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Introduction to Online Teaching & Learning. @One Winter Institute January, 2010. Defining and Developing Interactivity in Distance Education. Interaction The act or process of interacting. The state of undergoing interaction. Interaction. a mutual or reciprocal action.

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introduction to online teaching learning

Introduction toOnline Teaching & Learning

@One Winter Institute

January, 2010

answers com
  • Interaction
  • The act or process of interacting.
  • The state of undergoing interaction.
  • a mutual or reciprocal action.
  • the transfer of energy between elementary particles or between an elementary particle and a field or between fields; mediated by gauge bosons.
  • In communications, interactive communication occurs when sources take turns transmittingmessages between one another.
student to student interaction
Student-to-Student Interaction
  • How does one promote two-way communication between students?
  • Why does one want to?
  • Community
  • Collaboration
  • Someone else to answer questions
interaction in distance education
Interaction in Distance Education
  • Instructor – Student
  • Student – Student
  • Student – Technology
  • Which is most important?
why interaction
Why interaction?
  • “Interaction in a distance learning environment is a key factor in the success of the course. Students may feel apprehensive about using the technology in a web-based class... Incorporating interactive strategies early in the course helps the student overcome these misgivings, and can also serve to unite the students so that they see themselves as part of a whole. Social interaction, especially between students, can complement instructional interactivity goals. 
why interaction1
Why interaction?
  • If the students feel more relaxed with each other and the technology, they are more inclined to engage in meaningful reflection and discussion on course topics and concepts. When students reinforce the subject matter in their own words through interaction with their peers, they gain a deeper understanding and higher retention level.
  • Online students consistently ask for more student-to-student interaction. This interaction keeps the student from feeling like they're simply plodding through an online tutorial or taking a one-on-one independent study course.”
why does regular effective contact matter1
Why does regular effective contact matter?
  • If there is no contact, students do not know you are there.
  • What factor is probably most commonly identified as the key to retention?
communication methods
Communication - Methods
  • Documents/postings
  • E-Mail (external or internal)
  • Discussion
  • Chat
  • Phone
  • Office Hours (in person)
  • CCCConfer
  • Others?
  • In order for your students to even begin work on your course, you must begin by doing what?
  • Orienting students to the technology.
  • Orienting students to your course
  • Informing students of policies, procedures, guidelines, etc.
  • Informing them of what to expect from you.
What can they expect from you?
  • 24/7 service?
  • Responses within 24 hours, Mon-Fri.
  • Work graded within a specified time period.
  • Others?
general strategies to increase interaction in your distance classes
General Strategies to increase interaction in your distance classes
  • Quickly require students to communicate with you
  • Require students to send you an email the first day of class. You can build in an exercise in which they must respond to your school's conduct policy, or to verify that you have their correct email or other contact info
  • Provide (and require!) feedback
  • Require periodic emails, phone calls, or in-person visits
general strategies to increase interaction in your distance classes1
General Strategies to increase interaction in your distance classes
  • Plan for immediate involvement in a simple, small group task
  • Set up forums for class discussion groups
  • Post a question each day/week to start off the discussion
7 steps to increasing student interaction
7 Steps to Increasing Student Interaction
  • Show optimism and personality in email and course materials.
  • Raise interest with thought-provoking issues.
  • Use short extra-credit questions to engage students in online reading.
7 steps to increasing student interaction1
7 Steps to Increasing Student Interaction
  • Inject humor into course materials.
  • Get proactive in communicating with students.
  • Involve students in course design and instruction.
  • Make students aware of each other. Create a learning community.
  • Before letting students lose and encouraging them to interact, with one another and with you, ground rules should be established.
  • Such as?
  • Netiquette
  • General dos and don’ts
  • Editing policy
  • Response time – will you be responding? And, if so, when?
  • Grading policy – if posting in a discussion is required (and it should be), how is it graded?
  • Cheating – how cheating will be handled should be addressed and what is considered cheating should be defined
