This session will describe an approach to online discussions that moves beyond the threaded message boards of D2L Brightspace, yet still maintained an asynchronous online delivery. Using teams, discussions were differentiated by product to allow students to turn in an artifact that represented their shared understanding during specific online course modules. Strategies, Technology guides, rubrics, and student feedback will be shared.
Presenter: Michael Manderfeld
Senior Instructional Designer
Minnesota State University Mankato
Here are five different ways to apply the same rubric in your classroom.
1. A Rubric for Thinking (Invention Activity)
2. A Rubric for Peer Feedback (Drafting Activity)
3. A Rubric for Teacher Feedback (Revision Activity)
4. A Rubric for Mini-Lessons (Data Indicate a Teachable Moment)
5. A Rubric for Making Grades Visible (Student Investment in Grading)
How often have we heard that students believe grades to be arbitrary or capricious? Repeated use of a single rubric is good for both students and instructors. Switching roles between author and editor results in students’ increased familiarity with the process and the components of good writing. Over the course of the semester, students will synthesize the rubric’s components into effective communication. The instructor, too, will shift from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side,” answering fewer questions (and answering the same question fewer times). In other words, students will gain greater independence as writers and thinkers. And this is good for all of us.
Using Creative Course Design to Increase Student Engagement
Keeping your learners engaged is a key to success in online learning. This webinar focuses on the tools and strategies that can be used to create an engaging learner experience and increase student success. We’ll share the components of course design that will help you to improve your courses and provide examples of what an engaging course looks like. Conestoga College will be joining us to share their recent experience using the Creative Services team at D2L to improve their online courses, and the benefits that they’ve seen.
Time 2:00pm ET
Presenter(s): Sandra Memmolo eLearning Developer, Kim Regehr Course Instructor, Christa Johnston Instructional Designer, Courseware Development
Males participate more frequently in courses taught by female instructors
Other studies show the opposite
Non traditional students participate more frequently
Instructors’ gender also returns mixed results
Class size as variable is important, smaller classes, more participation
Class participation – grading
Make the students grade themselves at the end of each class period. By making them grade themselves, they reflect and makes them more aware of their contribution.
0 – absent
1 – present but did not verbally participate
2 – verbally participated one time
3 – verbally participated more than once
4 – made an equitable contribution to discussion in terms of both quantity and quality
The well-known and established belief that smaller classes spur more participation.
Jay Howard maintain his sociological research in 20th centuries constants: physical classroom, no technology surrounding.
In the 21st century, clickers changed the opportunity for immediate feedback. They changed also the discourse of the traditional student participation and classroom discussion: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=clickers&submit=Search
Traditional forms and techniques for discussion and participation
call on student
instructor’s personality issues:
Does the instructor really care of what students have to say
lecturing does not predispose to discussion
The 10 second rule: students discuss in pairs the concept/question
Think-Pair-Share: discussion strategy before or after lesson, similar to 10 second but longer
Quick writes: write their thoughts and then share. Loose paper, names on top,
Recorder-reporter. Post-lecture. The person reps the group, who is working on a specific question. Each group different question.
K-W-L. what we know, what we want to learn, what we learned. Teacher instructs students that K = what they know, W = what they want to learn and L = what they learned. . work in small groups, but each student works on h/er chart, thus if student disagrees with rest of the group, has record. L is left blank for after the discussion.
