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Communicate and Engage With Your Instructor and Peers - Mathematics


Overview

There are multiple ways to interact in your Canvas course. A Canvas Group will provide a collaborative workspace where you can share files, hold video conferences, or work on writing assignments.

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Video Script
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Instructions for Communication in Canvas

Announcements (All Class Participants)

  1. Click the appropriate Announcement title.
  2. Leave a reply for appropriate announcement.

Discussions (All Class Participants)

  1. Click the appropriate Discussion title.
  2. Leave a reply for appropriate discussion.

Conversations/Inbox (One or more recipients)

  1. Click the Inbox link in the Help Corner.
  2. Enter a name, course, or group you would like to send a message to.
  3. Write and send the message.

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Video Script
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Instructions for participating in a Group

  1. Locate Courses & Groups on the Global Navigation Menu.
  2. Hover over Courses & Groups to view the groups you are enrolled in. Groups will appear to the right of course enrollments.
  3. You will only see groups if you are enrolled in at least one group.

These teaching styles highlight the five main strategies teachers use in the classroom, as well as the benefits and potential pitfalls of each.

The Authority, or lecture style

The authority model is teacher-centered and frequently entails lengthy lecture sessions or one-way presentations. Students are expected to take notes or absorb information.

  • Pros: This style is acceptable for certain higher-education disciplines and auditorium settings with large groups of students. The pure lecture style is most suitable for subjects like history, which necessitate memorization of key facts, dates, names, etc.
  • Cons: It’s a questionable model for teaching children because there is little or no interaction with the teacher. Plus it can get a little snooze-y. That’s why it’s a better approach for older, more mature students.

The Demonstrator, or coach style

The demonstrator retains the formal authority role by showing students what they need to know. The demonstrator is a lot like the lecturer, but their lessons include multimedia presentations, activities, and demonstrations. (Think: Math. Science. Music.)

  • Pros: This style gives teachers opportunities to incorporate a variety of formats including lectures and multimedia presentations.
  • Cons: Although it’s well-suited for teaching mathematics, music, physical education, or arts and crafts, it is difficult to accommodate students’ individual needs in larger classrooms.

The Facilitator, or activity style

Facilitators promote self-learning and help students develop critical thinking skills and retain knowledge that leads to self-actualization.

  • Pros: This style trains students to ask questions and helps develop skills to find answers and solutions through exploration it is ideal for teaching science and similar subjects.
  • Cons: Challenges teacher to interact with students and prompt them toward discovery rather than lecturing facts and testing knowledge through memorization. So it’s a bit harder to measure success in tangible terms.

The Delegator, or group style

The delegator style is best suited for curricula that require lab activities, such as chemistry and biology, or subjects that warrant peer feedback, like debate and creative writing.

  • Pros: Guided discovery and inquiry-based learning place the teacher in an observer role that inspires students by working in tandem toward common goals.
  • Cons: Considered a modern style of teaching, it is sometimes criticized as eroding teacher authority. As a delegator, the teacher acts more as a consultant rather than the traditional authority figure.

The Hybrid, or blended style

Hybrid, or blended style, follows an integrated approach to teaching that blends the teacher’s personality and interests with students’ needs and curriculum-appropriate methods.

  • Pros: Inclusive! And it enables teachers to tailor their styles to student needs and appropriate subject matter.
  • Cons: Hybrid style runs the risk of trying to be too many things to all students, prompting teachers to spread themselves too thin and dilute learning.

Because teachers have styles that reflect their distinct personalities and curriculum—from math and science to English and history—it’s crucial that they remain focused on their teaching objectives and avoid trying to be all things to all students.


Communication is integral to a CMP classroom, both as a conceptual development tool, and as a means for the teacher to assess what each student knows. Thus an observer would see teachers monitoring group investigations, or leading class discussions, making informal assessments of individuals and the whole group, and adjusting their plans as they gather information.

