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E-Moderator’s Course Resources Pack Created by: Alison Rostetter Sandra Furnari Colleen Wackrow Dan Rieb Stella Fraser Yasmin Amiri Aghdam

E-Moderator’s Course Resources Pack

Chapters 1. Starting off online – creating a good social environment on-line 2. Working online – tutor skills for handling online chats, discussion & content 3. Going Deeper – the development of knowledge and online content 4. Rounding up – assessment and ending a course Chapter 1 Starting off online - creating a good social environment online by Stella Fraser

This chapter considers the importance of socialising in online courses, online tasks and tools, the role of the tutor in online socialising, and recommended reference material. This chapter consists of a Prezi Presentation utm_campaign=gro&utm_medium=email&utm_source=em0shvwpu

E-Moderator’s Course Resources Pack Chapter Two

Working online – tutor skills for handling online chats, discussions, & content by Sandra Furnari and Yasmin Amiri Aghdam This chapter considers participation and motivation in online courses, tutors skills for handling synchronous and asynchronous work online, sample rubric(s) for course design decisions and other related areas.

TOPIC 2: Working online - tutor skills for handling online chats, discussions, content Encouraging online participation / motivation

Participation Motivation.wmv

• Create a friendly, social environment in which learning is promoted. • Make the activity interesting. Post challenging questions relevant to class activities. • Invite visiting experts to add to the discussion. Guest experts may join the conference to respond to posted contributions from students or to answer questions. • Require participation and include the online discussion in a participation grade. • Use various learning options to stimulate learner participation and interaction. Activities to encourage participation include small group discussion, debates, polling activities, peer review, case studies and one-on-one message exchanges that recognise students’ messages. • Use pre-course questionnaire and communicate expectations clearly • Plan well staged tasks with detailed information • Include assignments, due dates and resources • Use a variety of media with different group interactions. • Form learning teams or small groups that work together in a discussion forum.

• Use peer-grading or peer-feedback as part of the discussion experience. • Design meaningful high quality tasks that seem reachable but challenging. Too many tasks in a module might make them feel frustrated and it can demotivate participants. Offer choices to learner, different students learn in different ways. • Require a hand-in assignment students can individually (or in small groups) submit a summary of or reflection on the posts in a particular discussion. • Model ways to support arguments in your own postings. Cite research studies or theories to back up your comments. • Make the material relevant to students’ lives. Develop questions and activities for learners that relate to the student experiences. #ELTPICS - CC BY NC 2.0

TOPIC 2: Working online - tutor skills for handling online chats, discussions, content Tutor skills for handling synchronous and asynchronous work online

handling synchronous and asynchronous work online.wmv #ELTPICS - CC BY NC 2.0

Technical skills: • Managing the relevant hardware and software • Instructing others in its use • Dealing with technical problems that may occur • Having alternatives for times when technical issues make plan A impossible #ELTPICS - CC BY NC 2.0

Engaging the learner in the learning process particularly at the beginning: • Including task design and selection • Providing sufficient but not excessive support and encouraging participation through example, with the tutor likely to be more hands-on early in the learning process • Including an awareness of different learning styles and needs and an ability to take these into account #ELTPICS - CC BY NC 2.0

Establishing routines: • Routines to make the learning process predictable and thereby help the learners feel in control of it and more confident in dealing with it

Appropriate questioning, listening and feedback skills:

• Remembering that these skills are not necessarily the same in online as in a more traditional learning environment for both technical and affective reason #ELTPICS - CC BY NC 2.0

The ability to provide direction and support to learners: • Especially with regard to individual issues of familiarity and comfort with an online environment and the technical tools used • The tutor needs to be aware of and ready to react to differences in this, which may cause some candidates to feel uncertain or at a disadvantage from the start


Skills in managing online discussion:

• Ensuring that discussions remain appropriately focused on the task set, that all participants are able to and are encouraged to participate, that roles, where appropriate are assigned and that records are kept, where desired

The ability to build online teams:

• Including establishing the tutor’s online human presence • Recognising and managing different personalities • Identifying strengths and weaknesses and reacting to these, ensuring all participants are and feel valued by and involved in the team

An awareness of the time required to do tasks online: • Individually and collaboratively, and the ability to be flexible with this as required

The ability to monitor the progress of individual learners and the group as a whole:

• Formally- through assessment, tutorials, etc. • Informally- through observation

A capacity for relationship building:

• Getting to know the participants and establishing a relationship which is conducive to their full participation

The ability to select and balance appropriate formats of communication: • Recognising the strengths and weaknesses of different formats (chat, email, wiki, etc.) and selecting appropriately, both at the course design stage and during the course. #ELTPICS - CC BY NC 2.0

The ability to interpret and assess contributions: • Including an awareness of how easily disembodied communication, especially online text, can be misunderstood • This includes the tutor’s own communication and an awareness of how best to get messages across, both critical and positive, in terms of formality, directness, clarity, etc. #ELTPICS - CC BY NC 2.0

Topic 2 Working online - Tutor skills for handling online chats, discussions and content Here are some sample rubrics that give rationales for an online course design decisions. Working online - tutor skills.wmv


Group work • • • • • •

creating a community feeling establishing a peers support system learning from each other dividing competencies creating meaningful interaction establishing different social skills (leadership, conflict resolution and effective communication) • Team reflection Collaboration/pair work • sharing acquired skills • peer-motivation • Positive interdependence, spontaneous moderating • co-creating • developing learning responsibility • clear common goal Text and/or video chats • synchronous work develops a stronger sense of community • creating a "class atmosphere" (video chat)

