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Beyond the Brainstorm: Deepening Online Learning
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Beyond the Brainstorm: Deepening Online Learning



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  • 1. Beyond the Brainstorm: Deepening online collaborative dialogue for learning Simmons College Blended Learning Institute
  • 2. Sarah Haavind, Ed.D. ~ [email_address]
    • Lesley University, School of Education
  • 3. New Venue : new opportunities
    • Anytime, anywhere, but “scheduled asynchronous . ”
    • Asynchronous, text-based reflective, dialogue.
    • Collaboration at a distance.
    • Shift away from lecture-based to learner-centered , inquiry-based or online pedagogy .
  • 4. Starting Point & Bridge
    • How do we take advantage of online discussion opportunities to foster collaborative dialogue, or collaborative presence ?
    • How do we define the instructor's role when students are working as a group?
    • How do we define the learner’s role?
  • 5. Fostering Collaborative Presence
    • Set a community culture;
    • Construct discussion prompts that are inherently collaborative;
    • Explicitly teach participants HOW to engage collaboratively;
    • Nurture collaborative presence by facilitating from the side/coaching ;
    • Assessments that support and recognize collaborative efforts .
  • 6. Research on Collaborative Online Pedagogy
    • Sloan Consortium ( Sloan-C )
    • Hiltz & Goldman (2005) Learning Together Online
    • The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning ( IRRODL )
    • Garrison & Anderson (2003) E-Learning in the 21st Century
    • Collison et. al. (2000) Facilitating Online Learning
  • 7. Research (continued)
    • White & Weight (2000) The Online Teaching Guide ;
    • Bender (2003) Discussion Based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning: Theory, Practice & Assessment
    • Roberts (2004) Online Collaborative Learning: Theory & Practice
    • Roberts (2006) Self, Peer and Group Assessment in E-learning
  • 8. Setting a Community Culture
    • Make expectations explicit (Learner Support Agreement, Up-front info)
    • Weekly announcements that remind participants of upcoming responsibilities and opportunities
    • Respond to Tech and “What do I do?” questions asap
    • Sit on your hands when questions about content appear. Online wait time!
    • Peer Moderating with training/support.
  • 9. Purposeful Discussion Spaces
    • Student Lounge
    • Technical Questions
    • Questions about Content
    • Class Debriefing Meetings
  • 10. Community Building
    • Quick and helpful support
    • Community-building activities
    • Virtual Cafe for networking
    • Safe environment for risk-taking
  • 11. Expectations for Learners
    • You and your peers are expected to read everything in course discussions. Therefore:
    • Be succinct (re-read, refine);
    • Enter a new message subject for each post;
    • Cite phrases you are building on.
  • 12. 5 Keys: Facilitating the Learning
    • Generative questions for dialogue
    • Grounded questions for dialogue
    • Interventions for wandering discussions & Landscapes, not summaries
    • Rubrics that support deepened dialogue
    • Assessments that support deepened dialogue
  • 13. Cast a Wide Net, Avoid Generic “What did you think?”
    • What did you underline or note in the margins and why?
    • What connections with your own experiences did you make?
    • What disagreements did you have with the author/speaker?
    • What questions did the activity bring to the fore?
  • 14. Grounded Questions
    • Given what the author suggests, what new steps might you take in your practice?
    • Is video clip A or B more useful in your context and why?
    • What observations can you make about your data, having tried the new protocol?
    • How does this author illuminate patterns in current events?
  • 15. Explicit Teaching of HOW to engage collaboratively INSTEAD: After posting your initial thoughts, ask a question, build on someone else’s observation, extend an idea, or otherwise engage with one another’s comments. NOT: Post two or three responses to this discussion.
  • 16. Facilitating Beyond Brainstorming
    • What if no one posts in three days?
    • What if eighteen ideas get floated in the first 24 hours?
    • What if disagreement emerges and flaming takes place?
  • 17. New Voices are needed
    • Generative Guide
    • Conceptual Facilitator
    • Mediator
    • Personal Muse
    • Role Play
    • Reflective Guide
  • 18. Guiding... Leading...
