A question we are all simultaneously wrestling with: “Who am I?” “Identity is a becoming; the work of identity is ongoing and pervasive” (Wenger, 1998, p. 163). Ties between teacher identity and teacher roles *"Enacted in every pedagogy are the tensions between knowing and being, thought and action, theory and practice, knowledge and experience, the technical and the existential, the objective and the subjective" (Britzman, 1991, p. 2).
How do teachers find themselves renegotiating their roles in the classroom when they move from facilitating discussion face-to-face to facilitating online discussion forums? What initially motivates teachers to adopt a hybrid discussion model? What types of feedback/prompts/comments characterize teacher participation on a VLE? What types of student participation result from teacher involvement? What best-practice recommendations do teachers have for facilitating online discussion forums?
Dillenbourg et al. (2002): “the pedagogical challenge is not to imitate face-to-face interactions, but to explore different new communication functionalities that are effective in virtual learning environments.” Xu (2009): It’s necessary “for the teachers and students to make adjustments and put on new ‘hats’ as far as their roles are concerned in the ‘blended’ teaching and learning discourse... the CMC discourse often divests instructors of their teaching charisma and years of FTF teaching skills.”
The move of teacher feedback from the private to the public realm (Wake et al., 2007) “A regime of mutual accountability” (Wake et al., 2007) A move from “knowledge transmission to knowledge construction” (Xu, 2009) “Increasing interactivity and collaboration, emphasizing processes, and viewing learners as co- producers of knowledge” (Scott & Ryan, 2008)
BEFORE DISCUSSION (Determining desired student participation and assessment; Setting objectives, choosing platform; Creating discussion topics) DURING DISCUSSION (Focus of literature) AFTER DISCUSSION (Research GAP)
Anderson et al. (2001) facilitating discourse and direct instruction (intellectual/scholarly leadership) Goodyear et al. (2001) cycle of feedback, validation, and facilitation of a range of online activities Harasim et al. (1997) monitoring and encouraging participation and moderating and facilitating group processes Mason (2001) online facilitation skills and provision content and access to online resources Salmon (2003) online communication skills and troubleshooting, using emotions and solve conflicts, content expertise, creative feedback, building on participants ideas, positive attitude and commitment for online learning Lim & Cheah (2003) providing technical guidance; participating actively (answering queries, providing feedback and posing conflicting views to elicit thinking/reflection); keeping the discussion focused; drawing conclusions; providing content expertise; and recommending resources for extension of learning.
Social Constructivism (Vygotsky, 1978) Community of Learners/Practice/Inquiry (Yeh, 2010; Oren et al., 2002; Lave & Wenger, 1991): *Communities of Practice: emphasis on “the relational character of knowledge and learning, and... the concerned (engaged, dilemma-driven) nature of learning activity for the people involved” (Lave &Wenger, 1991, p. 33). New Literacies Approach (Gee, 2003; Kress, 2003; Street, 2005)
Participatory Assessment Network 2009 Fall Semester: War of Vietnam Unit; Discussion Forums (40 questions) Personal Interviews with Jane (grad student at IU), Beth (high school teacher at alternative school), and Grace (high school English teacher at rural public school) Computer-Mediated-Discourse Analysis (Herring, 2004) Participation Analysis (Xu, 2009): “the contribution and engagement of the teachers and the students, the changing roles of the teachers and the students.”
