DEVELOPING SOCIAL PRESENCE IN ONLINE CLASSES
Over the past decade, the Internet has had a profound impact on higher education, enabling the phenomenal growth of online learning. The altered learning environments created by web-based courses not only eliminate barriers of time and space, providing increased access to higher education, they challenge our traditional notions of teaching and learning. A common concern among educators is that the mediated nature of online learning might prevent students from developing the sense that they are interacting with others, which social learning theories suggest supports learning. The antidote to this issue is the development of social presence in online classes. Drawing from her recent co-edited book, Social Presence in Online Learning, Dr. Karen Swan will explore the notion of social presence and its importance to the success of online classes. Attention will be paid to learning designs and teaching strategies that support the development of social presence.
Karen Swan is the Stukel Professor of Educational Research and a Research Associate in the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) at the University of Illinois Springfield. For the past 20 years, she has been teaching online, researching online learning, and writing extensively about her experiences. She received the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, National University Technology Network (NUTN) Distinguished Service Award, and the Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award for her work in this area. She is also an OLC Fellow and a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.
- What is social presence?
- “Social Presence: What Is It And Why Does It Matter?“
- The degree in which one is perceived as a “real person” in medicated communication.
- Social Presence = Quality of a Medium – There is a range of media from text to video to provide an element of immediacy.
- Social Presence Theory, Media Richness Theory, Affective Channel Capacity
- Social Presence in e-Learning Article
- Tips: Use names when communicating with students online. Sharing social experiences. Sharing interactions and personalities. Ability to project identities.
- Community of Inquiry Framework – Social / Cognitive / Teaching Presence
- Social presence translates to actual learning, perceived learning, and higher satisfaction of students in courses.
“online communication is an excellent medium for social interaction“
- Quality Matters is helpful in the “design” of the course. Whereas, COI is social constructivist measures “during” the course.
- Social presence is a mediating variable between teaching and cognitive presence.
- Verbal immediacy behaviors can lesson the psychological distance in online classes.
- Use ice breakers and initial courses activities to encourage trust
- Model the use of verbal social presence indicators
- Encourage students to engage and share their course experiences.
- Student learning is related to quantity and quality of postings in online discussions.
- Use discussions as a requirement in grading
- Use rubrics
- Require students to respond to other students
- Stress unique nature of discussions in student orientations
- Learning occurs socially within communities of practice.
- Course design can increase social presence. You need a place for students to interact.
- Include multiple opportunities for discussion
- Timely feedback in assignments and tests
- Instructors develop social presence through their interactions with students in a variety of activities.
- Assessment feedback.
- Audio feedback.
- Reference student activities in feedback.
- The quality and quantity of instructor interactions with students is linked to student learning.
- Clear expectations
- Provide timely and supportive feedback
- Establish communication expectations as far as instructor response time for email, etc.
- Instructor social presence and social presence of peers are unique.
- Instructor social presence related to perceived learning
- Student social presence is related to student satisfaction
- Social presence develops over time.
- Model use and sustain over time throughout the course
- Greater learning from scaffolding.
- Vicarious interaction in online course discussion may be an important source of learning. AKA Lurkers who read and not post still learn.
- Students will do what you expect them to do. If you treat them like prisoners they will not perform. Trust your students. Incorporate social elements in a variety of technology mediums from synchronous to asynchronous – from email to announcements to text in a variety of methods – text, audio, photo, videos.
Media alone doesn’t establish social presence, people do, yet we need to deliberately support the development of social presence by leveraging media and technologies to expand learning because we know learning is a social process.
Summer Retreat for the Educational Technology Organization begins at the Kettunen Center with just over 30 attendees from community colleges and universities across the state.
Tackling Wicked Problems Using Design Thinking
Dr. Leigh Graves Wolf, Michigan State University
The goals of the workshop are two-fold. First, participants will engage in an embodied experience using design thinking. This will give participants first-hand and participatory knowledge of design thinking techniques and processes. Second, participants will be using these design thinking methods to address a “wicked problem” identified by ETOM, which will produce solutions (and questions) for the ETOM retreat.
