Online discussions Aug 2012 S.key

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Questions or Problems or Situations. A powerful question: .... Brown, Juanita and Isaacs, David, 2003 THE ART OF POWERFUL QUESTIONS Catalyzing Insight,.
Online Discussions Online Discussions for Everyone


Outline for Workshop/ Presentation • Effectively Managing Your Online Discussion • Why Online Discussions? • Online Instructor Role • Review Best Practices for Online Discussions • Characteristics of an excellent Online Instructor • Create an Online Discussion Management Plan • Assessing Online Discussions

Why: Online Discussions • Build class community

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Why: Online Discussions • Applies course materials to ‘real-life’

What to Twitter Birds say in Real Life

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Why: Online Discussions • Provides ongoing feedback to students

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Why: Online Discussions • Increases student retention

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Why: Online Discussions • Contributes to intellectual insight and content

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Why: Online Discussions • Establishes a format to critique and debate relevant issues

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Benefits of Using Online Discussions • Students practice writing skills • Student work is high quality • Students are better prepared for class • Instructors gain insight into students’ thinking • Students can participate in multiple discussion threads -opportunity to add their ideas

Online Instructor Role • Most important is to engage in effective teaching

• Accept the responsibility of keeping discussions on track

• Contribute your knowledge and insight • Weave together discussion threads • Maintain group harmony

Best Practices in Facilitating Online Discussions • Pose DISCUSSABLE ‘POWERFUL’ Questions or Problems or Situations

A powerful question: • generates curiosity in the listener • stimulates reflective conversation $ • is thought-provoking • surfaces underlying assumptions $ • invites creativity and new possibilities $ • generates energy and forward movement $ • channels attention and focuses inquiry $ • stays with participants $ • touches a deep meaning • evokes more questions

Three qualities that are more apparent in good online discussion methods • They are well structured. • They provide clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the students.

• They provoke the students to explicitly confront others’ opinions.

Placing these words in a pyramid of lower to higher power. Who?






Where? Yes/No?

More Powerful

Less Powerful

Placing these words in a pyramid of lower to higher power. More Powerful Why? How? Where? What? Who? When? Which? Yes/No?

Less Powerful

Excellence in Online Instruction • What are the characteristics of an excellent online instructor?

Excellence in Online Instruction • They are visible to their students

Source Image: And Photo: Shirley Holland

Excellence in Online Instruction • They are present not just log in but establish presence they give their students a sense that they are a real person.

• Be Human

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Excellence in Online Instruction • They are responsive to their students – email, postings, assignments.

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Excellence in Online Instruction • Set expectations

-How often will you and your student be online? What’s the turnaround time for you to respond?

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Excellence in Online Instruction • They are respectful of their learners partners of the learning process.

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Excellence in Online Instruction • Letting go of the your control of the students’ learning

• Empowering students to take on their learning, -student centered learning

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Integrating Online Discussions into Your Course • •

Connect the discussions to your course objectives

Use online discussions regularly and make participation requirements explicit

Include online discussion participation in the course grade

Set early deadlines for postings- allows for integrating ideas generated from elsewhere in the course

Designing Online Discussion Questions/Tasks • Decide who will control discussion topics • Signal start and end dates for discussions • Use small groups • Make the questions increasingly challenging and cumulative

• Make discussions a data resource

Orienting Students to Online Discussions • Explain the purpose of online discussions • Model how to be a productive participant • Explain online discussion netiquette • Explain your evolving role as facilitator

Facilitating Online Discussions • Be present • Encourage students to respond to each other • Summarize discussions • Encourage reluctant participants • Rein in dominant participants

Time Saving Tips • Students have a descriptive title to each of their posts.

Assessing Online Discussions • Individual thinking •

Offering ideas or resources and inviting a critique of them

Asking challenging questions

Articulating, explaining, and supporting positions on issues

Exploring and supporting issues by adding explanations and examples

Reflecting on and re-evaluating personal opinion

Assessing Online Discussions • Interactive thinking •

Critiquing, challenging, discussing and expanding ideas of others

Negotiating interpretations, definitions and meanings

Summarizing previous contributions

Proposing actions based on ideas that have been developed

Assessing Online Discussions • Group dynamics •

Acknowledging each others’ efforts and contributions

Discussing group processes, such as how to make decisions, deal with conflict, and balance participation

Advocating increased effort and perseverance among peers

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Online Learning • Are you prepared to leap?

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Online Learning • Are you prepared to reach?

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Online Learning • Yes -You can do it! • And No you don’t have to be superman/ superwoman

• You have it in you!

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Aragon, Steven R., 2003, Creating Social Presence in Online Environments In Special Issue: Facilitating Learning in Online Environments New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, Volume 2003, Issue 100, pages 57–68, Winter. Felder, Richard M. and Brent, Rebecca, 2000, Is Technology a Friend or Foe of Learning? Chem. Engr. Education, 34(4), 326-327. Frey, Barbara A., Sass, Millie S., and Alman, Susan W. 2006, Mapping MLIS Asynchronous Discussions, International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Jan.06 article 1. Quintas-Mendes, António, Morgado, Lina, and Amante, Lúcia, 2008, Chapter LXV Online Communication and ELearning, In Handbook of Research on Instructional Systems and Technology Volume II, Editors Kidd, Terry T. and Song, Holim, by IGI Global publishing, USA. Smith, Theodore C., 2005 Fifty-One Competencies for Online Instruction The Journal of Educators Online, Volume 2, Number 2, July. Vogt, Eric E., Brown, Juanita and Isaacs, David, 2003 THE ART OF POWERFUL QUESTIONS Catalyzing Insight, Innovation, and Action Whole Systems Associates, Mill Valley, CA

DeMaria, Roseanna and Bongiovanni, Ted, The 10 Biggest Myths About Synchronous Online Teaching, Downed loaded Nov. 1 2010, The10BiggestMythsAboutSynchron/213702 Effective Teaching Practices, download Nov. 1 2010, effective-teaching-practices/ Online Discussions: Tips for Students download on Nov. 1 2010, online_discussions_tips_for_students.html ROI Rubric for Online Instruction, CSU, Chico, Downloaded Nov. 1 2010,

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