Category Archives: EDET 674 Virtual Teaching #OLTAK

Week 5 674 Reflection

Week 5 Reflection 674

This week our essential questions was “How do instructional design stages help us understand online teaching?” To me, Instructional Design is like the backbone of the whole process. Gordon (2016) said, ““Instructional Design focuses on what the instruction should be like, including look, feel, organization and functionality.” One of the most popular models for Instructional design is ADDIE.

The acronym’s letters stand for the following:

•Analyze

In this phase, the designer figures out The Who, What, Where, When, Why and By Whom of the process

•Design

Next a blueprint is laid out for the structure of the course

•Develop

This is the creation phase where the blueprint is applied in design

•Implement

Deliver the instruction

•Evaluation

Assess how well the design worked. This should be done not just at the end of the process, but after each ADDIE phase (Gordon, 2016).

A team that follows ADDIE will create an effective online training.

In responding to others’ blogs, Sara provided a great graph. I really like the

tips she shared. These stood out for me among the ones she mentioned:

  • Ask yourself why students need to learn what you are teaching them (Block 2015)
  • Include pictures and other graphics when appropriate (Moore & Kearsley 2011)
  • Use blank space (Moore & Kearsley 2011)
  • Use bulleted lists  (Moore & Kearsley 2011)

I thought these specific ideas added a lot to the more general guidelines provided in the readings.

Teresa said, “A team based approach is having a commitment, common goal, cohesive team culture, strong support from leadership, keeping deadlines, good communication, and a good project management tool leads to more successful implementation of an online course.” My thought was, is this more key to success than ADDIE? Or is it suggesting the ADDIE stages will lead to more success when the design team possesses these qualities?

Amy’s post was very well organized! It was easy to follow the steps and what they mean. I also like how she gave examples in each stage.

Genevieve wrote about how Sun Prairie Area School District has listed several ways “they have moved away from the old school, and into the new: streaming videos online, recording lectures and notes on the Interactive whiteboard and posting on the classroom website, searching online resources or reading online books, and instead of printing hard copies, email the documents, or post to the classroom website.” My question would be what type of school is this? Where is this school located? What is the minority rate in this school? How many students have access to the Internet? I think it is a great idea but I wonder about those kids whose families can’t afford Internet or live where it is slow and hard to work with. That is why, if I do anything with the Internet with projects, I make sure that I give students time in class in case they don’t have Internet.

Cherie provide a table from http://raleighway.com/addie/ that breaks down each part of ADDIE . It is easy to understand and makes the steps clearer. The other good model she found was at http://educationaltechnology.net/the-addie-model-instructional-design/ . I agree with her in that the ADDIE process is constantly in revision. The graphs were great and helpful to me, since I am a visual learner. It has been a great week interacting with others and seeing what they had to say and share. I took away some great ideas and websites from this week’s readings and posts.

Reference

Gordon, A. (2016). Instructional Design Roles and Responsibilities. Retrieved October 02, 2016, from http://instructionaldesign.gordoncomputer.com/IDRoles.html

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Week 5 674

Essential Question: How do instructional design stages help us understand online teaching?

“Instructional Design focuses on what the instruction should be like, including look, feel, organization and functionality” (Gordon, 2016). Instructional design is like the back bone of the whole process. Understanding instructional design phases helps us to understand the mechanics of online teaching, which has to be set up in learning stages for the process to work effectively.

As Gordon (2016) writes, “Creating effective training . . . calls for the application of Instructional Design skills along with processes that produce authentic, well-organized, and engaging materials.” For online teaching to succeed, the course must be put together by someone with Instructional Design skills.

ADDIE is one popular model for Instructional Design. It is used in business and education because it spells out how to design both professional training materials and online curriculum. The acronym’s letters stand for the following:

•Analyze

In this phase, the designer figures out The Who, What, Where, When, Why and By Whom of the process

•Design

Next a blueprint is laid out for the structure of the course

•Develop

This is the creation phase where the blueprint is applied in design

•Implement

Deliver the instruction

•Evaluation

Assess how well the design worked. This should be done at the end and after each ADDIE phase.  (Gordon, 2016).

