Period 1 Get Ready (before the webinar) answer the BBDB DONE!
Period 2 Get Set (attend the webinar Online Session 1) DONE!
Period 3 Go (after the webinar enter the BB course and complete some activities DONE!
Period 4 Review - (attend Session 2) IN PROGRESS!
Period 5 post workshop survey TO DO!
Welcome to Creating a Sense of Community in Online Courses! Session #2
Today’s Agenda Part I: Reviewing and Expanding on Issues and Ideas + Practices (HOW to use BlackBoard to Create Community in Online Courses) that were covered in Session #1 Part II: More advanced uses of BB for Community and expanding the functionality of BB by linking ‘out’ to Web 2.0 Resources
“ For the most part, the courses we all took in college taught us how to be effective teachers in the traditional classroom setting. We are all learning a new way to teach. Nonetheless, the ultimate goals remain the same: to create a challenging and academically rigorous environment where students learn, gain, develop, and master skills and knowledge.”
“… One of the things that I plan to use is the welcome thread. I like to refer students to my bio and then have them share a little about themselves in the thread. ..the students often find that they have areas of interest in common. Other times, because they know a little about the person posting the messages, they are able to relate and understand the messages better …students often answer their classmates questions, and usually in a way that their peers better understand. I learned not to answer too quickly but to give students a day to respond to each other. ”
I think most students want to know that there is a real professor that is in contact with them often.
I post an announcement (which is also sent to them via email) 3 to 5 times a week. These announcements are summaries of what I have noticed in their homework, latest news in education as it relates to the course, Jing video demonstrations, reminders, and other items that I feel are important to students. And students have told me that they appreciate these frequent email postings.
A major part of my first discussion board has the students talking about themselves. I ask them to tell us about where they are in their education, what are their present and past careers and what they are hoping to get out of the semester's work and readings. I tell them to feel free to tell us anything about themselves that they would like us to know. In my initial Announcement, I do my own bio, introducing myself, talking briefly about my career and family and letting the students know that they can email me at any time with questions they may have about the particular course or an education issue about any topic.
I make sure that my students minds are constantly being stimulated, and they are reflecting on their learning. I also feel it is important to establish a community by allowing students to express appropriately their frustration that the Jets lost, or that their favorite person was voted of from American Idol. When they feel a part of the community the required learning seems to come easier for them.
Some nuanced changes I might make at this point. I always have a student lounge area, but it hasn't caught on. However, I haven't put it at the top of the DB, so perhaps I will. I may also consider just having a place where students working in the same age group (they are divided into those planning for infants/toddlers, preschool/pre-k, K, and primary) can share ideas and get feedback among themselves in the group pages without actually doing a group project.
One thing that I really liked was the student lounge concept and I will definitely give it a try next semester. I see that as a great way to increase the feeling of community among all of the students and me.
I add a DB FAQ each semester and get a few questions that are often questions asked by many students. Students seem to value the answers, but this does not seem to build a sense of community. I will definitely try to use the BBDB Introduction next semester. This seems to be a great way to get students interested in the current employment and/or teaching assignments (grade level/subject) of each other and increase communication with each other.
I have used the introduction thread and I just added the FAQ thread. I put both of these threads in the Discussion Board. I wonder where others are adding them. Also, the sample says that asking and answering questions will earn participation points for the student. Has anyone had experience doing this? If so, how did it work out for you?
I use the announcement section for a lot of explanations of the course requirements, logistics, general comments, clarifications. I think the use of the Announcements and option to email the announcement to students, who can then respond to it, creates a great tool to keep in touch with students on a constant level.
In order to get to know my class, I have developed for each class a survey asking questions relating to how many courses students have taken, whether online is a new experience for them, their knowledge about NCLB and IDEA, and their job experience.
The survey can be developed via Blackboard Survey Manager and I word it in such a way that it is analyzed by Blackboard entirely. Once I have the survey results I post them in Course Materials and send an e-mail to all students asking them to review the results and give their opinions or comments about the survey on a Discussion Board. I noticed that students appreciate knowing the profile of the class and are able to compare where they stand in relation to the class.
