Most Faculty Tackle Synchronous Online Instruction Ill-Prepared
By Dian Schaffhauser 09/22/16
a new report from the Online Learning Consortium, a non-profit professional organization that aims to help educators integrate best practices into their online instruction. The OLC researchers involved in developing “What Can We Learn From Our Colleagues? A Framework for Virtual Classroom Training” solicited online responses from 733 people with “substantial” experience in teaching and “significant” experience in online.
Among the instructors who had taught using a synchronous classroom, two thirds (66 percent) had received training specifically on how to do that. A quarter (27 percent) received a month or more of training; a third (32 percent) received less than a day. A remarkable 55 percent took their training before going into a virtual classroom.
Half of the respondents were primarily self-taught; only 24 percent received formal training; and the remaining 26 percent did their learning through informal conversations with peers who teach synchronously. The training included lots of reading, video tutorials and listening to lectures — in other words, as the report’s authors noted, “sage on the stage” activities that are “antithetical to effective virtual classroom pedagogy.” Forty-one percent of people said synchronous activities “played little or no role in their virtual classroom training”; only 30 percent found that synchronous activities did play a substantial role.
What didn’t exist in training for almost four in five respondents were any of the following:
- “Shadowing” of an experienced online instructor;
- Teaching or co-teaching in a classroom being monitored by a trainer or experienced online instructor; or
- Reviewing recordings of their own performances in a virtual classroom.
Also helpful, the survey found:
- Peer coaching from colleagues;
- Reviewing recordings of the instructor’s performance; and
- Consulting with an instructional designer.
my note: another glaring proof that faculty IS needed in the process.
more on synchronous online instruction in this IMS blog
Global E-Learning Market in Steep Decline, Report Says
By Richard Chang
a recent report released by Ambient Insight Research, a Washington state-based market research firm.
Revenues for self-paced e-learning in 2016 are heavily concentrated in two countries — the United States and China. The growth rate in the U.S. is at -5.3 percent, representing a $4.9 billion drop in revenues by 2021, while in China, the rate is at -8.8 percent, representing a $1.9 billion drop by 2021. The e-learning market in China has deteriorated rapidly in just the last 18 months, the report said.
- Of the 122 countries tracked by Ambient Insight, 15 have growth rates for self-paced e-learning over 15 percent during the next five years. These countries are heavily concentrated in Asia and Africa, with the two outliers being Slovakia and Lithuania.
- Eleven of the top 15 growth countries will generate less than $20 million by 2021. Of the top 15, Slovakia and Lithuania are anticipated to generate the highest revenues for self-paced products by 2021, at $55.4 million and $36.5 million, respectively.
- The growth rates are negative in every region except Africa, where the growth is flat at 0.9 percent. The steepest declines are in Asia and Latin America at -11.7 percent and -10.8 percent, respectively. The economic meltdowns in Brazil and Venezuela are major inhibitors in Latin America.
- There are 77 countries with flat-to-negative growth rates. The countries with the lowest growth rates are Yemen (-18.7 percent), Brazil (-19.8 percent), Qatar (-23.5 percent) and Venezuela (-26.8 percent).
Self-paced e-learning products include online courses, managed education services, managed training, e-books and learning management systems, according to the report. The author does not consider mobile and game-based learning, which are growing, to be in the self-paced e-learning category.
The news on the self-paced e-learning industry is so bad, Ambient Insight will no longer publish commercial syndicated reports on the industry, the firm says on its website and in the report.
more on elearning in this IMS blog
more on blended and flipped learning in this IMS blog
Google+ posting: https://plus.google.com/+TessPajaron/posts/BiDw1cUNvTo
7 Tools for Hosting Online Brainstorming Sessions
Simple Surface is a browser-based tool for collaboratively creating outlines and mind maps.To get started with Simple Surface just click on “use for free now,” double click on the surface, and then start typing. To create an additional thought box just double click anywhere on your board. To make sibling and child thought boxes use the enter and tab keys. You can edit the color and size of fonts. Your boxes can be linked to URLs too. Right-click on your surface to open the full menu of editing options.
NoteBookCast is a free whiteboard tool that will work in the web browser on a laptop, iPad, Android tablet, and Windows tablet. NoteBookCast is a collaborative whiteboard tool. You can invite others to join your whiteboard by entering the code assigned to your whiteboard. You can chat while drawing on NoteBookCast whiteboards. While you can create an account on NoteBookCast, it is not a requirement for using the service. You can create a whiteboard by simply clicking “create a whiteboard” then entering a nickname for yourself to use on the whiteboard. If you do create a NoteBookCast account you can save your whiteboards and create whiteboard templates to re-use.
iBrainstorm is a free brainstorming application for the iPad and the iPhone. The app allows you to record brainstorming sessions using a combination of free hand drawings and sticky notes. You can share and collaborate with other users of iBrainstorm. Sharing notes and drawings between users in a local setting is a simple matter of “flicking” an item to another user.
