Student Engagement And Interactions Online: Tips, Strategies And Tools

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1 Student Engagement And Interactions Online: Tips, Strategies And Tools Dalia Hanna, LTO, Restiani Andriati, Digital Media Projects Office (DMP), Ya-Yin Ko, Digital Educational Strategies (DES), and Guest Speaker: Dr. Gabor Forgacs, TRSM

2 : Basics of Online Learning Workshop Online Course Design: Converting From In-class to Online Environments Student Engagement And Interactions Online: Tips, Strategies And Tools Assessment And Feedback: Design, Development and Administration of E-assignments Know Your Learners: The Unique Attributes And Needs of Online Learners Online Workload Management: How Much Time Is Needed To Plan, Design, Develop And Teach Online? Date September 19, 2013 October 11, 2013 (Today) November 28, 2013 January 23, 2014 January 31, 2014 Fully Online Training: Winter Spring 2014

3 Agenda Why Interactions Effective Communication Strategies Online Activities and Tools By the end of this workshop you will be able to: Identify various strategies to enhance students' interactions online Examine effective communication strategies Choose learning activities that support your learning objectives

4 Effective Online Interactions Be present. Develop supportive learning community. Provide clear expectations on communications and weekly plans. Use large group, small group and individual work experience. Use synchronous (same time) and asynchronous activities (different time). (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010)

5 Effective Online Interactions Ask for Informal feedback early in the course (Formative). Invite responses, questions, reflections through discussion boards. Use content and resources in digital formats. Combine core concept learning with personalized and customized learning. Plan a good closing (wrap up) activity. (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010)

6 Study: Interpersonal Interaction and Student Performance Student Performance Little Interpersonal Interaction Moderate Interpersonal Interaction Strong Interpersonal Interaction (Columbia University, 2013)

7 Online Interactions Student to Instructor Interactions S-I Learning Student to Student Interactions S-S Student to Resources (Content) S-R

8 Online Interactions: Phases Beginning Syllabus: Expectations and Timelines Welcome Announcement Examples: Ice Breaker Activity (2truths and a lie, window with a view) Survey (learner s analysis) Middle Be present (Announcements, virtual office hours ) Discussions: Topic, Group Size, Rules, Grading Examples: Group contracts, debates, reflective activities, virtual field trips, ) Formative Evaluation End Grading Wrap up activity: (Choose a chapter from text book, choose an article and 3 websites with relevant info, post 3-5 paragraphs, ask one question, ) Summary and Summative Evaluation

9 The Dinner Party: The Host s Actions. Welcome EVERYONE personally at the door. (Online forum) Make sure every person feels comfortable in the new environment. (Tone) Don t ignore anyone. (Reply to each student throughout the course) Disagreements are phrased professionally. No one should be silent, including the host! (Be present in forums) Serve them something delicious. (Content!) Invite them back! (To weekly forums, to the next assignment ) Dr. Cheryl Hayek, Associate Provost at Grantham University.

10 The Dinner Party: The Host s Actions. Proportionate time with every guest. (Don t reply to the same students every time) Spend extra time with needy guests. (Struggling students) Don t talk all at once, spread the conversation throughout the party. (Post on various days, keeping the volume consistent) Start up a new conversation when one is stale! (Add a relevant link to a current event to discuss) Hosts are visible, immediately attend to guests needs, personable, and proactively plan for a great evening! Dr. Cheryl Hayek, Associate Provost at Grantham University.

11 Effective Communication Strategies: Announcement Area Conference Area(s) (Instructor Q & A; Students Lounge) Rubrics: Performance Evaluation vs. Checklists Communication Tools - Discussion Boards:

12 Tools for Engagement: Discussion Boards The Discussion Board is intended to foster a dynamic, flowing discussion that stems from students engagement with course materials, one another, and faculty. Students are expected to ground their ideas and responses to one another in the course materials, in their own experience, and when relevant, in additional outside references. (Walden University, 2011)

13 Discussion Boards: Best Practices Acknowledge first responses right away. Foster a warm environment. Model how to be a productive participant. Model how to give feedback. Respond to comments that have not received a response. Encourage students to respond to each other. (Betts, 2009)