In a CMP classroom an observer would see students poring over their individual and collaborative work, making suggestions for improvements, and in the process making their own sense of the ideas being studied. "Effective learning environments are community-centered. These communities can build a sense of comfort with questioning rather than knowing answers and can develop a model of creating new ideas that builds on the contributions of individual members." (Pellegrino)


4 Effective Communication Strategies in Multilingual Math Classrooms

It was Veronica’s third year in the country as a member of the dual-language program. She communicated in mixed English and Spanish, was liked by most of her peers, and had a great sense of humor. She struggled in math. She had been referred for special education testing by her 4th-grade teacher and had been largely dismissed during mathematics by her 5th-grade teacher. Now, as she sat in the 6th-grade classroom, the question was what might come of her mathematical learning, what had been missed? Why did she continue to be unsuccessful in our classrooms? Veronica moved to the U.S. from Honduras. She had limited opportunities to learn at a young age, due to the fact that her family missed much of her schooling as they tried to move to the United States. Her father, a chemical engineer by trade, worked as a bus driver for the local daycare and her mom, a university professor in her hometown, worked as an afterschool aid for the Just-for-Kids program at our school. They were both invested in Veronica’s education and were baffled by her lack of success when it came to mathematics. There was an extensive record compiled by her previous teachers of what Veronica did not know. What did Veronica know and how could her assets be leveraged?

There was also a greater question at play: How can teachers provide equitable opportunities for communication (and consequently increase their opportunities to learn) in a multilingual classroom?

How do we, as teachers, conduct discussions around mathematics when the students’ native language is not the dominant language in the classroom or the language of the teacher? How do we scaffold a rich discussion without losing the rigor of the task or reducing the discussion to a simple show and tell with no real connections to the context or the work of the other students in the classroom? Implementing the following four strategies in the mathematics classroom can promote equitable and rich math talk.

1. Let students speak! And that means in their native language or a mix of that and English

We cannot underestimate the power of acceptance of communication in whatever language a student feels comfortable using, even when it is a mix of language. Students’ ideas should be expressed in whatever language the child chooses and feels comfortable using. We must recognize the power of the student’s own voice and seek to understand the richness of knowledge that may be presented through the home language. The very nature of mathematics lends itself to a universal language from which a student may find a launching point to communicate in the classroom.

To that end, we must recognize the power of the visual mathematical representations that students create to represent their thinking. The scaffold for the teachers and classmates to understand a student’s explanation lies in the mathematical representation chosen by the student. This representation or solution path provides a roadmap of the student’s work—an anchor of communication.

The identities people claim, refute, or are assigned by others are powerful factors in obtaining access to classroom discourse. For example, if students are positioned as incompetent, their contributions may be ignored or discredited. If students are positioned as experts or highly knowledgeable, their contributions will be given greater weight. Thus, through various classroom positioning patterns, students can gain or lose the right to act (Kayi-Aydar, 2015). How students are positioned in your classroom can affect their ability to develop content and language competencies in the classroom. Therefore, positioning is critical to each student’s success and learning in the mathematics classroom.”

Chval, K., Smith, E. M., Trigos-Carrillo, L., Pinnow, R. J. (2021). Teaching math to multilingual students, Grades K-8: Positioning English learners for success, (p. 11). Corwin Mathematics Series: SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.

In essence, math is a common language with a universality in number and representations. Using these as an anchor can allow greater communication in the math classroom. With help and encouragement from the teacher, a student can use their math representation of choice and their language of choice to communicate their solution.

2. Make it a working word wall

When will multilingual students learn the academic vocabulary in English? It is true that a student needs to learn academic vocabulary in English, but as with all learning of new vocabulary, this must happen in context. Learning new vocabulary is futile without a context or experience upon which to hang the shingle. A student’s native language can be enriched with the appropriate academic language through the use of a math wall that includes visual representations where appropriate and cognates where possible.

Given the unique opportunity in the multilingual classroom of the need to find the correct words to accurately express yourself is a constant element of learning, what better opportunity than to teach that word in context. When learning about a Cartesian Plane and negative and positive integers, a word wall can be incorporated and these new words—these shingles of meaning—can be hung quite literally on the wall and referenced by the student seeking to express their thinking.

The elements of the word wall must be generated during the math lesson. These elements should include a student-generated definition with a picture or visual representation directly related to the lesson context in which it was learned. It seems so efficient to have these pre-made and laminated and used every year, but that strips the power of having a student-generated and student-designed word wall.