“I have had issues getting students involved in classroom discussions for years. I would ask a question, and students would just sit and wait me out... Evidently, allowing students to use a journal to write in before discussion enabled more voices to speak, and allowing them to go back to the journal after discussion ensued created even more opportunities for learning.... This seemed to work very well and improved classroom discussion and student understanding. I used the online discussion forum to replace the journals. I think that this was a natural progression.” (Grace)
“.It felt like the stakes went up for the students...there was an outside audience and it wasn’t a known audience... having this other audience is really powerful for kids to try on other academic identities...That’s also something that’s really important for kids as they move out.. as we prepare them for life-not college, not just college, not just workplace. Just so we have this phenomenon of invisible audiences..and trying to picture this audience and write for this audience is a really important and high level skill... “ (Jane)
*“collaboration” and interaction: “my goal was that they would talk with each other and when I do feel like I’m doing best practice things that’s my goal is for them to talk to each other.. and it’s hard to do... Ultimately what I want is for kids to be able to know what the concept is... that is part of their working vocabulary but part of their understanding and part of when they approach another book a similar kind of thing they’ll be able to do that anywhere... a TV show or whatever.” (Beth)
“The main reason I dislike Moodle so much is I have to go through a district tech person at North to load up my students, and there are always glitches. I still don't have all of the students in my classes loaded to the Moodle site we're currently using. Students like Ning better. They can personalize their page, and I find when we use it, they seem to have more a sense of ownership.” (Beth)
“... I think that what I found more than anything is that there really isn't one 'right' answer. I think we have to understand our students and work to find the solution that benefits each student the most. “ (Grace)
“I just tell my student to respond (they know that's my expectation), and I think that comes from the relationship I have and try to build with my students. If they don't respond, they aren't penalized with points deducted. I still encourage them (those who hesitate). They know up-front that I won't force anyone, just like I never force anyone to share a piece of writing. Students are invited to do this, and most accept the invitation, and I think this frees them and allows them to feel safer. It's not a problem at all. Most students like to respond on the Ning.” (Beth)
“in terms of participatory assessment, one thing we say is we want to provide multiple evidence for participation... so you might not be the first person ever to answer the question, but you might be the one to ask questions about the response... the arguers, the heavy users and the people who are lighter users or lurkers maybe.. “ (Jane)
“Working in this environment is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, you must agree to abide by these rules for this to work and be a productive part of our education landscape. Please read the rules below and be prepared to discuss any issues related to these rules. For social networking to be used in education, it is important that all of us agree to treat one another as we would like to be treated.” (Homepage of Ning Site) I feel pretty strongly that students should talk about and develop their own set of rules and norms. I doubt that many of my students have even looked at [the Ning rules].... (Beth)
O'Brien uses a conversion between Kiowa and Dobbins to show a contrasting view on church. Kiowa grew up in a religious atmosphere, enjoys churches, and is extremely respectful. Dobbins attended a church as a child, but he does not think the church is a place for him. He is still interested in being kind to people. This is important because it allows us to see their separate personalities. We are able to further understand their motives, and the story as a whole. (Mike) maybe fighting in the war gave him somewhat of a confidence boost... idk like it made him feel good to know he was helping his country, like a huge honor. so when he left and got a lil somn' somn' if you know what i mean lol, maybe after that he was ready to go help his country some more. (Kelly)
“The problem is that once she started working with Grace her students got a little bit intimidated I think because [Beth] doesn’t care about grammar and punctuation and structure and stuff and doesn’t want them to care about it either. Grace’s students are more advanced so... they automatically treated it like doing school. (Jane)
You don’t ever want to ask known answer questions... because they’ll try to respond the ways the teacher wants them to...Try to come up with questions that are open enough to make that possible.... One of our guiding principles is that we have these formalisms and we want kids to be able to have time to enlist them and use them even if they use them wrong it doesn’t matter until later on.. We want to push off the figuring off if they are right or wrong until later which means that the discussion forums are a place for them to try out the formalisms and that would ideally be part of how we use forums. (Jane)
“There are several reasons for my lack of consistent input. One is that at first I was letting them engage with each other. They were able to moderate their own discussions and seemed to be doing well with it... I wanted my students to become comfortable with the process without worrying about me 'watching' their every move.” (Grace) “I think that there’s this definite tradeoff- if you jump into the forum as a grownup, teacher, researcher whatever- immediately it becomes a more academic forum because you’re prodding and you’re there and it’s clear that you’re there and it’s just like a classroom setting.. So higher quality responses in terms of academic response, but what you lose is the spontaneity, you lose those other types of participation.” (Jane)
Jane went on to describe one students’ slightly off-color remark about a dramatically violent scene in The Things They Carried, during which some soldiers brutally kill a water buffalo: “this kid, he posts something like “he’s hungry for buffalo wings;” it was some vandal sort of thing- It was fine because it wasn’t disruptive and I’m not sure that would have happened if a teacher were in that forum, and there’s value in that kind of response because that’s a personal engagement, it’s a personal investment someone is making it’s funny, it’s creative, it has value..And we see it in lots of different types of forums.. That’s a legitimate way to respond to something and of course that wouldn’t be enough.. but it’s something.... so it’s kind of a tradeoff which I don’t quite understand the edges of.”
