The studies prove over and over again that collaboration can be a very effective method of improving student learning outcomes and retention in online classes. And while I understood the theory behind this and could easily throw out suggestions, I never really understood just how collaborative an online class could be until I was a student in this one. It's as though this class gave me an outline of exactly what I needed to know to show faculty just how engaged and active students can be in an online class. So, needless to say, I've chosen to design a course that centers on collaboration and, with your feedback, can be shared with faculty this fall. The course will be optional and can count towards professional development hours.
- Build the course using a free Canvas account. I've done this before for interviews and sample course building because it avoids FERPA and access problems with using LMSs associated with institutions. However, once this is done, I'll transfer the most effective materials to D2L, our LMS.
- Ideas and Needs
- Some scholarly readings to provide discussion of Web 2.0 and education: faculty will be expected to read these, and I will use either discussion forums or blogs for interaction. (Don't wince yet, that's only a tiny part of it!)
- Curation tool: faculty will be expected to spend a certain amount of time curating their own resources for ideas, strategies, and tools that can be used for collaboration in online classes.
- Presentation methods (asynchronous): so that faculty can share their findings with each other.
- Journal: There will be a reflective element to this course. Once faculty have selected certain tools to try with their students, the experience should be shared with their colleagues.
- Social network: For this project, I will build in the use of Twitter, but for the one I will present, I might use Social, our University's social media space.
- Problem-based opening: To get faculty more engaged, I'll use a problem-based learning strategy to get them to consider all the ways in which collaboration can be used to increase student engagement.
- A listing method, perhaps using a wiki??, that asks faculty to make the pros and cons lists as they progress through the course.
So what do you think? Is there anything I'm missing or not considering? Once the course is built, I'll tweet the link to everyone to join! Thank you, in advance, for the feedback!