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Filling the Hunger for Learning: Communing and Breaking Bread Electronically Ruth Gannon Cook, Ed.D. School for New Learning DePaul University

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Presentation on theme: "Filling the Hunger for Learning: Communing and Breaking Bread Electronically Ruth Gannon Cook, Ed.D. School for New Learning DePaul University"— Presentation transcript:

1 Filling the Hunger for Learning: Communing and Breaking Bread Electronically Ruth Gannon Cook, Ed.D. School for New Learning DePaul University Gannon-Cook, R. (2010). Breaking bread. Retrieved from

2 Remember how much fun it was to get together with friends over Lunch, Dinner, or Coffee? Breaking Bread…. That’s the term for sharing a meal with friends and family….

3 So How Can We ReCreate This Kind of Human Connection in an Online Course? Well, a picture is worth a thousand words!!....

4 Sure, all the new tekkie bells and whistles can enlist the tech-enamored… But for those adult learners who are already stressed out by their daily work and lives….maybe some of the best solutions are also the most… Simple!!

5 “Course management systems, like any other technology, have an inherent purpose implied in their design, and therefore a built–in pedagogy. Although these pedagogies are based on instructivist principles, today’s large CMSs have many features suitable for applying more constructivist pedagogies...

6 Yet few faculty use these features, or even adapt their CMS very much, despite the several customization options. This is because most college instructors do not work or play much on the Web, and thus utilize Web–based systems primarily at their basic level. The defaults of the CMS therefore tend to determine the way Web–novice faculty teach online, encouraging methods based on posting of material and engendering usage that focuses on administrative tasks.” (Lane, 2009)

7 Seldom are other factors that affect student learning in online courses addressed, such as Student’s educational and cultural histories they bring into the course How much more technology will lead to cognitive overload How using simple devices to link prior learning and help students integrate new learning, such as signs, symbols, pictures…can help students’ learning comfort zones…

8 How To Enlist Adult Learners Apply the Pareto Principle! 20% use of simple technologies can beget 80% absorption…let’s start with the “bread” example…

9 If discussions encourage food, or some other kind of metaphor that get the students’ attention, then you’ve opened the door to learning… and if you can combine that with encouraging students to share their experiences in narratives… you have a MUCH better chance ot keeping that student involved and willing to learn!


11 But the Pareto Principle Can Go Both Ways… For the students that are very tech savy, pure text poured online would be fine, they are already self-directed…but that’s only about 20% of the adult students….the rest are primarily visual learners who want the content …the MEAT…

12 and these 80% of your students stress out if they’re overloaded with having to use a lot of technological tools in addition to the fact that they have to do the readings and all the course assignments… So…

13 Celebrate! Here’s Some Simple Ways You Can Help Your Students Learn… Encourage Your Students To Share Their Prior Experiences in Your Discussions and Assignments Use Simple Signs and Symbols that are recognizable to reinforce points… Be sure to continue to “humanize” your courses with metaphors and stories that bring home your course content

14 Keep the Big Picture!!!

15 Remember too that this is one course that fits into “the Grid” of the Well Rounded Learner So What Are Some Other Simple Elearning Tools?

16 Besides pictures, symbols… Make it interesting…

17 You can always embed a few podcasts or videos

18 But Here Are Some Really Simple Teckkie Tools… TrySkype…, all you need is your PC, an eyecam and a mike! And What’s Really Great is Free Conference and it also free!!: ttp:// ttp:// Some kind of meeting that lets you actually include VOICE in your courses really helps to humanize them, and these two examples are very very simple for students to use… But even if you don’t use ANY other technologies than the Web Course itself, try including more pictures and recognizable symbols and metaphors in your courses. (While not all symbols are universal, many are, such as food, boats, campfires, family pictures, etc.)

19 Simple Tools Can Not Only Electronically Break Bread.. But Can Bring Online Teachers Their Just Desserts in Helping Their Students Remain in the Courses and Actually Integrate What They’ve Learned into Their Lives!

20 Any Questions? Please email me at if you have any, Thanks!

21 References First Monday, Volume 14, Number 10 - 5 October 2009 Gannon-Cook, R. (2010). Breaking bread. Retrieved from, R. (2010). Breaking bread. Retrieved from Gannon-Cook, R. (2009). Lessons learned from parietal art: Pansemiotics and elearning. Proceedings of the IADIS CELDA 2009 Conference held November 20, 2009 in Rome, Italy. Gannon-Cook, R., Crawford, C. (2009). Exhuming cultural artifacts to embed and integrate deep adult e-learning. Proceedings of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Conference in October in Louisville, KY. Lane, L. (2009). Insidious pedagogy: How course management systems impact teaching. Retrieved on April 16, 2010, from 2530/2303

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