Instructional-Design-Live #10 Investigating Community and Interaction in Online Courses

This week, Jennifer Maddrell discusses the focus for her dissertation work: the Community of Inquiry framework: Her primary research question focusses on whether there is a relationship between learner’s perceptions of "community" and actual learning outcomes as identified by grades, papers, tests, etc. The discussion took a very practical turn as we sought to identify particular strategies that may be used by instructors to develop community within online courses. Look for a three-part series investigating the pillars of the Community of Inquiry framework in April 2010.

Hot transcript below:

11:56:12 DBlack -> It’s working for me just fine.
11:59:44 robert -> Welcome Linda!
12:00:15 linda u -> Thanks
12:00:24 linda u -> spring here, too, in Berkeley
12:02:20 robert -> Welcome Jenna
12:02:28 jonidunlap -> Hi, Jenna!
12:02:45 Jenna Ream -> Hi there!  So excited to actually make it this week πŸ™‚
12:03:03 jenm ->
12:03:39 jonidunlap -> Names that folks might recognize are Terry Anderson and Randy Garrison.
12:05:02 jenm ->
12:07:40 robert -> Hi jenna–do you have sound?
12:07:57 Jenna Ream -> nope… got tips?
12:08:26 Jenna Ream -> ha! all I had to do is say that… I got it πŸ™‚
12:08:35 robert -> ok
12:08:56 allanarek -> ok
12:10:40 linda u -> Can you define "self-efficacy"?
12:14:31 jonidunlap -> Can’t ignore relevance…the activity has to be relevant
12:15:35 jonidunlap -> I think about it a lot.
12:16:25 jonidunlap -> I am always considering the right combination of social activities to get at social presence, while at the same time are relevant and attend to the learning objectives.
12:16:27 robert -> Hi Jay!
12:17:40 jonidunlap -> Folks have community in a lot of places outside of the classroom. The professions have community structures that I like to tie students into…then it is relevant, and related to professional practice preparation.
12:18:50 jonidunlap -> I do connection/get-to-know-you activities throughout the course, not just at the beginning. A series of activities I call "Virtual Paper Bag"
12:19:12 CBEFF -> Hello??
12:19:24 jonidunlap -> Can you hear the audio CBEFF?
12:19:28 CBEFF -> no
12:19:29 robert -> Click the Edtech Tlak Stream A four audio
12:20:40 jonidunlap -> I provide a lot of instruction and modeling for being in discussion and peer review and so on…folks don’t automatically know how to do these things, so need scaffolding and support to get going.
12:20:50 linda u -> For your class (is it Marlene talking?) what level student take that Learning Online class?
12:20:54 linda u -> Undergrad? Grad?
12:21:31 robert -> Primarily undergrad
12:21:44 linda u -> thxs for clarifying (undergrad)
12:21:46 jonidunlap -> It is nice to have the group determine what it means to engage in a discussion together and be contributors. We use "inspiration" (or karma) points for discussions to help keep folks focused on contributing to the collective thinking and learning.
12:22:47 jonidunlap -> Harder for me.
12:23:27 jonidunlap -> But, I use a lot of protocols online to make sure all contribute and we have balanced voices in the discussion.
12:24:22 jonidunlap -> I talk to students over the phone in the first couple of weeks of the course…with the goal of making each other laugh. That really makes a difference for the whole semester.
12:25:11 robert -> Nice idea
12:25:56 Jenna Ream -> I find building community works best for me when we build foundational course content simultaneously as we get to know one another.  Exploring content together in a structured format- making connections with one another around core ideas focuses the group and helps me/them identify allegances that support group work- in conversation as well as in project completion
12:26:54 jonidunlap -> I agree, Jenna, then it is in context of what we need/want to accomplish together in community (and as individuals). That relevance is critical.
12:27:37 jonidunlap -> And the right combination of strategies!
12:27:44 Jenna Ream -> I find this takes a lot of teacher attention and support at the beginning but as the group solidifies they do take off and engage well with less teacher presence… and the work for me becomes shaping the experience so we can build off strengths and achieve objectives
12:28:18 jonidunlap -> I do so much for social presence — and maybe too much (focus of my new study) — so figuring out what helps and what is overkill.
12:28:55 Jenna Ream -> I think groups have different needs and require different levels of teacher presence… so the balance will be different imo
12:30:53 jenm -> The Kanuka Article I referenced: An Exploration into Facilitating Higher Levels of Learning in a Text-Based Internet; Learning Environment Using Diverse Instructional Strategies Heather Kanuka (2005) Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Volume 10, Issue 3, Pages 00-00 Published Online: 23 Jun 2006
12:32:23 jonidunlap -> Right, Jenna…but I hope there is a flexible formula we could figure out that would provide some guidance given objectives, audience, and so on.
12:32:35 jonidunlap -> AHHHHH!!!
12:32:53 jonidunlap -> Maybe we can revisit it soon?
12:32:59 Jenna Ream -> I so agree that relevance is key- and personal relevance (we as a group of human beings are engaging in interaction with purpose) and then content relevance (the work we do structures and supports the building of to build understandings and skills that we can take into practice)
12:33:18 jonidunlap -> That would be great!
12:33:27 jonidunlap -> Have a great weekend everyone!
12:33:34 Jenna Ream -> Joni- I would appreciate a ping if you are going to discuss discussions πŸ™‚
12:33:34 jonidunlap -> Thanks, Jennifer!!!
12:33:45 linda u -> Thank you
12:34:04 Jenna Ream -> thanks everyone! happy weekend!
12:34:07 jonidunlap -> Sure, Jenna, I will keep you in the loop.
12:34:12 DBlack -> Fabulous Thanks.
12:34:17 robert -> Thanks for joining us—
12:35:11 jenm -> thank you all!
12:35:20 marlene.zentz -> Thanks, Jennifer!

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