Archive for October, 2010

Module 4 Comments

I visited

and posted:

I also am interested in Adobe Connect Pro. How does this platform compare to MOODLE or Sakai? Is there support available for it? Our high school has been looking at MOODLE, but the tech director is concerned about the lack of support. Is there academic pricing from Adobe for this program. We already have a deal with them for CS5.
Dave Harms

I visited:

and posted:

I agree that many of the tools overlap. I am curious how you think computer access fits into this equation. In my 11th an 12th grade classes of 30 students, we have 5 computers. The computers are getting old and the budget crunch in Ohio does not look promising for replacing them. There are some schools in the area looking at using cell phones for access and dropping their no cell phone policies. We have been fighting a string of sexting busts in area schools. Eliminating cell phone policies opens districts to legal liability.
Dave Harms

Finally I visited:

and posted:

Thanks for posting Zotero: was unfamiliar with this tool. This would be a great organizational tool for high school research papers. I am going to share this with the rest of the staff at work. Have you located resources to use with younger students who are unfamiliar with many of the tools you discussed?
Dave Harms

Module 4 Post


  • Siemens (2008) suggested using traditional lectures when appropriate to foster student exploration of additional content (p. 16).
  • Anderson (2008) presented customizing online content to reflect individual student needs by adjusting the course at it happens (p. 346).
  • Anderson (2008) lamented the reliance of many online instructors on “text based lectures (p. 349)” for content delivery (p. 346).
  • Anderson (2008) suggested using personal reflections and experiences to motivate online students (p. 347).
  • Siemens (2008) presented “blogs, wikis, podcasts, and user-generated content (p. 8)” be utilized for content delivery. He called these activities the “participative web (p. 8)”.
  • Siemens (2008) suggested utilizing the new curriculum suggested by Harvard that focuses on a modern collaborative model (p. 8).
  • Siemens (2008) listed Google Scholar, Scopus, and open access journals as new resources for content (p. 3).


  • Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) suggested implementing non-graded discussion areas for questions to help establish a positive online environment (p. 191).
  • Anderson (2008) believed establishing “trust and safety (p. 350)” is the first key element in establishing online communication. This is commonly achieved through class introduction postings (p. 350).
  • Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) stressed the importance of a “clear and detailed syllabus (p. 196)” for communicating expectations (p. 196).
  • Siemens (2008) listed modern communication methods as email, Skype, and Instant Messaging (IM) (p. 14).
  • Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) reported timely responses help create a positive course environment. They also reminded teachers to use proper tone and communicate clearly using proper netiquette when communicating with students (p. 191).
  • Siemens (2008) listed blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, Instant Messaging (IM), Skype, and Ning as modern methods of communication (p. 3).


  • Siemens (2008) reported that blogging allows students to share their work with their peers (p. 15). Cameron and Anderson (2006) as reported in Anderson (2008) suggested that blogging instigates student reflective writing skills (p. 351).
  • Siemens (2008) suggested that teachers should assume the role of network administrator to help create student learning networks (p. 16).
  • Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) introduced student moderated discussions as a strategy to increase student collaboration (p. 191). Anderson (2008) also recommended student moderated discussions but warned that students need to receive instructions on proper moderation techniques (p. 351).
  • Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) suggested Problem Based Learning (PBL) utilizing small groups to encourage collaboration (p. 192).
  • Darrington, Barryhill, and Swafford (2006) discussed creating a small group discussion area for collaboration (p. 192).

Common Tools

The common tool in all three areas was discussions. Discussions can be used to facilitate online content, communication, and collaboration. Blogs were also common to content, communication, and collaboration. Although not evident in the literature for this weeks’ assignment, I hypothesize that many of the other tools are common including; wikis, Skype, social bookmarking, Ning, and podcasting.

