Sample Blog Assignment: Course Facilitation in Practice

6

December 12, 2013 by idinnovation

Student-centered learning is one of the foundations of Internet-based distance education that promotes active learning, mastery of course material collaboration, and enables student control over their individual learning process (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012). New technologies support distance-learning interactivity thus the role of the instructor includes monitoring, facilitating, and actively participating in the exchange of knowledge and reflection. This method of instruction participation creates a reciprocal learning process between instructor and learner (Beldarrain, 2006).

Responding to students using their names helps to personalize communication, timeliness in responding to student questions, , and explicitly communication the tone of voice through the use of emoticons, winking, contribute positively to creating a positive learning environment that is supportive, and promotes interactivity (Durrington, Berryhill, & Swafford, 2006). ). Instructors and designers should consider student characteristics, backgrounds and unusual learning needs along with general information about learners such as location and class statistics because these will influence the level of interactivity among learners (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012).

Watch this week’s video learning resource Assessing Interaction and Collaboration in Online Environments.” Think about the effective online interaction and collaboration facilitation practices mentioned in the video. Select two of the “best practices” mentioned in the video and provide examples of when you have used the approaches. If you have not used any of the approaches describe a situation where the approaches would be applicable.

By Wednesday, post your response to the discussion prompt.

By Sunday, respond to at least two of your classmates in at least one of the following ways:

Asking a question.

Supporting their ideas

Expanding on their post.

Discussion Posting Rubric

References

Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139–153.

Durrington, V., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190–193. Retrieved from http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/433631/strategies_for_enhancing_student_interactivity_in_an_online_environment/

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

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6 thoughts on “Sample Blog Assignment: Course Facilitation in Practice

  1. Learning IDT says:

    Hi Sharifa,

    I like the simplicity of your discussion prompt—succinct and straightforward. You provided students the option of selecting “two” best practices of their choice and thereby, allowed them to choose the practices they want to discuss about. Most likely students would select different practices; which means that the discussion could generate multiple views and be engaging. A minor suggestion I would offer is, in addition to asking students “when” they have used the approaches, also ask students to discuss “how” the approaches they selected enhanced or diminished the instructional goals—facilitating further engagement in the discussion.

    Great post.

    Marta

    • idinnovation says:

      Hi Marta,

      Thank you for the feedback. I really look forward to your feedback in the course. Often times I feel like discussion prompt produce the same responses from learners without much variance. I agree with you in your recommendation of asking students to discuss “how” the approaches they selected enhanced or diminished the the instructional goals.

      Thanks,

      Sharifa

  2. Patricia D. Beamon says:

    Hello Sharifa,

    I like the way you set up your sample blog assignment. The two paragraphs really give a clear explanation of the content that should be seen in the video you want students to see and critique. The instructions are not long and drawn out which is a plus. If most students are anything like I am, after reading a few chapters or watching a lengthy video I am really not interested in directions that will take me another fifteen minutes to read. The instructions are very specific and students will know exactly what they should be including in the discussion post. In addition to the wonderful set-up, the rubric also helps students know what they can do to achieve an exemplary score on the assignment.

    Do you think attaching a copy of an assignment that received a mastery score would also assist students because they can actually see what mastery work should look like? I know in this course the examples of exemplary work have really been beneficial to me.

    You have done a great job on your blog this week.

    • idinnovation says:

      Hi Patricia,
      Thank you for responding to my posting. I think attaching an assignment that received a mastery score would be beneficial to assignments outside of discussion postings. I tend not to read rubrics often and instead like you look at examples of exemplary work.

      Thanks,

      Sharifa

  3. idt2me says:

    Sharifa,

    One of the most effective and difficult techniques that I have observed is instructors knowing when to respond to a students post and when not to respond. Often students will do a better job of directing the discussion when left to their own devices. I do believe it is important that instructors should let students know what they are doing. If not, students may feel abandoned.

    Thanks,

    Marc

    References

    Palloff, R. & Pratt, K. (2010). Assessing Interaction and Collaboration in Online Environments. Presented for Laureate Education, Inc. Retrieved December 8, 2013, from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_4066006_1%26url%3D.

    • idinnovation says:

      Hi Mark,
      Thank you for responding to my post. In discussion forums, the instructor is responsible for maximizing student interaction (Beldarrain, 2006). While instructor feedback in online discussion is important to student learning research indicates that student-to-student interaction is just as important (Durrington, Berryhill, & Swafford, 2006).

      Reference
      Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139–153.
      Durrington, V., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190–193. Retrieved from http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/433631/strategies_for_enhancing_student_interactivity_in_an_online_environment/

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