    • I was intrigued…
    • Mary’s comment, “…” got me thinking…
    • John’s note that…made me wonder…
    • Guide on the Side/
    • Expert Learner
    • I loved that Ann said, “…”
    • Great comment, John! Thanks for pointing out…
    • Good point, Mark…
    • Expert in the middle/
    • Tells what I think
  • 19. =) ;-) 8-) Tone ^-^ :-z :^)
    • Neutral
    • Nurturing
    • Informal
    • Curious
    • Imaginative
    • Whimsical
    • Analytical
    • Humorous
    • ????
    • !!!!
    • !
    • Devil’s Advocate
    • Explaining
    • Telling
    • Praising
    • Suggesting
  • 20. Critical Thinking Strategies
    • Id Direction
    • Sort for Relevance
    • Focus on Key Points
    • Honor Multiple Perspectives
    • Making Connections
    • Full Spectrum Questioning
  • 21. Guiding Interventions
    • In an earlier dialogue, Louine asked
      • What about moderators that "play the devil's advocate" to encourage discussion???
    • Bob builds on that thought now, asking,
      • Why would we want to have a voice different than our own? What purpose does it serve and I think there is a question of honesty here? I know that sometimes in f2f settings that you will play the devils advocate and in this way stimulate discussion.
    • They were clearly on to something. But now, after reading and thinking so much more about online moderators' voice and tone, what are your thoughts about the common face-to-face "devil's advocate" voice/tone for cyber-learning?
  • 22. Nurturing their Community
    • Avoid public praise (you in the middle)
    • Wait til next week (!) to answer a question
    • -- or point to it again
    • Effusively praise in private feedback
    • Explicitly teach people how to engage collaboratively
    • Foster pragmatic dialogue
  • 23. Rubric for Postings
    • Completed: Single entry, no interaction with other participants’ postings evident.
    • Collaborative: The response builds on the ideas of another one or two participants and digs deeper into questions or issues, contributes half-baked ideas for others to add to, or asks the group a question .
  • 24. Rubric (continued)
    • Generative:
    • The post integrates multiple views and/or provides a seed for reflection evinced by other participants' responses in its thread.
    • The post highlights a tension or contributes language, a metaphor or a study tool that serves to deepen the dialogue.
  • 25. Evaluation: Ongoing assessment
    • Postings make assessment continuous, on-going.
    • Evidence of learning is embedded in student contributions alongside assignments and projects.
    • Cycles of peer-review and revision prior to submission for instructor feedback are included.
  • 26. Activity Design Features that explicitly promote collaborative dialogue
    • Should the US allow greater use of irradiation to decrease food contamination?
        • 10 points for posting your initial comments (by Thursday)
        • 10 points for adding something to the discussion…knowledge, a website, a question for clarification, etc. (by Friday)
        • 10 points for responding to at least two others (by Sunday)
        • 10 points for your final thoughts about the topic (Monday or Tuesday)
        • Before making your final comment you should read all other comments posted. Your final comments may include something you learned, something that surprised you, a summary, a shared thought, what you consider important about the topic, what you still wonder about, etc.
  • 27. Discussion Design without Collaborative Emphasis
        • Think about the following questions and make a comment to the discussion called “Environmental Problems.” What do you think is Earth’s most serious environmental problem? What caused, or causes, the problem? How do you think this problem should be dealt with?
  • 28. Collaborative Course Design
    • UN Simulation class
    • Wk 2: Meet the Delegates
    • Wk 3: Who Is That Man?
    • Wk 4:Discussion: What is the UN?
        • OK everyone now that you are all “experts” on how the UN is organized let’s see what you think. In this discussion you can post answers to questions or ask questions. I would like to stress that for classroom discussion you should * not * only ask questions. Posting questions and not doing any more than that is easy. I want to know your ideas as well. I’ll get things started with this: What do you think are positive aspects or strengths of the way the Security Council is organized?
  • 29. UN Simulation (cont.)
    • Wks 5-10: Prepare & present Nation reports.
        • Those students not reporting on a country will be graded on the quality and frequency of their participation in the weekly discussions on the countries assigned last week. You must comment frequently and in a relevant manner on each report…I will be looking for a relevant comment/question from each student on each report listed. You must also check back to see what the reporters have responded to your comment…The person who reported on this country and topic is responsible for facilitating discussion and answering questions students may have.
    • Wks 11-14: UN Simulation with each delegate representing their nation in the context of a global challenge.
  • 30. Sarah Haavind, Ed.D. ~ [email_address]
    • Lesley University, School of Education