Reflection Discussing Utilizing Tools in the Classroom

Siemens (2008) suggested that educators need to instruct students using the modern tools they are familiar with (p. 8). The tools that are appropriate for online secondary education include blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, Skype, and Podcasts. Harms (2008) reported that student achievement in content area writing can be facilitated using a wiki (p. 36). In this quantitative experiment, students increased both the number of words and quality of their writing using a wiki as compared to traditional paper pencil assignments (p.36). Using a class wiki, students can post rough drafts of their work, share with others, receive feedback, and edit their final products.

Penta Career Center in Northwest Ohio is governed by Ohio law that requires all computers have filtering systems to protect students from being exposed to inappropriate content found on the Internet. Blogs, although an excellent collaborative tool, are blocked by Penta’s filtering system. Social bookmarking sites such as Delicious are also blocked as well as any social network including Ning. Skype is blocked as well; however conversations done at home can be recorded and shared with students. For example; I have students who are learning about Mayan Indians ask questions on note cards, which I ask through Skype to a Mayan archeologist and record the conversation. This helps the archeologists as well since the call can be done at a time of their choosing. Unfortunately, the students loose the real time collaboration with the expert. Google Apps are also blocked because students can save documents online that administrators can not access. In class, I have students create podcasts on various subjects and post them to the class wiki.

In my college courses, we utilize Sakai. It is much easier to incorporate these tools into the post-secondary environment because the students are legal adults. I am already utilizing the following suggested activities; non-graded discussion (FAQ), introduction posting assignment, detailed syllabus, timely responses, wikis, moderated discussion, Problem Based Learning (PBL), and traditional lectures.  I am also instituting Skype office hours in my online class next semester for students who have questions.


Anderson, T. (2008). Teaching in an online learning context. In T. Anderson (Ed.), The theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed., pp. 343–365). Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press.

Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190−193.

Harms, D. (2008). The effect of wiki implementation on writing skills in content area writing. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Education, Lourdes College, Sylvania, Ohio.

Siemens, G. (2008, January). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. ITForum.

Siemens, G. (2007, September 18). 10 minute lecture – George Siemens – Curatorial teaching [Online Web log post]. Retrieved from:

Storyboard Comments

I visited:

And posted:


I am very interested in the article you found on online learning in China. In 2005, I participated in a Freeman Foundation grant that allowed me to study in China. At that time, the schools we visited had over 50 students in a classroom and no technology at all. I would be interested to see how this has changed and incorporate the findings into my lessons on China.
I also like the idea of starting with the RV and fishing…..should capture people’s attention.
Dave Harms

I visited:

And Posted:

I am looking forward to seeing your project when it is done. I had a question, is your topic specific enough or do you think people at the conference will need a general overview? Just something that came to mind while reading your storyboard. I am introducing Dr. Pratt from Palloff and Pratt. He is my mentor here at Walden and he provided me with his presentation on the future of elearning which he is using at conferences. Good luck,
Dave Harms

I visited:

And posted:

I am excited to see your project. I was working with Second Life for my Master’s Thesis for a while in 2008 until I realized that my students (15-20) would be split into separate worlds due to the 18 year old split. I have read about the teen world, but have never seen it in action. I have worked with lots of Second Life simulations and am curious if the teen world has the same features. Does your school have an island? If so, how were you able to sell the cost to the administration? I participated in a science lab (Chemistry) in Second Life and was blown away by the possibilities. I had to change my Master’s thesis to using wikis to enhance content area writing because my students could not participate in an experiment, but I would love to work with the environment in the future again.
Dave Harms

This week I went to:

I left the following comment:

I also get frustrated when group members do not pull their own weight when I am collaborating. I was not a fan of collaboration until I started teaching secondary career technical education. Many of these students learn best by collaborating with each other. I also see the theoretical benefit collaborative learning adds. Collaborative learning is still not my personal choice for my education, but I do enjoy teaching in a collaborative environment.
Nice post,
Dave Harms

I also visited:

And posted:

Sometimes I wonder if students have dropped the class when learning through online collaborative learning. I visit their wikis and blogs every module and never see any updates. Last semester we were assigned group members and one was a no show and another only participated on the last day after we had completed all of the work. Is there a way teachers can let participating students know if someone has dropped the class?
Dave Harms

