Critique of Scenario B

 
 
Picture of Dawn Buzzard
Senario B
by Dawn Buzzard - Thursday, 23 April 2015, 12:00 PM
 

It is difficult to know from the information we have here how this activity was setup in the face to face session, using what we have in the scenario, I feel that no learning is taking place largely due to a lack of teacher presence or facilitation of the discussion. 

Using Fetzner's work it can be seen that:

  • students are struggling to understand the requirements of the online discussion, as these are not explained
  • students have sought clarification from the professor but to no avail as he is not present and has provided no guidance on how to get his attention

Drawing on a post from the University of Washington School of Social Work  and the University of Leicester  I would have anticipated that the tutor would have:

  • Established some online discussion ground rules or netiquette, including responding to comments of those in your group, not ignoring posts and using comments that move the discussion along.
  • Included details on how discussion will be evaluated later in the course so that the students could understand the value of practicing now and know what they were aiming at.  This would also have provided some motivation for participation.
  • Set a time frame for students to join in the discussion and conclude the debate
  • Scaffolded the work with some suggestions of how to conduct the discussion, giving some examples or sub questions of a simpler nature to start the discussion off.
  • As  a first online discussion participated in the discussion and acted as a role model
  • Intervened, with those not participating, away from the discussion board probably by e-mail

I would also suggest that if the tutor is short of time to facilitate  the discussion or is reluctant to interject  as he feels it will distract from the student thinking he could consider using student/peer discussion facilitators, this takes time to establish as student facilitators needs some training and a set of guidelines but in longer courses it is perhaps worth the investment in creating a "teaching presence" ( Anderson et al) and reducing the "teacher presence" but at this stage of the course it was perhaps to early.

 

 

 

Abi Ball
Re: Senario B
by Abi Ball - Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 2:07 PM
 

Dawn

This is great, you've given this a lot of thought and come up with a comprehensive list of improvements (and on top of that you've added some new resources too) well done! I really like how you have thought to use students to help in the moderation of the discussion process.  As you say if the tutor was short on time then this is an ideal way to give the more able students a bit more responsibility by supporting the less able (or just less sure) students.  Have you any examples from your own practice (or from being a student) where this type of thing has happened?

We use the PAL system in the Faculty of Business here at Brookes:

https://wiki.brookes.ac.uk/display/PAL/Home

These don't necessarily apply to online teaching but the facility is definitely there is Moodle (and probably Blackboard as well) if people wanted to try it out.

Abi

Picture of Dawn Buzzard
Re: Senario B
by Dawn Buzzard - Thursday, 30 April 2015, 8:35 AM
 

Abi

As an advisor I haven't done this directly, but in my last role I was promoting the concept with a few colleagues who were more engaged with blended learning and want to explore giving their students more responsibility online.   A number of the VET courses employed a brigade system where students on higher level courses who have been in College for at least one year if not two lead and support small teams in practical sessions particularly in hospitality and catering.  I also implemented a face to face peer mentoring scheme and had plans to extend this using social media.

Thank you for your feedback on both Scenario A and B, it is appreciated

Dawn

 

 

Abi Ball
Re: Senario B
by Abi Ball - Thursday, 30 April 2015, 8:55 AM
 

This sounds really interesting Dawn.

Abi