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
Online Design & eLearning Faculty Resources » Increase Online Student Engagement and Motivation Using TEC-VARIETY Online instructors at varying levels of experience are constantly challenged by the feat of motivating and engaging students. While most instructors do a fine job at keeping students engaged in a face-to-face course, many stumble when it comes to maintaining the same level of engagement in an online environment. If you are one of those who battle the distance and lack of physical contact in your course, take a look at this research-based resource. Adding Some TEC-VARIETY is a great resource for new and existing online instructors looking to engage and motivate their students. The book is available on the website of the same name tec-variety.com and is licensed under a Creative Commons License. In the book, Curtis Bonk and Elaine Khoo introduced TEC-VARIETY, a 10-principle framework that addresses different aspects of learner motivation in online environments. The ten motivational principles of TEC-VARIETY are: T – Tone/Climate: Psychological Safety, Comfort, Sense of Belonging
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
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
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.
Online Discussions What are online discussions? Why do online discussions? How can you create effective online discussions? What are online discussions? Online discussions are a great tool to extend classroom conversations and learning by getting students to engage with class material online. A discussion board is the tool that hosts the space for online discussions. Course management systems, such as Blackboard, and other web-based tools, such as Piazza, host online discussions. Online discussions can take other forms such as discussions based on a piece of work, or feedback dialogue on a student’s writing. Why do online discussions? Flexible, not limited by time or space. How can you create effective online discussions? In order for online discussions to result in productive learning experiences: Consider the learning outcomes for using online discussions in your course. How can you manage online discussions? At the beginning: Set the tone. Throughout the discussion: Allow students to do the talking.
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