The Adventure Begins – Final Facilitation Plan

 

Photo by Katie Drazdauskaite on Unsplash

 

 

 

Facilitation Plan for Group 3 (October 6-12th, 2019): Melem Sharpe, Phyz Wilkes, & Tanya Heck

Our group has made final touches to our facilitation plan on the topic of student motivation and engagement for our LRNT 528 cohort. Captured here is an updated version from our last week’s posting. We hope everyone enjoys the next step of our adventure together during week 7!

Topic: Fostering student motivation and engagement in an on-line or blended learning environment 

Learning Goal:  The learner should be able to identify and formulate strategies on how to promote student motivation and engagement within blended or online learning environments. 

 Learning Activities

  • Welcome message and initial instructions will be created in Mattermost.  This will cover instructions for how to log into google classroom as well as instructions for creating a google account, should the student not have one.  For students that do not have, or do not want to use google classroom, a word document with hyperlinks and instructions will be provided via electronic mail.
  • Students will listen to a recorded facilitator introduction in which the 3 co-facilitators discuss the importance of motivation and engagement, connecting to each of their individual contexts ( less than 10 minutes).
  • Students will watch a short video clip to connect the learners to an understanding of student engagement (1:15 minutes).
  • Students will be asked to read 2 articles related to motivation and engagement. The following articles are under review and final selection will be determined prior to our facilitation week:
    • Deschaine, M.E., & Whale, D.E. (2017). Increasing student engagement in online educational leadership courses. Journal of Educators Online 14(1). (approx. 20 min. read)
    • Ferlazzo, L. (2015, March 19). Creating the conditions for student engagement. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/creating-conditions-for-student-motivation-larry-ferlazzo (approx. 5 min. read)
    • Halverson, L.R., & Graham, C.R. (2019). Learner engagement in blended learning environments: A conceptual framework. Online Learning, 23(2), 145-178. (approx. 30 min. read)
    • Taylor, L. & Parsons, J. (2011). Improving student engagement. Current Issues in Education, 14(1), 1-32. Retrieved from http://cie.asu.edu/ (approx. 15 min. read)
  1. Using Flipgrid, students will reflect and explain 1 example from their own learning/teaching context in which they felt motivation and engagement were lacking. (Maximum 3 minute response)
  2. Students must view at least 3 other student reflections and comment on at least 2 offering potential approaches that could help increase motivation/engagement. (Maximum 3 minute response). If a reflection already has two comments, students will  choose an alternate video to respond to. In this way, each learner will be provided with feedback from their peers. 
  3. Facilitators will provide a final summary. Evidence of learning will be highlighted and missed points will be covered. The summary will be posted at the end of the facilitation week (Sunday, October 13th) in Mattermost and Google classroom as a follow up to the weeks’ activities.

Chosen Technologies: 

Audacity – will be used to record an audio discussion between the co-facilitators on their shared insights about student motivation and engagement in online learning. A copy of the audio file (less than 10-minutes) will be uploaded in the google classroom and a link sent to our Mattermost channel so students can listen to it. Audacity has been chosen because it is a free open-source audio recorder and editor that can easily be used  to record our 3-way conversations. Learners will not need an account to access the audio recording, they will only need to click on the link provided and listen to it. A transcripted version will also be made available to ensure accessibility.

Flipgrid– will be used to post the video reflection activity. Flipgrid is a social learning video based platform that is simple to use whilst engaging. Flipgrid offers all features for free, to educators. This tool is easy to use and gives learners the opportunity to record and share their contributions in short video clips. This tool was selected because learners had prior knowledge and experience using this tool. This foundation will serve as a basis to provide an environment for students where they can be comfortable, sharing their reflection amongst their colleagues. Students will be required to keep their video responses to a maximum of 3-minutes.  Students will be required to sign in with either a Microsoft or Google account. As they have used this technology in a previous course, we do not foresee any problems. In the event that there are any problems, students can contact facilitators through Mattermost or email for assistance. 

Mattermost-  will be used as a communication tool between learners and facilitators. It has been chosen for learners’ current use and prior knowledge of the platform. As an open source communication platform, learners and facilitators can communicate asynchronously. It has been chosen for the mobile, desktop feature as well as the instant message and notification system. Mattermost will mainly be used as a convenient way to contact facilitators for questions and provide updates to the learners. The bulk of the course material will be housed in google classroom. 

