Effective Online Communication and Presentation


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This is a presentation that I gave to student teachers at Ningbo Polytechnic on effective online presentation and communication skills. I decided to broaden the presentation out a bit to talk about effective teaching online.

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Effective Online Communication and Presentation

  1. 1. Effective Online Communication and Presentation Dr. Iain Doherty Associate Professor Director eLearning Pedagogical Support Unit Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning 13th May 2012
  2. 2. Introduction• Overview• Teaching Online• Roles That Teachers Can Take• Characteristics of Effective Teachers• Teaching Online 2
  3. 3. Teaching Online• Teaching online is both the same as and different from teaching in a face to face situation.• Teachers still need to develop learning outcomes, develop a course, specify design activities, provide resources and design assessments.• However at a “fine grained level” (Oliver, 2006) things are different as resources are digital, communication is often through typing and assessments are marked and returned electronically. 3
  4. 4. Roles Teachers Can Take• Roles that teachers can take: – We are used to the idea of the teacher conveying information or as the "sage on the stage". – There is also the concept of the "guide on the side" which indicates that the teacher sits alongside students in order to facilitate learning. – The meddler in the middle is a concept which indicates that the teacher is a co-worker with students, discovering a certain amount of new information with students. 4
  5. 5. Characteristics of the Effective Teacher• Think as well about how these qualities can be realized online: • Caring; • Fairness; • Attitude towards the teaching profession; • Social interactions with students; • Promotion of enthusiasm & motivation for learning; • Reflective practice. (Stronge, Tucker, & Hindman, 2004, pp.32-35). 5
  6. 6. 7 Principles for Good Practice• We need a way to think about teaching practices, teaching roles and the affective qualities of teachers in an online environment.• This could get very complicated but in the end teachers are not looking for complicated answers.• So, one way to approach this problem is to look at the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.• http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/seven.html 6
  7. 7. 7 Principles for Good Practice• Good Practice Encourages Contact Between Students and Faculty. This is part of connecting with students in order to facilitate learning: – Tasks that require the use of communication technologies particularly email, discussion boards, chat rooms, Skype 7
  8. 8. 7 Principles for Good Practice• Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students. When students cooperate they are exposed to multiple perspectives whilst also having to learn skills necessary to work together: – Group work that makes use of collaborative tools including wikis, peer groups, blogs, discussion boards 8
  9. 9. 7 Principles for Good Practice• Good Practice Uses Active Learning Techniques. Research suggests that students learning better by e.g. engaging in tasks i.e. not passive receptacles for information. The teacher has to connect with students in order to facilitate learning: – Learning activities that make use of tools and resources for learning by doing (wikis, web searches, group work), time-delayed exchange (discussion boards, blogs), and real-time conversation (chat rooms, Skype, social networking). 9
  10. 10. 7 Principles for Good Practice• Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback. Formative assessment helps students to understand where they are with their learning: – Ensuring that formative feedback is given when using Moodle functions such as assignments, advanced assignments, blogs for reflection, and discussion topics for difficult concepts. 10
  11. 11. 7 Principles for Good Practice• Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task. Students need to learn to focus on the task so that they can complete what they are doing in a timely and efficient manner. – Teachers can use Moodle statistics to monitor students study habits including pages visited, time on each page. – Activities can be released for fixed periods of time so that students have to complete tasks within a given period. 11
  12. 12. 7 Principles for Good Practice• Good Practice Communicates High Expectations. The principle here is that if one expects more then one will get it. Expectations can be set in terms of the nature of the activities that students are expected to complete: – Marking rubrics delivered via Moodle, discussion postings by lecturers around expectations, challenging group tasks using the Wiki function. 12
  13. 13. 7 Principles for Good Practice• Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning. Students have different talents and different learning styles. Some students will be very good at reasoning whilst others will be very good at calculating formulas. Some students will learn best by listening, some by reading and others from constructing diagrams: – Moodle to bring students together and to deliver content using different media. 13
  14. 14. Summary• When we think about teaching online we need to think about teaching practices, teaching roles and the affective qualities of teachers.• Technology can be leveraged to put the 7 principles into practice.• Moodle as an LMS has sufficient functionality / affordances to be effective as a learning environment.• Really, it’s true! 14
  15. 15. References• Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing Teaching Presence in a Computer Conference Context. Journal of the Asynchronous Learning Network, 5(2), 1-17. Retrieved from http://www.sloan- c.org/publications/jaln/v5n2/index.asp 15
  16. 16. References• Oliver, M. (2006). New Pedagogies for E-Learning. Alt-J Research in Learning Technology, 14(2), 133-134. Retrieved from http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.p hp/rlt/issue/view/914 16