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