Engaging Students in Distance Learning

2,446 views

Published on

"Engaging Students in Distance Learning." Presentation given at 7th Drexel e-Learning Conference, March 26th, 2009, by Dr Jim Waters & Dr Susan Gasson.

Published in: Education, Technology
1 Comment
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Hello, Today I want to share my personal experience that helps my business. It is a great surprise for all traders. First time, I applied _Insider John_ but I got bad output, loss and many time fake signals. Then I got free binary video tutorials of *BinaryBoom* from my friend. The *BinaryBoom* is new version, so easy, always provides me right time signal to buy or sell and auto earning. The _Insider John_ gives me 15%-25% profit before *BinaryBoom* gives me 55%-80% profit till now. I took my product price only 1 day by using The *BinaryBoom* after that it brings only profit to me. I recommend you that *BinaryBoom* has a customer support also. You can check by visiting their *official website* http://tinyurl.com/boomfree "Totally free"
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
2,446
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
13
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
43
Comments
1
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Engaging Students in Distance Learning

  1. 1. Engaging Students in Distance Learning <br />Jim Waters<br />Susan Gasson<br />The iSchool at Drexel<br />
  2. 2. If students have already paid us, why should we care if they are engaged ?<br />Altruism – the long view?<br />Pragmatism – they can always leave taking their tuition money with them<br />Student feedback and tenure decisions?<br />Word gets out! – social networks<br />Students can vote with their virtual feet and<br />Their very real wallets<br />
  3. 3. Agenda <br />How do I know if students are engaged?<br />What is the effect of:<br />Question design?<br />Course scaffolding?<br />Instructor moderation?<br />Being an entertaining instructor?<br />So what?<br />
  4. 4. Research Study<br />Analyzed course interactions via discussion board on Blackboard learning system.<br />12 online MS courses (info. systems./info. Science)<br />313 Students, 11,497 messages <br />Posts to discussion board + small group discussions<br />Analyzed<br />Thread depth, thread length, participants<br />Cognitive content of message<br />Interactive intent of message <br />Patterns of message sequences<br />Examined student outcomes related to interaction<br />Pre and Post questionnaires<br />Demographics and Attitudinal data<br />
  5. 5. Three modes of learning engagement<br />Individual Participation <br />Active Course Involvement<br />Iterative Social Engagement <br />Fluid: students can move between modes reacting to drivers<br />
  6. 6. Mode 1: Individual Participation<br />The semi-transparent participant<br />Interacts with materials<br />Internalizes knowledge <br />Contractual obligation postings<br />Broadcast messages<br />Superficial learning<br />Hermit!<br />
  7. 7. Mode 2: Active Course Involvement<br />Demonstrates (some) genuine interest<br />Interacts with peers (after a fashion)<br />Translates community knowledge<br />Relates posts to own experience or knowledge<br />Internalizes community knowledge<br />Ego-centric approach<br />Small group or clique interactions<br />
  8. 8. Mode 3: Interactive Social Engagement<br />Motivated for interactive learning<br />Committed to greater group learning<br />Interacts freely with peers<br />Looped learning cycles<br />Iterative internalizations/externalizations <br />Social construction of knowledge<br />
  9. 9. How can we tell what is going on?<br />
  10. 10. Mode 1: Course Participation<br />How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? Instructor 10/21/07 2:36 PM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S18 10/25/07 12:09 PM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S10 10/25/07 6:29 PM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S21 10/25/07 8:30 PM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S17 10/26/07 7:38 PM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S22 10/28/07 6:19 PM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S2 10/28/07 7:04 PM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S4 10/28/07 10:24 PM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S10 10/28/07 10:26 PM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S7 10/28/07 10:46 PM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S8 10/29/07 12:59 AM<br /> RE:How Do We Know A Project Is On Track? S11 12/14/07 11:34 AM<br />
  11. 11. Mode 1: Course Participation<br />