14 Discussion Board Questions: Example Note Questions Course: Organizations, Innovation and Change Defining Effective Leadership Consider the qualities of effective leaders that were identified in the Learning Resources. Reflect on past experiences that you have had with leaders whom you considered to be effective. What qualities did they exhibit that made you consider them effective? What qualities could they have exhibited that would have made them more effective? How much of effective leadership is dependent upon: the context of the leadership, the leader s role, and the leader s position in the organization? Is effective leadership always correlated to the title that someone holds? By Wednesday: Post your own description of an effective leader. Explain how the leader's role, position, or organizational context can influence their ability to lead others. Be sure to include examples from the articles and your own experience. By Sunday: Read through a sampling of the postings of your colleagues, focusing particularly on those to which you can add relevant or insightful comments that expand the Discussion. Respond to at least two of your colleagues posts by expanding on their definition of effective leadership, commenting by uncovering additional qualities that may have been overlooked in their definition, or point out the similarities and/or differences between your post and theirs. Respond to two (or more) other students postings in any of the following ways: Provide feedback, ask a question, share an insight, offer an opinion, make a suggestion, note a similarity or difference to your posting. Return to the Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Continue the dialogue as desired by responding to your colleagues thoughts. (Walden University, 2012)

15 Rubric for Discussion Boards Quality of Work Submitted (Criteria): Contribution to the Learning Community Initial Posting: Critical Analysis of Issues Responses: Quality of Learning for Colleagues and Self Expression Final Grade Grading (A-Exemplary, B-Acceptable, C-Minimal, F-Work submitted but Unacceptable)

16 Activity Benefits and Challenges of Online Discussion Boards.

17 Discussion Boards: Concerns Time consuming for instructor and students. Tend to rely almost exclusively on written communication. Misunderstandings cannot be quickly and easily corrected, and can lead to serious problems. Students who do not communicate well in writing are greatly disadvantaged by not being able to express themselves through spoken words. (University of Minnesota Duluth, n.d.)

18 Communication Tools Synchronous Environments (Same Time) Short Duration Lecture Small and Large Group Activities Help facilitate instructional situations Use audio and video components to facilitate hands-on and discussions Technology Tools: Streaming media Videos Technology Tools: Chat Online quizzes and self assessment surveys Google Drive Adobe Connect

19 Communication Tools Asynchronous Environments: (Different time) Collaboration Problem- Based Learning Student-Led Discussion Student assume responsibility for their learning Encourage active learning and improve students engagement Create sense of community Technology Tools: Blogs Wikis Adobe Connect (Play back) Technology Tools: Interactive modules or games Promote student engagement Technology Tools: Discussion Boards Forums

20 Do I have to grade participation? About Pros and Cons and how-to Sharing the experience: Gabor Forgacs TRSM

21 No, you don t have to, but it s expected. If you can t force participation in class, how can you force it online? Learning styles differ. Knowledge acquisition, understanding and mastering ownership, application a variety of modes and mindsets. Online environment different to read student behaviour and conduct. (e.g. no eye contact or nonverbal clues)

22 Cons I put the onus on student - Take-aways are commensurate with invested effort. I don t award showing up. Chats, posted reactions are not academic achievements. Students are quick to figure it out how to game the system. The integrity of the mark.

23 Pros If I get them interested and engaged I ve done my bit. A lot of learning happens through interactions. I learn from the notes/questions asked: about my teaching plus about the student s thinking. Peering, sharing and cooperation comes natural to students. (they may do it anyway outside the course site) Creates more conducive learning environment.

24 Inviting Participation Each chat or discussion should have a separate thread. Latecomers can catch up and contribute at any stage. I can go back and do tracking as well. Be involved. Even if you just post Point well made. Your presence is important for participants. Priming the pump. (Lead-in question, ice breaker, discussion starter, a provoking perspective. etc.) Divide students into groups and assign them which side to argue for in a case discussion.

25 Marking Participation Be specific. You may need to defend this mark on appeal. You have provide a chance to earning a fair grade. Students need to know at the outset how they are assessed (University Policy re. outlines) Spell it out what you are looking for. e.g. Completion requirement ( Students with less then 14 posting will get a zero mark for participation. one per week? Or all posting the last or first week acceptable?)

26 Marking Participation Quantity and quality (relevant, advances the discussion, concise, thoughtful, reflective, based on personal experience, relates to previous learning, etc.) As an educator it is my duty to keep the discussion fair, respectful, inviting, and on topic.

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