Our presenter is Dr. Leigh Graves Wolf. Leigh Graves Wolf is a teacher-scholar and her work centers around online education, emerging technologies and relationships mediated by and with technology. She has worked across the educational spectrum from K12 to Higher to further and lifelong. She has been a disc jockey, network administrator, teacher, instructional technologist and now professor. She believes passionately in collaboration and community and is currently the Assistant Director of the MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning & Technology, and academic specialist in the Dean’s office in the MSU College of Education, and a fixed-term Associate professor of Educational Technology at Michigan State University.
- Session Materials
- How can we use Design Thinking to tackle this wicked problem: “Adequate Assessment of Online Classes”
Design Thinking is a mindset. Design Thinking is about having an intentional process in order to get new, relevant solutions that create positive impact. It’s human-centered. It’s collaborative. It’s optimistic. It’s experimental. – Eleanor Horowitz
British Design Council Double Diamond
The IBM Loop
Design Thinking for Libraries
Rules of Design Thinking
- The human rule – all design activity is ultimately social in nature
- The ambiguity rule – design thinkers must preserve ambiguity
- The re-design rule – all design is re-design
- The tangibility rule – making ideas tangible always facilitates communication
- Diversity, Empathy, Ambiguity —> Possibilities then open up…
A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems. (Kolko, 2012)
- Attendees split up to work in teams to attempt to address: “Adequate Assessment of Online Classes”
Michigan Colleges Online Update
- Save the Date for the Fall Conference, October 27, located at Mid Michigan Community College.
- Online Enrollments – CHLOE report, is Online Growth Rate Slowing Down? ITC enrollment report indicated a 1% increase from Fall 2015-16. Age of online students 53% are 18-25, 44% are 26+. MCO reports up 1-2% with a total of 66,115 enrollments.
- What is the cause of flat enrollment growth rates? What are some strategies to move the needle with online enrollment?
- SARA – 47 states CA, FL, and MA are not currently members. SARA members need to be posting a SARA Student Complaint Process.
- MCO OER Repository Initiative
- Goals: Improve student success and completion, lower costs for students, increasing inter-institutional faculty collaboration
- Steering Committee: Faculty, IDs, DE Admins, Librarians
- oercommons.org/hubs/mco (402 assets shared in last year, with 30 uniquely authored)
- Faculty grants for adoption (4), adaption projects (5), and development projects (3)
- MI OER Summit – September 22, 2017 hosted by Kellogg Community College. Call for proposals due June 23.
- MR Technologist Program: Kellogg CC, GVSU, Lansing CC, GRCC, Mid-Michigan, Lake Michigan – program received JRCERT accreditation.
- New certificate programs coming: Computed Tomography Tech, Electroencephalogram Tech
- Help Desk Initiative – Kirtland, KVCC, LMC, NCMC, Mott, provides 24/7 model that augments your campus help desk. Provides for CRAC Guidelines and SARA.
- Collaborative Purchases: NetTutor, TechSmith, ZOOM, ReadSpeaker
- Focused sessions on student orientation, virtual reality, course quality, encouraging support for online learning across campus, etc.
Presenter: Julia VanderMolen, Grand Valley State University
Closed Captioning provides support for students who are hearing impaired or use English-as-a-Second-Language. Not only will this meet the needs of your students, but it will also help your organization meet Section 508 compliance requirements. This session will provide tips and tools for the creation of closed captions, explanation of caption formats and video player compatibility, as well as an overview of automated workflows and integration with lecture capture and video platforms.
- Meeting the students’ needs is of utmost concern. By creating accessible instruction, all learners are given opportunity.
- Challenges of making a online courses accessible:
- Technical Challenges
- Pedagogical Challenges
- Brainshark was used to narrate lectures. Import PPT, YouTube, PDF, and you can narrate each piece slide by slide. The note pages from Brainshark are includes as a transcript.
- Blue Microphone is an excellent microphone.
- Logitech headset is also a great tool, rather than using the onboard laptop.
- Uses Lightboard to also create content and that is uploaded to YouTube for captioning.
- 10 Tips for Creating Course Content
- Provide an accessibility statement
- Clearly name files and links
- Present content in as flat a navigational structure as possible
- Chunk videos
- Provide closed captioning for all videos
- Present instructions or handouts in HTML
- Semantic structure
- Avoid auto play
- Avoid drop down
- Use an accessibility checklist
- Speechnotes.co is used for voice to text.
