Friday, June 05, 2009

#IeL09 Successful Implementation of Online Collaboration

Presentation: A Look at Successful Implementation of Online Collaboration
Presenters: Pat Daron, Bob Loser, Cindy Miller, Kim Monti, Rebecca Wright (NVCC - Extended Learning Institute)

Goal: To make anatomy and physiology courses more interactive

ELI organizational development needs
- increase student interaction
- Engage students in deeper learning
- Virginia Tech - ALHRD (Adult Learning / Human Resource Development) program outreach

Va Tech created course - facilitating learning in an adult online environment
- Students from NVCC faculty and staff and Va Tech
- Graduate level
- Everyone wins.

Facilitating Online Collaboration for Adult Learners - fully online course
- Objectives modeled through facilitators
- Online discussion with facilitators guiding interaction
- Group projects
+ Investigating online collaborative tool
+ Discipline related project

[ um, I took a course exactly like this at Towson during my degree. So how is this encouraging online collaboration? It's pretty much an explanation of the course. ]

Why collaborate?
- Reduce potential for learner isolation
- Increase retention of students in course
- Extend and deepen student experience

- Adults enter an educational context when they are ready to learn
- In control of learning
- Meaning making is transformed during learning process
- Critical reflection important
- Learning to learn (metacognition) essential for adult development

- Active learning and knowledge construction based on prior knowledge
- Real world problem solving
- Interacting with other learners and teacher/facilitators

Learner-centered vs. teacher-directed
- Developing on line learning communities
- Developed collaboration guidelines
+ Set the stage
+ Expectations for interaction
+ Create the environment
+ Model the process
+ Facilitation KEY

Anatomy and Physiology instructors
- Low success rates
- Poor self-pacing

How the anatomy and physiology instructors reacted to the course

Case study - NAS 150. Most critical course
- content-heavy

Two considerations about adding collaboration

- No significant addition of information
+ Had reservations because it was so content-heavy. Time-issue
+ Also limited - not a proctored event. Made it low-points.
+ Concerned about non-registered students participating.

- Goals
+ Improve student performance
+ Assist students in making connections
-- Knew they would meet in future courses when they came on campus

Feeling of connection / community seems important for learning - according to the literature
- [the professor didn't seem ENTIRELY sold on this]

Created three collaborative activities

1) Self-reflection papers on studying for exams
+ Students grouped according to results of Learning Styles Assessment
+ Wanted them to critically evaluate material studied for each exam
-- Instructional Goal: Extend knowledge beyond course materials
+ Identify strategies used to learn difficult concepts
-- Were there study aids that helped?
-- Previous knowledge or experience that assisted?
+ Wanted to get students expert in their own learning (quite a challenge....)
-- Many students are not used to or comfortable in the classroom environment

3 fold transition
- connect
- think and think more deeply
- creativity emerges

Reflection takes practice.
- 1 student trying to learn about muscles. To get through chapter 2 - she got her body-builder buddy to help. Was really happy that she managed to get through chapter 1 (the small victory)
- PRovided rubric, group students based on results, provided specific tips to study based on results
+ [student beginning to shape the course]

2) Had students share chosen medical problem
- Adult learners motivated if they can relate knowledge to their lives
+ Retention, deepens knowledge
- One student had responses from every other student because she made it very personal to her life
+ Other students begin to relate situation to their own life

3) Reflection of a memorable medical experience while working in a health field
- Wound up being the most exciting collaborative activity and happiest with student collaboration here.
- Getting response from both student.
- [More interesting: the professor engages on a peer level / sharing OWN experience, not as "professor"]

Made it a point to show them how to post and use the technology

Grading rubric showed them how they were graded. Very important.

Given the "internet etiquette" guide. If get hostile post - can fall back on the guide and processes.

2nd anatomy and physiology course example NAS161
- Found the sucess rate is an issue because of the construction of the course itself.
- 2 semesters long. TREMENDOUS Workload

- Used current events articles.
+ Familiar material to facilitate collaborative, constructivist and active learning.
+ Use available technology to lighten load
+ Blackboard limits to discussion boards that are very statis.

- Professor subscribed to OWN RSS feed. Students see shared articles
+ Is the first editor.
+ Reduces busy-work for student.

- Laymans sources give base for students.
+ Extend knowledge, deepen knowledge, make students be critical, have students synthesize info and evaluation knowledge

Exercise had students - summarize article, put in course level, personalize the information.

- Could see the student's "held notions" - what incorrect assumptions / knowledge the students are coming in with. Didn't have this before. [again, students beginning to impact the course itself]

- Students will take the ideas and run with it....the professors finding just adding a little bit of reflection as an exercise improved student results.

[at this point, I had to leave......]

[ hungry....left....]

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