Active Learning Online By the Numbers: A Compilation of Lists
from Several Scholars of Active Learning with Technology
Katherine Fischer, Donna Reiss, and Art Young developed this 2005 resource, which has evolved from 20 years of teaching computer-enhanced and online communication-rich classes.
7 Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education + Technology
- Encourages contacts between students and faculty: frequent,
"more intimate, protected, and convenient"
- Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students: group
activities and informal conversations
and synchronous communication
- Encourages active learning: talking, writing, developing, discovering,
authentic and archival research, discovery and development, interaction
- Gives prompt feedback: appropriate, frequent, encouraging
commenting, electronic portfolios, individual responses, responses to
- Emphasizes time on task: constructive, productive
- Communicates high expectations: support systems
- Respects diverse talents and ways of learning: values and extends
reading, reflecting, illustrating, enabling
6 Kinds of Quality Learning with Technology
of Inquiry: Teaching, Technology,
and Learner-Centered Approaches to Culture and History, Georgetown University [no longer online]
- Distributive learning: access to knowledge and shared responsibility
- Authentic tasks and complex inquiry: simulations, resources,
multiple methods and media
- Dialogic learning: communication on complex issues
- Constructive learning: projects and products
- Public accountability: publishing to peers and others
- Reflective and critical thinking: "multiple kinds of literacies
and evocative juxtapositions"
5-faceted Approach to Online Instructor-Student Interactions
from "Big Ten School in Cyberspace"
by Christopher Hons
T.H.E. Journal January 2002
The program instructors [at Penn State World Campus] have,
in turn, benefited from the students' feedback, improving their course
design and content to match the needs of working learners.
- Monitor student progress. WebCT, a Web-based educational delivery
system used by the World Campus, enables instructors to document each
student's learning process, including when they logon to a lesson and
how much time they spend on it.
- Motivate students. If students are falling behind in their
work, send them an e-mail or call them to help get them back on track.
- Intervene. If students are having problems, offer specific
suggestions targeted to what will help them through a particular lesson.
- Critique written exercises. Analyze how students draw conclusions,
the appropriateness of their explanations and proposed courses of action.
- Respond to questions. Answer all student questions, even those
that go beyond the scope of the course.
4 Features of High Touch Mentoring in Online Courses
from "'High Touch'in a 'High Tech'World: Strategies
for Individualizing Online Learning" by Edward H. Ladon [no longer online]
These instructors have concern about the visual aspects
of their courses like most, but much of their energy clearly is invested
in what I would call "high touch mentoring." The most
successful online teachers ... demonstrate a very rich, active, respectful
and responsive style of communication.
- They provide a safe climate.... let students know that there
are numerous supports available to assist them - including the Orientation
Course, the Help Notes, the 24x7 Help Desk, and their peers and the
teacher. Most of all, they explicitly assure students that it is okay
to ask for help, to trust them, and to trust that they will be very
available and accessible....
- They invite input regarding the goals and agenda of the course.
- They provide much individualized feedback .... lots of positive
messages about what they are doing well. They also offer constructive
criticism when called for, provide models of good performance, and recommend
links to resources for enhancing understanding of subject matter and/or
to enable students to pursue material related to individual interests.
- They connect learners with one another. They appreciate that
in interactive and collaborative learning situations, individuals have
an opportunity to gain perspective and think reflectively, and this
often produces higher levels of cognition as well as self-esteem.
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developed and copyright ©1996 by D. Reiss
modified and copyright © 9 September 2010 by D. Reiss