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Bianca Gray, Hannah Wilkinson & Michelle Harous. Online discussion groups & forums in the classroom. How can online discussion groups/forums be used effectively in the classroom?. Agenda Introduction Types of forums Advantages and disadvantages of forums MBED Facebook Forum

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Bianca gray hannah wilkinson michelle harous

Bianca Gray, Hannah Wilkinson & Michelle Harous

Online discussion groups & forums in the classroom


How can online discussion groups forums be used effectively in the classroom
How can online discussion groups/forums be used effectively in the classroom?

Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Types of forums

  • Advantages and disadvantages of forums

  • MBED Facebook Forum

  • Forums in schools

  • Notion of virtual classrooms

  • Role of the teacher

  • Conclusion


Introduction
Introduction in the classroom?

What is a online discussion/forum?

  • Discussion with peers

  • Aids participation and deeper learning – constructivist approach to learning

  • Top-down learning approach


Types of forums
Types of Forums in the classroom?

Public Forums

  • Available to everyone

  • Do not need to sign up to the site in order to comment on the forum

  • http://www.youth.gov.au/ayf/HaveASay/Pages/Default.aspx


Types of forums1
Types of Forums in the classroom?

Premium Forums

  • Only available to people who have signed up

  • Can still be read by the general public, but in order to access some threads and comment, you must be a member of the site

  • http://www.engquest.org.au/students-forum-up.cfm;jsessionid=ce30c3ab21cfa169de7e4b3d1f5e27c4a82e


Types of forums2
Types of Forums in the classroom?

Private Forums

  • You need to be invited to the forum in order to have access to it

  • Private forums cannot be found in forum directories

  • “One Very Secret Forum”

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_150779201653872


Types of forums3
Types of Forums in the classroom?

Pushed Forums

  • Automatic messages are sent out every time someone adds something to the forum discussion, or creates a new thread.

  • These forums also give you the choice to change your settings so you no longer receive notice of movement within the forum.


Types of forums4
Types of Forums in the classroom?

Optional Forums

  • The only way to see if someone has added anything extra to this forum is to visit it

  • There is no option to change the settings to receive emails.

  • Because there is no need to sign up to write on a public forum, most public forums are optional forums, as are some premium forums.


Threads within a forum
Threads within a forum in the classroom?

  • Threads are subtopics within a forum

  • For example, if you were to set up a forum for upper primary students for SOSE, the forum may have threads which discuss different topics within the subject, such as Australian history, rivers and lakes, geography etc.


Advantage and disadvantages
Advantage in the classroom?andDisadvantages


Advantages
Advantages in the classroom?

  • Can be easily accessed by the internet

  • Control over who has access

  • Students use critical thinking as they have time to reflect on discussion topics

  • Studentshave time to research their input

  • Everyone gets a chance to have their say

  • Students can answer one another questions

  • Teachers can address the whole class and the information is continuously accessible


Disadvantages
Disadvantages in the classroom?

  • Not everyone has continual access to the internet and therefore the forum

  • Some students can’t read and write adequately to use an online forum

  • Students may not be motivated to contribute to the online forum

  • Un monitored forums can lead to cyber bullying or off track discussion

  • Doesn’t encourage confidence for face to face contact

  • It may encourage students to use text talk therefore effecting their writing skills.


Mbed facebook forum
MBED Facebook Forum in the classroom?

  • Advantages

    • Easy access

    • Premium forum, therefore it is accessible to other uni students on facebook, but the admin can control who does and doesn’t have access

    • Quick response as most people log onto facebook at least once a day.

    • Very clear layout, with all information on one page.


Mbed facebook forum1
MBED Facebook Forum in the classroom?

  • Disadvantages

    • With so many people in the uni course, if everyone adds one thing to the forum per day, you would get almost 150 emails notifying you that something has been added.

    • You MUST have Facebook to access the forum

    • At most schools, Facebook is blocked so it cannot be accessed, even for educational purposes.


Forums in schools
Forums in Schools in the classroom?

Upper Primary

Advantages

  • Teachers can use forum sites such as Moodle to monitor their students understandings towards a certain topic.

