The Online Learning Process:
A Narrative Account
Online Learning is:
"a form of distance education that uses the Internet and computer technologies to connect teachers and students and deliver curriculum. Students may also communicate online with their classmates, students in other schools around the world and experts to whom they might otherwise not have access. Online learning may take the form of a single course for a student who accesses that course while sitting in a physical school, or it may replace the physical school for most or all of a student’s courses.
Typical online courses may include simulations and virtual lab activities, collaboration with other students on a group project, multimedia demonstrations of real-world examples, and live sessions in which the teacher uses screen-sharing technology to facilitate interaction among students. Courses often include some print or otherwise offline materials...and communication between the teacher and a parent or guardian is also an important component of instruction, particularly for younger students."
Technologies That Benefit the Online Learner
Strategies to Encourage Active Learning in an Online Environment
- A clear beginning and end
- A clear purpose or objective
- Complete and understandable directions
- A feedback mechanism
- Build relationships with your students by getting to know them
- Build community in the online environment
- Diagrams, concept-mapping
- Cooperative Learning: students respond and engage with fellow classmates in discussion forums
- Collaborative Learning: Case studies, debates in teams using discussion forums, reports or essays created collectively
- Keep material relevant, interesting, and meaningful
- Design thought-provoking questions
- Encourage students to login frequently and respond to posts, emails
- Provide feedback in a timely manner
The Importance of Feedback:
The instructor should play the role of a facilitator, mentor, and coach when providing feedback. The instructor should serve as a guide, scaffolding instruction, and providing students with the opportunity to reflect and expand their responses, ideas, and dialogue with others.
An instructor should provide students with timely responses to students' work and questions by written confirmation and acknowledgement. This lets students know the instructor values what the student has to say and will be available for them. Feedback should also be prompt. The students need to know the instructor is invested in them and their learning, that he or she cares about the students, and is committed to them.
Feedback should also be specific. This lets students know what they did well and what they can improve on. Giving students individual praise, recognition, and acknowledgement helps the instructor build relationships, motivates students, encourages them, and individualizes the feedback process.
Legal, Ethical, and Safe Behavior Related to Technology Use:
Information related to online safety:
Ways to Address Students With Special Needs in the Online Environment:
- Use of a computer
- Highlighting and vocabulary word banks
- Extra time
- Chunking information
- Audio text
- Videos and tutorials
- Graphic organizers
- Audio text/books
- Screen magnifiers
- Alternative keyboards
- Check in-Check out
Four Categories of Assessment and Examples
- Summative Assessment:
summarize what students have learned at the conclusion of an instructional segment. These assessments tend to be evaluative, and teachers typically encapsulate and report assessment results as a score or a grade.
Examples: Test, Culminating Project, Choice Board, Think-Tac-Toe, Portfolios
- Diagnostic Assessment:
also known as pre-assessments, precede instruction, checks prior knowledge, learners' interests, and learning-style preferences.
Examples: K-W-L, Survey, Questioning, Mind-mapping
- Formative Assessment: Formal and Informal
occurs concurrently with instruction, are ongoing, and provide specific feedback to teachers and students for the purpose of guiding teaching to improve learning.
Can be formal or informal.
Examples: Ungraded quizzes, learning logs, concept maps, questioning, teacher observations, draft work
Lesson: Financial Decision to Go to College
- Describe the relationship between level of education and the average unemployment rate, and level of education and the median income level
- Investigate financing options for college
- Discuss the importance of filling out the FAFSA
- Evaluate college as an investment in human capital, examine its costs and benefits, and decide whether it is a good choice
Students go to the website:
Have students read the information and view the video.
Students will follow the steps on the website and complete the assessment.
Teacher will assess the students' responses to the assessment.
At my school we are currently using Odyssey to help students improve their MAP scores.
This program is being used to improve students' RIT scores in Math and Reading specifically.
We just started implementing this program school-wide and we will be evaluating students' scores and whether or not this was an effective intervention after the next MAP test in December.
So far students seem to like the program. It is very interactive, completely online, and has sound, video, and modern graphics. I think students seem to like that the intervention is online so this increases student motivation, which in turn may help students be more successful in the areas of reading and math.