Discussion-based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning: Theory, Practice, and Assessment

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Stylus Publishing, LLC., 2003 - Education - 206 pages
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As online courses proliferate, teachers increasingly realize that they have to connect with their students as they would in face-to-face classes. They have to provide true opportunities for inspirational and meaningful learning, rather than a sterile experience of clicking within a labyrinth of links.

With the specific purpose of switching emphasis from the technical issues of online teaching to the human implications of teaching and learning through the Internet, Tisha Bender draws on her extensive research, her training of online faculty, and her own online teaching experience, to create a fresh vision of online pedagogy. Discussion-Based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning consists of three parts:

Theory
Practice
Assessment

The author shows how she applies learning theories to online discussion-based courses. She presents a wealth of suggestions and techniques, illustrated by real examples, for stimulating and managing online discussion effectively, and for improving teaching practices. The book concludes with methods for assessing the efficacy of online courses.

This accessible and comprehensive book offers an engaging and practical approach to online teaching that is rooted in the author's experience and enthusiasm for creating a virtual environment that engages students and fosters their deep learning. This is a book for all educators and administrators in higher education, in any discipline, engaged in, or contemplating offering, online classes that involve discussion or collaborative learning. It is relevant both to faculty teaching a hybrid and face-to-face classes, and courses conducted entirely online.
 

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Tisha Bender gives an excellent introduction to online learning. I love the theory and the practical examples of online learning. The book focuses on higher education, but I think some of the basic strategies is relevant to high school.

Contents

Group Work in Large Classes Case Studies and Collaborative Problem Solving
118
Assigning Groups
119
The Instructors Contribution to Group Discussion
120
Group Presentations
121
A Writing Game
125
Synchronous Online Tools
126
Faculty Reactions to Synchronous Online Conversations
129
Student Reactions to Synchronous Online Conversations
130

Benjamin Blooms Taxonomy
17
Paying Attention
19
The Role of LongTerm Memory and Prior Knowledge
20
SelfRegulating and Reinforcing LongTerm Memory
21
Application of Learning Theories to the Online Environment
22
Can Technology Give Access to Previously Inaccessible Information?
23
Learning How to Use the Technology
24
The Significance of Active Learning on Knowledge Acquisition
29
The Importance of Awareness of Student Needs and Differing Abilities
30
Factors that Work against Knowledge Acquisition and Feeling of Community
31
The Impact of Nonlinear Learning
32
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
35
COURSE DESIGN
37
Posting an Introductory Lecture
38
Posting a First Discussion Forum
39
Arrangement of Lecture Material
42
The Online Lecture Format
43
STARTING TO TEACH THE ONLINE CLASS
45
Means of Engagement
47
Asking Students to Discuss Relevant Experiences in Their Personal Introductions
48
Providing a Hook
49
Asking Students What They Hope to Learn from the Course
50
Establishing the Right Tone
53
ASPECTS OF ONLINE COMMUNICATION
56
Clearly Define Your Expectations for Discussion
57
Employ the Socratic Method
59
Some Obstacles to Participation in Online Discussion
64
Suggestions for Overcoming Lack of Participation
66
Circumvent Problems before They Occur
67
Consider the Layout of Responses
70
Be Encouraging to Students Who Remain Quiet
72
How We Speak Online
73
Scope for Misinterpretation
77
Gender Differences
80
Racial Differences
83
How We Show We Are Listening and Caring Online
86
September 11 2001
93
Pedagogical Loneliness
97
Overcoming Problematic Situations
99
The Late Student
102
Academic Integrity
107
Suggestions as to How to Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed
112
INNOVATIVE ONLINE TEACHING TECHNIQUES
116
Group Work
117
Ground Rules Concerning Conversation Patterns and Flows
131
Should Attendance in the Online Chat Be Mandatory?
132
Online Guest Lecturers
133
The Online Guest Spends a Week in the Class Responding Asynchronously
134
Integration of Web Sites
135
Guidelines for Students Doing Web Research
136
Student Presentations of Their Discovered Web Sites
137
Comparison of a Master Class with an Online Workshop
138
Journals
140
Online Team Teaching
141
Potential Problems of Team Teaching
142
An Intriguing Use of the Team Teaching Concept
144
Team Teaching the Hybrid Class
145
Knowing a Students Real Identity
146
Grading for Quality of Responses in Online Discussion
147
Grading Group Work
148
Grading Online MultipleChoice Quizzes
149
ASSESSMENT
153
OPINIONS ABOUT ONLINE TEACHING AND LEARNING
155
Overwhelming Aspects of Incorporating Technology
157
One Size Does Not Fit All
158
Online Teaching Is TimeConsuming
160
The Value of Being Physically Present
161
Informality as an Online Asset
162
BUILDING A MODEL OF ASSESSMENT OF ONLINE EDUCATION
164
Factors to Be Considered when Performing Assessments
166
Can Meaningful Comparisons Be Made between Campus and Online Classes?
168
Impact of the Technology
169
Is Online Education Suitable for All Instructors?
170
Pragmatic Considerations of Accurately Performing Assessments
171
Transference of Knowledge and Skills
172
Technological Stability
182
Concluding Comments about Assessment of Online Education
183
The Value of SmallScale Assessments
185
Preconceived Ideas about Innate Ability
186
Transference of Acquired Knowledge
187
The Need for Frequent Formative Assessments and Student Feedback
188
Feedback from Peers
189
AFTERWORD
191
GLOSSARY
193
REFERENCES
195
INDEX
202
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About the author (2003)

Tisha Bender Tisha Bender is Assistant Director in the Rutgers Writing Program, and is the Hybrid Coordinator as well as the Coordinator of Research Writing. She is currently embarking on a project in which she will train teachers from China to teach effectively online, and they will then team-teach online international Rutgers Research Writing courses with teachers in the Rutgers Writing Program. She is the founder of Hybrid teaching in the Rutgers Writing Program, having trained groups of teachers since 2007 to the present to adapt their pedagogy to effectively teach online. Prior to this she was an Online Faculty Development Consultant, who has extensively trained online faculty at New York University, the SUNY Learning Network, New School Online University and Cornell University-ILR Extension. She currently teaches in the Rutgers Writing Program and the Geography department at Rutgers, and had also taught as an online instructor at Cornell and the New School. Tisha Bender is also the author of "Facilitating Online Discussion in an Asynchronous Format" in Issues in Web-Based Pedagogy: A Critical Primer(ed. Robert Cole), Greenwood Press 2001; "Role Playing in Online Education: A Teaching Tool to Enhance Student Engagement and Sustained Learning" in Innovate, April, May 2005; and Engaging the Student: Learning for Life, chapter 1 of Pedagogical Models: The Discipline of Online Teaching, edited by Michael F. Shaughnessy and Susan Fulgham, Nova Publishers, February 2011. In addition she features in the following online interview: An Interview with Tisha Bender: Discussion Based Online Teaching, by Michael Shaughnessy. In Education News, April 19, 2010, and online at http://www.educationnews.org/michael-f-shaughnessy/95329.html .

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