Simich-Dudgeon, C., & National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, W. D. (1998). Classroom Strategies for Encouraging Collaborative Discussion. Directions in Language and Education. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED435188
Chen, W., & Looi, C. (2007). Incorporating Online Discussion in Face to Face Classroom Learning: A New Blended Learning Approach. Australasian Journal Of Educational Technology, 23(3), 307-326. Discussions and participation in hybrid environment
For each OTD topic, the instructor randomly assigns two to four student discussion leaders who are in charge of organizing OTD for the assigned week. Each of the discussion leaders is asked to generate one or two discussion questions related to the topic based on reading assignments. The use of student discussion leaders is a strategy to encourage active participation and help develop ownership of learning. Once student discussion leaders post their questions, other students are encouraged to contribute to the discussion by answering each question, commenting on the ideas of others, or asking questions of peers or the instructor for the next two days. When the week’s discussion is complete, the student leaders and instructor work together to summarize the discussion and evaluate each student’s participation and contribution to the discussion using a scoring rubric. (p.242)
Implementation (p. 243):
preparation : On the first day of the course, the instructor introduces topics, how-tos, expectations, grading procedures, and required reading assignments for OTD, and organizes discussion leaders for each online discussion (2–4 leaders for each)
Opening and Responding: Posted discussion questions become open at the time of the class and students who are not the leaders are required to post at least one response per question within 48 hrs. During this time, the leaders facilitate discussion by responding to comments, raising questions, or redirecting discussion to encourage active participation and ensure the discussion is on track
Summary and Assessment: The job of the leader is to moderate, summarize discussion threads, and assess them at the end of the discussion. When the week’s discussion is complete, the leaders meet with the instructor to debrief and evaluate each student’s participation and contribution to the discussion using a scoring rubric given by the instructor. After the meeting, each leader posts his or her summary of the discussion to BBCMS and reports at the next in-person class.
Beyond CMS (D2L)
Discussions and participation in online environment
Darabi, A., Liang, X., Suryavanshi, R., & Yurekli, H. (2013). Effectiveness of Online Discussion Strategies: A Meta-Analysis. American Journal Of Distance Education, 27(4), 228-241. doi:10.1080/08923647.2013.837651
Beyond CMS (D2L)
Lin, P., Hou, H., Wang, S., & Chang, K. (2013). Analyzing knowledge dimensions and cognitive process of a project-based online discussion instructional activity using Facebook in an adult and continuing education course. Computers & Education, 60(1), 110-121. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.07.017 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131512001819
111 results suggest that using Facebook is not necessarily harmful to a student’s learning performance. Adequate learning activity design and pedagogical goal setting could, in fact, exploit the social and information-sharing function of Facebook, thereby supporting academic learning (Gray et al., 2010). this study seeks to advance the understanding of adult learners’ behaviors in online project discussions using Facebook.
In the process of project-based learning, learners must utilize different kinds of knowledge (e.g., discrete declarative knowledge and dynamic procedural knowledge) (Lou, 2004). Meanwhile, students can develop higher level of cognitive skills for a specific domain as well as the ability to apply adequate knowledge to a specific domain or context during PBL (Barron et al., 1998; Blumenfeld et al., 1991).
118 Select driving questions or controversial issues as project topics: Blumenfeld et al. (1991) noted that driving questions could facilitate students to explore the project topic. In the exploration process, students must first collect information and propose diverse viewpoints on the project topics. They could subsequently filter out and reach consensus during online discussions. This process involves diverse and converging phases that can move students toward higher-order thinking (Jorczak & Bart, 2009).
Allow ample time for online discussion: Results of this study indicated that student online discussions lacked diversity in both knowledge and cognitive process dimensions. One possible reason could be that the allotted time for online discussions was not sufficient. Considering the multiple roles that adult learners play in family and/or work, they may not be able to respond to the discussions in a timely manner. Therefore, allowing more time for students to discuss may provide opportunities for students to demonstrate more diverse and deeper thinking (Scherling, 2011).
Provide a structured rubric for online discussions: Well-designed discussion guidelines and evaluation criteria, i.e., posting protocols or rubric for grading, could serve as scaffolds for student online discussions, which may, subsequently, lead to more meaningful learning (Gilbert & Dabbagh, 2005). Following that, more diverse type of knowledge and levels of cognitive process could be expected to be shown.
Pay attention to the effects that individual differences may exert on the learner’s interactions: Our results showed that, in the context of online discussions, females and older learners are more likely to have off-topic discussions than their male and/or younger counterparts. These findings are in accord with previous research that suggested effects of individual differences on learning as well as on the use of SNSs (Glynn et al., 2012; Muscanell & Guadagno, 2012; Price, 2006; Yukselturk & Bulut, 2009). Therefore, considering the potential effects that gender and age may exert on online discussions, instructors are advised to consider individual differences when grouping students for online discussions, as a balanced group composition of evenly distributed age and gender could be a better approach than a skewed distribution of individuals.
social interaction, which was considered as irrelevant discussion, may also leading to meaningful thinking and echoes the viewpoints from previous studies, which suggest social interaction can be a critical element in the CSCL environment (Abedin et al., 2011a, 2011b).
