domingo, 29 de novembro de 2009

Unit2 - Activity2 (Learning Object-Teacher´s Workload)

How to Manage Your Online Teacher Workload

My Learning Object created for Unit 2 was this 5 minute film that accompanying and complements this summary of the article that i found and that was written by Kate Butler in 2003.

The intention of doing this LO was to accompanying the text reading and for those people that have visual incapacity be able to access the information.

The following text is a summary for the original article.

An Online teacher can work at home or in his/her workplace. He/She must distinguish between online work and other kind of work and also a home life.

An online teacher must effectively manage his available time. Here are some tips for an efficient time management:

  • Have a separate physical space that is set aside for work,
  • Allocate set amounts of time for online work,
  • Organise your work schedule to be as efficient as possible,
  • Be realistic about the amount of time needed to accomplish tasks,
  • Work off-line as much as possible, to avoid excessive Internet traffic.

Information management it’s very important since the teacher is dealing with large amounts of information. The digital information has its benefits as it is easier to set up, store and reuse the information. Here are some tips for electronic information management:

  • Use templates.”Templates can be a key benefit to working efficiently online as they allow information to be reused and modified for different situations,”

Some examples of useful templates are:
o Administrative emails that are used regularly.
o Feedback on specific student activity work.
o Documents for tracking student progress.
o Documents for administrative record keeping.
o Know your email programme and use filters and mailboxes to sort and store messages.

  • Prioritise messages that you receive,
  • Keep a structured system of records of student progress in electronic or paper format up-to-date, making copies of student work and keeping accessible records of student details,
  • Keep copies of everything and keep information safe, always keep back-up copies of important information and to protect your computer from viruses and unauthorised access. Keep also paper copies of that information in case your computer becomes completely inaccessible,
  • Don’t be afraid to use ‘old’ technology.

“There are several different aspects of course design that can affect teacher workload including the types of activities chosen, the technologies used and the timing and overall schedule of work.”
Certain activity types may require less teacher input, just as:

  • Group based activities,
  • Quizzes and multiple choice questionnaires,
  • Self-assessed and computer assessed tasks.

Some technologies allow teachers (and students) to work more efficiently, for example:

  • Asynchronous communication,
  • Being able to work off-line,
  • ‘Low-tech’ web based technologies.

Here are some tips for an efficient timing and structure:

  • Having a variation of activity types, ensuring that heavy tasks are not all scheduled consecutively,
  • Allowing enough time for completion of activities and for feedback, by having knowledge of the complexity of the different activities,
  • Providing structure and reminders to help students stay on track, by having deadlines for individual activity work,
  • Encouraging student self-direction.

Teacher Support is very important especially at the start of a course.
Some examples of useful resources for a course starts are:

  • A teacher guide,
  • Guidance on effective time and information management,
  • Up-to-date copies of documents that students will need,
  • Guidelines on how to manage students online,
  • An active mentoring scheme,
  • An online teacher support forum by having an online discussion forum.

“For online teachers to be efficient and to be able to teach effectively, it is important that difficulties they encounter with any hardware, software, course materials or communication facilities are resolved as quickly and easily as possible. Although this can depend a great deal on having technical support staff willing and able to respond quickly to specific problems, there are also strategies that teachers can employ to help themselves. Some examples are to:”

  • Keep up-to-date anti-virus software,
  • Keep regular back-ups of important documents,
  • Ensure your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is reliable,
  • Have an alternative method to access the Internet,
  • Insure your personal computer.
  • Have access to an alternative email address.

It can also help to have:

  • An online discussion forum for general technical problems,
  • Frequently Asked Questions,
  • A system for warning of foreseeable technical problems.

“You will find, with experience that you develop your own strategies for managing your workload, depending on the type of programme you are teaching, your students and your work arrangements. It may be that some workload management strategies need to be provided by your employer whilst others depend upon your own awareness and needs. With attention to time and information management, sympathetic course design and suitable support, you should be able to find an approach that works for you and allows you to manage your workload effectively.”

sábado, 28 de novembro de 2009

Unit2 - Activity2 (Learning Object-Teacher´s Workload)

I made this films using and i have buildt this article based on the original article of Elisabeth Armentor and hope it will help understand the teacher´s workload.
"Teachers want to help their students succeed in class, and technology has improved their accessibility. Instead of waiting to talk after class or going to your office hours, a student can shoot off an email at midnight and you can answer it the next morning. An online class increases the prevalence of this phenomenon, but being too available can quickly lead to the impression that you're always "on call." This can contribute to burnout. Consequently, organization and time management are the keys to handling the workload of an online class."

Organize Your Workspace

Organize Yourself

Organize Your Class

Automate When Possible

Set Boundaries

Be Patient

domingo, 22 de novembro de 2009

Unit 2 - Online Teaching Techniques

I leave here some tips and tricks for teaching online:how to teach like a pro!

Teaching online is an alternative to teaching in a classroom. Sometimes instructors use teaching in classroom methods while teaching Online.

Sometimes online instructors may feel inadequacy and illprepared.

