Notes on the Readings in
Teaching and Learning at a Distance
Edited by Thomas E Cyrs

Chap 5: "Student-Centered Instruction for the Design of Telecourses" by M Winston Egan, Gordon S Gibbs

  • designed to promote student learning and related outcomes

    Student Learning Variables and Design Implications for Telecourses

  • is clear and understandable
  • is responsive to the ways in which students learn and communicate
  • acknowledges students' imterest and motivations
  • honors the social nature of learning
  • is engaging
  • focuses on explicit needs of learners for meaningful and timely feedback

    Achieving Clarity Through Organization and Planning

  • achieve clarity with detailed, precise syllabi and interactive study guides to counter couch potato phenomenon.
  • move student from passive to active learning and engagement
  • provide visual representations of knowledge structures, intricate processes, complex phenomenon.
  • assist in managing flow of information
  • extended syllabi designed to compensate for lack of f2f
    how to proceed
    how to make most of it all
    how to prepare for exams
    how develop and submit assignments
    how to monitor personal progress
  • success requires extensive planning and collaborative work with other professionals
  • more than covering material it is about "uncovering" difficult to understand material
  • lecturettes
  • work in dyads or small groups

    Assessing Prior Knowledge and Orientation to Learning

  • need to know students: audience analysis
    entry level knowledge or skills
    motivation for taking course
    course related interest and fears
    prior experience with telecourses
    preferred means for processing information and responding to assignments
  • information gathering on students:
    surveys
    pretests
    other data sources
  • Surveys:
    What are your reasons for taking telecourses?
    What are your personal learning goals when taking a telecourse?
    What are your greatest fears about completing telecourses successfully? What telecourse features (study groups, lists, discussion boards, email, MOOs) significantly contribute to your learning?
  • Resposes provide:
    planning learning experiences
    selecting specific teaching strategies
    organizing study groups
    developing review sessions
    structuring telecourse assignments

    Stimulating Motivation in Students

  • intrinsic motivation hinges on student curiosity
  • their desire to achieve
  • expectations to success
  • goals for learning
  • curiosity is aroused by stimuli taht are novel but not so different
  • introduce novelty:
    ask unexpected questions
    provide brief start up activities which link prior knowledge to new content
    introduce case studies
    interjecting "pair and share": make predictions; summarize new info; end with preview of next.

    Developing Learning Communities

  • since distance learners are not in f2f, creating community crucial
  • teach one another
  • clarify course questions
  • receive academic and social support
  • extend beyond duration of telecourse
  • f2f if and when possible in small groups
  • lists and BB's, discussion boards, MOO's...
  • email
  • conference calls

    Employing Teacher Immediacy behaviors to Foster Interaction

  • teacher immediacy essential to good telecourse instruction
    invite interaction
    suggest approachability
    foster positive feedback
    learn names
    contribute positively to learning

    Using Active Learning to Promote Student Engagement

  • NOT talking head or lecture
  • active learning: listening, being alert, paying attention.
  • active in discussions, seeking solutions, responding to stimuli, participating.
  • promote engagement
  • consider subject matter
  • consider capacity of students and instructor
  • How to:
    interactive study guides
    debate teams
    critical incidents
    dramatizations
    scenario building
    peer review
    alternates from lecture

    Using Feedback to Promote Learning

  • Feedback is essential and crucial!!!
  • accuracy of work prevents inability to learn new stuff
  • early assessment determines continuation
  • if late or not specific BAD!!

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