Collaborative Activites for ELT 7008


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  • Welcome – I love learning new things and I am very fortunate to have been able to continue my education as an e-learner. The e-classroom has provided me with the opportunity to complete an eMBA and my current endeavor to complete a Ph.D. The learning activities have changed tremendously since I first enrolled in 1989 in Portland State University’s online MBA program with activities which were “assigned” rather than engaging and in my recent courses I interact only with a mentor. According to Watkins (2005) one of the most frequent complaints of learners in the online environment is a feeling of isolation – I certainly agree with that phrase. The use of activities which involve participants in a team or collaborative learning environment are successful strategies to reduce learner anxiety (Watkins, 2005). “It follows that devising techniques, supported by technology, to capture, retain, and sustain student engagement should be at the forefront of course design” (Brown, 2010, p. 40). Learning activities for the 21st century classroom is the focus of this presentation.One outcome of the integration of technology into the classroom is the shift to a learner centered environment rather than an instructor centered lecture of imparting information. “Once again, learner-centered pedagogy is everything when it comes to teaching online or face-to-face” (Palloff & Pratt, 2001, p. 153). The activities developed for the Introduction to Business course at Southwestern Oregon Community College (Southwestern) were designed to meet the needs of learner in a learner-focused environment and to promote the learner to explore the course materials and web available information through collaborative and reflective activities.The presentation was developed by Robin Bunnell, learner at Northcentral University for the course ELT 7008 – Online Learning Communities, for activity 11 with Dr. Glen Gatin.
  • Given the availability of a wide range of communication tools designed for online learning the ability of learners to interact with each other has changed rapidly in the last 20 years and so has the role of the online instructor (Geer, 2000). It is critical to understand our own philosophy of education and adapt to the online environment as “electronic pedagogy is required in the e-classroom” (Palloff & Pratt, 2007, p. 227). In order for instructors to become more effective in the e-classroom the culture of learning according to Palloff and Pratt (2007) must be one which promotes “the development of new approaches and skills for faculty so that their teaching online might be more effective. . . . It is about developing the skills involved with community building among a group of learners so as to maximize the benefits and potential that this medium holds in the educational arena” (p. 227). I have developed four interactive and collaborative activities for the course BA 101 – Introduction to Business at Southwestern. The first activity is a class collaborative activity titled “Group Responsibilities – Now We Know!” designed to establish group norms as an entire class for future team/group activities. In the second activity learners are divided into teams and share their first experience with an ethical issue. Moving into the third activity learners are asked to reflect on the first few chapters of the text and provide one new thing they learned as well as some insights into how the information is valuable – this activity is based on an individual activity to provide three new things as an individual task. The first three activities are graded individually to promote social presence and ensure learners are comfortable and feel safe in the learning environment. The last activity is graded individually and collaboratively as learners are asked to market a product from a real-life situation and share the presentation with the class.Access to diverse learning opportunities are important to support the rapidly changing work environment and to keep pace with the rapidly changing technology and other demands made upon the 21st century global workforce and this can be accomplished in the e-classroom of the 21st century through quality designed learning activities which are authentic and collaborative.
