The Methods and Means to grading Student Participation in Online Discussions This is the final post in a three-part series on how to create effective discussions in an online environment in the context of courses for credit. In this post I’ll share how to grade and asses students contributions in online discussion forums – the final yet essential step that solidifies and reinforces student learning. I am eager to share my insight into the measurement component of online discussions, as we found within our own institution’s online program that it was the assessment aspect, through the use of a rubric was the critical element that raised the bar for our threaded discussions. The rubric allowed course instructors to give ‘good’ feedback to students, clarified for students what was expected of them in discussions and to the astonishment of some of our professors, it [the rubric] improved the quality and quantity of discussion postings significantly. How much is the discussion/contribution component worth in the overall grading scheme of an online class? Like this:
Online Discussion Boards & Rubrics – Center for Online Learning, Research and Service - University of Illinois Springfield - UIS Discussions Discussion is at the heart of asynchronous online learning. Critical thinking skills for students can be developed. The expanded time frame offered by asynchronous learning gives ample time for reflection. Writing skills can be honed. So how do we create effective discussions in online courses? Do we simply ask open-ended questions? In the articles below, you can explore various aspects that successful online instructors and researchers have found to be effective in courses. How Often Should Faculty Post? See Dr. One of the most frequently asked questions from veteran and novice online faculty alike is, “How many weekly discussion posts should I contribute?” Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Effective Practices by Bill Peltz More Resources for Online Discussions Rubrics Rubrics are assessment tools that help educators clearly communicate expectations for student work. Rubrics play a vital role in helping students identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Ideas for Rubric Use
DropVox - Record Voice Memos to Dropbox Using DropVox Features and Benefits Universal app, running equally well on iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad. MP3 audio files sound great while saving bandwidth and Dropbox storage. Accessible with VoiceOver for the visually impaired. read more… The Intention Behind DropVox Imagine if your digital camera stopped and asked you to name each photo after you took it or popped up a file system for you to choose where to save it. DropVox is streamlined to record and upload voice memos to Dropbox; there’s no need to name files or choose where to send them. I tried a lot of recorders and all felt needlessly complex, so I wrote DropVox to scratch my own itch. I have personally found many benefits by embracing this workflow: Recording all my ideas seems to encourage more and better ideas to flow. Also Try DropVox for Mac What People Are Saying A friction-free way to record audio straight to your Dropbox Simple and effective, just how we like ’em. DropVox is the next best thing to an actual dictaphone.
Critical thinking in the Online Classroom This is part 3 in a 3 part series discussing the concept of ‘presence’ in online learning communities. I’ve been writing about online presence in this series and though complex, it is best understood by the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model, a framework of three dimensions that work together to create what I call a complete learning experience (though the creators of the model call it an ‘educational experience’ where all three coincide (Garrison et al., 2000). In part one, I reviewed instructor presence and part two, social presence. Though this third dimension is officially labeled ‘cognitive presence‘ I have made reference to critical thinking, as this is what should be happening in the cognitive presence domain, which I’ll elaborate on further in the post. What is Cognitive Presence? I thought social presence was the most abstract and elusive, but I was wrong, it’s this dimension, Cognitive Presence that is the hardest to get my head around and put on paper. Resources: Garrison, D.
