facilitating communication in online learning environments

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  1. 1. Facilitating Communication in Online Learning Environments
  2. 2. Education occurs when individuals interact with their learning environment. - John Dewey
  3. 3. Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Synchronous learning refers to a learning environment in which everyone takes part at the same time. Asynchronous learning is a student-centered teaching method that uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people. Blended uses both synchronous and asynchronous learning strategies Online learning is NOT independent learning Lets Discuss! In blended and asynchronous learning environments how does the role of faculty shift? How does the student role shift?
  4. 4. Community of Inquiry Model Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2000) - Propose that learning takes place within a community. Cognitive presence - the extent to which the participants are able to construct meaning through sustained communication created by interactions among the teacher, students and the content of the course Teacher presence - Online teaching requires instructors to change their approach to both the course curriculum and management teacher presence sets the climate where learning and knowledge sharing occurs Social presence - the extent to which students project themselves into the learning community
  5. 5. How is communication different in an online environment? What are some of the challenges and advantages of communication in online environments?
  6. 6. Teaching Presence In asynchronous online learning environments presence is vital for the success of the course! Teaching presence design, facilitation and the direction of the cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educational worthwhile learning outcomes Garrison, Anderson, Archer, 2001 What do you do (or would you do) to create teaching presence in your online course?
  7. 7. Teaching Presence - Best Practices Starting Your Course off With Strong Presence - Faculty are the directors of the learning experience Be personal! Get acquainted with learner backgrounds online introductions at the beginning of the course, with discussion questions and topics on a social, personal and reflective level develops relationships and build community Ensure that all learners are present and engaged touch base with those not participating early on Continue to connect with disengaged learners throughout the course Set clear expectations for the course Netiquette Respond to all emails promptly (within 24 hours) communicate to students what your response policy is (i.e. no emails on weekends if this is your practice)
  8. 8. Teaching Presence Best Practices Start each week with an email discussing what will be covered this week Be present multiple times a week in some way Communicate your presence i.e. if you are going to be at a conference for 3 days and wont be checking emails, let your students know Inform students on what they need to do to be successful Provide time management tips Encourage students who have a smartphone with data plan to set up their phone for their college email Create lecture videos, instructional videos Weekly and varied activities keep students engaged Provide lots of feedback on assignments Try and make personal connections (if appropriate) Do some group activities
  9. 9. Announcement Sample GE113 Unit 3 This Unit Will Change Your Life!! Happy Monday! This week we are working on Unit #3 which is on time management and goal setting. Time management is often a huge struggle for college students and for many people in their careers. Learning how to manage you time effectively can be life changing. Many of us waste the time we have or use it ineffectively. This unit will really help you to make the most out of the time you have. Ive had numerous students tell me the information in this unit has been life changing for them. For your unit assignment this week there is a great video to watch. You will have questions to answer from this video. You will also have a major assignment due on emotional intelligence. These assignments are due this Sunday by midnight. Click on the link below to find your emotional intelligence assignment (links only appear in the announcements page not in emails). Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
  10. 10. Discussion Boards - Purpose If it's done right, online discussion can be an extremely effective learning strategy. They promoting student engagement and transforming online courses into robust learning communities. Encourage critical and creative thinking Achieve social interaction and community building Validate experiences Support students in their own reflections and inquiries Occur asynchronously Students have time for thought and reflection
  11. 11. Effective Discussion Boards Who has run or participated in a discussion board for a course before (either as a student or teacher)? What worked well and why? What didnt work well and why?
  12. 12. Discussion Board Best Practices Provide guidelines and instructions on how to post https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVqWcrMPxfY Colleges Respect campaign Develop a strong rubric at the outset samples posted with the resources Stager due dates for responses midpoint post, respond to other students Create open ended questions that learners can explore and apply the concepts they are learning do not use yes or no questions Prepare posts that invite responses, questions, discussion and reflections Provide choices and options (provide a variety of questions) Welcome the unexpected. Students will bring different perspectives and change the community dynamic. As long the community is a safe place for participants, let the community evolve.
  13. 13. Discussion Board Best Practices Model Socratic-type probing and follow-up questions. Why do you think that? Be involved in the discussion board but not too involved Clarify, encourage, validate, ask further questions to engage discussion Let the students take the lead too much engagement on the part of the instructor can shut students down Consider developing a summary post after the discussion has closed for the students - this would be an appropriate time to add your reflections Celebrate active involvement
  14. 14. SY125 Sample Discussion Board Listen to this CBC interview about the school system in Finland. Below are a number of discussion questions. You don't need to answer all of them; I am looking to start a number of different discussions on education in Canada. What did you find interesting about the Finnish school system? How does it compare to ours? Do you think their approach would be more effective for us to adopt? Finland is more socialist than Canada which means there is less economic disparity amongst people overall. Do you think this impacts their schooling successes? What are your experiences with education? Did you have positive or negative experiences? What do you think can be done to improve our education system or do you think it's great the way it is? Our textbook discusses how social class is reproduced in our school system. Can you think of examples from your experiences that demonstrate this?
  15. 15. Designing Effective Discussion Board Questions In your group select a course (either a course you have taught or taken) and design a discussion board that you think will elicit good class discussion. Why do you think this is a good discussion board question?

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