Trying to Make a Class, Not Just a Course

April 5, 2013

Time to be brave. I have posted about two positive things in my e-learning course, now I have to talk about things that need improvement.  I think one area that needs improvement for me is using collaborative tools.  It’s not just that I have avoided these because I was trying to focus more on engaging students, but I really didn’t have a strong knowledge of how, when, and what tools to use.

I use “discussions” in D2L quite regularly, but will admit, my students seem to just post answers to a questions and don’t really dialogue with each other. I have asked them to respond to 2 other students and modelled that an answer must be more than just “yes” or “i agree”.  Too often though, it seems more like a requirement for the student and not an opening for further comments.  Rarely do I see one student answer another when they receieve peer feedback.  I have tried to enter conversations, but have really failed at getting my students connected to each other within the course.

A few suggestions I have seen or heard about include using apps, using video, setting up and setting up an online room. OK. So step one, I’m aware of some ways to change this.  I have been fearful because of my struggles with getting students online regularly and contributing regularly, but I must let go of that fear and let them interact, even if it’s a day or two apart.

I was thinking of posting a widget on my home page and asking for video or audio discussion that has nothing to do with course content, per se. Something in pop culture, or what’s your favourite?, or would you rather? because I want them to view it as a FUN thing to do and not a WORK thing to do.

I think I could try that, right? Wait, I don’t really know how. But I could figure out something, right? It’s another way for me to get my students to think they are in a CLASS not just an individual logging into a page.

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