Fall 2012 SLN interns are here!

SLN Fall 2012 Intern, Diane Hamilton

SLN Fall 2012 Intern, Diane Hamilton

SLN Fall 2012 Intern, Lisa Martin

SLN Fall 2012 Intern, Lisa Martin

‏Diane Hamilton from UAlbany’s Certificate of Graduate Study in Online Learning and Teaching (COLT) and Lisa Martin from UAlbany’s Master of Science in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology (CDIT) program have joined SLN education for internships that will run through December 2012. We are very excited to have an SLN internship program in collaboration with the SUNY Albany department of Education Theory and Practice (ETAP), and to have Diane and Lisa with us.

Diane will be working with the SLN education team to review content and interaction artifacts from the new SLN Online Instructional Designer (ID) certificate program to organize resources, study interactions, and identify effective practices. And Lisa will be working with us to interview experienced and exemplar online faculty for the SLN Online Faculty Fellows program. We are thrilled to have them!

check out their blogs! –

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Social Presence

What is Social Presence? why do I want it? and how do I create it?
What is social presence as defined by the Community of Inquiry model and how can it be used to enhance the online learner experience and to create an effective and engaging online teaching and learning environment? What are some practical examples of how the indicators of social presence can be expressed in an online course? How can you effectively cultivate online group cohesion, and incorporate affective elements, and promote positive interaction in your online instruction?

Communities of Inquiry – the CoI model – http://communitiesofinquiry.com/model

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105. pdf Full Text

  1. Social presence
  2. Teaching presence
  3. Cognitive presence

What is Social Presence?

  1. Affective Expression
  2. Interaction
  3. Group Cohesion

1. Affective Expression

Why do i want it?

To support and facilitate social interaction in an online web-based teaching and learning environment…

  1. So students can get to know each other.
  2. So students will feel a sense of belonging in the course.
  3. To establish a sense of class community.  So students will establish trust with you and their classmates – so you can  move on to teaching and cognitive presences.
  4. So students can form distinct impressions of others in the course – so students feel those they interact with are “real.”

how do I create it?

  1. Use emotions, humor, self-disclosure (appropriately – based on who you are.) This is NOT the same as being “chummy” with your students. Model it in your welcome, introductions, interactions, discussions. Use your interactions (in “voice”, “tone”, with images) to convey your personality to help students form distinct impressions of you and to encourage them to do the same.
  2. Leverage course profiles – photos, interests, etc.
  3. Create spaces for social interaction in the course.
  4. Create opportunities for non-course related interactions. Examples: a bulletin board (virtual coffee house), a suggestion box, etc.
  5. Create an introductory discussion/interaction to give students a chance to get to know each other – give the introductory discussion more depth by framing it with questions about prior knowledge of the course and expectations.


2. Interaction

Why do i want it?

To support a sense of open communication in your online teaching and learning environment.

  1. So that students feel comfort conversing online
  2. So that students feel comfortable participating in discussion
  3. So that students feel comfortable interacting with you and their classmates

how do I create it?

  1. Start the course with an introductory discussion at the beginning of the course. Provide models and timely feedback.
  2. Provide explicit expectations about interaction. Example, http://etap640.edublogs.org/2009/12/17/my-discussion-post-grading-rubric
  3. Ask questions. End each post in your discussions with a question, so that the conversation continues and so that you can get the students to dig deeper. As the instructor you risk halting discussions when you contribute. By asking a probing question at the end of your posts you can continue a thread of discussion to promote and create additional depth in the interaction.
  4. Quote directly from a previous post in a discussion.
  5. Refer explicitly to others by name in the discussion.
  6. Express compliments and appreciation. Never underestimate your power. If you have high expectations, your student will rise to them.
  7. Express agreement.

3. Group Cohesion

Why do i want it?

To create a sense of class community in your online teaching and learning environment.

  1. So students will feel comfortable disagreeing with you and with classmates in the course. This requires a sense of trust, which requires that students understand what is expected and permitted in the class.
  2. Where their point of view is acknowleged by others in the course.
  3. Where discussion is used to help students build a sense of collaboration in the course – where they feel they are positively contributing to the sense-making in the course for themselves and their classmates.

how do I create it?

