Online Participation Strategy
Developing an Online Participation Strategy
The AITSL professional teaching standards provides a strong teaching reference for quality online teaching practices. To improve online teaching programs that sponsor increased learning participation, teachers need to implement planned teaching strategies. Teachers need to be able to select and exploit the online resources at hand to afford quality online teaching Impacting Online classrooms must have effective teacher and student communication processes centre and core. Improving online learning programs requires insightful evaluation. Quality online learning programs requires quality teaching methods.
Student engagement has been an important aspect of teaching for many centuries. This 14 century painting is one of the first illustrations of a lecture based classroom. The structure has stood as the essential lecturing and teaching practices for many centuries. The lecturer is front and square. The lecturer uses book technology. Within eyesight the lecturer can see the class as the lesson progresses. Even today there are many who teach this way and many more who learn this way. The question is: are the students engages? Or more to the point: are they fully participating within this long held teaching learning behaviour.
On close inspection, this student has made the effort to attend, but is not engaged in learning. Whilst having good sleeping habits allows us to stabilise and integrate learning, sleeping in the classroom closes off all senses and no new learning can be achieved.
These two students are talking. They are not listening to the teacher/lecture. They are not engaged in the lesson’s learning.
And these students are also talking. The teacher lecture has a problem, as there are now nine students not listening. Is this a typical scenario of the teacher / lecturer centred didactic based lecture room / classroom?
These students are elsewhere. They have lost focus and are now in their own worlds
This student is more engaged in what is happening in the back corner. Even in the 14th Century a classroom had distractions.
And these students forgot their text books. What seemed to be an efficient functioning classroom is not that effective, when critically observed.
It is little wonder this classroom is not engaging. The Teacher Lecturer’s attention is on the back wall. He could even be looking out the window. Seated students doesn’t mean attentive students, whether it is a lecture, a classroom or an online virtual classroom. Teachers need to employ teaching practices that actively attain and sustain student interest.
Over the centuries Traditional Education methods have been mannered by the classroom structure. Teachers managing student engagement within in this structure has never been an easy task. This is the corner stone point of the presentation. Learning has never been solely about the mass transference of content. Within this structure , it takes a great teacher to enable the sustained attentive participation of students.. Great teaching is required to transcend this mass production structure. A quality teaching and learning relationship is essential.
The issue of the day is the classroom transitioning from whiteboard and book technology to digital technology. The scope we are talking about includes online learning management systems such as Moodle. Virtual Classrooms employing communication technologies such as REACT and Skype for Business. Collaborative production suites such as MS Office 365
An online teaching environment requires great teaching to enable sustained student participation and engagement. Employing these technologies requires effort and strategy to motivate, coach and inspire student learning activity. As in the traditional classroom, relying on teaching to content as the sole practice is not sufficient.
A Learning Management System such as Moodle offers teachers and students some great learning tools. Feedback for formative and summative works can have quicker turn arounds. The system can easily embed engaging content, whether it be an embedded YouTube, Khan Academy video and or a Scootle learning package. Teachers can organised and develop coherent flip classroom learning sequences. All assessement and interactive activities can be included to form a one stop shop. Changes can be made on the fly to afford differentiation and closer relevance. Teachers are able to include Open Education Resources to remove cost restrictions. In all, a Learning Management System can improve the teacher & student interactions, structure and content of a learning program
It is important to note that, whilst it is important to have high quality content materials and the content in an organised in a coherent and logical manner it is critical that each student has presence.
To gain student satisfaction the online learning program must encourage participation and interaction.
High quality online learning programs are successful when students are active participants and are able interact. Students must gain the feeling of satisfaction whilst learning. It can’t put them to sleep and students can’t feel like ‘anyone anyone’. The online course must engage students as a person.
To enable a stimulating learning program the Learning Management System and Video Conferencing Classrooms must be employed under the same purpose. The two platforms must be brought together by the teaching methodology or teaching strategy. The LMS and conferencing platforms should be brought together in the learning program . Data observation and recording observations should be evaluated by the teacher to improve the quality of participation and interaction. Ultimately both platforms should be employed to monitor student participation, and teacher & student interaction - to generate real time feedback. The Teaching aim should be to enable feedback that discusses learning behaviours, practice and progress
At this point in time there are 18 Tools in Moodle that can be employed for Learning Analytic evaluation. Employing these tools are fundamental to the development of a online learning participation strategy. Depending on your level of Moodle expertise you will need to build your participation strategy on a selection of these tools. If you are an inexperienced Moodle user start with a couple and include more as you gain skills and develop a more comprehensive understanding of online teaching.
To become a quality online teacher I would start off with the following tips. Select a few Moodle participation tools and regularly employ them. Record your Video Conferences and measure voice time of yourself and of individual students. Make sure you explicitly set participation expectations. Then coach students to increase their participation. As an online teacher your challenge is to increase student learning through their online participation
The starting point for my online participation strategy is. I would make sure I have all of my students learning calendars. I want to know when they have planned their commitment to my subject. I would store this in my Onenote class book. I would expect that each student would have an online learning journal. I would expect that they would enter what that did on each day. Once a week I would inspect their journal and make comment. A student can construct a journal in an O365 word doc and share with me. I would monitor what Moodle resources my students accessed and would comment on their access participation. In regards to Video Conferencing I would associate a forum to the virtual classrooms. Pre classroom: State what requirements are needed to participate in the classroom. Post classroom: Extend the discussion through Q and A.