Strategies to Engage Students in Collaborative Online Learning

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Evaluates strategies used in online learning that promotes collaboration. Completed as an assignment for ELT7008-8-3 for Northcentral University, Prescott Valley, AZ.


<ul><li> 1. Strategies to EngageStudents inCollaborative OnlineLearningIt is all about the Community </li> <li> 2. Why Collaborate Online Collaborative activities can alleviate feelings of isolation by purposefully connecting learners with one another through various learning activities and promoting interdependence (Palloff &amp; Pratt, 2007, p.159Collaboration promotes the following skills: Development of critical thinking skills Co-creation of knowledge and meaning Reflection Transformative learning (Palloff and Pratt, 2005. p.4) </li> <li> 3. Evidence of CommunityInstructors will have evidence of an online community when the followingindicators are seen (Palloff and Pratt, 2007):1.) Active interaction involving both course content and personal2.) Collaborative learning evidenced by comments directed primarily student to student rather than student to instructor3.) Socially constructed meaning evidenced by agreement or questioning, with the intent to achieve agreement on issues of meaning4.) Sharing of resources among students5.) Expressions of support and encouragement exchanged between students, as well as willingness to critically evaluate the work of others (p. 31) </li> <li> 4. Accomplishing Community Collaboration The most meaningful learning for students [occurred] when they shared personal experiences related to course content (Dabbagh and Bannan-Ritland, 2005, p. 86). Collaboration has a direct correlation to an online community, which is essential and dependant on students social presence, learner satisfaction, and active interaction in their online courses. </li> <li> 5. Elements of CommunityPeople: The students, faculty, and staffShared Purpose: Coming together sharing information,interests, and resourcesGuidelines: Create structure by providing ground rules forinteraction and participationTechnology: The vehicle for delivery and a place whereeveryone can meetCollaborative Learning: Student-to-student interaction thatsupports socially constructed meaning and creation ofknowledgeReflective Practice: Promoting transformative learning </li> <li> 6. Individual Group *Sense of accomplishment *Collaboration *Quality of outcome *Teamwork *Satisfaction with the process *Sense of well-being and support *Ability to work at own pace *Promotes reflection *Sense of self-expression *Reduces isolation Technology &amp; Groups *Problem solving *Conflict management *Group norms *Connect and communicate Facilitator Technology *Comfort with technology *Vehicle for communication and task completion *Competence in online facilitation *Provides communication *Ability to communicate clearly *Transparent and easy to use *Comfort with reasonable chaos and conflict Task *Creates a safe place for the group *Creates sense of purpose *Nurtures relationships *Source of motivation*Promotes self-organization and empowerment Source of collaboration </li> <li> 7. Learning is Authentic and MeaningfulOne of the most important tenets of e-learning isthat it bridges work and learning. While the bestclassroom experiences bring work into thelearning environment, the best e-learningexperiences bring learning into the workenvironment (Rosenberg, 2011, p. 179). </li> <li> 8. Challenges in Online Collaboration Mistrust of information and individuals Limited Resources to time and information Class dynamics change with students dropping class or entering late Lack of group communication, representation and participation Technical difficulties with hardware, software and LMS Course design issues or improper activities Leadership or faculty concerns Cultural differences and conflict resolution Expectations set to high </li> <li> 9. Instructional Strategies and Activities Instructional Strategies and Activities Suggested in Simich-Dudgeon (1999): Create awareness to promote shared meaning and a supportive learning community Encourage use of interpersonal involvement strategies such as personal stories, metaphors, and irony Encourage use of personalized greetings to promote a sense of community </li> <li> 10. Instructional Strategies and Activities Instructional strategies and activities suggested by Haythornthwaite, Kazmer, Robins and Shoemaker (2000): Promote initial and sustained bonding through multiple means of communication related to social and work activities Establish a regular schedule for communication to occur Provide public and private synchronous interaction Monitor and support continued interaction Provide feedback </li> <li> 11. Instructional Strategies and ActivitiesInstructional strategies and activities suggested byRovai (2001) Create a community by designing and supporting student interaction and involvement Build community by encouraging socio-emotional communication as well as educational interactions Be sensitive to differences and adapt your teaching to facilitate interaction Consider incorporating a rubric </li> <li> 12. Instructional Strategies and Activities Instructional strategies and activities suggested byBarab, Thomas and Merrill (2001): Involve interpersonal issues Promote sharing of personal experiences through content that is personally meaningful Design a course that intentionally establishes an online community Emphasize course climate as well as course content Consider asynchronous communication methods for promoting reflective thought </li> <li> 13. Simple Activities You Can Add to Your Online Courses Synchronous chat via online office hours Allow students to provide feedback on each others work through Track Changes features Establish personal sharing via Ice Breaker activities Use Web 2.0 Tools such as Voice Thread, Wikis, and Blogs Small-group assignments Simulations Homework forums Asynchronous discussion of readings and assignment progress Shared course and discussion facilitation </li> <li> 14. One Last ThoughtPalloff and Pratt (2005) state The more we engage our students in a process of ongoing evaluation of their own performance, the more meaningful the online course will be to them. The more we engage them in working with one another in both collaborative activity and collaborative assessment, the more likely they are to engage in a learning community that will sustain them beyond the end of the course. The more meaningful the course, the more likely it is that they will become empowered and lifelong learners. (p. 53) </li> <li> 15. ReferencesBarab, S.A., Thomas, M.K., &amp; Merrill, H. (2001). Online learning: From information dissemination to fostering collaboration. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 12(1), 105-143.Dabbagh, N. &amp;Bannan-Ritland, B. (2005). Online learning: Concepts, strategies, and application. Columbus, OH: Pearson.Draves, W. A. (Ed). (2007). Advanced teaching online. River Falls, WI: LERN Books.Maeroff, G. I. (2003). A classroom of one: How online learning is changing our schools and colleges. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillian.Moallem, M. (2007). Accommodating individual differences in the design of online learning environments: A comparative study.Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 40(2), 217-245.Palloff, R. M., &amp; Pratt, K. (2001). Lessons from the cyberspace classroom: The realities of online teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Palloff, R.M., &amp; Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Palloff, R.M., &amp; Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Rosenberg, Marc J. (2001). E-Learning Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Sandars, J. (2006). Twelve tips for effective online discussions in continuing medical education. Medical Teacher, 28(7), 591-593. doi:10.1080/01421590600879455 </li> </ul>