Online courses take months to prepare and set up. For that reason alone, teams have to be organized to make the process go as smooth as possible. A team that follows the ADDIE model and the steps below should be able to create an effective online training. Gordon (2016) lays out the following steps to take before, during, and after building a website or online training:

1  Plan

2  Analyze

3  Design

4  Check accessibility

5  Test and Refine

Morrison (2013) asserts that “A highly functioning team can produce quality, rigorous courses that are effective for supporting learners in reaching learning objectives.”

According to Puzziferro & Shelton (2014), “Creating the team culture, defining the learning vision and framework, identifying the resources, and crafting the production workflow for effective teamwork are all critical planning elements for administrative leadership.” It takes more than one person to create an online class. It takes a team and they need to follow a process to make the class successful.

Puzziferro & Shelton (2014) adapted “Seven Principles of Good Practice” for a designer to apply when creating an instructional tool for online delivery:

1.Good Practice Encourages Contact Between Students and Faculty

2.Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

3.Good Practice Uses Active Learning Techniques

4.Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback

5.Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task

6.Good Practice Communicates High Expectations

7.Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

These are all excellent steps to follow when designing any class, but are especially important when designing an online course. If one adheres to the ideas listed above and works collaboratively with others, I am sure the end product will be excellent.

There are a lot of good ideas out there to guide instructional designers. All point to the need for a good team that can work through an intentional design process that factors in the diverse needs of the learners on the other end.

References

Gordon, A. (2016). Instructional Design Roles and Responsibilities. Retrieved October 02, 2016, from http://instructionaldesign.gordoncomputer.com/IDRoles.html

Morrison, D. (2013). Online Learning Insights. Retrieved October 02, 2016, from https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/tag/team-based-instructional-design/

Puzziferro, M., & Shelton, K. (2014). A model for developing high-quality online courses: Integrating a systems approach with learning theory.

Week 4 Reflection 674

Week 4 Reflection 674

This week we wrote about the lessons we might take from successful (and unsuccessful) OCL Institutional Innovations and from the concept of the Community of Practice (CoP)? To make a community successful, everyone must have a voice and feel that they matter. Probst & Borzillo (2008) write that, in order for CoP’s to be successful, they must follow these 10 commandments of CoP governance:

  1. Stick to strategic objectives- make them clear and obtainable.
  2. Divide objectives into sub-topics- This gives the members precise information that they must share their practice.
  3. Form governance committees with sponsors and leaders- Members who meet regularly form a committee.
  4. Appoint a leader who is a “best practice control agent”- Members stay in contact with this person to obtain best practices.
  5. Regularly feed the group with external expertise- This can be experts from other organizations.
  6. Promote access to other networks- This increases active participation.
  7. Encourage the leader to have a driver and prompter role- This increases the CoP’s attractiveness.
  8. Overcome hierarchy-related pressures- Leaders remind members that they will not be judged.
  9. Provide the sponsor with measurable performance- This is looking at cost reduction, revenue increase, higher effectiveness, and efficiency of operations.
  10. Illustrate results for members- They are encouraged to post their written experiences.

To have a successful CoP, OCoP, or MOOC you must have respect, teamwork, cooperation, integrity, and be willing to listen and learn. You must be willing to share new ideas and try new ideas. I think if participants followed this and some of the guidelines mentioned above, they could have a successful CoP, OCoP, or MOOC.

In responding to others’ blogs, Sara made an important point to build trust and make sure people feel connected. If the learners feel connected, they will continue to be motivated to participate. I really like the bar graph that she posted from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/nli0531.pdf and the information that goes with it. I think the following sequence provides for great flow: inquire, design, prepare prototype, launch, grow, and sustain.

Josie mentioned examples of cMOOCs, including learning communities, social media, and blogs that contain content and promote interaction among the participants. This made me think of our class. This is like a cMOOC, except cMOOCs are free? XMOOCs are still online, except for exams and quizzes. These two are still a little confusing for me.

Mariah talked about how OCoPs comment on each others’ blogs. I said then our class is an OCoP, because we comment on each others’ blogs and email each other. I mentioned a CoP that I have been a part of: meeting with another teacher to plan lessons. This was successful because we both want the same thing—to get more ideas to use in our classrooms.

I was in the same boat with Cherie when she mentioned that she was not familiar with CoP until she read about it. I was not familiar with it as well and learned more about it when we met in Blackboard. Then I was like, “Wow! I am involved in more CoPs than I thought.”

