Using Online Participation Tools to Foster Active Learning

Designed by Christina Nelson-Brozycki


Introduction:

Teachers value class discussion as an indicator of active student learning. Yet, class discussions do not always engage all students. How can teachers make their class discussions more student centered? Online participation tools (wikis, blogs, online platforms) offer teachers some new ways to foster active student learning through class discussion.


Course Objectives:

  • The purpose of this course is help teachers foster active learning by their students through the use of online participation tools as part of their class activities.
  • Participants who complete this workshop will understand why online tools can increase active learning through class participation and will know how to choose online tools that encourage more students to actively learn through participation.

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You should complete this online course if you would like to know:

What are the disadvantages to traditional participation techniques?

How can teachers foster active learning by students through online participation tools?

What strategies will help teachers maximize the effectiveness of online participation tools?

What kinds of online participation tools are available for teachers?


For more information on learning outcomes for this course, please see Christina Nelson-Brozycki Portfolio


UNIT 1: What are the disadvantages to traditional classroom participation techniques?

Unit Objectives: Students will identify traditional participation techniques. Students will identify the drawbacks to traditional participation techniques as tools to encourage active learning through participation.


Activity #1 JOIN : To fully participate in this workshop, please send an email to cnb@cnbteach.com, requesting that you be added to the ETAP ID Project class on collaborizeclassroom.com [www.collaborizeclassroom.com]. Once you have been accepted by email, join this free site, and spend a few minutes getting familiar with this online classroom platform. Then return to this course for further directions.

Activity #2:

REFLECT: Think of your experiences as a student. How did you feel about class participation? What factors made you more likely to participate in class? Post your ideas in the discussion space at ETAP ID Project at collaborizeclassroom.com.

SHARE: Read and respond to a reflection by a classmate on the factors that encourage students to participate in class.

Activity #3:

REFLECT: Think of your experiences as a teacher. What factors encouraged students to participate in class? What are your best techniques to foster student discussion? Post your ideas in the discussion space at ETAP ID Project at collaborizeclassroom.com.

SHARE: Read and respond to a classmate’s idea for encouraging class participation.

Activity #4 VIEW:

Watch this video from The Teaching Channel at https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/strategies-for-student-centered-discussionon encouraging a student-centered discussion.

REFLECT: The teacher, Ms.Wessling, provides an excellent model for facilitating a student -centered discussion. In the discussion space at ETAP ID Project at collaborizeclassroom.com, list the effective techniques that Ms.Wessling uses. In what ways might this excellent model be improved? Do all students participate? Are all students engaged throughout the entire class? Should all students be engaged? Is this a realistic goal?

SHARE: Post your ideas in the discussion space at ETAP ID Project at collaborizeclassroom.com. Read and respond to a classmate’s post.


Activity #5 MINI-LECTURE: Drawbacks to Traditional Participation Techniques

Teachers value participation from students as an indicator that students are actively engaged with the class material. However, many traditional forms of participation fail to foster full class participation. What are some possible drawbacks to traditional participation techniques?


TECHNIQUE DRAWBACK
Whole class discussion Only one student can participate at a time
Small Group work Potential for one or two students to do all the work
Cold Calling Once a student has been called on, she/he may stop paying attention
Think, Pair, Share Only a few students can participate at a time


Many traditional participation techniques create a scenario in which only one or maybe a few students are interacting with the teacher. Moreover, all these techniques create a situation in which the teacher is the center of the discussion. Creating an environment in which all students participate and the focus of the discussion is shifted from the teacher to the students an be difficult using traditional participation techniques. Online participation tools offer teachers some new ways to foster active participation from all students.

SUMMARY: While student participation is valued by teachers as an indicator of active student learning, even student centered discussion techniques do not always engage all students.

Go to: Unit 2: How can online tools help teachers to foster active learning through participation?