Moodle Moot 2011


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Developing Teaching Presence in Virtual Learning Spaces

Moodle Moot
5 May 2011
Edmonton, Alberta

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  • COI researchers worked predominantly with graduate-level courses using a seminar-type format that depends heavily on discussion forums.
  • Students may be disoriented if they have not studied online before, or they may have had negative experiences—the absent online teacher is too common.
  • I like the idea of being able to control my image somewhat.
  • We start out as a disembodied absence.
  • E.g., assignment deadlines are negotiable; discussion postings are not.The medium is the message to some extent. I am willing to use messaging, but not message shorthand.
  • If you are an instructor, challenge learning designers if the learning environment doesn’t work well—you are the one on the front lines of teaching. If you are a learning designer, listen to instructors.
  • Course design and organization is part of the experience of you as an instructor. You can model clear thinking and good organization in your course design and instil confidence in your students by providing a reliable course environment. Keep it simple. Less is more.
  • Continuously put yourself in the student’s place. Use strategic cross references. Tell them where things are. E.g., if you ask them to watch the video, say the video on the homepage under Resources. It’s easy to cut and paste when making revisions and forget that what you do in one part of the course affects how another part works.
  • Keep a simple pattern; comment on any departures.
  • Students are easily disoriented.
  • Find the optimal level of redundancy, e.g., tell them in the syllabus, in the course notes, and in the actual forum that postings have to be done in the week assigned. Tension between simplicity and completeness.
  • Point out Helpful Links also.
  • It’s worth doing some research on this.
  • It’s worth doing some research on this.
  • I like the Each person posts one discussion as a way to organize forums.
  • Moodle Moot 2011

