Strategies to make online teaching better than face-to-face

Theresa Wills, Courtney Baker

Session Information

Year: 2017 | Time: 1:00pm-2:30pm | Location: WORKSHOP: Johnson Center (Room C)

Abstract

BRIEF SESSION DESCRIPTION: 

Presenters will make the case that synchronous online learning can be better than traditional face-to-face learning because online technology allows ways of student engagement that can not be done face-to-face.  During this workshop, participants will enter a virtual classroom using Blackboard Collaborate to explore and experience 10 practices for synchronous online learning, while progressing through the four levels of the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition (SAMR) model.  This model can be used in both asychnronous and synchronous courses to determine if technology is being used to amplify effective pedagogy or not.  Namely, SAMR can be used to determine if the technology replaces something previously done not online, the technology makes the activity better, or if the activity could have never been envisioned without being online. Each of these 10 practices were piloted in over fifteen online courses in the Mathematics Education Leadership department of the College of Human Development and Education at George Mason University, but can be applied across disciplines.

Note: Participants should bring a laptop with Wi-Fi access, headphones and microphone are highly recommended.) Together, we will explore 10 synchronous practices.

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FULL ABSTRACT: In this session, we will engage in 10 practices for synchronous online learning that are engaging and can not be done face-to-face. We will make a case that synchronous online learning can be better than traditional face-to-face learning.Participants will explore online synchronous learning while progressing through the four levels of the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition (SAMR) model.

Online teaching is becoming more and more common. In this session, we will review common practices and the need for increased engagement in asynchronous classes using the SAMR model. This model is used to determine if the technology simply replaces something previously done before computers, if the technology makes the activity better, or if the activity could have never been envisioned without the computer. We will make a case for the need for synchronous classes because they provide not only a parallel to face-to-face classes, but they have the opportunity to go beyond anything that you could do in the classroom. This fourth level of the SAMR model, Redefinition, allows for learning that was previously inconceivable. We will model ten practices for synchronous classes that make online learning more engaging than face-to-face. These ten practices can only be done online, making online teaching a better option for our globalized world.

Each of these ten practices were piloted in over fifteen online courses in the Mathematics Education Leadership department of the College of Human Development and Education at George Mason University.

In this mini workshop, participants will enter a virtual classroom using Blackboard Collaborate (participants should bring a laptop with Wi-Fi access, headphones and microphone are highly recommended.) Together, we will explore 10 synchronous practices.

Keywords

active learning; active learning classrooms; learning spaces; STEM education; teaching online; digital tools

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