Google Classroom-  will be used to outline course activities as well as house course readings and documents. It will be used as a learning management system (LMS) to indicate the flow and order of the course material, allowing learners to keep on task and meet deadlines where applicable. In addition, google classroom supports multi-functional platforms, making it easily accessible for learners. Instructions for joining a google classroom are listed below. Students will be required to sign in with a Google account, and go to classroom.google.com. They will be provided with a class code to sign in to the class. For students who do not have, or do not want to use google classroom, a word document with hyperlinks will be provided so they can access the same materials.

Flow:

During the one week facilitation, the flow of activities for learners will be chunked into manageable elements giving learners the opportunity to reflect and process the information curated from the content and amongst their peers. Learners will be asked to complete readings and reflections within the first 4 days (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), complete responses to others the following two days (Thursday, Friday) to allow facilitators time to draft a summary and send out by Saturday evening.

Facilitator Roles:

The three facilitators will serve as co-facilitators in the introduction to the topic. They will divide up co-facilitation of the communication throughout the week. For example, one facilitator will be assigned to update google classroom, another facilitator to monitor and post in Mattermost, and a third facilitator to provide any troubleshooting and technical support should issues arise. For the learning activities, as students are watching peer videos and posting their response in Flipgrid, 2 facilitators will monitor comments and highlight some of the responses in Mattermost to ensure momentum of conversation and draw attention to connections with the assigned readings. The third facilitator will begin to make note of these highlights in preparation for the draft summary in which all co-facilitators will provide input.

 Communication:

Communication will occur through a combination of Google Classroom, Flipgrid and Mattermost.   The course information, instruction and flow will be in Google Classroom. Reflections will take place in Flipgrid.  Mattermost will be used for access and communication with facilitators and any other further conversation that occurs.

 Teaching, Social, and Cognitive Presence:

    • Social Presence – sharing of examples from personal experience, participation in reflection. Thus providing students with an environment to be their authentic selves.
    • Cognitive Presence – making connections to the assigned readings and drawing from them while applying potential approaches that could contribute to increased engagement and motivation in an online context.
    • Teaching Presence – designing the facilitation week; commenting on student reflections; summarizing key takeaways for the week.

We look forward to feedback from our cohort when our facilitation comes to an end on October 12th.

A1: Community of Inquiry (CoI) for PaCE Programs

Professional and continuing education (PaCE) programs offered through public higher-education institutions address current workforce needs through a variety of educational offerings and delivery modalities (The California State University, n.d.). Program developers, instructional designers and instructors strive to create programs for PaCE contexts targeted toward the educational needs of professionals looking to skill-up or advance their career. However, a demand for online learning in the PaCE setting still needs to consider how a community of learning can best be designed and facilitated to promote collaborative and social learning. Dissatisfaction with learning can result when learners feel disconnected from one another in an online learning environment given a lack of social presence (van Tryon & Bishop, 2009), and this dissatisfaction can result in increased course attrition. The Community of Inquiry (CoI) Framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000) could lend itself well to re-imagining PaCE online courses by cultivating meaningful learning experiences through the facilitation of its three interrelated elements.

Social, cognitive and teaching presence are the three interdependent elements that make up the CoI (Garrison et al., 2000) with facilitation of the three presences critical to its effectiveness (Vaughan, Cleveland-Innes, & Garrison, 2013). Social presence consists of the social and emotional interactions necessary to support cognitive presence which enables learners to form meaning through reflection and discourse (deNoyelles et al., 2014). As a PaCE instructor for online or blended learning environments, strategies to strengthen not only the social presence for the facilitator, but also the learners require cultivating an open and personable environment in which interactions can occur. As learners within the online community begin to develop trust, feel safe and engage with one another, facilitating academic interactions through critical discourse and reflection so learners construct meaning shift “the community from social presence to cognitive presence” (Vaughan et al., 2013, p. 54). Teaching presence, not to be confused with a teacher presence, is the design and facilitation of the environment (Vaughan et al., 2013), can be a shared responsibility within the community (deNoyelles et al., 2014), and serves as the thread through which all three presences connect (Anderson, 2017; deNoyelles, Zydney, & Chen, 2014).

The CoI offers a viable pathway to guide PaCE educators in developing collaborative and meaningful learning opportunities particularly suited to an online or blended learning environment. Strategies such as those outlined in this infographic could prove useful for instructional designers and experienced instructors to facilitate the CoI presences.

