Effective Use Of Forums


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Notes on the use of forums to teach English.

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  • This is most interesting, Diana! Wasn't able to attend your presentation, but have already enjoyed your handout, your forum and your slideshow, so I feel as if I'd been there after all!

    BTW, have you tried forumotion.net with large groups for an extensive period? I'm looking for a reliable (free) option... I've only tried Bravenet forums, and they didn't meet my expectations, I'm afraid...

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Effective Use Of Forums

  1. 1. EFFECTIVE USE OF FORUMS Prof. Diana Porto [email_address] www.slideshare.net/dianacporto/slideshows
  2. 2. Forums <ul><li>Discussion topics and replies </li></ul><ul><li>Common &quot;meeting&quot; place for participants to contribute information </li></ul><ul><li>Built by participation, submitting questions </li></ul><ul><li>Provide answers/solutions, present opinions, share pointers to other resources </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a time-of-convenience and place-of-convenience opportunity for student-student contact and student-instructor contact. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Forum Forms Threaded form : &quot;parent ” post, heading and author for each reply listed below. Flat form: all replies in posted order directly below the “parent” post.
  4. 4. Forum Forms Nested form: each reply indented below the post it is responding to.
  5. 5. Technology and Student Interaction STUDENT PEERS e.g.: online discussions INSTRUCTORS e.g.: online assignment submissions CONTENT e.g.: online quizzes Simple (one directional) and Enriched Interaction (two directional) K.Swan’s Framework
  6. 6. Activities and Interaction <ul><li>Web-based group projects </li></ul><ul><li>Online community </li></ul><ul><li>Online discussion using forum/email/chatroom/video conference, etc. </li></ul>PEERS <ul><li>Feedback on assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Online community </li></ul><ul><li>Online discussions with using forum/email/chatroom/video conference, etc. </li></ul>INSTRUCTOR <ul><li>Multimedia explanations </li></ul><ul><li>Cases and issues </li></ul><ul><li>Simulations </li></ul><ul><li>Online quizzes Cases and stories </li></ul><ul><li>Extended readings </li></ul><ul><li>Linkages to other web resources </li></ul><ul><li>Course background </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher’s information </li></ul><ul><li>Announcements </li></ul><ul><li>Notes and power points </li></ul><ul><li>Past papers </li></ul><ul><li>Archives of students’ work </li></ul>CONTENT ENRICHED INTERACTION SIMPLE INTERACTION
  7. 7. Pedagogical Implications <ul><li>Constructivism : process of adjusting our own understanding of the world around us through reflection on our experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Forum : interpreting and analyzing others' writings, reflecting on knowledge and readings. </li></ul><ul><li>Developmental theory : students need to explore, question, and seek out answers for themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Forum : discussing topics, bringing additional information sources </li></ul>
  8. 8. Pedagogical Implications <ul><li>Communities of practice : contributing to a community creates the potential for learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Forum : comradeship, community, satisfaction of contributing information, sense of team sharing. </li></ul><ul><li>Higher-order learning skills : effective communication, ability to interact effectively, critical thinking. </li></ul><ul><li>Forum : formulating points-of-view and presenting facts and opinion clearly. Interpreting, evaluating, critiquing peers’ interaction, sharing information </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Collaborative Learning : discussing, exploring together over a shared assignment. </li></ul><ul><li>Asynchronous tools: Forums </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication and collaboration: &quot;different time-different place“ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal convenience and schedule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History of interactions = collective knowledge easily shared and distributed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time to elaborate answer. </li></ul></ul>Pedagogical Implications
  10. 10. <ul><li>Be clear about your purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Reflecting: give guidance as reflective prompt, structure or questions to answer </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear about “quantities” </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear about length of post </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear about deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Define an “acceptable” response </li></ul><ul><li>Assign students to act as facilitators </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of timing and pacing of activities </li></ul><ul><li>Form teams: SS get more engaged </li></ul><ul><li>Ask SS to support their opinions </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in the activity </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for peer grading of posts </li></ul>Motivating Students to Use Forums WHY MAY STUDENTS BE RELUCTANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FORUM?
  11. 11. Effective Ideas to Use Forums <ul><li>Creating learning teams: collaborative learning </li></ul><ul><li>Appeal to their experiences and ambitions </li></ul><ul><li>Let them create some of the topics </li></ul><ul><li>Topics organized around academic theme </li></ul><ul><li>Debates: ask SS to post a position, others respond </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul><ul><li>Require a hand-in assignment </li></ul>
  12. 12. Effective Ideas to Use Forums <ul><li>Post challenging questions relevant to class activities </li></ul><ul><li>Peer grading </li></ul><ul><li>Create a friendly, social environment </li></ul><ul><li>Small group discussion, polling activities </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Invite visiting experts to add to the discussion </li></ul><ul><li>World-wide sharing </li></ul>
  13. 13. BIBLIOGRAPHY <ul><li>8 Ways to Get Students More Engaged in Online Conferences. http://resources.blackboard.com/scholar/general/pages/ictraining/Eight_Ways_Engage_Conferences.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Ainslie Ellis, STUDENT-CENTRED COLLABORATIVE LEARNING VIA FACE-TO-FACE AND ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE COMMUNICATION: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? </li></ul><ul><li>Akers, Roger. Web Discussion Forums in Teaching and Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding Online Discussion Pitfalls http://online.sfsu.edu/faculty/pitfall.htm </li></ul><ul><li>On Purpose Associates. (1996a). Constructivism [On-line]. Available URL: http://www.Funderstanding.com/constructivism.htm . </li></ul><ul><li>On Purpose Associates. (1996b). Communities of practice [On-line]. Available URL: http://www.Funderstanding.com/communities.htm . </li></ul><ul><li>Shea, Virginia, Netiquette. </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting communities of practice: a survey of community-oriented technologies. By Etienne Wenger. Self-published report available at www.ewenger.com/tech , 2001. </li></ul><ul><li>Swan, Karen. Relationships Between Interactions and Learning In Online Environments </li></ul><ul><li>Zane L. Berge, Ph.D. The Role of the Online Instructor/Facilitator </li></ul>