I echo Jim’s concern for wanting to find helpful ideas in supporting students with low computer and web experience. I’m also very pleased to be joining this week’s discussion as a commentator and participant.
For me, as I reviewed the readings I focused on two questions “Who is the online student?” and “What are the typical tools/designs that benefit all skill levels.”
Fortunately, Jim put together a great selection of readings which provided many answers to my questions. I’ll share with you what I learned:
Week 7: Our Students Online
- Ko & Rossen Chapter 10: Students are often thrust into a world in which independent or collaborative learning is heavily stressed; where encountering different course management software systems are norm and where knowing the ‘correct’ way to communicate within the classroom is uncertain. As a result, students often feel frustrated, abandoned, or confused.
To help prevent these feelings I like the idea of "Readiness Programs” discussed on page 290 and “Preparing your own orientation program” on page 292. This semester in my online class, out of 40 students 12 have never before taken an online course. The potential is that more than 1/3 of my students may feel frustrated, abandoned, or confused if they don't catch on quickly to the technology. In my classroom, I have decided to include a "mini" orientation at the opening of each learning unit to help my new-to-Blackboard students.
2. Jakob Nielsen: College Student on the Web
3. Matt Richtel: Growing up Digital and Information Technology
This caption speaks volumns to how we learn, in general, and the cognitively competitive environments in which our students are embedded. The following quote addresses the difference in stimulation levels between learning a list of vacabulary words and a typical gaming webpage.
“When you look at vocabulary and look at huge stimulus after that, your brain has to decide which information to store,” he said. “Your brain might favor the emotionally stimulating information over the vocabulary.” At the University of California, San Francisco, scientists have found that when rats have a new experience, like exploring an unfamiliar area, their brains show new patterns of activity. But only when the rats take a break from their exploration do they process those patterns in a way that seems to create a persistent memory.
4. ECAR study: Key Findings
- On page 8 the study resports that 53% of college students (N = 13,368) report using web-based technologies such as Google.doc, iWorks, MS Office Live Workspace, Zoho, etc. This is great information to know as I create online group assignments.