Correct/Enlarge Perspective Could it be that he is just afraid to accept the consequences of being a CO? There were a lot of negative consequences to trying to take that status, and running to Canada wasn't much better. (Grace) Draw Student to Say More Sally, I wish you'd say more about this. Can "made-up" stories make the stomach believe? (Beth) Move to New Topic I agree... I love the connection Jamie's making about "burdens"--both stories really are about burdens, which makes me wonder why Tim O'Brien made the decision to tell one of the stories in first person and one in third person. What do you guys think? (Jane) Clarify Direct Question This is such a hard question. I mean, we have that scene with Henry and Norman playing checkers--and the narrator makes it clear that the nice thing about checkers is that there's black and red. The opponent is easy to identify, and everything happens in nice straight lines, along a grid. So what do we do about the fact that the 'enemy' is sometimes the soldiers' best ally, as the poppa-san was by guiding the platoon through an area filled with land mines? What about his tears when the platoon had to leave? (Jane)
Pure and Simple Good thoughts there, Tom. (Melanie) Affirmation with Paraphrase Good points Kate. His mother could have been more flexible, right? (Melanie) Call for Response This is such a good question, Cheryl! and I hope people jump on it. It'sa pretty gory story, but yes, he says it's a "love story" and I can see how it is..... and it's even more a "love story" than Rat Kiley's love for his comrade, Curt Lemon. I'd really like to know what people think about this topic.......(Beth) Praise for Originality I had not thought of this but it makes total sense and makes me understand that scene in an entirely new way. Thank you, Kate. (Jane)
I find this the most difficult part of the book to read, Kate. Maybe it's the way he tells this part of the story. Maybe it's because it's just so wrong to torture an innocent creature, and we know it is, and yes, it was disturbing that none of the men stopped Rat and that they just sat there and accepted it. I think part of the reason might have been that they understood the depth of Rat's pain and accepted the need for him to inflict pain on something else to make himself feel better. I don't think I could have done that (sat there and watched it--without doing something). I don't know.... (I mean, I've never been in a war situation, and it's very hard for me to imagine how I would react, even having read the book and trying very hard to imagine). How can it make a person in pain feel better to inflict pain in others? Why do people do this? (Beth)
Maybe he just couldn't help himself. He knows there's no point, no moral, but every once in a while he wakes up in the middle of the night understanding what it all meant, and even though that disappears by day he's just so driven to try to make it have a point that he has to write the stories down. (Jane)
Student: “he is [definitely] not a hero he shot one of his own then he got shot and then someone had to come and save him.” Melanie: “I think anyone who has the guts to go serve in combat is a hero, because they are willing to sacrifice for the greater good. Even if the war was right or wrong, the things he went through and witnessed are far beyond what I would ever want to do.”
I bet if Tim O'Brien told everything exactly how it "actually" happened, it wouldn't affect us in the same way. Like, say Rat had "actually" just shot the water buffalo once in the head, but to Tim O'Brien it ~felt~ like this really slow, torture-filled killing. He could only make us experience it like he did if he told something other than the truth. But isn't that lying? (Jane)
First, Beth employed a reference to an upcoming activity as inspired by a student contribution, then taught a mini-lesson on writing, then affirmed the question a student contributed, and finally moved to ask some follow-up questions: That reminds me--we have to listen to the song, "Lemon Tree" and think about it--the music and lyrics-- as they relate to Lemon's death. I see O'Brien using light here at least in part as a writerly technique. This chapter is full of opposites and contridictory elements..... and that moment as Lemon dies in the bright sunlight really contrasts with the gory of the scene that followed. I think O'Brien was writing at his masterful best here, and yes, it was almost beautiful. Good question--how do we see Lemon before, during, and after his death? How does O'Brien portray him? Why does he portray him this way, and why does this matter in the story?
