Madlat09 dhl sj

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Describes collaboration with a distance education course between Iceland University of Education and BSU and Athabasca University

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Madlat09 dhl sj

  1. 1. Impact of place and culture in an online environment:Lessons from an international, collaborative teacher education project Debra Hoven Athabasca University debrah@athabascau.ca Sólveig Jakobsdóttir Iceland University of education soljak@hi.is
  2. 2. Overview• The collaboration with the online DE course - history and origin – IUE+BSU• AU+IUE collaboration• Preparation 2007-2008• Students’ activities and experiences• Conclusions and suggestions
  3. 3. History and origin
  4. 4. The processPhD students Faculty DE-course1991-1996 members - • Design, piloting Fulbright 2001 2001-2• Sólveig • Iceland U of Ed • Co-teaching Jakobsdóttir 2003-6 • Bemidji State U,• Patricia L. Rogers MN
  5. 5. DE course(s) at IUE-BSUYear IUE BSU Cross-cultural Communication, learning environment no of no of communication s’s s’s2001 8 vc-lecture, sync WebCT (IUE)2002 17 vc-lecture, sync WebCT (IUE)2003 20 10 to 25 Student async WebCT (BSU)2004 6 10 to 25 Student async WebCT (BSU) Sharepoint, Webdemo, Smartmeeting2005 7 10 to 25 Student async, sync D2L, Moodle, Smartmeeting (2D, 3D), Skype2006 4 9 Student async, sync D2L, Moodle, Skype, Skypecast, Vyew Elgg, Wimba, YackPack
  6. 6. Cross-cultural DE collaboration: rationale• Students - number, experiences, ideas• Expanding cultural horizons• Language (the Icelandic students)• Course content, enriching• Learning environments – extending, trying out new communication tools
  7. 7. Changes in 2006 to 2007• BSU faculty member moved to admin/ another university• IUE doubled size of course in credits (2,5 to 5),• Change schedule, course moved from summer session to spring semester;• Taught two years out of three• Result: no collaboration in 2007
  8. 8. AU+IUE collaboration
  9. 9. Instructor - preparation
  10. 10. Establishing a relationship 1../2• E-mail• Skype• Wimba• Elluminate – Voice & chat – Application sharing – Whiteboard – Web tours
  11. 11. Establishing a relationship 2.../2Initial contacts Organization of collaboration• Availability (time zones, • Set-up of student sites and semesters, etc.) collaboration spaces• Access to respective sites (Moodle, Wikis, Skype)• Establishing personal and • Access and practicalities professional credentials • Group sizes• Common research interests → pedagogies• Exchange of sites• Technical tools available
  12. 12. Ongoing discussion 1 .../3• Personal interludes• Practicalities e.g., articles, student groupings, drop-outs and add-ons etc.• Assignment design/adjustments• Collaboration suggestions• Sharing humour and teaching• Student problems e.g. tardiness, lack of cooperation, grumblings +strategies• Mutual support and encouragement
  13. 13. Ongoing discussion 2 .../3• Progress reports• Reflection + springboarding of ideas & explanations• Technical problems and troubleshooting• Cross-cultural discussions, e.g. Valentine’s day local holidays• Division of labour• Suggested technologies• Personal teaching challenges+ mutual support• Possible meeting time and place• Guest session planning
  14. 14. Ongoing discussion 3 .../3• Most sessions ended with a summary of what we had talked about & decided + strategies for next stage• Post-course communication: discussion of what worked and what didn’t, sharing of reflections, discussion & debriefing of s’s results and reactions.
  15. 15. Course comparison: AU+IUE AU IUE• 19 students (21) • 16 students (20)• Background – varied, • Background – educators at education, nursing.. different school levels• Intro/mandatory course in • Elective course (DE intro) in MDE program ICT in educ. M.Ed.program• Flexibility in teaching low • Flexibility in teaching high• LMS: Moodle (all courses) • LMS: Moodle (for course) Varied assignments in both courses LInk identified for assignment 2 in mid- semester – 3 week period
  16. 16. Technologies• Moodle – discussion forums, wiki (grouping, skype usernames)• Wiki (external, Wikispaces) – readings, resources, groups• Skype• Wimba• Elluminate Live (+vRooms)• +Other tools by respective sites
  17. 17. Students – activities & experiences
  18. 18. Introductions - icebreakers• Pictures of place• Personal pictures: weddings+family, sport- recreation activities, work/study-related• Finding/establishing connections..
  19. 19. Introductions - photos from students (examples)
  20. 20. Canadian student:• Hi ya everyone... Just from all the photos, I think its safe to say Iceland and Canada are two of the most beautiful countries in the world...we are all so very lucky... Road trip anyone? Hows the beer in Iceland? Chat soon.
  21. 21. Major collaborative taskSimilarities in assignment 2 – IUE adopted description from AU:• Student groups (2 - 4 s’s from each U)• Select, read and review one article• “Present” it to others in the course.• Provide the reader with summary (analyze and critique)• Read as many as possible of the other student presentations• Make at least two comments or queries about at least two other presentations.
  22. 22. Guest lecturer + debriefing & Q/A• Professor Terry Anderson: Reducing the loneliness of the distance learner using social software (2007)
