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Issues and Strategies for Facilitating Interactivity in Large Online Classes

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Issues and Strategies for Facilitating Interactivity in Large ... Netiquette. Quality. Desired Learning Outcomes. Grading criteria. The Discussion Guidelines ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Issues and Strategies for Facilitating Interactivity in Large Online Classes


1
Issues and Strategies for Facilitating
Interactivity in Large Online Classes
BbFLUG March 7, 2003
  • Maria Puzziferro (Schnitzer) Program Manager,
    Distance Learning, FCCJ
  • Lynne S. Crosby Program Coordinator, Open
    Campus, FCCJ

2
What is a Large Class?
  • 15-20 recommended in the literature as ideal
    class size for online
  • Does it depend on
  • Content?
  • Session length?
  • Level (undergraduate/graduate)?
  • Course design?
  • Desired learning outcomes?
  • Availability of technical and teaching assistants?

3
Instructor Challenges
  • Overcoming distance
  • Limited personal interaction
  • Helping the online student feel engaged in the
    process of teaching and learning
  • Helping the online student feel important
  • Variations in student ability and commitment
  • Managing student records and grades
  • Creating cooperative learning environment

4
What is the Benefit of Interactivity?
  • Research on interactivity shows that interaction
    with peers and instructor helps online students
    succeed!
  • Carefully designed activities help develop
    critical thinking skills
  • Discussions allow for written thought and
    reflection
  • Students feel engaged
  • Peer-based learning

5
  • Large isnt necessarily bad! It is an
    opportunity to create broader, deeper interaction
    for students.

6
Creating Interactivity
  • Get Acquainted
  • Discussions
  • Chat
  • Group Projects

7
Getting Acquainted
  • Getting to Know You Exercise
  • Student Homepages
  • Guided Introduction
  • Pictures

8
Discussions What is the Role of the Instructor?
  • Discussion Designer
  • Leader
  • Organizer
  • Contributor
  • Supporter
  • Summarizer

9
The Discussion Guidelines
  • Online discussion is new to many students
  • Explain how you will organize and use the
    Discussion Board
  • Communicate expectations
  • Netiquette
  • Quality
  • Desired Learning Outcomes
  • Grading criteria

10
The Discussion Guidelines
  • Specify a quantitative expectation, as well as
    qualitative
  • Allow students to provide feedback to each other
  • Encourage students to analyze their own
    participation and impact on the discussion

11
Discussions Considerations for Larger Classes
  • Make discussions meaningful
  • Avoid assignments that require students to post
    responses per week
  • Devise narrower questions
  • Within question, communicate expectation and
    relate to course topic/content
  • Controversial or debate style questions
  • Manage separate forums for each unit/week
    establish time limits on topics
  • Consider and balance other course requirements

12
Facilitating Discussions
  • Model participation
  • Jump in early to correct topic drift
  • Moderate the discussion
  • Guide the discussion interject leading questions
  • Create structure for debate-style questions
  • Encourage students
  • Ensure balance of perspectives
  • Summarize and highlight

13
Large Discussions Challenges and Strategies
  • Threaded discussions require the opening and
    closing of many messages this can be
    frustrating for larger groups
  • Large discussions require effort on Instructors
    part to keep discussion focused
  • Discussions can easily turn into a flurry of
    opinions, and lose the relevance to the
    topic Consider small group discussions

14
Large Discussions Challenges and Strategies
  • Keep the content topic discussions on topic, and
    clear of side issues
  • Create separate continuous discussion forums for
    the following
  • Questions for Instructor
  • Questions and Answers by Students
  • Cyber Café
  • Technical Issues and Tips

15
Chat
  • Purpose
  • General class questions
  • Social time
  • Office hours
  • Review session
  • Content discussion
  • Size limits
  • Time limits
  • Guidelines for chat discussion
  • Typing speed

16
Group Projects
  • Group tasks or projects facilitate interaction
  • Portfolios
  • Case studies
  • Reports
  • Insight exercises
  • Groups projects may also require more
    constructivist activity than discussions

17
Other Strategies
  • Capitalize on Team Models
  • Team teaching
  • Use of mentors
  • Use of Teaching Assistants
  • Get Organized
  • Create distribution lists
  • Use email filters or separate email accounts for
    different courses
  • Use a spreadsheet and make notes to track
    communication with students

18
Other Strategies
  • Prepare all course materials and assignments in
    advance
  • Small group discussions with moderators
  • Create course FAQs
  • Consider technical level
  • Use technology to the lowest common denominator
  • Provide alternative formats
  • Comprehensive technical orientation
  • Practice discussion board, chat, email
  • Availability of technical help

19
Discussion
20
  • Maria Puzziferro (Schnitzer) Program Manager
  • Distance Learning, FCCJ
  • Mschnitz_at_fccj.edu
  • Lynne S. Crosby Program Coordinator,
  • Open Campus, FCCJ
  • Lcrosby_at_fccj.edu
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