Online Professional Learning Communities

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a workshop tool: Do we need an online learning environment?

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  • Online Professional Learning Communities

    1. 1. Exploring Online Learning Communities What makes them tick? Rochelle Jensen - 2009
    2. 2. <ul><li>What online learning communities are you currently involved in or </li></ul><ul><li>have knowledge of? </li></ul>What do you gain from your involvement in these communities?
    3. 3. <ul><li>IN GROUPS OF THREE DISCUSS: </li></ul><ul><li>Would it be beneficial to set up an online learning community to </li></ul><ul><li>support this group? </li></ul><ul><li>CONSIDER </li></ul><ul><li>Why? What would be its purpose? </li></ul><ul><li>How might it look? What components? </li></ul>FEEDBACK Human Continuum Yes, No, Maybe -Justification
    4. 4. <ul><li>A glimpse at the research .... </li></ul><ul><li>Heather Bell – Massey University – Conducting her thesis </li></ul><ul><li>on “ How can blended learning communities be facilitated </li></ul><ul><li>to support the professional learning of in-service teacher </li></ul><ul><li>educators?” </li></ul><ul><li>Garrison and Vaughn (2008) - Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, principles and guidelines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass </li></ul><ul><li>Lai, K.W., Pratt,K., Anderson, M., and Stigter, J. (2006) Literature Review and Synthesis: Online Communities of Practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Wenger, E. 2001. Communities of Practice: a brief introduction </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>“ Some online communities emerge out of nowhere, are totally unplanned and blossom. But these are the minority. There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that careful planning is essential to the success of an online community” </li></ul><ul><li>(Australian Flexible Learning Framework, What are the characteristics of effective online learning communities? pg 7, 2003) </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>“ Online is not separate to the physical world – in teaching or in the development of Communities Of Practice – in reality hybrid models usually operate”. </li></ul><ul><li>(Australian Flexible Learning Framework, What are the characteristics of effective online learning communities? pg 4, 2003) </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>PL + ICT = EPL </li></ul>Poor Learning + ICT = Expensive Poor Learning
    8. 8. Three Elements of Communities of Inquiry Garrison and Vaughn , 2008.
    9. 9. <ul><li>CONSIDER </li></ul><ul><li>What benefits/ motivation is there for participants? What is the purpose of this community? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the roles and protocols ? Do members have ownership over these protocols? Who ensures that these are adhered to? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the culture of the group such that collaboration is valued? How do you promote this collaboration online? </li></ul><ul><li>How is trust nurtured in this environment? </li></ul><ul><li>How is risk-taking / the sharing of half-baked ideas encouraged? </li></ul><ul><li>Have members had previous experienced working collaboratively as a group? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there opportunities for the group to meet face-to face ? </li></ul><ul><li>Critical mass of users to make community viable? </li></ul>“ Social presence the ability of participant to project themselves socially and emotionally as real people…” (p. 28, Garrison and Vaughn) benefits motivation role protocols ownership collaborative culture? trust risk-taking climate
    10. 10. “ Cognitive Presence is the design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purposes of realising personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes” (p. 29, Garrsion and Vaughn) <ul><li>CONSIDER </li></ul><ul><li>Is this a task that can benefit from collaboration, traditional or electronic? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a defined focus? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a common goal which is clearly articulated? </li></ul>Underpinned by inquiry and research Improvements in teacher practice and student outcomes Responsive Methods, stories, cases , tool, documents Understandings discussed and challenged. content
    11. 11. <ul><li>“ Teaching presence is the design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purposes of realising personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes” </li></ul><ul><li>(p. 29, Garrison and Vaughn) </li></ul>facilitation design direction <ul><li>CONSIDER </li></ul><ul><li>How will the facilitator value and elicit input from others? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the facilitator someone who knows the content, is comfy with technology and has the ability to draw and inspire participants? </li></ul><ul><li>How savvy is the group? How can they be supported? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Bus- Stop <ul><li>Please share your ideas re Social Presence </li></ul><ul><li>What do you see as the purpose of our online community? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the culture of the group such that collaboration is valued ? How will we promote this collaboration online? </li></ul></ul>Please share your ideas related to: Teaching Presence Who should be responsible for facilitating/moderating this environment? What is the responsibility of the other members of this online environment? Please share your ideas re Cognitive Presence What content would you like to see included in our online community? participants walk around the room adding their ideas to the three stops: Social, Cognitive and Teaching Presence
    13. 13. Ideas from the bus-stop activity are collated to form the foundations of the online learning environment.
    14. 14. “ There is no absolute formula, this is a fluid and rapidly evolving medium; you will have to experiment and improvise”. (Australian Flexible Learning Framework, What are the characteristics of effective online learning communities? pg 17, 2003)
    15. 15. <ul><li>Online learning communities have been developed for many years now but </li></ul><ul><li>few manage to actually provide more than just a repository for information </li></ul><ul><li>and ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Potter, 2004 </li></ul>

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