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Thursday, June 19 • 10:30am - 11:20am
** CANCELLED** CON4.05 – Active eLearning: Adapting Established F2F Teaching Strategies to Fit eLearning Environments

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Active learning techniques are widely used by instructors in face-to-face (F2F) classes in order to engage students in collaborative learning. However, the idea of employing active learning strategies in eLearning environments might feel like a daunting task to some instructors. This session will explore the adaption of F2F active learning strategies to fit eLearning environments.  Specifically, the session will focus on a technique that combines Project-Based Learning (PBL) and the jigsaw method.

PBL grew from the constructivist philosophy of education. As well as being an effective philosophy employed in F2F classrooms, the constructivist approach has also been identified as an effective philosophy for eLearning environments (Jonassen, Davidson, Collins, Campbell, & Haag, 1995). The role of the instructor in the PBL classroom is that of a facilitator or the “guide on the side” as opposed to the “sage on the stage” model of instruction that is common in traditional higher learning lecture halls (King, 1993, p. 30).  The instructor facilitates discussion and helps learners to move through the PBL process of working collaboratively to construct their own learning.  In PBL, students move beyond being consumers of knowledge to becoming producers of knowledge (Hung, Keppell, & Jong, 2004).  The culminating task after rigorous study, analysis, and research is the production of a final project that is shared with peers.

Like PBL, the jigsaw method also emphasizes collaborative learning.  Students are divided into small groups and each group is assigned a portion of the course content (Aronson, Blaney, Stephan, Sikes, & Snapp, 1978).  Each group is responsible for acquiring expertise about the assigned topic, theory, method, or reading.  Then, the group works collaboratively to create a tangible result (such as a project).  Finally, each group takes on the role of teacher as they share their project and their expertise with their peers.

In an eLearning environment, the two methods can be combined seamlessly if instructors can offer the right production tools to students. There are numerous eLearning teaching tools that can be used, but in this session, I will introduce four teaching tools that can be used by students to create learning objects. One tool, Zaption, makes instructional videos interactive. With Zaption students are not just passively watching videos, but instead they are engaged in responding to discussion questions or involved with other interactive functions of this application. Another tool, Educreations, offers a virtual interactive whiteboard to facilitate individualized learning.  Rather than all students being expected to learn at the same pace as in a traditional classroom, with Educreations, students can manipulate the whiteboard to suit their individual learning needs. The third tool, Storyline, allows students to create interactive eLearning modules that can have numerous learning objects embedded into them. Finally, VideoScribe is a video production tool that gives the impression that a hand is drawing all the course content. The slow release of the material, as well as the engaging movement on-screen, keeps students interested in watching the module unfold.


Thursday June 19, 2014 10:30am - 11:20am EDT
A232 McArthur Hall

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