Sheridan, Rick, in Educause Quartely, number 3, 2006, retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eqm06311.pdf (3 pages)
Many hours are dedicated to design and administrate an online course, even more when a few changes in the content or format are required later. So there’s a need to reduce faculty workload. The author is an experienced online teacher that discusses in this paper the way teacher and students might save time on online courses, by making them easy to administrate through, for example, a discussion forum or a reference section with links to health-related sites. This teacher is aware too of the advantages and disadvantages of online learning, and concludes that “a well-designed and well-managed online course could save an instructor a quarter of the time normally devoted to teaching in a traditional classroom”.
“Faculty self-study research project: examining the online workload”
Thompson Melody M. (The Pennsylvania State University) JALN Volume 8, Issue 3 — June 2004, retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://www.educause.edu/Resources/FacultySelfStudyResearchProjec/153176 (15 pages)
This paper describes a project in which six faculty members teaching courses through the Penn State World Campus conducted studies of the comparative workload in the online environment. Results of the studies indicated that faculty workload for teaching these online courses, as measured by time on task, was comparable to or somewhat less than that for face-to-face courses.
Some conclusions are:
“Achieving the goal of high levels of interaction is often accomplished by implementing tools and strategies that impose a higher workload on faculty.”
“Workload in the online environment is a variable dependent on a number of factors, many of which are amenable to intervention by either the course designer or the faculty member.”
“A model of small faculty research studies, whether supported by an external grant or by institutional research funds, represents an effective and easily replicable approach to examining and addressing the challenges and opportunities of online teaching and learning.”
“Effective Workload Management Strategies for the Online Environment”
Ragan, Lawrence C.; Terheggen, Sara L., (The Pennsylvania State University World Campus)
April 15, 2003, retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/pdf/fac/workload_strat.pdf (44 pages)
The workload management strategies discussed in this paper related to the success of an online teaching program are based in four categories: Authoring Strategies, Teaching Strategies, Course Improvement and Revision Strategies, and Institutional Strategies. The aim is to collect and catalog a variety of feedback from experienced online educators in how they reduce the amount of time and energy in the online environment, so online teachers can benefit from this expertise.
Some of the most effective strategies for reducing faculty workload online teaching are, for example, clarifying and enhancing students’ technical skills before registration, providing a detailed syllabus, defining the operating parameters of the course, creating feedback rubrics, establishing a routine.
Much time and energy are required to design, develop, and deliver online course instruction and many educational institutions are now establishing systems and services to support student and faculty use of electronic communications. The adoption of online technologies may resolve issues surrounding the perception of unmanageable workloads, and consequently improve the educational process. The authors believe that “careful application of the strategies above to the needs of online educators can significantly enhance the success of the online education program a work in progress”.
It seems that online education can be expected to grow over the next decade or so as more and more universities offer it for more and more classes. There is no doubt that it enjoys a degree of novelty and excitement and provides a different experience for many participants. The above studies measure the amount of time instructors and students dedicate to courses, and raise important issues for development and delivery online courses, for university administrations in introducing online classes, for the academics who may push for or be called upon to teach them, and for the students who will take them. The authors consider too how technology can be expected to continue to develop and new problems will continue to arise.
Just like the physical classroom, there is considerable time involved in grading, updating web pages and responding to students. Even updating may be easy, there is some time involved in the set-up of online classes. We learned that these classes meet for a specified amount of time in the online environment, and students are given a wide variety of group and individual work to complete outside of class. A key problem in facilitating a successful online course is the highly time-consuming nature of the administrative and pedagogical tasks involved.
In order to help their students succeed in class, online teachers begin to understand that technology has improved and may contribute to handling the workload of an online class. So, organization and time management are the keys to reduce online workload.
In website of the Deakin University - Institute of Teaching and Learning, retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://www.deakin.edu.au/itl/pd/tl-modules/assessment/group-assignments-assess/index.php
“Assessing group assignments poses some challenges. For students who are more familiar with being assessed as individuals, the prospect of their grades being reliant on other students can be daunting. The information provided here has been developed as part of a suite of topics relating to Group assignments. As with all assessment, it is important that there is a logical alignment of learning objectives, learning tasks and assessment criteria.”
“Integrating Online Assignments into Your Course”
In website of the University of Waterloo - Centre for Teaching Excellence, retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://cte.uwaterloo.ca/teaching_resources/teaching_tips/tips_icts/integrating_online_assignments_into_courses.pdf (3 pages)
Some options and decision-making criteria for using online assignments in a course are outlined in this article with the purpose to help the teacher to integrate web 2.0 tools in a meaningful way with the rest of his course. The author defend that technology can be used to put almost any assignment online. The key is to have a clear pedagogical reason for using it.
For example, “beyond encouraging participation from reluctant students, online assignments can have a multi-modal design (i.e., graphics, text, audio, virtual hands-on activities) and, if designed appropriately, can also help students reach new learning levels or think more deeply or critically about a given concept.”