For teaching online, the instructor needs to use multiple tools and the internet.
Then, the course must be prepared early, the learning invironment must be structured and all the materials that are needed introduced.
Planning and preparating a course is necessary even before the course is open to students.Course objectives must be defined, early posting and late work policy defined.Sometimes it is necessary to define deadlines for the students work.
the instructor must attend to the student´s expectations, that should be clearly defined.
Students must always be awared to save their work in two or more storage device.
In the first day of the course, the instructor must break the ice and welcome the students to his course.Sometimes using emoticons helps.
Communication is always needed.
The teacher can define whether students can work in groups or not. If so, he can define the number of elements for each group. The ideal is 4 students per group.
Finaly, it is necessary to assess the students and instructor's work. See what went well and what went wrong and if necessary make some improvements for the next season.
Students can improve the teacher's teaching by sending feedback, and this can be done at any time, not only at the end of the course.
When the course is finished, at the end of the semestre,course or year the instructor should revise and refine both course design and teaching.
In the previous post i didnt answer these 2 questions:
What are the implications of using individual and group assignments in online education?
How can we secure a reasonable workload for online teachers?
First in the article Online Study Orientation to Online Study, i found this important information about online courses.

"Elements of Online Courses

Online courses at UMUC often include the following elements:
■Asynchronous, frequent student and faculty participation
■Lectures and assigned readings (from textbooks and online resources)
■Individual and group assignments (for example, case studies and discussion questions)
■Individual and group papers
■Literature analyses
■Use of online library resources
■Online quizzes and exams. "

Using individual and group assignments in online education is another question.
Evaluating an online group activity
Another question emerged from this issue: How Fair are Group Assignments?

second to answer the question How can we secure a reasonable workload for online teachers?, i found this article that contains all the important information: The Online Teacher's Workload--What to Expect and How to Handle It, that was written By Elizabeth Armentor, focusing aspects like "Teachers want to help their students succeed in class, and technology has improved their accessibility. Instead of waiting to talk after class or going to your office hours, a student can shoot off an email at midnight and you can answer it the next morning. An online class increases the prevalence of this phenomenon, but being too available can quickly lead to the impression that you're always "on call." This can contribute to burnout. Consequently, organization and time management are the keys to handling the workload of an online class. "
you as a teacher must Organize Your Workspace, Organize Yourself, Organize your Class,Automate When Possible, Set Boundaries and specialy Be Patient.
In the article How to manage your Online Teacher workload , i found another perspective of how to organize the teacher's work as the author's say "Quite often when considering online workload issues, it can be tempting to focus on how to minimise it, though care should be taken as reducing workload can have a negative impact on student workload and learning quality. It may be more productive to think about how to manage online teacher workload effectively and this can be done in context with maintaining overall learning experience. Online teaching workload can be managed through successful time and information management, aspects of course design and effective teacher and technical support."
Aspects like Time management, Information management, Course design, Technologies, Timing and structure, Teacher Support and Technical Support must be considered.

"You will find, with experience, that you develop your own strategies for managing your workload, depending on the type of programme you are teaching, your students and your work arrangements. It may be that some workload management strategies need to be provided by your employer whilst others depend upon your own awareness and needs. With attention to time and information management, sympathetic course design and suitable support, you should be able to find an approach that works for you and allows you to manage your workload effectively."

Unit 2 - Annotated Bibliography (Online Teaching Techniques)

This annotated bibliography will respond to the questions raised by the professor. I’ll use different articles to answer to the following questions:
1. Which online teaching techniques do you prefer?
2. What are the implications of using individual and group assignments in online education?
3. How can we secure a reasonable workload for online teachers?
From the several Online learning techniques refereed by Professor Paulsen

This annotated bibliography will respond to the questions raised by the professor. I’ll use different articles to answer to the following questions:
1. Which online teaching techniques do you prefer?
2. What are the implications of using individual and group assignments in online education?
3. How can we secure a reasonable workload for online teachers?
From the several Online learning techniques refereed by Paulsen, I prefer starting with a Learning contract, a technique that is considered to be used to individualize the learning process, by making an agreement that details what’s going to be learned, the objectives, competencies, the course contents, the work methodology, the resources and all the required readings, the learning environment that’s going to be used, assessment and the timeline that shows the temporal distribution of all activities.
Another teaching technique that I found important in teaching online is the Debate, consisting of as “Seaman and Fellenz (1989, 65) wrote: “A debate is a structured discussion during which two sides of an issue are presented and argued by two or more individuals within a given time period.”
Knox (1987, 88) offered another explanation: “Similar to a lecture or panel, but two or four debaters argue two sides of an important issue to clarify differences and related reasoning… Clark (1992a, 58) offered these guidelines for an electronic debate with regard to participation, preparation, coordination, and evaluation:
▪ Participation. A debate could engage two classes that agree to participate actively, two teachers who know how to telecompute, one impartial coordinator who knows how to telecompute, an experienced debater to help students learn the process, and two or more evaluators familiar with the proposition.
▪ Preparation. Give the coordinator a list of curriculum-related issues, become familiar with the evaluation criteria, and decide whether a winner will be declared. Set up speech deadlines within a four-week framework, and agree on a maximum word length for each speech. Organize classes into teams by role or by speech, and have groups research both sides of a proposition
▪ Coordination. The coordinator should formulate and announce the proposition, randomly assign groups to affirmative or negative, and channel speeches between the two sides. Further, the coordinator should mediate the debate, keep team identities secret until after the last speech is sent, and enlist evaluators and manage the evaluation process.
▪ Evaluation. After the debate, feedback from the evaluators could be discussed and students could exchange comments on the issue and process. “

