Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Twitter : Situated Cognition


I consider “Twitter”, a microblogging service, as an embodiment non-formal Situated Cognition Theory.  It is recognized that the use of twitter can be a constructive tool to facilitate learning. Some Schools and Universities use twitter as a norm for educational experience.

Application of Situation Cognition:

1.)    Knowledge accrues through the live practices of the society.

a.       Live online debates and discussions and chunked information in real-time learning can be delivered.

b.      Knowledge collaboration can be implemented.

c.       It is also a platform for active participation.

2.)    Learning is increasing participation in communities of practice.

a.       This form of social media is the fastest and easiest way to disseminate research, study, investigation, and news in real-time.

b.       Participation of community of practice can be easily performed by using hashtags and by using the “Follow” option.

c.       It unites the online community or people with common interest.



3.)     Knowledge needs to be presented in an authentic context, i.e., settings and applications that would normally involve  knowledge.

a.       With its real-time feature and public viewing, the validation of facts is easy.

b.      It supports situated, social, and informal learning environment.

c.       Twitter is an authentic activity for learners with different culture.



Challenges:



1.)    Lack of educational design.

2.)    Misconceptions that social media in not reliable.

3.)    Personal privacy maybe at stake.

4.)    Excess use of technology.

5.)    Information overload.

6.)    Opposition of some conventional academe.



Driscoll, M. (2000). Situated Cognition. Retrieved from, http://myportal.upou.edu.ph/course/view.php?id=2616

Cheal, C., Coughlin, J., and Moore, S., (2012) Transformation in Teaching : Social Media Strategies in Higher Education, retrieved from, https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=qvz74iqJn2YC&pg=PA397&lpg=PA397&dq=how+can+twitter+be+used+for+educational+purposes+situated+cognition&source=bl&ots=ozI7Nr5tGv&sig=U_OLnu-o3REXSrM7c9RoEngQSAA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiglMeWsIzQAhUGopQKHZtfDTIQ6AEIUDAI#v=onepage&q=how%20can%20twitter%20be%20used%20for%20educational%20purposes%20situated%20cognition&f=false

The “Application” Principle in Merrill’s Synthesis in Home Education





For young homeschooling students, learning by doing is one of the effective ways to stimulate learners interest. To learn and retain their knowledge and skills, “application” is needed during and soon after the class. According to Gill, S., to remember “knowledge items”, one has to practice using them in situations similar to what will be required in the workplace.

In creating their curriculum, I consider different levels of interaction (student-teacher, student-student, student-context) which an effective ID must also hold in distance education. As their tutor, I focus in developing their meta-cognition by letting express their ideas in creative ways (drawing, playing, observing...) or anything that involves application. It develops their concentration of how they think about something. In Merrill’s, “Application” synthesis, ID should encourage learners to gain knowledge through experience and pay attention to the object of learning at the same time.

Merrill, “Application” synthesis can be easily executed in a homeschooling environment because it is mostly one to one approach. By providing application in the students learning method and by providing feedback on the application, it stimulates the mind of the students through real-time tasks and real-problem solving. Therefore, validation of learning is instantaneously rationalized. 

For example, if the study is about nature science, they can easily go out right after our lesson and look around. I can instantly utilize (apply) practical activities, provide problem-solving experiment and deliver constructive assessment simultaneously.

References:

Carlson, M.A, & Samuelsson, I.P., (2008)  The Playing Learning Child: Towards a pedagogy of early childhood , derived from, http://www.eslov.se/download/18.1bd776c3136a58d5d74800018338/The+Playing+Learning+Child.pdf

Gill, S., (2009) Application: Learning By Doing, derived from, http://stephenjgill.typepad.com/performance_improvement_b/2009/02/application-learning-by-doing.html

Molenda, m., Reigeluth, C., & Nelson, L.M., Instructional Design, derived from, http://ocw.metu.edu.tr/file.php/118/Week_6/instructional_design_-_molenda-reigeluth-nelson.pdf

Saturday, April 2, 2016

How to be an Effective Online Teacher



What is an Online Teacher?
Online teachers are lecturers who teach courses by means of online meetings and other online media presentations. They communicate with students by the use of e-mail, chatrooms or message board. They can deliberately accommodate various learning approaches by merging research, technology, pedagogical presentations and individual and group coursework.

