Overview of this week's topic
During the previous 3 weeks you focused on induction, introductions, designing online activities and collaboration in learning activity design and support. In week 4 we turn to the topic of supporting student learning in the online environment. In many ways you have already started to explore this, however our attention this week focuses on critical incidents in the online environment and the processes and roles that have a significant impact on supporting online learners. This relates very well to Gilly Salmon's (2011) stages 4 & 5 ( link to the model). This week's topic is very strongly coupled with the brief for the course assignment for assessed participants. This is in fact an exploration of a critical incident from your own area of online teaching and learning practice.
Objective of week 4
- Analyse , using a variety of evidence types, online learner support problems and recommend appropriate responses
The essential reading for the week is Anderson et al. (2001) which is a dimension of their Community of Inquiry Framework and focuses on teaching presence in the online environment. Their definition of teaching presence consists of design and organisation, facilitation of discussion, and direction of instruction.
The role of the online teacher is complex and multi-faceted. As you can see from the videos/podcasts of supporting learners in online environments and the primary research papers that form the remainder of this week's reading, it is essential to identify how and where the roles of others can enhance teaching presence. So in essence this week we are focusing on developing processes and strategies to support learners in the online environment and strategies for preventing critical incidents or dealing with them if and when they arise.
We will also be focusing on the assignment during this week's webinar.