• gives the opportunity to express opinions, debate and collaborate • developing the value of multiple perspectives • inquire into others' thinking and reasoning Forums • Developing asynchronous work • Gives the opportunity to "quiet" students to bring own personal perspective • time to reflect and to research before giving an answer/opinion • Posts possible at any time of day or night Quizzes • revision tool • could be used to enhance competitively • Ensure that students read important policies (pre-course agreement quiz) • non-threatening testing tool Assessment/Grading • • • • •

enhance extrinsic motivation encourage regular participation evaluate effectiveness of the course/teaching use of peer assessment less threatening give realistic and constructive feedback

Time management • • • •

avoid getting distracted and stay focused avoid getting swamped set online office timetable organize a clear timetable with detailed deadlines • to set an email response timeline Netiquette and class policies • to avoid rude behaviour • avoid loopholes and misunderstandings • to have a friendly, warm and supportive learning atmosphere • avoid difficult situations with over-demanding students Tools • guide students to the "state of the art" technology of the moment • to help students be as efficient as possible • to use the same platforms for constructive group learning and sharing • avoid technical "breakdowns" • give technical support

E-Moderator’s Course Resources Pack Chapter Three Going Deeper – the development of knowledge and content online by Colleen Wackrow and Dan Rieb This chapter considers course structure, course design and content of online courses as well as online course task types. It is made as an Prezi presentation.


E-Moderator’s Course Resources Pack Chapter Four Rounding up – assessment & ending a course by Alison Rostetter This chapter considers issues in assessment of asynchronous and synchronous discussions, useful tools, ideas for finishing off an online course, and suggestions for ‘beyond the course’. The last part of this chapter Rounding up & Finishing off is also available as a VoiceThread:

Firstly, I think that there are 3 aspects to consider when ending an online course. These are: 1. The assessment of the course by the participants

2. The assessment of the participants by their tutor/facilitator 3. The assessment of the course by the funding institution – those who sent the participants on the course and will also be paying for it. 1. Assessment by the funding institution: • Was there value for money? • Have the required learning targets been mainly achieved? • Are the participants satisfied with the course and their possible measurable outcomes? • Will the course have a positive impact in the institution? • In the case of an educational, will the participants’ own students benefit from the course? 2. Assessment by the participants of the course These are factors that could be considered (in no particular order) regarding the end of the course from a participant’s point of view: • What was the learning tempo like – too fast, too slow? • What did the participants think about the resources used – relevant, interesting, not relative to the course? • The help given. • The facilitator/tutor’s work.

• • • •

The knowledge acquired. The relevance to the current work situation. The overall enjoyment. The assessments received (for whatever work – practical, synchronous or asynchronous discussions, comment on postings, own postings, for keeping abreast of the schedule, giving help to others, participation etc.) • Were the assessments helpful, relevant and well-reasoned? • The willingness of the facilitator to provide feedback and help when asked for. The assessment of the participants by their facilitator/tutor These points should be considered by a facilitator at the end of the course: • The award of an externally accredited diploma/certificate (did the participant measure up to the required standards and can the facilitator award the document based on the work done?) • The award of an internal (course relevant) grade – and can the facilitator provide evidence to support the grade? • A final assessment or evaluation of each participant’s work, in whatever forms the work took.

• A summary of individual or overall performance(s) during the course and the involvement shown. • Recognition of responsibility taken by the participants to further their own learning. • Providing some tips for future development and future study. • A request for the participants’ feedback on the course itself. Rounding up – at the very end After many weeks of online learning and pressure many participants find it hard to accept that their online friendships and contacts are leaving and that the online learning routines of checking the Moodle, finishing work, meeting deadlines etc. is just finished. I experienced that at the end of 6 months of ICT! That was it – now get on with your lives! It is therefore very necessary to wrap the course up, to give it a sense of finality, with some fun and work that is, compared to the actual course, easy to accomplish. Here are some suggestions for winding the course down and ending on a high-note do avoid disappointment and a feeling of emptiness among the learners.

• Ask the participants to make plans for continued contact: mails, texts, social media etc. for themselves and for the advancement of learning and keeping up with current trends. • As a tutor leave your door ajar – not wide open, just ajar - to give your students the chance to contact you about anything they need post-course. Don’t switch off the moment the course ends. • Organise a final virtual meeting (eg. Blackboard) for everyone to get together and share something memorable on the course, collect ideas for the future or simply to say a more personal ‘good-bye’. • Ask participants to post short feedbacks on Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) – designating a task e.g. what did you most enjoy, what was really tough, what do you know now that you didn’t know before, etc. • Open a forum where students can post something entertaining for other people – a video they enjoyed, a song they love, a poem, a proverb. This is a bit like writing in someone’s autograph book - little gestures to be enjoyed and remembered by. • Finally, and I think this is very important – leave the Moodle open for at least a couple of weeks to allow people to read up things that went by very fast during the course, or to copy some of the remarks made to various

discussions and to psychologically leave a feeling that it is not ‘all over now’.

TCE E-Moderator's Resource May 2013  

A resource created by the participants of the E-Moderation course run by The Consultants-E during May 2013

TCE E-Moderator's Resource May 2013  

A resource created by the participants of the E-Moderation course run by The Consultants-E during May 2013