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  1. Exploring Online & Blended Course Delivery in Group Work Sumaiya Matin, MSW, RSW matins@uwindsor.ca Irene Carter, Ph.D icarter@uwindsor.ca Presented at the XXXVI Annual Symposium of the International Association for Social Work with Groups

  2. Trends in Online Groups • Increase in the use of online modalities social work higher education • Increase in students embracing online tools to progress their group projects, and they have positive perceptions of this use • Proliferation of technology and globalization • There is still sparse information on online methodology in teaching group work

  3. Thesis • This paper examines face-to-face and online groups to provide strategies for blended teaching, consistent with the Standards for Social Work Practice with Groups (2006). • What are the pros and cons of online learning? • How can instructors effectively facilitate online learning and create environments conducive to communication?

  4. What the Literature Tell Us: Benefits of Online Learning • Increased accessibility • Convenience and flexibility • Greater speed and efficiency in student-instructor communication • Adaptability to differing learning styles • Variety of delivery methods • Cost-effectiveness • Supplement to in-class material • Opportunity for active learning • Development of critical thinking

  5. What the Literature Tell Us: Challenges of Online Learning • Student participation • Difficulty with technology, resources and understanding expectations • Too high of a workload • Time constraints (non-immediate responses, unclear deadlines) • Delivery being impersonal

  6. What the Literature Tell Us:Comparing Face-to-Face & Online Learning 1. Fosters critical thinking which enables deep learning • Haberstroh, 2006 2. Conflict as opportunity to connect content & process • McConnell, 2005 • Domakin, 2005 3. Limitations in social connectedness can be achieved? • Slaghter van Tryon & Bishop, 2009 • Davis & Goodman, 2014 • Nagel et. al, 2009

  7. Changing Relationships

  8. Recommendations:Group Work Educators as Leaders 1. Establish Structure & Goals • Plan & organize course objectives/goals, units and deliverables • Create a checklist for students for how to deal with online technical problems • Simon & Stauber, 2011

  9. Recommendations Continued:Group Work Educators as Leaders 2. Facilitate Group Norm Development & Cohesion • Ensure norms are consistent with the Standards for Social Work with Groups (2006) • Muskat& Mesbur, 2011 • Cohen et. al, 2013 • Slagtervan Tryon & Bishop, 2009 • Marks et. al, 2005

  10. Recommendations Continued:Group Work Educators as Leaders 3. Increase Instructor Involvement • Continuous monitoring • Capacity building activities • Time limits to discussions • Posted follow up videos for transitions • Responding to conflict through postings or face-to-face • Opportunities for instructor self-disclosure • Reflection exercises as linking communication • Use a Points System for quality participation

  11. Recommendations Continued:Group Work Educators as Leaders 4. Support the Instructor-Student Relationship • Training of instructors and students on use of online tools • Maidment, 2006 • Development of support groups for instructors

  12. Implications &Conclusion • Social justice & cultural colonization • Cyber-bullying • Continuity of face-to-face interactions to the online setting • Better preparation for online clinical work & high technology workplaces

  13. Question & Answer Period Discussion Questions • What are some challenges and positives you have experienced as group work educators in the online setting? • What are some methods to address non participation of students in online group activities? • What are some ways to handle online groups formed by students outside of the course, which impact in-class and online behaviours?

  14. References Bertera, E.M. & Littlefied, M.B. (2003). Evaluation of Electronic Discussion Forums in Social Work Diversity Education: A comparison of Anonymous and Identified Participation. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 21(4), 53- 71. doi: 10.1300/J017v21n04_04 Blissenden, M., Clarke, S., & Strevens, C. (2012). Developing online legal communities. International Journal of Law and Management, 54(2), 153- 164. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17542431211208568 Bliuc, A, Ellis, R.A., Goodyear, R. & Piggott, L. (2011). A blended learning Approach to teaching foreign policy: Student experiences of learning through face-to-face and online discussion and their relationship to academic performance. Computers & Education, 56, 856-864. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2010.10.027 Bradley, W. E. (2011). A conceptual framework for the design and evaluation of online learning modules in professional training and academic education in business. The Business Review, Cambridge, 18(1), 20-27. Bye, L., Smith, S., & Rallis, H. (2009). Reflection using an online discussion forum: Impact on student learning and satisfaction. Social Work Education, 28(8), 841-855. doi: 10.1080/02615470802641322

  15. References Continued Cater, John James, I.,II, Michel, N., & Varela, O. E. (2012). Challenges of online learning in management education: An empirical study. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 17(4), 76-96. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1114670307?accountid=14789 Cohen, M.B., Simon, S.R., McLaughlin, D., Muskat, B.& White, M. (2013, June). Challenges & opportunities for applying group work principles to enhance online learning in social work. Paper presented at The XXXV Annual Symposium of the International Association of the Advancement of Social Work with Groups: Revitalizing our Heritage: A Bridge to the Future, Boston, MA. US: Whiting and Birch. Davis, C. & Goodman, H. (2014). Virtual communities of practice in social group work education, Social Work With Groups, 37(1), 85-95. doi: 10.1080/01609513.2013.821021 Dixon, K., Pelliccione, L., & Dixon, R. (2005). Differing student views of online learning modes across two programs in an Australian university. Campus - Wide Information Systems, 22(3), 140-147. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218057742?accountid=14789 Domakin, A. (2013). Can online discussions help student social workers learn when studying communication?, Social Work Education: The International Journal,32(1), 81-99. doi: 10.1080/02615479.2011.639356