Another teaching technique that I prefer is Role-plays that is “according to Rothwell and Kazanas, role-play is “a range of methods in which trainees put themselves in dramatic situations and act out scenes like actors in a play.... There are essentially two kinds of role-play: structured and spontaneous.... Structured role-play is based on a case study.... Spontaneous role-plays are based on momentary experiences.”
Another one is Discussion, where discussion groups may be implemented as buzz groups, subgroup discussions, expanding groups, and colloquies.
Buzz groups are “small clusters of learners who are temporarily grouped together for a short period to address a topic presented by a facilitator.” (Seaman and Fellenz 1989, 131)
Forums is another teaching technique that “can be defined as “an open discussion carried on by one or more resource persons and an entire group. It is used when large groups of twenty-five persons or more meet for the purpose of diffusion of knowledge, information, or opinion. The forum tends to be semiformal in nature and is directed by a moderator. The moderator is responsible for guiding discussion during which the audience is encouraged to raise and discuss issues, make comments, offer information, or ask questions of the resource person(s) and each other.”
Harisim, phrased some teaching techniques and I selected the ones that I consider importants :”
▪ Small group discussions. In small group discussions, three to ten users discuss a particular topic, usually guided by an instructor or a group leader. The discussion often follows a seminar discussion or a plenary discussion. It may also complement a parallel face-to- face or online activity.
▪ Learning partnerships and dyads. In learning partnerships and dyads, learners are paired for mutual support and group work. These techniques can serve as icebreakers in early phases of online classes and they are also useful for joint writing projects.
▪ Small working groups. Small working groups can facilitate collaborative work. Student groups can, for example, solve problems, undertake research projects, and write reports. Effective groups, though, require clearly defined tasks, roles, and timeliness.
▪ 6. Simulations or role-plays. Simulations and role-plays allow students to apply and test theoretical knowledge in a simulated environment. Examples of successful role-plays in online environments.In the evaluation manor, learners assume the perspectives of various evaluators to debate evaluation procedures and approaches.
▪ Debating teams. In debating teams, learners have the opportunity to improve their analytical and communication skills by formulating ideas, defending positions, and critiquing counter positions.
▪ Peer learning groups. In peer learning groups, learners assist one another with writing assignments, problem solving, etc. Students may, for example, collaborate online to improve their writing skills.
▪ Informal socializing: the online cafe. Since social communication is an essential compo- nent of educational activity, online educational environments should provide opportuni- ties for informal discourse. An online cafe can contribute to a sense of community among the users, forging a social bond that may offer motivational and cognitive benefits.
▪ Mutual assistance for help. Valuable online support, based on mutual assistance, can be organized in an online conference where students can ask one another for help. Such a conference may be especially useful with regard to technical problems and system support.
▪ Access to additional educational resources. Additional online resources for educational use include international networks, databases, library catalogues, and information pools. To benefit the curriculum, these resources could be an integral part of the online activities.”

the Teaching Techniques Discussed by Rekkedal and Paulsen were:"
1. Distribution of information. Distance teaching systems need to increase the efficiency of distributing and updating information to students, faculty, and staff. Computer con- ferencing can, for example, be used for distribution of updated learning materials and information about courses, seminars, examinations, and student activities.

2. Two-way communication between student, tutor and staff. In most distance teaching sys- tems, submission of assignments for correction, evaluation, and feedback is important. Research shows that extended turnaround times may have destructive effects on course completion. It often takes too long for students to get help when they encounter prob- lems in their studies. To some extent, telephone support has been used in these situa- tions, but computer conferencing systems function more conveniently. Students may, for example, ask questions at any time, without the time delay of land mail. Draft solutions may be discussed, introducing a more flexible organization of tutoring and assessment. Student answers may be made available to other students, before or after submission deadline. Computer-scored tests can also be included in online systems, as a substitute for traditional off-line computer scoring. In higher-level education, two-way communi- cation by e-mail may be used in the guidance of individual student projects.

3. An alternative to face-to-face teaching, introduction of group discussion and project work.
3. Many distance education programs include occasional face-to-face meetings between tutors and students, but practical or geographical considerations restrict many students from taking part in these meetings. Sometimes, face-to-face meetings develop into one- way presentation of subject matter. Computer conferencing, on the other hand, mainly involves information exchange and interpersonal discussion. Electronic classroom discussions can develop into exciting experiences of group learning. In the same vein, the medium seems to foster equality of status between the participants. Finally, special group-learning techniques – such as group submission of assignments, group learning and presentations, seminars, and project work – may be applied.
4. The public tutorial. Most distance education systems are designed for individual learning, but communication between one tutor and a number of individual learners is time- consuming. Questions, answers, and comments from one student will, however, often be of relevance to others. In a conferencing system, such interaction could be made accessible to all students along with pre-produced information of general interest.
5. Peer counseling. Informal peer counseling and cooperation are regular activities in on- campus programs. In computer conferencing, the possibilities for such collaboration are obvious and actively supported in the majority of learning programs. Peer help in solving problems may often come from an unknown friend. Peer counseling may be of particular value in large-scale systems where hundreds of learners are studying the same subject.
6. Free flow discussion. A number of educational conferencing systems have established social conferences, such as the cafe, the pub, or the coffee shop. These conferences have shown that informal discussions and non-academic activities can thrive in edu- cational conferencing systems.
7. The library. In an online text database, articles, lectures, research reports, etc. can be made available to the students.2
Teaching Techniques Discussed by Kaye
In a literature review paper on collaborative learning, Kaye (1992) described the following seven applications of CMC in education and training programs:
..."2. The online classroom. Applications of the online classroom model have often been inspired by the “virtual classroom”. First, the group size is comparable to that in a face-to-face class. Second, there is at least one person responsible for guiding the group’s activities and, third, computer conferencing represents the principal mode of communication. Varieties of online class- rooms depend on the age of student groups, the educational levels, and the roles taken by the people responsible for the groups."
"4. Computer-supported writing and language learning. Since the combination of CMC and word processors essentially has a textual nature, it has attracted interest within the field of the teaching of writing and language skills. Examples include Connected Education’s creative writing courses and Rio Salado Community College’s courses in creative writing, technical writing, and English composition."

