1 Developing Learner-led Knowledge Generating Online Communities Based on Engaging the Online Learner (Conrad and Donaldson, 2004)
2 What Does Being Empowered Mean? Webster: to give power to; authorize; enable
3 Reflection Question #3: What could be learned if the instructor got out of the way???
4 Power Sharing Shared not “transferred wholesale” Faculty make key decisions – not allDecisions have student inputGradual process(Weimer, 2002)
5 What Should Learners Have the Power to Do? Expand outcomesDevelop new insightsHelp others develop knowledgeShare their knowledgeLead knowledge generation
6 What Do Learners Need to Lead? Instructor “permission”Tone of the courseClear guidelinesBase outcomesIdeas for activitiesFew restrictionsAdequate planning timeCheckpointsSupportive PeersConsequences for lack of supportProcess to evaluate supportModeling of activities by instructorReason to do itApplication / relevance to their lives
7 Key Activity Elements Timing Determiner (instructor or learner?) Degree of “open-ness” and creativityLevel of authenticityAbility to discuss more than “the” answer
8 The Phases of Engagement (Conrad and Donaldson, 2004)
9 Phase 1 Phase 2 Learner - Newcomer Instructor - Coordinator of Interactions (Social)Activities are social / orientation-likeExamples: Icebreakers, individual introductions, discussions concerning community issues such as Netiquette rules and EmoticonsLearner - CooperatorInstructor - Structural EngineerForms dyads of learners in anticipation of larger group formationActivities require critical thinking, reflection and sharing of ideasExamples: Peer reviews, activity critiques, case studies
10 Phase 3 Phase 4 Learner - Collaborator Instructor - Facilitator Activities require small groups to collaborate, problem solve, reflect upon experiencesExamples: content discussions, role plays, debates, jigsaws, etc.Learner - Initiator of interactivityInstructor - Community MemberActivities are learner-designed and/or learner-ledExamples: Group presentations and projects, learner-facilitated discussions
11 Individual vs. Team-led Safety in numbersHelps build confidenceProvides multiple perspectives for activity developmentSmall Teams3 to 5 membersminimizes learners opting out of the activity or TOO many voices.Peer accountabilitypeers evaluate the participation and activity quality
12 Activity - Team Building You are with a group of fellow students in a hot air balloon. It has been a delightful journey until you notice that you are quickly descending for no aparent reason. Dangerous power lines are below the balloon and quick action is necessary. One of you will need to be sacrificed over the side so that the rest will live.Explain to the group at your table why you should be chosen to survive. Your explanation should include what you will offer to the team as a project member. Remember, your life and the survival of the team will depend on the strength of the members chosen.
13 Activity Outcomes Convey basic outcomes in syllabus Communicate that learners could develop additional ones for the activityLearners should communicate outcomes to instructor
14 Choosing Activity Type Appropriate to type of outcomeSimpleTechnologicallyPedagogicallyExamples:PresentationsDiscussionsRole-playsDebatesGames
15 Orientation and Planning Concept of learner-led activities introduced at the beginningSyllabus: detailed description of the activity & learner responsibilitiesBegin thinking about the activities after the first 25% of completed courseTime to begin planning at least 5 weeks before activity.Instructor-team discussion time 3 weeks before the activity.The instructor is counselor and consultant.
16 Example of Learner-led Activity Hi Everyone! Our project is simple and straightforward. There are just a few steps involved.Step #1Read our scenario prior to the class session. It is posted on the General Class Discussion board. You will need to come to class ready to discuss possible solutions to our scenario. Be sure to finish the assigned readings for the week.Step #2On the night of our class presentation, we will ask you to go to the color chat room to which you were assigned at the beginning of the course. There are separate chat areas for red, blue, green and white color rooms.
17 Example of Learner-led Activity Step #3Select one representative from your color group to present your responses during the last 30 minutes of class discussion. We will visit the color chat rooms throughout your discussion.Step #4We ask that each group meet for the first 30 minutes of class, then return to the Main Room for a class presentation. One representative from each color group needs to be prepared to present their collective responses.If you have any questions, please post them in the General Class Discussion area.Thanks, Team One
18 The Ugly Side of Empowerment What do you do if they try to give the power back?
19 The Ugly Side of Empowerment Free Rider Effectmember opts out / leaves it to others to completeSucker Effectenthusiastic member is “allowed” to do it allStatus Sensitivity Effecthigh ability members take chargeSalomon (1995) describes various means of exploitation as:The ‘free rider’ effect where one team member just leaves it to the others to complete the task; the ‘sucker effect’ whereby a more active or able member of a team discovers that he or she is taken for a free ride by other team members; the ‘status sensitivity’ effect whereby high ability or very active members take charge and thus have an increasing impact on the team’s activity and products. (p. 1)Salomon, 1995
20 Assessment Peer Evaluation Community Evaluation Self Assessment Did all team mates participate?Community EvaluationWas this a meaningful activity?Self AssessmentWhat knowledge was generated?How will it be applied?Instructor EvaluationWere outcomes achieved?
21 Rubric Defines performance levels Clearly specifies expectations for the activity and effort required for a particular scoreCould have 2 rubrics1 for team1 for participants (team can develop)
22 Checklist for Learner-Led Activity Learner engagement planned in phasesObjectives clearly stated in syllabusRubric for grading of the activityConcept of learner-led activity introduced at beginning of courseSeveral weeks provided for learner planning of activityCreative opportunity in choice and implementation of activityCourse participation grade includes learner-led activities
23 Activity - Learner-led Knowledge Generating Activity With your group, develop a Learner-led Knowledge Generating activity using the Community Development Plan.You will have 20 minutes for discussion and planningThe final 15 minutes will provide you with a chance to implement your activity at another tableBe ready to discuss:what were the AHAs you experienced?what were the challenges you faced?how would this work in your own instructional session?