  16. References Dykman, C. A., & Davis, C. K. (2008). Online education forum: Part two – Teaching online versus teaching conventionally. Journal of Information Systems Education, 19(2), 157-164. Ekmecki, O. (2013). Being there: Establishing instructor presence in an online learning environment. Higher Education Studies, 3(1), 29-38. Farmakis, H., & Kaulbach, M. (2013). Teaching online? A guide on how to get started. International Journal of Organizational Innovation (Online), 6(2), 34-40. Fisher, M., & Baird, D. E. (2005). Online learning design that fosters student support, self-regulation, and retention. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 22(2), 88-107. Greenlaw, S. A., & DeLoach, S. B. (2003). Teaching critical thinking with electronic discussion. Journal of Economic Education, 34(1), 36-52. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/235269398?accountid=14789 Haberstroh, S., Parr, G., Gee, R. & Trepal, H. (2006). Interactive e-Journaling in group work: Perspectives from counselor trainees. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 31(4), 327-337. doi: 10.1080/01933920600918840 Hunter, D. Y. (2011). Who holds the pen? Strategies to student satisfaction scores in online learning environments. The Business Review, Cambridge, 18(2), 75-81. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/925638734?accountid=14789

  17. References Maidment, J. (2005). Teaching social work online: Dilemmas and debates, Social Work Education: The International Journal, 24(2), 185-195. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0261547052000333126 Maidment, J. (2006). Using on-line delivery to support students during practicum placements, Australian Social Work, 59(1), 47-55. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03124070500449770 Marks, R. B., Sibley, S. D., & Arbaugh, J. B. (2005). A structural equation model of predictors for effective online learning. Journal of Management Education, 29(4), 531-563. McConnell, D. (2005). Examining the dynamics of networked e-learning groups and communities. Studies in Higher Education, 30(1), 25-42. doi: 10.1080/0307507052000307777 McKnight, C.B. (2000). Teaching critical thinking through online discussions: Faculty can play a key role in fostering critical thinking among students using Web communication tools. Educause Quarterly, 4, 38-41. McShane, K. (2004). Integrating face-to-face and online teaching: academics’ role concept and teaching choices. Teaching in Higher Education, 9(1), 3-16, doi: 10/1080.1356251032000155795

  18. References Mishna, F., Bogo, M., Root, J., Sawyer, J.L., & Khoury-Kassabri, M. (2012). ‘‘It just crept in’’: The Digital Age and Implications for Social Work Practice. Clinical Social Work Journal, 40(3), 277-286. Muskat, B. & Mesbur, E.S. (2011). Adaptations for teaching social work with groups. Groupwork, 21(1), 88-109. doi: 10.1921/x x Nagel, L., Blignaut, A.S., & Cronje, J.C. (2009). Read-only participants: a case for student communication in online classes. Interactive Learning Environment, 17(1), 37-51. O’Farrell, M. & Bates, J. (2009). Student information behavioursduring group projects: A study of LIS students in University College Dublin, Ireland. Aslib Proceedings, 61(3), 302-315. doi:10.1108/00012530910959835 Ogunleye, A. O. (2010). Evaluating an online learning programme from students' perspectives. Journal of College Teaching and Learning, 7(1), 79-89. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218943180?accountid=14789 Oliveira, I., Tinoca, L, & Pereira, A. (2011). Online group work patterns: How to promote a successful collaboration. Computers & Education, 57(1), 1348- 1357.

  19. References Simon, S.R., & Stauber, K.W. (2011, April). Creating effective online communities: Tips from the trenches. Paper presented at the NCA/HLC P Presentation, Chicago. Retrieved from http://www.iaswg.org/docs/2011%20Creating%20Effective%20Online%20Communities.pdf Slagtervan Tryona, P.J. & Bishop, M.J. (2009). Theoretical foundations for enhancing social connectedness in online learning environments. Distance Education, 30(3), 291-315. doi: 10.1080/01587910903236312 Toseland, R. W., Rivas, R. (2012) An Introduction to group work practice (7th Ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon Vonderwell, S., Liang, X., & Alderman, K. (2007). Asynchronous discussions and assessment in online learning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(3), 309-328. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/274706092?accountid=14789 Willliams, K.C., Morgan, K. & Cameron, B. A. (2011).How do students define their roles and responsibilities in online learning group projects? Distance Education, 32(1), 49-62. doi:10.1080/01587919.2011.565498.