It has been a very busy week with classes. I was also involved in helping teach the lesson on Blackboard, so that required more work to be prepared. I have gotten through the week and have learned so much this last week, especially about CoPs. It was great interacting with others, and I look forward to our next week of learning together.

Reference

Probst, G., & Borzillo, S. (2008). Why communities of practice succeed and why they fail. European Management Journal, 26(5), 335-347.

Week 4 674

Essential Question: What lessons might we take from successful (and unsuccessful) OCL Institutional Innovations and from the concept of the Community of Practice (CoP)?

“A community of practice is a group of individuals who shares their interests and problems with a specific topic, and gains a greater degree of knowledge of and expertise on a topic through their regular interaction” (Wenger et al., 2002).  “Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (Harasim, 2012). CoPs are voluntary; participants are not required to attend. People attend them because they want to or have a desire to learn about something.

The Internet itself was the product of CoPs. The inventors were computer scientists who first worked together and then met together more online. “Tightly knit groups of professionals engaged in a common practice, who communicate, negotiate and share their best practice with one another directly together onsite and then, once the technology was invented and implemented, continued to work together online” (Harasim, 2012). To make a community successful everyone must have a voice and feel that they matter. Probst & Borzillo, (2008) said in order for CoP’s to be successful they must follow these 10 commandments of CoP governance:

  1. Stick to strategic objectives- make them clear and obtainable.
  2. Divide objectives into sub-topics- This gives the members precise information that they must share their practice.
  3. Form governance committees with sponsors and leaders- Members who meet regularly form a committee.
  4. Have a leader who is a “best practice control agent”- Members stay in contact with this person to obtain best practices.
  5. Regularly feed the group with external expertise- This can be experts from other organizations.
  6. Promote access to other networks- This increases active participation.
  7. The CoP leader must have a driver and prompter role- This increases the CoP attractiveness.
  8. Overcome hierarchy-related pressures- leaders remind members that they will not be judged.
  9. Provide the sponsor with measurable performance- This is looking at cost reduction, revenue increase, higher effectiveness and speed of operations.
  10. Illustrate results for members- They are encouraged to post their written experiences.

“Indeed, one of the major breakthroughs to emerge was a growing acknowledgment that online learning, with attention to pedagogical design, could be not only as good as face-to-face classroom education but better” (Harasim    2012).  This was an “aha” moment for me. I did not know this or think this to be true. I am still not sure if I quite do, but I found this very interesting.

“A MOOC is an online course with the option of free and open registration, a publicly- shared curriculum, and open-ended outcomes. MOOCs integrate social networking, accessible online resources, and are facilitated by leading practitioners in the field of study. Most significantly, MOOCs build on the engagement of learners who self-organize their participation according to learning goals, prior knowledge and skills, and common interests” (McAuley et al., 2010). Like CoPs MOOCs are voluntary. Most people join a MOOC because they have the desire to learn something new.

To have a successful CoP or OCoP or MOOC you must have respect, teamwork, cooperation, integrity, and be willing to listen and learn. You must be willing to share new ideas and be willing to try new ideas. I think if participants followed this and some of the guidelines mentioned above, they can have a successful CoP, OCoP, or MOOC.

Reference

Harasim, L. M. (2012). Learning theory and online technology. New York, NY: Routledge.

Probst, G., & Borzillo, S. (2008). Why communities of practice succeed and why they fail. European Management Journal, 26(5), 335-347.

McAuley, A., Stewart, B., Siemens, G., & Cormier, D. (2010). The MOOC model for digital practice.

Week Three Reflection 674

Week 3 Reflection 674

Our essential question this week was,“What is the role of discourse, collaboration, and technology for distributed learning in online courses?” With the Internet, online courses have increased every year since they started. I talked about three distinct models commonly subsumed under the title of “online learning”: Online Collaborative Learning (OCL), Online Distance Education (ODE), and Online Courseware (OC).

“OCL refers to educational applications that emphasize collaborative discourse and knowledge building mediated by the Internet; learners work together online to identify and advance issues of understanding and to apply their new understanding and analytical terms and tools to solving problems” (Harasim, 2002). This is like the type of class I am taking now. We are working together and trying to understand new readings by writing about them and responding to each other.

