Collaborative Learning & Technology: Scaffolding for Group Work in Online Courses


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This virtual presentation provides the research supporting and the resources for a process of scaffolding both student use of technology and development of student skills for collaborative group work. This scaffolding process is being researched by the presenter with a focus on increasing student engagement, increasing student satisfaction, and supporting student success. By attending the presentation, the attendee will receive resources and strategies related to scaffolding student technology and collaborative group work skills.

This virtual presentation addresses the conference strand Blended and Online Teaching and Learning.

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Collaborative Learning & Technology: Scaffolding for Group Work in Online Courses

  1. 1. Collaborative Learning & Technology: Scaffolding for Group Work in Online Courses With Dr. Julia Parra
  2. 2. Hello  This is me - Julia aka Julia Wiggins (Second Life) aka @desertjul and more… LOL, I have so many identities, I'm not sure I remember them all. Could this be a problem? InterWeb Identity Crisis?
  3. 3. WIIFY? <ul><li>Do we really need group work in online courses? </li></ul><ul><li>Aren’t there lots of challenges? </li></ul><ul><li>What about collaboration tools? </li></ul><ul><li>Existing Models that ROCK! </li></ul><ul><li>An Emerging Process/Model to Support Group Work </li></ul><ul><li>The Master Plan aka Research Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Resources  </li></ul>
  4. 4. Do we really need group work?
  5. 5. Do we really need group work? <ul><li>“ Bruner, Vygotsky, and Piaget all embraced the philosophy that humans do not learn in a vacuum but rather through interaction.” </li></ul><ul><li>Conrad, R.M., & Donaldson, A. (2004). Engaging the online Learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Do we really need group work? <ul><li>“ A process that involves inquiry confronts the unknown and relies on personal or collective resources to resolve questions. The online environment in which inquiry can flourish is gradually built by collaborative and collective contributions. Such collaboration efforts are likely to result in better outcomes, designs, practices, or products” (p. 30). </li></ul><ul><li>Collison, G., Elbaum, B., Haavind, S. & Tinker, R. (2000). Facilitating Online Learning. Madison: Atwood Publishing. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Do we really need group work? <ul><li>“ By learning together in a learning community, students have the opportunity to extend and deepen their learning experience, test out new ideas by sharing them with a supportive group, and receive critical and constructive feedback. The likelihood of successful achievement of learning objectives and achieving course competencies increases through collaborative engagement.” </li></ul><ul><li>Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2005). Learning together in community: collaboration online. Proceedings 20th Annual Conference on Distance and Teaching and Learning. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, August, 2005. Retrieved April 20, 2011 from </li></ul>
  8. 8. Do we really need group work? <ul><li>“ Collaboration has often been defined as the ‘heart and soul’ of an online course or, for that matter an course that bases its theoretical foundation in constructivism.” </li></ul><ul><li>Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2005).Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Aren’t there lots of challenges?
  10. 10. Aren’t there lots of challenges? <ul><li>“ Some of the literature related to online learning indicates that groupwork in online classes is beneficial (Conrad & Donaldson, 2004; Palloff & Pratt, 2005). However, others have indicated that online groupwork may be perceived as more challenging than groupwork in face-to-face settings (Kim, Liu, & Bonk, 2005; Koh & Hill, 2006).” </li></ul><ul><li>Barbour, M. (n.d.). Strategies for students and instructors how to improve online groupwork. Retrieved April 20, 2011 from </li></ul>
  11. 11. What about collaboration tools? <ul><li>“ Collaborative distance learning involves the use of online synchronous and asynchronous tools by classrooms, groups, and individuals for the purpose of creating, communicating, and organizing projects and information.  Students can now work online with other students on a classroom, local, national, and/or international level. This can be accomplished through the use of such tools as wikis, blogs, micro-blogs, social media websites, shared and editable documents, video-conferencing rooms, and online classroom discussion boards. Technology has afforded students the opportunity to collaborate not only in real time (synchronously), but on their own time (asynchronously) as well.” </li></ul><ul><li>Written by one of my awesome students, Sam Stichter! </li></ul>
  12. 12. Existing Models that ROCK! <ul><li>Gilly Salmon’s 5-Stage Model for supporting students in developing technical skills </li></ul>
  13. 13. Existing Models that ROCK! <ul><li>Conrad & Donaldson’s Phases of Engagement Model </li></ul><ul><li>Conrad & Donaldson note instructor roles as Social Negotiator, Structural Engineer, Collaborator, Initiator, Partner </li></ul>
  14. 14. Existing Models that ROCK! <ul><li>Michael Barbour discusses online group work strategies for students and instructors: </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor roles are noted by Barbour as Facilitator, Motivator, Guide, Coordinator </li></ul>
  15. 15. Un Pocito Milagro for Scaffolding <ul><li>Two types of scaffolds – content and metacognitive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content scaffolds – warm up sheet, note-taking sheet, project template </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metacognitive scaffolds – project planning sheet, information collection log, project reflection sheet. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Su, Y. & Klein, J.D. (2010). Using scaffolds in problem-based hypermedia. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 19(3), 327-347. </li></ul>
  16. 16. An Emerging Process/Model to Support Group Work <ul><li>EDLT 528/628 Designing Educational Resources on the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Fully online, 6 units of content </li></ul><ul><li>4 Phases – Getting Started with Groupwork, Practicing Groupwork, Conducting Groupwork, Celebrating Groupwork </li></ul>
  17. 18. The Master Plan aka Research Plan <ul><li>Research Method </li></ul><ul><li>This qualitative inquiry is a case study and is designed to answer the overarching question - how does a process of scaffolding both student use of technology and development of student skills for collaborative group work impact student satisfaction, learning effectiveness and student success. The population for this survey will be a graduate-level college class. </li></ul>
  18. 19. The Master Plan aka Research Plan <ul><li>Research Procedures </li></ul><ul><li>The data collection strategies for this study will include (a) a survey and (b) focus group interview where all participants will be invited to participate. It is desirable to use an interviewer other than the researcher due to the researcher’s role in the professional development being addressed. Data analysis will be conducted based on a qualitative approach, with use of survey analysis, pod and transcript analysis, and case study development. </li></ul>
  19. 20. The Master Plan aka Research Plan <ul><li>Study Timeline </li></ul><ul><li>March 2011 - Develop Survey and Interview protocols </li></ul><ul><li>April 2011 – Complete and submit IRB documentation </li></ul><ul><li>End of May 2011 - Conduct survey and identify interviewees </li></ul><ul><li>June - Conduct Focus Group Interview in Adobe Connect, use pods to gather written data, and complete transcription of interview if needed </li></ul><ul><li>June - Complete data analysis and case study development </li></ul><ul><li>July 1 – Deadline to submit proceedings </li></ul>
  20. 21. Resources <ul><li>The Model/Process Handout </li></ul><ul><li>Groupwork Survey Questions (done in Google Forms) </li></ul><ul><li>Course Documentation with Integrate Groupwork Directions </li></ul>
  21. 22. So you want more? <ul><li>Contact me at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>575-646-3524 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skype: princessjulz </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Guess you want the link, OK, guess it’s time to go  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Click Here </li></ul></ul>