Online Classroom or Community in the Making? Instructor Conceptualizations and Presence in Online Discussion Forums

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Published on May 5, 2008

Author: tanbob

Source: slideshare.net

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Presentation by Tannis Morgan and Stephen Carey at CNIE 2008, April 28, 2008, Banff.

Online Classroom or Community in the Making? Engaged Participant or Knowledgeable Professor? http://tanbob.wiki.zoho.com/CNIE.html Tannis Morgan BCIT Stephen Carey University of British Columbia

Background How to get at the ‘why’s’ of teaching presence? Tsang (2004) and ‘interactive decisions’

How to get at the ‘why’s’ of teaching presence?

Tsang (2004) and ‘interactive decisions’

Research questions 1. How do instructors negotiate their teaching presence in online contexts? What are the constraints and affordances that influence this negotiation?

1. How do instructors negotiate their teaching presence in online contexts?

What are the constraints and affordances that influence this negotiation?

Methodology Adopted Activity Theory as framework therefore certain methodological implications Multi-case study with cross case analysis (Stake, 2006) as methodology

Adopted Activity Theory as framework therefore certain methodological implications

Multi-case study with cross case analysis (Stake, 2006) as methodology

Cases Six “Cases of” instructor teaching presence Unit of analysis: courses they were teaching Range of teaching contexts: “Canada”, South America, Eastern Europe

Six “Cases of” instructor teaching presence

Unit of analysis: courses they were teaching

Range of teaching contexts: “Canada”, South America, Eastern Europe

Data 2-3 interviews with instructor Forum transcripts Course documents Interviews with program directors Interview with co-instructor *student course evaluations *student questionnaire

2-3 interviews with instructor

Forum transcripts

Course documents

Interviews with program directors

Interview with co-instructor

*student course evaluations

*student questionnaire

Triangulation Multiple sources of data Minimum 2 sources of evidence for each claim Member checking Peer debriefing

Multiple sources of data

Minimum 2 sources of evidence for each claim

Member checking

Peer debriefing

Theoretical Framework-Activity Theory (Engestrom, 1987)

Instructor Activity System

Rationale “ By taking account of the interactions between people involved in the activity, structures within which the activity takes place, conventions on which it is based and artefacts used (here, teaching tools and methods), I was able to ground my study in the broad context and capture practice as socially situated, rather than simply evidenced in actions or performance.” (Fanghanel, 2004, p. 579)

“ By taking account of the interactions between people involved in the activity, structures within which the activity takes place, conventions on which it is based and artefacts used (here, teaching tools and methods), I was able to ground my study in the broad context and capture practice as socially situated, rather than simply evidenced in actions or performance.” (Fanghanel, 2004, p. 579)

Teaching Beliefs Kane, Sandretto and Heath (2002) “ Research into teachers’ beliefs, conceptions, attitudes, orientations, (personal) practical theories, and implicit or subjective theories about teaching is grounded in the understanding that these concepts drive teachers’ practices.” (p. 204) Relationship between beliefs and actual practices

Kane, Sandretto and Heath (2002)

“ Research into teachers’ beliefs, conceptions, attitudes, orientations, (personal) practical theories, and implicit or subjective theories about teaching is grounded in the understanding that these concepts drive teachers’ practices.” (p. 204)

Relationship between beliefs and actual practices

Finding Conceptualization and teaching presence How do you view yourself as an online instructor? How do you conceptualize the interaction spaces?

Conceptualization and teaching presence

How do you view yourself as an online instructor?

How do you conceptualize the interaction spaces?

Data Analysis Questions How did instructors conceptualize the online interaction spaces? How did this conceptualization influence their teaching presence? Were they able to realize their conceptualizations?

How did instructors conceptualize the online interaction spaces?

How did this conceptualization influence their teaching presence?

Were they able to realize their conceptualizations?

Conceptualization of interaction and teaching presence How instructor viewed purpose and goals of the interaction spaces Tannis--develop community Linda--activity space William--online graduate seminar and individualized teaching Daniel--student-centred online classroom Joanne--community in the making John--teacher-directed online classroom

How instructor viewed purpose and goals of the interaction spaces

Tannis--develop community

Linda--activity space

William--online graduate seminar and individualized teaching

Daniel--student-centred online classroom

Joanne--community in the making

John--teacher-directed online classroom

Daniel--student centred online classroom Avoid being authoritarian Participate as a peer “ if the discussion was really flying along I would participate almost as a peer. Just really throwing my two cents. Actually I had to be very careful about this especially early in the classes because I started to feel like a real discussion killer . I would see this rolling, rollicking discussion with arguments and stuff flying back and forth and I would take a position as if I was a member of the student cohort and it would often stop discussion dead in its tracks , especially early on.”

Avoid being authoritarian

Participate as a peer

“ if the discussion was really flying along I would participate almost as a peer. Just really throwing my two cents. Actually I had to be very careful about this especially early in the classes because I started to feel like a real discussion killer . I would see this rolling, rollicking discussion with arguments and stuff flying back and forth and I would take a position as if I was a member of the student cohort and it would often stop discussion dead in its tracks , especially early on.”

Daniel-Tensions Repositioning to avoid being pulled into teacher-like discourse Constraint of technology lead to transfer of weblog practices

Repositioning to avoid being pulled into teacher-like discourse

Constraint of technology lead to transfer of weblog practices

“… the role that was probably easiest to fill and the one that I had the most fun was not unlike how I work when I use my weblog , just finding interesting, relevant kind of thing and then throwing them into the pot to get people talking. That was stuff that I do on my weblog all the time and had a lot of fun doing that in the forums and that was the probably the most satisfying good discussions.”