“ODE is primarily based on traditional 19th- and 20th-century correspondence education models, but replaces postal-mail delivery with the cheaper, faster and more efficient email delivery of course materials and tutor feedback” (Harasim, 2002). I took something like this a long time ago. They would mail me the information and I would mail it back. It has now changed to email.

Online Courseware or OC (also known as Online Computer-Based Training) refers to the use of courseware (pre-packaged content) that a learner accesses online (Harasim, 2002). This is a class where you have to take a test at the end. I have taken this type of course before, when I got hired at an airport. I had to watch a bunch of videos and pass a test at the end.

In responding to others’ blogs, Sara wrote, “We are starting to realize that it is not important to know everything but more important to know how to find the answers we desire to know.” This is very true and I try to teach my students this. She also mentioned how students text more than they use the phone. This has become true for me, too.

Josie’s post made me remember when I first started teaching and we had chalk boards. I hated those, as they always got your hand full of chalk. And then came the white boards. I loved the white boards and the overhead projectors that used transparencies. I still have one that I’ve kept. We now have the new Dell projectors in our rooms.  I agree with other students’ statements that the Internet has opened up many new avenues for learning. I know I wouldn’t have been able to take classes at the University to get my degree without distance learning. I love taking classes online, but I do struggle sometimes. Life can get difficult, but if I’m able to keep up, the Internet will have made it possible for me to broaden and deepen my education, making me a better teacher.

I agreed with Cherie that we do have discourse in our online classes together. We meet with each other, respond to each others’ blogs, and listen to and teach each other. She mentioned Padlet and MindMeister, which allow students to work together and bounce ideas off each other. Sounds interesting! I have to check it out sometime.

Amy got this from McAuley et al.: “In a distributed environment a learner has to be able to put his or her ideas forward in a way that others can see and engage with, even if those ideas are not yet fully thought out or polished.” I agree—even if your ideas are not firm, collaborating with others can help you work them out. Another interesting fact she wrote was, “The current Knowledge Age throws information at learners faster than they can process it independently. Being able to collaborate and engage in discourse with other people is key to assimilating this new information into previous experiences to deepen their understanding.” This is why we need to collaborate—so that we can fully understand what is being thrown at us.

It has been a busy week. I have been working ahead because our group is presenting next Thursday. I feel pretty good about it. We have the main points we want to say, and I created a PowerPoint for it. My two teammates are formatting a survey or quiz, and then we just have to come up with some questions for it to use in the break-out rooms. I think it will go smoothly, or at least that is what I am hoping. Other than worrying about that, it has been a good week!

Week 3 EDET 674

Essential Question: What is the role of discourse, collaboration, and technology for distributed learning in online courses?

With the Internet, today we are able to take any type of class when we want and where we want. This has led to a growth of learners online. The role of discourse, collaboration, and technology for distributed learning would depend on the type of class you are taking and the way that the instructor is running the class.

At least three distinct models have been commonly subsumed under the title of “online learning”: Online Collaborative Learning (OCL), Online Distance Education (ODE), and Online Courseware (OC). The three approaches each use the Internet and the Web for education but in significantly different ways and with major differences in learning theory, learning pedagogies, and learning technologies (Harasim, 2002). In addition, Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCS, have been used to deliver distance education (McAuley et al., 2010).

“OCL refers to educational applications that emphasize collaborative discourse and knowledge building mediated by the Internet; learners work together online to identify and advance issues of understanding and to apply their new understanding and analytical terms and tools to solving problems “ (Harasim, 2002). This is the kind of class that I am taking now. We are building our knowledge through the tools we are using, such as our blogs and web meetings  where we talk about our readings. The role of the instructor is key: the teacher structures the discussions into small or large groups around knowledge problems (Harasim, 2002). Our instructor posts readings each week for us and answers any questions and concerns we have. She is also there for when we have to conduct the class and gives us suggestions if we need them. When I was reading about this, our class popped in my head and I had an “Aha!” moment. I was like we do this; this is how our class is conducted. “Online Collaborative Learning (OCL) is proposed here as a new theory of learning that focuses on collaborative learning, knowledge building, and Internet use as a means to reshape formal, nonformal, and informal education for the Knowledge Age” (Harasim,2012).