3. Let us help you get started . . . with sentence starters

Sentence starters or sentence frames are often used to help a student communicate their mathematical ideas. An effective sentence frame coupled with a student’s mathematical representation can allow a student to begin to express their mathematical ideas in the classroom. One key to using sentence stems, is to have them be focused on deep mathematics without taking over students’ thinking. Below are a few to consider:

    • I solved the problem by . . .
    • In my representation, the ___________ shows . . .
    • I agree with them because . . .
    • I started by . . . and then I . . . because . . .

    4. Wait, wait! Use double wait time

    Perhaps the most effective, yet simplest technique, that can be used in the classroom is wait time. Many of us know the standard 3 to 5 seconds of wait time following a question the teacher asks to the time they call on a student to answer (Rowe 1972, Lake 1973). Wait time serves as a moment for students to formulate their own answer before hearing that of others. This affords the multilingual learner a chance to interpret what has been said by the teacher and possibly to work on a translation of what is being said, formulate an answer in their native language, and translate that back into English. Perhaps most crucial is the time after someone has spoken, before the teacher begins to speak (a new question, a recasting of the student’s statement etc.) This time, wait time #2 (Rowe 1972, Lake 1973), is perhaps the most important as it allows a student to compare their own thinking with that of the student who responded. During these brief moments, the student has an opportunity to gather vocabulary that may describe what they were attempting to communicate, compare their thinking to that of another student, and formulate a response or question that might help further their own thinking.

    Some Accountable Talk® community moves also act as wait time. By asking students to say back what they hear another student say, students get to hear another repetition of the idea, perhaps using additional vocabulary they understand, and it is one more time that they get to process the idea themselves.

    So, what became of Veronica? She blossomed into a strong student and built a positive math identity where she saw herself as a mathematician. She entered junior high the following year to great success. She earned all A’s her first semester and even returned to her sixth-grade class as a presenter on her experience in junior high and how to navigate the first year with success.


    Talking Math: 6 Strategies for Getting Students to Engage in Mathematical Discourse

    Formula Mathematics Equation Mathematical Symbol Geometry Information Concept

    To engage students in productive mathematical conversations , teachers can orchestrate discourse and structure learning environments to deepen engagement and support learning. Using effective strategies will support students as they learn to participate in mathematical discourse.

    Below are six strategies from mathematics expert Dr. Gladis Kersaint to help you address these core areas and promote mathematical thinking and discourse in the classroom. For more, please download Dr. Kersaint’s new whitepaper: Orchestrating Mathematical Discourse to Enhance Student Learning.

    Strategy 1: Help students work with and rely on one another .

    Rules such as “Ask three before you ask me” can help establish classroom expectations by encouraging students to seek assistance from peers before defaulting to the teacher.

    The teacher can also designate student experts (students who have demonstrated depth of understanding about a particular problem, concept or procedure) whom other students can consult before approaching the teacher.

    Strategy 2: Allow students to work independently before sharing in small or large groups.

    Students need time to gather their thoughts and identify what they know or do not know before they are exposed to the influence of other students. Then they can compare and contrast their approaches and solutions with those shared by others during the mathematics discussion.

    Strategy 3: Use questions strategically to engage students in mathematical discourse.

    Teachers can engage students in mathematical discourse by posing questions that encourage discussion and debate. Strategic prompts and questions require students to attend to particular aspects of the learning process, explain and justify their thinking, and deepen their understanding in the process.

    Strategy 4: Acknowledge the importance of mistakes in learning and understanding by:

    Learning mathematics is not just about getting the right answer. It is also about learning from previous mistakes. Encourage students to take risks in mathematics by:

    • Recognizing that students will make errors because they are exploring and making conjectures.
    • Reminding students constantly that errors are expected and natural and that they can be a good thing because they lead to enhanced learning.
    • Helping students recognize what they have learned by analyzing their mistakes and identifying misunderstandings.
    • Encouraging students to ask questions to clarify and critique the reasoning of their peers and establish the correctness of solutions.
    • Empowering students to reach and justify conclusions based on their own mathematics knowledge without relying on the authority of the teacher.

    Strategy 5: Use collaborative learning strategies.

    When students work with peers or in small groups, they are able to take risks and build confidence on a small scale before they present solutions to the whole class. Strategies include:

    • Think-pair-share . This approach can be used in a variety of instructional circumstances to encourage students to engage in mathematics independently and then share their results with a partner.
    • Numbered heads . When students are working in groups of three or four, each can be assigned a number. Students know that any member of the group may be called on to provide a response, so everyone must have the same level of understanding.

