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  Tiffany GallowayEDTECH 52310 Best Discussion Posts Online Discussion Management Issues and Strategies:1. There can be a lot of issues that arise with online discussions. As instructors, themore aware we are of these possibilities and solutions the better we can be prepared tohandle them. Some of which include: a dominant student and an inactive student. Both of these types of learners can demonstrate difficulty in discussion forums. If you have amore dominant student they may post first for every discussion, which can lead to others being influenced by reading another's initial post. For the respect of the learner and their effort, I would only speak to that student to start with and express the need for everyoneto be involved. The need for given requirements may also be addressed and how it isimportant for everyone to get their initial thoughts posted. An inactive student may also be approached in a similar way. A private email may allow for communication to seeexactly what is going on. The action of the instructor in either case would depend on thegrade level of the learners and to what extent it was having on the discussions as a class.  Responses to Discussions Led By Classmates:2. While I was reading your discussion topic I thought about the recent school shooting inConnecticut. I wondered how this could possibly be discussed in an online setting? Iteach first grade in a face-to-face classroom and it was so difficult to know what the rightthing to say or do was. It was such a shock and emotional time for everyone. Somestudents came in talking directly about, others had not heard about it, and some parentsdid not want their child to know so they wouldn't be scared to go to school. I had parentsnot send their child to school for a while and others wanted to know every safety precaution we have in place. All of these emotions are expected when something like thisoccurs and we were all in the same physical space to discuss and cope with it. In anonline environment, it would completely depend on the age level of my learners as tohow I would have addressed this tragedy. I think it would benefit older learners to havethe chance or choice to express their feelings and talk out what occurred, what was saidin the media, and how they feel about it. I would express that there are no clear answersand be honest with them. The best-case scenario would be to provide my learners with a positive resource, such as writing letters or doing an art project on their own time to sendto the elementary school. I would use a discussion board to first express my feelings andallow those who wanted to talk openly about it share their thoughts or condolences. Iwould then provide resources of what others were doing to help. This is a topic I willneed to continue to think more about. 3. Time: How could you manage your time to meet all your responsibilities as aninstructor, but still have time for outside interests and family?Research shows the teaching profession has the highest burnout rate of any public service job (Williams, 2011). That is why managing time for work and family or other interests is  extremely important. Online courses are available every day of the week and at any time.This does not mean the instructor is also available all the time (Palloff & Pratt, 2007). Amanagement routine should be stated and clear at the beginning of the course. Let your students know how long it may take you to respond to an e-mail or upload anassignment/grade. A time management plan may consist of a routine checklist thatinvolves: emails, discussions, preparing, and assignments. The text also suggestedto taking one complete day off per week. A routine can help you be a successfulinstructor as well as spend the amount of time you would like for family or other hobbiesyou enjoy.Williams, C. S. (2011). Combating teacher burnout. the Journal:Transfering EducationThrough Technology , Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2011/11/03/teacher- burnout.aspx  4. I think it can be difficult to feel like you are not in control of a learning environment asan instructor. This is my second year teaching first grade and it has already been atremendous shift from last year as a teacher directed environment, compared to amore student-centered learning atmosphere now. This shift has had a lot to do with theCommon Core Standards and complete changes in curriculum at my current school. Wedecided to get rid of our previous math program, which was teacher led, and move tocreating our own engaging lessons with the new standards. I can say that I love math thisyear and the students do as well. They are in charge of their own learning and expressingtheir thinking on a daily basis. For example, if we are working on story problems they getto choose their own solving strategy and then they are the teacher . They exploreconcepts with group members and are actually given the time this year to expressthoughts and not be rushed through a lesson just to finish. To answer the question, I amstill hesitant to how it would work with being an equal participant in my own teachingexperience with first graders; however I see the role as a facilitator as a great fit and so beneficial for the students. 5. Do I feel that I need to maintain control of the leaning environment? Like some of my classmates, I definitely feel a need to maintain some control over the learningenvironment, but that does not mean no flexibility. For example, a classroom teacher alsodoes not want to 'lose control' of a class - it usually indicates a class that is unfocused,unproductive and may have challenging behavior. An online class can have the sameissues if a teacher is not actively engaged in managing the learning environment. At thesame time, control does not mean there is no room for student input. How comfortable would I feel giving over that control to the learners and being anequal participant? I think this really depends on the subject, grade area and scope of a project. As a math teacher, I am generally expected to be the subject expert; being anequal participant is neither helpful nor a good thing. However, in a more exploratorycourse where the answers are unknown, it's ok for a teacher not to know everything, aslong as the instructor is a guiding student to a process. The instructor role needs to bedefined, when we talk about giving over control. For example, having students lead aclass discussion such as this does not make the instructor 'give up' control; rather it's adifferent way of evaluating and letting students lead.  