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New Roles of Instructors and Students in Blended and Fully Online Learning Environments


Mauri Collins and Zane L. Berge. http: ... Creating an open and flexible learning environment. Study of Four Classes ... Role 12: Slacker/Slough/Slug/Surfer ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: New Roles of Instructors and Students in Blended and Fully Online Learning Environments

New Roles of Instructors and Students in Blended
and Fully Online Learning Environments
  • Curt Bonk, Indiana University
  • President,
  • http//
  • http//

What is happening inhigher education?
New Roles for InstructorsBerge Collins
AssociatesMauri Collins and Zane L.
New Instructor Roles Online?
  • Make learning activities relevant
  • Vary your instructional approaches activities
  • Provide immediate feedback
  • Build conflict and tension
  • Task structure with clear deadlines
  • Give students choice in activities
  • Creating an open and flexible learning environment

Study of Four Classes(Bonk, Kirkley, Hara,
Dennen, 2001)
  • TechnicalTrain, early tasks, be flexible,
    orientation task
  • ManagerialInitial meeting, FAQs, detailed
    syllabus, calendar, post administrivia, assign
    e-mail pals, gradebooks, email updates
  • PedagogicalPeer feedback, debates, PBL, cases,
    structured controversy, field reflections,
    portfolios, teams, inquiry, portfolios
  • SocialCafé, humor, interactivity, profiles,
    foreign guests, digital pics, conversations,

Main Role E-Moderator
  • Refers to online teaching and facilitation role.
    Moderating used to mean to preside over a meeting
    or a discussion, but in the electronic world, it
    means more than that. It is all roles
    combinedto hold meetings, to encourage, to
    provide information, to question, to summarize,
    etc. (Collins Berge, 1997 Gilly Salmon, 2000)
  • see http//

Personal Learning Trainer
  • Learners need a personal trainer to lead them
    through materials and networks, identify relevant
    materials and advisors and ways to move forward
    (Mason, 1998 Salmon, 2000).

  • While one hopes you will not call yourself this
    nor find the need to make laws and enforce them,
    you will need some Code of Practice or set
    procedures, and protocols for e-moderators (Gilly
    Salmon, 2000).

Other Hats
  • Weaverlinking comments/threads
  • Tutorindividualized attention
  • Participantjoint learner
  • Provocateurstir the pot ( calm flames)
  • Observerwatch ideas and events unfold
  • Mentorpersonally apprentice students
  • Community Organizerkeep system going

Still More Hats
  • Assistant
  • Devils advocate
  • Editor
  • Expert
  • Filter
  • Firefighter
  • Facilitator
  • Gardener
  • Helper
  • Lecturer
  • Marketer
  • Mediator
  • Priest
  • Promoter

Online Mentoring and Assistance Online
Twelve forms of electronic learning mentoring and
assistance(Bonk Kim, 1998 Tharp, 1993 Bonk
et al., 2001)
(No Transcript)
1. Social (and cognitive) Acknowledgement
"Hello...," "I agree with everything said so
far...," "Wow, what a case," "This case certainly
has provoked a lot of discussion...," "Glad you
could join us..."
5. Feedback/Praise "Wow, I'm impressed...,"
"That shows real insight into...," "Are you sure
you have considered...," "Thanks for responding
to X...," "I have yet to see you or anyone
6. Cognitive Task Structuring "You know, the
task asks you to do...," "Ok, as was required,
you should now summarize the peer responses that
you have received...," "How might the textbook
authors have solved this case."
How get to instructors to adopt?
  1. Sponsor conferences, lunches, tech showcases
  2. Provide technical support
  3. Showcase effective ideas (mini conference)
  4. Small pockets of money, recognize in annual
    merit, or other award systems
  5. Instructor of the month spotlight
  6. Peer mentoring programs
  7. Laptop programs
  8. Staff development, send to conferences

What About Student Roles???
New Student Roles Online?
  • Student, colleague, teacher, evaluator, group
    leader, synthesizer, resource finder, etc
  • Present to peers instead of listen to lectures
  • Keep in touch with instructor and peers
  • Take ownership over material
  • Need to pace self
  • Self-assessment of work
  • Select tasks, explore Web

Role 1 Starter/MediatorReporter/Commentator
  • Summarizes the key terms, ideas, and issues in
    the chapters, supplemental instructor notes,
    journal articles, and other assigned readings and
    asks thought provoking questions typically before
    ones peers read or discuss the concepts and
    ideas. In effect, he/she points out what to
    expect in the upcoming readings or activities.
    Once the start is posted, this student acts as
    a mediator or facilitator of discussion for the

Role 2 Wrapper/SummarizerSynthesizer/Connector/R
  • Connects ideas, synthesizes discussion,
    interrelates comments, and links both explicit
    and implicit ideas posed in online discussion or
    other activities. The learner looks for themes
    in online coursework while weaving information
    together. The wrapping or summarizing is done at
    least at the end of the week or unit, but
    preferably two or more times depending on the
    length of activity.