Discussion Rubrics - Pedagogical Repository Description While faculty might hope that students can "just discuss" a topic online with little or no support, Beckett, Amaro‐Jiménez, and Beckett (2010) found that "even doctoral students may need explicit grading instructions, and therefore provide rubrics and sample responses while not stifling creativity" (p. 331). Rubrics provide clear expectations for students regarding how an assignment, that can otherwise be subjective, will be graded. In addition to providing learner support, they can be especially helpful to instructors since they clearly state the goals for the assignment and facilitate a systematic way to assign grades. Baker (2011) notes that it is helpful for the instructor to be very clear in their rubric, using both quantitative and qualitative elements. Pelz (2004, in Cranney et al., 2011) recommend that students ask these questions to themselves as they post: (1) Is the information accurate? Link to example artifact(s) Simple rubric examples Baker, D.L. (2011). Citation
How to Motivate Students in the Online Learning Environment “Correction does much, but encouragement does more“ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe How can course instructors encourage their online students to learn? In this post I’ll describe how course instructors can foster learning in their online classes. I’ll also examine how the needs of online learners differ from students of traditional learning and how instructors and institutions can support non-traditional students. This is the third post in a four-part series on strategies for online instruction. Self-Directed Learning (willingness and capacity to conduct one’s own education) The Online Learning Support Framework is a model that can help educators understand the distinct needs of the online student. Phase-Two: The Not-so-Needy Student In the previous post I described phase one where the learner was dependent, subsequently requiring a high level of academic support. And what about the Teaching? Below I’ve listed several strategies that have great potential to encourage students. Like this:
Student Motivation and Engagement by Selby Cull, Washington University in St. Louis Don Reed, Dept. of Geology, San Jose State UniversityKarin Kirk, Science Education Resource Center authored as part of the 2010 workshop, Teaching Geoscience Online - A Workshop for Digital Faculty Jump down to: The Nature of Online Learners | Pedagogic Design | Instructor Behavior | References and Resources The challenge of keeping our students engaged and motivated is common across grade levels, subject matter, and all types of institutions and courses. On the other hand, there are several advantages to the online environment that make it easier to engage students. The self-paced nature of online courses allows students to fit the work time into their schedule. Background: The Nature of Online Learners Online learners are a varied group, but there are commonalities that can assist instructors in developing effective strategies in course design and pedagogical approach. Pedagogic Design for Engagement Helpful Web Resources References
Assessment and Rubrics Learn more about our Online Courses, Online Certificate Programs, and Graduate Degree A collection of rubrics for assessing portfolios, group work/cooperative learning, concept map, research process/ report, PowerPoint, oral presentation, web page, blog, wiki, and other social media projects. Quick Links to Rubrics Social Media Project Rubrics Wiki RubricCriteria for assessing individual and group Wiki contributions. Blog RubricAssess individual blog entries, including comments on peers' blogs. Twitter RubricAssess learning during social networking instructional assignments. Discussion, Teamwork, and Group Work Rubrics Online Discussion Board RubricAssessing ability to share perspectives, refine thoughts through the writing process, and participate in meaningful discussionPrimary Grade Self-Evaluation Teamwork Rubric (PDF)Features of a sandwich to graphically show the criteria PowerPoint and Podcast Rubrics A+ PowerPoint Rubric Joan Vandervelde's rubric provides 10 performance categories
Using Self-Determination Theory to Improve Online Learner Motivation Written by: Rob KellyPublished On: April 12, 2014 According to self-determination theory, a theory developed by Deci and Ryan, three basic psychological needs affect motivation: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Susan Epps, associate professor of Allied Health Sciences, and Alison Barton, associate professor of Teaching and Learning, both at East Tennessee State University, have used this theory to develop ways to improve online learner motivation. Autonomy In this context, autonomy does not refer to independence but to the desire to have control over one’s own life and to make choices based on personal preferences. Creating a sense of autonomy helps students make choices that emphasize what they value, which can increase the subjective value of the learning—the sense that the learning is relevant to one’s life, Barton says. Here are some ways to offer students choices: Competence Feeling competent and having a sense of self-efficacy can be highly motivating. Relatedness Reference
Learning analytics don't just measure students' progress – they can shape it As a society, we assess what we value. Within education, we use metrics and grades to give students a sense of what "good" looks like and how they can achieve this. That's the aim. In practice, we end up assessing the knowledge and skills that we are able to measure, and setting aside others that we value. The development of learning analytics – data collected from students' online footprints showing how or when they study – gives us an opportunity to change this practice. Learning analytics draw on the expertise of data miners, who find and make use of patterns in big datasets. Interest in learning analytics has been fuelled partly by the recent rise in popularity of Moocs (massive open online courses). The use of big datasets in education is not new. But learning analytics can move beyond this. In the US, Purdue University has developed the signals learning analytics programme.