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Getting the Mix Right Again: An Updated and Theoretical Rationale for Interaction

Getting the Mix Right Again: An Updated and Theoretical Rationale for Interaction
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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:

How to choose the best Ed-Tech tools for Online Instruction How many ‘ed-tech’ tools are out there that can enhance online learning? I’d guess hundreds if not more. It’s almost on a daily basis that I come across a new educational technology tool. Before we move on – what is educational technology or ed-tech??? Ed-tech is a term for technological applications or tools that can be used in an educational environment to enhance instruction.That’s the theoretical definition (though there are others) but .. what ed-tech can do when used effectively is to create meaningful, engaging instruction that motivates learners and supports learning objectives of a lesson or course. In this post I’ll share how educators can use educational technology effectively with the aid of a five-step strategy. For course instructors and designers it’s not so much of should I use one of these applications or tools in my course, but which one? Why use an Ed Tech tool if the first place? Integration Strategy How do you integrate a new ed-tech tool into a course? Like this:

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

Using Rubrics to Grade Online Discussions - ELC Support A rubric is a scoring scale used to evaluate a student's work. Rubrics spell out to students exactly what is expected of them, and they list the criteria instructors use to assess students' work. Rubrics also help instructors by providing guidelines for more objective grading. The Value of Rubrics Rubrics are useful for assessing work in any classroom setting, but they are especially helpful in online courses, where all information must be clearly stated in course documents. In some courses, instructors use rubrics for each assignment. Examples Here are some examples of rubrics used to assess online discussions and journal assignments. Rubric for Instructor-Facilitated Online Discussions This example lists expectations for student participation and includes a grading rubric for evaluating the quality of a student's participation in a discussion. Example 2: Student-led Online Discussion Participation Rubric This example assumes that students will lead and guide their own discussion.

Questions to Consider As You Prepare to Teach Your First Hybrid Course | TeachOnline A hybrid course is much more than just an online course with a face-to-face class session thrown in for good measure. It involves asking, “What is the best way for students to interact with course content, construct knowledge, engage in critical thinking and problem solving?” Purposeful decisions are made by the instructor as to what activities are best included in face-to-face class sessions, and which activities would work well in a virtual environment. The term hybrid, or blended course, signifies a new way of thinking about how to harness the power of technology to promote learning and identify the best strategies to help students master important course concepts. However, it is about more than just teaching an existing course in a new format. “Blended [hybrid] learning inherently is about rethinking and redesigning the teaching and learning relationship. Blended or hybrid learning capitalizes on an important paradigm shift in instructional pedagogy. Additional Resources References

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? cognitive presence: is the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2001). Resources: Garrison, D.

Using Biggs' Model of Constructive Alignment in Curriculum Design/Introduction - UCD - CTAG The main theoretical underpinning of the outcomes-based curriculum is provided by Biggs (2003). He calls the model constructive alignment which he defines as: …coherence between assessment, teaching strategies and intended learning outcomes in an educational programme. (McMahon & Thakore 2006) As currently articulated, the model is attributed to Biggs (2003, 1999) but the essentials were formulated by Tyler (1949) some 50 years earlier - and elaborated in the 1980s by Shuell (1986). At its most basic, the model requires alignment between the three key areas of the curriculum, namely, the intended learning outcomes, what the student does in order to learn, how the student is assessed. Figure 1: A Basic Model of an Aligned Curriculum. Figure 2: An Example of Constructive Alignment in a Curriculum (Further examples are given in Appendix 1) Biggs actually suggests that teaching and learning activities are designed second and the assessment regime third (page 30).

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. Online courses, however, present a special concern. 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. References

20+ UK Twitter Users Educators Should Follow Curating your Twitter feed is an interesting task. Sometimes you know exactly what you want to get out of the people whose Tweets you’re spending your time reading. Finding new people to follow on Twitter can range from being fun to being a total pain in the neck. 20 UK Twitter Users Educators Should Follow BBC Education: Set up by @mario, supported by SchoolDuggery: Keeping an independent and occasionally caustic eye on schools and education. DfE: The official Twitter account for the Department for Education and its executive agencies – STA, EFA and National College for Teaching and Leadership. Laura McInerney: Taught in London. Ann Mroz: Editor and Digital Publishing Director, TES, and former editor of Times Higher Education Watchsted: Current Inspection Intelligence & Database of Ofsted Inspection Reports Greg Hurst: Education Editor at The Times Helen Warrell: FT public policy correspondent. Jonathan Simons: Personal feed. Toby Young: Classical Liberal

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. 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. In each of these cases, learning analytics combine techniques for data analysis and visualisation with an understanding of the teaching and learning process. In future, the challenges for learning analytics will be to build ever-stronger links between data, teaching and learning and to maintain a focus on developing the skills and knowledge that we value as a society.

How Google Glass Is Being Used In Classrooms Around The World I’ve been lucky to be a member of the Google Glass Explorer Program for the past year. I was excited to learn about how this technology could be advanced in terms of education and everyday activities… however it never dawned on me how much potential it truly had until I began the Explorer Program. Over the past year using Glass in class I have began to see the potential not only in education, but also for the everyday consumer. Right now Google glass is expensive and limited among education and consumers…but it is a technology that is moving towards being more cost efficient for all users. (Cost to Build Google Glass) This is why, as educators, we need to take a more in depth look at how this technology will reform education as a whole. Introspection So how does Glass fit into the education technology conversation? Glass in Action Soon after I was received my Glass, I was bringing it on a regular basis to my classroom. Glass in Other Classrooms | Blended Synchronous Learning - Uniting face-to-face and remote learners through rich-media real-time collaboration tools Project Blog Conceptions of effective teaching in higher education: extending the boundaries - Teaching in Higher Education - Volume 12, Issue 1 This paper examines university teachers’ conceptions of effective teaching. It reports a small illuminatory study of eight teachers. Their narratives identify rich insights. Conceptions of ‘learning through dialogue’, ‘community of learners’ and ‘meta-learning’ emerge as crucial in supporting students’ learning. Related articles View all related articles