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(Originally posted in 2015, I thought this blog was relevant now at the beginning of the semester for all those teaching online this term.)
What you can expect from your Instructor:
- I’ll reply to your questions within 24-48 hours except during holidays or weekends.
- I’ll provide clear and concise instructions and exercises for you to follow.
- I’ll return graded assignments within two weeks from the due date.
- I’ll monitor discussions to clarify students’ postings, highlight good or interesting comments and ideas, and provide insight.
- I’ll provide the necessary components of successful interaction: explanation, demonstration, practice, feedback, and assessment.
- I’ll provide a range of practice opportunities–from self-corrected multiple choice items to free form expression on a concept.
- I’ll provide meta-cognitive, cognitive, and social strategies for instruction.
- I know the platform you’re using very thoroughly, so that I can anticipate and make good guesses about the origins of any problems you’re likely to have and some answers for them.
What I expect from my Students:
- You’ll learn what the minimum technical requirements of the course include. Take the student orientation tutorial for this learning management system before getting started. Read the information in the Help tab (online manual) to learn how to use a tool. Seek other training services for basic computer and word processing skills.
- Your discussion posts will be consequential and full of content! For example, simply responding “me too,” or “thanks,” doesn’t include content. Use good grammar and spelling when posting online. Use the spell check feature.
- You’ll follow the rules of Netiquette. For example, no bullying online.
- You’ll complete required tasks in a timely manner. Be proactive with a back-up plan in case you’re unable to access the Internet in your regular place of study.
- You’ll preplan for testing situations to ensure uninterrupted span of time. For example, you won’t be able to access the Internet in remote locations like on a cruise.
- You won’t plagiarize the work of others and claim it as your own. Cite your sources using the style guide required for your field of study (e.g., American Psychological Association’s manual for social science). Make sure you use the latest edition.
Protocol for Resolving Technical Issues:
- First, make sure it’s not a browser issue (e.g., Google Chrome), and try a different browser to see if this solves the problem. If so, then you either need to update your regular browser or clear its history, cookies, and cache.
- If after updating your browser, or other browsers don’t work, make sure it isn’t your computer. Try logging in from a different computer to see if you receive the same error message.
- Read log error messages and record problem specifics and forward this to tech support and your instructor. Take a screenshot, if possible, to illustrate the exact problem.
- Remember that your peers can help you, too!
- Last, after someone (or you) fixes the problem, make sure you refresh/reload the Web page, as the system will remember the exact same page you were looking at the last time you logged in.
Sandra Annette Rogers, PhD
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In my opinion, the blended format offers the best learning situation. It’s like a web-enhanced course on steroids. You’ll get to meet with the students in person, share all types of great resources online, and continue discussions online instead of having the conversation end when the face-to-face class ends. The three most important things I’d tell faculty transitioning from regular face-to-face classes (F2F) to that of a blended format are as follows:
1. Establish a clear schedule that explicitly outlines the activities to be conducted according to your blended format.
2. Revisit each of your F2F lessons and assignments to decide which ones are compatible for the online format and adapt them accordingly.
3. Apply many of the same basic principles for engendering a community of inquiry in your F2F to that of the blended format.
Blended format schedule. It’s imperative to state which activities will happen in the F2f class and asynchronously online; otherwise, students will become confused and miss F2F class meetings other activities. Educators should provide students a paper schedule and also add the important dates to the online course calendar. Additionally, special reminders can be shared via the online course announcements tool. This schedule should also be appended to the course syllabus. I suggest placing the dates of the F2F class meetings in the heading of the syllabus instead of buried within the other information.
Adaptation of lessons. Review all of your lessons with a new lens for the blended format. Make a t-chart of which lessons are suitable for the F2F and online learning environments. Then build a new schedule. It will serve as a nice outline for the course. You may have to modify, add, or remove existing activities and lessons to adequately fit the blended format. For example, I like to conduct a mock and formal debate. In the past, I taught the reading course in a Web-enhanced format. In designing my project for the blended format, I realized that I could conduct the mock debate via the Sakai Meetings tool and keep the formal debate F2F. Lastly, make sure you edit all your existing assignments tied to lessons to reflect the updates.
Community of inquiry. A community of inquiry (COI) exists when you have social presence, cognitive presence, and teacher presence. Some educators believe that the COI can only occur in F2F formats. Actually, when teachers encourage students to share ideas and their work, this provides for social presence online and F2F. Second, try to bring the same great F2F conversations to the online forums for discussion. This requires a lot of forethought before you post your question and related articles. This can engender cognitive presence if it provides challenging questions and promotes student-student interactions. Lastly, teachers need to be actively engaged in the discussions online in the same way that they lead, moderated, or guided the F2F ones. This provides teacher presence. Just as you would give timely feedback on assignments as a F2F best practice, this also adds teacher presence. In summary, the three main things to keep in mind for transitioning content from a F2F course to a blended format is to be hyper-vigilant of the lesson scheduling, adaptation of activities, and maintenance of the COI.
This summer, I’ll be teaching a group of pre-med students how to speed read and improve their comprehension. The students consist of native English speakers who are part of a summer enhancement program called DREAM. We’ll spend 4 hours a week on the subject, so I have time to integrate technology. I created a wiki with the online content since we don’t have a textbook. We’ll be using the computerized program MyReadingLab.com for covering topics such as reading rate and critical thinking. Here’s a link to the wiki: http://usadream.pbworks.com/w/page/39147717/FrontPage
I’m requiring two projects, one group and one individual. The group project will post to the wiki. The students’ individual project is to create electronic flashcard decks on Dictionary.com. Here’s a sample deck I created: http://flashcards.dictionary.com/deckprofile/view/96394/medical-vocabulary-project-flashcards. Additionally, I made a demonstration video on Camtasia Relay:http://camtasia.usouthal.edu/Camtasia/J00052636/Vocabulary_Project_on_Dictionary.com_-_Flash_(Original_Size)_-_20110527_05.57.20PM.html
I’d love to hear your feedback. I’ve set my personal deadline as June 1st. Send me a tweet or email with your comments, or leave a message below.
Thanks in advance for your feedback!
In preparation for an advanced ESL grammar lesson, I wanted to integrate technology in a simple way. Usually the teacher is the one giving the examples. I had used Voki.com before to give a one-liner to visitors to my wiki. It dawned on me that I could use several Vokis to deliver one-liner grammar examples. I believe if you want the Vokis to say a speech, you have to pay for an upgrade. Otherwise, the service is free.
The lesson was on unreal conditionals, the “if I were president, I would…” I decided to make each Voki speak a different example, including some likely conditional statements. Additionally, I found that you can have a Voki speak with different English regional dialects—American, British, Australian, Scottish, et cetera. Since students often study abroad, I think they should learn a variety of English dialects.
Here’s the link to my grammar lesson with the Vokis on my personal learning environment (PLN):
To create your own Voki, visit their Web site: http://www.voki.com/
How can 7 people plan a presentation for a TESOL Intersection? By using Google Docs, wikis, emails, and Skype. If you can’t make it to our TESOL 2011 presentation, you can visit our wiki and see all the details. This intersection is between the Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL-IS) and Elementary Education Interest Sections. Additionally, you can hear the webcast recording that will be hosted on the CALL-IS wiki. See info about my schedule at TESOL in a previous blog.
Web cast recording of this session:
I’d love to answer questions or discuss your feedback.