EdMOLT – Week Three

I actually started week three by catching up on the last two modules in week two. The comments on teacher presence in 2.9 were interesting, as I found that we spent a lot of time interacting with students and the weekly guest feature lecturers on the Coursera AI Planning MOOC we ran.

3.2: Time Online in Distance Education – Synchronous and Asynchronous interactions

I am keen on supporting both synchronous and asynchronous interaction in online educational contexts. We have in the past conducted research on distributed collaboration more generally and explored how communities interact, the tasks they perform together and the tool types that may support these tasks (Tate et al., 2014). So I found Watts (2016) interesting.

3.4: Contact time, expectations, and indicators – Padlet

I put a comment into the Padlet for this activity along with the Task/Cognitive Work Analysis figure from Tate et al. (2014) as shown above… “Task Accomplishment versus Time Online – It would be nice to see the tasks the students are tackling (or that the course leaders believe they SHOULD be tackling) and their level of accomplishment of those tasks as a measure of engagement and progress.”

My dissertation for the MSc in e-Learning (Tate, 2012) covered some aspects of activities and tasks and ways to support them for distributed teams working in various areas such as emergency response, and especially the training of such teams. An overall approach can be adopted from the “5E Instructional Model” (NASA, 2012) with a flow of Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend and Evaluate. Within this higher level cycle, a very useful set of learner activities specifically relevant to situated and social activity in a community of practice has been developer by Soller (2001, as shown in figure 6.1).

The educator can add appropriate constraints (limited by the activity which is possible via the affordances offered) and inject relevant events for learners to respond to (as shown in figure 8.1).

http://atate.org/mscel/i-zone/ for more details.

3.5 Synchronous vs. asynchronous

Hahaha… I should have read ahead.. this is a topic that interests me.. as can be seen from the above comments.. I tend to write these blog posts as a log of my learning activity and interaction with the course material.. hence my previous annoyance if they time out in the WordPress platform! I am saving blog post changes frequently after that little faux pas.

3.8: Case Study for Dealing with Multiple Time Zones

No single time works across the world, but having several clustered sessions where there can be decent and reasonable overlap can work well if you can get some overlap between the participants. having a persistent space where the meeting take place, where artifacts can be “pined” and seen by all participants can be helpful. But you know where I am coming from there with virtual world technology 🙂


NASA (2012) “5Es Overview: The 5E instructional model”, NASA Education Web.

Soller, A.L. (2001) “Supporting Social Interaction in an Intelligent Learning System”, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (IJAIED), Vol. 12, pp. 40-62.

Tate, A. (2012) ‘Activity in Context’ – Planning to Keep Learners ‘in the Zone’ for Scenario-based Mixed-Initiative Training, MSc in e-Learning Dissertation, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, 9th August 2012. [PDF Format]

Tate, A., Hansberger, J.T., Potter, S. and Wickler, G. (2014) Virtual Collaboration Spaces: Bringing Presence to Distributed Collaboration, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Assembled Issue 2014, Volume 7, Number 2, May 2014. [PDF Format]

Watts, L. (2016). Synchronous and asynchronous communication in distance learning: A review of the literature. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 17(1), 23.

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1 Response to EdMOLT – Week Three

  1. mbreines says:

    Hi Austin,
    Always a pleasure to read your blog posts. I think using this space as a log of your learning activity is a great way of doing it (even though the platform might not be the best one).
    Like the previous post, nice idea about the virtual world space to deal with the time zone issue. I guess one of the challenges of not using a virtual world space is that operating only in text makes it less tangible, whereas a virtual meeting space where participants from all over the world are ‘physically present’ would help to link ideas to people and give students a better sense of a community. In addition to the technological bits, any thoughts on how the teacher can facilitate such a space to make it engaging and inclusive for students in different locations?
    Best wishes

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