Group activities play an important role in the classroom. However, learning in the e-classroom typically takes place on an individual level, with students in different buildings and settings. With some effort, these elements can still be, and must be, a part of the student's classroom experience. The teacher can facilitate this type of interaction with some planning and ingenuity.
Online debates can take place in chat rooms or through video-conferencing software such as elluminateLive!, a web conferencing tool specifically designed for the e-learning environment. The teacher can simulate the one-on-one interaction that is present in the brick and mortar classroom. There are many elements that are similar to holding classroom debates and activities that are similar to the brick and mortar classroom. It is important to establish the ground rules of the discussion and make certain that students are polite to one another. The teacher must act as moderator and make certain that the students keep to the topic. As with the brick and mortar classroom, the teacher might have to take an active role in making certain that all students are engaging in the conversation and the no one is being left out. Teachers should encourage interaction between the students in forums and chats outside of the classroom in order to build comraderie among the students.
The e-learning environment can be a challenging venue for both the teacher and the students. The reason for the suggestions chosen in the powerpoint presentation stem from those with considerable experience in the online learning environment. Online learning is not new and there are many successes and failures that can help both teachers and students learn how to make the most of the opportunities that the online environment represents. Many of these suggestions focus on the need to maintain relationships and the extra effort that it takes to do so. Learning from the successes and mistakes of others is the most important element in the design on an online learning environment. These suggestions will help teachers devise a program that will be optimal for their student's learning success.
The Secrets of Successful Online Teaching
Powerpoint Presentation Outline
A. Common misconception - Teaching is teaching regardless of venue, there is no difference between the online and brick and mortar teaching environment
B. Online teaching differs from brick and mortar teaching in several ways
1. Requires different view of teacher-student relationships
2. Teachers must adapt lesson plans to the online environment
3. Developing personal relationships requires effort
C. There are ways that the teacher can manage the transition to the online environment successfully.
II. Changing Relationships
Several differences between the brick and mortar and online environment
Brick and mortar a. students are "captive" in the classroom b. based on authoritarianism and structure c. can place students and teacher in adversarial power position d. students are recipients of the information e. power structure unequal - teacher has more power than student f. student expected to be compliant to teacher's requests
2. Online environment a. students are free to move about as they please b. more relaxed environment, less structured c. enhances the idea of education as a cooperative endeavor, or partnership d. students must actively "seek" information e. student and teacher have more equal power f. student must initiate questions if they do not understand material
III. Changing Lesson Plans
What works in the brick and mortar classroom does not necessarily translate to the online environment.
Elements that are common to both the brick and mortar and online classroom written content audio content primarily uses sight and hearing to convey the material
Elements present in brick and mortar classroom that are difficult in the online environment sensory input such as touch or smell interactive, hands-on learning experiences physical cause and effect activities
D. Ways to translate sensory content into the online environment
1. Example - science experiments a. have student do experiment at home
1. may not be possible due to expense
2. may not be possible if specialized material required
3., digital divide may pose technical difficulties
4. advantage - student gets actual sensory experience b. movie or video clip of experiment
1. advantage - accessible to all students
2. disadvantage - student must rely on imagination of description of sensory experience
3. Teacher must rely on description of sensory experience
4. Not as good as in person
E. Material must engage students, keep their interest, and elicit response
1. Reading only content will not be likely to keep student attention
2. Engaging material makes the lesson fun and helps to keep interest of student
3. Websites that do an excellent job of engaging students a. Brain pop
http://www.brainpop.com / b. Study Island
IV. Interacting with Students
Personal relationships are most important element to the learning process
Difficult in the online environment for several reasons
Lack of body language, facial expressions, other nonverbal language emoticons can help, but not the same teacher and student must work hard to engage in effective communication
Suggestions to enhance online communication online chats white boards video conferencing and web-cams software such as eliminateLive!
Technology can be used to simulate classroom experiences advantage - can be used in similar fashion as live classroom interaction advantage - can stimulate one-on-one communication between classmates advantage - provides social interaction disadvantage - some students might not have access disadvantage - some students might not have access to technology
Suggestions to enhance online relationships add personal notes to required assignments and graded material offer encouragement, just as one would in the classroom pretend the student is right in front of you and you are talking to them in person don't forget to use emoticons, etc. To represent nonverbal communication.
A. Most challenging aspect of e-learning environment is keeping personal relationships
B. Relationships are an important part of the learning process
C. Translating lessons into the e-learning environment requires creativity
D. Hurdles are not impossible to overcome, if you keep a few of these simple suggestions in mind.
Arsham, H. (2007),. Impact of the Internet on Teaching and Learning. Retrieved September 17, 2007 at http://home.ubalt.edu/ntsbarsh/interactive.htm.
Brainpop.com. (2007). http://www.brainpop.com/
Broadbent, B. (2002). The ABCs of e-Learning, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer. San Francisco, Ca.