And “online assignments also allow for an archive to be created of relevant course information and discussions. This information can be used by students at a later date while studying for a test/exam, or by the instructor to create a Frequently Asked Questions page or to measure students’ understanding of key concepts.”
“Teaching On-line: Not Just Another Teaching Assignment!”
Roger, Hiemstra: PAACE Journal of Lifelong Learning, Vol. 11, 2002, 1-9, retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://www.coe.iup.edu/ace/PAACE%20Journal%20PDF/PDF2002/Hiemstra2002.pdf (9 pages)
“Of the various computer-based technologies, computer-mediated conversations (known hereafter as CMC) seem the most promising and most used technique for on-line teaching (Berge & Collins, 1995). CMC provides opportunities for electronic, asynchronous communication, real-time chatting, the delivery of instructional materials, and student-to-student and student-to-teacher electronic interactions. It is a format that provides considerable flexibility in the way instruction is conceived, delivered, and utilized.
What do you need to know to be successful with on-line teaching? It really is not just another teaching assignment, venue, or location. Converting a current course or developing a new one for an on-line format takes careful planning, good instructional design, and a thorough understanding of the various techniques that make it work.” (Hiemstra Roger)
“Interactive Assignments for Online Students”
Lowry, Pam (Veraldi Instructional Technology Resource Center, Lawrence Technological), retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://www.iiisci.org/Journal/CV$/sci/pdfs/ZE275ME.pdf (4 pages)
This paper summarizes the faculty member’s instructional strategies involved when creating student interaction assignments. The paper also summarizes the assignments, discussion board, and trends in education from the student’s perspective.
“As the course interactive assignments were being designed and developed, it was important to keep in mind my teaching styles and my student’s learning styles. I was very conscious of this because research on learning styles and how students receive and process information should be included when instructors design courses. It is also important to include experimental activities which involve the use of reflective exercises (Western 2005). While implementing assignments for the course, I tried to keep in mind auditory, tactile, and visual learners. Since an auditory learner is an independent learner, some activities included completing some independent work as well as some teaching strategies including lecturing, discussion, verbal questioning and verbal sharing.” (Pam Lowry)
Some conclusions are:
The instructor needs to reply more on nonverbal communication cues and employ active listening skills.
Instructors can pose additional questions for clarification and summarize what is said to ensure accurate information exchange.
Utilizing synchronous technology, teacher is able to understand student’s verbal response to the content, the assignments, and to respond to their needs.
Interaction between faculty and students can take place virtually.
A well designed assignment is an excellent teaching tool and can help students develop research skills, critical thinking skills and subjective knowledge. Assignments are more challenging to grade because of the unique way each student may interpret the instructions. Therefore, the assignments require detailed expectations and elaborate rubrics. For example, providing an optional discussion forum for students to ask questions about each assignment of teacher and classmates may provide some formative feedback and reduce confusion for students. Additionally, even those who never poste to the study hall discussions benefit from the examples, instructions, and questions posted there.
Problems associated with traditional assignment management approaches contribute significantly to assignment turnaround time while much of the process of performing assessment is mechanical, repetitious and a perfect candidate for the application of information technology. It is the combination of these factors that is driving interest in online assignment management systems by many educators and institutions throughout the world.
“An Exploratory Study into the Efficacy of Learning Objects”
Farha, Nicholas W. (2009): “An Exploratory Study into the Efficacy of Learning Objects”, The Journal of Educators Online, Volume 6, Number 1, Indiana State University, retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://www.thejeo.com/Archives/Volume6Number2/FarhaPaper.pdf (32 pages).
This research is a contribute to investigate the effectiveness of learning objects on instructional technology, by comparing learning outcomes using a learning object with outcomes using a traditional textbook-based method of instruction.
According to the author, a learning object is “a subject matter-specific learning resource or item of content, generally understood to be digital and multimedia-based, which can be reused and–in some cases–combined with other learning objects to form larger pieces of instruction”.
Some conclusions are that learning objects are compatible with the continuously growing world of web-based distance education; that the digital nature of learning objects makes them easily deliverable via the Internet, which lends itself well to the distance education paradigm; and that professional development is an important component in the successful implementation of this instructional technology.
“Student Perceptions of Technology-Based Teaching Methods”
Kline, Jennifer., Van Gundy, Karen. and Liu, Hope (2003): "Student Perceptions of Technology-Based Teaching Methods", Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta Hilton Hotel, Atlanta, GA, retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p106888_index.html
Some data from undergraduate students are examined to see their perceptions of technology use in the classroom. Multivariate quantitative analyses are conducted as to consider student
perceptions about the effectiveness of instructional technology while accounting for differences in math and computer anxiety levels at the beginning and end of the course instruction period.
The present study is based on data collected in fall 2002 for a quasi-experiment conducted in
three undergraduate sociology classes at the University of New Hampshire. Two of the classes were sections of the same introductory statistics course, and the other class was a course titled "Drugs and Society."
