Week 1 Activities & Webinars

Please begin by reading and reviewing the topic  Start with the fundamentals

 Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Sessions

Similarities and Differences between MOOCs and Credit Online Courses

The recent hype around MOOCs would suggest that online learning has just been discovered. However, we now have more than 20 years experience of delivering credit online courses. There are now almost 32 million higher education online course enrollments in credit courses the USA, and one million in Canada. Some institutions are getting 85-90% completion rates for their credit online courses, with comparable performance to their classroom-based courses. As a result, a great deal is already known about what works – and what doesn’t – in teaching online. This session looks at which of these lessons can transfer to the design of MOOCs and which can’t.

 By Tony Bates

Dr. Tony Bates is the author of eleven books in the field of online learning and distance education. He has provided consulting services specializing in training in the planning and management of online learning and distance education, working with over 40 organizations in 25 countries. Tony is a Research Associate with Contact North | Contact Nord, Ontario’s Distance Education & Training Network. – See more at:http://www.tonybates.ca/#sthash.eX4AWUN3.dpuf

  • Full recording (opens in Blackboard Collaborate) (Note: Please advance the marker on the player control bar at the bottom, to about 1:40:00 indicated by the first | mark in Blackboard Collaborate.)
  • Video recording (edited version)
Why we Teach Online

The real promise of online education, experts say, is providing learning experiences that are more tailored to individual students than is possible in classrooms.  In this session Dr. Dreon will share some principles of Universal Design concepts and how they apply to online learning. He will also look at  national research on the effectiveness of online at meeting students’ educational needs .

By Dr. Oliver Dreon

Dr. Oliver Dreon is the director of the Center for Academic Excellence at Millersville University. Follow him on Twitter @ollied.

Weekly Roundup

Join our session of highlights from the week.


Create a sensemaking artifact

  1. Pick and Choose.
  2. Remix and Re-purpose.
  3. Share.

Discussion Questions

  1. You do not want to just move your face-to-face course to an online version. We suggest re-designing your course to meet the requirements of your online learners. How do you want to teach online? Describe your basic teaching philosophy and role as an instructor. Look deeply and share how you are willing to  be open and doing things differently.
    • Objectivist view.
      • Knowledge is finite and defined. I am an expert in the subject matter who knows more than the students, and thus my job is to ensure that I transfer as effectively as possible that information or knowledge to the student?
    •  Learning as individual development.
      • Focus is on developing learners skills and the ability to question, analyse and apply information or knowledge. Do I see myself more as a guide or facilitator of learning for students?
    • Combine both approaches.
  2. Taking into account the four factors below, decide and describe what ‘mix’ of face-to-face and online learning will be best for your course, and why your “mix” is best.
    1. your teaching philosophy
    2. the kind of students you are trying to reach (or will have to teach)
    3. the requirements of the subject discipline
    4. the resources available to you.
  3. Teaching online offers you a choice of focusing on content development or on facilitating learning. Why do you  need to focus just as much on student activities, what they need to do, as on creating original content for your courses? Describe the activities do you plan to focus on.
  4. Describe how you create a strong structure for you online course, so students are clear about what they are expected to do, when it has to be done. How do you ensuring that students have adequate online activities? Describe the trade-offs you have to make  between content and activities if the student workload is to be kept to manageable proportions?

Suggested Reflections 

  1. In your blog share some of your reflections of what you have learned this week.
  2. You may also want to tell us what you have liked so far this week .

Activity Reflection

Please post a reflection that addresses what you did this week, why you did what you did, and what you would do differently in the future. Your reflection will be framed by three broad questions: What? So what? What now?

  1. What?
    1. Briefly describe what you did.
  2. So what?
    1. Describe why you did what you did. What are your feelings about what you did?
    2. How will this help you?
    3. What did you learn from the experience?
  3. What now?
    1. What changes did you make?
    2. What will you do differently in the future?
    3. What do you still have to learn?

Wear a hat when you comment on artifacts and reply to discussions 

There are six different thinking roles you will be playing when you comment on artifacts.  The thinking roles are identified with a colored symbolic “thinking hat.” By mentally wearing and switching “hats,” you can easily focus your thoughts and comments about the artifact.

  1. The White Hat calls for information known or needed. “The facts, just the facts.”
  2. The Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism. Under this hat you explore the positives and probe for value and benefit.
  3. The Black Hat is judgment – the devil’s advocate or why something may not work. Spot the difficulties and dangers; where things might go wrong. Probably the most powerful and useful of the Hats but a problem if overused.
  4. The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. When using this hat you can express emotions and feelings and share fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.
  5. The Green Hat focuses on creativity; the possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas. It’s an opportunity to express new concepts and new perceptions.
  6. The Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process.

Video of the week

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