Mere question-answering: Repetition and unacknowledged idea-rephrasing. Tom (Response #1): he still wears them because every time he used to wear them, he would come out of very dangerous situations without a single scratch on him, and he feels that even though his girlfriend broke up with him, they are [still]l just as good of luck as when she was his girlfriend Rob (Response #10): He still wears the stockings [because] he believes that they are good luck and [because] it reminds him of the good memories from back home.
“Parallel play”: Lone Answers you can take the soldier out of the war but you can't take the war out of the soldier. (Tim)
Pure and simple validation. -that's true. -i totally agree with this statement -haha. good point...(the dark) hahahahahahaha... :) -i agreee. -i like how you explained this adam.....i agree with you -you make a very good point here -thats a good point. their is no turning bak. once yer in...yer in. -i totally agree with you here my response is a lot like yours! -i agreed with this responses whoever you are. -I like the way you worded that, i agree completly with what you are saying. -Yup. Everyone has fears. -I really like and agree with this explanation. -I agree, you always have great thoughts and explanationd :)
Affirmation followed with paraphrase or expansion. Luca: I agree with your thoughts of shame, but i don't quite understand your idea of their shame and feeling bad leading them to do an act of heroism? Sara: i think that keith was saying that if someone felt ashame of something they did then that would lead them to subconsciously do an act of heroism or anything else that could help someone out. Ellie: i some what agree but i also get what he is saying because they feel bad and are ashamed so then they want to change, to show that they can be better. Kyla: This is true. I also disagree that shame was the primary motivator for heroism, but the fear of it. Sara: i agree with this because people do things when they are upset and also things like the killing of women and children
Arguing. Kevin: theyre ashamed of killing innocent people including themselves. some get cocky becuse of something heroic theyve done which could cause some one to let their guard down and thats where the stuppidity kicks in because not pying attention in the war would probably get u killed Julie: I agree with your theory of shame, but disagree with your cocky idea. The immense danger and stress soldiers face under fire and during wartime operations do not add up to cocky. Everyday, soldiers are compelled to make tough decisions that can determine the outcome of an engagement, and these are decisions that are notorious among our country's theory of a "hero". However, every soldier is a hero, and just because they are a hero does not lead to stupid mistakes, it means they are veterans that have the experiecne and knowledge of battles and planning and implement these tactics in order to safeguard their comrades.
Change in understanding. that is a really good point i never really thought about it that way. I would have changed my what i wrote if i would have thought about it in this way. [Because] now that i read this i do think that is a little surprising that he would say joining the war was an act of coward because he was not running from his fears but facing them. (Lila)
Off-topic talk. “great point here i kno im scared of the dark... which is why i have a 100lb pittbull lol aint no gooloes or ghoasties comin up in my crib or they finna get mauled lol.” (Carol)
Taking on teacherly roles. A final role that student occasionally performed included posting more teacherly comments, usually in the form of questions: “yes, but what is the difference between the two pains and why did he decide to go ahead and get a "good tooth" taken out?” (Sue)
“Actually... I run this kind of as a cycle, a three-pronged cycle I guess: I’ll introduce the topic or questions in a kind of way regular discussion so kids are thinking about that even if they’re not able to answer, and then we’ll use the Ning, and then we’ll talk about it afterwards. And then kids will actually talk at that point.” (Beth) “I found that as I asked more questions on the Ning, it fostered more class discussion. Students would make a comment about a response one of Beth's students made to one of my questions, and we would talk about it in class.” (Grace)
Staarman (2009) when introducing new communication technology in schools, educators need to take into account that even though students and teachers might be familiar with the new mode of communication, the established and conventionalised genre of communicating with that mode might not be considered appropriate in the classroom and new discursive ground rules may need to be re-established within that particular classroom context.
Investigate link between “roles” and “identity” Teacher Roles AFTER Online Discussion Links between student and teacher participation in online forums Student identity/roles when navigating between face-to- face and virtual environments Assessment Issues QUESTIONS?? firstname.lastname@example.org