  1. Provide expectations for interactions, including netiqutte. Provide examples and models to insure understanding. Give students permission to disagree and show the how to do that.
  2. Model the behaviors yourself.
  3. “Speak” to them. Use salutations in your posts. Refer to students by name in your posts. Use inclusive pronouns.
  4. Give students ample opportunities to interact with you, the content, and each other.
  5. Let students do the work.
  6. Let students help each other. Example Create an ask a question area – where students can help each other.
  7. Let students peer evaluate each others’ work.

Links from the presentation

Education quotes

 – An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people. – Thomas Jefferson

– Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not a preparation for life, but is life itself. – John Dewey

– To truly teach, one must converse; to truly converse is to teach. – Gallimore and Tharp

– Through others, we become ourselves. -L. S. Vygotsky

– It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. – Albert Einstein

– One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try. We learn by doing. Aristotle

– I am still learning. -Michelangelo

– The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. – Alvin Toffler

– Only the educated are free. -Epicetus

– It is better to ask some of the questions than know all of the answers. -James Thurber

– Accumulate learning by study, understand what you learn by questioning. – Mingjiao, Jiufeng Annals

– A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.- Maya Angelou

– Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. -William James

– I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” — Socrates

– Stress the right of the individual to select only what he desires to know, to use any knowledge as he wishes, that he himself owns what he has learned. Be prepared, as an instructor, to learn from the students. – L. Ron Hubbard

– It’s not ADD, I’m bored and just not listening. Engage or Enrage me.  – marc prensky

Alexandra M. Pickett

  • Getting off to a good start in any online course happens by design, not by accident.  – Alex
  • The only assumption an online instructor should make is to assume the perspective of the online student to aid in the design of an online course. My best advice to all new online instructors is -“Assume Nothing,” – Alex
  • A student that is not well-oriented to you, your course, your specific learning activities, and your expectations, will have confusion and many questions, will feel uncomfortable, and will be less apt to succeed in your online classroom. They will definitely not be satisfied with the online learning experience, nor will they be apt to report high levels of learning. Their confusion, questions, and discomfort will result in more work for you, your own dissatisfaction, and a crummy evaluation from the student. – Alex
  • Say what you mean, and do what you say. You can run your class however you want, but you have to make absolutely clear to the students what you expect and how they can succeed in your course.- Alex
  • If you try something and it doesn’t work (or it breaks something)… Don’t do that again.- Alex
  • A well-designed course creatively leverages the options AND recognizes the limitations of the online learning environment.- Alex
  • Good online instructional practices are independent of software.- Alex
  • You are just going to have to trust me on this one, it will not be fun for you or your students to have you trying to develop the course and teach it at the same time. – Alex
  • Developing a course for the first time takes a new online faculty person an average of 120 hours. Plan accordingly!- Alex
  • If you have created PowerPoint slide presentations that you use in class to enhance your lecture, you may be tempted to simply post them on the web for your online students. Resist that temptation.  : )
  • In an online course you need to create opportunities for your students to make their thinking/learning visible. Make them do something! Think, engage, apply, defend, refute, report, self-assess.- Alex
  • Learning as a social process. Online courses that are designed to promote a sense of class community, where there are ample opportunities for interaction and the social construction of knowledge, result in online teaching and learning communities of satisfied students and faculty. Think about the isolated learning experiences involved in a classic correspondence-type course… enough said.- Alex
  • You can’t  recreate your traditional classroom course online. What you have to do is to reconceptualize how to achieve your instructional objectives in ways appropriate for the new kind of learning environment! – Alex
  • For first time online faculty: Keep it simple. First make it work, then make it pretty. Commit to iterate.- Alex
  • Online course design process: reflect, connect, organize, build refine, implement, Evolve…- Alex
  • I would never discourage you from using tests online, as long as you know that the activity will be take home, open book, and potentially collaborative. But, if you try to implement a timed final MC exam online, and it is worth 25- 50% of the grade, you are missing something. . . Understand it for what it is, use it appropriately for the environment, and weigh it accordingly. – Alex
  • The answer to life, the universe and everything is … instructional design. – Alex
  • If you have no life because of your online course workload, you need to redesign your course.  – Alex
  • Just because the course is online, does not mean that everything has to happen online. – Alex

Bill Pelz

  • The best way to learn is to teach – Bill
  • Grade the daily work! – Bill
  • If you want your students to do the learning, then figure out how to get them to do the work.- Bill
  • The best way to learn is to teach – Bill
  • present. engage. assess. – Bill