The community matrix table is a great resource for outlining potential tools to be used in the online classroom. eLearning is highly dependent on these tools to generate a supportive community in which to allow students to interact with each other, the facilitator, and the content. These connections are the basis for learning in the online course and thus need to be carefully chosen and incorporated into the modules. Tools should be vetted for their usability and direct impact on learning objectives. Additionally, utilizing tools that are capable of facilitating all three types of interactions: learner-learner, learner-facilitator, and learning-content would be the best bet for the classroom and decrease the cognitive load put on students when they are asked to learn new programs.
Building a Community Through Case Based Learning
One of the ways students will interact in my course is through case based learning. The case study interactions will be assessed via a scaffold as outlined in the above figure. Students will begin by reading some background on the case and generating a written document that summarizes their understanding of the case and some initial conclusions. They will submit this to the facilitator through dropbox and receive formative feedback. They will then come together in small groups to debate and discuss their conclusions through a web conferencing tool such as BigBlueButton or an interactive wiki on which the facilitator will be able to give feedback. The group will post to a class discussion forum and/or generate a blog outlining their conclusions. The small groups will then read and discuss the conclusions generated by the alternate groups and generate individual ePortfolio posts outlining their conclusions.
Koohang, Riley, and Smith, “E-Learning and Constructivism: From Theory to Application” Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects. 2009.