Incorporating online discussion in face to face classroom learning: A new blended learning approach
Wenli Chen, Chee-Kit Looi
This paper discusses an innovative blended learning strategy which incorporates online discussion in both in-class face to face, and off-classroom settings. Online discussion in a face to face class is compared with its two counterparts, off-class online discussion as well as in-class, face to face oral discussion, to examine the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed strategy. By integrating online discussion into the flow of the classroom, learners are given dedicated time to foster a habit of critical thinking, reflection and articulating these online, which can subsequently seed further in-class oral discussions, and off-class online discussions. It is found that in-class, online discussion can provide a wider spectrum of discussion perspectives, equalise participation in discussion, and promote cognitive thinking skills and in depth information processing. However, the lack of face to face interactions and the need for sufficient time to do online postings pose challenges in implementing online discussion for face to face classroom learning.
the fundamental problem is that learning management systems are ultimately about serving the needs of institutions, not individual students.
Inhis manifesto on Connectivism, George Siemens writes that in Connectivist learning environments, the “pipes” of a course are more important than what flows through those pipes. The networks that students build are durable structures of lifelong learning, and they are more important
by having students own their learning spaces and democratize the means of production. Rather than forcing students to log in to an institutional LMS, I asked them to create their own websites, blogs, Twitter accounts and spaces on the open Web. In these spaces, students could curate links and connections and share their evolving ideas. Whatever they create is owned and maintained by them, not by me or by Harvard. They can keep their content for three months, three years, or the rest of their lives, so long as they continue to curate and move their published content as platforms change.
so, it is back what i claimed at the turn of the century: LMS were claimed to be invented to make the instructor’s life “easier”: instead of learning HTML, use LMS. My argument was that by the time one learns the interface of WebCT, one can learn HTML and HTML will be remain for the rest of their professional life, whereas WebCT got replaced by D2L and D2L will be replaced by another interface. I was labeled as “D2L hater” for such an opinion.
Now to the argument that LMS was a waste of instructors’ time, is added the new argument that it is also a waste of students’ time.
The way that Connected Courses deal with this challenge is byaggregation, sometimes also called syndication. All of the content produced on student blogs, websites, Twitter accounts and other social media accounts is syndicated to a single website. On theFlowpage, every piece of content created by students, myself and teaching staff was aggregated into one place. We also hadBlogandTwitter Hubsthat displayed only long-form writing from blogs or microposts from Twitter. A Spotlight page highlighted some of the best writings from students.
This online learning environment had three important advantages. First, students owned their means of production. They weren’t writing in discussion forums in order to get 2 points for posting to the weekly prompt. They wrote to communicate with audiences within the class and beyond. Second, everyone’s thinking could be found in the same place, by looking at hashtags and our syndication engines ont509massive.org. Finally, this design allows our learning to be permeable to the outside world. Students could write for audiences they cared about: fellow librarians or English teachers or education technologists working in developing countries. And as our networks grew, colleagues form outside our classroom could share with us, by posting links or thoughts to the #t509massive hashtag.
My note: if this is going on with BB, imagine what is the issue with D2L.
competitors emerged that were more difficult to ignore. Firms such as Instructure and Sakai attempted to separate themselves from Blackboard by focusing on customizing their software for clients and providing extensive daily maintenance.
As rivals gained traction, Blackboard’s grip on the market began to slip. Some companies relied on open-source software that made them more nimble. Blackboard didn’t adopt it until 2012. Student and faculty complaints about the software also took on new life.
“Blackboard will be the death of me,” wrote one student on Tumblr a year ago.
“Why is everything so counter-intuitive?” said one professor on an online forum at the Chronicle of Higher Education. “Why do you have to click a million times just to do a simple task?”
the company has struggled to find technology that will appeal to all students and professors
It is focused on expanding its reach in K-12 institutions to broaden the market, Blot said, and is diving into the world of mobile apps.