Unit One: Understanding the Learning Community and Online Discourse


Overview of Unit 1

Study Guide

Unit 1. Study Guide


You Tube

Rethinking Education[[1]]

Respond to these questions


Now, read these articles about differentiated instruction.

  • Media:Unit_1-a.pdf "" (2007) by Jennifer Carolan and Abigail Guinn. This article introduces teachers to the idea of DI and addresses some issues as to why some teachers may be hesitant to try DI in their classrooms. Carolan and Guinn (2007) observed classrooms in which DI was occurring and recognized four common features: 1) offering personalized scaffolding; 2) using flexible means to reach defined ends; 3) mining subject-area expertise; and 4) creating a caring classroom in which differences are seen as assets.
  • Media:Unit_1-b.pdf‎ "" (2008) by Holli M. Levy. This article addresses the connection between DI and national and state standards. Levy (2008) states, “The core of differentiated instruction is flexibility in content, process, and product based on student strengths, needs, and learning styles” (p. 162). Levy (2008) also addresses assessments, student grouping, and tiered assignments (see examples in Unit 4) in terms of DI.


References and Resources

Anderson, T. D., & Garrison, D. R. (1995). Critical thinking in distance education:Developing critical communities in an audio teleconference context. Higher Education,29, 183 - 199. Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., Archer, W. (2001). Assessing Teaching presence in a Computer Conference Environment, Journal of Distance Education, 14(3), 51-70. Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical Thinking and Computer Conferencing:A Model and Tool to Assess Cognitive Presence. American Journal of Distance Education Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education 2(2-3), 87-105 Resnick, M. (1991). Xylophones, Hamsters, and Fireworks: The Role of Diversity in Constructionist Activities. Constructionism, eds. Idit Harel and Seymour Papert. Rourke, L., Anderson, T. Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing social presence in asynchronous, text-based computer conferencing. Journal of Distance Education, 14(3),50-70. Lippman, M. (1991). Thinking in Education. Chapter 1. Cambridge University Press. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


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Return to Essential Guild to Online Teaching

Unit 1: Understanding the Learning Community and Online Discussion

Unit 2: Identifying Useful Communication Tips

Unit 3: Implementing Class Management Plan