The Teaching Online Challenge

Introduction

What is the best and most effective way for YOU to teach online?

According to the Online Report Card – Tracking Online Education in the United States, in 2014, there were 5.8 million students in the United States who took at least one college distance course.  The study reveals only 29.1% of academic leaders say their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy of online education.” Growth continues, despite lack of support from faculty.

As a dedicated teaching professional, you see an opportunity in closing the “value and legitimacy” gap to meet the needs of your online students. The essential question  to you is; what is the best and most effective way for you to teach online?   You are challenged to create a Teaching Online Action Plan to systematically improve your online teaching!

How It Works

This challenge is designed to help you develop your plan to apply in your own online teaching. There is no requirement of  prior knowledge or experience  teaching online to participate in the challenge. You are the expert  who knows your content and teaching strengths. This challenge is designed to provide a flexible, reflective and personal learning experience – enabling you to tailor your learning based upon your own goals, requirements and level of commitment.

The challenge runs for 6 weeks. You complete one worksheet/ action plan each week and comment on two other learners plans. You then complete a form to receive a badge. When you complete all 6 weeks, you will have developed your Teaching Online Action Plan and received 6 badges. When you collect all 6 badges you will complete a form to receive a Letter of Completion to promote yourself.

The emphasis of this online workshop will be on actively developing your thinking. Everything we do in this workshop will be designed to help you become better and better at thinking within your subject area. You will be internalize information by using it actively each week to attempt to improve your thinking.

Therefore the primary purpose of each weekly worksheet is to help you develop your thinking or reasoning skills. Why is this important? The quality of every decision you make about teaching online will be directly determined by the quality of your reasoning abilities. In fact the quality of your life in general will be determined by how well you think in general.

How to Give Feedback

An important part of your active learning will be to read and give feedback on other learners worksheets. Please give feedback to different learners each week. This will ensure that all learners are getting feedback each week. Your feedback should fundamentally be focused on essential intellectual standards and should be constructive and respectful in nature.

Provide feedback on “intellectual moves”  

  • Give and receive high quality feedback, based on the intellectual standard.
  • Focus on a person’s reasoning, not the person him or herself.
  • As you move through the workshop, work on improving your ability, over time.
    • At first the process will be awkward and you will make considerable mistakes. This is to be expected, just as you would make many mistakes when first learning ANYTHING.
  • Invite constructive critique of our thoughts and our work.

Examples:

  • A sentence lacks clarity.
  • An example, though good, doesn’t seem relevant to the main point being made
  • the thinking fails to probe beneath the surface into the deeper issues.
  • an important viewpoint is being excluded or distorted.
  • more details (precision) are needed.
  • There is a general lack of clarity, or breadth, etc..

This process of giving and receiving feedback can be used in most online learning situations and when deeply internalized, can lead to improved thinking and learning. As you learn the process, you should consider bringing this into your online course. An important part of this process is that you will want to work closely together and help one another grow and develop. One of the hallmarks of critical thinkers is their ability to assess their own reasoning accurately. Let’s work together to come closer to that goal as we move through the workshop.

As you comment on each other’s work, you will develop the ability to better critique your own thinking and work using intellectual standards. Please invite constructive critique of our thoughts and our work. This is an essential disposition of the critical thinker.

The Weekly Learning Process

Mondays

  • On Mondays a link to a worksheet template will be emailed  that contains a guiding question, a link to related content, and a process to follow to help you develop your Guiding Question and  Action Plan .

Thursdays

  • Complete your worksheet by the end of Thursday, and post your results in the Google+ Community.

Sundays

  • Comment on two other worksheets by the end of Sunday.
  • Comment using the Universal Intellectual Standards.
    • To assess the quality of our thinking, we will be using the Universal Intellectual Standards. A standard is a measure of how good something is. We use standards in thinking to make sure we do what we say we are going to do is actually right.
    • To help students learn them, teachers should pose questions which probe student thinking; questions which hold students accountable for their thinking; questions which, through consistent use by the teacher, become internalized by students as questions they need to ask themselves.
    • Practice commenting and asking questions using the Universal Intellectual Standards in ways that lead to better and better reasoning.

  • Post your results into your Teaching Action Plan and edit them as necessary.

Join the Google+ Community.

Earn a Badge

Earn a badge when you:

  1. Complete your worksheet by the end of Thursday, and post your results in the Google+ Community.
  2. Comment on two other worksheets, by the end of Sunday. Provide further insight into to the participant’s results. Practice improving your online interaction with insightful commenting.
  3. Post your results into your Teaching Online Action Plan and edit them as necessary.

Earn a Letter of Completion

  1.  Earn all 6 badges
  2. Complete your Teaching Online Action Plan

 Google+ : A Google@UH Consumer App

Under an agreement with Google, the University of Hawaii (UH) offers two types of Google applications through Google@UH: Core applications (Core Apps) and Consumer applications (Consumer Apps).

Consumer Apps include Google+ which is  governed by either Google’s general Terms of Services or by app-specific terms.

To use the Consumer Apps with your Google@UH account, you must first turn on the Consumer Apps at http://www.hawaii.edu/google/extra. Instructions to turn on the Consumer Apps are at http://www.hawaii.edu/askus/1649.

The Teaching Online Challenge Google+ Community

Join the Community: Google+ Community

Join Google plus community

Do you see “Ask to Join” when you go to the Teaching Online community? If so, click on the green button to join the community. Login with your hawaii.edu email  username and password. If the button says “member” you have already joined the community.

Here’s a quick rundown on how to use Google+:

  1. Click on ‘Home’ to view your home stream – here you’ll see posts based on your interests and what/who you follow.
  2. Click on ‘Collections’ to see and share posts based on topics you’re interested in.
  3. Click on ‘Communities’ to have conversations with other people who share your interests.
  4. Click on ‘Profile’ to see your own posts.
  5. Click on ‘People’ to find people to follow, see who you are currently following (that’s where you manage your circles as well), or who follows you.
  6. Click on ‘Circle Streams’ to see streams (posts) from specific circles you’ve created. (NOTE: if you don’t see this option, go to Settings, scroll down to Advanced Settings, and turn on ‘Enable circle stream in navigation’.)
  7. In ‘Settings’ you can fine-tuned a few profile features, as well as your notifications.

This workshop is not about Laulima. Go  Here for more information on Laulima.

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