Building Learning Communities Online

Download Building Learning Communities Online

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DESCRIPTION

Presentation for CCE System conference, October 2007 traces the history of the development of an online learning community for forest farmers.

TRANSCRIPT

  • 1. Building Online Learning Communities Lessons Learned from the Development of a Web Based Forest Farming Course Paul Treadwell, Ken Mudge, Louise Buck, Rebecca Hargrave October 2007 CCE System Conference
  • 2. Learning Communities
    • Learning communities can:
      • Facilitate new learning
      • Encourage connections
      • Invite participation
    • Online learning communities :
      • Expand accessibility
      • Diminish some barriers
      • Create new connections
  • 3. The beginning
    • HWWFF version 1
      • A learning module developed as part of The National Learning Center for Private Forest and Range Landowners
      • Video intensive approach to demonstrate practice
  • 4. A little history
    • SARE funding to support the development of a learning community based on the HWWFF
      • Partnership with Penn State
      • Innovative approach to content development and delivery
      • Relatively undeveloped content area
  • 5. Importance of community and collaboration.
    • Social Process
    • Mentor relationships and scaffolding
    • Creation of a shared culture
  • 6. Encouraging collaboration
    • Tools we deployed to facilitate collaboration:
      • Discussion board
      • Wiki
      • Blog
      • Learning Content Management System
  • 7. The IMFIRP
    • The Internet-mediated Forest Farming Instructional Resource Package (IMFIRP)
      • Based on Moodle
      • Community and collaboration tools
        • Social Presence
        • Discussion boards
        • File sharing
  • 8. Contextual Challenges
      • Disconnect between expectations and reality
        • Sporadic Participation
        • Backsliding email usage
      • Difficulties in encouraging participation
        • Lack of motivation
        • Lack of familiarity/comfort with hardware/software
        • Lack of bandwidth
  • 9. Ownership and Community
    • Who owns the content developed in community?
    • Collaborative necessities
      • Boundaries
      • Rules
      • Trust
  • 10. Necessity drives development
    • Encroaching deadlines
      • Reporting and grant requirements
    • Narrowing of collaborative sphere
    • Phase One needs:
      • Development
        • New content
        • Pilot course
        • Evaluation and assessment tools
      • Identification and Requirements
        • Extension Educators
        • Landowners
  • 11. HWWFF resource center
    • The new resource center
      • re-organized content
      • navigation aides
      • new tools created
  • 12. New content developments
    • Site assessment workbook and case study
      • Online presentation of skills
      • Downloadable workbook
      • Case study workbook
  • 13. The pilot
    • The pilot course was conducted using Moodle
    • 9 week course
    • 3 parallel courses 20 educators and 65 forest owners participated
    • Pre and post course surveys
  • 14. Evaluating progress
    • Formative evaluation.
      • Pre and Post survey
      • Access logs
      • Activity logs
  • 15. Analysis
    • The surveys were designed to evaluate the usability of the content and the delivery system
      • Analysis revealed a significant relationship between connection speed and perceived ease of use of MOODLE
      • No significant relationship between previous experience and comfort level with technology and perceived ease of use
    • Additional survey data and results will be made available this autumn
  • 16. Lessons learned
    • The introduction of new technologies to educators was problematic
    • Existing skill set is insufficiently developed
    • Success requires:
      • Focus on skills development
      • Structured learning experiences for educators
  • 17. HWWTFFO
    • The HWWTFFO provided a systematic approach to working with forest farming content to create distance learning courses
      • Facilitated by trust and personal relationships
      • Educators enjoyed learning by doing
      • Mentor relationships essential
  • 18. Bandwidth
    • Bandwidth can be a substantial barrier to successful engagement online
      • Strategies to compensate for narrowband connections include:
        • Providing alternative paths to bandwidth intensive elements
        • Maintaining an awareness of the technical capacity of participants
        • Flexibility in content development and delivery
  • 19. Applying the lessons
      • Growing awareness of the digital divide
      • Discussion and creative engagement are needed around this issue
      • CCE Online Instructor Certification program
  • 20. An online learning community?
    • During the pilot phase elements of community were apparent:
      • Discussion boards provided a space for interaction
      • Landowners recruited for the pilot had a local connection with educators the online course facilitated access to broader expertise and experience
      • With one exception no longer term community developed out of the project
  • 21. What about the landowners?
    • Landowners participated in the pilot to evaluate the content
    • Impact of content on practice:
      • Post course follow up received responses from 16 landowners
      • Longer term follow-up needed
  • 22. After SARE
    • The How, When and Why of Forest Farming is being offered by a CCE educator, on an on-going basis
    • The CCE Instructor Certification program has been instituted
    • Data gathered from the pilot is being used to guide new course development
  • 23. Always growing
    • The HWWFF resource center continues to grow as more is learned
  • 24. Contact us
    • Ken Mudge [email_address]
    • Paul Treadwell [email_address]
    • Louise Buck [email_address]
    • Rebecca Hargrave [email_address]
    • The How, When and Why of Forest Farming resource center
      • http://hwwff.cce.cornell.edu/
    • The How, When and Why of Forest Farming resource center
      • http://hwwff.cce.cornell.edu/InstructorsGuide/

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