Thursday, November 08, 2007

Teaching Online: Interaction & Collaboration Activities

Reposted from the UW-Stout Infobytes Newsletter, edited by Karen Franker

Two people working at computers

Online Teaching: Interaction and Collaboration Activities

Special Issue on Online Collaboration
The February 2006 issue of the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN) contains eight articles which provide an excellent overview of effective methods for structuring online collaboration activities.

Relationships between Interactions and Learning in Online Environments (PDF)
Kathy Swan presents research findings on best practices in interactive learning and how they can guide effective course design and facilitation.

Online Learning Communities
Jan Engle and others describe how an effectively-designed online course can facilitate movement of a class through group development stages and deepen the learning experience. Key elements impacting student interaction include: the level of structure required, teamwork skills, discussion forums, and cooperative/collaborative learning exercises.

Understanding Interactions in Distance Education
Veronica Thurmond and Karen Wambach ask educators to consider if they are making optimum use of interaction and feedback, and describe four types of interactions commonly seen in online classes.

Earn a Graduate Certificate in E-Learning and Online Teaching!

For More Information about Classes Forming Now.

What Our Students Are Saying…

About the Online Classroom: Creating Collaborative Communities course:

"...the course design fostered a level of cohesive participant interaction that I have not experienced in many places. The instructors provided an effective model of online facilitation while teaching about online instruction. Every potential online instructor should take this class." ~ Paul Mugan , High school biology teacher, Waverly, Iowa

Tech Tip –
RSS Feeds in Internet Explorer 7

The new Internet Explorer 7 for Windows makes it easy to set up RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds for favorite Web sites so that you automatically receive personalized information updates. This can be a huge timesaver, as the updates are automatically sent to your Favorites Center, so you only have to look in one place. To set up an RSS feed:

1. First, check your favorite Websites to see if an RSS feed is available. To do this, open a Website and look for an orange and white striped icon in the toolbar (usually next to the Home icon), which means that RSS feed capability is available for this page. If there is no RSS feed for this page, the icon will be gray and white.

2. Next, click on the small black triangle next to this orange Feed icon to see which site items are available via RSS. Select an item from the list. A new window opens. In the new window, click on the Subscribe to This Feed text near the top of the screen.

3. To read your RSS feeds, go to the Favorites Center in Internet Explorer 7 (yellow star icon at left side of screen) and click on the Feeds button. A list of your selected feeds will appear. Select a site feed, and the content will open in a new window.

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