Online Learning Kathryn Gazso English Department Chair School of the Holy Child February 2012
A LOOK AT ONLINE LEARNINGWhat is online learning? Who takes online classes? Why teach them?
A Few Definitions Web-Facilitated: 1–29% course material available online; Blended or Hybrid: 30–79% course material available or completed online; Online: 80%+course material available and completed online.Definitions provided by Sloan Consortium
Who takes online classes? The Pre-K-12 population of the online learning industry is growing faster than any other segment. In 2010, over 4 million students participated in formal online learning programs. Virtual schools are showing annual growth rates between 20% and 45% Prognosticators suggest that by 2019, 50% of courses will be delivered onlineStatistics from iNACOL: Fast Facts About OnlineLearning
Supplemental or full-time online learning opportunities are available statewide to at least some students in 48 out of 50 states plus Washington, DC 27 states, including Washington DC, have statewide, full- time online schools 38 states have state-led online initiatives 75% of school districts had one or more students enrolled in an online or blended learning course In April 2006, Michigan became the first state to require online learning for graduation. Tennessee and Alabama are now amongst the states with the same requirement
Trends in Independent Schools Web-Facilitated Offer Blended or Online Courses Planning to Offer online courses 13% 19% 68%Only 25% of independent schools do not offer, or plan to offer any online courses. Statistics from NAIS, Curriculum/Technology Task Force’s Report, September 2011
Reasons Independent Schools Offer Online and Blended Courses? For enrichment, or to supplement existing curricula To prepare students for online college and university courses To keep students engaged in learning, and to maximize the strengths of F2F and online learning To provide access to courses the school cannot otherwise offer For acceleration or advancing study To address students’ scheduling conflicts To continue school during closings due to unusual circumstances As part of 21st century learning initiatives or a school’s strategic plan
DESIGNING THEONLINE COURSE Madness in Literature
What challenges do you anticipate in designing and implementing an online course? Any fears or concerns?
My Fears, Questions and Challenges Never having taken an online course, what did one look like? How could I create a discussion-based class without F2F time? How could I utilize technology WITHOUT making the course about the technology but about the content? “Madness in Literature” became our second online course; • Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours (Spring 2010) • Blended Courses: • 2-D Design • Media Production I
Things to Consider Timing & Type of Course Enrollment Students must learn how to learn online “Differentiated learning” and the multiple intelligences Creating varied assessments How to provide meaningful feedback; when and how to incorporate my voice into dialogue
What I Did Not Anticipate/Consider Before Beginning (and Should Have) Students who were unable to utilize certain applications (and therefore unable to complete certain assessments!) due to older operating systems Student-access to the internet outside of school
Madness in Literature Spring trimester elective Juniors and seniors only, all whom carried a full course load already (including APs in some instances) Only interacted with students online Director of Instructional Technology available for tech assistance Selected two novels, one short story and one painting to complete a comparative study of the representation of female madness in literature
Creating Community of Learners Online Group Chats Voicethread Used several times Opportunity to respond throughout the to one another using a trimester vehicle other than discussion forum Time selected in evening when Used for initial everyone expected to introductions as well be available as responses to art, selected passages Participation in conversations were graded
Assessments Discussion ForumsOur weekly forums asked students to consider several essentialquestions regarding the text. Post #1: This post would be an articulation of student’s original thoughts to the reading and prompts for the week. The first Forum Post that students write on the prompts should be 250- 400 words. Students must adhere to the elements of grammar. Students must include specific references from the reading to support their assertions. Post #2: The second post would be in response to someone elses post. The purpose is to reflect on their peers ideas and to further the discussion. This should be 100-200 words. Students would have until Friday at 3:00 PM to respond to one of their peers posts.
Assessments: Projects Podcast By gaining a general understanding of Plath’s life and world, we will be able to examine the text through the historical and gender lenses, in addition to the reader response lens. Blog Project A blog is a public way to reflect upon one’s inner life. Construct a blog in which you consider what it means to be uniquely feminine, and how any diversion from that which is feminine might be viewed as a rejection of femininity, or even madness. Draw upon the texts we studied this trimester, “The Yellow-Wallpaper”, The Bell Jar, and Wide Sargasso Sea, to complete your blog. For each blog entry, use a quote from one of our three texts to springboard your discussion of femininity and acceptance (or rejection) of societal norms and mores. You must complete 7 sizable blog entries. Film Project Create a film trailer with director’s statement for the novel.
Advantages Students can take a course of interest to them despite limitations of a schedule Students learn how to work independently and manage time
What I learned… Timing and pacing is everything; it is essential to spend time learning how to learn (and therefore teach!) online How to use technology to further content rather than to use technology That a good online teacher is the same as a good F2F teacher – she must still work to establish a community of learners that fosters mutual respect and encourages diligence