Innovative Activities in Online and Blended Graduate Courses

The Twitter Top 5, PLN 3-Point Reflections, The Great Debate, and Deconstructing Monument Valley: Innovative Activities in Online and Blended Graduate Courses

Julia Parra, New Mexico State University
julia.parra@gmail.com and http://juliaparra.com

Presented at SITE 2016
(see SITE 2016 Proceedings for full paper)

Abstract

Helping the modern educator navigate the ever changing landscape of learning design and technology is challenging but fun! In this poster/demo presentation, I will share three time-tested and effective activities, The Twitter Top 5, PLN 3-Point Reflections, and The Great Debate. Additionally, I will share a new activity, Deconstructing Monument Valley that I will continue to use because it was so successful in Fall 2015. You will leave this presentation with four new activities that you can modify for your classrooms! Conference participants will receive access to the instructional materials for these activities via Google Docs.

Goo.gl Link for this document: https://goo.gl/pkr87B

QR Code for this document 🙂

Effective Teaching Strategies in Online and Blended Graduate Courses

These four activities were done as part of coursework in graduate level learning design and technology courses. Many of these graduate students are educators.

The Twitter Top 5

Most of my online and blended courses include a module for getting started with group work where an engaging, low risk group activity promotes the development of collaboration and technology skills along with an in-depth understanding of Twitter as a tool for developing Personal Learning Networks. The Twitter Top 5 is the title for this low risk activity completed by groups. With The Twitter Top 5, student groups explore Twitter Resource, hashtags, professional relevance, and collaboratively complete a virtual worksheet using Google Docs.

Short URL to access Twitter Top 5 Learning Plan: http://bit.ly/twittop5

Short URL to access Twitter Top 5 Worksheet Template: https://goo.gl/WtiqMv

Personal Learning Network (PLN) 3-Point Reflections

Most of my online and blended courses include the PLN 3-Point Reflections with Resources module. Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) have always existed. At a basic level, a PLN includes the people and the resources that help inform one’s interests and profession. With the PLN 3-Point Reflection, graduate students are given the space to create and reflect on PLNs as a source for personalized, continuous, and just-in-time learning. This is an individual activity that aligns well with The Twitter Top 5. This activity includes, 1) Reflection 1 for pre-assessment, 2) resources and instructions to develop PLN, 3) Reflection 2 for midpoint reflection, and 4) Reflection 3 for final reflection.

Short URL to access full activity instructions:  https://goo.gl/McVOpO

The Great Debate

The Great Debate is an effective online discussion/forum strategy that I use in one of my 100% online courses but really should use more often! This activity occurs in three parts, 1) taking the position that a course concept is a negative (identifying the cons/barriers/etc., 2) choosing two colleagues negative posts to debate with a positive response, solutions, research to address, etc., and 3) a review of The Great Debate with post that demonstrates reflection and summarization.

Short URL to access full activity instructions: https://goo.gl/Iemfaj

Deconstructing Monument Valley

I did this activity on a bit of whim because I, personally, enjoyed the game, Monument Valley so much! This was a blended activity that occurred in five parts, 1) 30-60 minutes in class spent individually playing Monument Valley, 2) immediate online discussion forum reflection about the game-playing experience, 3) small group deconstruction and collaboratively created discussion forum response to a set of questions, and 4) we visited the NMSU Game Lab, and 5) learners conducted further individual research and continued the online discussion for 3-4 weeks. I will continue to use it this as an introductory activity when discussing games, game-based learning, gamification in education.

Short URL to access full activity instructions: https://goo.gl/1BpNAx

One Comment on “Innovative Activities in Online and Blended Graduate Courses

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