    Strategy 6: Take a creative approach to engaging all students in whole class discussion.

    Teachers can use a variety of methods to gather information from the whole class or individuals that simultaneously allow them to assess individual and collective student understanding:

    • Thumbs up/thumbs down . Teachers pose a question or problem that has a dichotomous answer (yes/no, true/false, X or Y) and ask students to respond, using thumbs up to represent one choice and thumbs down to represent the other.
    • Response sticks . Teachers write each student’s name on a Popsicle stick or similar item, place the sticks in a container, and randomly select students by choosing a stick.
    • Classroom response systems or other digital tools . Teachers can use classroom response systems to gather immediate feedback from students by asking them to respond using a clicker, website or text message and display results as a chart or graph.

    We hope you’ve enjoyed our Mathematical Discourse blog series and are ready to begin this journey in your classroom. We strongly feel everyone benefits from mathematical discourse in the classroom: teachers are better able to access, monitor and evaluate students’ mathematical understanding and development and students can reflect on their own understanding while making sense of and critiquing the ideas of others in a collaborative and supportive learning environment.

    This blog is part of a three post series on the importance of mathematical discourse from Curriculum Associates , a Getting Smart Advocacy Partner, and Dr. Gladis Kersaint, the author of the recently published whitepaper Orchestrating Mathematical Discourse to Enhance Student Learning. Download your free copy here .

    For more on mathematical discourse and Curriculum Associates, check out:

    Dr. Gladis Kersaint is a Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of South Florida.

    Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update .


    Understanding Student and Teacher Roles in Mathematical Discourse

    Facilitating student engagement in mathematical discourse begins with the decisions teachers make when they plan classroom instruction. The tasks they use, the ways in which they organize the classroom, and the behaviors they model communicate expectations for classroom norms, including the ways students are expected to engage in classroom discussions.

    Depending on prior experiences, students might find these new expectations for engagement uncomfortable and may not be ready to plunge into mathematical dialogue feet first. Teachers must ease the transition to a dialogue-rich mathematics classroom and prepare students to engage in such discussions. It is also important to carefully consider the best ways to coordinate student interaction in pairs, small groups, or whole-class interactions to ease transitions and maximize learning.

    To support students, teachers must help students create avision for expected behaviors and actions, prepare them for their roles by modeling or role-playing, and reinforce these behaviors consistently. Teachers need to monitor progress as students engage in mathematics discussions, supporting them as their mathematical knowledge grows and they become more skilled at expressing ideas coherently and using vocabulary, syntax, and semantics precisely.

    Teachers should observe, listen to and monitor students to support instructional decision-making. Determining what questions to ask, which students to call on, when to intervene and when to extend student thinking provides opportunities to understand student thinking, monitor growth and assess knowledge. A discourse-rich classroom enables teachers to gain insights not only about what students know, but also about the approaches they use, how–and how well–they understand the ideas, and the ways they present their knowledge.

    In addition to content knowledge, mathematical discourse allows teachers to monitor students’ dispositions and gauge their developing confidence, interest, and perseverance. Teachers can use this information to determine areas of confusion or frustration in order to decide when an intervention might be needed. They also examine understandings and misconceptions revealed during classroom discussions and adjust lesson plans accordingly.

    Asking the right questions can help support instructional decision making and direct student focus. Some examples are below:


    Take My Advice

    Seventeen instructors offer guidance for colleagues teaching an online course for the first time (and for those seeking a few new ideas).

    &ldquoInside Digital Learning&rdquo asked instructors from across the country who teach online courses to answer one of two questions: What is the best piece of advice you received from a colleague, family member, friend or other person before you started teaching your first online course, or what advice would you provide to a new online instructor? Here are their responses.

    Tom Beaudoin, associate professor of religion, Fordham University

    Imagine the total learning experience from the perspective of the online student and put your all into preparation on the front end. This includes considering the variety of media students can encounter as a way of progressing in learning in your course: might you include documents, audio, slides, video, websites, discussion boards, pictures, live chats, etc.? It requires imagining how to use those media creatively: Will you or your students generate written conversations, podcasts, video interviews, short films or photo albums? Remember that online habits of interaction are differently habituated than in the classroom. Expect to meet that habituation creatively!

