Online and Hybrid Classes in Early Childhood Education


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Trends 2011 Conference

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Online and Hybrid Classes in Early Childhood Education

  1. 1. Teaching Online and Hybrid Classes in Early Childhood Diane Sparks and Rebecca Brinks
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Research related to Female students is embedded as they are the primary users of online education – especially in Early Childhood Education </li></ul><ul><li>Women enroll in online classes because they offer more flexibility in managing the demands of work, family and community (Furst-Bowe, 2002) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Challenge: Technical Competence <ul><li>Women report more computer anxiety and view themselves as less confident in the area of technology than their male counterparts. (Ervin, 2001) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ways to Address Technical Competence <ul><li>Online readiness quiz for students. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Provide active, accessible technical assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Build in teaching and learning activities that develop students’ computer skills </li></ul><ul><li>Other ideas? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Challenge: Preparation <ul><li>Time Constraints are one of the biggest barriers for women (Furst-Bowe, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple roles force women to plan their course work around other commitments (Kramarae, 2001) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Ways to Address Preparation <ul><li>Clarify time commitment, need for self-direction and overall expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a separate discussion area or thread where students can discuss and blend public and private spheres on their own </li></ul>
  7. 7. An example of an online syllabus for faculty
  8. 9. Ways to Address Preparation <ul><li>For Hybrid Courses be very clear about in class time requirements and deliberate about using this time for experiences that are not as rich or suitable to do online </li></ul><ul><li>Other Ideas? </li></ul>
  9. 10. Challenge: Discourse <ul><li>Research - women focus more on collaborative problem solving and sharing information; men are more aggressive, tend to posture, and establish a dominant position (Davis, 1996) </li></ul>
  10. 11. Ways to Address Discourse Issues <ul><li>Use question starters that are guided by the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and focus on reflection, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities for participants to share ideas, experiences and learning </li></ul>
  11. 13. Ways to Address Discourse Issues <ul><li>Provide a rubric with very specific discussion expectations </li></ul>
  12. 15. Challenge: Need for Engagement <ul><li>Female students are more likely to find the lack of face to face interactions less satisfying (Furst-Bowe, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Women are more motivated by activities that promote engagement (Palloff and Pratt, 1999) </li></ul>
  13. 16. Ways to Address the Need for Engagement <ul><li>Build community throughout the course </li></ul><ul><li>Use group sections to create smaller collaborative groups </li></ul><ul><li>Use online hybrid models for courses and training when possible </li></ul><ul><li>Provide real-life examples and develop assignments related to real-life situations </li></ul>
  14. 18. Challenge: Emotion <ul><li>Women often require more encouragement about their ability to be successful in class </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s messages often demonstrate their preoccupation with caretaking issues: their own problems or someone else’s (Halio, 2004) </li></ul>
  15. 19. Ways to Address Emotion <ul><li>Use communication tools available- respond to and send individual emails, the announcements area can give information and group feedback ( “the discussion board postings are great! Keep up the good work!” ) and the survey tool in Bb can give you anonymous feedback about the feelings of the class members. Voice tools, video relay and live online office hours can also work to keep the communication lines open. </li></ul>
  16. 20. Ways to Address Emotion <ul><li>Model encouragement through early discussion boards to create an environment where students encourage each other </li></ul><ul><li>Rubrics for assignments give students clear expectations and specific feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Use technology to set up self correcting drag and drop activities, practice quizzes, and games such as crossword puzzles or jeopardy </li></ul>
  17. 23. Challenge: Flexibility <ul><li>Women are drawn to online learning because it is linked to flexibility, however, there are questions about how flexible online learning really is (Woller and Warner, 2001) </li></ul>
  18. 24. Ways to Address Flexibility Issues <ul><li>Faculty: adapt specific teaching methods for courses </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions: adopt policies to address schedule issues such as length of courses, timing, and use of open entry – open exit options </li></ul><ul><li>Provide online student services </li></ul>
  19. 25. Top Three “Lessons Learned”: Institutional Support for Quality <ul><li>Training, support and compensation is provided for faculty to assist in course development </li></ul><ul><li>Class size is limited to ensure individualized communication and relationship building </li></ul><ul><li>Technical support is available to students and faculty </li></ul>
  20. 26. Top Three “Lessons Learned”: Faculty Commitment to Quality <ul><li>Focused on engaging students and using active learning techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Willing to dedicate time to community building and communication – online courses are more flexible in terms of when and where instruction takes place – not less demanding </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize intentionality in reinforcing student learning </li></ul>
  21. 27. Course Instructional Mode Chosen to Provide Quality and Meet Student Needs <ul><li>Online Hybrid models can provide the best of both worlds </li></ul><ul><li>Student achievement in online and hybrid classes can be equal to that of face to face courses AND </li></ul><ul><li>Student perceptions can be as positive and even more positive in online and hybrid courses ( Great Start Professional Development Grant) </li></ul>