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Building Online Communities Through Tribes

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Jennifer McCabe

on 29 July 2013

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Transcript of Building Online Communities Through Tribes

Research Question
Jennifer Ayres
A Brief Introduction to Tribes
See my literature review for details.

Action Plan
My action plan consists of making changes to my virtual classroom that support community development. My report consists of changes made to the following areas of my practice:
Introduction and orientation,
Group development,
Communication,
Differentiation,
Technology.
Appendix A
Annotated Bibliography
Building Online Communities
Through Tribes

How can I develop effective community building and collaborative elements into the virtual portion of my class that will support what we do in class and online? What outcomes will I see from creating this type of environment?
Rationale
My class is an ENG3C blended class that I will be instructing in the fall. I use Tribes and other community-building activities in the regular class but this is my first time combining this class with blended elements. In my face-to-face classes I build TRIBES community groups based on respect and collaboration. I want to have the same aspects in my online environment but I'm not sure how to set this up. I also want to ensure that the positive effects of TRIBES I see in my face-to-face classes will transfer to a virtual classroom.
According to the Tribes website, students in community classrooms achieve because they:
•feel included and appreciated by peers and teachers
•are respected for their different abilities, cultures, gender, interests and dreams
•are actively involved in their own learning
•have positive expectations from others that they will succeed. ("About" Tribes).

Tribes is a step-by-step process to achieve specific learning goals. Four agreements are honored:
1.attentive listening
2.appreciation/no put downs
3.mutual respect, and
4.the right to pass. ("About" Tribes).

Students learn collaborative skills so they can work effectively in groups (called tribes). The focus is on how to:
•help each other work on tasks
•set goals and solve problems
•monitor and assess progress
•celebrate achievements." ("About" Tribes)

Appendix B
Appendix C
http://screencast.com/t/1k4hwdKf


My Jing how-to video for online communication:
My differentiated activity for think-pair-share:
http://screencast.com/t/3KcgcQunzyig
Final Reflection
What I would do differently if I addressed this inquiry again:
Focus less on the negative literature and more on studies that examine best practices;
Complete my work during the school year so I can test my ideas on a class.
Limitations I noticed in my inquiry:
Lack of student feedback made my plan more of a thought-exercise and less of an active plan;
I wanted more time to explore what other Tribes teachers are doing in their classes but I can't make direct observations in the summer;
Very few Tribes teachers are posting information/videos of their students participating in Tribes at the secondary level. I generally only found interviews stating the program is effective.

New questions that were raised as a result of my inquiry:
What are other online teachers doing to build community online?
Will Tribes (or another program) develop online community building materials to assist online teachers?
What can I do to share my learning with other online teachers?
Thank you for viewing my Teacher Inquiry Project!
Word copies of my text documents are attached for ease of reading and editing.
- Jennifer Ayres
Full transcript