“Online Distance Education or ODE is primarily based on traditional 19th- and 20th-century correspondence education models, but replaces postal-mail delivery with the cheaper, faster and more efficient email delivery of course materials and tutor feedback” (Harasim, 2002). This makes me think of classes that people would take where they would get their assignments by paper through the mail. I took a class like this a long time ago. This was what we used to call a “Correspondence Class.” When I finished an assignment, I would mail it in, and they would email the next assignment to me.

Online Courseware or OC (also known as Online Computer-Based Training) refers to the use of courseware (pre-packaged content) that a learner accesses online (Harasim, 2002). This would be classes that students take that have a set of assignments that students have to follow on the computer. They then would send in the work electronically once they have completed an assignment.

Massive Online Open Courses, or MOOCs, are accessible to large groups of students and tend to involve less direct instruction from a professor. MOOCs integrate the connectivity of social networking, the facilitation of an acknowledged expert in a field of study, and a collection of freely accessible online resources (McAuley et al., 2010).  MOOCs generally do not require payment of a fee; a student just needs access to the Internet. Lower levels of cost and accountability have led to lower completion rates under this delivery method. I have heard of these classes but have never taken one myself. I would like to take a Spanish language class via a MOOC, but I never have enough time. One of these days I will take one of these classes.

One of the theories that goes with online learning is Connectivism. The starting point of connectivism is the individual. Personal knowledge is acquired through a network, which feeds into organizations and institutions, which in turn feed back into the network, and then continue to provide learning to the individual. This cycle of knowledge development (personal to network to organization) allows learners to remain current in their fields through the connections they have formed (Siemens, 2014). Connectivism provides insight into learning skills and tasks needed for learners to flourish in a digital era. More and more students are going to take classes online. They may choose the form or forms of any of the class types mentioned above, but I know that the number is just going to keep increasing. People are now seeing the benefits of taking classes online. I know I do, and I plan to take more distance classes to help me in my field of education.

Reference

Harasim, L. M. (2012). Learning theory and online technology. New York, NY: Routledge.

McAuley, A., Stewart, B., Siemens, G., & Cormier, D. (2010). The MOOC model for digital practice.

Siemens, G. (2014). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.

Week Two Reflection 674

 

This week our essential question was “How Do Learning Theories Manifest Themselves In Online Course?”  In order for an online class to be successful, a learning theory needs to be in place. The way a teacher chooses to design and facilitate an online class can greatly affect the way a student learns.

What I found interesting from my reading this week was that “[c]onstructivism is one of the most frequently cited theoretical frameworks applied to online course development and teaching” (Knabe, 2004).  Learners are engaged in their learning and seek to understand their world around them. As Knabe (2004) observes, “ Some researchers suggest that online environments, coupled with constructivist design, are the key to developing successful courses for the next generation of students.” I find this very interesting because I think constructivism and other teaching theories manifest  in online learning. This also depends on teachers and how well we are able to apply theory when designing and delivering online classes.

In reading others’ blogs, Teresa pointed out that Moore stated, “When integrating different media into a single course, one of the most important design considerations is to ensure that the media work together” to ensure that students don’t get lost when working with different components (p. 92). I have seen this when technology is introduced and students get lost in it. For example, when students are researching information, if you don’t give them specific sites to use they can get lost. When I give assignments, I tell them I want them to use these sites and not to just Google. I think a lot of the time students just want the answer right then and there and think the first site is correct. I tried to tell them this is to help you to make it easier to find the information, ensure the site can be trusted, and provide you with bibliographic information. They eventually learn that the sites I provide are better and begin to use them.

Amy mentioned that a blend of the theories makes distance learning effective. I would have to agree with her. I think a blend is needed. I think it also depends on the instructor and student to be effective.

Genevieve mentioned that she applies all learning theories in her teaching. I have to say that I am the same way. The examples she provided made a clearer picture in my head of the learning theories that work naturally in online environments.

Cherie had a good point about instructors and how they teach will determine which learning theories will be used.  I agreed when she mentioned that our courses are constructivist, because we do take an active role in our learning and the learning of others in our class.

