Community Without Compromise:
Cultivating Interactivity in Online and
Blended Learning Environments

http://www.flickr.com...
Survey Activity
• Cognitive presence - the extent to which learners are
able to construct and confirm meaning through
sust...
Session Goals
• Articulate rationale for creating community
• Describe strategies for cultivating community
• Identify too...
Why Community Matters
•
•
•
•

Research
Student Needs
Teacher Needs
Institutional Needs

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zapp...
Research Says…
Psychological distance, or rather lack of
community, in the online learning
environment, can result in stud...
On the other hand…
Ascough (2007), Cho, Gay, Davidson, and
Ingraffea (2007), as well as Pate, Smaldino,
Mayall, and Luetke...
Functioning in a community can enhance
learning, improve academic success, and
contribute to persistence in higher
educati...
Transactional Distance

A psychological and communication space to
be crossed. If learning outcomes in distance
education ...
Transactional Distance

“I believe that the main objective in either
teaching environment is for the subject matter to
be ...
Student Needs
Clear expectations and procedures
Interaction with classmates and
instructor
Communication

http://www.flick...
“…the professor has done a great job
at having a voice in our conversations”
“design of the course makes sure we
all inter...
“There was NO participation…I could
have gotten the same information
reading the book on my own.”
“No communication, unorg...
Teacher Needs
What is sacred to you
about your teaching?
What does your best
teaching look like?
What do you worry that
yo...
Community of Inquiry
CoI, a process model of online learning,
represents the online educational experience as
arising from...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jrhode/2104726422
• Cognitive presence - the extent to which learners are
able to construct and confirm meaning through
sustained personal r...
Balance
Tools vs. Strategies
• Discussion Forum/Webinar as a tool (how)
• Discussion Forum/Webinar as a strategy (why)
• Screencas...
Beginnings:
Establishing and Sustaining Community
Beginnings/Activities
• Virtual coffee shop – Welcome Message
• Instructor Introductory Videos (photos, visual
cues, “stor...
Virtual Coffee Shop

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sveinhal/2218475995/
Beginnings/Activities
• Virtual coffee shop – Welcome Message
• Instructor Introductory Videos (photos, visual
cues, “stor...
Sustaining
• Virtual Coffee Shop – Referencing participants’
interests, questions
• Personal Emails
• Virtual Office Hours...
Ending/Transitioning
• How does the content of this course matter
going forward?
• How does community continue?
• Harvesti...
Goal Setting and Discussion
• Which type of PRESENCE would you like to
increase in your online teaching?
• What might be a...
References - 1
•
•
•

•
•

•

Ascough, R. (2007). Welcoming design: Hosting a hospitable online
course. Teaching Theology ...
References - 2
•
•

•

•
•

•

Northrup, P.T. (2002). Online learners’ preferences for interaction. The Quarterly
Review o...
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"Community Without Compromise..." CHEP 2014

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Slides developed with Dr. Tracy Smith for the 2014 CHEP conference on "Community Without Compromise: Cultivating Interactivity in Online and Blended Learning Environments"

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  • Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, February 5, 2014
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 96% of public and private colleges and universities now offering online courses
    Researchers have identified a feeling of isolation as one factor associated with higher dropout rates among online students (Galusha, 1997; Kubala, 1998; Soles & Moller, 2001).
    Some researchers contend that psychological distance, or lack of community, in the online learning environment, can result in student isolation, frustration, boredom, overload, and low course completion rates (Hara & Kling, 2000; Northrup, 2002; Rovai, Wighting, & Liu, 2005).
    On the other hand, Ascough (2007), Cho, Gay, Davidson, and Ingraffea (2007), as well as Pate, Smaldino, Mayall, and Luetkehans (2009) found that creating online social communities creates an encouraging environment of shared activities that results in deeper learning, higher final course grades, and successful online courses.
    Functioning in a community can enhance learning, improve academic success, and contribute to persistence in higher education (Hargis, 2005; Kember, 1987; Powers & Mitchell, 1997; Shea, Li, & Pickett, 2006). Yuen (2003) asserts that a learning community can help individual learners “achieve what they cannot on their own” (p. 155). Most researchers point to the instructor as the critical player in cultivating a sense of community in online courses. Rovai et al. (2005) as well as Liu, Magjuka, Bonk, and Lee (2007) found that instructors who facilitate a sense of community and student engagement significantly affect student satisfaction and quality of online learning. According to Ascough (2007) and Liu et al. (2007), a welcoming teaching and learning community is central to online student knowledge acquisition, which in turn leads to meaningful learning experiences.
  • "Community Without Compromise..." CHEP 2014