- Dictation.io is similar to Speechnotes.
- H5P.org allows you to add annotations in YouTube.
- Screencast-o-matic is used for weekly tours in the online class.
- YouTube can be used to edit your video captions after they are automatically captioned.
- Presentation Slides Available
Presenters: Shaelynn Long-Kish and Marisa Enos, Mid Michigan Community College
MMCC has recently implemented a badge-granting credentialing opportunity for faculty members interested in teaching online. There are 5 self-paced modules our faculty go through, and successful completion earns them badges that are visible in their LMS profiles. We built this training from scratch, using gamification and backwards design as our primary methodologies, and we want to share with you what we learned, why we love it, and what you can do to implement this at your own institutions.
- MMCC created a badge-granting credentialing module.
- Self-paced using badges out of the LMS.
- Each unit takes 30-45 minutes to complete.
- Why badging? Confront the reduction of attendance at training sessions. Lack of engagement. Better management of time for faculty.
- Badges offer:
- clear goals
- visual fulfilment
- focused content
- independent activity
- engaging experience
- Research process took 6 months of reading, research, asking questions.
- Resources used: Wikipedia “Gamification, Game Theory, Andragogy” and James McGonigal (Reality is Broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world.), EDUCAUSE 7 Things, etc.
- Major game elements: immediate feedback, narrative, collaborative problem-solving, master and leveling up, progress mechanics, player control, scaffolded learning, social connection.
- Used backwards design: learning outcomes, assessments/measurements, and then content, practice.
- TPACK model was used: content | pedagogical knowledge | technology proficiency
- 5 modules meet the credential competency.
- Final Badges: Learning Outcome Artisan, Engagement and Interaction Architect, Online Roles & Responsibilities Champion, Assessment Agent, Accessibility Advocate
- Going Live: Needed communication to faculty and marketing to help everyone understand the change and the why.
- Offered a $100 stipend for first time completers.
- Maintaining Online Credentialing: need to check completion, update those that received badges, and then send stipend, and also keep track of the database of recipients
- Used: Best Practices in Online Faculty Development to extend and add to and update the modules:
- ADA Training = Accessibility Advocate
- Timeliness = Online Roles & Responsibilities Champion
- Practice Discussion Forums = Assessment Agent
- Continuing Development = Add more Workshops
- A survey was deployed to measure success of online training and badges initiative.
- A certificate is mailed out after faculty complete all the badges.
- Future, develop an online orientation for students that receive badges.
- Establish a badge that will “re-certify” for ongoing online teaching certification.
- Presentation Slides
Presenter: Kriss Ferluga, Davenport University
Numerous studies tell us that interactions between students and instructors factor heavily into student satisfaction with their learning. Seeking to improve student learning experiences through instructor preparedness, Davenport University created Global Campus University (GCU), an online, competency-based, faculty training program that features interaction-driven teaching topics such as teaching strategies, discussions, feedback, and instructor presence.
- Global Campus University (GCU) – Research-driven, competency based training program, skill building, instructor preparing.
- Online instructors are required to complete the GCU. The course is available for 4 weeks.
- Teaching at Davenport (library, experiential learning, formative assessments, Davenport’s excellence system, etc.) and Core Teaching Topics (developing learning objectives, increasing student engagement, establishing instructor presence, providing constructive feedback, flipped classroom, learning styles and teaching strategies, and creating effective course discussions, etc.) are the 2 main content themes in the training.
- The following pedagogical format is followed: learning objectives, topic overview, activity, assessment.
- Student evaluation of teaching surveys are delivered and this was used in developing some of the content for the training. Use a variety of instruction, effective communication, helpful feedback, use examples while teaching, establishing clear expectations.
- Comments too from students was faculty needing improvement in the following area: communication skills, teaching techniques, and sympathize with students.
- Students desired faculty more faculty Blackboard skills.
- Quality matters and peer view are important as well as formative assessment of students of their course experience during the semester.
