Well now I am completely involved….participating, collaborating and in the “learner managed learning environment” of the #ONL161 course (a pedagogical course based on Problem-Based Learning adapted for online courses).
As I stated in my last blog post it was all a bit new and unstructured from what I am used to as a learner but I am not alone in this feeling as the review (see summary below) points out. So now (mainly for my own state of mind) I have re-structured my bookmarks, downloaded specific apps so I can collaborate on the fly and ready to determine the goals and outcomes of the course with my group of colleagues.
After reading the review on: Online learning: it is all about dialogue, involvement, support and control – research by Marion Coomey , John Stephenson, Ryerson Polytechnic University and Middlesex University, UK it gave me an overview of what it is that we are doing on this course. Here is just a short summary of the article as I thought it was very interesting.
One hundred research reports and journal articles were included in the review. Most were published in the period 1998-2000 and it’s focus was on benefits for learners. They based it on the 4 common features
They then included these common features (they call it DISC) into a paradigm grid for online learning:
These are the four paradigms:
- Teacher-controlled, specified learning activities;
- Teacher-controlled, open-ended or strategic learning;
- Learner-managed specified learning activities;
- Learner-managed, open-ended or strategic learning.
You can read more in the full article but I think you get the picture.
So now straight to the South East Quadrant (Learner managed)
As a learner on the course I am in control of the overall direction of the learning along side my colleagues in our PBL3 group, including learning outcomes and longer terms goals what a eureka moment that was! We discuss the topic, read articles and are in the process of structuring up our time together. When it comes to the DISC features we
Dialogue – Have Individual work & collaborative work and find external sources to help us on the way.
Involvement – We are totally involved in the learning activity and we relate our learning to our own personal, vocational and academic needs.
Support – We have a facilitator who is in the background, offering advice on procedures and resources.
Control – We determine the goals and outcomes and monitor our own progress.
Even though we are at the beginning of the course I am already totally bought into this way of learning, however here is some advice from the professionals:
Advice for the South-East quadrant learning environment
- The role of the tutor, and the amount and level of tutor participation, should be clearly defined (Lewis and Vizcarro, 1998).
- Embed prompts and other ways for students to interact with the content in order to make the thinking process clear (Henderson et al, 1998).
- Provide synchronous events (along with asynchronous events) to maintain student enthusiasm and a ‘real time’ sense of participation (Mason, 1998).
- Develop criteria for students to assess each others’ work (McConnell,1995).
- Remember that ‘free for all’ open discussions do not usually work (Mason, 1998).
- Provide guidelines and carefully designed questions (Beaudin, 1999).
- Create a structure to make teams collaborate (solve problems through a 48 Teaching and Learning Online voting system; write collaborative assignments by dividing tasks into sections) (Marjanovic, 1999).
- Beware that learners could become so involved in browsing that they might not be thinking about the learning related to specific subject matter (Ewing et al,1999).
- Beaudin, B (1999) Keeping online asynchronous discussions on topic, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 3 (2),
- Ewing, J M (1999) Enhancement of student learning online and offline, http://www.norcol.ac.uk/departments/educas/JimEwing/webversion/studentlearning/htm
- Henderson, L, Putt, I, Ainge, D and Combes, G (1998) Comparison of students’ thinking processes when studying with WWW, IMM and text based materials, in The Virtual Campus: Trends for higher education and training, eds F Verdejo and G Davies, Chapman & Hall, New York.
- Lewis, R and Vizcarro, C (1998) Collaboration between universities and enterprises in the Knowledge Age, in The Virtual Campus: Trends for higher education and training, eds F Verdejo and G Davies, Chapman & Hall, New York.
- Marjanovic, O (1999) Learning and teaching in a synchronous collaborative environment, journal of Computer Assisted Learning,15, pp 129-38.
- Mason, R (1998) Models of online courses, ALN Magazine, 2 (2),
- McConnell, D (1995) Learning in Groups: Some experiences of online work, Springer- Verlag, Berlin