Engaging online distance students by building learning communities

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1. Engaging Online Distance Students by Building Learning Communities Helen Donaghue Helen Thompson TESOL Centre 2. session overview background: module challenges for DL students building a community for students challenges for DL tutors building a community for tutors key recommendations 3. context in-service English language teachers (UK/abroad) distance learning through Blackboard (MEd. TESOL) module explores current thinking on language teaching approaches reflecting on a personal teaching issue in own professional context 4. challenges for DL students other priorities issues with communication & collaboration issues with feedback isolation can lead to demotivation 5. Challenges on this module reflecting with peers can be beneficial (Farrell, 2013) conditions for reflection creating a sense of a supportive learning community can be challenging in VLE (Shea et al., 2006). 6. building a student community 7. tutor presence orientation tutorial 8. Bb Collaborate Early tutor presence important for encouraging open dialogue Bernard et al. (2009) 9. tutor presence orientation tutorial frequent short communications throughout module nudges, encouragement - showing we are reading/looking video lectures 10. tutor presence orientation tutorial frequent short communications throughout module nudges, encouragement - showing we are reading/looking video lectures substantive feedback on assessed presentation tutor presence in DB 11. student - student interaction orientation 12. student - student interaction orientation discussions sharing presentations with peers on-line tutorials 13. students engage with .. each other their tutors materials (e.g. video tasks) their work (e.g. presentations, online tutorials) 14. challenges for DL tutors adjusting to change need to be creative lack of technical knowledge planning across modules time 15. building a community for tutors 16. tutors community of practice group (Lave & Wenger, 1991) 17. tutors community of practice group (Lave & Wenger, 1991) training: F2F & online ongoing support Bb CoP site 18. tutors community of practice group (Lave & Wenger, 1991) training: F2F & online ongoing support Bb CoP site experimented / dummy runs sharing experience 19. recommendations tutor presence orientation interactive/collaborative tasks online tutorials support for tutors opportunities for tutors to share experience 20. references Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Tamim, R., & Surkes, M. A. (2009). A meta-analysis of three interaction treatments in distance education. Review of Educational Research, 79(3), 12431289 Farrell T. S.(2013) Reflective Practice for Language Teachers, Sheffield: Equinox Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991) Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: CUP Shea, P., Sau Li, C., & Pickett, A. (2006) A study of teaching presence and student sense of learning community in fully online and web-enhanced college courses. Internet and Higher Education [Online] 9 (3) 175190

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