Below is my “slidedeck” for the TxDLA09 preso Tonya Mills and I are delivering at TxDLA. Her presentation is represented in my slide deck but I’ll be sure to post it once she makes it available.
Again, you can always access ALL the materials online at http://mguhlin.wikispaces.com
Even though our efforts are still beginning in our district, there are a wealth of online facilitation tips that can be shared.More on this can be found at http://itls.saisd.net/blog
Some tips that Tonya and I came up with for online facilitators that we think are worth sharing:
- Address the logistics of the course in your course materials and make sure they are obvious and easily accessible rather than buried in a syllabus or other document. Logistics can include how often students should login and participate in the course, assessment rubrics, etc.
- Personalize your online learning environment. You can accomplish this by including video testimonials from former students and course introductions by district facilitators.
- Develop and share materials (e.g. brochures) to potential participants.
- Set up forums that address the “social dimension” of introducing people and getting to know each other, as well as forums for dealing with technical aspects. If someone hasn’t logged in, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call them or send an email a day until they respond.
- Remember to scaffold and support learning conversations rather than dominate them. Part of your scaffolding and support is providing regular feedback and interacting with participants online. This is especially important up front since your level of activity serves as a model for the level of interaction students will exhibit when you are present but not as active. This initial high interactivity sloping down to omni-presence enables participants to learn to rely on each other for answers, rather than you.
- Don’t be afraid to summarize–also known as landscape–the ongoing conversations periodically, as well as remind everyone what expectations are at regular intervals (such as at the start point, mid-point, and end-points). This help everyone stay on focus.
- Avoid long discussion posts, as well as posts that feature a lot of questions. Focus discussions around ONE central question that resembles an ill-structured problem.
- Encourage people to discover each other’s strengths and what they each have to bring to the table. One of the most rewarding aspects of online learning conversations is that people discover each other online.
I invite you, even if you’re not going to be at the Conference, to participate via Twitter, blogging, and joining the online learning space (Enrollment key is “txdla” without quotes)Tonya and I have created for our presentation. I see the presentation at TxDLA as the beginning of a learning journey with participants, and I hope you’ll jump in and share what you’re learning about teaching, learning and leading online.
NOTE: If you are going to blog or use twitter, I encourage you to use the hashtag/tag of “txdla09learnme” or #txdla09learnme. This will allow us to aggregate your words and feedback. Thank you!
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure