Module 5: Collaboration, Pedagogy, and Practices

Module Overview

Content knowledge, information gathering and critical thinking are at the core of education. Too many schools are still attempting to prepare students for the world without considering the environment that students will find when they move on to post-secondary education or the workforce. Online learning, whether at a distance or within a classroom, is a catalyst for change, as schools are using Web 2.0 technologies to engage students and enhance collaboration in new ways.

The use of computers and online learning in education requires a much larger shift in thinking than simply adding a few computers to classrooms. Truly blended learning requires that teachers approach their role differently, as guides and mentors instead of purveyors of information. Classrooms must be redefined as flexible learning environments, in which students learn in a variety of ways, while communicating and collaborating with others who are outside their school—and perhaps outside their country. Learning should go beyond the classroom walls and the confines of the school day. (From Blending Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-to-Face Education (iNACOL, 2011).

This module will prepare participants for the pedagogical shift from teaching face-to-face to teaching online. Teaching in an online environment can be very different than teaching solely face-to-face. Truly blended learning requires that teachers approach their role differently, as guides and mentors instead of primarily purveyors of information, using Web 2.0 technologies to engage students and enhance collaboration in new ways.

Learning Objectives

In this module, participants will:

  • Use student-centered instructional strategies to encourage active learning and interaction.
  • Apply the Design Thinking process in curriculum development.
  • Identify appropriate levels of Bloom's Taxonomy for a variety of Web 2.0 tools.
  • Select and use a variety of Web 2.0 tools appropriate for higher levels of cognition.
  • Apply interdependence strategies to collaborate with colleagues on the development of a Web 2.0 presentation.
  • Identify technology tools and strategies to move project-based learning into the online environment.

Module Assignments

  • 5.1 Discussion: The Propositions Project
  • 5.2 Portfolio Assignment: Collaboration, Design Thinking, Bloom’s and Web 2.0 Tools
  • 5.3 Reflection: Online Group Collaboration

Academic Vocabulary

Project-based learning: The use of classroom projects intended to bring about deep learning, where students use technology and inquiry to engage with issues and questions that are relevant to their lives.

Bloom's Taxonomy: A classification of behavior and learning developed by Benjamin Bloom and others. Organized into three domains of learning: cognitive (or intellectual), affective (or emotional/attitudinal), and psychomotor (or physical/motor).

Common Core State Standards: Standards developed by a panel of national experts and adopted by most states, providing a clear understanding of what students are expected to know and be able to do at each grade level in order to be prepared for college and career.

Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS): The three highest levels of cognition in Bloom's Taxonomy.

Levels of cognition: According to Bloom, knowledge increases as one progresses through the levels of learning, where knowledge is the most surface level and evaluation represents the deepest form of learning.

Web 2.0 tools: Online applications that let people collaborate and share information online, such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, etc.

Blending Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-to-Face Education (iNACOL, 2011).