Caitlin Tucker with guidance on keeping it simple as you design online video discussions.
- Provide students with an agenda and a list of discussion questions ahead of time;
- Communicate your expectations for participation and behavior online;
- Ask students to generate their own discussion questions;
- Start every virtual conferencing session with an icebreaker question or a quick check-in;
- Use the chat window strategically;
- Host shorter sessions with fewer students;
- Ask students to assess their participation online.
The idea is that we take our excellent face-to-face teaching practice (both its diversity and structure) and modify it for the Learning From Home context. It features four types of lessons – synchronous (individual and collaborative), asynchronous individual, asynchronous device-free and asynchronous creative/collaborative which teachers can rotate through over a week or a cycle. (This is the bit Kelli McGraw helped me with – deciding which four to include!) It is not meant to be prescriptive, just a template to support planning of lessons. Teachers who choose to use it can fill in the template for the four lessons and it can be shared with students on the beginning of the week/fortnight.
In the field of instructional design for online learning, this is not a new concept. Transactional distance theory (TDT, Moore, 1996) is a useful theory for online course design that proposes that the distance during instruction is transactional, not spatial or temporal (Gorsky & Caspi, 2005; Saba & Shearer, 2017). TDT suggests that if we work to reduce the psychological space between participants and instructors through pedagogy, it will likely lead to higher learning outcomes.
While traditional TDT includes additional components that can be used to reduce transactional distance between learners and their instructors, I think all teachers teaching online during the Coronavirus online learning period should pay particularly close attention to the TDT’s core constructs of dialogue and structure.
Instead of having an unproductive debate over asynchronous or synchronous learning, one way we can improve our practice during these unusual circumstances is by attending to the design components of dialogue and structure.
This is an interesting read in relation to. The focus should be on context.
via Cameron Paterson
What will young people remember about their time in Covid19? It won’t be a laundry list of facts from school subjects. What will endure are the dispositions and habits of character that we are able to nurture, the foundations of intellectual character that a good education is based on – independence, resilience, self-regulation, problem-solving, and collaboration. The enculturation of these dispositions will define how successfully educators cope with Covid19.
There is something that bothers us about conversations about replacing face-to-face teaching with online learning: they often fall into a trap of assuming that incorporating synchronous interaction is the optimal way to make learning more personable, that it approximates the face-to-face setting closest, and is therefore preferable and better. More often than not, synchronous interaction here implies some form of two-way audiovisual interaction, even though there are text-only forms of synchronous interaction (e.g., Twitter live chat). There are also asynchronous forms of audiovisual interaction (e.g., voicemail, recorded lectures).
But we feel the enthusiasm for audiovisual synchronicity often comes without sufficient discernment, and without deliberative consideration of how asynchronous learning can be not only viable but productive.