Synch AND Swim


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Presentation to BAW 2010 group (21/1/10)

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Synch AND Swim

  1. 1. SYNCH AND SWIM: The Value of Synchronous Learning Environments (Interact! Build Community! Immediate feedback!) Michael Coghlan BAW 2010 21/1/10
  2. 2. STRUCTURE OF SESSION <ul><li>historical context </li></ul><ul><li>value of synchronous interaction </li></ul><ul><li>skills required in a virtual classroom (brief) </li></ul><ul><li>applications for synchronous activity (when can you use them?) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Question: <ul><li>Are you </li></ul><ul><li>A) In your office? </li></ul><ul><li>B) In a computer suite? </li></ul><ul><li>C) At home? </li></ul><ul><li>D) Other? </li></ul>
  5. 5. MULTIPLE VENUE PRESENTATIONS (MVPs) remote students guest lecturer CLASSROOM/ F2F VENUE public space
  6. 6. What is synchronous/asynchronous communication? <ul><li>SYNCHRONOUS (real time) eg f2f conversation, telephone calls, chat rooms </li></ul><ul><li>ASYNCHRONOUS – some delay between initial communication and the reply eg letters, email, forums </li></ul>
  7. 7. Question: <ul><li>IS ANYONE TEACHING IN FULLY ONLINE MODE? </li></ul><ul><li>(Classroom + online = </li></ul><ul><li>BLENDED LEARNING) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Synchronous approaches can be a valuable complement to face to face classes!
  9. 9. Changing Methodology <ul><li>Online/elearning: </li></ul><ul><li>Asynchronous </li></ul><ul><li>(written) text based </li></ul><ul><li>Content focused </li></ul><ul><li>Asynch + synch </li></ul><ul><li>more voice interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Content + process </li></ul>ca 1998 2010
  10. 10. Asynch Synch Oral Written Minimalist; rapid (evolving) COMMUNICATION AXIS Spontaneous; dialogue Reflective; monologue Structured; expository
  11. 11. COMMUNICATION AXIS Most classroom communications take place here New – have been enabled by technology (only happen online)
  12. 12. The Original Synchronous Environment – plain text chat
  13. 13. Web Conferencing/Virtual Classroom
  14. 14. Web Conferencing/Virtual Classroom
  15. 15. Range of Synchronous Tools <ul><li>Instant messengers: Google Talk, Skype, Yahoo, MSN (text + voice) </li></ul><ul><li>Peer to Peer/Collaborative Tools: eg Etherpad (documents), Mind Mapping, Whiteboards, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Classrooms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proprietary: Elluminate, Adobe Connect, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free: Wiziq, DimDim, Vyew </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Virtual Worlds: Second Life See Second Life in Education
  17. 17. Your Experience? <ul><li>Have you experienced the use of synchronous tools in online courses that you have either taught or studied? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Your Experience? <ul><li>How have synchronous tools been used in courses you have either taught or studied? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>small group work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>one-on-one communications? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>whole class meetings? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>whole class instruction? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other? </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Use of Synchronous Tools – Survey <ul><li>Purpose of Interactions </li></ul><ul><li>58% small group work </li></ul><ul><li>37% one-on-one communications </li></ul><ul><li>35% whole class meetings </li></ul><ul><li>16% whole class instruction </li></ul><ul><li>(results at </li></ul>
  20. 20. Question <ul><li>Why do you think it is important to include synchronous tools in online courses? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Use of Synchronous Tools – Survey <ul><li>Why are synchronous tools important? </li></ul><ul><li>Approx 50/50 split between pedagogical and social/affective reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogy : immediacy of feedback (30%) </li></ul><ul><li>(results at </li></ul>
  22. 22. Social/Affective Benefits <ul><li>Social, community, and personal engagement </li></ul><ul><li>personal engagement/motivation (55%) </li></ul><ul><li>community building (29%) </li></ul><ul><li>improving the social experience (27%) </li></ul><ul><li>(results at </li></ul>
  23. 23. Tension: Synch v Asynch <ul><li>Terry Anderson, Toward a Theory of Online Learning: </li></ul><ul><li>“… .the major motivation for enrollment in distance education is not physical access, but rather, temporal freedom to move through a course of studies at a pace of the student’s choice.” Participation in ( synchronous events) “almost inevitably places constraints on this independence.” </li></ul><ul><li>  “ The demands of a learning-centered context might at times force us to modify prescriptive participation in (synchronous events), even though we might have evidence that such participation will further advance knowledge creation and attention.” </li></ul>
