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Developing Learner-led Knowledge Generating Online Communities

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Presentation on theme: "Developing Learner-led Knowledge Generating Online Communities"— Presentation transcript:

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 all Decisions have student input Gradual process (Weimer, 2002)

5 What Should Learners Have the Power to Do?
Expand outcomes Develop new insights Help others develop knowledge Share their knowledge Lead knowledge generation

6 What Do Learners Need to Lead?
Instructor “permission” Tone of the course Clear guidelines Base outcomes Ideas for activities Few restrictions Adequate planning time Checkpoints Supportive Peers Consequences for lack of support Process to evaluate support Modeling of activities by instructor Reason to do it Application / relevance to their lives

7 Key Activity Elements Timing Determiner (instructor or learner?)
Degree of “open-ness” and creativity Level of authenticity Ability 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-like Examples: Icebreakers, individual introductions, discussions concerning community issues such as Netiquette rules and Emoticons Learner - Cooperator Instructor - Structural Engineer Forms dyads of learners in anticipation of larger group formation Activities require critical thinking, reflection and sharing of ideas Examples: 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 experiences Examples: content discussions, role plays, debates, jigsaws, etc. Learner - Initiator of interactivity Instructor - Community Member Activities are learner-designed and/or learner-led Examples: Group presentations and projects, learner-facilitated discussions

11 Individual vs. Team-led
Safety in numbers Helps build confidence Provides multiple perspectives for activity development Small Teams 3 to 5 members minimizes learners opting out of the activity or TOO many voices. Peer accountability peers 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 activity Learners should communicate outcomes to instructor

14 Choosing Activity Type
Appropriate to type of outcome Simple Technologically Pedagogically Examples: Presentations Discussions Role-plays Debates Games

15 Orientation and Planning
Concept of learner-led activities introduced at the beginning Syllabus: detailed description of the activity & learner responsibilities Begin thinking about the activities after the first 25% of completed course Time 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 #1 Read 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 #2 On 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 #3 Select 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 #4 We 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 Effect member opts out / leaves it to others to complete Sucker Effect enthusiastic member is “allowed” to do it all Status Sensitivity Effect high ability members take charge Salomon (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 Evaluation Was this a meaningful activity? Self Assessment What knowledge was generated? How will it be applied? Instructor Evaluation Were outcomes achieved?

21 Rubric Defines performance levels
Clearly specifies expectations for the activity and effort required for a particular score Could have 2 rubrics 1 for team 1 for participants (team can develop)

22 Checklist for Learner-Led Activity
Learner engagement planned in phases Objectives clearly stated in syllabus Rubric for grading of the activity Concept of learner-led activity introduced at beginning of course Several weeks provided for learner planning of activity Creative opportunity in choice and implementation of activity Course 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 planning The final 15 minutes will provide you with a chance to implement your activity at another table Be ready to discuss: what were the AHAs you experienced? what were the challenges you faced? how would this work in your own instructional session?

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