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FACILITATING ONLINE INTERACTIVITY & COMMUNICATION A workshop for Peralta Community College District Summer 2017 Kevin Kelly, Ed. D This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share. Alike 4. 0 International License.
2 Introductions and getting started Please introduce yourself and answer the following question in one sentence: What is one goal you want to achieve during this particular Distance Education workshop?
3 Session Objectives Teaching Technology • Plan student engagement • Post Announcements strategies • Create interaction opportunities • Write clear instructions for online activities • Create a learning community • Consider formal or informal group work • Monitor student progress • Identify Canvas communication tools • Explore Canvas calendar • Create a Canvas discussion forum • Create Canvas groups
4 SETTING THE STAGE
5 OEI Rubric Section B. 1: Interaction – Communication Strategies • Contact information for the • The instructor’s methods of instructor is easy to find and includes multiple forms of communication (for example, email, phone, chat, etc. ) • Expected response time for email replies (or other communication tool) is included • The instructor’s role within the course is explained (e. g. , instructor participation in discussions and activities, role— if any—in tech support, etc. ) collecting and returning work are clearly explained • There are plentiful opportunities for interaction, as appropriate • Communication strategies promote critical thinking or other higher order thinking aligned with learning objectives • Communication activities benefit from timely interactions and facilitate “rapid response” communication (i. e. , students gain practice discussing course content extemporaneously)
6 Activity • Task (3 -5 min): Update Canvas and/or syllabus • Add Communication information to your Course Information section • Include expected response time for communication • Define your role as instructor • Include participation levels in course activities (e. g. , forums) • Outline how you'll collect and return work • Include time estimate as a goal statement (e. g. , I intend to return feedback on written work within [one week/48 hours/etc. ])
7 About the Canvas "Syllabus" • The Canvas syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. • You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
8 FOSTERING COLLABORATION & INTERACTION
9 OEI Rubric Section B. 3: Interaction – Interaction Logistics • Guidelines explaining • The instructor plans to required levels of participation (i. e. , quantity of interactions) are provided • Expectations regarding the quality of communications (e. g. , what constitutes a “good” answer) are clearly defined • A rubric or equivalent grading document is included to explain how participation will be evaluated participate actively in communication activities, including providing feedback to students • The instructor plans to use communication tools effectively to provide course updates, reminders, special announcements, etc.
10 Canvas tools for interactivity Instructor-to-students Communicating w/ students • Calendar • Announcements Communicating 1 -on-1 • Inbox • Assignments (feedback) Student-to-student • Discussion forums • Collaborations (Google docs) • Groups
11 Using the Canvas calendar • Automatic entries • Due dates –any graded activity (Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes) • Manual entries • Due dates – Projects • Events
12 Activity: Calendar • Task (3 -5 min): • Set an important date in your course calendar
13 Making Announcements in Canvas • Making Announcements • Changing Notification Preferences
14 Activity: Announcements Task (3 -5 min): Create an announcement • Real-time announcements • Scheduled announcements
15 Creating engaging discussion prompts • Craft questions that drive students to go beyond “just the facts. ” • Consider how to use your questions as a means of creating community in the class. • Design activities that encourage students to explore course topics at a deeper level. • Relate the questions to students’ real-life experiences and challenges. (Zhu & Kaplan, 2014; as cited by Strang, 2015)
16 Writing discussion prompts to foster critical thinking • Foster critical thinking through cooperative (group) learning situations (Cooper, 1995) • Use questions to promote evaluation and synthesis of facts and concepts. • "Higher-level thinking questions should start or end with words or phrases such as, 'explain, ' 'compare, ' 'why, ' 'which is a solution to the problem, ' 'what is the best and why, ' and 'do you agree or disagree with this statement? ' " (Walker, 2003) • Ask students to analyze and discuss case studies • Use self-assessment activities to help students evaluate their own critical thinking skills
17 Writing clear discussion instructions • Total time commitment • Due date(s) • Recommendation: Use two due dates—one for posting an original reply to your prompt, another for replying to other students • Expectations • Quantity: e. g. , reply to instructor prompt, plus reply to two other student posts • Quality: e. g. , cite at least one source to support your statement, require more than "Good job : )" • Example: Learning & Your Body
18 Activity • Task (3 min): Create a meaningful discussion prompt • Task (3 min): Write discussion instructions • Task (3 -5 min): Create a Canvas discussion
BIO-BREAK (5 MIN) Image CC BY John Haslam
20 CREATING A LEARNING COMMUNITY
21 “Understandably there is considerable debate over the definition of learning communities. . . I shall simply define them as groups of people engaged in intellectual interaction for the purpose of learning. ” - K. Patricia Cross
22 OEI Rubric Section B. 2: Interaction – Learning Community Development • Instructors have a plan for initiating contact prior to or at the beginning of class and at regular intervals during the course • Communication activities are designed to help build a sense of community among learners • Student-to-student interactions are required as part of the course. Students are encouraged to initiate communication with the instructo. r • Collaboration activities (if included) reinforce course content and learning outcomes, while building useful skills for the workplace, such as teamwork, cooperation, negotiation, and consensus-building
23 Student engagement Beyond the class Large group or whole class • Real-world application/feedback • Engage with practitioners • Class project or gallery • Discussions/debates Pair or small group • Team projects • Peer review • Study groups Individual • Activities • Assignments
24 What about learning communities? A learning community is "a group of people who share common academic goals and attitudes, who meet semiregularly to collaborate" (Wikipedia). "Most great learning happens in groups. Learning communities can be based on Collaboration is the stuff of a class, discipline, major, or common interest; and can include learners from growth. " one class, one discipline, multiple disciplines, one institution, or several or many colleges and universities. – Sir Ken Robinson