“… the role that was probably easiest to fill and the one that I had the most fun was not unlike how I work when I use my weblog , just finding interesting, relevant kind of thing and then throwing them into the pot to get people talking. That was stuff that I do on my weblog all the time and had a lot of fun doing that in the forums and that was the probably the most satisfying good discussions.”

John Online classroom class leader--be directive in helping students through course requirements and content

Online classroom

class leader--be directive in helping students through course requirements and content

John--Tensions Positioned into subordinate role Conflict of this positioning with identity as a ‘class leader’

Positioned into subordinate role

Conflict of this positioning with identity as a ‘class leader’

John=8% of all posts (15 weeks) 88 38 Total messages 31 7 No. initiated 57 31 No. replies Phillip John

John=8% of all posts (15 weeks)

Instructor 1 and 2 “ I felt a responsibility and I looked for my [opportunities] and tried to make contributions either big or little just to have a voice because whether they viewed me as secondary or not I thought it was my responsibility to post and make contributions where I could.”

“ I felt a responsibility and I looked for my [opportunities] and tried to make contributions either big or little just to have a voice because whether they viewed me as secondary or not I thought it was my responsibility to post and make contributions where I could.”

Tannis Online community Importance of social activity

Online community

Importance of social activity

Tannis--Tensions (MU) Language--not enough to sustain community building Technology--couldn’t follow messages, no threads Forced to adopt teacher-centred interaction

Language--not enough to sustain community building

Technology--couldn’t follow messages, no threads

Forced to adopt teacher-centred interaction

William Conceptualization--online graduate seminar Realizing constructivism through highly individualized teaching (constraint--extremely time consuming) Influenced by beliefs about teaching and learning

Conceptualization--online graduate seminar

Realizing constructivism through highly individualized teaching (constraint--extremely time consuming)

Influenced by beliefs about teaching and learning

William William--247 posts/3 weeks 11 students--1094/3weeks Least active student: 35 Most active student: 127

William--Course design Syllabus, schedule of readings, 2 class texts Discussion forum--1 topic only Key element--development of a language-culture autobiography

Syllabus, schedule of readings, 2 class texts

Discussion forum--1 topic only

Key element--development of a language-culture autobiography

William--Tensions Repositioning to avoid being perceived as authoritarian Time needed

Repositioning to avoid being perceived as authoritarian

Time needed

So what? *Flexibility in design--new interpretations of constructivist teaching and course design *Ability to adapt teaching approach Meeting needs of the evolving community

*Flexibility in design--new interpretations of constructivist teaching and course design

*Ability to adapt teaching approach

Meeting needs of the evolving community

Implications Conceptualizations in constant change Identity of students and instructors changes

Conceptualizations in constant change

Identity of students and instructors changes

References Anderson, T., Rourke. L., Garrison, R., Archer,W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing context. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5 (2), 1-17. Davies, B., & Harre, R. (1990). Positioning: The discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 20 , 43-63. Duff, P. and Uchida, Y. (1997). He negotiation of teachers' sociocultural identities and practices in postsecondary EFL classrooms. TESOL Quarterly, 31 , 451-486. Engeström, Y. (2001). Expansive learning at work: Toward an activity theoretical reconceptualisation. Journal of Education and Work, 14 (1). Fanganel, J. (2004). Capturing dissonance in university teacher education environments. Studies in Higher Education, 29 (5), 575-590. Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2 (2-3), 87-105. Morita, N. (2004). Negotiating participation and identity in second language academic communities. TESOL Quarterly, 38 , 573-604. Norton, B. (2000). Identity and language learning: Gender, ethnicity, and educational change . London: Longman. Stake, R. E. (2006). Multiple case study analysis . New York, NY: Guilford. Tsang, W. K. (2004). Teacher’s personal practical knowledge and interactive decisions. Language Teaching Research, 8 (2), 163-198.

Anderson, T., Rourke. L., Garrison, R., Archer,W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing context. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5 (2), 1-17.

Davies, B., & Harre, R. (1990). Positioning: The discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 20 , 43-63.

Duff, P. and Uchida, Y. (1997). He negotiation of teachers' sociocultural identities and practices in postsecondary EFL classrooms. TESOL Quarterly, 31 , 451-486.

Engeström, Y. (2001). Expansive learning at work: Toward an activity theoretical reconceptualisation. Journal of Education and Work, 14 (1).

Fanganel, J. (2004). Capturing dissonance in university teacher education environments. Studies in Higher Education, 29 (5), 575-590.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2 (2-3), 87-105.

Morita, N. (2004). Negotiating participation and identity in second language academic communities. TESOL Quarterly, 38 , 573-604.

Norton, B. (2000). Identity and language learning: Gender, ethnicity, and educational change . London: Longman.

Stake, R. E. (2006). Multiple case study analysis . New York, NY: Guilford.

Tsang, W. K. (2004). Teacher’s personal practical knowledge and interactive decisions. Language Teaching Research, 8 (2), 163-198.

Photo credits Rustman http://flickr.com/photos/russmorris/ Jeff Bauche http://flickr.com/photos/jeff-bauche/ Queropere http://www.flickr.com/photos/pquero/756112579/ Florian b. http://www.flickr.com/photos/florian_b/44227093/ Banditz http://flickr.com/photos/banditz/

Rustman http://flickr.com/photos/russmorris/

Jeff Bauche http://flickr.com/photos/jeff-bauche/

Queropere http://www.flickr.com/photos/pquero/756112579/

Florian b. http://www.flickr.com/photos/florian_b/44227093/

Banditz http://flickr.com/photos/banditz/

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