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Online Discussion Forums Pat Anderchek Coordinator/Faculty Liaison IAR Connections 05.

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Presentation on theme: "Online Discussion Forums Pat Anderchek Coordinator/Faculty Liaison IAR Connections 05."— Presentation transcript:

1 Online Discussion Forums Pat Anderchek Coordinator/Faculty Liaison IAR Connections 05

2 Welcome Tips & Reasons Oh my/ Barriers Our Role Experiences & Thoughts

3 Please comment, ask, interject, question at any time! During this session…

4 Your experiences, your questions Introduction

5 Learning involves two types of interaction: interaction with the content & interpersonal interaction.

6 Online discussion is one learning strategy to increase interpersonal interaction.

7 We suggest that when you use discussion forums you start small and grow…

8 Asynchronous - messages are left and read by others whenever they choose to log in Synchronous – real time – chatting, instant messaging Terminology

9 Assumption Through discussion forums we increase communication and therefore our students: move from passive to active learnersmove from passive to active learners learn with greater meaninglearn with greater meaning move from surface to deeper learningmove from surface to deeper learning have a greater retention of their learninghave a greater retention of their learning

10 Which means… Students have an improved learning experience and enjoy greater success when we provide the opportunity for online discussion in their courses.

11 Advantages Promotes virtual learning communityPromotes virtual learning community Interact at a distance, overcome isolationInteract at a distance, overcome isolation Accommodates different schedulesAccommodates different schedules Time to think before participatingTime to think before participating Promotes critical thinking, reflection, analysisPromotes critical thinking, reflection, analysis Initial postings often sets the tone for future postingsInitial postings often sets the tone for future postings Use skills necessary for workplace & personal livesUse skills necessary for workplace & personal lives

12 Advantages (con’t) Levels the playing field – reserved studentsLevels the playing field – reserved students Cultural/gender/special needs implicationsCultural/gender/special needs implications –more time to formulate, spell check etc. –more time to formulate, spell check etc. Improves writing skillsImproves writing skills Written account – more accurate assessment of student thinking and learningWritten account – more accurate assessment of student thinking and learning Clearer participation gradesClearer participation grades

13 Disadvantages Takes time Takes time Requires reliable access to network Requires reliable access to network Not spontaneous Not spontaneous Must be moderated, monitored Must be moderated, monitored Requires clear expectations regarding netiquette, #of postings, quality of posting, grading Requires clear expectations regarding netiquette, #of postings, quality of posting, grading Cultural/gender/special needs implications Cultural/gender/special needs implications Misunderstanding Misunderstanding

14 “discussion is by its very nature unpredictable” Steven Brookfield

15 Invest timeInvest time Model effective use, therefore be comfortable and proficient with the technologyModel effective use, therefore be comfortable and proficient with the technology Be promptBe prompt Set expectations for participation –netiquette, rubricSet expectations for participation –netiquette, rubric Keep discussion on trackKeep discussion on track Contribute special knowledgeContribute special knowledge Weave together various threads and/or connect to content.Weave together various threads and/or connect to content. Faculty Role

16 Probe for student responses that focus on critical concepts, principles and skills & reinforce theseProbe for student responses that focus on critical concepts, principles and skills & reinforce these Maintain group tone and harmonyMaintain group tone and harmony Become the expert questionersBecome the expert questioners Manage agenda, pace, objectives, timelines, rulesManage agenda, pace, objectives, timelines, rules Manage flow and direction without stifling participantsManage flow and direction without stifling participants Faculty role (con’t)

17 Reward participationReward participation Guide students towards a deeper analysis of the issues through constructive feedbackGuide students towards a deeper analysis of the issues through constructive feedback Introduce contradictions, play devil’s advocate, link to controversial sitesIntroduce contradictions, play devil’s advocate, link to controversial sites Provide feedback frequentlyProvide feedback frequentlyOr assign the role of ‘moderator’ Faculty role (con’t)

