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Instructional Design in Online and Blended Teaching

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Stephen Tedesco

on 5 September 2012

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Transcript of Instructional Design in Online and Blended Teaching

Creating a Community of Learners Instructional Design in
Online and Blended Teaching When it comes to the role of instructors for an online
learning community, instructors should act more
like facilitators, or in an online community,
like 'hosts' or, 'moderators'. Brown & Duguid, 2000 "Despite the tendency to
shut ourselves away and sit
in isolation when we have to
learn, learning is a remarkably
social process. Social groups
provide the resources for their
members to learn." individual development and collaborative construction of knowledge
sharing knowledge and skills among members of the community
making the learning process visible and articulated 3 Key Elements to Learning Communities To create a successful e-learning environment, it is important to include means and mechanisms that foster online social interactions that encourage learners to form strong relationships Blackboard includes a variety of tools
that promote social interaction The issue here is not just the inclusion of the tools, but the manner in which they are used to create and sustain relationships It must provide a means for Collins & Bielaczyc, 1994 In order to attain
learning goals and objectives,
learning communities should strive
to include absorbing learning
activities around which
conferences can grow To do this effectively,
you need to understand
both the tools available
as well as your role as
an online instructor Moderating an online community is a difficult but creative job and
it requires more than just initiating discussions or conversations.

Responsibilities include:
keeping discussions on track
contributing special knowledge and insights
weaving together various discussion threads and course components
maintaining group harmony Rohfeld & Hiemstra, 1995 Moderating roles of the instructor encompass three dimensions Organizational Social Intellectual One of the first duties of an online instructor is to 'set the agenda' for the conference:
the objectives of the discussion
the timetable
procedural rules and
decision-making norms
Managing the interactions with strong leadership and direction is considered a 'sine qua non' of successful conferencing Creating a friendly, social environment for learning is also
seen as an essential moderator skill.

Sending welcoming messages at the beginning and
encouraging participation throughout are specific examples,
but providing lots of feedback on students' inputs, and using
a friendly, personal tone are considered equally important The most important role of the online instructor of course, is that of educational facilitator.
As in any kind of teaching, the moderator should focus discussions on crucial points, ask questions and probe responses to encourage students to expand and build on comments.

"Weaving together the often disparate concepts, so typical of the medium, is acknowledged to be one of the most highly prized skills of online instructors" Mason, 1991 For Example... The instructor initiating a discussion on the topic of "Permission Marketing" would first lay down the objectives of the discussion, (i.e., to explore the issues regarding the successful use of permission marketing strategies). She/he would provide the time frame and the norms of the discussion. She/he would collect rich sources of material on permission marketing and initiate specific discussions, say on Chapter 2 of the course textbook. Organizing Role Social Role After the discussions have started, she/he would guide and facilitate the discussion by offering more clues, opinions, and resources. For example:
How is the notion of “personalization” related with permission marketing?
How would one measure the ROI (Return On Investment)?
If there were any confrontations, she/he would step in and aim to sort out the differences. If a student missed a class, she/he would provide the scaffolds for that student to catch up. If some students are dormant, she/he would send emails to them, urging them to contribute Intellectual Role The instructor’s intellectual role would involve weaving together stimulating points
and perspectives with the ongoing discussion. For example, she/he might intervene
with questions like:
Is permission marketing possible without the Internet?
How will wireless technology affect permission marketing?
Can we build on permission marketing and create another killer marketing strategy?
By asking such creative and facilitating questions, the instructor can raise the level
of motivation and involvement in the discussion. Asynchronous Synchronous Asynchronous e-learning, commonly facilitated by media such as e-mail and
discussion boards, supports work relations among learners and with teachers,
even when participants cannot be online at the same time. Hrastinski, 2008 Synchronous e-learning, commonly supported by media such as web conferencing and chat,
supports working relations among learners and with instructors in real time. How do I do it? Look at the tools When, Why and How to use
Asynchronous & Synchronous e-Learning Hrastinski, 2008 Blackboard (2012). Getting Started With...Writing Journal Prompts. Retrieved from: http://ondemand.blackboard.com/r91/documents/getting_started_with_journal_prompts.pdf

Brown, J. S., & Duguid, P. (2000). The Social Life of Information. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.

Collins, A., & Bielaczyc, K. (2000). Learning Communities in Classrooms: A Reconceptulization of Educational Practice. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional design theories and models (Vol. II). Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

CNU Support Desk (ND). Should I use journals. discussion board or blogs? Retrieved from: http://support.cnu.edu/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=334

Hrastinski, S. (2000). Asynchronous & Synchronous E-Learning. In Educause Quarterly 55(4). Retrieved from: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EQM0848.pdf

Mason, R. (1991). Moderating Educational Computer Conferencing. DEOS News, 1(19). DEOS News 1(19). Retrieved from: http://www.ed.psu.edu/acsde/deos/deosnews/deosnews1_19.asp

Nichiana, M. (2000). Learning Through Social Interactions (Online Communities). Elearningpost.com. Retrieved from: http://www.elearningpost.com/images/uploads/comm.pdf

Norcross, C. (2012, April 24). Blogging and Journaling in Blackboard [Web log]. Retrieved from http://www2.palomar.edu/pages/atrc/2012/04/24/blogging-and-journaling-in-blackboard/

Rohfeld, R. W. & R. Hiemstra. (1995). Moderating discussions in the electronic classroom. In Z. Berge and M. Collins Computer Mediated Communication and the Online Classroom Volume 3: Distance Learning (pp. 91-104). Cresskill NJ: Hampton Press.

