quarterly.

Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2010). Defeating the Kobayashi Maru: Supporting Student Retention by Balancing the Needs of the Many and the OneEDUCAUSE Quarterly, 33(3).

In this article we share strategies for establishing personal, one-on-one relationships between online students and faculty, to attend to identity, individualization, and interpersonal interaction in support of student engagement and retention. Rather than focus on high-tech solutions, we focus on low-tech solutions — the telephone and e-mail — that all faculty and students have at their disposal. These strategies address the needs of the individual within a learning community by striving for balance between group and individual interactions — between the needs of the many and the one.

Read it online

Minority College Students and Tacit “Codes of Power”: Developing Academic Discourses and Identities

John W. White and I recently had the following paper published in the Review of Higher Education.

White, J. W., & Lowenthal, P.R. (2011). Minority College Students and Tacit “Codes of Power”: Developing Academic Discourses and IdentitiesReview of Higher Education, 34(2).


This paper examines an often-overlooked contributing factor to minority student collegiate attrition: students’ limited knowledge of—and sometimes resistance to—the kinds of academic discursive practices they need to become “full participants” (Lave & Wenger, 1991) in the university setting. Adopting a Vygotskian view of sociolinguistics, we also posit that linguistic and communicative dissonance from the discourse community of the university prohibits the development of a collegiate academic identify. Rather, because language is so strongly rooted to culture and identity, some minority students openly resist the adoption of the very discursive skills they need to survive and thrive at college.

Call for Papers on Emotions in Online Learning

The Internet and Higher Education

Special Issue Call for Papers on, Emotions in Online Learning Environments: Theory, Research, and Practice

Special Issue Editor: Anthony R. Artino, Jr. Ph.D.

Scholars have recently called for more inquiry on the role of emotions in education.  Although the dynamics of emotions that emerge during online learning may be less apparent than those experienced during traditional classroom instruction, limited empirical evidence suggests that emotions are important contributors to learning and achievement in online environments.  However, educators currently know little
about the complexity of student and teacher emotions and their potential influence on academic outcomes in online contexts.

Accordingly, The Internet and Higher Education (INTHIG) invites papers for a special issue focusing on understanding the role of emotions in online learning environments (OLEs).  Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • How emotions develop and evolve in OLEs;
  • How students and teachers regulate their emotions in OLEs;
  • Emotional states and traits in online learning processes;
  • Assessing emotions in OLEs;
  • The influence of emotions on cognition, motivation, behavior, collaboration, and achievement in OLEs;
  • The emotional experience of being an online instructor;
  • How emotional factors can be integrated into existing theories of online learning; and
  • OLE design features and instructional activities that impact student and teacher emotions.

Manuscripts that focus on theoretical, empirical, and practical issues will be considered, and manuscripts that employ qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods designs are welcomed and encouraged. All submissions should follow the usual format for INTHIG submissions and should adhere to existing INTHIG Author Guidelines, which can be found on the submission website (see link below).

Authors are requested to submit manuscripts via the Elsevier Editorial System no later than June 1, 2011.  The submission website can be found at  To ensure all manuscripts are correctly identified for inclusion into the special issue, authors are asked to please select << Emotions in OLEs >> when they reach the “Article Type” step in the submission process.

To request additional information, please contact the Special Issue Editor:

Anthony R. Artino, Jr., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Phone: (301) 319-6988, Email: (email preferred)

Video converters

I regularly meet with faculty who need to convert their videos from one format to another (e.g., they might have old wmv files that certain users can’t access). While I often start by recommending using a tool like YouTube (e.g., for its ease of use and the public / sharing nature of the tool) to convert videos into an accessible format, faculty often have a number of reasons why they don’t want to use YouTube (which perhaps the best reason is that their video is longer than 15 minutes long).

For some time I was recommending that faculty use either Handbrake or Hamster. While  both of these tools have their benefits (e.g., Handbrake offers a ton of options and Hamster has a nice user friendly interface), I found over time that Handbrake was a bit too technical for some faculty and Hamster didn’t offer enough formats in their basic menu. So I began looking at  other (ideally free or very inexpensive) options and these are some that I have come across. Please comment on your experience using any of these video converters.

Real Player Converter for Windows

AVS Video Converter

Any Video Converter

Prism Video Converter

Squared 5


Media Converter