25 Impact of learning communities How learning communities can affect learning: • Enhance academic performance • Increase interaction with faculty members • Foster cooperation with peers on learning tasks (Zhao & Kuh, n. d. , p. 19) • Relate course to experiences in/out of the classroom • Provide prompt feedback (assignments, questions) • Engage with students who don't participate in classroom (Junco, Heiberger & Loken, 2010)
26 Impact of learning communities How learning communities can affect learning: • Provide "opportunities for deeper understanding and integration" (Gabelnick, Mac. Gregor, Matthews & Smith, 1990, p. 19) • Support shared knowledge, shared knowing, and shared responsibility (Tinto, 2003, p. 2) Image: ERE Media
27 Student engagement in learning communities How students can influence their own learning: • Join or create • Many communities use a social networking tool like Facebook, Twitter, etc. to communicate. • Connect • With other students, the instructor, practitioners • Participate and contribute • Start or join discussions about specific topics • Share resources that apply concepts to the real world • Help keep the community focused on the specific topic or goal • Support and encourage • Use supportive and/or encouraging language • Answer peer questions
28 Building learning communities • Set goals • Address specific areas of need • Achieve a specific curricular or co-curricular goal • Provide students with opportunities to connect • Teacher(s) and students • Experts and practitioners • The community beyond campus • Align activities with campus mission • Learning, Education, Service
29 Learning communities for hybrid courses • Studies showed that fostering a community throughout the whole course is important to • "Give students a sense of belonging place" and • "Provide a network of support and collaboration" (Mc. Gee & Reis, 2012, p. 16)
30 Addressing common challenges • Creating a safe environment • Managing student behavior • Supporting students unused to learning in or with groups • Creating a diverse community • Talents, interests, cultural backgrounds • Encouraging everyone to contribute • Bridging connections in a virtual environment
31 Activity: Learning Community Lightning Roundtable • Brainstorm (5 min): outline a learning community for an online or hybrid course • Goal(s) • Scope • Structure & Activities • Environment(s)
32 Activity: Collaboration (Google Docs)
33 ENGAGING STUDENTS IN GROUP WORK
34 Collaborative learning: formal & informal learning groups Formal learning groups are likely to be: • Longer term (one or more class sessions) • Organized by the instructor • Focused on a specific objectives (a project) • Structured (assigned roles/tasks) Source: Vanderbilt Center for Teaching Image: University of Missouri
35 Collaborative learning: formal & informal learning groups Informal learning groups are likely to be: • Short-term (one class Image: Goodluz/Shutterstock session) • Organized on the fly, often by the students • Focused on immediate goals (answer questions) • Unstructured (no assigned roles/tasks) Source: Vanderbilt Center for Teaching
36 Collaborative learning: formal & informal learning groups How groups can affect learning: • Increase mastery & deeper learning • Group discussions allow you to improve your understanding of class concepts • Provide opportunities to give & get feedback • Prepare for real world situations • "Above all, …group projects are what the ‘real world’ is like: Work in the real world …involves collaborating with others to produce a finished product" (Stanford Daily, 2012).
37 Collaborative learning: formal & informal learning groups Advice for how students can improve their own learning: • Don't wait… for the teacher to create groups: • If you have questions, find some classmates and create an informal group to answer them. They will have questions, too! • Establish… a few things as a group: • Start with defining the group's purpose, then each person's roles and responsibilities, and finally any group rules or guidelines (UNSW Sydney, n. d. ). • Participate…once you're in a group: • Google did some studies on building the perfect team and found that "on good teams, members spoke in roughly the same proportion" (Duhigg, 2016).
38 Collaborative learning: formal & informal learning groups How you can improve your learning: • Create a safe environment for sharing: • In that same Google study on building the perfect team they found that "to feel 'psychologically safe, ' • We must know that we can be free enough, sometimes, to share things that scare us without fear of recriminations. • We must be able to talk about what is messy or sad, to have hard conversations with colleagues who are driving us crazy. • We can’t be focused just on efficiency. " (Duhigg, 2016)
39 Activity • Task (3 -5 min): Identify an opportunity for students to work in formal or informal groups (if applicable) • Task (3 -5 min): Create a Canvas Group • Create a Group Set • Create a Group • Student self-sign up • Automatically assigned – random • Automatically assigned – manual
LUNCH BREAK Image: Cohen House Rice University
41 References • Cooper, J. L. (1995). Cooperative learning and critical thinking. Teaching of Psychology, 22(1), 7 -8. • Duhigg, C. (2016, February 25). What Google learned from its quest to build the perfect team. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from • http: //www. nytimes. com/2016/02/28/magazine/whatgoogle-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfectteam. html? _r=1 • Junco, R. ; Heiberger, G. ; & Loken, E. (2010). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Retrieved from http: //blog. reyjunco. com/pdf/Junco. Heiberger. Loken. Twitter Engagement. Grades. pdf
42 References • Mc. Gee, P. & Reis, A. (2012). Blended Course Design: A Synthesis of Best Practices. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16(4), 7 -22. • Stanford Daily Editorial Board. (2012, May 16). The Benefits of Group Projects. [Editorial]. Retrieved from http: //www. stanforddaily. com/2012/05/16/editorial-thebenefits-of-group-projects/ • Strang, T. (2015, October 8). Successful Strategies for Creating Online Discussion Prompts. [blog post]. Retrieved from https: //blog. cengage. com/successfulstrategies-for-creating-online-discussion-prompts/
43 References • University of New South Wales-Sydney. (n. d. ). When Groups First Meet. Retrieved from https: //teaching. unsw. edu. au/group-work-when-groupsfirst-meet • Walker, S. E. (2003, Jul-Sep). Active Learning Strategies to Promote Critical Thinking. Journal of Athletic Training, 38(3), 263 -267. Retrieved from https: //www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC 233182/