Group Activity

Online students do need the power of social connections to accomplish the course.

According to Gilly Salmon (.doc) an online group goes through the five stages of “access and motivation”, “online socialization”, “exchange of information”, “knowledge construction” and “self-organization”. These phases are accompanied by the moderator with small online tasks.

Roy Williams (on Twitter @dustcube) writes that for the successful establishment of an online group “comfort, fun, trust, engagement” is needed.
Comfort is a combination of clear structures, personal items (such as images or videos) and the readiness to develop in small steps together with the learners (co-evolution) this comfortable environment. (source = jupidu)

The one type of class in which students learned even more effectively than in either online or traditional classes, the study found, was an approach called “interactive engagement pedagogy,” where students interact frequently in small groups to grapple with concepts and questions. Such “constructive engagement” in the classroom is something education reformers have long pushed for, Pritchard says, and is already used in many MIT classes.

How to accompany an online course group

  • Make your students feel at home as soon as possible.
  • You could connect your students with other students  in your comments on their work. Weaving their answers with links to answers and comments of other students.
  • Use names in your comments.
  • Questions are great activators
  • Engaging student activities for more than one student. Group work, discussion, ask for comments, challenges.
  • Excite curiosity with questions.
  • Allow for choice for the students.
  • Use (as soon as possible) reinforcement in social and fun and engaging activities of students.
  • Add help files and give links to faq’s and how-to’s.
  • Make students comment on work of other students.

Enhance independentness and autonomy
Participation in online courses challenges learners to develop self-organization, self-motivation, and a reasonable amount of technological proficiency to manage the resources and the more open format. Participants in online courses have to develop the mastery of an array of technologies and various networking skills. The nature of online learning requires students to assume active roles, to perform learning activities and collaborate in goal achievement.


4 thoughts on “Online-moderation

  1. Very nice compilation Jaap. What I find cool with all the engagement needed for online courses there seems to not other distributed practitioners that understand how important this. My medical-care team hasn’t reached the level of returning phone calls and when they talk of “engagement” I think they mean: “shut-up, we’re important and you aren’t.” I really wonder when the simple politeness of authentic feedback will reach as far as medicine? Or even the lawnmower part I ordered a month ago that’s taken 4 phone calls to determine it hasn’t been shipped yet.
    Since most things I need are a long distance from me. And not many things work on the first 5 tries, I wonder if we don’t need a school of creative uncooperation? I’ll be asking my medical system helper this week what I can do that is most irritating that will get attention.

  2. Hi Scott, your adventures in medic land are almost unbelievable. But, I know you are not the only victim of this dehumanizing culture. Part of my week I do assist people with coping with government, helping to try to communicate with state employees. Some of these people seem to enjoy their power and mis-use it as much as they can.

  3. Most people don’t seem to have a clue on what customer service means. There’s a recent rush to automate service but if you don’t know what it is how can you design an “improvement”?
    Saw my own doctor today since she’s been away and will be working directly with her and am going to “fire” all the others–specially the oncologist and the cardiologist. With one doctor and a Chemotherapy nurse I can get by just fine. The expert people may be necessary but they won’t talk to me so they can deal through my doctor. I find it ridiculous that with all the specialists NONE of them think it necessary to answer simple questions.
    Funny, my job used to involve building online courses. We had some older instructors that were so good with students and not good with technology and it was policy that I not help them after a short period of training. These were people who had built the college and were due the respect of some help so I ran a back channel off the side of my desk and everyone was happy. Only institutions make actual rules allowing people to treat each other like garbage and I want nothing of that.
    Helping people with bureaucratic slackers sounds satisfying. When my father died the insurance company kept delaying his life insurance until my mom was broke. She called her friend and lawyer as a last attempt and the lawyer, a 60 something woman went to the insurance company straight into the claims area full of claims adjusters and bellowed: “which one of you fools is hanging this woman’s claim up?” No one answered, so she sat on a desk and waited a few minutes until someone confessed and approved the claim.
    As a contribution to my medical treatment I’m going to write up a guide to engaging people and cram it in the tailpipe of their BMWs.

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