In 1930 the Republican controlled House of Representatives in an effort to alleviate the effects of the… Anyone? Anyone? The Great Depression, passed the… Anyone? Anyone? The Tariff Bill, The Hawley Smoot Tariff Act… which… Anyone? Raised or lowered, Anyone? Raised tariffs in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone? It did not work and the United States sank deeper into the GREAT DEPRESSION…
How can we apply our Webinar understandings to helping this teacher be more effective?
HELP! Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? This is a perfect example of the importance of making connections and building your lesson on the prior knowledge of the students. These students obviously are not aware of any of the issues the teacher is trying to discuss with them when pausing and trying to elicit responses. It does not occur to the teacher that he should have engaged students in some activities that would have raised their interest in learning the important issues he is covering in his course… I would begin with an introduction that would connect the students’ current economic situation to the lesson… ~ Tatanya Ulubabova
While the manner of delivery is certainly dry, I think the sort of ‘101 issue’ that he is missing is actually waiting for someone to reply. Even with small children, the rule of thumb is to wait 5-10 seconds before giving the answer so while students are obviously bored, they really don't have to be too engaged as they never really have to answer. Regardless of what we do, I do think we need to wait it out a little (DB comes to mind) without jumping in and giving our answer as it allows students the time to formulate their thoughts and ideas. In addition, we are a-synchronously discussing so there is a natural time gap. This can be a tricky thing because sometimes the professor's participation in the DB can fuel and other times it can stifle so it's important to really watch the development of each class.
“ If I were teaching this in a class , I would probably first ask students to read whatever requisite information there is and I might motivate them by asking a few provocative questions. Hopefully you could find something that presents different sides to the debate. I would then likely have them use the discussion board to have them discuss their ideas or opinions related to the material and back it up using the reading. If the material warrants I might even see if we can work on some debates online.”
“ I went to college because I thought… - I’m a Digital Native, We’re Visual Learners, people’s attention span now is…. - Professors don’t really seem to get that! – These skills are so crucial…and they’re not being offered… - The price is up here…and the way we are learning is still down here. – “Anywhere you go outside of college that technology’ being used… and I don’t understand why we’re not applying it to class. - It seems that in order to progress in the world you need a document that says you’ve learned, regardless If you’ve really learned the skills that you need. - I think it would make it even more exciting for them (the professors)! – Students are changing the way they want to learn. – The teacher’s not prepared to do that. – When I become a teacher , I’m gonna’ have to learn… and if I don’t adapt to that, I’m gonna’ lose my students! ”
One thing that I do that I think works really well is dividing students into groups to lead DBs each week. A handful of students make a longer initial response to the discussion questions by Wednesday and then from Wednesday to Sunday, all students (including the leaders) make 2 comments on the work. I require everyone to post on at least 2 days. This bolsters the levels to the discussion so instead of just having 24 responses to the discussion board with one or 2 responses, each discussion leader generally gets about a dozen responses and 5 or 6 levels to the discussion. I find this helps the students learn from each other and go deeper into the subject matter. This has been working really well for a few semesters
“ Students are native to technology; technology allows students to learn faster and better. The learning becomes personalized, and the use of the paper-pencil approach is not going to work. They have to be prepared for the future and the teachers do not really see what the future is: it is digital. Students should not be denied choices of customizing their learning to meet their needs and learning styles. Teachers are used to teach the way they used to learn .”
~ Tatanya Ulubabova
Extending BlackBoard’s Capabilities by linking ‘out’ to Web 2.0 resources.
St udents take on the role of instructors - the class is divided into groups of three or 4 - each group is assigned one chapter of Unit 4 in the class text. Within each group the chapter can be further divided so that each member focuses on one section that chapter.
The group produces a Powerpoint presentation representing the learning for their chapter. To be shared with the whole class…
How to collaborate? – Optional Use of Wimba Check it out @
Other Web 2.0 resources that extend our use of BB