- While it used to be delivered instructor facilitated and time/place bound, the online training is now competency-based and has brought benefits:
- Outcomes focus
- Variable scheduling (self-paced)
- Fixed assessment criteria
Presenter: Garry Brand, Grand Rapids Community College
This session will start with an overview of Grand Rapids Community College’s OER Initiative (www.grcc.edu/open). In our first year, GRCC is on track to save students one (1) million dollars! However, there’s more to OER than saving students money. We’ll look at some research and initial findings that show it may also improve online student success.
“Teaching, learning, and research materials in any media that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.”
2016 ETOM FALL CONFERENCE
November 11, 2016
Mott Community College
Barry J. Fishman, from the University of Michigan, will provide our keynote address entitled “School is a Game… But is it a good game?” We want our students to be deeply engaged with our subject matter. We want them to work hard and take on intellectual challenges. We want them to take risks and try new things. And perhaps most importantly, we want our students to be resilient in the face failure. So why it is that the design of our educational system – including colleges and universities – encourages exactly the opposite behaviors? I propose that our grading and assessment systems are the heart of the problem.
In this talk, I describe an approach called gameful learning – based on observations of one of the most durable and natural environments for learning – learning from play. This is not about learning by playing games. Rather, this talk posits that learning in school is already a kind of game, but a poorly designed one. The goal is to design a better game, and a better system.
What makes for great engagement? Three keys: feeling like you can make choices that matter, being part of something bigger than yourself, and being supported as you develop competence. Great games do this. University courses… not often enough. This talk presents a vision for how university classrooms can be as engaging as good games, and introduces GradeCraft, an application designed at the University of Michigan, that supports “gameful” teaching and learning.
“Most ideas about teaching are not new, but not everyone knows the old ideas.” – Euclid, c. 300 BCE
- Trends: Badges, Personalized Learning, Makerspaces, MOOCs (open ed), Learning Analytics, 1:1 and BYOD, Assessment and Accountability
- Student engagement is key and we want students to be:
- Deeply engaged with subject matter
- Take on intellectual challenges
- Take risks and try new things
- Resilient in the face of failure
- The way our system is designed it encourages exactly the opposite of the above.
- In school, risks do not equal rewards. Students are only focused on the grade vs the process of learning. We are telling students that all the really counts is the final score.
- Well designed games:
- Get players engaged early and keep them engaged
- Appeal to the players sense of curiosity
- Encourage players to take risks.
- People will play them because they are challenging, not despite the challenge.
- What is a game?
- “A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome.”
- Education is a practice field. Rules make a game if there are no rules it is “play”.
- Gamification is insufficient:
- These are all superficial elements of games. We need to change the underlying mechanics of our courses if we want to change motivation and engagement.
- 10 Principles of why “Good” Games are also Great Learning Environments
- Clear Learning Goals
- Employ a Mix of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
- Support Autonomy
- Encourage a Sense of Belonging
- Support Feelings of Competence
- Lowered Risk of Failure and Productive Failure
- Without failure there is no learning… goal is not to achieve an “A” but competence.
- It’s not: win some, lose some > rather > win some, learn some
- Encourage Exploration
- Encourage Identity Play
- Lots of Practice and Reinforcement
- Engaging in meaningful practice is needed for learning.
- Embedded Assessment
- We stop education for delivering assessment rather than engaging students in the act of learning. We need to use technology to generate data while learning is happening. Badges is an example.
- When teaching embodies these 10 principles, we call it gameful.
- Game design at the University of Michigan:
- Gameful beyond courses eg. “Talent Gateway“:
- Much student learning happens beyond and across classroom experiences. How are we helping our students make sense of those experiences and capitalize on them?
- Self-Determination Theory
- Tips for Gameful Learning in Courses:
- Change the Grading Frame
- Increase Choice
- Create a Sense of Mission
- Encourage Risk Taking
- Do not use “extra credit”, no curves – these are terrible because it rations success and it can hide learning.
- Gradecraft – a tool that integrates with your classroom and learning management system to support gameful learning.
- 58 courses have used gradecraft with 5,100 students
- Paid beta starts in winter
- Pedagogical Resources on Gameful Design
- “We consume entertainment but take part in play.”
- How do we engage in academic innovation, see: “Academic Innovation at the U of Michigan“
What can we do in our course design to create gameful learning opportunities for students.