activities and assignments
Activities and Assignments
  • With any activity, begin by identifying the purpose – either explicitly or implicitly.
  • What might be some goals of your 1st assignment (s)?
  • Familiarize students with course layout and policies.
  • Gather general information on students.
activities and assignments1
Activities and Assignments
  • Ensure that students know how to use all communication tools and that they know where/how work is to be submitted.
  • Permit students a chance to introduce themselves, to get to know one another.
getting to know you virtually
Getting-to-know You - Virtually
  • What ice breakers do you use in class?
  • Can they be modified for online?
  • Discussion posting
  • Interviews
  • Contact students by email
  • Share autobiographies online.
  • Everyone contributes their favorite joke.
  • Initiate a group building product. For example, the first person writes one line of a limerick. A second person in the group has to provide the next line. And so on until the product is finished.
  • How do you make your discussion effective?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What would be an example of a “good” discussion question for your discipline?
discussions pros and cons
Discussions – Pros and Cons
  • The pros and cons are really one and the same
  • Easy to design
  • Instructor may be fully involved or only limited so
  • Low tech
discussions pros and cons1
Discussions – Pros and Cons
  • Easy to design – tempting to just throw up a topic and be done with it
  • Instructor may be fully involved or only limited so – how much should the instructor be involved?
  • Low tech – tempting to give little or no directions
problems with discussion
Problems with Discussion
  • Level and type of interaction may be limited
  • Instructor may need to constantly oversee activity
  • Some questions left unanswered
  • Is constant support and moderation necessary?
achieving maximum participation http itlearningspace scot ac uk courses keynotes module1 main cfm
Achieving Maximum Participation 
  • Be clear about how much time the course will require of students to eliminate potential misunderstandings about course demands.
  • As the instructor, be a model of good participation by logging on frequently and contributing to the discussion.
    • Questionable
    • Why?                  
achieving maximum participation http itlearningspace scot ac uk courses keynotes module1 main cfm1
Achieving Maximum Participation 
  • Be willing to step in and set limits if participation wanes or if the conversation is headed in the wrong direction.
  • Remember that there are people attached to the words on the screen. Be willing to contact students who are not participating and invite them in. Create a warm and inviting atmosphere which promotes the development of a sense of community among the participants. (Palloff, R. and Pratt, K., p. 107)
establishing guidelines and procedures
Establishing Guidelines and Procedures
  • Everything must be as clear as possible – how do you ensure that you are communicating effectively?
  • How do you know when you are not?
establishing guidelines and procedures1
Establishing Guidelines and Procedures
  • Where is work submitted?
  • How will late work be dealt with?
  • What are your policies on cheating?
  • How should students contact you?
  • How soon will you respond?
  • Participation – graded?
  • If graded (and it should be!), how?
  • Consider your own experiences – under what circumstances are you most likely to be an active participant?
communication failure
Communication Failure
  • What do you do if some of your students just don’t “get it”?
  • Consider building in means to protect against this – help your students to recognize what is needed for online success
  • Aid your students in becoming “ideal” students.
facilitating every student in an online course
Facilitating Every Student in an Online Course
  • What makes a student an “ideal” online student? What skills are needed?
  • Time Management Skills
  • Discipline and Motivation
  • Synergy and the Online Learning Community
  • Communication Skills
  • Technophobia
  • Access
time management skills
Time Management Skills
  • How can you structure your course to facilitate the success of the student with poor time management skills?
  • Lesson Length
    • Organize course material in manageable “chunks” for the student who may only have 30-45 minutes to devote to the course on a given day
  • Taking the Lesson With Them
    • Make the pages of your course printable.
time management skills1
Time Management Skills
  • The Effective Syllabus
    • Make your syllabus as user-friendly as possible – consider indicating how long an assignment is likely to take, as well as how long the completed work should be
  • Make Suggestions
    • Provide students with suggested guidelines for logging in and time spent on course activities
  • Provide Clear Posting Requirements
discipline and motivation skills
Discipline and Motivation Skills