Benefits of Teaching Online
Teaching online can be fulfilling for the instructors. They can come to contact with different types of students, a broader diversity than the traditional classroom set-up. They can know their students better, for online learning is an environment that provides confidence for inhibited students to speak freely in course reflections and dialogues. This experience is a rewarding aspect in teaching online. 
Furthermore, teaching online can provide instructors an ease which a traditional classroom cannot afford, amenable working hours and adaptable working location. Instructors find enhanced effectiveness in some routine. Especially, it allows 24/7 access to class materials which make teaching functions easier.
Online learning is a convenient way for busy professionals to learn. Hence, online teaching is becoming a popular alternative to traditional school. 

Challenges of Online Teaching
Similar with traditional settings, Online Teaching also has challenges. Corresponding to current American Federation of Teachers information on distance learning derived from Massy, W., “Distance Education: Guidelines for Good Practice.” AFT, May 2002, online teacher must be trained when they meet some challenges such as these:
1.    Familiarity with the online environment
2.    Capacity to use the medium to its advantage
3.    Availability to students on an extended basis electronically
4.    Ability to provide quick responses and feedback to students

Expectation of Online Students
The Student-Teacher relationship is crucial in online learning. Mostly, online students are adult learners. They are independent learners and accountable in their own learning. In spite of that, they significantly need the involvement of an instructor. Here are some of the expectations required by online students according to Mupinga, D., Nora, R., and Yaw, D.:
1.    Communication with the teacher
2.    Instructor feedback
3.    Challenging online courses
4.    Technical help
5.    Flexibility
6.    Understanding instructors
7.    Advance course information
8.    Sample assignments
According to their research, eighty three percent (83%) of online students expect their teacher to communicate with them regularly. Students also expect speedy feedback or response from their teacher. They look forward to a 24-hour confirmation of assignment receipts. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of the students anticipate their assignment to be graded within 48 hours.
Majority of the students (93%) voiced out their need for technical support with computers. Considerate instructors are also one of the demands of these learners. Students appreciate professors who are empathetic and understand the workload they have. As most of these students are also working professionals, they are juggling work, social obligations, family and school. They want to be understood.
They need clear assignment instruction and detailed grading measures. Providing well-defined example is constructive, it builds up student confidence of knowledge on her lesson.
Some online students want additional reference materials for a valuable learning experience. They expect online teachers to be resourceful and creative.
                                                                             
Effective Online Teaching
Corresponding to Kizilcec, R., and Schneider, E., (2014) of  Stanford University, more than half of the learners in a typical course (57%) described as being motivated by the reputation of the instructor or institution Therefore, there is indeed, significant  approaches an online teacher should acquire to be effective. Here are the best practices for teaching online effectively:

1.    Establish Teaching Presence:

To have a valuable online learning, the level of student-teacher interaction must be high. Teaching presence progressed out of exploration of social presence.  Short, Williams, and Christie (1976) describe social presence as a quality of a communication medium that can affect the way people communicate.  This also developed the concept teacher immediacy, which describe by Mehrabian (1966, 1969, and 1972) as non-verbal behaviors that can reduce the distance between two or more people.  Anderson (1979) then explained that teacher immediacy is a predictor of teaching effectiveness.
Online teacher must serve as valuable host, facilitating introductions, using conversation starters, and taking the time to get to know students.
In Communities of Inquiry model by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000), it shows that the central focus of teaching presence is to increase social presence and student learning.

These are some strategies for creating teaching presence according Lowenthal, P. R., & Parscal, T. (2008),

a.    Post introductions and expectations documents before the students are given access to the course.
b.    Contribute to discussion forum throughout the week
c.    Provide suggested due dates for initial postings that promote mid-week engagement as opposed to weekend only postings
d.    Launch discussion threads and summarize each thread at the end of the week · Promptly answer e-mail
e.    Provide frequent feedback
f.     Send progress reports on participation and quality of postings
g.    Strike up a conversation
h.    Share personal stories and professional experiences
i.      Use expressions of emotions, e.g. (smile) or (grin)
j.      .Address students by name
k.    Allow students options for addressing the instructor
Teaching Presence is integral to online learning as Palloff & Pratt, The Excellent (2011) concluded, “The ability to establish presence is closely connected to the ability of the instructor to create a sense of community among learners in an online course”. Being conscious in providing an instructor’s presence will produce driven learners.
Students are expected to be involved in the online learning setting but it doesn’t happen habitually. If you want your students to be engaged, you must model the kind of activities you require from them.

2.    Efficient Communication:

Unlike in face to face setting, an online teacher needs to have an exceptional skills and tactics to be successful in communicating with her students. It is quite a challenge to provide the best communication approach to each student because of the absence of visual cues. Therefore, communication must be strategically executed.