  23. 23. (Informal) student survey (Iceland)• Reflections during/at the end of course, + survey e-mailed one year later end of April 2009• 16 students completed the course in 2008: 9 reflected on the communications• Students asked to reflect on their experiences regarding the course/communication with the Athabasca students. Including what was most memorable, whether to continue collaboration, how to improve the collaboration
  24. 24. Student reflections: What they remembered most?• The communications with students at Athabasca University in Canada and the coming to terms with Moodle. That is getting to know the system, my experience had been negative at first but it all ended well.• These were enjoyable communication, it was wonderful to be connected with such a large group. One gained a stronger belief in distance education and the learning materials were very good and the whole organization regarding interaction and projects.• I found it very interesting to communicate with the pupils in Canada and comment each other responds. It was also interesting to get to learn all the distance learning systems as Moodles, Elg, Skype etc.• Probably I learned to use some new software and also I enjoyed the communications with Athabasca. The work I did on the final report I wrote about distance education in my home town with a fellow student has also been useful.• Fun experience with the foreign student group and how incredibly active the students were and how high quality the contributions were from the student group in their masters program about DE at Athabasca University in Canada.
  25. 25. Student reflections• Canadian student: Great moodle forums, as this was a very interactive bunch and definitely the exposure to the students from Iceland. Reflective learning since the course occurred.• Also from a general evaluation after the course (Canadian student):• The experience with the Icelandic students, the Elluminate sessions, and the session with Terry Anderson were all great additions to the course. I am sure it took a lot of planning and additional time outside of regular responsibilities and work schedules. I cannot express how grateful I am that she took the time to do so.
  26. 26. Student reflections Whether collaboration should be continued• Absolutely - keep the collaboration going and develop it...• Yes I think so. I at least thought this was interesting.• Yes, that is for sure.• Yes, I think one learns a lot even if it is time consuming.• I thought it was interesting to communicate with Athabasca and it enlivened the course. I am aiming for adult learning as a specialty and am highly interested in distance learning and teaching. In the two courses I have completed in the masters program there have perhaps not been that many people who have had the exact same interest area and therefore it was fun to find immediately one with the same interests among the Canadian students. We chatted a lot and I think it is likely that we will continue our communication. I recommend that the collaboration will continue.
  27. 27. Student reflections Whether collaboration should be continuedCanadian student: Absolutely yes...it is so wonderful to gain an international perspective of learning, I firmly believe we are all connected.
  28. 28. Student reflections How to improve the collaborationPut in course description, weigh more in grading, group people by interest areas and/or have interactions in smaller groups, have the whole course not just one assignment together• However it has to be in the course description. I did not know about this when I registered for the course and was startled when I got to know that I was expected to work with people in Canada in a language I had not used productively for many years - only to listen and read. There are many people studying at the university who have much worse English than I have and could not work like that. Such students would likely not choose this course.• I would have thought that these communications and projects connected to them could have weighed more in the grading because they took so much time.• It would be a good idea like someone pointed to at the Wimba meeting yesterday to divide the group by interest areas.• Well, maybe it is a bit long since the course was held for me to think of something... maybe increase the number of courses like this or have a whole course organized together not just part of it.• Canadian student: More partnered mini-assignments
  29. 29. How to make it work?Necessary Desirable• Instructors’ interest & • Instructor agreement commitment about workload• Common objectives distribution and/or content • Inclusion in course• Usable, accessible descriptions common spaces • Funding• S’s willingness• Institutional facilitation/ non-intervention• Sharing of ideas and resources
  30. 30. Importance of place and culture?• Initiation (to establish common links) – identification of shared contexts, e.g. isolation, extremes of climate, remoteness, cultural influences from immigration, tolerance and flexibility, risk-taking + opportunity to experiment• Learning: experience of distance – geographical, temporal, cultural• Social/emotional presence: affirming identity; locating in place – connecting• Organizational: DE culture, flexibility & permeability
  31. 31. Thank ! – Takk!Any questions or comments?
  32. 32. Impact of place and culture in an online environment:Lessons from an international, collaborative teacher education project Debra Hoven Athabasca University debrah@athabascau.ca Sólveig Jakobsdóttir Iceland University of education soljak@hi.is

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