  • Constructivism, which is derived from branches of cognitive science, emphasizes the importance of learners creating, developing and constructing their ideas (Geer, 2000, p. 2426). The focus in the 21st century classroom is on the learner and associated learning styles as well as how to appropriately integrate technology into the classroom which is essential for a successful learning experience. According to Chen (2007): in a constructivist learning environment, to successfully promote active and meaningful learning, the instructor has to commit a significant amount of time and energy to develop complex, problem-based learning tasks; arrange an open and resource-rich learning environment; provide ample opportunities for social interactions; form and norm groups; offer a cognitive scaffold, continuously monitor and coach performance; and encourage collaboration and interaction to gain multiple perspectives. (p. 74)Course activities must be designed to foster learner to instructor interactions as well as learner to learner and learner to content interactions. As noted by Chen (nd) in reference to online learning communities "exchanging experiences or opinions can make members feel closer and provide identity" (p. 119). Social presence is a key element which must be developed in order for online discussions to fully integrate course content with the learning activities. Garrison (2007, April) noted in reference to communication among group members that "it was only after the social relationships were established and the group became more focused on purposeful activities did cohesive comments begin to take precedence" (p. 64).Bender (2003) noted "it is important and beneficial to vary the learning activities in the online class. . . . to match the different ways in which students learn and to challenge them to greater heights" (p. 118). In fact Kim and Bonk (2006) noted a significant gap between learner preferences and instructor pedagogy as supported by their research as 40 percent of the participants preferred activities which were interactive and required critical and creative thinking yet only 23 - 45 percent of online instructors actually used such activities in their courses.BA 101 incorporates authentic learning activities (real-life situations and real-world applications) as well as collaborative activities to promote an engaged learning environment for learners to explore the materials and choose their path of learning using the ANGEL learning management system.The ability for learners to work collaboratively is an essential element of the constructivist-based e-learning environment as stated by Piki (2009) "collaborative learning is based on the tenet that knowledge is constructed socially while people interact and exchange experiences, information, and ideas" (p. 459). The ultimate goal of learning is for students to achieve their goals and for the learning activities to be meaningful which requires learners to be actively engaged in the learning process which includes activities directly related to the real world as "people learn better when they are actively engaged in learning tasks that are directly related to their needs and interests" (Correia, 2008, p. 2; Palloff & Pratt, 2007). Inquiry is paramount to e-pedagogy and the e-classroom environment as the 21st century provides instant access to information using technology. Collaborative authentic activities and reflection are essential elements within BA 101. In reference to group work Conrad and Donaldson (2004) described how reflection provides closure as well as allowing participants to share their perceptions and thoughts on the collective experience. According to Garrison (2007) “it is the asynchronicity and connectivity properties of online learning that offer the potential for the unique integration of reflective and collaborative learning opportunities” (p. 10).
  • Southwestern Oregon Community College – rural small-college on South coast of Oregon with approximately 2700 degree-seeking students ranging in age from 18 to 55 from all 50 states and from several foreign countries. Online learners generally range in age from 18 to 50 with both novice and experienced e-learners enrolling in BA 101.The course description provided in the College catalog reads: This course surveys American business organization, operation, and management. This course develops an awareness of the nature of business in the capital system. Introduction is made to the fields of ownership, organization, personnel, accounting, financing, marketing, management, production, insurance, real estate, foreign trade, and government regulations.The purpose of BA 101 is to acquaint learners with the Business Administration curriculum. Learners will be introduced to business vocabulary, the economic system, and will study the business organization with its many internal and external functions including ethics and social responsibility along with international issues, marketing, human resources, management operations, and financial considerations. The course objectives are: (1) Identify characteristics of sound business practices; (2) Describe the size of the business, form of ownership, and goals to be achieved in relation to why businesses exist; (3) Apply the application of mathematical concepts and practice intelligent decision making; (4) Apply business concepts dealing with issues arising in a business setting; (5) Use tools of business to assist in acquiring information to make decisions; (6) Describe the economic system in which we live and its interrelationships; (7) Identify how competition and profits work within the business sector.I have been teaching BA 101 since Fall of 2007 when I first taught the course in the traditional face-to-face classroom and another section was taught online.