Finally I visited:

And posted:

I found your post fascinating. The idea of only giving a C for individual work intrigued me. As a secondary teacher, I can just imagine the parent phone calls to my supervisor. Did you have to get permission from your dean to adopt this policy? Has it ever been challenged by a student/ parent? I also adjunct at a local college. Students need a C in my class to receive credit. How would this situation work out with the individual policy?
Sorry for all the questions, I like your idea and want to find out more about it.
Dave Harms

Module 3 Post

image, George Siemens

Siemens (2008a) described a shift in education from individual memorization and repetition to a collaborative model he called “participatory pedagogy (Laureate Education Inc, 2008a)”. Siemens presented four models for educators to use to assess collaborative learning including; peer grading, online community participation, teacher assessment, and technology traces (Laureate Education Inc, 2008a). Palloff and Pratt (2007) suggested adhering to a rubric for discussion grading, peer assessments, and embedding assessment into the structure of the course (pp. 208-216). Siemens (2008a) suggested that assessment be based on situations found in real life that are both valid and fair (Laureate Education Inc, 2008a). Palloff and Pratt (2007) also suggested incorporating real life assignments to foster and reinforce collaboration (p. 168).

Siemens (2008b) explained that many reluctant collaborative students are the students who are very smart. He presented two strategies to get these students to participate; change the way students are graded and scaffold them into participating by modeling an ideal community discussion (Laureate Education Inc, 2008b). He also suggested the following essential elements of successful collaboration; trust and a good balance of collaboration (Laureate Education Inc, 2008b). Palloff and Pratt (2007) described many strategies that promote online participation including setting clear expectations, modeling good participation, intervening when necessary, personal communication, and including human elements into the community (p. 150).Collaboration.jpg

In a collaborative online class; the course needs to be well designed for collaboration with clear expectations. The expectation is that every student will participate in the collaboration. Working alone should not be an option. Siemens (2008a) explained that the entire system can fail if one person does not participate (Laureate Education Inc, 2008a). This means that instructors need to have alternate plan in place if a collaborative team falls apart. The instructor needs to intervene and make the best out of the situation and collaboration grades should reflect individual participation.

I found the following blog entry on the topic of Online Collaborative Learning:

Mackness (2009) introduced Salmon’s five stage model for the development stages of online collaboration. This model reflects the previous suggestions from Siemens (2008a, 2008b) and Palloff and Pratt (2007) by stressing the importance of building a positive environment for collaboration in the first three stages. Mackness(2009) described how teachers can assist building collaboration through modeling and reflected on her own painful experiences with group collaboration as a minority view holder. She concluded that students can be successful at online collaboration but questioned if online collaboration is the only acceptable method of online instruction.


Laureate Education, Inc. (2008a). Assessment of Collaborative Learning. On Principles of Distance Education. Baltimore: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008b). Learning Communities. On Principles of Distance Education. Baltimore: Author.

Mackness, J. (2009, June 1). Collaboration online [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Storyboard for Video

Here is the storyboard for my video. I couldn’t figure out how to do the storyboard without knowing my articles so I spent some time doing my annotated bibliography which I am including here as well.

Introduce Topic – Collaborative Online Learning for High School Shot video of myself introducing the topic
Introduce Dr. Pratt Show pictures of his books while reading credentials

Still picture of Dr. Pratt

Key Points of his background on bulleted list with pictures

Pedagogy supporting collaboration Picture of Piaget – video of me talking

Definition of constructivism

Quote from Pratt on link between collaboration and constructivism – Ken Burns’ effect on book quote comes from

Secondary Online Education Description of increase in secondary online

Video of my classroom (empty) panning to computers in back

education and lack of research specifically studying secondary students -video of journal

Best Collaborative Practices Bulleted list from Pratt’s books
Current Literature Discussion See Lit Review below