UCF Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (2011). Teaching online: Deciding which course tools to use. Retrieved from: http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/teachingandlearningresources/learningenvironments/teachingonline/tools.php

University of Oregon Teaching Effectiveness Program (2011). Generating and Facilitating Engaging and Effective Online Discussions. Retrieved from: http://tep.uoregon.edu/technology/blackboard/docs/

Stemwedel, J (2006). Rubrics, Roles, and Successful Online Discussions. Retrieved from: http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/Assets/Departments+(Administration)/IT+Services/Educational+Technology/et_pdf/rubrics+and+roles+in+online+discussion.pdf References Choosing the right tool Comparison of Blackboard Tools Use [INSERT TOOL HERE] when... Discussion Boards are best used to focus on the topic in a way that develops
and supports greater understanding for the students. Static
in design and text based, they work very well to advance
discussion of the topic beyond the class period. Blogs are best utilized when the expectation is that students
will be writing for the development of an audience.
Commentary provides feedback from that audience but
may not require further interaction on the part of the author.
The expectation is for regular writing, with fresh material
appearing on a regular basis. Journals are best used when the intention is relatively private and
personalized communication between the student and the instructor.
Journals are best used to promote reflective thought. Wikis are best used for group work aimed at completing a specific, formal
end product. They are an ideal tool for group writing with an emphasis
on the end product and a willingness to let the path to that product
develop organically. It's a Balancing Act When you are managing an online discussion, it's important to strike a balance in your interaction with the students so that the board has a focus on learning and is interesting enough to pull learners into the conversation, but at the same time is not so dense and complicated that learners are overwhelmed.

It is important to manage the time that you and other participants spend interacting, and to make sure that the interactions on the board are enriching and relevant. Words of Wisdom Consider dividing questions or directions into discrete units to make expectations clear (e.g., length of message, level of formality, criteria for an acceptable response, resources you expect students to consult, naming conventions, etc.) Model the types of communication you want your students to use Structure discussions in advance and connect them to your course objectives Set early deadlines for postings Shift your role as a participant Shut down or redirect abundant side conversations and extraneous posts Include online discussion participation in the course grade Designing Discussion Board Activities Use workgroups (e.g., groups of 4-6) Structure discussion topics by "lesson" or "module" and
articulate start and end dates for discussion Use open-ended questions targeted toward high-order
thinking skills Be sure to provide them with instruction on how to work in small groups.
For example, assign students to a specific workgroup for the duration of the course, and consider giving them roles to rotate through during the term
(e.g., "synthesizer", "devil's advocate", "uniter/divider", "the big picture", "it's kind of like...", "reporter"). Writing Good Discussion Questions As you prepare questions for a discussion, think about what is most important that students know and understand about the topic (the article you asked them to read, the last lecture on the topic, the chapter in the book, etc.). Workload You can manage your discussion board workload more efficiently by: Setting aside specific times to read and respond to the discussion board Preempting questions by making regular announcements Being prepared to spend some time during the first week helping students access and navigate the discussion board Setting limits and being explicit with students as to your availability Discouraging students from emailing you when they could be posting questions to the whole group Using Blogs The blog tool is best for student to student interaction. It allows students to submit entries (posts) consisting of text, links, and images which can be commented on by other students. The blog can be setup as a graded assignment or as just an optional component of the course.

One of the strengths of using a blog is that it encourages critical thinking without requiring the formality of turning in a formatted paper. Students can quickly type up and submit their views on a particular topic and then other students can comment with their own opinions. The blog tool also allows instructors and peers to chime in with comments.

Blogs in Blackboard can be a good alternative to using the often cluttered discussion board. Threaded discussions can be great, but the mix of threads and replies (and replies to replies) can make it difficult to evaluate a students writing in some cases. Norcross, 2012 UCF Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, 2011 UCF Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, 2011 Here are some question types that
stimulate different kinds of thinking University of Oregon Teaching Effectiveness Program, 2011 Blogs...At A Glance Using Journals The journal tool is very similar to the blog tool but with the important difference that entries by students can only be viewed by the instructor (by default). "The ways you can use journals as assignments are as varied as the number of instructors who assign them. Some prefer to let students write about whatever comes to mind and then provide feedback to further encourage, guide, and engage their students. Others require students to focus on a specific subject or question. Some provide the Journals tool as an optional space and never read student entries. You may choose to have students write weekly about their reactions to the lecture, assignments, or field study." If you find your students are having difficulty finding topics to reflect on, consider using writing prompts. Writing Prompts for Blogs and Journals Interview Brainstorm React Defend Explain Review Document Connect Discuss someone in the field of study and write a few reaction paragraphs. What connection can you make to yourself? some possible topics and list a few ideas for an upcoming writing assignment to an article pertaining to the unit of study and ask for comments a side of an argument prevalent in the field of study what a quotation from a prominent person in the field of study means to you the entries written so far and find key themes what changes have taken place in your motivation or attitude toward your learning how different areas of your study are related the most important concept you learned, the biggest waste of your time, which method of instruction worked best, how your classmates helped you make some valid connections Blackboard, 2012 Blackboard, 2012 Stemwedel, 2006; University of Oregon Teaching Effectiveness Program, 2011 A Wiki is a collection of web pages that allow
users to add and edit content collectively.

In Blackboard, you can set up a course wide
wiki for your whole course, or any number
of group wikis for use by student groups.

Once a wiki has been created, users may
edit pages, or create new ones as well
as add text, graphics, files and links
to build the content of the site. What is a Wiki? Using Wikis Here are some ideas of how the wiki tool could
be used in online courses Group/Team project presentation
Collaborative writing
Student generated study guides
Class built glossaries
Class built bibliography/knowledge base OK, But... We forgot about Synchronous Learning Options Images Courtesy of: algogenius via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution
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