The results obtained with this methodology were:
“Qualitative results from the open-ended responses collected thus far show that students express mixed feelings over the use of technology in the classroom. Reactions ranged from overtly negative to enthusiastically positive.”
“Respondent comments suggest that a technology disparity on campuses may occur between residential students and commuters. While residential students have ready access to the latest university systems compatible technology, commuters can be at a disadvantage.”
“Another aspect that emerged from open-ended questions was a sense of alienation that may develop from relying on technology. Some students prefer face-to-face interaction with the teacher and fellow students and, if they aren’t technologically savvy, may fall behind in the course without one-on-one explanation and instruction. Moreover, as one student noted, more introverted students who are unwilling to ask questions or participate in class discussions are enabled to rely on communicating via technology and may be less likely to develop communication skills.”
“Helpful Hints on Effective Online Teaching: Managing the Online Classroom”
In webpage of De Oracle @ UMUC, Online Learning Magazine for UMUC Faculty – Center for Support of Instruction, retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://deoracle.org/online-pedagogy/classroom-management/managing-the-online-classroom.html
UMUC faculty share their best practices, strategies and techniques by presenting suggestions in its website. This time the discussions with seasoned faculty members are about the success for effective online teaching, the approaches for carrying the momentum generated at the beginning of the class throughout the duration of the semester.
The main themes are study groups strategies, effective communication, constructive feedback and managing the online classroom.
“Online Teaching and Learning: Faculty Reflections”
Paper presented by Wines, Joan (California Lutheran University), Bianchi, Julius (California Lutheran University) at the ELEVENTH INTERNATIONAL WORLD WIDE WEB CONFERENCE, retrieved on November 18, 2009, from http://www2002.org/CDROM/poster/179/
This paper is based on faculty perceptions of technology's potential for improving teaching and learning in their courses. After developing 29 online projects at CLU, the authors conducted post-project evaluations and interviews to determine faculty impressions of the projects' effects.
Some conclusions are that delivering course content online prompted teachers to improve their teaching strategies (improved teaching) and by posting online examples of students work, many students begun to self-critique their work after comparing with the samples (improved learning). Teachers can display and discuss the work in class, and students who follow the discussion are engaged because they have had to respond to the same assignment.
I think that the development of learning communities online necessitates the formation of collaborative learning teams who should create online education programs that include efficient teaching and learning through computer mediated communication (CMC). To do so, quality interactive communication must be fostered and developed through the facilitator of the course – the online teacher aware of technological formats.adapted to pedagogical principles of teaching and learning.
This slideshare shows how web 2.0 tools may have potencial learning applications on online education.
Unit 2 - Activity 1: Online teaching techniques
To see if creating assignments in online education is enough, I propose this video (retrieved Novenber 20, 2009) where some questions are discussed, such as:
a) Are the papers and exams the best way to measure student learning for your course?
b) Are students integrating your content into their personal knowledge bases in a meaningful and useful way?
c) Do students find your assessments interesting and engaging?
Here’s a video introduction to the podcast by Larry Regan, Director of Instructional Design and Development, Penn State University World Campus:
As a matter of fact, emerging technologies and changing pedagogies bring out the necessity for more effective two way communication, promoting interaction and collaborative working, sharing and flexible participation.
«This site lists Web 2.0 websites and webtools have potential for use college and university teaching. »
TEACH WEB 2.0
«We are a group of curious teachers who explore and brainstorm ways to integrate Web 2.0 technologies into our teaching. Some of us meet face-to-face at an independent school in St. Petersburg, Florida. The rest of us are from all over the world.»
Top 25 Web 2.0 Apps to Improve a Student's or Professor's Productivity
«Being productive and getting things done both rely on planning and being organized. But with the hustle and bustle of courses, it's sometimes easy to forget what you have to do and when. So here are 25 Web 2.0 applications (mostly free) that should help you on your quest as a student or professor in being productive.
The idea is that these applications will in some way increase productivity and/or reduce time taken for specific tasks. Thus, some companies are more heavily represented because their products are designed for productivity.»
Useful Web 2.0 Tools
«This powerpoint is a short collaboration of three Web 2.0 tools I think would be successful when implemented in a classroom environment.»
Web 2.0 and New Media Tools for Organization and Planning
«Many students with learning disabilities have difficulty with executive function – organizing, planning, keeping track of time, remembering information and keeping track of multiple tasks can all present difficulties for students with LD. Typically, individuals who struggle with executive function use a variety of strategies to help with organization and planning; students may use agenda books and calendars, to-do lists, organizers or detailed checklists for tasks and assignments. »
This video aims to be a brief presentation on Cooperative Learning and how this theory may support transparency as a cooperative resource.
Cooperative learning is a successful theory, regarding efforts of the group as a benefit to all group members. Knowledge is supported on a mutual performance no one can do anything alone, students succeed individually if the group succeed.
[This video was made in a group work (Maria Lurdes and I) to answer the Activity 2 - Unit 1 within the curricular unit Processos Pedagógicos em Elearning.]