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Effective Online Learning


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Presentation at WVDE Statewide Technology Conference on Aug 5, 2009 by Ann C. Rose, West Liberty University

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Effective Online Learning

  1. 1. EffectiveOnline Learning<br />Ann Calder Rose<br />Online Learning Specialist<br />West Liberty University<br /><br />WVDE Statewide Technology Conference<br />Charleston, WV<br />August 5, 2009<br />
  2. 2. Why Do Students Like Online Learning?<br />can &quot;attend&quot; a course at anytime, from anywhere. <br />enables student-centered teaching approaches. <br />accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week.<br />attend class when fully awake and attend in increments of convenient time block<br />increases student interaction<br />can actually listen to the comments made by other students and everyone gets a chance to contribute.<br />
  3. 3. Exposed to knowledge that can&apos;t be learned in books<br />Teaches skills in using technologies<br />Participating online is much less intimidating<br />Appears to be a increased bonding and camaraderie<br />Makes instructors more approachable. <br />Online classrooms also facilitate team learning<br />A diversity of course material<br />Why Do Students Like Online Learning?<br />
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  5. 5. Five Attributes of an Effective Learner<br />1. Self-directed2. Inquisitive/Curious3. Self-aware/Honest with self4. Risk-taking/not afraid of making mistakes5. Open-minded<br /><ul><li>6. Technology competency</li></li></ul><li>
  6. 6. Three Keys to Success<br />Time- preparation begins long before the course begins. The time it takes to develop an online course varies in accordance with the instructional technologies used to deliver course material. <br />Planning- goes beyond syllabus development. The course author must begin to construct each module and component of the course and do so with regard to the limitations and opportunities of the chosen Learning Management System.<br />CommitmentOnline course development can become overwhelming, and when adequate time is not given, course authors sometimes choose to “cut corners.” <br />
  7. 7. PLANNING!<br />PRIOR<br />PROPER <br />PLANNING<br />PREVENTS<br />PITIFUL, POOR<br />RESULTS<br />
  8. 8. Guidelines<br />Quality Matters<br /><br />Checklist for Evaluating Online Courses<br /><br />Standards for Quality Online Courses<br /><br />Checklist based on NEA recommendations<br /><br />
  9. 9. Effective Learning<br />One thing is clear from the research on the effectiveness of online course: if a course is well designed, the instructor is a good facilitator, and the students are motivated, online courses can be a meaningful and fulfilling learning and teaching experience.<br />
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  11. 11. Learning Styles<br />The three predominant learning styles are visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic.<br />Broken down further, people learn by: <br />Reading (visual) -- passive<br />Listening (auditory ) -- passive<br />Seeing (visual ) -- passive<br />Speaking (auditory) -- active<br />Doing (Tactile/Kinesthetic) -- active<br />
  12. 12. How it all relates to Online Learning<br />In an online class there is a lot of passive learning done through reading text, listening to audio clips, and seeing graphics, but the active &quot;speaking&quot; mode is done very much through writing, email, and chatting.<br />Most people tend to remember best that which they do - practicing the real thing-active learning.. <br />Next, a combination of doing and speaking about what we learn produces a high retention rate, followed by speaking alone.<br />
  13. 13. Online Learning<br /> The tools of the trade have changed, but the fundamental role of the teacher remains the same. The teacher’s role is still to facilitate the students learning process, to create a context for transforming data into knowledge and to create community, motivation, and support. <br />
  14. 14. Syllabus<br />Course description<br />Objectives & Learner Outcomes<br />Prerequisite Skills<br />Approach and Scope<br />Assignments & Due Dates<br />Evaluation Criteria<br />Web Design & Accommodation<br />
  15. 15. Backwards Design<br />Wiggins & McTighe (1998) --begin with identifying the desired results and then &quot;work backwards&quot; to develop instruction rather than the traditional approach which is to define what topics need to be covered.<br />Stage 1: Identify desired outcomes and results.<br />Stage 2: Determine what constitutes acceptable evidence of competency in the outcomes and results (assessment).<br />Stage 3: Plan instructional strategies and learning experiences that bring students to these competency levels.<br />
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  17. 17. Balanced Assessment<br />Assessment FOR Learning vs. Assessment OF Learning<br /><br />Rick Stiggins<br /><br />