  12. 12. Mode 2: Active Course Involvement<br />Unanswered questions Instructor 10/5/07 3:23 PM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S1 10/5/07 6:59 PM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S17 10/6/07 3:41 AM<br /> RE:RE:Unanswered questions S19 10/8/07 12:33 AM<br /> RE:RE:RE:Unanswered questions S20 10/8/07 10:52 AM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S13 10/6/07 10:52 AM<br /> RE:RE:Unanswered questions S18 10/7/07 4:14 PM<br /> RE:RE:RE:Unanswered questions S6 10/9/07 9:45 PM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S12 10/6/07 11:04 AM<br /> RE:RE:Unanswered questions S20 10/7/07 10:34 AM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S9 10/7/07 6:49 AM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S21 10/7/07 4:36 PM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S10 10/7/07 5:31 PM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S4 10/7/07 10:59 PM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S19 10/8/07 12:07 AM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S8 10/8/07 2:21 PM<br /> BOK as a communications/marketing tool S12 10/9/07 1:18 PM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S8 10/8/07 2:48 PM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S14 10/12/07 2:33 PM<br /> RE:RE:Unanswered questions S12 10/12/07 3:22 PM<br /> RE:Unanswered questions S15 10/12/07 3:26<br />
  13. 13. Mode 2: Active Course Involvement<br />
  14. 14. Mode 3: Interactive Social Engagement<br />
  15. 15. Mode 3: Interactive Social Engagement<br />
  16. 16. What makes students engage at higher levels in a distance-learning course?<br />
  17. 17. Question Frequency vs. response<br />
  18. 18. Question Design<br />I would like each of you to initially focus on one fact finding technique, your contribution should be a critical (but brief) examination of that technique within the domain of systems analysis. [Fact-finding]<br />Critically evaluate the author&apos;s FAST approach. Is it useful? Practical? What are some alternatives?  Is this a &quot;real&quot; model that could be used on &quot;real&quot; projects? [Fast or slow]<br />I want you to cook up a systems development project (real or imagined). Describe the goal(s), the objective(s) of the project and the scope of the work the systems analyst for the project. Post your goals, objectives and scope by around Thursday of this week. I&apos;d then like each of you to comment a bit on each other&apos;s work. [Cooking up a new project]<br />
  19. 19. And the Winner is<br />I want you to cook up a systems development project (real or imagined). Describe the goal(s), the objective(s) of the project and the scope of the work the systems analyst for the project. Post your goals, objectives and scope by around Thursday of this week. I&apos;d then like each of you to comment a bit on each other&apos;s work. [Cooking up a new project]<br />I would like each of you to initially focus on one fact finding technique, your contribution should be a critical (but brief) examination of that technique within the domain of systems analysis. [Fact-finding]<br />Critically evaluate the author&apos;s FAST approach. Is it useful? Practical? What are some alternatives?  Is this a &quot;real&quot; model that could be used on &quot;real&quot; projects? [Fast or slow]<br />
  20. 20. Good<br />I want you to cook up a systems development project (real or imagined). Describe the goal(s), the objective(s) of the project and the scope of the work the systems analyst for the project. Post your goals, objectives and scope by around Thursday of this week. I&apos;d then like each of you to comment a bit on each other&apos;s work.[Cooking up a new project]<br />150 posts <br />Several sub-threads extremely deep (7 or 8 levels) <br />Critique, feedback, support and facilitation<br />Well-placed faculty moderation, nudges rather than cattle prods<br /><ul><li>Well-bounded but open-ended: students define problem
  21. 21. Deliberately pitched as a cooperative task
  22. 22. Concrete (well-defined) task
  23. 23. Students negotiate the task meaning collaboratively</li></li></ul><li>Average<br />I would like each of you to initially focus on one fact finding technique, your contribution should be a critical (but brief) examination of that technique within the domain of systems analysis. [Fact-finding]<br />85 posts<br />Moderate sub-thread depth (mostly 3 or 4 levels) <br />31% were messages from Instructor to students<br />20% were messages from students to Instructor<br />Well-placed faculty moderation, focus on challenging assumptions.<br /><ul><li>Reasonably open-ended problem
  24. 24. Far less cooperative inter-student activity
  25. 25. Not pitched as a cooperative activity
  26. 26. Students not answering a common question, but question is defined</li></li></ul><li>Bad<br />Critically evaluate the author&apos;s FAST approach. Is it useful? Practical? What are some alternatives?  Is this a &quot;real&quot; model that could be used on &quot;real&quot; projects? [Fast or slow]<br />46 posts<br />Limited sub-thread depth - mostly 2 (question then single response)<br />45% were messages from Instructor to students<br />37% were messages from students to Instructor<br />18% were student-student messages<br /><ul><li>Faculty intervention much more critical (didactic)
  27. 27. Five questions in one: 1 was open-ended 4 bounded
  28. 28. Very little cooperative inter-student activity
  29. 29. Not pitched as a cooperative activity</li></li></ul><li>Good questions tended to be<br />Early rather than later<br />First question in the week<br />Early weeks better than later weeks<br />Open (scope), but bounded (problem structure)<br />Permitted students to call upon their personal experience with IT or organizations <br />Permitted many ways to approach the issues<br />Negotiated rather than defined<br />Permitted collaborative interpretation<br />Allowed students to contribute by defining their own take on the question.<br />Relevance to students helps – war stories, company policies and approaches<br />
