Week 8: Creating Community

I have a conclusion, if you’re seeking to become an online instructor, have been teaching online for some time looking for professional development, or just doing research ; I recommend Pedagogy First! . One reason, most of the content in this POT is focus on developing skills and knowledge for online instruction, and the technology presented here is presented as tools, like pencil and paper. I would also recommend Pedagogy First! if you are teaching looking for professional development even if you never plan to teach online.

I like how use of technology is being presented here, as extensions of what you’re already doing as a teacher, using maybe unique mechanisms of communication and content delivery for online; teaching is as much skill an art as it is a discipline, online teaching is a new approach but fundamentals of teaching are the same.

Who responsibility is it; with the push to teach online, is it completely the instructor’s responsibility to acquire needed skills, professional development? Should the university have resources in place to provide ongoing support (instructional technology) and professional development for faculty if moving to cyber course delivery platforms; references have been made to lack of training availability at some schools, is this a problem with developing good online course experiences and pedagogy when using a CMS.

Reading the article Envisioning the Post-LMS Era: The Open Learning Network; talks about the value (is there value) of investing in tools like blackboard and other LMS, if they only become “tool set for administrative efficiency rather than a platform for substantive teaching and learning activities” I equate this to giving a turkey hunter a really expensive fishing pole but don’t teach  turkey hunter how to fish.

I have never taught an online course and 15 years since I taught an f2f class, not trained as a classical educator I feel even without completing this POT I could teach an online course using all open source technology and tools.

Pedagogy First! has enhance my understanding and knowledge:

  • The purpose, proper use and how to develop a syllabus for online or f2f.
  • Course design and development, how this connects to the learning experience.
  • Elements of converting or creating an online course.
  • Analyzing the learning experience, course goals, learning objectives connecting this to design.
  • Teach by becoming a student “what do you want your students to be able to do as a result of taken your class” K&R.

I know all of this is for providing students the best learning experience, but if we what our teachers to sustain a heighten sense of enthusiasm for acquiring the skill to develop good online pedagogy; faculty develop must become apart of infrastructure, along with technology acquisition; administrator that understand this will separate their school from the “higher learning status quo” ; but this is my point of view as a instructional technologist.

My point is,  I know blackboard is limited and/or inflexible, put with proper guidance (Pedagogy First!  POT) faculty can acquire needed  information & digital literacy skills that promote sound pedagogy, without new investment in technology.

Back to subject:

Pondering a question Claire Major posed; in online courses, how do we know when we have moved from communication to community?

Maybe communi-cation is communi-ty, either verbal or written; I communicate with a lot of consultants and vendors, for services, for information all the time; I may have a conversation with a vendor or consultant for an hour to 30im and may never talk to that individual again, but within that 30mi to hour time span we my develop a sense of community by asking about the weather, or a shared understanding of events, ideals and share needed information, to help each other, help each other.

When I think about community, you can’t have it of any kind without communication and pondering farther, you don’t have community if sharing and helping dose not develop.

So can communication be the conduit to developing a group exchange of ideals and participation (community)?

Even if its artificially created in an online class to acquire some variant of community to achieve a learning outcome?

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2 Responses to Week 8: Creating Community

  1. mcc123 says:

    Your thoughts & questions about the connection between communication & community are interesting — especially since you are modeling what you are discussing. You used communication tools (questions) to engage me in conversation. Because you asked thought provoking questions, I’m responding. That led to connection, which I believe is the beginning of community. Now my question is: Once community begins, what takes it to the next level? Initial engagement is important, but is it enough to create a full sense of community? Of course, community implies more than 2 people (at least in my mind) so if we zoom out and look at the entire class engaging with each other at different times on different topics all related to our common goal of participating in the POT class, we see community. Community building requires action, involvement, willingness, curiosity, reaching beyond our comfort zone to start a conversation with someone we don’t really know. We (the students) must step out of our comfort zone and participate as this POT community develops over the next few months. Do you agree?

    • fsquare435 says:

      Yes, I do agree!
      Engagement is important, but is it enough to create a full sense of community?

      I think it is, in an online class environment; because that may be all you can achieve with that group of students so you go with it. I think we need not quantify as much, but use what every kind of community develops.

      Community of any type dose require stepping out of your comfort zone; we do have a great example here in our POT; this POT is giving me a paradigm for developing an online class environment and introduction to tools and ideals for devices to excite online class engagements.

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