http sineadyism edublogs org so much to learn… so much to learn, so much to reflect upon, this groundbreaking work makes me truly consider what is at the heart of education, for people and their authentic selves. Thank you so much for access to such incredible resources and learnings … anyone know when this community wal will close so I can make a note of all the resources ? x with gratitude x

Just a quick example for PBL that generates…

Just a quick example for PBL that generates vigorous discussions among students:

Form three groups. Two of the groups debate and the third group mediates. Beginning students are often uncomfortable disagreeing with each other so you might want to begin with a controversial but low-stakes proposition. “E-cigarettes should be banned on campus & in classrooms.” The mediators should work to find common ground and propose compromises.

While it’s under discussion, add new details to which students must respond. e.g. how about banning chewing tobacco as well? The goal here is for students to react to changing, fluid situations. The learning will be enhanced if this activity concludes with a debrief where students must analyze and discuss group reactions to the changes.

(A follow-up discussion is for students to formulate how to get buy-ins from peers & administrators to support their decision.)


As this MOOC is winding down some of…

As this MOOC is winding down, some of you may be interested in the Reform Symposium Free Online Conference (RSCON). It is an online global event highlighting “wow” moments in teaching and learning. RSCON startes today, October 11th and runs through October 13th. It is hosted by The Future of Education. The entire conference will be held online using the Blackboard Collaborate webinar platform.

Given the differences between teaching face to face…

Given the differences between teaching face-to-face and teaching online, how can we faculty members capture the best parts of “what works” in their courses across different delivery modes? How can we demonstrate in online course delivery the characteristics of the most effective teachers? How can online faculty members best “make a difference” with their online students?
Most of the literature I read about on online pedagogy focuses on “best practices” (e.g., Keengwe & Kidd, 2010). Since the early days of online learning, there have been suggestions about how technologies can be used to enhance collaborative learning opportunities (Chickering & Ehrmann, 1996). More recently, reviewers have identified several best practice principles related to communicating clear goals and expectations; incorporating multiple active learning opportunities; providing frequent, prompt, and constructive feedback; and creating teacher support resources (e.g., Berge, 2002; Grandzol & Grandzol, 2006; Puzziferro & Shelton, 2009).
All of these best practice suggestions make good sense and are useful for online teaching. These include efforts to provide constructive and individualized feedback to students; facilitating student interaction, involvement and learning; and paying attention to how a course is organized and how teacher presence is enhanced. In all of these efforts, exemplary teachers strive to convey their expectations for the students.
However, if becoming an outstanding teacher merely entails implementing recommended best practices, then there would be many more outstanding teachers than there currently are. Clearly, there are good and bad (or more and less effective) ways to implement these practices. There seem to be things that cannot simply be borrowed, copied, or plugged into courses. I am wondering what are these less tangible attributes that are the essential characteristics of the best teachers.
In addition to a focus on the use of specific tools or techniques, I would like to know more about the ways that online teachers can create the kinds of learning environments and experiences that characterize the best teachers.
Bernie McPherson

Here s an update from my blog for…

Here s an update from my blog for the course, still catching up for week four but have been inspired to change my main blog through all the learning on this course and have a load of new followers so am heartened that I am making progress in this brave new virtual world of learning ! Thank you for your oh-so-generous course.

I really enjoy this week’s video in which…

I really enjoy this week’s video in which Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers.

The model is based on the three distinct and interdependent elements (Why, How, What) that makes any person or organization function at its highest ability. I feel that the approach gave me a stronger sense of my own purpose and my motivation increased. I look forward to start using this in practice, not just in my teaching but also my personal life.

Hi everyone when reading the activities for week…

Hi everyone,
when reading the activities for week 4, I had a doubt about this statement: “2. How do you facilitate discussions in ways that promote critical thinking and discourages interaction?”. I have always read that interaction is needed for promoting knowledge. I do not understand why a “good” question should discourage interaction. Can someone clarify me what is meant in this context by “interaction”?
Thanks a lot,

Re your questions We have passed the midway…

Re your questions: We have passed the midway point of the course. Two questions for you this week.

1. First, are you interested in continuing this online community? Yes

2. Second, if so, what would that community look like? In other words, what are your suggestions to build an active online community?

Questions seem to be a natural focus in communities. The only threaded forums we have are our blogs. Perhaps individuals could pose questions in their blogs, which would be echoed here on the TOMOOC wall, and the rest of us could log in to reply. Also, if we could all set our blogs for anonymous comments and instant approval, maybe more would reply. Or maybe I’m the only one who is stynied by login requirements before posting and delays for comment approval.

This could also be good practice in creating questions that generate deep thought responses instead of competition for correct answers.

Perhaps the basic groundrule could be that there’s no dumb question.

Certain contexts either F2F or online in spite…

Certain contexts either F2F or online, in spite of their differences, may favour connectedness or not.

When we think of democratic schools, we know that group deliberations are a common practice. As the decisions are in the hands of the whole school community, conflicts and rules are decided in general assemblies, discussions are held openly and decisions are taken by vote. Usually these schools are relatively small and everyone knows each other closely. In these schools respect for each other’s opinions and citizenship are in their core principles. So the sense of community and connectedness is very strong.
Summerhill –

Regarding online learning, I suppose that courses that stimulate discussions, groupwork, peer-review, certainly favour that sense of community. Communities have many different levels of interaction, and an online course of 1 or 2 months, may generate a community that will end in a short time, eventually a few participants may extend their interaction for some common interest.

