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Expanding into the Virtual Classroom: Working with Collaborative Teaching and Learning Spaces

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Title: Expanding into the Virtual Classroom: Working with Collaborative Teaching and Learning Spaces


1
Expanding into the Virtual Classroom Working
with Collaborative Teaching and Learning Spaces
  • Theresa Pesavento (LS Learning Support Services)
  • and Chad Shorter (DoIT Academic Technology)
  • March 22, 2012

2
Introduction
  • Who we are
  • Collaborative Sites
  • Google Docs (in Learn_at_UW)

3
Collaborative Sites
  • Student-to-student collaboration
  • Blog/Wiki/Status
  • Library and resource collection
  • Media integration

4
ENGLISH 318
  • Blog, course info (as an instructor blog),
    glossary
  • Hybrid course and meeting environment--in-classroo
    m time as follow-up to CS discussion
  • Writing practice, beginning and furthering course
    discussions, and building community through
    online conversations

5
Legal Studies 450
  • Blog, library, course info
  • Individual blogs in response to weekly reading
    response questions and collaboratively develop,
    post, and present one group project
  • Develop students' digital literacy and writing
    skills, broaden their appreciation of the range
    of evidentiary resources, emphasize the value of
    collaborative scholarship, and spark creativity. 

6
Italian 204
  • Blog and status
  • Blog about something of interest to them, write
    at least two comments about others' posts, post
    status updates and make comments
  • Interaction outside the classroom in the target
    language, continuing dialogues started in class
    and express themselves in a less formal setting,
    sharing cultural information

7
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8
  • Build tools around student interaction dynamics

Course Info E-Diario Flashcards Glossary Groups Pl
aces Post (blog post) Profiles Resources Style
Guide Questions (moderator) Reading
Response Status Voting Video Wiki
What do you want your students to create? How do
you want students to interact around their
creations? How do you want student interactions
organized?
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14
Nancy Buenger (Fellow at the Institute for Legal
Studies and Visiting Assistant Professor in the
College of Letters Science) Katy Prantil
(Teaching Assistant for Italian courses in the
Department of French and Italian) Mary Fiorenza
(Assistant Faculty Associate in the Department of
English and Associate Director for English
100) Theresa Can you briefly give me some
details about your course? Nancy Buenger I am
using collaborative sites for two upper-level
lecture/discussion courses Legal Studies 450 and
Design Studies 355 Katy Prantil I am teaching
fourth-semester Italian (204), I have a group of
20 very enthusiastic students. Mary Fiorenza I'm
using Collaborative Sites this semester in
English 318, Writing Internship, a course
typically taken by junior/senior English or other
liberal arts majors. Theresa What tools or
features in Collaborative Sites are you
using? Nancy Students have been posting entries
to both the blog and library features in my
classes. The course info page provides students
with resources and a guide to blog-writing.
Katy I am using the Blog and Status features of
the Collaborative Sites, and students were given
a detailed schedule so they are well informed
about my expectations regarding the use of the
site. Mary Blog, course info (as an instructor
blog), glossary
15
Theresa How are you and your students using
these features (for what activities)? Nancy
Students develop individual blogs in response to
weekly reading response questions (some weeks I
ask for traditional writing assignments). They
are also required to collaboratively develop,
post, and present one group project on an
assigned topic. Katy Depending on the topic and
where we are in the semester, students should be
either writing a Blog post about something of
interest to them or their reflections on a film
we viewed as a class. They are then asked to
write at least two comments about others' posts.
On weeks when they have a formal written
composition due, I ask that they instead post two
statuses and make two comments on our CS, a
considerably "lighter" task but a task that still
helps them maintain ties in their virtual and
real classroom community. Mary I decided to
offer 318 in a "hybrid" style for the first time.
318 in the past has been more of a studio course,
with students working on projects and
workshopping during part of class time. This year
we are instead "meeting" on the CS for part of
our class time, and physically meeting only for
an hour each week in a classroom to continue
discussions started on CS, to do some technology
training aimed toward projects, and then to
present the projects. Theresa What are your
objectives for these activities? Nancy My
objective is to develop my students' digital
literacy and writing skills, broaden their
appreciation of the range of evidentiary
resources, emphasize the value of collaborative
scholarship, and spark creativity.  Katy My
objective is to have students interact with one
another outside the classroom in the target
language. This allows students to continue
dialogues started in class and express themselves
in a less formal setting. I also do follow-up
activities in class in which I ask the students
to speak with others about either the posts they
wrote (their own research) or the posts they read
(research posted by other students) and this
brings the CS activity back into the classroom. I
also use the CS to share cultural information I
find with the students and provide some personal
feedback. Mary Writing practice, beginning and
furthering course discussions, providing a space
for the course to "take place" when we're not in
a classroom together, and building community
through on-line conversations  
16
  Theresa What is one interesting thing that
has come of your instructional use of
Collaborative Sites, or what do you like most
about using Collaborative Sites in your
teaching? Nancy I believe that intellectual
growth is greatly enhanced by creating a
comfortable social space in class. I found
collaborative sites a great way to break the ice.
It also helps me become better acquainted with my
students, which can be very difficult when
teaching a 60-student class. CS has greatly
promoted creativity among my students, and I am
using it far more than originally planned.
Students enjoy incorporating images, videos, etc.
and often exceed the requirements for
assignments. It certainly makes grading more fun.
It has been easier for me to develop creative
assignments, and new types of assignments, such
as having students respond to each other's work.
One of the most unexpected benefits has been
in-class student presentations of collaborative
blog projects, which are often better than the
digital texts. These presentations create an
opportunity for peer-to-peer learning in which
students can share their Internet
explorations--including images, videos, humor--in
a very effective manner. I can't imagine teaching
without collaborative sites! Katy I would say
that in every class in which I've used a CS, the
students are less apprehensive to speak in class.
The CS really aids in building a virtual
community, and the students seem to be more
connected to the course. Mary The opportunity
for students to practice writing online and
writing to each other. This semester, I am
appreciating that CS makes it possible for me to
teach a hybrid course.
17
Google docs (In Learn_at_UW)
  • Group Writing
  • Editing
  • Data Collecting
  • Google Docs in Learn_at_UW

