From a constructivist perspective the facilitation of student engagement and co-participation through discussion is a very important strategy (Donnelly & O’Farrell, 2006). This micro-course on how to use technologies can help facilitate discussions through different formats that range from video to the written word.
Although the individual course sections will provide specific details there are some general issues that will need to considered when implementing discussions as part of your teaching and learning strategy. For example, regardless of the format used, discussions should be constructed in such a manner that provides an opportunity for the students to reflect and participate in a considered and informed manner. A particularly important consideration is the need to provide clear and explicit guidelines regarding the nature and type of input required from each participant. Remember, with this type of constructivist learning activity it is the process that is just as important as the product; that said, the students should be very clear as to what is expected of them both in terms of the type of input and the minimum number of postings. As previously noted, one of the advantages of using a technology enhanced learning approach is that there are a wide range of formats that can be used for students discussions range from video to audio to the written word. Therefore the aim of this micro-course is to encourage you to consider a wider range of formats than you may have previously considered.
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Donnelly, R. and O’Farrell, C. (2006) Constructivist E-Learning for Continuous Professional Development of Academic Staff In J O’Donoghue (Ed.) Technology Supported Learning and Teaching : A Staff Perspective (pp.146-159). Hershey, PA : Information Science Publishing[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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