    As you are imagining teaching online from the student perspective, do not neglect crucial academic labor matters that pertain to your professorial role. Teaching online demands realistic support from your institution to facilitate quality production: before you consent to teach online, ascertain that you have adequate institutional resources to do this well. Make sure you know who owns your online course and what happens to it if you leave or are not available to teach it in the future. Be clear about your expectations, and the institution&rsquos, regarding the equal rigor of online teaching and learning in relation to the classroom.

    Finally, understand that the fundamental shift toward online education taking place in U.S. higher education is as ideologically complicated as the older model of classroom education. Work with colleagues to discuss what is happening, who is making decisions and what you want online education to become.

    I find satisfaction and even joy teaching a mix of on-campus, hybrid and online courses, but professors must be their own advocates -- together -- to make this transition well into a new educational age.

    ​Satesh Bidaisee, professor of public health and preventive medicine, assistant dean for school of graduate studies, St. George's University

    The online delivery of a course can be a challenging prospect, as switching from on-site (or brick) to online (or click) is a significant change. However, the academic quality and rigor of the course should not be determined by whether it is on-site or online. Develop your course the way you would ideally like it to be delivered -- then work with the online team to facilitate that delivery using the variety of online tools available to instructors today.

    Teaching an online course can actually be an opportunity to create a more engaging, interactive experience for your students if you take full advantage of the available technology. While you cannot replicate the in-person back-and-forth of a classroom, encouraging students to utilize social media channels or set up virtual discussion groups to work together can help mimic that collaborative environment. This will motivate students to succeed -- and allow them to turn to each other as they work through the material.

    When leading these courses, try to incorporate direct interaction as often as possible. Encourage students to ask questions, or even establish opportunities for them to take charge of their learning by including student-led seminars. Consider adding live sessions. The more direct involvement your students have in the course, the more invested and productive they will be.

    Pamela DeCius, instructor of humanities in fine arts, Saint Leo University

    Create opportunities for your students to interact in the online environment as they would in an on-ground class. Tools like VoiceThread allow asynchronous ways for students to have ownership of their opinions and ideas when responding to peers in discussion posts, presentations and group work situations.

    VoiceThread allows varied ways to comment such as audio, text or even recorded video. I believe this face-to-voice-to-typed-word is an integral part of creating a community within a class, especially when the course is occurring in a condensed format (i.e., eight weeks versus 15 weeks).

    There is a slight learning curve starting with the first interaction, but I find that with consistent use it becomes easier and more substantive. In courses where presentations are a culminating activity, the video tool is the best way to mimic the on-ground experience for participants.

    I also encourage online instructors to engage with students using these tools in a way that models the type of interaction that you expect of them. Again, students should get to know you and your teaching style as they would if you were delivering material live and in person every week. This was my biggest concern as a new online teacher: I was afraid that the online environment would limit that crucial connection between teacher and student and student with their peers. With tools like VoiceThread, we are able to successfully provide a more enriched platform for our students and ensure sound pedagogy.

    ​Kalenda Eaton, associate professor of English, Arcadia University

    Be present. Be aware of not only the texts, but also the subtexts in student writing. Engage with the students in frequent dialogue and provide opportunities for students to ask and answer questions. The professor should be thoughtful about how to create learning communities that inspire dialogue and deep thinking.

    Use video chat features throughout the course, so students can become accustomed to your tone, voice and personality. This will help transfer meaning to/from your posted assignments and comments.

    On the surface the online class resembles other digital environments where we can simply click, type and submit without being very thoughtful, but the reality of online education is very different. Much of what we do in a face-to-face classroom can be (and should be) adapted to the online classroom.

    You really have an opportunity to make the material come alive in an online classroom with links, digital tools, media, etc. But it is important to use these resources as methods to get students engaged. The tools should be incorporated in ways that require students to be active, rather than passive, learners.

    Michael Goldberg, assistant professor, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

    In order to deepen the experience of their online students, I would encourage instructors to find partners or encourage students to organize local meet-ups. For my MOOC, I worked with U.S. embassies and consulates, local universities, seed accelerators and the Microsoft Innovation Centers to organize meet-ups around the world.