Voice and Tone Activity6. Role: Teacher who wants social networks in the classroomSocial networking is a very popular means of communication among our students. It issomething that is a part of their daily life and catches their interest. Why not use whatthey already know as a motivation factor in the classroom? These social networking sitesthat we could possibly allow can serve as a wonderful teacher-student communicationtool as well as a student-to-student informational tool.To portray some of these examples of social networking that could occur in theclassroom, I will start with teachers setting up a Twitter account. A teacher can set up anew account just for connecting with students. It is a popular way students connect witheach other and by having it in the classroom itself, formative assessments could take place. The learners can also follow classroom updates, calendars, links, and other helpfultips or tools. Many of our students also already have Facebook and with this a page could be created for the students themselves with no other linkage to personal communication.Lastly, Edmodo is a controlled social learning network that resembles a Facebook andBlackboard combined setting. Edmodo could be linked to homework assignments outsidethe classroom as well. It is a way for peers, students, and teachers to communicate.As a teacher who has taught here for many years, I see this as a huge benefit for learners.I believe the educational components outweigh the risks. The social networking taking place would be free and the more engaged a student is with the content the better they will learn. I believe the more we make school feel like the “real - world” the more successful we will be. Social networking in the classroom would do just that. It can beincorporated into real-life experiences while at the same time teaching students tocollaborate online. Expectations would stick to the acceptable-use policy at hand as wellas best practices for this networking. Social networking is where you talk to other people;in this case it would be classmates and teachers. Please keep in mind those students whoare afraid to talk in public and share their ideas. These are the students who could be anactive participator with social networking in the classroom and really show who they are.I truly think it would boost learning, understanding, and motivation.Thank you for your consideration on this topic,Tiffany Galloway Adult Ed Discussion:Situation: Claire has just finished teaching her first class completely online and hascompiled a list of concerns that she wants to address before she teaches the courseagain. Here is the list:  -Class participation in discussions was lower than Claireexpected, and students reported feeling isolated.  -A few of the activities that hadworked well when she taught the class face-to-face did not work out as well. Studentsgot confused and did not end up demonstrating the desired learning outcomes.  -Claire had to constantly clarify what students should be doing, which resulted in a lot of   confusion overall. Some students ending up disputing their grades because they said theywere unaware of how certain aspects of the course were going to be evaluated.    Assignment: You are Claire´s colleague and much more experienced in teachingonline.Give three suggestions to her about how she can improve her course for the nextsemester.Try to be as specific as possible. Then, comment on another classmate´s suggestions. 7. I could really see this situation happening as a result of a first online teachingexperience. I have yet to teach online and still in my second year of teaching face-to-face,so these are definite concerns! Three suggestions I have for Claire are to form a rubric for assignments, set a schedule for posting to discussions boards, and add group projects. Iwould make sure some sort of community builder is taking place at the beginning of theclass and represent a solid syllabus. The students should be required to view the syllabus prior to the course and ask any questions or concerns they may have. Letting her learnersknow exactly what is expected provides clear expectations for everyone involved. Thisshould help create an enriching learning environment for her. 8. Making the transition from face-to-face teaching to online teaching can be a verydifficult one to make, especially for a seasoned face-to-face educator. The items thatClaire presented is actually more common than you would think, and so therefore sheshould not be concerned - with a few simple tweaks she will have a successful course inno time at all. ã   There are a number of things that Claire could consider to help address the low rate of  participation in the discussion forums. The two key aspects of her discussionforums I would suggest she review is to ensure that the material that is being presented as discussion topics is relevant and engaging to the students, and thatthe students are feeling heard and respected. Online discussion forums have become the crutch of online teaching, and therefore most students have becomeharder to engage in online discussions. By presenting discussion topics thatintellectually challenge learners, promotes active discussion and even a littledisagreement between participants will be very beneficial to overall collaboration.Furthermore, by having the instructor actively participate in the forums, studentswill be more likely to continue their own engagement. When students feel thattheir voices are are falling on deaf ears, their level of participation willsignificantly reduce if not completely cease. ã   Most, if not all, activities from face-to-face environments need to be re-invisioned inorder for them to achieve similar learning outcomes than before. A valuableaspect to consider is how student interaction adapts from a face-to-face to anonline environment. By losing aspects such as eye contact, body language and peer-motivated participation, students may not feel the same drive to participateand learn as before. This variances in interaction and disengagement from thematerial may result in modified or unattained learning outcomes.My final recommendation is rubrics, rubrics, RUBRICS. One of the greatest benefits toonline teaching and online learning is flexibility (and with that comes ambiguity), and
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