18 ModeratorModerator LurkerLurker ParticipantParticipant Student roles

19 Keep discussion on trackKeep discussion on track Manage flow and directionManage flow and direction Weave together various threadsWeave together various threads Develop critical thinking, reflection, and skills in analysisDevelop critical thinking, reflection, and skills in analysis Improve writing skillsImprove writing skills Improve questioning skillsImprove questioning skills Develop leadership skillsDevelop leadership skills Develop listening, summarization skillsDevelop listening, summarization skills Provides reliefProvides relief Moderator Role

20 Allow students to pick their schedule for moderator roleAllow students to pick their schedule for moderator role As faculty, identify the initial discussion question/topic for the weekAs faculty, identify the initial discussion question/topic for the week Reinforce effective moderator activities through comments both public and privateReinforce effective moderator activities through comments both public and private Self assessment of participation Self assessment of participation How

21 Read and think questions Imagine… Imagine… How did you feel about… How did you feel about… Consider what you have read …. & Consider what you have read …. & Evaluate… Evaluate… Compare Compare Describe a situation… Describe a situation… These contrasting views…. which means to you…. These contrasting views…. which means to you…. Comment on classmates posts…. links Comment on classmates posts…. links Types of Questions

22 Asking the right questions is almost always more important than giving the right answers.

23 Rubric

24 Rubric Source: Adapted from the Davenport online Faculty Training Course Quantity and Timely contributions (responses to other students and me) __ (2.5) Well distributed: 5 contributions well distributed throughout wk __ (2) Somewhat distributed: 3-5 contributions somewhat distributed throughout wk __ (1) Not distributed: 1-5 contributions not distributed throughout wk __ (0) None: no contributions or only minimal answers

25 Rubric Quality of contribution and demonstration of knowledge __ (.5) Excellent - Clearly understands concepts and incorporates them in discussion Always advances discussion Always includes examples and real life applications __ (.3) Average - Understands concepts and incorporates them in discussion Often/sometimes advances discussion Often/sometimes includes examples and real life applications

26 Rubric Quality of contribution and demonstration of knowledge __ (.1) Below Average: Not evident concepts are understood and are not incorporated in discussion Responses are copied, have little to do with concepts and doesn’t advance discussion Examples and real life applications are not included

27 Roles

28 Cannot expect ongoing high level participation throughout an entire courseCannot expect ongoing high level participation throughout an entire course Cannot participate in several course discussions simultaneouslyCannot participate in several course discussions simultaneously Assign grades for quality not quantity of participationAssign grades for quality not quantity of participation Scaffolding -familiarize learners with the toolsScaffolding -familiarize learners with the tools Cautions

29 Don’t take on more than you can handleDon’t take on more than you can handle Always going to classAlways going to class Requires time to provide: clear expectations, good models & examples, recognition/reinforcement and develop questionsRequires time to provide: clear expectations, good models & examples, recognition/reinforcement and develop questions Cautions (con’t)

30 Number of conference spacesNumber of conference spaces -difficult to follow discussion threads if only one conference -difficult to follow discussion threads if only one conference Areas each with a specific focusAreas each with a specific focus Large groupsLarge groups Smaller groupsSmaller groups Social areaSocial area Group working areasGroup working areas Structure ?

31 Think of your course conference area as the trunk of a tree. The discussion areas are the branches. WelcomeSubmission Q. and A. Discussion Case Study SolidPedagogy

32 Opportunity& Introduces a new freedom to learning! Conclusion Learning Technology Provides:

33 Questions? ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

34 Lets go…

35 Sites/References

36 Sites/References Bedard-Voorhees, A., Increasing Engagement for Online and Face-To-Face learners through Online Discussion Practices League for Innovation in the Community College, 2005 Boettcher, J.V, Conrad, R., Faculty Guide for Moving Teaching and Learning To the Web League for Innovation in the Community College, 2005 Schweizer,H., Designing and Teaching an On-line, Pearson Education Company, 1999

37 Presentation Content & Construction Pat Anderchek ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________


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