  • A challenge in any class – but even more so when you never see your students
  • Motivation Beyond the Grade
    • Make material meaningful, provide feedback
  • Make Your Presence Felt
  • Direct Questions
    • Be proactive with those lagging students
synergy and the online learning community
Synergy and the Online Learning Community
  • Provide a Course Philosophy
  • Structure Discussion Into the Course
  • Structure the Discussion
  • Be Engaging (even funny when appropriate)
  • Break the Ice
  • Fix Problem Situations Quickly and Effectively
  • Foster Effective Communication Among Students
communication skills
Communication Skills
  • Be a Model
    • Be positive and remove unintended or unnecessary emotion from your posts, however, do not be afraid to add emotion when it can lead to a more positive virtual environment.
    • Always think twice before posting even mundane responses to student posts.
    • Maintain the instructor "presence" in the online course and remember that the students can not hear or see you think or type, they can only read your posts (and hear your words if audio transmission is used).
communication skills1
Communication Skills
  • Be a Model
    • When necessary, be prepared to provide individual attention to problem students or students with special needs.
    • As White and Weight (7) put it, do not react, but respond. Provide a unifying voice for the students and address issues fairly, quickly, and effectively.
    • Respond with clarification or extension when needed.
communication skills2
Communication Skills
  • Be a Model
  • Give Instructions
  • Provide for Communication in the Course Requirements and Philosophy
  • Break the Ice
  • Provide Motivation and Encouragement
synchronous communication
Synchronous Communication
  • Examples?
  • Phone
  • In person
  • “Chat”
  • Limit group size (I've seen viewpoints ranging from 4-12 people as an optimum. My experience says 5-10 is manageable and effective.)
  • If necessary, employ some form of "crowd control" or ask students to take turns in a specific order of by a given system to minimize chaos.
  • If possible, use audio for the instructor feed. This allows the discussion to take place in text while the instructor can still access the auditory senses of the students.
  • Allow some socializing before and after. Possibly have the synchronous chat room constantly available, but post specific times for course discussion.
  • Many online students are online because of schedule restraints. Therefore, do not expect to be able to have all of your synchronous sessions at a specific time. Be prepared to stretch sessions out over time with multiple times for each discussion with students organized into groups based on availability.
  • Post an agenda in advance to keep the chat time organized and to give students a chance to prepare.
  • Preface individual responses with to whom it is addressed.
  • Always have a backup plan. One can still not count on the reliability of synchronous systems.
  • Start major topics yourself with explanatory post.
  • Narrow topics to smallest units to reduce clutter in the discussion forum posts.
  • Restrict most forum topics to course activities and topics.
  • Organize forums so that they correspond to the course flow.
  • Be aware of cultural patterns in the manner in which people post.
  • Respond frequently, but save "nice job" posts for individual student forums or emails.
  • Pre-Course Orientation
  • Support Services
  • Most importantly…
  • Patience
  • Disability Accessibility
  • Network Access and Bandwidth
http www emoderators com moderators flcc html
  • Regardless of the particular delivery mechanism, computer mediated communication is interaction stripped of social context cues and human "presence", yet for learning to occur students and faculty must become familiar with the environment, and each other and be able to make both sense and meaning of the learning experienced they are engaged in.
  • Scaffolding for students interaction and meaning-making activities must be provided by the online instructor by modeling appropriate interaction and facilitation techniques on screen, and by providing metaphors and analogies to personalize and humanize the transactional space. To do this effectively teachers must first realize some of the basic differences between teaching face-to-face and facilitating online interactions, become themselves adept at the use of the computer conferencing technology and be aware of various teaching and facilitation techniques that are, and are not, suitable for online classrooms.
ensuring effective communication
Ensuring Effective Communication
  • Reflecting – what will you do differently the next time you are teaching an online course?
  • What synchronous tools are available to you?
cccconfer org
  • A valuable and under-used resource
  • Phone meetings
  • Online meetings
  • Archived meetings
  • Consider it for office hours, exam reviews, spontaneous meetings
cccconfer org1
  • Computer component can be PowerPoint or you can capture your screen
  • Endless possibilities…
  • Samples