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Collaboration in the Online Classroom Paige Horton Christi Joyner Leigh Painter Jayne Stevens.

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Presentation on theme: "Collaboration in the Online Classroom Paige Horton Christi Joyner Leigh Painter Jayne Stevens."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collaboration in the Online Classroom Paige Horton Christi Joyner Leigh Painter Jayne Stevens

2 Why Collaborate? Promotes deeper levels of knowledge Promotes initiative, creativity and development of critical thinking skills Promotes Co-creation of knowledge Promotes Reflection Promotes confidence in using team work Promotes using real world practices Builds upon the students natural desire to interact with their peers.

3 Building Community want to do their part to make things work well influence each other to learn and work together use each other as resources for their own learning learn with fewer distractions because they know they have a place within the group expand their participation because they are invested in the success of the group increase their engagement because they are occupied with compelling activities When students believes they belong to a community, they…

4 Elements of Community All the are people involved Shared purpose Sharing information, experiences, interests, resources Guidelines Structure of the course, groundrules for participation and interaction Technology or Meeting Places Collaborative Learning Student-to-student interaction Reflection To reinforce and transform the learning

5 Why Do People Need to Learn to Work Together? Working together creates a sense of community. This feeling of belonging and importance may make a person take on more challenging tasks in the workplace, leading to a more successful career. In many workplace settings, each person contributes to a final product. Without the ability and confidence to work together, an individual may not be successful in his or her career. The ability to effectively work together also effects family life. The development of interpersonal and communication skills acquired by learning to effectively work together will ultimately lead to more fulfilling relationships and a more positive family life.

6 When Groups Work The project began with several introduction activities that were fun, humorous and enjoyable while at the same time allowed me to develop comfortable relationships with my group members As part of the assignment, we were to assign roles for each group member based on our perceptions of their strengths and levels of expertise. The project was ran solely by the participants and their designated roles The project was also graded solely by rubrics developed by the group through self as well as peer evaluations. Characteristics of the Working Group

7 When Groups Dont Work Characteristics of the Non-Working Group: First the project was developed by individuals some teachers, and some not. Those who were teachers taught very different subjects and therefore the interest and focus of the group was very diverse and the participants all wanted to complete the projects based on their interests. There were no Getting to Know You activities within this course so communication was very limited because we did not feel comfortable with each other. The members of the groups all had different work ethics, preferences and standards. There werent any grading criteria to guide the project or to inspire participants to pull their own weight.

8 8 Stages of Group Development Forming: when groups get to know one another Norming: when groups figure out how to work together Storming: Problem-solving where there will be disagreement and/or conflict Multiple Viewpoints are the most important advantage of teams Each member brings their own perspectives and experiences * Conflict results in higher quality products and greater success Performing: when groups work to complete the task Adjourning: when groups end the work and disband or regroup for other tasks

9 9 What Do I Need to Do as an Instructor? Set the Stage Examine your ability to be a facilitator of groups and to let students take charge of the group process prior to teaching your online class. Initiate a collaborative community with students at the onset of your class. Demonstrate and set netiquette guidelines. Establish protocols for how students will communicate online. Create the environment Explain the process how students will connect with clear details. Post a weekly communication plan. Clarify where students will meet and what times they will meet. Specify timeframe and deadlines for communications. Model the process Make sure to be online at least once a day. Post office hours and keep them. Check discussion threads as often as students are expected to post. Post announcements at least weekly.

10 What Do I Need to Do as an Instructor? Guide the process Be proactive – communicate with absent students. Respond to questions within 24 hours. Be a part of discussion threads while remembering to keep a facilitator role. Make sure to continue to make each student feel a sense of community. Evaluate the process Keep a list of suggestions from students. Make teacher notes throughout the course and use these to make improvements. Survey the students at the mid – course point and at the end of the course. Make a list of questions for yourself (such as clarity of instructions, relevance of assignments, etc.) and continually evaluate these questions.


12 12 Successful Collaboration To enhance successful collaboration Get students acquainted early through an Icebreaker Establish a Positive Tone & a Structured Course Reassure Students of Open Communication with the Instructor & Classmates Determine Strategies to Build a Successful Community Explore & Embrace Various Teaching & Learning Styles Encourage Online Communication through Peer-to- Peer Feedback and/or Small Group Collaboration Most Importantly, Engage the Online Learner

13 Interview with Jacobs Fork Middle School Students currently taking NCVPS classes Please click here to begin here

14 # of JFMS students taking NCVPS classes24# of JFMS students who stated they felt isolated in their online class 0 # of those taking semester classes21# who stated they did not feel isolated in their online class 24 # of those taking yearlong classes3# who stated they felt they had sufficient communication from their instructor 23 # of students currently involved in group activities in their on line class 0# who stated they felt they did not have sufficient communication from their instructor 1 # of students previously involved in group activities sometime during their online class 3# who liked their on line class experience24 # of students wanting to be involved in group activities in their online class 17# who feel like they are learning effectively24 # of students not wanting to be involved in group activities in their online class 7# who disliked their on line class experience and didnt fell like they were learning effectively 0 Survey Results regarding NCVPS experience:

15 Reasons JFMS kids gave for wanting online group activities… The work would be easier. Class would be more fun. It would make the time go faster. I would get to know someone from another school. I might learn more. We could share ideas. Projects could take less effort from one person. I could learn from somebody other than my teacher. Working with people makes school more interesting.

16 Reason JFMS kids gave for not wanting online group activities… Group work takes too long. I think that its boring. Why should we? There really is no reason. That would be more work. Teachers make us do dumb stuff in group work sometimes. I learn better by myself. Its hard to get along with the people in my groups.

17 Instructor challenge Every motive students gave for not wanting to do group work could be remedied by the online instructor Good planning and following best practices for online collaboration would ensure successful group learning experiences Rationales supporting online collaboration far outweigh any opposition

18 NCVPS at Jacobs Fork Middle The majority of NCVPS students at JFMS want group learning experiences Those involved in group work through NCVPS had positive experiences Attitude of students regarding group work and the isolation factor might not be representative of typical VPS classes because these students are required to meet daily for a set period of time they are in a physical group setting they have a physical teacher who can assist

19 References Wimba Pronto K-12 Education for a Lifetime WO Learning Champions behaviors behaviors TeAchnology Bright Hub Timothy Belloff http:// Toonlet ELearn Magazine

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