Realtime Board is a platform for hosting online, collaborative brainstorming sessions. Realtime Board is built with HTML5 which means that it works equally well on your laptop and on your iPad or Android tablet. Realtime Board provides a blank canvas on which you can type, draw, and post pictures. You can connect elements on your boards through a simple linking tool. The boards that you create on Realtime Board can be shared publicly or privately. To help you communicate with your collaborators Realtime Board has a chat function built into every board. Realtime Board grants teachers and students access to all premium features for free. In order to get the premium features for free you do need to complete the form here.
Stoodle is an online whiteboard service supported in part by the CK-12 Foundation. Through Stoodle you can quickly create a collaborative whiteboard space. On your whiteboard you can type, draw, and upload images. You can connect Stoodle to your computer’s microphone and talk your collaborators while drawing, typing, or sharing images. Stoodle does not require you to create an account. Stoodle will work in the web browser on your iPad or Android tablet.
More on online collaborative tools in this IMS blog:
Classroom Discussion and Students Participation: how to Secure Student Engagement to Increase Learning and Improve Teaching
- How to increase the number of students who take part in classroom discussions
- How to avoid the problem of dominant talkers
- How to encourage introverted students to increase their participation in classroom discussions
- Strategies to help your students recognize what they learned in any discussion
- How to use the first day of the semester to engage your students—and techniques for getting them to participate right from the start
- What common classroom practices can decrease the likelihood of a student participating in discussion?
- What strategies can you use to overcome established classroom practices and increase student participation?
- And how can you structure classroom discussions to better facilitate student learning?
What does Research Tell Us about Classroom Discussion? Jay Howard
Do College Students Participate More in Discussion in Traditional Delivery Courses or in Interactive Telecourses?
facts from sociological research:
- Gender yields mixed results
- Males participate more frequently than females.
- 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:
Traditional forms and techniques for discussion and participation
Weih, T. G. (2015). Discussion Strategies for the Inclusion of ALL Students. Online Submission,
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
Jinhong, J., & Gilson, T. A. (2014). Online Threaded Discussion: Benefits, Issues, and Strategies. Kinesiology Review, 3(4), 241-246.
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.
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
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
- 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).
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
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.
PDF file available
More on classroom discussions in this IMS blog:
What’s Hot, What’s Not in 2016
Our expert panelists weigh in on education technology to give us their verdict on which approaches to tech-enabled learning will have a major impact, which ones are stagnating and which ones might be better forgotten entirely.
By Greg Thompson 01/12/16
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Lukewarm to Hot
Social Media for Teaching and Learning: Lukewarm to Hot
Digital Badges: Mostly Lukewarm
Open Educational Resources (OERs): Mostly Hot
E-Portfolios: Losing Steam
Learning Management Systems (LMS): Lukewarm to Hot
Flipped Learning: Mostly Hot (but Equitability a Question)
Blended Learning: Unanimously Hot
Student Data Privacy Concerns: Unanimously Hot
Apps for Learning: A Mostly Lukewarm Mixed Bag
Games for Learning: Hot
What are the hot devices?
Cameras like the Canon VIXIA, the Sony HDR-MV1 or the Zoom Q4 or Q8 range from $200 to $400. The secret of these small devices is a tradeoff between video flexibility and audio power. With digital-only zoom, these cameras still deliver full HD video (or better) but with limited distance capabilities. In return, the audio quality is unsurpassed by anything short of a professional boom or wireless microphone setup; most of these cameras feature high-end condenser microphone capsules that will make music or interview recordings shine.
The Chromebook is hot. Seventy-two percent of Chromebook sales were education-related purchases in 2014.
The smartphone is hot. Every day, the smartphone becomes less of a “phone” and more of a device for connecting with others via social media, researching information on the Internet, learning with apps and games and recording experiences with photos and videos.
How Students Develop Online Learning Skills
1. Develop a time-management strategy.
2. Make the most of online discussions.
3. Use it or lose it.
4. Make questions useful to your learning
5. Stay motivated
6. Communicate the instruction techniques that work.
7. Make connections with fellow students.
New Technology Allows Breakout Sessions for Large Online Video Classes
Zoom Breakout Rooms will allow instructors in video classes as large as 200 students to break into as many as 50 smaller groups. By Michael Hart 12/01/15