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  19. 19. Universal Design<br />“… an approach to the design of all products and environments to be usable by everyone, to the greatest extent possible, regardless of age, ability, or situation. It serves people who are young or old, with excellent or limited abilities, in ideal or difficult circumstances. Universal design benefits everyone by accommodating limitations.”<br /><ul><li></li></li></ul><li>Tips for Highly Effective Online Coursesadapted from Leonard Presby, William Paterson University <br />   1. Choice. Some students thrive in group settings; others prefer working independently.  Students should be given choice as to how they learn, as long as they learn. <br />2.  Up-to-date information.  Material presented in textbooks is often dated so incorporate electronic resources.  Have them to respond to questions on each reading assignment.<br />3.  Virtual field trips.  To be sure that students take these “tours,” included questions at the end of each tour that students could e-mail back to me.<br />
  20. 20. 4.  Textbook connections.  Create an opportunity to obtain feedback from the students on the chapter through quiz questions.  This is a SUMMATIVE assessment FOR learning.<br />5.  Communication within groups.  This may utilize discussion forums with original postings and replies of comments/additions. This may be whole class or group. The instructor does not drive the responses.<br />6.  Virtual office hours.  Clearly set expectations for yourself and the students; 24/7 is not realistic nor is waiting days.<br />
  21. 21. Using the Tools<br />The Internet facilitates:<br />1. Research<br />2. Communication and collaboration tools including:<br />bulletin boards <br />emails <br />listservs<br />Websites <br />chat <br />The computer facilitates:<br />self paced tutorials <br />self correcting tests and quizzes <br />tracking student progress <br />generating automatic responses <br />interactive multimedia learning objects such as simulations <br />multimedia tutorials <br />
  22. 22. The online communication tools facilitate multiple levels of synchronous and asynchronous communication including: <br />peer to peer <br />one to many <br />many to many <br />many to one <br />small group <br />large group <br />
  23. 23. Keep in mind the big picture.<br />Be sure to put some time and thought into the creation of your syllabus. <br />Take into consideration holidays (whether or not your online class stops during them) as well as your other responsibilities. <br />Do NOT make final projects for all of your classes due the same week; spread out the major work….for you and for your students.  <br /><ul><li> Set aside time for your class </li></ul> each week.<br />-- Unless you plan time to spend on your class (grading, etc), or the week will be over before you know it. <br />-- Respond to student email every day  <br />
  24. 24. Do all work in a word processor.<br />You can work offline, reducing the risk you’ll be &quot;bumped&quot; off the Internet or otherwise interrupted in the midst of creating a lesson<br />Keep a copy of your work somewhere other than on the institution’s server (a benefit in the case of server crashes….and you can use that work again in a future semester).  <br />Grade efficiently.<br />Open a browser window containing a copy of the original assignment and a second browser window containing the student’s work, and<br />your word processor; Learn to use tracking changes in MS Word<br />
  25. 25. Be consistent and clear.<br />Use the same convention throughout the course <br />Duplicate multiple accesses to elements<br />Maintain a list of relevant links.<br />Writing sites<br />Style sites<br />Institutional sites  <br /><ul><li> Make full use of your e-mail </li></ul> software.<br />-- Ask students to write the course number as the subject line in e-mail they send or<br />-- Only accept communication within a course shell<br />
  26. 26. Prepare Your Syllabus, Read Me First, and Lesson Guide/Assignment Schedule<br /><ul><li>When planning assignments, consider the overall number of deliverables required and the spacing of those deliverables.
  27. 27. Plan at least one deliverable due within the first two weeks of class.
  28. 28. Be very clear about how and where students should submit assignments and about your late assignment policy. </li></li></ul><li>Effective Communication: Writing for Online Classes<br />To keep your readers’ interest, write short paragraphs that focus on one idea apiece. <br />Add credibility and keep your class current by linking to relevant web sites whenever possible. <br />Throughout your online classroom, strive to keep a positive tone of voice in your writing so that students feel welcome and accepted. <br />
  29. 29. Effective Formatting of Text<br />Use bold and color (sparingly) to highlight important due dates and other items.<br />In the conference area, respond in color to your students. – Isn’t that a great idea?<br />Avoid underlines, as it makes people think that it is a link. Make sure to provide the complete URL to the sites (students love to printout materials)<br />Avoid using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, as it is difficult to read and has come to represent yelling in the online world. <br />Use bullets to chunk similar information.<br />When appropriate, include photos and diagrams to illustrate your materials.<br />
  30. 30. General Tips<br />Have your course COMPLETE at least TWO WEEKS prior to the start of the term.<br />Ask someone who is not familiar with the course to review for navigation.<br />Ask your best proof readers to do a careful read.<br />But you must first master the art of…<br />
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  32. 32. Questions or Thoughts?<br /><br /><br />