OTL 301 Post 4

I searched around for online instructors who would be available for an interview but no one was answering my emails- most likely because it is summer vacation. Andresen’s (2009) article indicates many concepts which address some of the lesson’s questions. To promote community and connection, instructors should consider the appropriate length of time to discuss students’ social and personal domains. As such, delving into assignments and questions should begin gradually. Based on student evaluations, an instructor is considered an expert and passionate if he/she has multiple postings. However, there needs to be a balance as too many posts can decrease the length of discussions and the student-student interactions. To facilitate the process of critical inquiry, high levels of student-student connections need to exist. This is often contributed by the discussions, assignments, and instructors who can nurture the inquiry process. Thus, strategic questions and topics need to be carefully crafted. Andresen (2009) also discusses that incorporating digital tools can be difficult as they need to remain user friendly. More research needs to be done on the use of Blackboard, WebCT, and Moodle.

I learned a lot from this article. First, I had assumed that online learning was easier than face to face. This article clearly indicates that more analysis, time, and careful planning are needed for successful asynchronous discussions and assessments. Clearly, the space and time between teacher and student remains an obstacle.  Second, I learned that there is more to it than just facilitating a discussion forum. Instructors must recognize and appreciate the profiles of the different learners enrolled. They must also stimulate quality discussions and determine how much an instructor should intervene. Andresen’s (2009) article sheds light on effective practices for continuous entry courses. This is definitely an article that I will have on hand!

 

Reference

Andresen, M. A. (2009). Asynchronous discussion forums: Success factors, outcomes, assessments, and limitations. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 12(1), 249-n/a. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.proxy2.ncu.edu/docview/1287038908?accountid=139631