Bridget thought that different theories will be helpful for different students. She mentioned Rosetta. I said I have always wanted to try Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish, but it seems I am always too busy.  Self motivation is a key factor when taking classes online. If you are very motivated you can finish a class quickly. If it is one that you can take at your own pace, it will depend on your motivation.

        It was a great week of class. We have started to teach the class about the readings. Our first group did a good job. I am a little nervous as I have not used blackboard before and my microphone was not working this last week. I will just have to play around with it and get to know blackboard before it is our turn to teach the reading. I am just glad that we are in groups; at least we can struggle and learn together!

Reference

Knabe, A. P. (2004). Constructivist learning perspectives in online public relations classrooms.

Week 2 EDET 674

Essential Question: How Do Learning Theories Manifest Themselves in Online Courses?

In order for an online class to be successful, a learning theory needs to be in place. “The way a teacher chooses to design and facilitate an online class can greatly affect what students learn. Learning theory, therefore, plays a pivotal role in online courses” (Knabe, 2004).

When we are taking online classes, we don’t realize that learning theories are already in place. You think about getting grades, which could fall under a behaviorist theory. If a student is not doing well, the teacher will have a talk with them. If the student is doing well, the grades will reflect it. Another concept that I think falls in online course is ZPD or “Zone Proximal Development.” This is when learners solve problems beyond their actual development level with guidance from an adult or peers (Harasim, 2012).

Constructivism is one of the most frequently cited theoretical frameworks applied to online course development and teaching (Knabe, 2004). Constructivism is a learning theory that emphasizes the student’s construction of reality and the Internet also lends itself to display of visual models that deepen students’ understanding of complex concepts(Driscoll, 2000). Here, learners are engaged in their learning and seek to understand the world around them. As Knabe (2004) observes, “ Some researchers suggest that online environments, coupled with constructivist design, are the key to developing successful courses for the next generation of students.”
In online classes the structure is different than in face-to-face classes. “In a constructivist setting, this paradigm shifts, and online teachers act as a ‘guide on the side’, facilitating learning as it takes place among the students

themselves” (Knabe, 2004). Knabe also points out that learners are routinely responsible for expressing learning goals, are more self-directed, and take an active role in monitoring their learning and reflecting on their growth. The ways we interact with each other in online classes include chat, blackboard, web-meetings, twitter, blogs, and email. All of these activities are constructivist in nature when they focus more on group work than individualized work (Knabe, 2004).

I never would have thought about what learning theory is in place when I am taking an online class. Now that I am reading about it I can understand it more. I look forward to understanding more about learning theories and how they fit in the online world of education that also many of us fall under now.

References

Driscoll, M. P. (2000). Psychology of learning for instruction. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Harasim, L. M. (2012). Learning theory and online technology. New York, NY: Routledge.

Knabe, A. P. (2004). Constructivist learning perspectives in online public relations classrooms.

Week One Reflection 674

This week I started off and running. I always feel like this when we first start class until I get back into the grove of things. I was not able to make the first class meeting because of Open House with parents and that kind of threw me off. I don’t like to miss class because I feel like I am behind. I am excited for class to get started and learn new things that can help me in my teaching.

Our essential question for this week was,  “What Theories Or Research Can Inform Your Current Practice Of Distance Learning”? This made me think about when I first started taking classes online. I recall being a little hesitant. I did not know what to expect. I was used to taking classes in front of the instructor. I remember thinking, “I hope I can do this and be able to keep up.” Now, a couple of years later, I am still taking distance classes and love it!

Two teaching behaviors that stood out for me were dialogue and structure. I think without those you will be lost when trying to take a class online. The interaction between the teacher and student takes place through dialog. In my classes we communicate by email and through Twitter, Blackboard, and webmeeting. I think hearing the teacher and being able to talk to the teacher is a valuable thing.

In responding to others’ blogs, Sara made the point that if the teacher is not there the student becomes accustomed to learning on their own. I said, “I know when I first starting taking online classes I was a little nervous.” I was used to taking classes in person. With a very supportive teacher and group of students I was able to get through my anxiety and now feel at ease.

I mentioned to Josie an article that talked about how many countries cannot afford to build new universities or accommodate the amount of students that want to take classes online. If it weren’t for online classes then these students would be out of luck. If not for online classes, I wouldn’t have been able to take the classes that I have so far.