Role 3 Conqueror or Debater/Arguer/Bloodletter
  • Takes ideas into action, debates with others,
    persists in arguments and never surrenders or
    compromises nomatter what the casualties are when
    addressing any problem or issue.

Role 4 Devil's Advocate or Critic/Censor/Confeder
  • Takes opposite points of view for the sake of an
    argument and is an antagonist when addressing any
    problem posed. This might be a weekly role that
    is secretly assigned.

Role 5 Idea Squelcher/Biased/Preconceiver
  • Squelches good and bad ideas of others and
    submits your own prejudiced or biased ideas
    during online discussions and other situations.
    Forces others to think. Is that person you
    really hate to work with.

Role 6 Optimist/Open-minded/Idealist
  • In this role, the student notes what appears to
    be feasible, profitable, ideal, and "sunny" ideas
    when addressing this problem. Always sees the
    bright or positive side of the situation.

Role 7 Emotional/Sensitive/Intuitive
  • Comments with the fire and warmth of emotions,
    feelings, hunches, and intuitions when
    interacting with others, posting comments, or
    addressing problems.

Role 8 Idea Generator Creative Energy/Inventor
  • Brings endless energy to online conversations
    and generates lots of fresh ideas and new
    perspectives to the conference when addressing
    issues and problems.

Role 9 Questioner/Ponderer/Protester
  • Role is to question, ponder, and protest the
    ideas of others and the problem presented itself.
    Might assume a radical or ultra-liberal tone.

Role 10 Coach Facilitator/Inspirer/Trainer
  • Offers hints, clues, supports, and highly
    motivational speeches to get everyone fired-up or
    at least one lost individual back on track when
    addressing a problem or situation.

Role 11 Controller/Executive Director/CEO/Leader
  • In this role, the student oversees the process,
    reports overall findings and opinions, and
    attempts to control the flow of information,
    findings, suggestions, and general problem

Role 12 Slacker/Slough/Slug/Surfer
  • In this role, the student does little or nothing
    to help him/herself or his/her peers learn.
    Here, one can only sit back quietly and listen,
    make others do all the work for you, and
    generally have a laid back attitude (i.e., go to
    the beach) when addressing this problem.

Blended LearningSample Synchronous and
Asynchronous Activities
(David Brown, Syllabus, January 2002, p. 23
October 2001, p. 18)
Sample Asynchronous Activities
  1. Social Ice Breakers intros, favorite Web sites
  2. Learner-Content Interactions self-testing
  3. Scenario-Based Simulations
  4. Starter-Wrapper Discussion
  5. Anonymous Suggestion Box
  6. Role Play Assume the Persona of a Scholar
  7. Online Experiments and Demonstrations
  8. Case-Based Learning

1. Social Ice Breakers
  • a. Introductions require not only that students
    introduce themselves, but also that they find and
    respond to two classmates who have something in
    common (Serves dual purpose of setting tone and
    having students learn to use the tool)
  • b. Favorite Web Site Have students post the URL
    of a favorite Web site or URL with personal
    information and explain why they choose that one.

(No Transcript)
2. Learner-Content Interactions Self-Testing
3. Scenario-Based Simulations
4. Discussion Starter-Wrapper (Hara, Bonk,
Angeli, 2000)
  • Starter reads ahead and starts discussion and
    others participate and wrapper summarizes what
    was discussed.
  • Start-wrapper with roles--same as 1 but include
    roles for debate (optimist, pessimist, devil's
  • Alternative Facilitator-Starter-Wrapper
    (Alexander, 2001)
  • Instead of starting discussion, student acts as
    moderator or questioner to push student thinking
    and give feedback

5. Formative Feedback Anonymous Suggestion Box
  • George Watson, Univ of Delaware, Electricity and
    Electronics for Engineers
  • Students send anonymous course feedback (Web
    forms or email)
  • Submission box is password protected
  • Instructor decides how to respond
  • Then provide response and most or all of
    suggestion in online forum
  • It defuses difficult issues, airs instructor
    views, and justified actions publicly.
  • Caution If you are disturbed by criticism,
    perhaps do not use.

6. Role Play
  • A. Assume Persona of Scholar
  • Enroll famous people in your course
  • Students assume voice of that person for one or
    more sessions
  • Enter debate topic or Respond to debate topic
  • Respond to reading reflections of others or react
    to own

7. Online Co-laborative Psych Experiments
  • PsychExperiments (University of Mississippi)
  • Contains 30 free psych experiments
  • Location independent
  • Convenient to instructors
  • Run experiments over large number of subjects
  • Can build on it over time
  • Cross-institutional

Ken McGraw, Syllabus, November, 2001
8. Case-Based Learning Student Cases
  • Model how to write a case
  • Practice answering cases.
  • Generate 2-3 cases during semester based on field
  • Link to the text materialrelate to how how text
    author or instructor might solve.
  • Respond to 6-8 peer cases.
  • Summarize the discussion in your case and a peer
  • (Note method akin to storytelling)