  • Inclusion of collaborative activities within an online course leads to positive outcomes as described by several sources (as cited in Haythornthwaite, 2006) "collaborative group interaction in educational settings promotes these positive outcomes: active learning (following constructivist learning theory, [48]); co-construction of knowledge [49]; emulation of expected future workplace requirements; social interaction and a learning community [6, 50, 51]; and a sense of belonging [5]" (p. 11). Collaborative team activities designed to identify group responsibilities or arrive at a group consensus are two ways in which online teams can create positive group norms and dynamics which, according to Watkins (2005), are essential to the success of online teams. The Group Responsibilities Now We Know! is a collaborative activity designed for participation by all learners in the course. The goal is to develop the group responsibilities to be used by all teams/groups in future collaborative activities. Learners identify the top 10 group responsibilities which they view as important to team activities and post them to a discussion forum. Each learner is able to see the posts of the other learners and then is asked to “vote” for the top 10 responsibilities. The voting does not take place until later in the week to allow learners a chance to view and respond to other learner posts. A course poll is used for learners to anonymously vote on their top 10 choices and the progress of the poll serves to keep learners informed of what the top 10 choices were as the information is viewable from the main course homepage.I also posted my top 10 choices to model the expected posting requirements as well as allow learners to guide the requirements of the collaborative learning activities and to set the stage for the reflective collaborative activity later in the course. Jones, Kolloff, and Kolloff (2008) noted that “educators who want to develop student critical thinking skills will need to develop a learning environment (online) that encourages students to ask questions, engage in reflective thinking and self-directed learning. At the same time, if [sic] is very important for the educator to model reflective skills needed” (p. 4).
  • This activity was designed to move learners from the introductory discussion forum and group responsibilities forum into a higher level discussion of a sensitive nature in order to build trust among the team members and create a safe learning and sharing environment. Chen (nd) stated "if newcomers can feel comfortable, they have a willingness to share their ideas or experiences; thus, his learning community is formed in the right way" (p. 122). It is critical to remind learners to review the tips for success in the online learning environment document located within the Institutional Resources ANGEL homepage and to reinforce netiquette requirements which both support learners to successfully communicate online (Conrad & Donaldson, 2004). I provided learners with an initial post to kick off the ethical discussion and I followed the same forum posting requirements as expected of the learners. According to Broadbent (2002) an instructor who models behavior helps to build a sense of community. It is critical to provide learners plenty of time to discuss topics which touch upon personal opinion and sensitive topics as some learners may find these activities difficult to interact with other learners given the nature of the topic and this is when the role of the instructor is essential to encourage positive communication and to foster trust (Palloff & Pratt, 2001; Palloff & Pratt, 2007). I designed the “Ethics First” activity to occur during the third week of the course as learners should have already established an initial communication with other learners and the instructor and they need to build collaborative discussion and interaction skills to complete the future collaborative activities. The activity is for members of the team only and allows the team members to discuss their own experiences associated with the concepts presented in Chapter 2 of the text related to social responsibility and ethical behavior. Learners are to post three original posts to let other team members know what type of ethical issues the learner has encountered. Learners are to respond to all other member posts as required by the grade rubric. The goal is to build trust and create an open learner sharing environment for team members as they move into additional collaborative activities later in the course.
  • It is important to create a space where learners can reflect individually as well as collaboratively as this “opens the door to reflection. It conveys a message to the participants that says that this type of inquiry is expected and completely acceptable” (Palloff & Pratt, 2007, p. 192). The One New Thing I Now Know collaborative reflection activity which is coupled with the Three New Things I Now Know individual course activity is a space for learners to reflect and share what has been learned three different times during the course (weeks 5, 8 and the final week). As noted by Dabbagh (2007) “reflection skills include the ability to apply frequent and substantive consideration and assessment of one’s own learning process and products and the group's learning process and products” (p. 221). Reflective activities are those which might take a position, provide a reaction, or to summarize the content in terms of personal understanding (Bonk, 2011). These activities support a holistic learning environment as learners acquire knowledge through course activities and then finally reflect upon what has been learned. Chin and Williams (2006) reference the importance of reflection with respect to a holistic learning environment wherein “learning is acquired through opportunities for reflection and active construction of knowledge as well as by means of social interaction and collaboration” (p. 19). Pilling-Cormick and Garrison (2007) noted that “reflective inquiry plays a vital role in helping learners think about their learning” (p. 28). This activity requires learners to reflect back on one new thing learned during prior activities or course materials (even from the web searches and exploration) and post this to a shared collaborative reflection space. Learners are first asked to post to an individual reflection space with three new things learned which allows the learner to receive feedback prior to posting in the shared space as well as practice sharing their perspective with the instructor. Learners are required to respond to a minimum of two other learner posts. The ability for learners to collaboratively reflect allows for different perspectives to be considered as noted by Singh, Hawkins, and Whymark (2007) given “collaborative reflective social discourse serves to make one’s experience and viewpoint visible to peers for the purpose of getting a different perspective” (p. 86).The goal is for learners to share their perspectives with the rest of the learners in the class and to think about how the information learned applies to their own real-life situation as well as how the information can be applied in the future. Garrison (2007) stated that “inquiry is based on questioning from both teacher and students, individually and collaboratively, seeking answers to these questions, and then confirming understanding, diagnosing misconceptions and testing solutions through applications and/or discourse. Taking responsibility and control of one’s learning is core to reflective inquiry and self-directed learning as well as the development of metacognitive abilities that ultimately provide the foundation for continued learning. Inquiry requires an environment of both freedom and support" (p. 8).