    1. 1. Community Without Compromise: Cultivating Interactivity in Online and Blended Learning Environments http://www.flickr.com/photos/cimmyt/8208414962 Tracy W. Smith and Emory Maiden Appalachian State University
    2. 2. Survey Activity • Cognitive presence - the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained personal reflection and shared discourse. • Social presence - the degree to which participants in computer-mediated communication feel affectively connected to each other. • Teaching presence is the instructor’s design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes.
    3. 3. Session Goals • Articulate rationale for creating community • Describe strategies for cultivating community • Identify tools for building community and enabling communication
    4. 4. Why Community Matters • • • • Research Student Needs Teacher Needs Institutional Needs http://www.flickr.com/photos/zappowbang/2048373555
    5. 5. Research Says… Psychological distance, or rather lack of community, in the online learning environment, can result in student isolation, frustration, boredom, overload, and low course completion rates (Hara & Kling, 2000; Northrup, 2002; Rovai et al., 2005).
    6. 6. On the other hand… Ascough (2007), Cho, Gay, Davidson, and Ingraffea (2007), as well as Pate, Smaldino, Mayall, and Luetkehans (2009) found that creating online social communities creates an encouraging environment of shared activities that results in deeper learning, higher final course grades, and successful online courses.
    7. 7. Functioning in a community can enhance learning, improve academic success, and contribute to persistence in higher education (Hargis, 2005; Kember, 1987; Powers & Mitchell, 1997; Shea, Sau Li, & Pickett, 2006). Yuen (2003) asserts that a learning community can help individual learners “achieve what they cannot on their own” (p. 155).
    8. 8. Transactional Distance A psychological and communication space to be crossed. If learning outcomes in distance education are to be maximized, transactional distance needs to be minimized or shortened. http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/5249681172/
    9. 9. Transactional Distance “I believe that the main objective in either teaching environment is for the subject matter to be so inspirational, exciting, and challenging that students think about it beyond the time in class, whether on campus or online” (Bender, p. 9). http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/5249681172/
    10. 10. Student Needs Clear expectations and procedures Interaction with classmates and instructor Communication http://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/5322740412/sizes/l/
    11. 11. “…the professor has done a great job at having a voice in our conversations” “design of the course makes sure we all interact with each other” “great way to have virtual conversations with my peers” http://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/5322740412/sizes/l/
    12. 12. “There was NO participation…I could have gotten the same information reading the book on my own.” “No communication, unorganized. Almost as if he forgot he had an online class.” http://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/5322740412/sizes/l/
    13. 13. Teacher Needs What is sacred to you about your teaching? What does your best teaching look like? What do you worry that you will have to compromise as more of your classes or class meetings go online? http://www.flickr.com/photos/cybrarian77
    14. 14. Community of Inquiry CoI, a process model of online learning, represents the online educational experience as arising from the interaction of three presences: social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. At the heart of the CoI framework is the idea that community, critical reflection, and knowledge construction are integral to learning, especially online learning. https://coi.athabascau.ca/
    15. 15. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jrhode/2104726422
    16. 16. • Cognitive presence - the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained personal reflection and shared discourse. • Social presence - the degree to which participants in computer-mediated communication feel affectively connected to each other. • Teaching presence is the instructor’s design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes. Each core element on its own is complex and multidimensional – and then the three together are interdependent. In a single activity, online teachers and students can exploit many aspects of the core elements to cultivate a sense of community.
    17. 17. Balance
    18. 18. Tools vs. Strategies • Discussion Forum/Webinar as a tool (how) • Discussion Forum/Webinar as a strategy (why) • Screencasting, Skype, Google+, Questionnaire, Quizzes http://www.flickr.com/photos/nowhere/773969151427
    19. 19. Beginnings: Establishing and Sustaining Community
    20. 20. Beginnings/Activities • Virtual coffee shop – Welcome Message • Instructor Introductory Videos (photos, visual cues, “story”) • Questionnaires • Web Conferencing – Synchronous http://www.flickr.com/photos/clothpaperstring/2108137806
    21. 21. Virtual Coffee Shop http://www.flickr.com/photos/sveinhal/2218475995/
    22. 22. Beginnings/Activities • Virtual coffee shop – Welcome Message • Instructor Introductory Videos (photos, visual cues, “story”) • Questionnaires • Web Conferencing – Synchronous http://www.flickr.com/photos/clothpaperstring/2108137806
    23. 23. Sustaining • Virtual Coffee Shop – Referencing participants’ interests, questions • Personal Emails • Virtual Office Hours • Synchronous Meetings • Discussion Forum and Webinars to provide “inprocess” feedback on assignments – Screen sharing and student ownership http://www.flickr.com/photos/simonpegg/434134713/
    24. 24. Ending/Transitioning • How does the content of this course matter going forward? • How does community continue? • Harvesting http://www.flickr.com/photos/doug88888/5542586880
    25. 25. Goal Setting and Discussion • Which type of PRESENCE would you like to increase in your online teaching? • What might be a first step or strategy you would like to try? http://www.flickr.com/photos/free-stock/7007481395/
    26. 26. References - 1 • • • • • • Ascough, R. (2007). Welcoming design: Hosting a hospitable online course. Teaching Theology and Religion, 10(3), 131-136. Bender, T. (2012). Discussion-based online teaching to enhance student learning: Theory, practice, and assessment. Sterling, VA: Stylus. Cho, H., Gay, G., Davidson, B., & Ingraffea, A. (2007). Social networks, communication styles, and learning performance in a CSCL community. Computers and Education, 49, 309-329. Hara, & Kling. (2000). Students’ distress with a web-based distance education course. Information, Communication, and Society, 3, 557-579. Hargis, J. (2005). Collaboration, community, and project-based learning: Does it still work online? International Journal of Instructional Media, 32(2), 157-162. Kember, D. (1987). A longitudinal process model of drop out from distance education. The Journal of Higher Education, 60(3), 278-301.
    27. 27. References - 2 • • • • • • Northrup, P.T. (2002). Online learners’ preferences for interaction. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3(2), 219-226. Pate, A., Smaldino, S., Mayall, H.J., & Luetkehans, L. (2009). Questioning the necessity of nonacademic social discussion forums within online courses. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 10(1), 1-8. Powers, S.M., & Mitchell, J. (1997). Student perceptions and performance in a virtual classroom environment. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Rovai, A., Wighting, M.J., & Liu, J. (2005). School climate. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 6(4), 361-374. Shea, P., Li, C.S., & Pickett, A. (2006). A study of teaching presence and student sense of learning community in fully online and web-enhanced college courses. Internet & Higher Education, 9 (3), 175-190. Yuen, A.H. (2003). Fostering learning communities in classrooms: A survey research of Hong Kong schools. Education Media International, 40, 153-162.

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