E-tivity 5.1: Course Report
Purpose: to reflect on the value of the course.
Task: Prepare a report, of no more than 500 words, that identifies the key e-moderating skills that you need to develop that will make significant differences to the development of your own participants as online learners. Post your report in the Forum below.
Respond: to the reports of others by identifying helpful perspectives that the participant may have missed.
Areas for further development/reflection:
1) So many virtual spaces: discussion forums, the blogosphere, chat rooms and wikiworld. Affordances. What are their relative merits? What can they each do that the others cannot? My initial thoughts are:
- Blogs: good for getting one to articulate arguments to an imaginary interlocutor (does it matter if a blog has a readership? is presenting ideas to an imagined readership suffucient discipline?); good for linking to relevant sources - repository of references for self as well as sharing; good for day-to-day unfinished reflections that you can return to (either edit or new post); a source document for an essay, report or longer piece of writing. Question: should you assess a blog? Potential for designing out plagiarism quite high? Ownership model: individual.
- Wikis: great for finished products (e.g. e-tivity, group presentation). Spoke to colleague in nursing about her midwifery students: small groups working presentation of physiological changes to women's bodies during pregnancy, each group looking at different trimester. Wikis would be perfect here. More thought needed on discussion that needs to take place around the wiki. Synchronous and/or asynchronous? Ownership model: group/democratic.
Some research into the use of wikis in education
- Discussion boards: good for brainstorming, socialisation, development of cohort identity and sense of purpose. Great at idea generation but not so good at creating a finished article. Ownership model: group/democratic.
2) Assessing online: guidelines for academic colleagues. A colleague today asked me how could we encourage staff to use discussion forums without first doing the e-moderating course or similar. Many colleagues are assessing online participation in online forums. I wonder how sophisticated their assessment criteria are. I'll try to track the quote down later, but I remember reading an article that argued that students' learning improves when they come to hold the same understanding of quality as that held by their tutors. One way of doing this is by being more specific about the criteria by which we assess online participation. I'm glad I had the chance to thrash some ideas out about this. However, Rachel's experience makes me think I'm at a really early stage of my reflection on the practicalities.