These are the steps to deliver an efficient communicating in online teaching:

a.     Make sure you are familiar with the functions of different communication media (audio, video, data, print, etc.).
b.    Help students in becoming at ease with the communication tools.
c.     Prepare them to be mindful of and confident with new arrangements of communication to be used in the class.
d.    Be flexible and perceptive to various communication styles and diverse demographic. For example, those students may have different language skills, religion, and race.  
e.    Be aware to many different types of communication. Specially to younger students, the types of communications are not  limited to email and could incorporate text, Skype, blogs, Snapshat, Instagram, Viber, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked, etc.
f.     Reply to all messages within a 24-hour period (the quicker the better)
g.    Display your contact information (phone number, email, etc.) visibly to your students.
h.    Be careful with your words and think about how the student will comprehend it. Avoid using slang or any comments that might be misinterpreted. Use constructive words and tone to develop a confiding student/teacher relationship.
i.      Be professional at all times.

3.    Learning Coach: 

The best online mentors know how to encourage their student from a distance. Online teachers must direct and redirect the interest of learners toward fundamental theories and information of the course. They must strive to find ways to listen, respects learner’s disappointments, but also help them to modify situation toward positive learning opportunities.
Here are further characteristics of an online teacher as learning coach:

a.    Online teachers challenge their students’ reasoning and encourage productive participation in learning.
b.    Lifelong learning must reflect on their disposition, so they can represent learning to their students in various online classroom discussions. They should be a good model of active participation; this is also to create a sense of learning community.
c.    Online teachers must be a model her interest in the subject and so her personal knowledge and skills with the course.
d.    Online instructors should provide encouragement and guidance to students to become self-regulated learners.

4.    Constructive Feedback:

Online Teacher’s feedback assures student’s learning. A student will only know if he is getting a good educational investment if he is receiving constructive criticism. If you are an online teacher and not providing this duty properly, you are not accomplishing your responsibilities as a mentor. Instructors should communicate to students on how they will be graded. It must be clear and precise. To be an effective Online Teacher you must find an appropriate ways to provide constructive feedback to individual and, when necessary, group of learner. 
Here are some guidelines in giving constructive feedback:
a.    Instructors must monitor student progress, identify students who are having difficulties, and motivate them through appropriate monitoring and reinforcement.
b.    Set detailed assessment criteria and make the criteria accessible to students in the beginning of the course. Evaluating students’ messages in online discussions encourages\ their participation. Highlight their strengths and weaknesses. Be gentle with your criticism, set encouraging words. Yet, be firm in maintaining the course guidelines and requirements.
c.     Deliver well-timed, quality, and suitable feedback to motivate and facilitate students’ learning journey.


Summary

To be an effective online teacher is a demanding, yet, inspiring job.  In sustaining such qualities, online teachers must properly equip themselves to be competitive. They must also go through professional trainings. The most effective one is going through an online education class. This will be an opportunity to understand the student’s condition. It will also enhance knowledge which is important in social presence in online community, online communications skills, online discussions and constructive criticism.
As online teacher it is their responsibility to provide quality teaching support to the online education community.


References:


Boetthcher, J., (2013). Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online
Quick Guide for New Online faculty, Retrieved from
http://www.designingforlearning.info/services/writing/ecoach/tenbest.html


Anderson, T., and Dron, J., (2011) Three Generations of Distance Education Pedagogy, retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/890/1826
Anderson, G., and Archer, W., (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment:   Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105, Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/398997/A_Constructivist_Approach_to_Online_Learning_The_Community_of_Inquiry_Framework

Lowenthal, P. R., & Parscal, T. (2008). Teaching Presence Online Facilitates Meaningful Learning retrieved from http://www.patricklowenthal.com/publications/TeachingPresenceFacilitatesLearning.pdf

Mupinga, D., Nora, R., and Yaw, D., (2006). The Learning Styles, Expectations, and Needs of Online Students, Retrieved from http://web.simmons.edu/~brady/CE/Reading%202.pdf
Kizilcec, R., and Schneider, E., (2014). Motivation as a Lens to Understand Online Learners: Toward Data-Driven Design with the OLEI Scale, Retrieved from http://rene.kizilcec.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/kizilcec2015motivation.pdf

Frederick, H., (2015). Constructive Criticism in an Online Environment, Retrieved from http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/constructive-criticism-online-environment/

Massy, W., (2002). Distance Education: Guidelines for Good Practice Retrieved from http://www.umass.edu/oapa/oapa/publications/online_handbooks/Teaching_and_Learning_Online_Handbook.pdf