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					Online Forum Discussion

         Presented by
     Dr. Chan Chang Tik
    Findings from Last Year Study
   Only 16.5% (n = 14) of the students
    agreed that online forum discussion is
    time consuming.
   We have 55.3% (n = 47) of them agreed
    that the choice of forum topic is
    important.
        Example: How do you recognise a
         compound sentence?

January 2007        Technical Training and Seminar   2
                                Series
    Findings from Last Year Study (2)
   Lecturers’ role in keeping online discussion
    alive, 65.9% (n = 56) of the students believed
    that lecturers have more to do to support online
    discussion.
   Students’ wrong perception – cognitive
    strategy versus constructivist strategy



January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   3
                               Series
    Findings from Last Year Study (3)
   Technical support for the learning management
    system (INTI Online), 47.6% (n = 39) of the
    students believed that INTI Online was not
    suitable for forum discussion.
   A study was conducted on the accessibility of
    INTI Online and a report was submitted to
    INSO.
   Extreme Broadband was appointed.

January 2007      Technical Training and Seminar   4
                              Series
                  Contents
   Why online discussion?
   Topics to discuss
   Alamak! Few responses
   How to sustain the momentum?
   Technical aspects
   Reading materials


January 2007     Technical Training and Seminar   5
                             Series
               Why Online Discussion?
   Why do I need an online discussion when I can
    conduct a face-to-face discussion in the class?
         According to Lazenby (2003) most lecturers put
         emphasizes on lecturing and testing, instead of
         facilitating students to construct the knowledge
         collaboratively.
        The main advantage of online discussion is the
         element of collaboration.


January 2007           Technical Training and Seminar       6
                                   Series
        Why Online Discussion? (2)
   Students learn how to construct knowledge
    from the information provided by their peers.
   Where to look for more information and to
    classify them.
   The online platform gives them a chance to
    reflect on their thought, gather and organize
    their ideas before presenting them in the
    forum.

January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   7
                               Series
        Why Online Discussion? (3)
   Research has shown that there is a higher degree of
    collaboration in an online discussion compared to a
    face-to-face discussion.
   Using e-learning is not only to create an anywhere,
    anytime learning environment, but also to create an
    interactive and collaborative learning environment
    (Woodill, 2004 and Cummings, Book & Jacobs,
    2002).


January 2007         Technical Training and Seminar       8
                                 Series
         Why Online Discussion? (4)
   Recap
        Collaboration
        Construct knowledge
        Look for information
        Reflection
        Interactive and collaborative learning environment




January 2007           Technical Training and Seminar         9
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                  Topics to Discuss
   Academic topics
     FOBA

            If you have to pay 30¢ more for a plate of fried
             noodle because petrol price went up 30¢ per
             liter, would you complaint?
            The share markets in South East Asia including

             China have gone up substantially, is it a good
             news?


January 2007             Technical Training and Seminar     10
                                     Series
               Topics to Discuss (2)
        FOLA
            Suggest ways and means to make students
             speak proper English.
            What are the causes of Johore floods?

            David Beckham decision to go to the

             United States is to make Americans love
             football and not for financial gain, do you
             agree?
January 2007           Technical Training and Seminar   11
                                   Series
               Topics to Discuss (3)
   Academic topics
     FAS

            Imagine your car running on cooking oil. What
             are the consequences?
            China managed to shoot down a weather

             satellite, mathematically speaking how is it
             possible?
            You are trying your luck at Genting casino

             playing roulette, what are the odds against you?

January 2007             Technical Training and Seminar     12
                                     Series
                  Topics to Discuss (4)
        FOCIT
              Virus either biological or mechanical, is
               destructive. How would you fight it?
        FOEAT
              Petronas Twin Tower is the pride of the nation.
               If there is a earth tremor how save are you on
               the Sky Bridge?



January 2007               Technical Training and Seminar        13
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                   Activity 1
   Tell us your forum topic.
   Comments from the participants.



Time: 20 minutes




January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   14
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               Topics to Discuss (5)
   You can also ask your students to read articles
    from the Internet and discuss in the forum.
   Your students can even discuss their
    assignment answers in the forum.
   You can also include your tutorial questions
    for discussion.



January 2007        Technical Training and Seminar   15
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                   Topics to Discuss (6)
    For a start, we should pick interesting topics
     that relate to the students. Choose current
     and hot topics.
    Avoid sensitive topics like religion and
     politic.
    Award them marks for the online discussion
     (optional).
    January 2007        Technical Training and Seminar   16
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               Few responses
   Avoid the temptation to jump in with
    public praise for the first few postings.
   Adopt a stance of “sitting on ones’ hands”.
    Waiting avoids curtailing peer
    conversation and invites additional
    participation (Rowe, 1969).


January 2007     Technical Training and Seminar   17
                             Series
               Few Responses (2)
   Send private email (“Bravo Mike, thanks for your
    willingness to jump right in.”) to early contributors
    can encourage active participation. Email should be
    sent to late starters too.
   E-instructor should demonstrate that he is reading
    students postings by providing regular and private
    feedback.
   Respond immediately to technical questions or
    queries about what to do.

January 2007          Technical Training and Seminar        18
                                  Series
                Few Responses (3)
   If there is no response at all for a day or two, post an
    encouraging note to the forum at the same time refrain from
    nagging or invoking feelings of guilt over presumed poor
    performance.

    Hey everyone, it’s been an especially busy week for me, and it
    looks like for you too. I was just reviewing the tasks assigned
    and altogether it can look like a lot! I’m looking forward to
    hearing what you’ve discovered so far. Even if you aren’t
    quite finished, please do let us know your initial thoughts.