Another level of connectedness may be fulfilled with communities of practice, which extend collaboration for a long time and may have other longevity. Lave and Wenger developed the concept integrating the three dimensions:
1.Domain – A domain of knowledge creates common ground, inspires members to participate, guides their learning and gives meaning to their actions.
2.Community – The notion of a community creates the social fabric for that learning. A strong community fosters interactions and encourages a willingness to share ideas.
3.Practice – While the domain provides the general area of interest for the community, the practice is the specific focus around which the community develops, shares and maintains its core of knowledge.
Interview with Étiènne Wenger –

Veronica thank you for your detailed post on…

Veronica, thank you for your detailed post on how you use audio recordings to provide feedback on student papers. The entire process and apps are new to me so I’ll need to try it out to see how I might adapt/adopt some or all. You mention tutors in the process as agents for the recordings so I’m assuming that the teachers themselves don’t need to review every paper and create recordings for each. Am I correct?

I agree that the teacher’s voice is a warmer touch than text comments alone, but my concern is that audio may have some critical disadvantages (to text) in the review process, but this isn’t the place to get into that so I’ll end by saying that I applaud your innovative use of technology to add the human touch to the evaluation process.

Reflection The importance of online learning community This…

Reflection: The importance of online learning community

This week’s topic reminds me of what Will Richardson (Educational Leadership) once said about how, we as educators, must strive to give students ownership of learning.

More than ever before, students have the potential to own their own learning—and we have to help them seize that potential. We must help them learn how to identify their passions; build connections to others who share those passions; and communicate, collaborate, and work collectively with these networks. And we must do this not simply as a unit built around “Information and Web Literacy.” Instead, we must make these new ways of collaborating and connecting a transparent part of the way we deliver curriculum from kindergarten to graduation.

Younger students need to see their teachers engaging experts in online conversations about content, and they need to begin to practice intelligently and appropriately sharing work with global audiences. Middle school students should be engaged in the process of cooperating and collaborating with others outside the classroom around their shared passions, just as they have seen their teachers do. And college students should be engaging in “collective action,” sharing responsibility and outcomes in doing real work for real purposes for real audiences online.

New to Laulima and not technologically able…

New to Laulima and not technologically “able.”
1. Could someone inform this novice what “sticky” is on a discussion post?
2.What is that as compared to “normal?”
3.Does “announce” mean it will automatically email the students to notify them about the new discussion topic post?
4. Do their posts show up as their username?
5. And, lastly, do you suggest I scrap trying to use laulima’s discussion forum and just make a wordpress blog and have them comment to that?

Thanks for helping a novice!

Use human touch to engage online students As…

Use human touch to engage online students:

As teachers, we know that learning occurs differently from one individual to another, some are visual learners while others are tactile learners. For some, it’s memorization of information. For others, it’s acquiring knowledge from practical use.

Regardless of how our students learn, it’s a process that allows them to understand and apply their knowledge. We can learn from the moment of birth. We constantly make sense of our experiences and consistently search for meaning.

Though humans like the familiar and are often uncomfortable with change. The brain searches for, responds to novelty, and resists meaningless stimuli. This reconfirms Dr. John Thompson’s theory of using human touch to engage online students. Our brains build and strengthen neural pathways no matter where we are, no matter what the subject or the context. No matter how technology changes the delivery method of the course material, the key is to create a connection through enriching human experiences & challenges.

I’ve only parcially watched the videoconferences of this…

I’ve only parcially watched the videoconferences of this week, since they seemed too basic. I’ve read the introductory text of this week and downloaded the two articles «Rapport in Distance Education» (from IRRODL) and «What the best online teachers should do» (from Merlot journal).

From the summary of this week webpage I produced an animation with the main factors to take into account when starting an online course to build rapport with students – .

Teachers that have a psychology background are usually familiar with icebrakers, professional trainiers use them as well. In academic environments and more directive lectures this is not a major concern.

In online learning a «getting start» scene is useful, though with hundreds and thousands of participants it may be difficult to reach some level of personalization.

However, there are ways to keep the «approachability», the weekly newsletter we receive from this MOOC is a good idea. To have direct messages in one’s email is a good strategy.

I remember that in my 1st MOOC, the backup team used to send 2 email messages per week – one in the beginning of the week with a synthesis of the previous week activity and another one, at the end of the week, preparing for the following week. I was very impressed, because it worked, it helped to catch up with what was going on and makes one feel included.

TIP For those of you with blogs be…

TIP: For those of you with blogs, be sure after you log in to check the “Dashboard” or backend of your blog for comments awaiting your moderation. If you use Edublogs or WordPress, you may see a bubble highlighted in the menu bar at the top or if you hover your mouse over your blog’s name in the menu bar at the top-left, you will see “Dashboard”. Click on “Dashboard” and then you will see a menu item, “Comments” with a number next to it if you have comments. Click on “Comments” to see a list of comments people posted to your blog. Review the comments there and click to “approve” valid comments so you and other readers can see them and comment.

Question I am interested in the readings and…

Question: I am interested in the readings and webinars and I am enjoying blogging just as an exercise in self-reflection. I am also glad a couple of people have read one or two of my blog entries, but how do I know if my reflections are being noticed by the facilitators… at the very least to earn a badge or certif of completion? And, I’m struggling to see how student-to-student interaction is emerging. I see some classmates interacting, but at times, I go to respond to another’s blog posting and I’m told I can’t because the other student is using some blog tool for which I haven’t registered? And, just being told to post on the Wall here doesn’t seem to help since I find it really unwieldy to scroll through the endless excerpts here. I’m picking and choosing posts to read, but I’m not sure what to do next. Sorry… I feel like I’m missing something important and I’m starting to feel a bit alone, like I’m just writing in a private journal that is beneficial only to a degree. Any tips?! Thanks! –Tanya