6. Lecture-room adjunct. In large on-campus lecture classes, there is little time for individual students to ask questions and the format does not invite discussion. In such a context, universi- ties may establish conferences where students can get help from teachers and other students.
7. The education utility. The education utility is a set of online resources that students and faculty can access.

resource:Paulsen, Morten in Framework for Online Teaching Techniques.

Unit 2 - Online Teaching Techniques

I found the article “Preparing Instructors for Quality Online Instruction” very interesting and with some interesting information.
As the author’s of the article say …”there is a considerable interest in online education, particularly as it relates to the quality of online instruction.” Exists many issues that must be discussed, such as the answers to the following questions placed by the author’s: …” What will be the new role for instructors in online education? How will students' learning outcomes be assured and improved in online learning environment? How will effective communication and interaction be established with students in the absence of face-to-face instruction? How will instructors motivate students to learn in the online learning environment?”
It depends on the instructors, the success of one online course, first of all, it is an innovative technique of teaching and online instruction must be effective, attending to the challenges and barriers of the online teaching and for the Instructors.
The instructors will have new roles to play and new responsibilities and they have to adapt themselves to this new era in teaching. They must be prepared to leave the learning centred in the teacher in one classroom and accept the challenge of the centred student education.
There’s a role shifting that the teacher/instructor must assist, accept and join.
It’s not only the instructor that is changing but also the learner. They both have to play multiple roles and adjust to new roles. They must adapt to new environments, and they also must be open mind for the usage of technology. Teachers must deal with feelings such as frustration and must help students to overcome with their problems on the usage of technology.
Both teacher/instructor and learner must be motivated and be prepared for the asynchronous communication.
The learner must play a more active role.
The students must ensure their integrity and their honesty while attending to an online course.
The quality of online education must be assured by facing the new challenges and adjusting the attitudes facing the new opportunities, new teaching styles, adapting new strategies in the course design, new teaching methods, new learning environments, and all this must start before the online course and must be carefully planned.
“… online education has the following features: (a) it provides a learning experience different than in the traditional classroom because learners are different, (b) the communication is via computer and World Wide Web, (c) participation in classroom by learners are different, (d) the social dynamic of the learning environment is changed, and (e) discrimination and prejudice is minimized”

“…face-to-face interaction can be substituted by online discussions in bulletin board systems, online video conferences… Online education can also promote students' critical thinking skills, deep learning, collaborative learning, and problem-solving skills.”
“Alley and Jansak (2001) have also identified 10 keys to quality online learning. The authors suggested that online courses will be high quality when they are student-centered and when:
• Knowledge is constructed, not transmitted.
• Students can take full responsibility for their own learning.
• Students are motivated to want to learn.
• The course provides “mental white space” for reflection.
• Learning activities appropriately match student learning styles.
• Experiential, active learning augments the Web site learning environment,
• Solitary and interpersonal learning activities are interspersed.
• Inaccurate prior learning is identified and corrected.
• “Spiral learning” provides for revisiting and expanding prior lessons,
• The master teacher is able to guide the overall learning process.”
“To ensure the quality of online instruction, the qualification of the instructors should be a first consideration. Since the preparation of instructors is also paramount, those who teach online courses should understand what their roles are and adjust their attitudes for this role change. Second, it is important for instructors to master, design, and delivery strategies, techniques, and methods for teaching online courses. Third, the institution should provide technical and financial support for faculty. Fourth, school administrators should also realize what their role and responsibilities are in ensuring quality online instruction. Critical to this process, administrators should recruit qualified faculty or instructors for their online education programs. Moore (2001) also noted that to effectively deliver online courses, faculty must promote student-to-student interaction with minimal faculty intervention, engage students in regular assignments, cultivate students' self-directed abilities, and then provide specialized attention to students who lack self-directedness.
The increasing diversity of the nation's student population and advancements in the development of educational technology has encouraged the popularity of online instruction
(Bi, 2000). However, academic institutions that offer courses online still face many challenges. Therefore, administrative support is crucial if programs are to be successful. Administrators must consider issues related to intellectual property, pedagogical rigor and methods, course management, and instructional compensation of faculty (McAlister, Rivera, & Hallman, 2003). In essence, successful online instruction does not happen by magic. It is a collaboration of instructors, administrators, students, and the community at large. The courseware development industries should keep the instructors tuned in about their product updates and provide training and technical service support to instructors. The government, community, and parents should also help the school to ensure the quality of online instruction.
Moving from traditional methods of teaching to online methods of instruction often create dramatic shifts in the perspectives of instructors and their students (Dringus, 2000). Moreover, many issues have been raised about the quality of online instruction:
• Administrators should not force faculty to teach online courses who do not wish to do so.
• Training in WebCT should be made more user friendly.
• Mentors should be available in each department or college who can answer questions that come up from faculty who have limited experience in teaching online courses.
• Departments should limit the enrollment in online courses so that instructors will be more focused on communicating and interacting with online students.
• Instructors need to take courses to better understand technology; specific classes need to be taken in order to design websites for online courses.
• Instructors must have the support of other instructors who have taught online courses before, as well as administrative and technical support.
• Instructors should consider how to increase the interaction between students-instructor and peer-interactions by using various types of instructional design methods.
• Instructors should encourage students to evaluate the courses continuously and periodically so as to improve online teaching.”

quarta-feira, 18 de novembro de 2009

Unit 2 - Online Learning Techniques

Online Learning Techniques

I found this teaching tips very interesting.

