This Blog is intended to share ideas for the incorporation of technology in the classroom.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Module 6-How to create your online course

How to Create Your Own Online Course: 100 Tools, Guides, and Resources
This site is by far one of the best sites I have found online. It offers a great list of resources including learning management systems, guidelines to create online courses for educators, how to use videos and literature to understand how to best learn in an online course from students’ perspectives. I found this site very helpful because it expands on the use of technology tools that we have become familiar with over the course of this program. For those of you who have been considering Second Life as a teaching tool, there is information for you as well. This link is a keeper!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Module 5 Blog-Selecting Tools for Online Communities

In my search for applications that support online learning I encountered Selecting Tools for Online Communities:
Suggestions for Learning Technologists
. I found this article easy to read while very informative. It provides a way to consider all the necessary steps in order to create an online learning community as it compares it to building a neighborhood. Adams and Freman (2003) list questions that one must consider before embarking in such task, from something as fundamental as the reason to form a community to the need to meet physically, required participation and whether or not online interactions should be recorded. In addition, the article contains a list of technology tools that would support the community.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Module 4- Assessing Faculty’s Social Presence

Assessing Faculty’s Social Presence indicators in Online Courses at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus. “Social Presence appears to contribute to student satisfaction with the online learning experience. Specifically, it contributes to student motivation, to enhance online learning environment, and has been associated to retention and completion of online courses.” (Serrano Núñez (2005)

As a student who has participated in online programs, I have encountered situations in which I felt my social presence was not an important factor in the course. This made me feel unmotivated making the course more of a task than a positive learning experience. As an educator who values technology, I recognize the indefinite benefits of technology in education, I want to take ownership and learn as much as I can about how to best create a pleasant, engaging and challenging online community for my students. Reading Serrano Nuñez case study validated my intuition that a lot of the responsibility lies on the professor in regards to social presence in an online environment.
According to Serrano Núñez online faculty social presence is a key motivating factors for students to complete online courses. In her study she concentrated on categorizing educators’ social presence into two indicators; affective and cohesive. The affective factors include emotion and humor while the cohesive refers to the inclusive communication that serves as a social function. Her results stated that 50% of the professors used affective strategies, while 75% used cohesive strategies. This means that only half of the professors demonstrated a “real life” presence online while others simply communicated course related material without emotion. After considering this case study and my personal experiences, I would have to agree that this disparity in performance, as it relates to social presence, is related to the lack of training needed for computer mediated communication.