You might be wondering how Hawkins Cheezies in freezers and online collaboration go together. And that is a valid question.
As I contemplated this week’s blog prompt about how are students going to interact on our online course prototypes I reflected on my own interactions and collaborations.
At first I thought to myself, “I don’t do much collaboration online.” But then I thought about Facebook and my latest interaction this week that resulted in some new knowledge through discourse with peers. A friend of mine posted, “Tuesday Tip: Hawkins Cheezies are the best. But have you tried them out of the freezer??? If not you need to, game changer!”
Side note: Thanks to my great grandma Norman and our weekly visits as a young impressionable child I developed a deep love of Hawkins Cheezies. She would always have some on hand for us to sample each time we visited.
Well I contemplated blocking my friend at first for posting such blasphemy but them I decided to try this madness and come to my own conclusions. And OMG am I glad I ever did because Hawkins Cheezies just went from a 10/10 to a solid 15/10 which I thought was impossible.
And isn’t that the goal of all teachers who want to see their students attempt online discourse…new knowledge or ideas that come out of interactions.
In reading Bates text 4.4 about Online Collaborative Learning it made me realize I need to step up my online collaboration game in my online course. Originally I had participation in online forums/discussions as 30% of their overall mark. 30% for what?!?! I was going to pose a couple questions and have them respond to each other? Is that worth the same as a final project or taking part in 7 activities/lessons?
So now what???
Ideally iwant my students to engage because of intrinsic reasons (gaining more knowledge/ engaging discourse amongst peers) rather than extrinsic (just because its an easy 30 marks).
So how do I do that?
Everything Bates says in the text makes sense:
- I must provide good resources and activities to accommodate discussion and collaboration
- Forums must be seen as a key component of the learning and not an add on
- Teacher presence is key
- Clear guidelines and clear goals
- Frequent check ins
- Read and discuss textbooks should help guide discussion not the other way around.
I don’t have an answer yet for what my online course will look like over the next couple weeks but I will be contemplating it quite often and looking for activities that facilitate discussion and collaboration rather than are the result of reading a text.
I am definitely going to have to look for topics to talk about then add resources to have the discussion continue.
Is that going to be easy in an online course geared towards grade 7 and 8’? Yes. Is it impossible? No. Is it going to be rewarding if I can unlock this riddle? Yes!
There is nothing more Canadian than Hawkins Cheezies but through online collaboration and discourse we just upped it another level of Canadianness by adding below 0 temperatures to them.
Anything is possible!
How are you planning to create meaningful discussion and collaboration in your online courses? Is it possible with younger grades? Does it need to be just text based? I’d love to hear your thoughts?