...and since we must be carefull with the verbal comments, personal behavior, physical environments, and printed signs, you also must see these list of items.

Because we all need some tips about THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY: STARTING WELL.

Where do we start? the first day of class: WHAT CAN/SHOULD WE DO?

Well, i found that everything in this page is so interesting that you should visit in here. It talkes about what procedures to take from the first day, how to prepare a course, how to prepare a lesson plan, teaching techniques, course design, tools for students, assessment, teaching organization, motivating students, dealing with stress,etc.

domingo, 1 de novembro de 2009

Activity 2 - Learning Object

Activity 2 - Learning Object

Uma visão, a duas, sobre a teoria da Liberdade Cooperativa!

A Morning Walk - Online Education

By Telma Jesus e Sónia valente

domingo, 25 de outubro de 2009

Teaching with Technology-Distance Learning

I found this article that focuses some aspects about distance Learning that i consider very important.
It refers to aspects like: is the distance learning only a target for working adult students;Is a course that uses media richer and more understandable; Is it better to work self-paced in one assyncronous way; Can technology help to promote interaction with all the intervenients(teacher and students); Sould the student work his way.
The Link is

Teaching with Technology- Learning Online

I found this article very interesting and similar to what happens in Portugal.
First the teachers have to use as a resource LMS like Moodle, then plan one course where we can find all the materials needed for the course, like, ebooks, etexts, and all the library the teacher thinks it's needed for the discipline.
We don't need any paper or pencils. In High School in Portugal most of the teachers also use Moodle as a resource in their classroom, but not only in the Classroom, also as a distance learning component.
Our student's can work at home, classes or anywhere at anytime they want.
The plan for each online course must be well prepared and the teacher will spend much in the begining, before using it.
The quality of the content and material used in each online course must be diversified, carefully and richly.
Here are some rich aspects that i found in these article.
..."Students expect readings, assignments, and quizzes they see on the computer to be better thought out than what they see in the classroom."
" when students confront your teaching material online, you are not there in person to explain it, or provide further details: the document they see must cover all bases. Each piece of content posted online must be self-contained and self-explanatory, so that students know exactly what they are supposed to do and have all the support they need to do it."(Lengel,2008)
"It's not what you do, it's what they do. In the classroom the teacher is at the center; students focus on the professor; it's what the faculty member does that makes the difference. Not so with online work. The only thing you get to do is prepare the content and pose the assignments; from then on, learning is dependent on what the students do. So the key to successful online courses is to craft a set of activities for the students to do: read this, look at that, ask yourself this, write that, discuss all of it together with your classmates. The clearer and more active the assignments, the more likely your students are to follow the course of study."
"The teachers in the new start-up high school are learning to structure their courses for an online environment. They are now thinking of each course as a sequence of activities that students go through as they learn the material. "
"Collaborative work. Contacting and conversing with classmates online to create a short presentation of ideas. "
The learning sequence:
Pre-assessment. A short, two- or three-question self-correcting quiz to see what he already knows (and doesn't know) about the subject.
Close reading. A serious and detailed look at the key concept, often guided by an essential question.
Written response. An opportunity for the student to summarize the key idea in her own words, and get online feedback from the teacher.
Wide browsing. Moving beyond the text to explore numerous (and perhaps conflicting) online sources about the concept.
Discussion contribution. Responding publicly in writing to the questions posed by the teacher and commenting on the contributions of classmates.
Collaborative work. Contacting and conversing with classmates online to create a short presentation of ideas.
Capstone project. Putting all that you have learned about this concept into a paper of presentation, and submitting it online.

As online learning grows, we will all learn more about what works best. But by following the guidelines above, you have a better chance to develop an effective course of study.

Teaching with Technology

"Does talking about etexts limit our ideas of what online learning might be? It's not just traditional book content that we want our students to access, it’s course content with all those supplementary and enrichment materials—videos, educational games, audio segments, panoramic scenes, teaming projects, 3D animations, and immersion into online environments with students throughout the world—content and ideas that could whisk our students off into their own learning place. Master teachers are doing this on their own today with the resources they find online, but gathering dynamic course-related resources and making connections for interactive learning is a daunting task 180 days a year for five different class sections and in many cases, several different courses.
My ideal online book company or whatever we might call it, would not only have what teachers and students need in easy-to-access format, it would allow teachers, together with their students, to select what will work for their learning in their courses, therefore eliminating what they would not use. Teachers and students would be creating their own "learning centers,"centers students would want to and need to enter. I can see it now, and I know it will come. We just need to figure out how to get there."

by DR. Merle March

sábado, 24 de outubro de 2009

Cooperative Learning

I found several information about Cooperative learning in the following site:
Informations like What is it?; Why use it?, How does it work?,What are some examples of specific programs?, What else does it do?, What else does the research say?