I agreed with Mariah that the two main foundations are structure and dialogue. I know that without those two, I would have been completely at a loss when I started taking classes online. I have taken classes before without structure or dialogue and it was very frustrating. She mentioned that teachers have to take a class to teach online in Pennsylvania. I wondered if teachers in Alaska have to do the same thing and it would be interesting to find out.

Bridget talked about a project that she participated in with K-6 students in China. I mentioned it sounded like an interesting project. I told her when I first started taking classes online, I was a little nervous, and that now I love it!Cherie mentioned how she loves how classes work now, and I said I totally agree. I love the way that we are interacting in our classes and have the support and communication we need. I mentioned taking some classes that had no structure or communications and it was very frustrating. I agree motivation is a big factor for taking classes online. Without it, you will get behind, lost, and confused. I said I never thought much about motivation as well because I am already motivated and excited to be learning with a great teacher and wonderful group of students!

It has been a great start to the semester. I look forward to learning more about theories and tying that back into how I learn, and I especially look forward to learning and interacting with the other students in the class.

Week 1 EDET 674

Essential Question: What Theories Or Research Can Inform Your Current Practice Of Distance Learning?

Reading theory on distance learning made me think about when I first started taking classes online. I recall being a little hesitant. I did not know what to expect. I was used to taking classes in front of the instructor. I remember thinking, “I hope I can do this and be able to keep up.” Now, a couple of years later, I am still taking distance classes and love it!

Theory is important to the study of distance education because it directly affects the practice of the field (Moore, 1997). What is distance education? Moore and Kearsley (2012) define it as “the family of instructional methods in which the teaching behaviors are executed apart from the learning behaviors, including those that in contiguous teaching would be performed in the learner’s presence, so that communication between the learner and the teacher must be facilitated by print, electronic, mechanical, or other devices.”

The Theory of Transactional Distance was derived from John Dewey. Two teaching behaviors that stood out for me were dialogue and structure. I think without those you will be lost when trying to take a class online. The interaction between the teacher and student takes place through dialog. In my classes we communicate by email and through Twitter, Blackboard, and webmeeting. I think hearing the teacher and being able to talk to the teacher is a valuable thing. As Moore (1997) writes, “highly interactive electronic teleconference media, especially personal computers and audioconference media, permit a more intensive, more personal, more individual, more dynamic dialogue than can be achieved in using a recorded medium.” If you are trying to deliver a course without making sure you’ve set up good means of communication, it will be harder for the student. Structure is also important. If you are not sure what you need to do when planning a semester or a class, then you will feel lost and confused.

I found this fact very interesting: “Over 350 studies done since 1928 (Russell, 1999, 2001) show that when you measure the average differences between students in a face-to-face group and a distance education group, there is usually no significant difference” (see http://www.nosignificantdifference.org/).

Moore (1997) offers six particular approaches that must be carefully structured in distant teaching.

  1. Presentation: The recorded presentations are usually the most powerful.
  2. Support the learners’ motivation: This shows the desire to motivate the student to learn.
  3. Stimulate analysis and criticism: These are higher order cognitive skills that learners are expected to develop.
  4. Give advice and counsel: This is to provide guidance when learning.
  5. Arrange practice, application, testing and evaluation: This gives students an opportunity to apply what they have learned.
  6. Arrange for student creation of knowledge: This is when students are given opportunities to engage in dialog with the teacher to share their knowledge.
    I think these are all important points to consider when delivering distance education.

Distance education is great for people who need the flexibility to go to school. Some countries of the world today cannot handle 100,000 students at a time nor do they have the money to build and maintain buildings for this many students (Keegan, 1996). Students, like those in China, wouldn’t be able to expand their education if it wasn’t for distance education. I know I wouldn’t have been able to further my career if it wasn’t for distance education. I am grateful for distance education and look forward to furthering my career through distance courses. I look forward to learning new ideas and concepts that will help me be as good at designing classes for distance delivery as my current teachers are.

References

Keegan, D. (1996). Foundations of distance education. Psychology Press.

Moore, M. “Theory of transactional distance.” Keegan, D., ed. “Theoretical Principles of Distance Education (1997), Routledge, pp. 22-38.

Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2012). Distance education: A systems view of online learning.