    One of my students in Düsseldorf, Germany, Arjan Tupan, brought together several local partners, including a university (EBC Hochschule), a nongovernmental organization supporting entrepreneurship (StartupDorf) and the consulate general of the United States, Düsseldorf, to host meet-ups in two local co-working spaces in Düsseldorf. During their meet-up sessions, students watched video lectures from my MOOC, hosted local experts as guest speakers and engaged in brainstorming sessions to discuss ways to improve support for entrepreneurship in Düsseldorf.

    Some of my local partners translated subtitles of my video lectures into local languages, which also deepens the student experience and helps to reach a larger audience. Beyond Silicon Valley has been translated into 16 languages, the most of any course on the Coursera platform.

    I am not alone in emphasizing meet-ups as an integral part of my MOOC. Coursera, the largest provider of MOOCs, has a Learning Hubs Initiative, which establishes physical spaces for students to access their classes. Coursera reported that their Learning Hubs participants show higher completion rates, ranging from 30 percent to 100 percent, versus the 6.8 percent Coursera-wide average. Despite the lack of professor-student interaction, local meet-ups can produce a more meaningful educational experience and spark innovation for the online student.

    Andrea Hickerson, director and associate professor, school of communication, Rochester Institute of Technology

    The best advice I&rsquove received about online teaching came from peer learning groups coordinated by RIT&rsquos Teaching and Learning Services. I realized that teaching face-to-face allows for a certain amount of improv. As a communication instructor, I can pick up a daily paper and use it to organize a class discussion in real time.

    Teaching online requires more up-front work, particularly designing and inputting course materials thoughtfully into a course management system. It&rsquos true that a lot of online teaching success is about course organization, like making sure content is clear, posted in the right place and linked to working supplementary materials. You have to anticipate student questions. However, over time and through peer critique I&rsquove been able to see online teaching as more than just mastery of course management software, but an exciting new sandbox to experiment with different creative teaching methods -- if I let myself be open to them.

    I&rsquove experimented with things like recording myself grading papers and holding synchronous peer-editing sessions. Sometimes it has worked, and sometimes it hasn&rsquot. I&rsquove had classes with fewer than 10 students, and now I&rsquom working on RITx&rsquos Soft Skills Professional Certificate with thousands of students in a single class.

    At this point in my online teaching experience, the possibilities of what I can and want to do online often outnumber the hours I have to create and grade. So, my advice is to sign up for as many peer teaching review sessions as you can and to continually ask yourself how both your course design and course activities work together to achieve the goals of your course.

    Leigh Ann Hall, professor, Wyoming Excellence Endowed Chair in Literacy Education, University of Wyoming

    While what and how you teach is critical, teaching in an online environment also requires you to pay attention to how you build relationships with your students and how you help them build relationships with each other. Time flows differently in an online class, particularly if it is asynchronous. The ways in which students interact with you and each other will be different than in a face-to-face setting. I think it&rsquos critical that you build in time each week that mindfully addresses how you interact with your students and build a community. Some suggestions:

    • Use Flipgrid. Design experiences for your students that allow them to see you and each other.
    • Create weekly videos. I like to make short (five minutes or less) videos each week where I am talking to students about what we will be learning and doing in the upcoming week. I use Screencast-O-Matic for this because it allows for picture in picture. It is an opportunity for students to see and hear me.
    • Reach out to your students. Create a spreadsheet with the names of all your students. During the semester, reach out to them -- just a few each week -- and see how they are doing, tell them what you appreciate about their work, etc. This starts a conversation that allows you to connect with them and shows meaningful engagement. Check off on your sheet who you are contacting -- you don&rsquot want to leave anyone out!

    David Joyner, course developer/general course manager, online master of science in computer science, Georgia Institute of Technology

    One of the most common mistakes I see instructors making is creating course content that cannot be maintained over time. Video, for example, is a very heavy medium: it costs a lot to modify video material, so avoid putting details that are likely to change into course videos, like specific rubric percentages, assignment descriptions, grading policies or staff names. Instead, keep those in more fluid formats, like text, which allow for easier maintenance. If you're unsure of whether some material is good, test it via text before investing the time and energy to film it.

    Keep this eye toward maintenance in designing the videos themselves as well. If, for example, your videos heavily cross-reference each other, than modifying one area of the course might demand that you modify several others as well to stay up-to-date. Wherever possible, avoid this by keeping the videos as individually independent as possible. Rather than using phrases like, "Recall the example we used last semester," say "Imagine this example." If the previous area of the course is unmodified, students will draw the connection on their own, but if that example has been dropped, the video does not come across as unconnected.