To view a larger version of this infographic (in which the fonts appear correctly), please click on this link

References

Anderson, T. (2017). How Communities of Inquiry Drive Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age. Contact North.

deNoyelles, A., Zydney, J. M., & Chen, B. (2014). Strategies for creating a community of inquiry through online asynchronous discussions. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(1), 153-165.

Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2018). Online educators’ recommendations for teaching online: Crowdsourcing in actionOpen Praxis10(1), 79–89.

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.

Khoo, E. G., & Bonk, C. J. (2014). Chapter 1: Introducing TEK-VARIETY (PDF) (pg 7-12).  Adding some TEC-VARIETY: 100+ activities for motivating and retaining learners online (PDF). Open World Books.

The California State University (n.d.). Professional and continuing education (PaCE). Retrieved from https://www2.calstate.edu/attend/professional-and-continuing-education

van Tryon, P. J. S., & Bishop, M. J. (2009). Theoretical foundations for enhancing social connectedness in online learning environments. Distance Education, 30(3), 291-315.

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Athabasca University Press. Chapter 3: Facilitation (pp. 45-61).

The Start of our Facilitation Adventure…

Photo by Matthew Sleeper on Unsplash

Draft Facilitation Plan for Group 3: Melem Sharpe, Phyz Wilkes, Tanya Heck

Our group will be facilitating a learning experience on the topic of student motivation and engagement for our LRNT 528 cohort. As this is the start of our adventure, we have drafted a facilitation plan to guide our facilitation week. We welcome any feedback or suggestions to help us strengthen this plan as we prepare for this new experience!

 Topic: Fostering student motivation and engagement in an on-line or blended learning environment

 Learning Goal:  The Learner should be able to identify and formulate strategies on how to promote student motivation and engagement within blended or online learning environments.

 Learning Activities

  1. Students will watch a short video clip to connect the learners to an understanding of student engagement. (1:15 minutes)
  2. Students will be asked to read 2 articles related to motivation and engagement
  1. Using Flipgrid, students will reflect on 1 example from their own learning/teaching context in which they felt motivation and engagement were lacking and explain how they could approach it differently drawing from the readings.
  2. Students must view at least 1 other student reflection and comment on potential approaches that could help increase motivation/engagement.
  3. Facilitators will offer feedback to learners throughout their reflections
  4. A final summary will occur. The summary will be posted in Mattermost or Google classroom as a follow up to the weeks activities.

Chosen Technologies:

Flipgrid– will be used to post the video reflection activity. Flipgrid is a social learning video based platform that is simple to use whilst engaging. This tool is easy to use and gives learners the opportunity to record and share their contributions in short video clips. This tool was selected because learners had prior knowledge and experience using this tool. This foundation will serve as a basis to provide an environment for students where they can be comfortable sharing their reflection among their colleagues. 

Mattermost–  will be used as a communication tool between learners and facilitators. It has been chosen for learners current use and prior knowledge of the platform. As an open source communication platform, similar to Slack, learners and facilitators can communicate asynchronously building on each other’s contributions in collaborative discussions. 

Google Classroom–   will be used to outline course activities as well as house course readings and documents. It will be used as a learning management system (LMS) to indicate the flow and order of the course material, allowing learners to keep on task and meet deadlines where applicable. In addition google classroom supports multi-functional platforms, making it easily accessible for learners.

Flow:

During the one week facilitation, the flow of activities for learners would be chunked into manageable pieces, giving learners the opportunity to reflect and process the information curated from the content and amongst their peers. Learners will be asked to complete readings and reflections within the first 3 days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), complete responses to others the following two days (Thursday, Friday) to allow for a summary to occur by Sunday.

 Communication:

Communication will occur through a combination of Google Classroom, Flipgrid and Mattermost.   The course information, instruction and flow will be in Google Classroom. Reflections will take place in Flipgrid.  Mattermost will be used for access and communication with facilitators and any other further conversation that occurs.

Teaching, Social, and Cognitive Presence:

  • Social Presence – sharing personal experience examples, and participation in reflection. Thus providing students with an environment to be their authentic selves.
  • Cognitive Presence – making connections to the assigned readings and drawing from them application of potential approaches that could contribute to increased engagement and motivation in an online context.
  • Teaching Presence – commenting on student reflections; summarizing key takeaways for the week.