  • According to Woo, Herrington, Agostinho, and Reeves, (2007) "within a learning environment built around authentic activities, students have their own roles similar to those found in a real-world team at work, at play, or in other collaborative social contexts" (p. 2). Real-life situations serve as a catalyst for collaboration given students are motivated by solving real-world problems which require collaboration given "success is not achievable by an individual learner working alone. Authentic activities make collaboration integral to the task, both within the course and in the real world" (Lombardi, 2007, p. 3). This an authentic collaborative learning activity as learners are required to produce a marketable product based on their research.This activity is designed for team members to create an actual product based on information found in their research which is to be marketed to the class and then find out which product would most likely be purchased by other members of the class. Learners were expected to draw on the information from the book, research from the internet, current event topics discussed in the e-classroom, and on each other to develop a marketable product which cost no more than $40. Each team member provides feedback using the Team Review Form adapted from the online learning idea book: 95 proven ways to enhance technology-based and blended learning edited by Pattie Shank (2007). “This feedback empowers learners to have a say in the point distribution on group projects” (p. 74). The form also serves as an incentive to meet the expectations of the group assignment as well as providing feedback to the instructor via useful comments to be included for individual learner feedback (Shank, 2007). The form is designed to encourage learners to fully participate in fulfill their obligations as a team member as “group results are hindered when team members do not fulfill their obligations” (Shank, 2007, p. 73). Attribution for the form: Joanna C. Dunlap, assistant professor, School of Education and Human Development, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences, Denver, Colorado, USA. The product is then presented to the entire class and each class member votes for their favorite product. Each member also participates in the discussion form to state why they would purchase the product. This is important as noted by Garrison (2007) when he described how through reflective collaborative activities a true community of inquiry exists wherein “the goal is independent thinkers nurtured in an inter-dependent collaborative community of inquiry. This speaks directly to the properties of asynchronous online learning” (p. 3).
  • The role of faculty in the 21st century teaching environment is driven by the “rapid pace of globalization, the shift from an industrial to an innovation economy and the explosion of networked communications, … created the need to work and interact in new ways and to gain fluency in new tools and paradigms” (Partnership, 2007, p.1). Learners must possess 21st century technology skills to be competitive in the global economy and to meet the greater demands in the workplace (Partnership, 2007), thus all educators must possess the same skills in order to provide instruction that promotes student learning and achievement associated with technology. The role of the instructor teaching in the e-classroom is one in which learning and technology are integrated, instructors need to: Build a sense of community (Palloff & Pratt, 2000, Palloff & Pratt, 2007)Promote collaborative learning (Palloff & Pratt, 2000; Palloff & Pratt, 2007)Enable participants to reflect on the learning process (Palloff & Pratt, 2000; Palloff & Pratt, 2007)Clear guidelines for participation (Palloff & Pratt, 2000; Palloff & Pratt, 2007)Create a sense of presence (Lehman & Conceicao, 2010; Palloff & Pratt, 2007)Find a balance between student-centered and instructor-centered activities (Ko & Rossen, 2010)The integration of technology into the classroom is driven by the demands of the workplace which require educational institutions to ensure technology literacy as “the long-term goal of technology literacy is for students to use the tools of their society with skill; in an ethical, accurate, and insightful manner to meet the demands of the 21st Century workplace” ( A holistic approach to learning wherein the focus is on the learner and the activities are meaningful and engaging is essential within the e-classroom. Brown (2010) stated “when engaged, learners are enthusiastic and excited about the subject. Their work is informed by the enjoyment of discovery. Engaged learners work willingly, instead of by coercion, and approach their assignments as something that matters to them personally” (p. 38; p. 40). According to Chin and Williams (2006) :learning  is  acquired  through  opportunities  for  reflection  and  active construction of knowledge as well as by means of social interaction and collaboration. The careful  and deliberate consideration given to the planning and design of the learning events so that the  various  subenvironments  are  integrated  and  blended  makes for  an authentic  and meaningful learning experience (p. 19)Access to diverse learning opportunities are important to support the rapidly changing work environment and to keep pace with the rapidly changing technology and other demands made upon the 21st century global workforce. New challenges arise every day and e-Learning programs provide the versatility needed to maintain relevant learning opportunities serving as a guide to multiple avenues of information which incorporate the four types of e-Learning and increase student learning and student achievement.