    These two general approaches combine to limit how often you need to maintain or modify your course material, and to make it easier to do so when you need to.

    Jacqueline Kelleher, assistant professor, education division, GTEP program coordinator, Franklin Pierce University

    While teaching in an online environment, it is critical to engage your students often and early. It is very important to be responsive and provide timely feedback. Students are often submitting discussions and assignments into an online campus management system, which can seem impersonal and create a sense of anxiety for some. Our faculty responsiveness &ndash and I try to get a response out within 24 hours &ndash can alleviate some of that tension and truly make our learners feel supported.

    We need to build connected, caring communities for our online students and the extent to which we respond and provide reassurance that we are here for them goes a long way in establishing relationships and building a sense of trust. It is amazing how receptive students are to quick email turnaround! Feedback should be timely as well, and specifically targeted to the work product being submitted.

    Strong rubrics with clear expectations and proficiencies will help with this and, in turn, guide the learning. Students can get frustrated when these tools are either not clear, not provided, or not used when delivering feedback. Feedback can also include a personal check in to each student in the class &ndash a personal email or instant message to see how they are doing, provide encouragement, and to identify any supports they might need to be successful.

    Finally, convey your enthusiasm. Online courses are fun! Infuse your personality into your writing and engage them in your content with humor and a positive outlook. Take this experience as an opportunity to explore a different pedagogy that is sure to enhance your creativity and communication skills when you remain open to what you can learn as well.

    David Kopp, professor and associate dean, Adrian Dominican school of education, Barry University

    The best piece of advice I could give an instructor who would be teaching his/her first online course is to ensure you&rsquove gotten the proper training to teach online! That is, it&rsquos important to appreciate the notion that just because you may be an effective face-to-face instructor does not mean, by any stretch, you&rsquod be an effective online one.

    Consider that while your expertise in the course content may be constant, there will not be a direct crossover in your presentation principles for online classes a different skill set must be employed for the virtual class, a skill set that goes beyond just being a &ldquosage on the stage.&rdquo For example, depending on the depth and breadth of the technology used for the online and blended courses (e.g., webcams and/or microphones), and the mix of the course contact hours in real-time (synchronous) and/or recorded (asynchronous) sessions, you&rsquoll have to prepare your instruction for a non-three-dimensional experience.

    The connection (metaphorically and literally) to your online student may only be by way of your voice and, for some assignments, perhaps, only text-chatting discussion boards. As a result, and as we know with email communication, messages and meaning run a risk of being misinterpreted in the absence of students being able to observe your body language, facial cues and/or inflections of voice.

    Given the above, my experience has been that online instruction, when done with fidelity, is, indeed, more challenging than face-to-face instruction, yet can make it more fulfilling, too.

    Gretchen Kreahling McKay, professor of art history, chair of the department of art and art history, McDaniel College

    The best piece of advice I can give an instructor embarking on teaching online for the first time is to not expect it to feel like the face-to-face class. That is like comparing an apple to an orange. However, built with the right kind of structure, an online class can still have all of the experiences of a face-to-face class, albeit in a different way. A sense of community, content exploration and discussion can all be structured in an online class. An architecture of engagement is necessary to facilitate those experiences in an online environment. This is done by adding three &ldquopresences&rdquo: cognitive presence, which is essentially content and what students will learn and do instructor presence, commenting and interacting with students and social presence, which is a way for students to get to know each other.

    Finding solid, scholarly content online has never been easier, but it takes time. Also important is setting learning goals for the class as well as for units. Rather than thinking of weeks as we tend to do with face-to-face classes, modules work best in online formats. Modules give students a chance to see the architecture of the course, with learning goals and directions for what to read and write laid out in advance. Such structure helps students navigate through the course, clearly showing them what is expected in each module.

    A final word, we tend to not give students reflection time in face-to-face classes, but it is essential in an online class. One of the richest areas of my online courses are the &ldquolearning journals,&rdquo where students note what and how they are learning. These spaces offer me a chance to get to know them individually, while discussion boards help me see them interact with each other as a community.