Cooperative Freedom

First, i noted that Professor Morten Flate Paulsen is the driving force behind the theory of Cooperative Freedom. He is professor of online education and he is in Portugal for his sabbatical and working with us in Universidade Aberta.
Whenever we talk about distance learning or cooperative learning, arises the teacher's name Morten Flate Paulsen.
Issues such as Cooperative Freedom, Flexibility, Cooperative Learning, Online Learning, Online Education, Learning Freedom and Distance Learning can be found in this work.
There are also some of his works translated to Portuguese: Relatório do Estado da Arte: Qualidade do E-learning para PMEs Europeias - uma Análise de Experiências de E-Learning em Pequenas e Médias Empresas and CLIPs e outros instrumentos de apoio à aprendizagem cooperativa realizada em ambientes virtuais.

Transparency in Cooperative Online Education

I found this interesting article that was written by Professor Morten Flate Paulsen
and professor Christian Dalsgaard that discuss: What is the potential of social networking within cooperative online education? the authors argue about transparency as a unique feature of social networking services.
The article talks about cooperative learning, virtual learning environments and transparency based on experiences experienced by the authors.

A Definition of Collaborative VS Cooperative Learning

A Definition of Collaborative vs Cooperative Learning
Ted Panitz (1996)

"I have been searching for many years for the Holy Grail of interactive learning, a distinction between collaborative and cooperative learning definitions. I am getting closer to my elusive goal all the time but I am still not completely satisfied with my perception of the two concepts. I believe my confusion arises when I look at processes associated with each concept and see some overlap or inter-concept usage. I will make a humble attempt to clarify this question by presenting my definitions and reviewing those of other authors who have helped clarify my thinking.

Collaboration is a philosophy of interaction and personal lifestyle whereas cooperation is a structure of interaction designed to facilitate the accomplishment of an end product or goal.

Collaborative learning (CL) is a personal philosophy, not just a classroom technique. In all situations where people come together in groups, it suggests a way of dealing with people which respects and highlights individual group members' abilities and contributions. There is a sharing of authority and acceptance of responsibility among group members for the groups actions. The underlying premise of collaborative learning is based upon consensus building through cooperation by group members, in contrast to competition in which individuals best other group members. CL practitioners apply this philosophy in the classroom, at committee meetings, with community groups, within their families and generally as a way of living with and dealing with other people.

Cooperative learning is defined by a set of processes which help people interact together in order to accomplish a specific goal or develop an end product which is usually content specific. It is more directive than a collaboratve system of governance and closely controlled by the teacher. While there are many mechanisms for group analysis and introspection the fundamental approach is teacher centered whereas collaborative learning is more student centered.

Spencer Kagan in an article in Educational Leadership (Dec/Jan 1989/1990) provides an excellent definition of cooperative learning by looking at general structures which can be applied to any situation. His definition provides an unbrella for the work cooperative learning specialists including the Johnsons, Slavin, Cooper, Graves and Graves, Millis, etc. It follows below:

"The structural approach to cooperative learning is based on the creation, analysis and systematic application of structures, or content-free ways of organizing social interaction in the classroom. Structures usually involve a series of steps, with proscribed behavior at each step. An important cornerstone of the approach is the distinction between "structures" and "activities".

"To illustrate, teachers can design many excellent cooperative activities, such as making a team mural or a quilt. Such activities almost always have a specific content-bound objective and thus cannot be used to deliver a range of academic content. Structures may be used repeatedly with almost any subject matter, at a wide range of grade levels and at various points in a lesson plan."

John Myers (Cooperative Learning vol 11 #4 July 1991) points out that the dictionary definitions of "collaboration", derived from its Latin root, focus on the process of working together; the root word for "cooperation" stresses the product of such work. Co-operative learning has largely American roots from the philosophical writings of John Dewey stressing the social nature of learning and the work on group dynamics by Kurt Lewin. Collaborative learning has British roots, based on the work of English teachers exploring ways to help students respond to literature by taking a more active role in their own learning. The cooperative learning tradition tends to use quantitative methods which look at achievement: i.e., the product of learning. The collaborative tradition takes a more qualitative approach, analyzing student talk in response to a piece of literature or a primary source in history. Myers points out some differences between the two concepts:

"Supporters of co-operative learning tend to be more teacher-centered, for example when forming heterogeneous groups, structuring positive inter- dependence, and teaching co-operative skills. Collaborative learning advocates distrust structure and allow students more say if forming friendhip and interest groups. Student talk is stressed as a means for working things out. Discovery and contextural approaches are used to teach interpersonal skills."

"Such differences can lead to disagreements.... I contend the dispute is not about research, but more about the morality of what should happen in the schools. Beliefs as to whast should happen in the schools can be viewed as a continuum of orientations toward curriculum from "transmission" to "transaction" to "transmission". At one end is the transmission position. As the name suggests, the aim of this orientation is to transmit knowledge to students in the form of facts, skills and values. The transformation position at the other end of the continuum stresses personal and social change in which the person is said to be interrelated with the environment rather than having control over it. The aim of this orientation is self-actualization, personal or organizational change."

Rocky Rockwood (National Teaching and Learning Forum vol 4 #6, 1995 part 1) describes the differences by acknowledging the parallels they both have in that they both use groups, both assign specific tasks, and both have the groups share and compare their procedures and conclusions in plenary class sessions. The major difference lies in the fact that cooperative deals exclusively with traditional (canonical) knowledge while collaborative ties into the social constructivist movement, asserting that both knowledge and authority of knowledge have changed dramatically in the last century. "The result has been a transition from "foundational (cognitive) understanding of knowledge", to a nonfoundational ground where "we understand knowledge to be a social construct and learning a social process" (Brufee, Collaborative learning: Higher Education, Interdependence, and the Authority of Knowledge, 1993). Rockwood states:

"In the ideal collaborative environment, the authority for testing and determining the appropriateness of the group product rests with, first, the small group, second, the plenary group (the whole class) and finally (but always understood to be subject to challenge and revision) the requisite knowledge community (i.e. the discipline: geography, history, biology etc.) The concept of non- foundational knowledge challenges not only the product acquired, but also the process employed in the acquisition of foundational knowledge."