  • The resources listed provide quality background information to consider as course activities are developed.
  • The references used for this presentation are additional resources you may find helpful along your journey.
  • The references used for this presentation are additional resources you may find helpful along your journey.
  • The references used for this presentation are additional resources you may find helpful along your journey.
  • Collaborative Activites for ELT 7008

    1. 1. Learning Activities for the 21st Centurye-Classroom<br />Robin Bunnell, September 17, 2011<br />ELT 7008 – Activity 11<br />
    2. 2. e-Classroom Activities<br />E-pedagogy based on the constructivist learning theory and a holistic approach to learning<br />Course: BA 101 – Introduction to Business at Southwestern<br />Group Responsibilities – Now We Know!<br />Ethics First!<br />One New Thing I Now Know!<br />Business in Practice – Look What We Produced!<br />E-classroom in the 21st Century<br />
    3. 3. 21st Century e-Pedagogy<br /> Constructivist learning theory<br /> Social presence and holistic learning<br /> Authentic learning activities<br /> Collaborative activities<br /> Reflective activities<br />
    4. 4. BA 101:Introduction to Business<br /> Learner environment<br /> Learner demographics<br /> Course Description<br /> Course Purpose<br /> Course Objectives<br />
    5. 5. Group ResponsibilitiesNow We Know!<br />All learner collaborative activity<br />Determine the group responsibilities for future activities<br />Each learner posts their top 10 responsibilities<br />Each learner “votes” in a poll for their top 10<br />Top 10 of the class are posted for use in future activities<br />
    6. 6. Ethics First!<br />Team member introductory collaborative activity<br />Each learner posts their first experience with an ethical issue<br />Learners share perspectives and respond to other learners<br />Build a safe learning and sharing environment<br />Develop trust among team members<br />
    7. 7. One New Thing I Now Kow!<br /> Learners post one new thing they discovered<br /> Post to a collaborative reflection discussion forum<br /> Learners respond to at least two other learners<br /> Share perspectives<br /> View how others plan to use information learned for the future<br />
    8. 8. Business in PracticeLook What We Produced!<br /> Team members develop a product based on current event topics identified by learners at the beginning of the course<br /> Authentic learning opportunity<br /> Share with entire class the product developed<br /> Team members market the product to the class<br />
    9. 9. e-Classroom in the 21st Century<br /> e-Pedagogy – Learning and Technology<br /> Access to information<br /> Technology literacy<br /> Holistic learning<br /> Demands of learners and the workforce<br />
    10. 10. Questions?<br />Comments?<br />
    11. 11. Resources<br />Assessment - Links and Resources by North Carolina State University Planning & Analysis Assessment Toolbox by Jon Mueller for College by Susan Lierberman by University of California Fullerton Mihaylo College of Business and Economics on Rubrics, Discussion Boards, and Gradebooks by Mary Bart of Rubrics Depaul University Teaching, Learning and Assessment Rubrics to Improve Online Teaching, Learning, and Retention by Cindy Rippe<br />
    12. 12. References<br />Bender, T. (2003). Discussion based online teaching to enhance student learning: Theory, practice and assessment. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.Bonk, C. (2011, July 31). Online writing and reflection activities [Video file]. Retrieved from, B. (2002). ABCs of e-learning: Reaping the benefits and avoiding the pitfalls. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.Brown, M. (2010, September/October). A dialogue for engagement. EDUCAUSE Review, 45(5), 38-40.Chen, S. (2007, Spring). Instructional design strategies for intensive online courses: An objectivist-constructivist blended approach. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 6(1), 72-86. Retrieved from, Y. (nd). Building an online learning community. University of Washington. Retrieved from,38Chin, S., & Williams, J. (2006, March). A theoretical framework for effective online course design. Journal of Online Teaching and Learning 2(1), 12-21. Retrieved from,38Clardy, A. (2009, June). Distant, on-line education: Effects, principles and practices. Retrieved from<br />Conrad, R., & Donaldson, J. (2004). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Corriea, A. (2008, April/May ). Moving from theory to real-world experiences in an e-learning community. Journal of Online Education 4(4). Retrieved from<br />
