Collaborative Communities in eLearning: Module 3 Reflections

'Pace Bend Park Cliff Diving' photo (c) 2010, Randall Chancellor - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The most intriguing thing I learned in Mod 3 was…

  • Facilitating an online discussion well sure is a lot harder than it looks.  I needed to plan on spending more time (at least for me as a beginner) on the board as facilitator than when I am in the student role.

I will use this newfound knowledge as an online facilitator by…

  • Really focusing on the prompts!  Think about incorporating some good stems like “How can … ” “Can you find other sources …” etc.
  • Facilitating more assertively! If a prompt clearly isn’t working, re-focus it and re-launch it sooner rather than later.
  • Learning to read threads in print view or in whatever scrolling format is available in a given LMS.
  • Learning to use the “flag a message” and the “keep unread” functionality in D2L or equivalent tools in a given LMS.
  • Realizing that while there are some differences between teaching face-to-face and teaching online, I have been making the differences bigger than they are.  There were places in this week’s discussion where I would have stopped a 7th grader in my f2f classroom and said, “Address the class, not me …” because the discussion was online, I said nothing, but saying, “What do the rest of you think about _____’s point in this post?” was probably appropriate in the places where I was instinctively feeling it.

Other reflective thoughts…

  • Perfection is the enemy of excellence!
  • It’s easy to tell someone, “Don’t worry … It’s okay to fail …” But it sure feels scary when you’re the one doing the failing.       
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