"Most importantly, in cooperative, the authority remains with the instructor, who retains ownership of the task, which involves either a closed or a closable (that is to say foundational) problem ( the instructor knows or can predict the answer). In collaborative, the instructor--once the task is set-- transfers all authority to the group.In the ideal, the group's task is always open ended."

"Seen from this perspective, cooperative does not empower students. It employs them to serve the instructor's ends and produces a "right" or acceptable answer. Collaborative does truly empower and braves all the risks of empowerment (for example, having the group or class agree to an embarrassingly simplistic or unconvincing position or produce a solution in conflict with the instructor's)."

"Every person, Brufee holds, belongs to several "interpretative or knowledge communities" that share vocabularies, points of view, histories, values, conventions and interests. The job of the instructor id to help students learn to negotiate the boundaries between the communities they already belong to and the community represented by the teacher's academic discipline, which the students want to join. Every knowledge community has a core of foundational knowledge that its members consider as given (but not necessarily absolute). To function independently within a knowledge community, the fledgling scholar must master enough material to become conversant with the community."

Rockwood concludes:

"In my teaching experience, cooperative represents the best means to approach mastery of foundational knowledge. Once students become reasonably conversant, they are ready for collaborative, ready to discuss and assess,...."

Myers suggests use of the "transaction" orientation as a compromise between taking hard positions advocating either methodology.

"This orientation views education as a dialogue between the student and the curriculum. Students are viewed as problem solvers. Problem solving and inquiry approaches stressing cognitive skills and the ideas of Vygotsky, Piaget, Kohlberg and Bruner are linked to transaction. This perspective views teaching as a "conversation" in which teachers and students learn together through a process of negotiation with the curriculum to develop a shared view of the world."

It is clear to me that in undertaking the exercize of defining differences between the two ideas we run the risk of polarizing the educational community into a we versus them mentality. There are so many benefits which acrue from both ideas that it would be a shame to lose any advantage gained from the student-student-teacher interactions created by both methods. We must be careful to avoid a one-size-fits-all mentality when it comes to education paradigms.

As a final thought, I think it behooves teachers to educate themselves about the myriad of techniques and philosophies which create interactive environments where students take more responsibility for their own learning and that of their peers. Then it will become possible to pick and chose those methods which best fit a particular educational goal or community of learners."

I considered this article so important that i copied it all and put it in this post. It helps us to distinguish between collaborative learning and cooperative learning. It points out the main aspects of each type of learning. Collaborative learning people must join a group and as a group member must contribute to the development of a specific work. people must work together. Everyone is responsible for the work that is developed. This is a student centred learning. Has a qualitative approach. In Cooperative Learning, people work and interact for a specific goal. It is applied a quantitative method. It is a teacher centred learning and each teacher must design the cooperative activities.

domingo, 10 de maio de 2009

Reflexão crítica

No primeiro post ( é feita uma reflexão sobre a problemática das questões legais associadas ao licenciamento de conteúdos.
Na minha opinião as questões legais associadas ao licenciamento de conteúdos é de extrema importância e como tal podem causar grande impacto na produção de OER.
Neste post, além das questões legais, foram analisados os seguintes aspectos.
▪ Transição de direitos de propriedade para modelos abertos;
▪ Politicas institucionais;
▪ Acesso;
▪ Localização e contextualização;
▪ Transição de conceitos legais de uma jurisdição para outra,
▪ Difamação de padrões técnicos;
▪ Etc.
De uma forma geral, é defendida a teoria de que existe algum desconhecimento e até mesmo uma certa ignorância acerca das questões legais e de responsabilidade relativas aos OER.
Foram formados vários grupos de discussão, de forma a analisar várias questões e várias abordagens ao assunto.
Um grupo manifesta a sua preocupação relativamente ao “Fair Use” e a políticas a ele associadas.
Outra questão salientada foi a compatibilidade entre licenças. Ainda foi focada a questão dos direitos de autor aquando da utilização de pequenos excertos de um documento.
As questões comerciais também foram abordadas, e foi concluído que são depreciativas relativamente à partilha e ao trabalho colaborativo.
Foram ainda apresentadas algumas soluções para as questões apresentadas.

Para o 2º Post escolhi:
Open Educational Resources - Opportunities and Challenges for Higher Education

Neste post, Michael Paskevicius, defende que os OER´s podem conter material variado, desde apresentações em PowerPoint, artigos, links, etc. Segundo Michael, os recursos OER não são limitados ao seu conteúdo, mas incluem e abrangem três áreas específicas: os conteúdos de aprendizagem, as ferramentas e os recursos de implementação.
Foram propostas pela OECD algumas estratégias para aumentar a eficácia e procura de um OER. Para que tal aconteça, torna-se necessária a contribuição quer dos professores, quer dos alunos na criação e utilização de recursos abertos. Os OER devem ser partilhados livremente através das licenças abertas, permitindo deste modo o uso, a tradução, a revisão, melhoramento e partilha de um recurso.
As universidades, escolas, governos, devem considerar como de alta prioridade acesso ao Ensino aberto.
Foi ainda focado que quer a longo prazo, quer a médio prazo, quais os factores propulsionadores e os inibidores da utilização de recursos educacionais abertos, bem como as motivações para a utilização de um OER. Todos os aspectos que estão referenciados nos pontos acima descritos, tem como objectivo aceder aos melhores recursos e a materiais mais flexíveis.