    13. 13. References - continued<br />Dabbagh, N. (2007). The online learner: Characteristics and pedagogical implications. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 7(3), 217-226. Retrieved from, O.C., Hirt, G, & Ferrell, L. (2010). Business: A changing world (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.Garrison, D.R. (2007). Cognitive presence for effective asynchronous online learning: The role of reflective inquiry, self-direction and metacognition. In J. Bourne & J.C. Moore (Eds.), Elements of quality online education: Practice and Direction, 4, 29-38. Sloan C Series, Needham: MA: The Sloan Consortium. Retrieved September 15, 2011, from, D. R. (2007, April). Online community of inquiry review: Social, cognitive, and teaching presence issues. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks 11(1) 61-72. Retrieved from, R. (2000). Drivers for successful student learning through collaborative interactivity in internet based courses. In D. Willis et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2000 (pp. 2425-2431). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.Haythornthwaite, (2006, February). Facilitating online collaboration. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks 10(1), 7-24. Retrieved from, P., Kolloff, M., & Kolloff, F. (2008). Teaching them to think: Best practices for developing critical thinking skills for online learner. Presented at the 24th Annual conference on distance teaching and learning. Retrieved from, K. & Bonk, C. (2006). The future of online teaching and learning in higher education, Educause Quarterly, 4, 22-40. Retrieved from<br />Ko, S., & Rossen, S. (2010). Teaching online: A practical guide. New York, NY: Routledge.Lehman, R., & Conceicao, S. (2010). Creating a sense of presence in online teaching: How to 'be there' for distance learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Lombardi, M. (2007, May). Authentic learning for the 21st century: An overview. In D. Oblinger (Ed.), Educause Learning Initiative [White paper]. Retrieved from<br />
    14. 14. References - continued<br />Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2001). Lessons from the cyberspace classroom: The realities of online teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Partnership for 21st Century Skills, (2007). 21st Century Skills Professional Development. Retrieved from, A. (2009). Portraits of learners: an ethnographic study of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) practices. Proceedings of the European Conference on e-Learning, 458-465.Pilling-Cormick, J., & Garrison, R. D. (2007). Self-directed and self-regulated learning: Conceptual links. Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education 33(2), 13-33. Retrieved from, M. (2000). E-learning: Strategies for delivering knowledge in the digital age. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.SETDA National Leadership Institute Toolkit. Retrieved from<br />Shank, P. (Ed.). (2007). the online learning idea book: 95 proven ways to enhance technology-based and blended learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.Singh, G., Hawkins, L, & Whymark, G. (2007). An integrated model of collaborative knowledge building. In Alex Koohang (Ed.), Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects 3, 85-106. Retrieved from, R. (2005). 75 e-learning activities: Making online learning interactive. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.Woo, Y., Herrington, J., Agostinho, S., and Reeves, T. (2007). Implementing authentic tasks in web-based learning environments. EDUCAUSE Quarterly30(3), 36-43. Retrieved from<br />