http//bit.ly/MadisonSpring
18
Timmo Dugdale and John Martin are Learning
Technology Consultants for DoIT Academic
Technology.   Chad  The University now has a
service agreement with Google that's more
friendly for Higher Ed uses of Google Docs
(protecting ownership and usage rights).  I know
you're excited to see Google Apps, in general,
used more.  How about Google Docs?  What types of
learning goals do you think Google Docs can help
you achieve? Timmo  Certainly group
collaboration, iterative writing, and student
critiques all can benefit from Google
Docs.  Seeing revisions and contributions on a
document are helpful in the process of evaluating
each member's contribution.  Group writing and
student feedback are the most common ways I've
seen Google Docs being used. Chad  John, you've
used Google Docs for freshman course that you
taught.  What did you do? John  I love
Google Docs for collaborative writing. Rather
than collect students' drafts in Word (and lose
them on my laptop), I collected them in Docs. I
was able to give them feedback on their document,
and even have a "chat" with one who happened to
be on it as I was checking it. That made it
easier for me to give them feedback, and it was
more direct because there was no passing back and
forth documents. There was no losing documents
either. After I wrote up the feedback, I made a
copy (in Docs) of the draft for my records so I
could check it (if needed) when I got the final
copy to recall the changes I requested. I was
also able to use my renamed copy as a note to
myself that I got and checked all their drafts --
no losing them in the shuffle. A number of the
students in that class also used Docs to peer
edit each others' drafts. They then shared their
edits with me, so I could comment on the peer
editing. This was optional, but next time I will
require it.
19
Chad  Is there any particular instructional
use case for Google Docs that you're excited
about? Timmo  Facilitating group work is the
most useful aspect.  Being able to chat and write
in a live environment where everyone is seeing
what is being added solves the problem of getting
everyone in a physical space at the same
time. Chad  Any thoughts on other ways that
Google Docs could be used?   John  I envision
further use of Docs in student collaborative
note-taking by study groups one tries to get
down the main points, but the others can fill in
missed details. Then, when studying, they access
the same document, and have a greater opportunity
(via synchronous and asynchronous chat and
comments) to ask each other questions about the
content.
20
Questions? Ideas? Contact US! Theresa
theresa_at_lss.wisc.edu Chad chad.shorter_at_doit.wisc.
edu
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