Sample Synchronous Activities
  1. Webinar, Webcast
  2. Synchronous Testing and Assessment
  3. Sync Guests or Expert Forums
  4. Threaded Discussion Plus Expert Chat
  5. Collaborative Online Writing
  6. Online Mentoring

1. Webinar
2. Synchronous Testing Assessment(Giving Exams
in the Chat Room!, Janet Marta, NW Missouri State
Univ, Syllabus, January 2002)
  1. Post times when will be available for 30 minute
    slots, first come, first serve.
  2. Give 10-12 big theoretical questions to study
  3. Tell can skip one.
  4. Assessment will be a dialogue.
  5. Get them there 1-2 minutes early.
  6. Have hit enter every 2-3 sentences.
  7. Ask qs, redirect, push for clarity, etc.
  8. Covers about 3 questions in 30 minutes.

3. Electronic Guests Mentoring
4. Threaded Discussion plus Expert Chat (e.g.,
Starter-Wrapper Sync Guest Chat)
5. Collaborative Online Writing Peer-to-Peer
Document Collaboration
6. Online Mentoring(e.g., GlobalEnglish)
Blended Learning Ideas (Margaret Driscoll, March
2002, e-learning Magazine, p. 54)
  • Put assessment online
  • Put threaded discussions (community) online
  • Make reference materials available for depth
  • Deliver preclass materials electronically
  • Provide online office hours
  • Extend class with an online coach or mentor
  • Life discussions with experts
  • Create a lifeline for learners outside of class
  • Use email and messaging

Hold Online Discussions/Community
More Blended Ideas(Bonk, 2003)
  • Take to lab for online group collaboration.
  • Take to computer lab for Web search.
  • Take to an electronic conference.
  • Put syllabus on the Web.
  • Create a class computer conference.
  • Require students sign up for a listserv.
  • Use e-mail minute papers e-mail admin.
  • Have students do technology demos.

Posted Resources (e.g., cases, Glossary)
So What Happens to Instructors and Students in
the Future???
  • We are evolving out of the era of the Lone
    Rangersfaculty members can choose to be involved
    in the design, development, content expertise,
    delivery, or distribution of course (Richard T.
  • Sarah Carr, (Dec 15, 2000, A47), A Day in the
    Life of a New Type of Professor, The Chronicle of
    Higher Education

Track 1 Technical Specialist
  • Help critique technical aspects of media and
    materials built into online courses. Here one
    would be part of a course development team or
    instructional design unit. Freelance learning
    object evaluator. Here one would likely operate
    alone or as part of a consulting company.

Track 2 Personal Guide
  • Provide program or course guidance to students on
    demand or preplanned. Becomes more of a
    generalist across university offerings. For
    example, one might help students see how
    different learning objects or modules fit
    together into a degree.

Track 3 Online Facilitator
  • Offers timely and informed support to students
    struggling to complete an online course or
    inserting questions and nudging development of
    students who are successfully completing
    different modules. This is the most similar to
    college teaching positions today.

Track 4 Course Developer
  • Help develop specific courses or topic areas for
    one or more universities. In many institutions,
    this will move beyond a course royalty system to
    a paid position.

Track 5 Course or Program Manager
  • Supervisor or manager of an entire new program or
    courses, most often leading to certificates or
    masters degrees. Similar in stature to a
    development head or chairperson.

Track 6 Work for Hire Online Lecturer
  • Is a freelance instructor for one course or a
    range of course. May work on just one campus or
    on a range of campuses around the world. While
    this will be highly popular and rejuvenate
    careers, institutional policies are yet to be
    sorted out.

Track 7 High School Teacher
  • As universities begin to offer secondary degrees,
    some college faculty with online teaching
    experience and teaching degrees will find
    positions in those classes. Some may view such
    positions as being demoted to the minor leagues.

Track 8 Unemployed
  • If one does not find a niche in one or more of
    the above tracks or roles, he or she will likely
    be unemployed or highly unsuccessful.

Student Differences in 2020
  • Live Longer
  • More Educated
  • Multiple Degrees
  • Accustomed to Multiple Learning Formats
  • Design own programs and courses
  • Specialists AND Generalists
  • Courses/Degrees for unknown occupations
  • Expect to Take Courses Where Live
  • Cyber-students (various digital aids attached to

Possible Scenarios in Year 2020
  • Virtual Us and Traditional Us Coexist
  • Traditional Univs buy stake in Virtual Us
  • Traditional Univs form Consortia
  • Some Trad Us Move Ahead, Some Dont
  • Other Technology arise well beyond Web
  • Large Virtual Us Buy Competing Traditional Us
    and shut them down

What Uses for Old Institutions of Higher
  • Museums
  • Historical Monuments
  • Bomb Shelters
  • Resorts and Apartment Complexes
  • Nostalgic Retirement Homes
  • Green Space
  • Prisons

Some Final Advice
Or Maybe Some Questions???
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