March 26th, 2012 Interactive and Collaborative Learning
Articles I Read:
- Chen, P., R. Gonyea, and G. Kuh (2008). Learning at a distance: Engaged or not?. Innovate 4 (3). Retrieved on June 25, 2010, from http://www.innovateonline.info/pdf/vol4_issue3/Learning_at_a_Distance-__Engaged_or_Not_.pdf
- Lee, S. H., Magjuka, R. J., Liu, X., Bonk, C. J. (2006, June). Interactive technologies for effective collaborative learning. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. See http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jun_06/article02.htm
- Su, B., Bonk, C. J., Magjuka, R., Liu, X., Lee, S. H. (2005, summer). The importance of interaction in web-based education: A program-level case study of online MBA courses. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 4(1). http://www.ncolr.org/jiol/issues/pdf/4.1.1.pdf and http://www.ncolr.org/jiol/issues/viewarticle.cfm?volID=4&IssueID=14&ArticleID=2
- Lee, M. & Hutton, D. (2007, August). Using interactive videoconferencing technology for global awareness: The case of ISIS. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 4(8). Available: http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Aug_07/article01.htm
I read four articles this week that all relate to some form of interaction with others online or through video conferencing. The topic of interacting with others virtually is interesting to me because I have read studies and I have experienced online interaction myself. After reading the studies I have concluded that the level of satisfaction and learning outcome depends on the learner’s willingness and motivation to learn and engage and the learner’s academic ability coupled with the instructor’s design of the course. The studies I have read have shown that the younger generation is more likely to actively participate in online interactions; however, the older generation is more likely to benefit from deep learning. It seems to me that perhaps the older generation benefits from distance learning because they are persistent in making meaning of the content which can then be transferred to practice. The younger generation seems to enjoy being social and discussing online, yet is not inspired to work independently to learn the content more deeply .
The article, Learning at a distance, begins with questioning the quality of online learning. Though I have not researched this extensively, my current view of online learning is that it cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution nor can it replace F2F instruction. I think it can be beneficial for learners who cannot otherwise attend a F2F class, learners who prefer to learn online, learners who have the ability to to be in control of their own learning and learners who do not require the physical presence of the instructor in order to be motivated to stay on task and persist. I am afraid that learners who do not meet these requirements might have a poor experience and blame the instructor for their own inadequacies.
Just as it is the responsibility of the learner to ensure he or she meets the above requirements, it is also the responsibility of the instructor to offer opportunities of engagement and interaction for the learners. In my own experience, I have noticed that some strategies are more effective than others, depending on the topic. The instructor should survey the learners to get honest feedback on whether the learners are benefiting from the strategies used. There are many different collaborative strategies available, thus, the instructor should not rely on the same one for everything. Variety is always appreciated. Moreover, the instructor needs to consistently give feedback so that the learner knows that he or she is on the right track.
I am curious about the learners of online degree programs. What is their experience? Are their characteristics similar or different to the characteristics mentioned above? Is it accurate to say that if learners have opportunities to interact with colleagues F2F in their working environment , then that need is satisfied and therefore, abundant collaborative opportunities in online courses are not as important as they would be in say, an undergraduate program where the students do not have work experience?
The article ends with lingering questions. This article has highlighted the importance of considering the diversity of learners and the need to use multiple collaborative strategies to ensure learner engagement.
The next article I read, Interactive technologies for effective collaborative learning, discussed the advantages and disadvantages of team collaboration online. My experience has led me to believe that a blended approach is best. Everyone has busy lives and strives to use their time efficiently. There have been times that a F2F team collaboration wasted time because so much discussion would not reach a consensus and nothing was ever accomplished. Thus, working collaboratively online was a better option. Each team member could work on the project when it was convenient for them and decisions were made quickly through email. An example of failed online collaboration is when the team members have difficulty communicating what they mean to say. In addition, at times it is better to communicate with someone synchronously, such as on the phone, Skype, or in person, because it is easier to quickly summarize what you are trying to say to the other person as opposed to typing a lengthy explanation in an email. Another barrier of miscommunication online is differing languages and cultures.
The only experiences I have had with communicating with online learners that were not a part of a F2F class were asynchronous, meaning that we did not communicate in real time. We simply read each other’s commentary, then left our own commentary. I think this approach is effective to learn from others; however, it does not offer the ability to have deep discussions. In a real time conversation a person can ask questions and follow-up questions which shapes the discussion. An asynchronous discussion makes it difficult to shape the direction or flow of the conversation.
Other limiting factors I have discovered in both situations are:
synchronous: You don’t have enough time to think about what you are going to say. You are unable to access other resources to support your dialogue.
asynchronous: It is often boring and seems like a chore. Responses are not well thought-out and completed hastily in order to fulfill the requirement.
This article also outlines advantages of online collaborative learning that I have not considered here. Mentoring, scaffolded learning, and cognitive apprenticeship can all be successfully initiated through online collaboration. Online collaboration gives the apprentice time to reflect on what he or she wishes to gain from the mentor. Likewise, the mentor can offer advice on their own time and even collect and send relevant material digitally. Communicating online might even allow both parties to ask and answer questions more effectively as opposed to face-to-face communication.
As I read these articles, it always crossed my mind that a particular technology could not be used exclusively. It is extremely important to make decisions about when a technology is and is not appropriate for a given context. There are limitations to both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Thus, at this time blended learning seems to be the best approach. There are times when synchronous collaborative communications are necessary while at other times asynchronous technology is more beneficial, efficient, and appreciated.
The last article I am going to refer to is Using interactive videoconferencing technology for global awareness. I think this project offers a good opportunity for students to interact with other cultures. Sometimes reading the textbook or watching television programs gives only one impression of the culture as a whole. Communicating with people can make a significant impact on individual’s perceptions and views of others.Another advantage to video-conferencing is presence. When everyone in the room is able to hear the speaker at the same time, it is almost as good as having them in the room.
It will be exciting to see the research on online collaborative learning in the future. Can global virtual teams be innovative? Can they communicate and work more efficiently than F2F teams?
Adobe Premiere Elements Cool Trick #11:
das Wetter weather
das Grad degree
das Sonnenlicht sunlight
der Regen rain
die Wolke cloud
der Schnee snow
der Wind wind
der Sturm storm
der Regenbogen rainbow
die Wettervorhersage weather forecast
der Donner thunder
der Blitz lightning
der Frost frost
der Schneesturm blizzard
der Hagel hail
der Nieselregen drizzle
source: Babbel app