  24. 24. Resolving the tension between asynchronous and synchronous approaches <ul><li>don’t make synch sessions compulsory; use synch for those who want it </li></ul><ul><li>use tools that can record or archive the sessions for later retrieval </li></ul><ul><li>don’t use synchronous for whole class instruction </li></ul><ul><li>use for meetings, one-on-one, or in small groups </li></ul><ul><li>offer informal (social) sessions in synch mode </li></ul><ul><li>allow student use of synchronous space </li></ul><ul><li>offer office hours sessions at set times </li></ul>
  25. 25. Resolving the tension between asynchronous and synchronous approaches <ul><li>It’s not all or nothing – use both approaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Synch for social, spontaneous, decision making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asynch for deliberation, reflection, considered opinion </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. The Instructional Challenge: <ul><li>Methodology: how do you use synchronous tools to maximise their impact? </li></ul>
  27. 28. Skills of the Live Online Presenter <ul><li>Golden Rule : 6-8 minutes talking at a stretch maximum </li></ul><ul><li>Intersperse presentations with questions, polls, other speakers (from the floor), whiteboard activity </li></ul><ul><li>Decide how to handle direct messaging – will you monitor/respond? Or ignore it? Dip in and out of it? </li></ul><ul><li>Consider working with a producer/co-presenter </li></ul><ul><li>More at </li></ul>
  28. 29. What kinds of synchronous activities can you use in classrooms? <ul><li>TEACHING </li></ul><ul><li>‘ straight lecture’ </li></ul><ul><li>Guest lecturers </li></ul><ul><li>Oral presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Group work </li></ul><ul><li>One on one (eg pronunciation) </li></ul><ul><li>OTHER </li></ul><ul><li>Office hours </li></ul><ul><li>Social: student - student </li></ul>
  29. 30. Synchronous Activities – example 1 <ul><li>Live discussion with a musician about their work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organised by Webhead Aiden Yeh (Taiwan) and Michael Coghlan (Australia) </li></ul></ul>
  30. 31. Synchronous Activities – example 2 <ul><li>Small Group Discussion - Intercultural Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Streetlife Project organised by Webhead Anne Fox (Denmark) </li></ul></ul>
  31. 32. Synchronous Activities – example 3 <ul><li>Oral Presentations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organised by Webhead Buthaina Al-Othman (Kuwait) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul>
  32. 33. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT <ul><li>Conferences, seminars </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops and Training sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings (much more cost effective than teleconferencing) </li></ul>
  33. 34. <ul><li>NEAR </li></ul><ul><li>SYNCHRONOUS </li></ul><ul><li>TOOLS </li></ul>
  34. 35. What’s this?
  35. 36. Twitter as a real time search tool? <ul><li>May 2008: “Twitter beats media in reporting China earthquake.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>An almost real time search tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Now being used by some as an alternative search tool to Google </li></ul></ul>
  37. 38. BACKCHANNEL TOOLS <ul><li>Direct or instant messaging in web conferencing tools (eg Centra, Elluminate) </li></ul><ul><li>Live blogging tools like Cover It Live </li></ul><ul><li>Live polling tools like Poll Everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Micro Messaging tools: Twitter , Yammer </li></ul>
  38. 39. Cover It Live
  40. 41. Purdue University: In-house Application
  41. 42. Can you use Twitter as teaching tool? <ul><li>Teaching with Twitter (Steve Wheeler) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Twit Board’ Notify students of changes to course content, schedules, venues or other important information. (could be done with phone) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Summing Up’ Ask students to read an article or chapter and then post their brief summary or précis of the key point(s). A limit of 140 characters demands a lot of academic discipline. √ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Twit Links’ Share a hyperlink – a directed task for students – each is required to regularly share one new hyperlink to a useful site they have </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Micro Write’ Progressive collaborative writing on Twitter. Students agree to take it in turns to contribute to an account or ‘story’ over a period of time. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the backchannel to provide feedback on classes in real time √ </li></ul>
  42. 43. Some References <ul><li>Anderson, Terry; Elloumi, Fathi: Theory and Practice of Online Learning (April 2004) </li></ul><ul><li> / </li></ul><ul><li>Coghlan, Michael; How important are synchronous tools in web-based teaching and learning environments? </li></ul><ul><li>Coghlan, Michael ; Moderating Live Synchronous Sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Finkelstein, Jonathan; Learning in Real Time </li></ul><ul><li>Muirhead, Brent; Research Insights into Interactivity, International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning , March 2004 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  43. 44. Contact Details <ul><li>Michael Coghlan </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>