    1. 1. Developing Teaching Presence in Virtual Learning Spaces<br />Mary M. Pringle, PhD<br />Learning Designer<br />Athabasca University<br />
    2. 2. Teaching Presence<br />The Community of Inquiry Model <br /><br />Garrison, D.R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2–3), 87–105. pdf Full Text<br />
    3. 3. Teaching Presence<br />Social presenceis “the ability of participants to identify with the community (e.g., course of study), communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop inter-personal relationships by way of projecting their individual personalities.” (Garrison, 2009) <br />
    4. 4. Teaching Presence<br />Teaching presence  is the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes (Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, & Archer, 2001). <br />
    5. 5. Teaching Presence<br />Cognitive presence is the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2001). <br />
    6. 6. Teaching Presence<br />For under-prepared undergraduates:<br />Somebody is there and somebody cares!<br />
    7. 7. Teaching Presence<br />Categories<br />Design and organization<br />Facilitating discourse<br />Direct instruction<br />(Anderson et al., 2001)<br />Instructor persona<br />
    8. 8. Instructor Persona<br />The social presence of the teacher<br />Have a profile photo<br />Try YouTube, e.g.,<br />Commit to frequent appearances<br />
    9. 9. Instructor Persona<br /><ul><li>It’s important to establish a teaching presence right at the beginning of the course. </li></ul>Use the Online Users block so that students can see when you are there.<br />
    10. 10. Instructor Persona<br />I send out a message on the first day reminding students to start the course and telling them what they need to do to succeed.<br />
    11. 11. Instructor Persona<br />Personal Voice<br />‘You’ rather than ‘the students’ in instructions.<br />Acknowledge their busyness while broadcasting deadlines.<br />Let them know what is negotiable.<br />Messages versus Internalmail, etc.<br />
    12. 12. Design and Organization<br />Simplicity: the greatest design challenge<br />Pre-empt confusion<br />Continuous orientation<br />
    13. 13. Design and Organization<br />Simplicity<br />Less is more.<br />Keep it simple.<br />
    14. 14. Design and Organization<br />Pre-empt Confusion<br /><ul><li>Anticipate problems.
    15. 15. Edit carefully to avoid conflicting or confusing instructions. </li></ul>Avoiding conflicting information about requirements and deadlines saves you work in the long run.<br />
    16. 16. Design and Organization<br />Pre-empt Confusion<br />Comment on anything potentially confusing, for example:<br />“Week 5 has a mixture of activities—this is a moment in the course where various streams come together in preparation for the major essay project.”<br />
    17. 17. Design and Organization<br />Pre-empt Confusion<br />If you have to make a change during the course, no matter how small, send a message to alert students.<br />
    18. 18. Design and Organization<br />Continuous Orientation<br />Continuous orientation (reminders) may help to decrease attrition rate.<br />Especially important for big assignments due later in the course.<br />
    19. 19. Design and Organization<br />
    20. 20. Facilitating Discourse<br />Different for undergraduates and graduates.<br />Weekly graded discussion topics to foster critical thinking.<br />Provide guiding questions.<br />Provide reliable feedback.<br />Explain your grading.<br />
    21. 21. Facilitating Discourse<br />Responses should be at least 250 words long in total. Each discussion is worth up to 20 points—the total discussion points can make a difference of a letter grade! <br />Common reasons for getting less than full points include <br />posting less than 250 words.<br />spelling errors.<br />failure to answer at least one of the discussion questions.<br />failure to respond to a peer posting (automatic deduction of 5 points).<br />failure to meet posting deadlines.<br /> ignoring the content of the assigned readings and lecture notes.<br />
    22. 22. Facilitating Discourse<br />Use the settings in the Moodle forum to meet your needs in a given course.<br />For example, you can set up the forum so that you can rate posts and they will go into the grade book.<br />You can use the Q and A forum to make students post their response before they can see others’.<br />
    23. 23.
    24. 24.
    25. 25. Rating forum postings.<br />
    26. 26. Facilitating Discourse<br />Be sure to subscribe to all your discussion forums so that you get an email alert whenever a student posts.<br />If it’s too annoying, use an email filter, but don’t ignore them!<br />Respond on a predictable basis.<br />
    27. 27. Direct Instruction<br />Course notes and commentaries<br />Feedback on assignments<br />Feedback on quizzes<br />Feedback on forums<br />
    28. 28. Direct Instruction<br />Feedback on Assignments<br />There are at least two places you can give students feedback when you grade assignments: <br />on the uploaded document and <br />in the assignment textbox. <br />
    29. 29. Direct Instruction<br />Using Track Changes on the uploaded document. If you ask students to upload completed work as a Word file, you can use Track Changes as well as embedded comments to give students feedback:<br />
    30. 30. Direct Instruction<br />Here is something the student has [written]  in response to a an assignment. Here is a tracked change with feedback. <br />Note that the keyboard shortcut to turn Track Changes on and off is Ctrl + Shift + e. If you accidentally change some of the characters doing this, you can restore the original keyboard by hitting Ctrl + Shift twice.<br />Here is a comment suggesting a link for more help:<br />
    31. 31. Direct Instruction<br />The Helpful Links page—use it to paste links that address common problems.<br />Here is a comment suggesting a link for more help:<br />
    32. 32. Direct Instruction<br />Assignment feedback pop-up.<br />
    33. 33. Direct Instruction<br />Student view of the grade book.<br />
    34. 34. Direct Instruction<br />Assignment feedback using quick grading.<br />
    35. 35. Direct Instruction<br />Detailed feedback can be highly effective in practice quizzes where you anticipate the typical errors and give feedback for each incorrect answer accordingly. <br />Humour is always welcome and motivating.<br />See examples at<br />
    36. 36. Good Practice<br />Contact non-attending students<br />Weekly grading/performance feedback<br />Mid-point performance evaluation<br />24- to 48-hour response time<br />Detailed and insightful feedback to student assignments, quizzes, and discussion posts<br />
    37. 37. Teaching Presence<br />Questions?<br /><br />
    38. 38. Teaching Presence<br />References<br />Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D.R, & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing context. JALN, 5(2).<br />Garrison, D.R. (2009). Blended learning as a transformative design approach. In Encyclopedia of distance learning (2nd ed.), pp.200–204. IGI Global.<br />
    39. 39. Teaching Presence<br />References (cont.)<br />Garrison, D.R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. <br />