Engaging Learners with New Strategies and Tools

educ8842 mod 4

The mind-map above shows three types of tools: those that build on content knowledge, allows for social collaboration, and allows for real-world problem solving as a social group.

The technological tools used over the Internet can transition into educational uses by allowing the sharing of knowledge content where interaction occurs to solve meaningful problems.  Lectures and the use of text are decent for sharing content knowledge, but this does not demonstrate that learning occurs authentically.  When was the last time an employer was seeking to hire someone who can take notes and get a high grade on a test based on material given a few days ago?  Durrington, Berryhill, and Swafford (2006) noted that learning takes place when students are engaged and respectful in solving problems together.  Programs that make use of student collaboration to solve real-world problems are thinks like wikis, Google Documents, and Adobe Anywhere.  Wikis allow students to post their document, make changes to their document and others, and leave comments and suggestions on any of those documents.  Google Documents work the same way, but Google takes it a step further and allows edits of spreadsheets and presentations.  Adobe Anywhere tops the list by having individuals make simultaneous edits to video files and leave comments for others.

Students need to learn with new, dynamic content with social interactions as opposed to one-way lectures and textbooks.


Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190−193.


Commented on Ena’s website: http://ena-spoonfulofsugar.blogspot.com/2013/07/module-4-educ-8842-engaging-learners.html

Commented on Jennifer’s website: http://jenniferpiner.blog.com/2013/07/23/module-4-communication-collaboration-content-graphic-organizer/



Assessing Collaborative Efforts

How should participation in a collaborative learning community be assessed? How do the varying levels of skill and knowledge students bring to a course affect the instructor’s “fair and equitable assessment” of learning?

Teachers and instructional designers have to determine how to grade collaborative learning assignments in an online format.  Palloff and Pratt (2007) suggested that students should get graded by their peers in regards to their commitment, by their instructor, and on the overall content.  The rubrics for grading those assignments should allow some weight The instructor should not assign grades based solely on the final product.  Students have to keep each other accountable by allowing them to tell on each other.  This prevents one student from doing all the work to get the mystical A while the other student becomes a slacker, knowing that the partner has everything under control.  Palloff and Pratt (2007) cautioned that the assignments have to be truly collaborative in nature.  Do not assign assignments that can be accomplished by one person.  “Students learn best when teachers present them with tasks that they can’t complete when they are working alone” (Raudenbush, n.d.).

If a student does not want to network or collaborate in a learning community for an online course, what should the other members of the learning community do? What role should the instructor play? What impact would this have on his or her assessment plan?

For students who are unable to participate with their group because of schedule conflicts or emergencies, that person has to immediately contact the rest of the group and instructor to make them aware of the situation.  This should be noted in the guidelines/rules of what to do in situations like these.  For situations where the student is not motivated to participate with the group, the group will eventually take out points on their assessment of that individual.  The instructor has the responsibility to follow up with students who are not carrying their weight in a group project (Palloff & Pratt, 2007).  The group members need to encourage the person who is not participating by trying to connect with them (e.g. phone call, email, text, Facebook message).  If that does not work, the group needs to let the professor know that the person is not responding nor contributing.  This leaves room for the professor to adjust the scope of the final product to reflect the abilities of the students who are able to contribute.


Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Raudenbush, D. (n.d.). The effects of cooperative learning on student learning and assessment.  Retrieved from http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/effects-cooperative-learning-student-learning-assessment-4239.html


Posted on Theresa Wiggins http://twiggins-family.blogspot.com/2013/07/assessing-collaborative-efforts.html

Posted on Mary Tolson http://marytolsoneds.blogspot.com/2013/07/module-3-assessing-collaborative-efforts.html

Storyboard for synchronous vs asynchronous video project

Storyboard for synchronous vs asynchronous video project

The following segments make up a 5-minute video clip.  Please leave comments on how I can improve on this project.

Time Activity
15 seconds Introduction to topic and host
15 seconds Framing the discussion around creating interactions, feedback, and building a community.
10 seconds Defining synchronous activities. Video contains a background of a synchronous learning environment.
10 seconds Defining asynchronous activities. Video contains a background of an asynchronous learning environment.
1 minute Voice over at least 5 benefits of synchronous learning, citing research.  Rotate video to illustrate benefits. (chemistry titration, flame test, observation of color changes due to pH levels, using a balance beam for skill display, reading a burette, sharing via group activity)
30 seconds Coaching an activity as an example.  State why this is a benefit using research.
1 minute Voice over at least 5 benefits of asynchronous learning, citing research.  Rotate video to illustrate benefits. (person reading assignment before making a discussion post [emphasize thinking], group now interacting online, MORE IDEAS FOR FILMING NEEDED)
30 seconds Tools to use to build asynchronous learning activities (types of blogs, wikis, adobe’s video collaborate feature, etc.).
30 seconds Set up an account to show how easy it is to use.
Remaining time. Summary of how the five benefits of each tie into the theme of creating interactions, feedback, and building a community.