January 2007            Technical Training and Seminar            19
                                    Series
                Few Responses (4)
   Recap
        Do not jump in too soon
        Send private emails
        Respond to technical problems
        Post encouraging notes in the forum




January 2007           Technical Training and Seminar   20
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               Sustain Momentum
   When the participants are either avoiding
    learning objectives or straying off-course, you
    should not jump in and say something like
    “You’re headed in the wrong direction …” it
    can be a jarring interruption.
   You can use a generative guide which serve as
    an indirect intervention to regain the initial
    target of the dialogue.

January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   21
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               Sustain Momentum (2)
   A generative guide begins by engaging readers with a
    few key phrases excerpted from initial comments:
      Mary is concerned the readings don’t address …

      Mark would prefer the authors had said more about …

      Recognizing there are obstacles to be contended with, you
       comments call for …
   A generative guide identifying direction points
    students where to head for more fruitful engagement
    with the content.

January 2007            Technical Training and Seminar         22
                                    Series
               Sustain Momentum (3)
   Another quandary is “What should I do with
    dialogues that are overwhelmed with postings though
    lacking in focus?”
   You can use a reflective guide that mirrors the best
    insights and organizes the rich brainstorms into a few
    salient categories.




January 2007         Technical Training and Seminar     23
                                 Series
               Sustain Momentum (4)
   An example of a reflective guide:

    I agree with Megan that this has been a great
    discussion so far. Lee mentioned listening …
    reverberate throughout your postings here. It got me
    thinking a bit … what strategies can be used …?



January 2007         Technical Training and Seminar        24
                                 Series
               Sustain Momentum (5)
   Is it pedagogically sound for you to make summary
    near the end of a dialogue activity?

        Learning opportunities are missed when
         summaries make the thinking sound completed.
        You should set up a platform that highlights
         intriguing tensions and honours conflicting
         perspective to encourage further discovery and
         insight.

January 2007           Technical Training and Seminar     25
                                   Series
               Sustain Momentum (6)
   Techniques of questioning is one of the
    strategies that can serve to deepen a
    developing dialogue:
        “So what?”                           Give
                                              examples
         Clarification of meaning
        Exploration of assumptions
        Identification of causes and effects
        Questions that consider appropriate action

January 2007            Technical Training and Seminar   26
                                    Series
               Sustain Momentum (7)
   Tone of your voice in the forum can have an
    impact on further dialogue when crafting
    intervention.
   Tones that are guiding rather than leading
    sound neutral or genuinely seeking clarity.
   Examples of guiding tones are:
        “I was intrigued …”
        “Mary’s comment got me thinking …”
        “John’s idea that … made me wonder …”
January 2007          Technical Training and Seminar   27
                                  Series
               Sustain Momentum (8)
   Leading tones can have a teacher-on-centre-
    stage ring in it. For examples:
        “I loved that Anne said …”
        “Great comment, John! Thanks for pointing out
         …”
   Public evaluations of individuals’
    contributions serve to suggest the answer the
    instructor seeks has been expressed. Further
    dialogue may be deterred with such messages.

January 2007           Technical Training and Seminar    28
                                   Series
               Sustain Momentum (9)
   Regular, constructive private feedback can
    extend collaborative dialogue (Haavind, 2004).
   Both acknowledgement of thoughtful
    contributions and explicit suggestions of ways
    to incite collaborative exchange are useful.




January 2007        Technical Training and Seminar   29
                                Series
               Sustain Momentum (10)
   Examples of private feedback are:
        “cite peers more often or more carefully”
        “identify themes in peers’ postings”
        “ask questions along with contributing ideas”




January 2007           Technical Training and Seminar    30
                                   Series
               Sustain Momentum (11)
   Recap
        Off course use generative guide to identify
         direction
        Lacking in focus use reflective guide
        Summary
        Techniques of questioning
        Tone of your voice – guiding or leading
        Public evaluation
        Regular constructive private feedback

January 2007            Technical Training and Seminar   31
                                    Series
                   Technical Aspects
   It is a private forum among you and your
    students. You have the choice to open the
    forum to all the students from different
    sections in a class or to limited number of
    students.
   The forum postings will appear in the ‘Class
    Specific Forum’ in the Home Centre page.
    Students not included in the list are locked out
    in this forum.

    January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   32
                                   Series
               To Post a Topic
   How to post a topic (lecturer)?




January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   33
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               To Post a Topic (2)




January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   34
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               To Post a Topic (3)




January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   35
                               Series
               To Post a Topic (4)




January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   36
                               Series
               To Post a Topic (5)




January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   37
                               Series
               To Post a Topic (6)




January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   38
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               To Respond to a Topic
   How to respond to a topic (student)?




                                                      First
                                                      Method




January 2007         Technical Training and Seminar       39
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           To Respond to a Topic (2)
                              First Method




January 2007      Technical Training and Seminar   40
                              Series
           To Respond to a Topic (3)
               Second Method




January 2007           Technical Training and Seminar   41
                                   Series
           To Respond to a Topic (4)




January 2007      Technical Training and Seminar   42
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               To Email your Students





January 2007         Technical Training and Seminar   43
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               Email Students (2)




January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   44
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               Email Students (3)




January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   45
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               Reading Materials
   Blended Learning: Impacting Student Learning
    and Learning Style Through Integrating Web-
    Enhanced Course Components
   Weaving Together Online and Face-to-face
    Learning: A Design from a Community of
    Practice Perspective
   Teaching Online and In-Class


January 2007       Technical Training and Seminar   46
                               Series
                   Thank you




January 2007   Technical Training and Seminar   47
                           Series

				
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