Hi Everyone,
Sorry I haven't posted any discussions - at least up to this point.
I'm working with faculty on my campus to help them build online courses. I have a lot of the technology down, but, I must admit, I don't have the pedagogy clear in my head. I'm familiar with the online concept of building collaborative teams using an LMS like blackboard and synchronous and asynchronous tools, but I haven't come across an online environment that can equal a "real live" class.
I'm looking for some direction here. Building online communities to discuss courses like calculus, chemistry, and physics just doesn't seem to exist. There are a lot of online labs, and publishers have created online text books along with associated online labs like mylab, but it just seems difficult to build in f2f presentation, problem solving, discussions etc. environment. Has anyone had success teaching an online course? and if so, how did you build in the 1:1 simulation?
thanks. Ron

Tags: centered, classroom, collaboration, education, higher, in, learning, pedagogy, teaching, technology, More…the, web2.0

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Have you looked in to building a companion online synchronous element? I teach high biology, chemistry, and physics using and LMS (Moodle) and Elluminate. I don't see why the two together wouldn't make a wonderful combination at the college level.

I use to teach face to face classes locally with a heavy emphasis on labs and months-long research projects. Now, with teaching online, my students are spread out across the US and Canada (a few even from South America). Since I was very hands-on oriented in my past experiences working with students, it was a high priority to have those elements in the online course as well.

In the synchronous classroom environment:
It is not only customary but accepted as the norm for the student populations I serve to have some basic science gear in their homes. Nearly 100% of them have a good quality microscope. Most have the typical chemistry lab gear such beakers and test tubes. They consider it normal to be expected to get basic dissection specimens and gear. For labs that use tools that the student population is likely to have, I use whatever support the lab requires based on its difficulty level. Labs that are not difficult will have textual instructions. More complex labs will have live web cam support (such as dissections) or use other interactive tools to give them a solid walk through so they have success at home. For labs with equipment that goes beyond the norm of the student population, I supply simulations. These simulations have come in many forms. I have used software that can be played in the live classroom environment via the media library (it can run Flash activities), links out to websites with interactives, software (via application sharing), and interactive graphics right there on the whiteboard system. I often integrate these with story-threaded scenarios based on real world problem solving. Think of it as students getting caught up in a CSI or medical mystery style investigation complete with character development and plot. They get exposure to equipment, concepts, decision trees, team decision-making, observation skills, hypothesis-making, and more as they go through these bio and chem mysteries together as a team. Plus, they are just plain fun! The kids beg for them.

I have experienced face-to-face and online Elluminate labs. I think the students in both environments learned a tremendous amount and ended up with equal quality experiences.
Hi Terry,

Thank you so much for your reply. I'm happy to hear that online synchronous course works! You have a lot of experience using the different online tools.

I'm familiar with my courses online (instructional design), but my math and science faculty are resistant to the concept. You've provided me with some great feedback. I can now challenge with more confidence.

Thanks again,
Hi Ron,

I teach an online computer science class. One of the things that I've added to the course is Scenario Based Learning (SBL) which is a form of problem-based learning. SBL provides a potential solution to "how do we teach our students to meet the needs of industry and learn to think for themselves without compromising the content requirements of our curriculum?". Here is the project on SBL: http://elc.fhda.edu

In my online course, I use teams to build collaboration and community. They are assigned to teams in the 3rd week of the semester and work in that team for the next 7 weeks completing assigned tasks. The "scenario" is they are working at a technology company and I am their manager. I have weekly "staff meetings" with them using skype or Elluminate (Tammy mentioned synchronous components and I agree!). The teams also have meetings without me. They use multiple technologies to communicate with their teammates including email, forums, texting, skyping, and chat. They get to know each other quite well and rely on their teammates even though they may never meet f2f. One team this semester scheduled a f2f meeting to finish one of their tasks and they said they felt like they already knew each other.

If you are interested in learning more about SBL, there will be a training from May 24 - 28, 2010 at Leeward Community College in Pearl City, Hawaii. Here is the website for more info: http://sites.google.com/a/hawaii.edu/prls2010/



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