Para 3ºpost,escolhi:

OER as an Enabler in Tough Economic Times

Este Post fala-nos relativamente ao modo como a situação económica de um país pode influenciar o movimento dos recursos educacionais abertos.
A adopção em larga escala dos recursos OER, pode influenciar as aspirações de melhoramento das habilitações académicas dos indivíduos, uma vez que de acordo com o estado da economia mundial e com as taxas crescentes no número de desempregados, consequentemente, tal contribui para o aumento do número de alunos nas instituições universitárias.
O movimento dos recursos educacionais abertos (OER’s) surgiu como uma forma de complemento e substituto do ensino tradicional, uma vez que se os alunos possuírem acesso à Internet, podem aceder aos recursos de uma forma mais facilitada e recorrer a eles para construir o seu próprio conhecimento.
Podemos então considerar que a tecnologia surge aqui como grande impulsionadora da educação e do conhecimento livre.

Achei igualmente interessante o processo para inserir um recurso num repositório na Universidade da cidade do Cabo, sendo que o mesmo é considerado como extremamente simples, logo, aconselha-se a consulta do seguinte post.

quarta-feira, 6 de maio de 2009

Reflexão Crítica : OER - Recursos Educacionais Abertos

Para dar início à minha reflexão crítica sobre os OER´s, achei pertinente encontrar uma definição para OER. Seguidamente senti necessidade e curiosidade perante a história, origens e evolução dos OER's.

Open Educational Resources are defined as “technology-enabled, openprovision of educational resources for consultation, use and adaptation by acommunity of users for non-commercial purposes.” They are typically madefreely available over the Web or the Internet. Their principal use is byteachers and educational institutions support course development, but theycan also be used directly by students. Open Educational Resources includelearning objects such as lecture material, references and readings,simulations, experiments and demonstrations, as well as syllabi ,curriculaand teachers' guides. (UNESCO, 2005).

Um OER não é nada mais, nada menos do que um recurso educacional que pode ser disponibilizado livremente para toda a comunidade digital e cujo destino se centra nos fins académicos.
Estes recursos abrangem materiais de várias áreas do ensino e recorrem a várias ferramentas para apoiar o seu desenvolvimento, tais como, Linux, Unix, Mozilla, Wikispaces, etc.

Não podemos falar em OER - Recursos Educacionais Abertos, sem falar em conteúdos Abertos, Objectos de Aprendizagem, Software Livre, e nos Open Course Ware(OCW) do MIT ao disponibilizarem os seus conteúdos On-line de forma livre e aberta.

Os Recursos Educacionais Abertos (OER´s), surgiram por volta do ano 2002 na conferência da UNESCO subordinado ao tema : Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries, financiado pela fundação de William e Flora Hewlett.
Em 1994, Wayne Hodgins inventou o termo "learning object" e a ideia a ele associada de que todos os materiais digitais podem ser produzidos para que possam ser reutilizados de forma variada.

Wiley, por volta do ano 1998, definiu o conceito de Conteúdo aberto (Open Content), cujo contributo para o desenvolvimento dos OER´s se centrou nos princípios do código aberto e no software livre quando aplicados aos conteúdos digitais e à criação da primeira licença livre.

Em 2001, Larry Lessig criou a licença Creative Commons, contribuindo para o aumento da credibilidade e confiança jurídica, tornando o uso de licenças muito mais fácil de usar.
Ainda em 2001, o MIT criou os OCW e o acesso livre a projectos, cursos, teses com fins não comerciais, tornando-se um exemplo a nível mundial.

Em 2002, falou-se pela primeira vez em OER´s.

2005 marcou a história com um aumento significativo da criação dos OER´s e das licenças livres(Creative Commons).
Quando falamos em conteúdos abertos, não podemos deixar de falar em movimento FLOSS, Linux, GNU, Creative Commons.
Por todo o mundo, pretende-se disponibilizar conteúdos abertos, materiais de aprendizagem, desenvolvidos de forma colaborativa, à semelhança do que se faz com o desenvolvimento de software livre.
Na produção de objectos livres, todos podem participar, alterando o conteúdo sem cometer ilegalidades, sem prazos de conclusão definidos, podendo participar na produção dos mesmos ao longo do tempo. Todos os utilizadores podem adicionar, editar e actualizar o conteúdo dos materiais, sendo que geralmente, os mesmos são o produto de vários autores, podendo no entanto, os utilizadores (não autores) contribuírem para a produção dos mesmos. Frequentemente são efectuadas actualizações, dentro de um ciclo de contínuo desenvolvimento. Os resultados de todas as contribuições colaborativas são numa fase de pré-lançamento disponibilizados aos elementos da comunidade produtora, através de mailing lists, fóruns, etc, no sentido de serem corrigidas possíveis falhas.
Nesta perspectiva quanto maior for o contributo dos elementos da comunidade, melhor será a qualidade dos OER´s produzidos.
Para que todos possam utilizar e recorrer aos OER´s, torna-se necessário total liberdade para o utilizador usar, modificar, copiar e redistribuir qualquer recurso, contribuindo desta forma para a universalização do conhecimento.