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Peggy Semingson PLC Virtual Mini-Conference 2016

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Presentation (11-minutes) for Dr. Peggy Semingson on "High-Engagement Synchronous Learning in a Literacy-Focused Online Course".

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Peggy Semingson PLC Virtual Mini-Conference 2016

  1. 1. High-Engagement Synchronous Learning in a Literacy- Focused Online Course Peggy Semingson, Ph.D. Spring, 2016 Synchronous Learning, Professional Learning Community
  2. 2. Abstract/Overview: • This project improved upon previous work I have done with synchronous teaching and learning in online courses in literacy teacher education. I have done group webinar sessions with undergraduate students, however, the problem has been attendance has been low with students preferring to watch the recording of the webinar rather than attend the live webinar session. I incorporated a three-fold approach to getting my students more actively involved with synchronous learning for a high engagement approach. This included: 1) Implement three required “high engagement” small-group required webinars throughout the class. 2) Foster student awareness and use of synchronous learning as a tool to design lesson plans and 3) Students will participate in a virtual book club to discuss a children’s book for the course using the synchronous tool Blackboard Instant Messenger. Overall, the webinar and the instant messenger experience were very different tools with differing affordances and constraints.
  3. 3. Purpose/Background • I had four questions in which I wanted to improve my integration of synchronous learning (real-time learning): • The questions that need answering are: 1. What are high-engagement strategies for engaging preservice teachers with course content via synchronous learning in an online literacy-focused teacher education course? 2. What are students’ reactions to the high-engagement small group webinars, based on their interaction during the webinar (chat window and audio) and in their post- webinar reflection? 3. What are student’s ideas for implementing synchronous learning in their own future teaching, as evidenced by their brainstorming for possible lessons that integrate synchronous learning? 4. What are the ways that students use a chat-based synchronous instant messaging tool to participate in a student-centered virtual book club experience?
  4. 4. Learning Outcomes • Learning outcomes included: 1. Students will participate in learning of course content within a virtual classroom while interacting with classmates and the instructor in a live session. 2. Students will interact and participate with classmates about their reader response to a children’s novel in a chat-based synchronous environment. 3. Students will consider the possibilities of synchronous learning in elementary classroom settings and create lesson ideas about integrating synchronous learning into lesson design. I already use a lot of asynchronous (non-real- time media with students). While the asynchronous media provides interaction with me on some level, synchronous learning is much more direct and interactive.
  5. 5. Technology Used Blackboard Collaborate Interactivity PowerPoint Reflections Blackboard Instant Messenger Familiar Task/Format All text-based Study Guide Synchronous Learning Tutorial Not yet implemented Emergent tools/tech
  6. 6. Three webinars (PowerPoints) • http://www.slideshare.net/TinkerbellTexas/webinar-1-list-4373 Webinar 1 • http://www.slideshare.net/TinkerbellTexas/webinar-2-list-4373 Webinar 2 • http://www.slideshare.net/TinkerbellTexas/webinar-3-list-4373-61017040 Webinar 3 • Students preview the content before and after the webinar. • Interactivity: Polls, Chat window dialogue, demonstrations, “try it out”/application in real-time, question/answer, immediate feedback. • A reflection is required.
  7. 7. Methodology • Student Reflections 1. What did you learn during the webinar (recap and summarize)? 2. What specific resources did you learn about that will be beneficial and how can you use them? Also, if you explored any websites, put what you explored and what you learned. 3. Describe your level of participation in the webinar session and your level of understanding of the key course topics. 4. What feedback do you have on the webinar experience itself (e.g., technology, methods used, use of audio/video/chat to facilitate learning, etc. for future use?) • Professor Observations of course design • Difficulty of design • Preparation for each session • Structure of the session • Observed affordances and constraints
  8. 8. Assessment/Observations 1. Blackboard Instant Messenger was easy to set up and get established. 2. Level of instructor preparation was about the same for both Instant Messenger and the videoconference sessions 3. More interactivity can take place during the videoconference sessions; instant messenger is constrained in terms of added context, visual aides, and video use. 4. I will not be using Blackboard Instant Messenger for book club chat again; I will have students set up their own videoconference groups and I will help moderate those. 5. Pacing was not adjusted accordingly for the Blackboard Instant Messenger. Pacing was ideal for the interactive webinars. 6. Scheduling for BBIM chat: Doodle was ideal for scheduling and grouping students in small groups! I will use this tool again.
  9. 9. Future Goals • Continue BBIM as a just-in-time learning tool. (See image to the right). • Reconsider the use of BBIM as a small group dialogue activity. Pacing of small-groups was problematic. • Continue to seek ways to make webinars interactive. • I will continue to use tools for scheduling real-time sessions. • Increase the use of webinars across all courses. • Continue to seek ways that synchronous learning is used/can be used in K-12 settings. I use meme-like visual reminders to let students know they can reach me in real- time!
  10. 10. Contact Info Peggy Semingson, Ph.D. peggys@uta.edu YouTube Twitter: @PeggySemingson Blog: http://virtualgadfly.com/ Virtual Gadfly I am also on Instagram (TinkerbellTexas) and slideshare I love multi-media, visuals, and interactive teaching and learning!

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