Male v female groups (Video of a boy and a girl)

New software aids – Shared Space (SS) (Study from Netherlands – map showing location)

Impact of familiarity on online collaboration (Video of two people shaking hands to show familiarity)

Off task behavior and solutions (Video of someone on Facebook or playing video game)

Self regulated strategies (study from Malaysia – map showing where it is)

Problems and solutions Lack of instant feedback (video of someone looking at time on the phone impatiently)
Future of online collaboration List from Dr. Pratt’s PowerPoint

Video of iPad in use

Screen Capture of Second Life

Video of Skype in use



Annotated Bibliography

Ding, N. (2009). Visualizing the sequential process of knowledge elaboration in computer-supported collaborative problem solving, Computers & Education 52(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2008.10.009

Ding(2009) conducted a case study using six tenth grade students, three male and three female, in a five day online Dutch physics lesson (p. 513). The participants were assigned to three pairs; a mixed gender pair, a female only pair, and a male only pair. The participant pairs completed physics problems online collaboratively in 90 minutes (p. 513). Interactions between the participants were divided into three categories; productive, on task but not productive, and off task (p. 511). This categorization allowed the collaboration to be graphed for evaluation. Student pairs utilized a software platform called “Physhint (p. 511)” that was designed by the researchers. The purpose of the study was investigating how the partnerships’ collaborative online work differed by sex make up. The study found that the mixed sex group completed the greatest number of problems correctly, but the female participant’s participation was overshadowed by the males (p. 517). Another finding was that the female only partnership communicated by text as opposed to visual communication method of the male partnership (p. 518).

Ding (2009) did not disclose why the study was limited to six participants. As a case study, it is very hard to generalize findings to a larger population. Further research on this study’s findings of the differences in online collaboration between the sexes needs to be conducted before any generalizations can be used. Although diagrams and explanations describing the Physhint training software were included (pp. 511-513), information about how the software was tested to eliminate any gender bias to the study caused by Physhint should have been included. Further research building on Ding’s work will help Instructional Designers build collaborative online environments that are equable to both sexes.

Jahnke, J. (2010). Student perceptions of the impact of online discussion forum participation on learning outcomes. Journal of Learning Design, 3(2), 27-34. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database

Jahnke (2010) conducted a grounded theory study on thirty-three twelfth grade students involved in an online asynchronous class that lasted for two weeks (pp. 27-28). The online class assisted students in completing a required independent writing assignment of 4000 words included in the International Baccalaureate program at a school that provides a laptop for every student (p. 27). Jahnke identified four themes that emerged; “interactivity”, “group construction of knowledge”, “ability to `revisit recorded thinking”, and “awareness of online identity (p. 29).”

Jahnke (2010) reported students identified collaboration with both other students and instructors was one of the most beneficial aspects of the project (pp. 29-30). Students contributed ideas to each other and gained an understanding of what other students’ ideas and opinions were through online collaboration (p. 30). An essential part of creating the online community was the discussion forum which focused on achieving the common goal of successful completion of the essay (p. 31). Students reported that the online environment forced them to be cautious when posting comments because of the absence of informal communication cues (p. 32). Jahnke concluded that positive student experiences in the online class overshadowed the negative experiences they identified (p. 32). The researcher also revealed that students discovered relationships built online during the study transferred to stronger relationships in their face to face environment after the study concluded (p. 34).

Jahnke (2010) revealed that she was not only the researcher, but also the coordinator for the program. This may have inadvertently tainted the study to report positive results to protect the researcher’s position. The research relied solely on a single school that has both adopted the International Baccalaureate program and provides a laptop to each student making transferability for different populations difficult. Additionally, the qualitative design of the study does not lend to transferability to different populations. The researcher did not reveal information about the abilities of the subjects of the study. Revealing grade point averages and other relevant academic history of the subjects would help other researchers utilize the research. Jahnke dismissed the negative aspects associated with the study which should be explored so that they can be reduced in future online designs.

