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E-moderating Links

See also: E-moderating Tutorial.

The first reading (Concrete Steps) offers tips on how to get started. The author also gives examples of how faculty members at various universities are using online discussions. Teacher Education faculty in the second reading describe their experiences in using online discussions to expand the classroom walls for pre-service teachers. The research report from the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning, the third reading, demonstrates that discussions, whether online or not, are a proven method for active engagement in learning. And finally, the author of the fourth reading holds the view that electronic asynchronous communication tools are bringing about a revolution in education that has not been seen with synchronous tools. Which is better for you? The debate continues.

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  • Concrete Steps For Online Discussion
    First and foremost read the directions for whatever threaded discussion tool area you are using. As an instructor you should have a backup plan. Remember, it is the learning activity that is important, not the technology. If the technology fails, make sure you have a plan that reinforces the learning goals and outcomes of the assignments. Plan student activities weeks before the semester starts, and as early as week one or two, have a discussion about the different format of the course.

  • Expanding Class Discussion Beyond the Classroom
    Classroom discussions can often become a critical part of the learning process. Unfortunately, time demands can make it necessary to curtail many discussions, while other topics may never have the opportunity to arise. One option to enhance the ability of students to discuss issues of import to them is to institute an electronic discussion via a newsgroup. As part of a requirement of an elementary education course, we initiated a newsgroup. Although a number of students just fulfilled the basic levels of the requirement, for a large portion of the students, the newsgroup became a critical course component where concerns and doubts about teaching, course assignments and instructional resources could be shared. Due to the success of the electronic discussion, we will utilize and enhanced it in future courses.

  • National Center for Research on Teacher Learning
    The educational reform agenda and educational researchers tell us that active engagement in learning is an important goal for our students. Can it really occur? How do teachers engage students in active learning? And, just as importantly, how do teachers learn to help students become actively involved in learning?

  • Social Ethics In the Digital Age
    Speed, freedom, and individual power-they are thoroughly modern concepts that define the Digital Age. They triangulate to create a new kind of human being particularly adapted to life on the networked savanna. And they turn social ethics into a noble quagmire of competing democratic principles, and exciting yet disturbing opportunities, online and off. One person's freedom of speech is another's right not to be bothered by it.

  • The Asychronous Spectrum
    The topic at hand in synchronous vs. asynchronous communication. In speaking with thousands of educators all over the world, as I have the privilege of having done and continue to do, I am always a little surprised when people speak of asynchronous communication as the necessary, but vastly inferior alternative to synchronous communication. Keep in mind, not everyone tells me this, but enough do that it caught my attention. It is their view that once the infrastructure and software for high quality synchronous communication is ubiquitous, asynchronous communication will go away. The only reason we use it now is because it is cheap and plentiful, and the bandwidth, software and equipment needed for synchronous is not quite there yet. I couldn't disagree more.

Last modified: 02/16/2004 11:39 am
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