  30. 30. Bad questions tended to be<br />Following a highly-interactive question or later in the course<br />Later questions much less interactive and constructive across courses than earlier questions <br />Cognitively complex<br />Containing multiple parts that needed to be considered in turn, or<br />Overly abstract, so students could not draw on their personal experience. <br />Socially isolating<br />Fewer opportunities for interpretation and collaboration in answering the question.<br />
  31. 31. How does course scaffolding affect student engagement?<br />
  32. 32. Scaffolding<br />Something to hang construction on<br />Solid foundation for task<br />Materials<br />Discussion<br />Support for knowledgeable peers to contribute<br />Task requires an extension of prior abilities<br />Provides a structure on which students can build knowledge<br />Task must be just beyond current unaided skills but doable with help<br />
  33. 33. Poor Scaffolding<br />You&apos;ve been asked to read the ALA Code of Ethics plus two other codes of ethics of your choice.  <br />What did you learn from this process?  Did any common themes or concerns tend to emerge?  What did you relate to in the ALA Code of Ethics?  Were there things that <br />seemed problematic, or that you disagreed with?<br />Codes of Ethics Instructor 1/28/08 3:15 PM<br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S5 1/31/08 7:00 AM<br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S15 1/31/08 5:49 PM<br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S13 1/31/08 9:17 PM<br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S14 2/1/08 12:05 AM<br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S16 2/1/08 12:54 PM <br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S9 2/1/08 1:08 PM<br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S17 2/3/08 1:20 PM <br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S11 2/2/08 3:26 PM<br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S18 2/3/08 4:23 PM<br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S19 2/4/08 5:33 PM<br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S6 2/5/08 6:24 PM<br /> RE: Codes of Ethics S1 2/5/08 11:03 PM<br />
  34. 34. Better Scaffolding<br />Can ethical behavior really be codified by a professional organization?<br />Can ethical behavior be enforced? How?<br />
  35. 35. Unscaffolded<br />Learning materials<br />A long list of codes of ethics web-pages<br />Three abstract ethics articles<br />A body of solid material but this did not directly relate to the posted question or give a framework for answering the question<br />
  36. 36. Scaffolded<br />Learning materials <br />A description of ethical models<br />Worksheet for ethical decision making<br />Actions and consequences<br />Responsibilities and obligations<br />A theoretical and pragmatic platform from which discourse could be built<br />Three sparse pages of bullet-points<br />Materials contained less information but provided a structure for thinking.<br />
  37. 37. How does instructor moderation affect student engagement?<br />
  38. 38. Moderated or leave-alone ?<br />Two sections of an IS course delivered at the same time – same basic syllabus<br />~Same number of students (23/24)<br />Selected six “identical” questions on each section<br />Different Instructor approach<br />Heavy moderation vs. lightweight moderation<br />
  39. 39. Questions and Approach (messages)<br />
  40. 40.
  41. 41. Instructor interaction and student posts <br />
  42. 42. Are students more engaged when the Professor is entertaining?<br />
  43. 43. Deconstructing the Entertaining Professor<br />Highly knowledgeable industry professional<br />Very Popular Instructor<br />High level of interaction with students<br />Regular internet chat presence<br />Projects personality into discussion<br />High percentage of social interactions<br />Voluntarily discusses hobbies, weather, music, Disneyworld, cooking, children, Dickens, vintage cars, pets, gardening, insects, Star Wars, birds, Nintendo, Scrabble, foreign films, beer ….<br />Injects lots of jokes<br />
  44. 44. Student participation<br />
  45. 45. Never mind the width, feel the quality<br />Threads show evaluation and analysis<br />Some hypothesis formation<br />Fairly advanced cognitive activity<br />Some student-student interaction<br />But,some chaff among the wheat<br />5% Un-focused Anecdotes<br />32% fluff posts: “LOL,” “Awesome [dead rock star] story!” “OMG,” “Pictures of gardening implements,” “Lawyer Jokes”<br />50% contribute to learning<br />33% student-Instructor messages<br />Still, pretty successful overall<br />High student satisfaction<br />Grades were comparable with Prof. Serious<br />
  46. 46. Introducing Professor Serious<br />Same course – Same Syllabus<br />Highly knowledgeable industry professional<br />Very skilled Instructor<br />Low level of direct interaction with students<br />Strong Topic-focus<br />Little social interaction<br />
  47. 47. Student participation<br />
