Instructional-Design-Live #9 – Student Perspectives on Online Learning

This week, we discussed the experience of online learning with two students at The University of Montana. Amanda Armstrong, an undergraduate student taking a fully online degree in Media Arts and Jamie Lockman, a graduate student taking an online political science course. Topics discussed include:

  • Factors that influenced the decision to take online courses
  • The differences between online and face-to-face learning–and the surprises
  • The challenges of online learning
  • How instructors can make online learning more effective for students
  • Technology that would help support learning
  • Changes that would make online learning for effective for Amanda and Jamie.

Great Transcript below:

 

2010-03-12 11:51:25 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Hi!
2010-03-12 11:51:44 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: hello!
2010-03-12 11:55:01 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: I am really interested in hearing from students in the session this morning.
2010-03-12 11:55:33 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: For our annual symposium, we always have a panel of online students share their perspectives and ideas…always valuable.
2010-03-12 11:55:47 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Hi Cammy and bmorejoyful!
2010-03-12 11:56:07 [Message] bmorejoyful -> Room 1: hi! πŸ™‚
2010-03-12 11:56:16 [Message] Cammy Bean -> Room 1: Good morning/afternoon!
2010-03-12 11:56:45 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Hello Linda and Jamie
2010-03-12 11:56:59 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: hi… no sound yet…should there be?
2010-03-12 11:57:09 [Message] Cammy Bean -> Room 1: We’re standing by for sound.
2010-03-12 11:57:23 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: ok, good to know
2010-03-12 11:57:23 [Message] Jamie -> Room 1: Hello! From Missoula!
2010-03-12 11:58:18 [Message] Cammy Bean -> Room 1: We’re streaming now.
2010-03-12 11:58:51 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: ok, i can hear you!
2010-03-12 11:59:09 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Hello David
2010-03-12 11:59:29 [Message] David -> Room 1: HI
2010-03-12 12:00:38 [Message] Cammy Bean -> Room 1: Today we’re talking student perspectives in online learning.
2010-03-12 12:01:23 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: I am curious about their perspectives on the importance of feeling a personal connection with their professor and course colleagues…
2010-03-12 12:01:37 [Message] Cammy Bean -> Room 1: Just getting sound worked out.
2010-03-12 12:01:42 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Hi DBlack and Chettb and Amanda!
2010-03-12 12:01:56 [Message] DBlack -> Room 1: good morning
2010-03-12 12:02:06 [Message] Robert Squires -> Room 1: Hi all
2010-03-12 12:03:24 [Message] Cammy Bean -> Room 1: Hi Kelly!
2010-03-12 12:03:37 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: How many in the chat have taking or facilitated an online course? Both?
2010-03-12 12:03:43 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: *taken
2010-03-12 12:04:00 [Message] K_Smith -> Room 1: Hi – I will have my audio up in a sec
2010-03-12 12:04:59 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Facilitated many online courses, and have participated in quite a lot of online PD.
2010-03-12 12:05:40 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Presently taking, have also facilitated one
2010-03-12 12:05:55 [Message] chettb -> Room 1: taken, moderated, but never led…
2010-03-12 12:06:13 [Message] Cammy Bean -> Room 1: Neither.
2010-03-12 12:06:38 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: seems (for my anyway) taking an online course helps to think about best ways to facilitate one
2010-03-12 12:06:44 [Message] DBlack -> Room 1: Completed lots of online courses, seminars… never facilitated one.
2010-03-12 12:06:54 [Message] Leslie -> Room 1: sorry how do I get audio?
2010-03-12 12:07:04 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: I’d like to no more about what Amanda just shared about the importance of feeling connected…"someone to connect with"
2010-03-12 12:07:19 [Message] DBlack -> Room 1: Top right EdTechTalkA blue link.
2010-03-12 12:07:33 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: @leslie … what dblack said πŸ™‚
2010-03-12 12:07:40 [Message] Leslie -> Room 1: OK thx
2010-03-12 12:08:05 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: @leslie … if you click on one of the icons under "EdTechTalk A"
2010-03-12 12:08:22 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: … should launch audio for you
2010-03-12 12:09:07 [Message] Leslie -> Room 1: ahhh I got it i-tunes! phew thanks guys
2010-03-12 12:09:24 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: interesting perspective … personal interaction makes for more rewarding experience
2010-03-12 12:09:33 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Amanda: does the instructor not help you connect, make interactions between students?
2010-03-12 12:09:35 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: THis is VERY important feedback from Amanda.
2010-03-12 12:09:50 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Not usually, Linda.
2010-03-12 12:09:57 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: I think we spend so much time on building the course…but the lack of social presence is deadly.
