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Online Course for Teachers: Teaching Evolution

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ABOUT THIS COURSE

About the Online Course for Teachers

Facilitator's Guide: Community Building & Discussions

On line Community-Building
The Online Course for Teachers: Teaching Evolution is designed as a constructivist learning experience for a community of learners.

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Emphasize that online communication between participants is key to building community and contributes to the course outcomes.

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Create a course participant list before the first session and include online posting of participant's photos.

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Use the development of discussion guidelines as a community-building activity.

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Do introductions and community-building activities at beginning of the course. If possible, include at least one face-to-face meeting at the beginning and one near the end.

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Take advantage of the opportunities built into the course for participants to share expertise and dialogue and reflect on learning evolution content and teaching strategies.

Discussions
Discussions are an important part of the online course -- both in building a learning community and in creating meaningful dialogue that enhances learning.

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Establish guidelines/ ground rules for discussions with participants -- give some guidelines and have participants add others. For example, need for respectful communication, need to be constructive, length and deadlines for postings, format for attachments.

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Distinguish between asynchronous (not in real time) vs. synchronous (real time) discussions.

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Create multiple places (Web boards) for students to interact: individual work, whole class, small group; social vs. work places. Distinguish the functions of each place.

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Distinguish between public vs. private Web boards.

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Use "threaded" discussions (responses are organized by content, not chronology).

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Provide opportunities for participants to teach and facilitate discussions.

 

Next: Assessment

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