  48. 48. Quality ?<br />More collaborativelearning <br />Messages longer and more detailed <br />Fairly advanced cognitive activity<br />Much stronger student-student interaction <br />Stronger awareness of value of peer interactions<br />So what?<br />High task-Focus<br />2.5% fluff posts<br />80% substantive knowledge-building posts<br />15% student-Instructor messages<br />Successful overall<br />Moderate student satisfaction<br />Grades were comparable with Prof. Entertaining<br />
  49. 49. The tale of the tape <br />Instructor participation of Prof. Entertaining inflates thread depth slightly<br />More posts, but smaller % focus on knowledge-building<br />Student-student posts more productive than student-instructor posts<br />Overall productive (knowledge building) activity was about the same for the two Professors<br />Student satisfaction slightly lower for Prof. Serious than Prof. Entertaining<br />Fewer posts, but greater % focus on knowledge-building<br />But<br />Stronger thought leaders for Prof. Serious<br />Explicit kudos for peers in Prof. Serious<br />
  50. 50. Conclusions<br />Question design can be crucial to engagement<br />Discussion needs to be framed as collaborative not competitive<br />Relevance to students helps – war stories, company policies and approaches<br />No payoff for frequency of questions<br />Course scaffolding aids engagement<br />Focus and framing of questions<br />Must support task in concrete manner<br />
  51. 51. Conclusions<br />Successful course moderation hinges on quality not quantity or frequency<br />Knowing when to intervene<br />Does not mean “being absent”<br />Being entertaining is not essential for success<br />Tradeoff between popularity with students and peer-engagement by students<br />May shift focus from peers to instructor<br />Excessive interaction is a lot of work<br />
  52. 52. Students think they are learning more from peer-interaction<br />this was so helpful because often I was struggling with the same thing so <br />I could learn from their errors and gain new information from the answers to <br />their questions <br />I was moved to comment on how refreshing the lack of competition in the <br />communications for the online classes seemed to me. It was a discussion <br />and a sharing of experiences<br />No question that the on line discussion was critical to getting me <br />through the class. There were mostly questions about how to..<br />I&apos;ve never done this before.<br />I felt lost and inexperienced most of the time. I have no real full time work <br />experience and I felt I had nothing much to contribute and compared to the rest of the posts mine would feel really insignificant. <br />Honestly, in the second half of the course, I have felt like I must be a pariah. <br />Apart from the professor, I can&apos;t get anyone to respond to my posts- <br />a very lonely feeling. I have posted to the the weekly board with little feedback<br />
  53. 53. Related References<br />Waters, J. &apos;Social Network Behavior, Thought-Leaders and Knowledge Building In An Online Learning Community&apos;, Proceedings of  Hawaii Intl. Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-41), Knowledge Management Track, Jan. 2008. <br />Gasson, S. and Waters, J. “How (not) to construct ALN course questions that encourage student participation in peer collaboration and knowledge construction,” 40th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, January 2007.<br />Waters, J., and Gasson, S. &quot;Social Engagement in an Online Community of Inquiry,&quot; 27th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Milwaukee WI, 2006.<br />Waters, J. “Determinants of Engagement in an Online Community of Inquiry,” The 12th Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning, November 2006, http://www.sloanconsortium.org/conference/proceedings/2006/ppt/1162852287092.pot<br />Waters, J., and Gasson, S. &quot;Strategies Employed By Participants In Virtual Learning Communities,&quot; Hawaii Intl. Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38), Collaboration Systems and Technology track, IEEE Software Society, Hawaii, January 2005, p. 3b.<br />A full list of publications, with full copies of articles, is available at http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~jw65/publications.htm<br />
  54. 54. Credits<br />Dr. Susan Gasson<br />MBA, PhD from University of Warwick (Warwick Business School), UK.<br />Prior to that, she worked in systems design , IS management, and IS software architecture consultancy. <br />Researches collaborative processes of design, problem-solving, learning. <br />Associate Professor at Drexel University, Philadelphia (USA). <br />Involved in online education since 2000(!).<br />Dr. Jim Waters<br />BA in Psychology from Warwick University, UK (1979), MSc in Occupational Psychology from University of Hertfordshire, UK (1991), MS in Information Systems (2002) and PhD (2009) from the iSchool at Drexel University.  <br />Prior to that, he enjoyed a  substantial career in systems design, management and IS consultancy.<br />Doctoral Candidate at the iSchool at Drexel University, graduating Summer 2009. Principal research interests lie in Online Collaborative Knowledge Building, Technology-Supported Learning, Student Role-Behavior in Online Learning Communities and HCI. <br />This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0347595. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.  <br />

×