Janssen, J., Erkens, G., & Kanselaar, G. (2007). Visualization of agreement and discussion processes during computer-supported collaborative learning, Computers in Human Behavior, 23(3), 1105-1125. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2006.10.005

Janssen, Erkens, and Kanselaar (2007) conducted a quantitative study with 117 eleventh grade history students in the Netherlands (p. 1109) to test a new visual tool, Shared Space (SS), has on collaborative learning (pp. 1105). Participants were randomly assigned to groups of between two and four students in either the test group, who used chat with SS, or the control group. SS evaluates student collaboration and categorizes responses as agreement or debate (p. 1122). Results revealed SS only increased group performance in the early stage of the collaboration (p, 1122).

Janssen, Erkens, and Kanselaar (2007) relied on student groups who were familiar with each other in a face to face environment (p. 1123) and did not elaborate on the gender makeup of the groups. This study revealed that Shared Space (SS) did result in significant differences in the early stages of collaboration suggesting that further research in the proper utilization of SS is necessary.

Janssen, J., Erkens, G., Kirschner, P., & Kanselaar, G. (2009). Influence of group member familiarity on online collaborative learning, 25(1), 161-170. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2008.08.010

Janseen, Erkens, Kirschner, and Kanselaar (2009) conducted a quantitative study investigating the effect of familiarity on online collaboration with 105 eleventh grade students completing the same lesson used in Janssen, Erkens, and Kanselaar’s (2007) study (p. 163). Janseen, Erkens, Kirschner, and Kanselaar (2009) used students from the same face to face classes in their study to ensure familiarity (p. 163). The researchers discovered that familiarity did increase performance in online lessons however it also increased off task online communication as well (p. 167). Four hypothesis were tested relating to familiarity and online collaboration including; “group member familiarity will contribute to more critical

and exploratory group norms (p. 162)”, “group member familiarity will lead to positive perceptions

regarding the collaborative process (p. 162)”, “group member familiarity will influence online collaborative activities (p. 163)”, and “group member familiarity will lead to better group performance (p.163)”. Janseen, Erkens, Kirschner, and Kanselaar (2009) concluded that the first three hypothesis held but group performance in familiar groups did not improve. The researchers concluded that this was because the students engaged in social interactions online that had nothing to do with the tasks and suggested using software such as Shared Space (SS) could help keep familiar students on task.

Janseen, Erkens, Kirschner, and Kanselaar (2009) relied on data from two schools. The data did not reveal the ethnic makeup of the participants, the percentage on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the percentage of second language students, or their social economic status. These characteristics would allow researchers to evaluate the transferability of the results to other populations. Additionally the study was funded by the Computerized Representation of Coordination in Collaborative Learning (CRoCiCL) and the Netherland government who both have interests in positive results.

Marttunen, M. & Laurinen, L. (2009). Secondary school students’ collaboration during dyadic debates face-to-face and through computer chat. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(4), 961-969. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2009.04.005

Marttunen and Laurinen (2009) quantitatively investigated the collaborative interaction of 27 secondary students at a single school in Finland in both face to face and online discussions (p. 963). The researchers collected data for 24 debates. They tape recorded face to face debates and collected online debates on the computer (p. 964). Participant dialogue was separated into eight different categories based on the dialogue’s collaborative quality (p.964). The researchers found that the following three categories were more prevalent in the online environment; “the speech acts used to maintain collaborative discussion (p. 966)”, “the students responded to issues presented by their interlocutor (p. 966)”, and “students presented questions or provocative statements or asked for clarification (p. 967)”. The following three categories of interaction were more prevalent in the face to face debates; “short positive feedback (p. 967)”, “students extended their interlocutor’s thoughts (p. 967)”, and “students continued their own ideas (p. 967)”. Students in face to face debates were on task 96.3% of the time while the online debates were on task only 68.9% of the time (p. 966). The researchers believed the off task behavior during the online debates was caused by the lack of immediate feedback and difficulty of teacher monitoring inherent in the online environment. They recommended adding coaching to the online environment and increasing rewards for proper online behavior (p. 968). Marttunen and Laurinen (2009) concluded that both face to face and online debates are effective constructivist strategies however online debates require more time is required to keep students on task (p. 968).