  • Moodle could also be a great way for students to further explain the topic to one another, especially out of school hours where students may be working on assignments at home.

  • Forums could be threads which can be themed by subjects, such as English and SOSE, or by topic, WWI and Aboriginal Studies


Forums in schools1
Forums in Schools in the classroom?

Upper Primary

Disadvantages

  • Students are at school for around 6 hours a day, giving them plenty of time to discuss questions which may be raised around certain topics. There would only be limited things to discuss when they are home for the few hours before they go to sleep.


Forums in schools2
Forums in Schools in the classroom?

Junior Primary

Advantages

  • Forums can be used as introductions to web-based learning by using simple topics that the children can relate to easily.

  • The teacher can post educational games which the children can play at home, and then discuss with their classmates, especially in long breaks such as school holidays, where they won’t be seeing their classmates every day.


Forums in schools3
Forums in Schools in the classroom?

Junior Primary

Disadvantages

  • Junior primary students are just learning how to read and write, therefore using an online forum would almost seem pointless, as many of them will struggle not only with writing their own posts, but with reading others and being able to reply to others. They are also very ego-centric in this age group, and will have difficulty seeing things from other points of view.


Role of the teacher
Role of the Teacher in the classroom?

  • Set up the forum

  • Teach the students how to use the forum

  • Teach the students about cyber safety

  • Prompt discussion topics

  • Motivate the students to contribute to the forum

  • Create forum rules

  • Monitor the students discussion


Possible forum rules
Possible Forum Rules in the classroom?

  • A post must be at least three sentences if its going to be assessed and irrelevant posts or socialising do not count

  • Ask relevant question about the topic only.

  • Respond constructively to what other students are saying or asking, don’t rely on the teacher to answer all the questions.

  • Be helpful and friendly to each other to ensure cyber bullying doesn’t occur.

  • Remember you are on the internet and therefore should not mention any specific information about yourself of others.


Online tutors
Online Tutors in the classroom?

  • Online tutoring system

    • http://www.homeworkhelp.com/

  • Activity – Visit this website

    • What are the advantages/disadvantages of this?

    • Is this a good idea? What do you think?


Virtual classrooms
Virtual Classrooms in the classroom?

  • Online classroom

  • Discussion boards, forums, email, online assignments

  • Example of a virtual classroom: WizIQ

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yty0cPzlcU&feature=related

      The following website provides further information on how to set up a virtual classroom and the specific role of the teacher.

      http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/665


Virtual classrooms1
Virtual Classrooms in the classroom?

  • Research has also investigated the notion of the virtual classroom and found that:

    • Allow students to develop meaningful relationships

    • There is a common purpose, interest, need and task.

    • Shared policies and rules to guide interactions

    • Sense of togetherness

      (Ligorio & Van derMeijden, 2007)


How to create a forum
How to create a forum in the classroom?

  • http://docs.moodle.org/en/Adding/editing_a_forum


Moodle discussion
Moodle Discussion in the classroom?

Do you feel that forums should be involved within a junior primary/primary school setting? Why?


Conclusion
Conclusion in the classroom?

  • Forums can be used to support students during out of school hours

  • Provides them to ‘discuss’ school subjects with their peers in a non-confronting and comfortable environment

  • Although, we believe that forum use would be more successful in middle and upper primary classrooms.


References
References in the classroom?

  • Australian Youth Forum. (n.d.). Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Retrieved from http://www.youth.gov.au/ayf/HaveASay/Pages/Default.aspx

  • ComsocCommunities. (2011). IEEE Communications Society. Retrieved from http://community.comsoc.org/content/what-are-types-forums

  • Harris, N., & Sandor, M. (2007). School of Public Health http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/harris.pdf

  • Hobgood, B., (n.d.). Learn N C http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/665

  • Ligorio, M.B. & Van derMeikdent, H. (2007). Teacher guidelines for cross-national virtual communities in primary education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24 (1).

  • Ross, S. (n.d.). EngQuest. Retrieved from http://www.engquest.org.au/students-forum-up.cfm;jsessionid=ce30c3ab21cfa169de7e4b3d1f5e27c4a82e


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