2010-03-12 12:10:10 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Some do. My Spanish instructor requires us to work with partners
2010-03-12 12:10:25 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Wow – different for me! (instructor has built interactions deeply into the class)
2010-03-12 12:10:32 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Yay!
2010-03-12 12:10:37 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: I wish more did!
2010-03-12 12:10:44 [Message] Leslie -> Room 1: Linda u how?
2010-03-12 12:11:02 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: There are so many great strategies for enhancing social presence, that it makes me cringe to hear when students don’t feel connected.
2010-03-12 12:11:20 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Every week: Assigned reading, assignment of something to post in shared area, assignment to respond to others points in shared area
2010-03-12 12:11:34 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Commenting & discussion encouraged (points every week for it)
2010-03-12 12:11:38 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: How can an instructor help with self-directed learning skills and time mgmt issues?
2010-03-12 12:12:06 [Message] Leslie -> Room 1: I see it’s built into the structure
2010-03-12 12:12:06 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Also an option (not required) for shared project work on main projects
2010-03-12 12:12:13 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: @Amanda … how about "student support" services, such as accessing the library, ordering books, buying needed software, registering for courses, paying tuition, etc … when you don’t go to a physical campus to do these things
2010-03-12 12:12:22 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: I think that is up to the individual, Joni
2010-03-12 12:12:36 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: As a student, I have to know that about myself
2010-03-12 12:13:08 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Jen, ALL of my text books are online. Also, I am on campus too
2010-03-12 12:13:11 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: I think there are ways we can support and scaffold some that that too…I think faculty can help a bit.
2010-03-12 12:13:17 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Although, I do most of those things online
2010-03-12 12:14:18 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: I am also wondering about Jamie and Amanda’s thoughts about the use of social media and social networking tools outside of the LMS.
2010-03-12 12:15:27 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: I tend to connect with fellow students through social media
2010-03-12 12:15:48 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: I was saying earlier that I wish we could use our LMS with Facebook
2010-03-12 12:16:12 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Amanda: what types of social media best for you with other students? (twitter, facebook, something else?)
2010-03-12 12:16:25 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: I meet people in my online course on the discussion board and then tend to have conversations outside of the course
2010-03-12 12:16:31 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Facebook.
2010-03-12 12:16:38 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Amanda, so you wouldn’t feel uncomfortable with your professors working with you in the same tools you use for social activity (like Facebook)?
2010-03-12 12:16:45 [Message] ksmith -> Room 1: Having audio issues again – Guess I will wait for the trascript recording
2010-03-12 12:16:50 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: More people use it and the notifications help people stay connected
2010-03-12 12:17:04 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Interesting question Joni
2010-03-12 12:18:03 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: @jamie … is there a significant limitation associated with facilitating a class fully online, such as proctoring exams, etc. and if so, what are some of the instructional design work-a-rounds for this issues
2010-03-12 12:18:13 [Message] Jamie -> Room 1: I’ve recently been re-introduced to LinkedIn – I think it offers a more professional option for networking than FB provides.
2010-03-12 12:18:26 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: I hear so many complaints about LMS interface & how they put up barriers to communication
2010-03-12 12:18:43 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Yes. I would definitely use LinkedIn or Ning
2010-03-12 12:19:01 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: I would feel more comfortable doing that than using my Facebook
2010-03-12 12:19:28 [Message] Jamie -> Room 1: jenm- We seem to work around limitations including snail mail!
2010-03-12 12:19:53 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Program I’m in has established LinkedIn Group, where whole program community can post Q&Q, discuss…also admin can post announcements
2010-03-12 12:20:14 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: LinkedIn, yes that’s great.
2010-03-12 12:20:42 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Joni – do you track student participation when it’s on "outside" social networking? (Ning, twitter)
