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Streamlining Your Engaging, Interactive, and Collaborative Course into the Online Environment

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Many collaborative teaching activities are designed for use in a face-to-face (F2F) course with little consideration for adapting the same activities for an online course. Likewise, many activities are developed for online courses but are not used in the F2F classroom. This presentation provided ideas and ways to streamline your F2F and online courses.

The jigsaw collaborative teaching technique takes a topic and breaks it into multiple parts. In F2F classes, students are given one of the parts and work with other students who have the same part to become “experts.” Then, students break into “jigsaw” groups with members from the other topics and teach each other their information before answering discussion questions. This activity can be used in the online classroom by creating groups in the learning management system by splitting the class equally into their mini-topics. Discussion boards can be used within the groups to answer the same discussion questions as the F2F students. The jigsaw groups need to be larger than you would use in a F2F classroom since some online students are not actively participating.

Likewise, engaging discussion boards used in an online course can be used as homework assignments in the F2F course. The instructor can create bridges to the discussion topic in the class and reference individual student’s posts. Videos created to outline a course project in the online course can also be assigned to students as homework in the F2F course to save time in class for more interactive activities.

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Streamlining Your Engaging, Interactive, and Collaborative Course into the Online Environment

  1. 1. Streamlining Your Engaging, Interactive, and Collaborative Course into the Online Environment Kiersten Newtoff – Kiersten.Newtoff@montgomerycollege.edu Chemical and Biological Sciences Montgomery College – Germantown AFACCT ’19 Conference, hosted by Cecil College Session 1.2, 9:00AM – 10:00AM, January 10th, 2019
  2. 2. Executive Summary • Many collaborative teaching activities are designed for use in a face-to-face (F2F) course with little consideration for adapting the same activities for an online course. Likewise, many activities are developed for online courses but are not used in the F2F classroom. This presentation provided ideas and ways to streamline your F2F and online courses. • The jigsaw collaborative teaching technique takes a topic and breaks it into multiple parts. In F2F classes, students are given one of the parts and work with other students who have the same part to become “experts”. Then, students break into “jigsaw” groups with members from the other topics and teach each other their information before answering discussion questions. This activity can be used in the online classroom by creating groups in the learning management system by splitting the class equally into their mini-topics. Discussion boards can be used within the groups to answer the same discussion questions as the F2F students. The jigsaw groups need to be larger than you would use in a F2F classroom since some online students are not actively participating. • Likewise, engaging discussion boards used in an online course can be used as homework assignments in the F2F course. The instructor can create bridges to the discussion topic in the class and reference individual student’s posts. Videos created to outline a course project in the online course can also be assigned to students as homework in the F2F course to save time in class for more interactive activities.
  3. 3. Case Study + Jigsaw • Case study – using a real life example to examine concepts learned in class • Jigsaw – collaborative teaching and learning • Expert groups – students who have the same information • Jigsaw groups – students who have different information Jigsaw Groups
  4. 4. As Participants Walked In… • They were given one of the three pieces of the jigsaw puzzle related to rice agriculture. • Group 1: The effects of fertilizer • Group 2: Predator/prey interactions • Group 3: Pesticide resistance • Participants were also given a role to act out as if they were this type of online student • Good student • Bare minimum student • Absent student • Participants sat with other members that were in the same group but did not share their role
  5. 5. Origin of the Rice Agriculture Case Study • Product of the Summer/Fall 2018 HHMI BioInteractive Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN) • HHMI Biointeractive website: https://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive • All materials are published on QUBES (https://qubeshub.org/) • Usually host one FMN a year! Posted on QUBES website
  6. 6. Part 1 – Expert Groups • With your group, discuss the passage and graphs and answer the discussion questions • Answer your respective summary on the second worksheet • Act your role without explicitly sharing it • Please don’t get angry at your peers … 
  7. 7. Part 2 – Jigsaw Groups • Find your letter on your role card • Go to the part of the room with your group number Group 1: Group 2: Group 3: Group 4: Group 5: In this simulation, the presenter assigned all the “bad”, “good”, and “bare minimum” students together in a one to one ratio (one expert from each group was in the jigsaw group)
  8. 8. PAUSE What are some issues happening in your group? • Participants found that if you were in a “bad” group that others weren’t participating and they weren’t getting the info they needed to answer their discussion questions
  9. 9. Solutions • Make jigsaw groups bigger than they “need” to be Jigsaw Groups Mixed students via current grade Only one member from expert group = strongest students Two members from expert groups, in case one student doesn’t participate
  10. 10. Example: Learning Management System Instructions By Friday @ 9:00AM: Leave two substantial replies or answers to questions (4-6 sentences) on two different discussion threads (3 points each = 6 points) • EC +0.5 points: Spread these replies over at least two different days • EC +0.5 points: If you are the first person to leave a substantial post to one of the discussion questions (max 1 point) • EC +0.5 points: For each substantial post over the two required (max 1 point)
  11. 11. Bringing the Online Classroom to the Face-to- Face Class • Prepares students if they take online or hybrid courses • Hopefully less work for you!
  12. 12. Discussion Boards • The interactive component of an online course • Use the same assignment for the face-to-face course! • Make the discussions interactive = you and students get more out of it Instructions from a discussion board I use: Choose an animal that is currently being affected by climate change. Research that organism – we want to know what this organism is and how it is impacted by the environment. Where does it live? How is it being affected by climate change? What makes it so vulnerable? Is there any direct association between that species and humans (as in, why should we care)? Are there any organizations that are actively trying to help that species?
  13. 13. Videos Face-to-face course: Students see you as you talk Online course: Create videos of your lecture (with your face!) Face-to-face course: Use the same videos for snow days, to catch up on material, for project introductions Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUl3ZZCkMxk Be sure to close caption videos! YouTube’s auto CC is a lot better than what it was!
  14. 14. Weekly Review Quizzes Online course: Weekly LMS review quizzes on lecture material Face-to-face course: Could use same quizzes in the LMS; I chose to do them in class using Socrative (somewhat like clickers, but students can use phones or computers to access it)
  15. 15. More Information • Here is a link to a handout given to the attendees

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