Marttunen and Laurinen (2009) utilized data collected at a single school with a very small number of students. They revealed that only 24 students participated in both of the debates (p. 963). Student demographic data, besides sex, was not included in this study making generalizations to other populations difficult.

Vighnarajah, Wong, S., & Bakar, K. (2009). Qualitative findings of students’ perception on practice of self-regulated strategies in online community discussion, Computers & Education, 53(1), 94-103. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2008.12.021

Vighnarajah, Wong, and Bakar (2009) conducted a mixed methods study of the perception of students enrolled in self paced online classes in four schools in Malaysia (p. 98). The researchers used a premade questionnaire to collect data from students who were completing a self paced science class and compared it to data collected from students enrolled in the same class taught traditionally (p.99). Additional data was acquired through random interviews performed by the researchers (p. 100). Quantitative methods were used to indicate an increase of self regulated learning strategies was found in the online student data (p. 100). The qualitative study discovered that 33 participants rated their self regulated experience positively while 17 participants rated their experience negatively (p.100). The researchers concluded that self regulating strategies are essential to online learning success and recommended that these skills be taught to struggling students (p. 103).

Vighnarajah, Wong, and Bakar (2009) had to be approved by many departments in the Malaysian government to get approval to work with the four schools (p. 98). The government has a vested interest to make elearning look good as they are using this as a platform to bring Malaysia into the developed world (pp. 94-95). The government selection of the schools may have skewed the results and may not be representative of the rest of the country, or other areas of the world.



Ding, N. (2009). Visualizing the sequential process of knowledge elaboration in computer-supported collaborative problem solving, Computers & Education 52(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2008.10.009

Jahnke, J. (2010). Student perceptions of the impact of online discussion forum participation on learning outcomes. Journal of Learning Design, 3(2), 27-34. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database

Janssen, J., Erkens, G., & Kanselaar, G. (2007). Visualization of agreement and discussion processes during computer-supported collaborative learning, Computers in Human Behavior, 23(3), 1105-1125. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2006.10.005

Janssen, J., Erkens, G., Kirschner, P., & Kanselaar, G. (2009). Influence of group member familiarity on online collaborative learning, 25(1), 161-170. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2008.08.010

Marttunen, M. & Laurinen, L. (2009). Secondary school students’ collaboration during dyadic debates face-to-face and through computer chat. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(4), 961-969. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2009.04.005

Vighnarajah, Wong, S., & Bakar, K. (2009). Qualitative findings of students’ perception on practice of self-regulated strategies in online community discussion, Computers & Education, 53(1), 94-103. DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2008.12.021


Wiki Project

I am also working on a wiki project for another class. Here is a link to my work on online learning there. Feel free to comment, they really help me think things through!

I read the blog at:

Here is a copy of my post:


One of the strengths of an online course is the ability for students to complete their work anytime instead of having to be online at the same time. If the professor is using live webcam lessons, does that mean every student has to be online at the same time? I have had to do that in some classes at Walden and it is very difficult to do when people live in different timezones. One professor had to schedule three times to accommodate students from around the world.


I went to:

And posted:

Besides participating in discussions, how are online students participating in conversations? I have used both blogs and wikis to create conversations in the past and am looking for new methods to increase communication in online courses.
Thanks, Dave

I also read:

And posted:


Have you had any experience with the negative impacts of the anonymous factor in online communication? We are struggling with online bullying at my high school. In the first nine weeks; we had a student posting pictures of her teacher and adding inappropriate comments on Facebook. Her defense was that she had done it outside of school. We had to amend our student handbook to include online bullying and online harassment. There are both positives and negatives to the anonymous factor in online learning.

Dave Harms