2010-03-12 12:21:58 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: I don’t really track it, Linda. For Twitter, I invite students to join me — make it their choice. And for those who don’t take me up on the invitation, I have a feed into the course shell so they can see what I post in Twitter too. So they don’t feel left out.
2010-03-12 12:22:27 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Twitter feed is good idea
2010-03-12 12:22:39 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: @leslie … yes … in one of my statistics classes (with a mid-term and final) we were required to find a proctor at our local libary and have the librarian place my completed exam in an envelope, seal it and sign over the flap, then place the fedex envelope into a fedex drop box
2010-03-12 12:22:57 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: That would be a great feature, Amanda!
2010-03-12 12:23:35 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Discussion board = bread and butter πŸ™‚
2010-03-12 12:23:43 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: I agree!
2010-03-12 12:23:48 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Was the online textbook through a particular tool or system?
2010-03-12 12:23:50 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: (platform)
2010-03-12 12:23:57 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Quia Books
2010-03-12 12:24:28 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Jamie is there any structure to the discussion?
2010-03-12 12:25:19 [Message] Cammy Bean -> Room 1: HI Kay!
2010-03-12 12:25:42 [Message] Jamie -> Room 1: Yes – there is a structure provided by weekly questions that all students answered. The dialog that happens is at the initiative of students commenting on eachother’s work.
2010-03-12 12:25:42 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: That sounds pretty deadly… Not like a discussion at all…
2010-03-12 12:25:56 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: … but quite common πŸ™
2010-03-12 12:25:57 [Message] kasey428 -> Room 1: Hi, Cammy.
2010-03-12 12:26:10 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Sounds more natural and organic…like a real discussion
2010-03-12 12:26:16 [Message] Cammy Bean -> Room 1: "Post for points"
2010-03-12 12:26:31 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Amanda – what would make it more enticing for students to put more on the discussion board?
2010-03-12 12:26:40 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: What would be the motivator?
2010-03-12 12:27:00 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: "Yah, what she said…"
2010-03-12 12:27:41 [Message] Jamie -> Room 1: This is my second experience in grad school – the discussion is not that much different from what I experienced in face to face seminars – We weren’t graded, the academic experience I received was based upon my own initiative…
2010-03-12 12:28:00 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: @jamie … good point! we forget the same issues exist in f2f πŸ™‚
2010-03-12 12:28:51 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Did I answer your question Linda?
2010-03-12 12:29:18 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: yes…but it’s interesting…in my course we are given points…however, that hasn’t been limiting
2010-03-12 12:29:25 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: maybe because the instructor engages in the conversation
2010-03-12 12:29:33 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: That is huge!
2010-03-12 12:29:40 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: often piping in with questions, "good idea" comments
2010-03-12 12:29:49 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: For discussion, it has to be relevant first seems to me.
2010-03-12 12:30:02 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: yes, absolutely true – MUST be relevant
2010-03-12 12:30:10 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: if not relevant, busy work = dreadful
2010-03-12 12:30:32 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: I think students want to know what their instructors think about topics too, so appreciate instructor participation.
2010-03-12 12:30:43 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: We use Blackboar at Old Dominion University
2010-03-12 12:30:48 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: *blackboard
2010-03-12 12:31:01 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: We use eCollege and Blackboard at the University of Colorado Denver
2010-03-12 12:31:04 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: my course is at Boise State
2010-03-12 12:31:22 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: it actually is using Lotus Notes database, which I would never have expected to like, but it works well
2010-03-12 12:32:04 [Message] Cammy Bean -> Room 1: Thank you Jamie and Amanda and good luck in your studies!
2010-03-12 12:32:17 [Message] Amanda Armstrong -> Room 1: Thank you!
2010-03-12 12:32:18 [Message] jenm -> Room 1: Thank you!
2010-03-12 12:32:22 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Yes – Amanda and Jamie – very helpful – thank you
2010-03-12 12:32:23 [Message] jonidunlap -> Room 1: Thank you everyone! Have a great weekend!!!
2010-03-12 12:32:26 [Message] Jamie -> Room 1: have a great day!
2010-03-12 12:32:42 [Message] DBlack -> Room 1: Thanks to all!
2010-03-12 12:33:01 [Message] linda u -> Room 1: Thanks Robert, Cammy, and Joni

 

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