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Journal Article

Empowering Knowledge‑Building Pedagogy in Online Environments: Creating Digital Moments to Transform Practice:  pp128-137

Wendy Barber, Stacey Taylor, Sylvia Buchanan

© May 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECEL, Editor: Mélanie Ciussi, pp126 - 226

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Abstract

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine a specific online pedagogical tool, Digital MomentsŽ that can be an effective strategy for building online communities in a knowledge building environment. While the paper will examine the specific techni ques and teaching methodologies that enabled the authors to create authentic online learning experiences in undergraduate and graduate courses, it also analyses how and why this strategy moves beyond simple constructivist thinking to the complexities of teaching in the digital world. Knowledge building in online environments requires students to take risks, try new digital tools, and find the modalities that work best to express the new knowledge they are creating. This pedagogical approach views studen ts as more than consumers of technology, but creators of new and innovative digital means of expressing concepts. Using both synchronous and asynchronous methodologies, the authors examined the highs and lows of translating meaningful face to face practic e to the online environment. The paper examines teaching strategies used in a six week online graduate course using Adobe connect, Blackboard LMS and synchronous weekly meetings. Through the use of unique strategies such as digital momentsŽ and embracing creative thought, an authentic, constructivist community was created. The authors journey to developing this authenticity, their online pedagogical style and an innovative, safe learning community has been chronicled using narrative qualitative inquiry in this paper. The writers use of digital moments empowers students to create and have ownership of their own online community. This paper articulates their journey into the abyss of digitizing themselves as teachers; it examines the specific techniques used for best practice in online learning, while simultaneously celebrating the splash of colour that is essential to brighten digital learning environments.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Online pedagogy, empowerment, knowledge-building communities, authentic practice

 

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Journal Article

Teacher‑Student Perspectives of Invisible Pedagogy: New Directions in Online Problem‑Based Learning Environments  pp235-243

Wendy Barber, Sherry King

© Nov 2016 Volume 14 Issue 4, Editor: Guest Editors, Rozhan M. Idrus and Nurkhamimi Zainuddin, pp233 - 290

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Abstract

Universities and institutions of higher education are facing economic pressures to sustain large classes, while simultaneously maintaining the quality of the online learning environment (Deming et al, 2015).. Digital learning environments require significant pedagogical shifts on the part of the teacher. This paper is a qualitative examination of the nature of teaching in the digital age, and the significant changes facing teachers in the 21C. The authors describe key features of quality distance pedagogy that were exhibited during 12 weeks of a synchronous undergraduate course held in Adobe Connect. The central research questions are 1. How can problem‑based learning pedagogy enable instructors to form smaller cohesive groups of students that take greater responsibility for their own learning? 2. What strategies can be used by teachers to develop communities of practice and inquiry? 3. How can an instructor in a large virtual class co‑create the level of social capital that is required to build and maintain the relationships that are a necessary condition for a high quality learning experience? and 4. What are the perceptions of teachers about the challenges and benefits of facilitating a high quality problem based learning environment through invisible pedagogy? The research is grounded in literature through the work of Cousins and Bissar (2012), Kaufman (2013), Badge, Saunders and Cann (2012), Flavin (2012) and McNeill, Gosper and Xu (2012). These authors examine how teachers and learners adapt to the digital age. In addition, more recent work by Bowers and Kumar (2015), Hoadley (2016), Deming et al (2015) and Gunduz et al (2016) are examined.In these digital spaces, teachers become facilitators, guides, collaborators and learners themselves, thus making traditional pedagogy virtually invisible. Further, the paper uses qualitative semi‑structured interviews of two assistant professors who instructed the two groups of undergraduate students The teachers identify challenges and successes to using problem based learning as a tool for attaining 21C learning outcomes in digital learning spaces.

 

Keywords: Teacher Development, Online Pedagogy, Problem-Based Learning

 

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