    Nora Nachumi, associate professor of English, Yeshiva University

    I would recommend making the course as visual as possible. Video clips, images, graphs and charts are enormously helpful in keeping students engaged. If you are going to lecture, make sure that they have something to look at besides your talking head on the screen.

    Filming lectures can be difficult for instructors who are used to the back-and-forth of in-class discussion. The best ones are short and give students something interesting to look at, like video clips, images, graphs, charts and etexts.

    Remember to practice first know what you are going to say before you start speaking. Make sure you have decent software and know how to use it. Your students will feel more connected if they are able to see your face on occasion.

    Amy Porter, associate professor of history, Texas A&M University San Antonio

    The best piece of advice that I would give a professor who is about to teach an online course for the first time is that you have to run your course so that there is constant dialogue with students. You can have outstanding course content, fascinating primary sources and challenging assignments, but it is critical that you interact with the students frequently so that the students stay engaged and feel like you are constantly present in the course.

    The dialogue should be varied and can include video chatting, discussion boards, emails and voice-recorded comments providing feedback on assignments. An advantage of using such methods is that the students need to log in to the course frequently, and frequent log-ins help keep students on track and aware of assignment due dates. The ultimate goal is for the students to feel that they are part of a collaborative atmosphere with the professor as well as other students. This helps with the retention and performance of students in the course.

    Let the students know you are there checking in on them just as you would be in a face-to-face, small classroom atmosphere, and then your online class will be a positive and productive experience for professor and students alike.

    Michael Poulakis, assistant professor of psychological sciences, University of Indianapolis

    My wife, Lisa, gave me the best advice. She told me that taking online courses is like your treadmill at home. She used the metaphor of exercising. You have to motivate yourself to get on the treadmill and do the hard work and keep yourself accountable for meeting all the goals and requirements. Going to Planet Fitness (aka, face-to-face courses) potentially has the advantage that other people can keep you accountable (aka, your professor who will notice that you did not show up in class or that you struggle to meet the deadlines).

    I am currently teaching an online addictions course for undergraduate students. The advice that I would give is to update the course every semester and keep it relevant with what is changing in our society. For this particular course, the last two semesters I have highlighted the tremendous impact that heroin had on babies born addicted to it in our state and how mothers cope with their shame and guilt.

    No matter how good your evaluations were last semester, keep updating the course, make your course as applicable as possible and offer real-life examples and the students will remember and master the material.

    Amy Rottmann, program coordinator, master of arts in teaching, assistant professor of education, Lenoir-Rhyne University and regular "Inside Digital Learning" contributor

    1) Take a deep breath. I know it can seem overwhelming at first, but online course design and implementation can be fun, so just breathe!

    2) Utilize backward design. We do this in our face-to-face courses, and we should also use it in our online courses. Backward design requires instructors to identify learning objectives for their course as well as the evidence that support those objectives. Once the established learning objectives and evidence are created, instructors scaffold instruction to support the objectives. It is a helpful method in creating a comprehensive course outline.

    3) Be creative with student engagement. Once a course outline is established, start thinking of creative ways to engage students in the course. Just be mindful that it is often easy to fall into the repetition of the basic discussion board assignment, which I do use from time to time. However, there are numerous ways to engage students in an online environment that allow them to demonstrate and apply course material in a variety of creative ways. Instead of the traditional discussion post, require students to post informational videos, podcasts, infographics, etc. I love designing online courses that creatively involve my students in the learning process.

    4) Take another deep breath &hellip because you got this!

    Catherine Spann, research scientist, University of Texas at Arlington, instructor, edX

    Gratefully George Siemens, executive director of LINK Research Lab at the University of Texas at Arlington, mentored me through the process of creating and teaching my first online course. One thing he mentioned that stuck with me: be a learner. As instructors, sometimes we think teaching means being an authority on every topic, every question and every detail that may arise in the course. George encouraged me to accept that the course would not be perfect. It would never be perfect. For me, perfection meant my students would love the course and learn everything they have ever been curious about. Reasonable, no?

    Rather than aiming for perfection, aim to learn. Taking the seat of a learner prevented me from getting upset and frustrated when there were technical issues or when activities didn&rsquot go as planned. Being a learner helped me view those situations as opportunities for growth. I could take that feedback and make the course stronger in the future. The added benefit of being a learner meant that I was open to what my students had to say. I learned from them.

    Peggy Semingson, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, University of Texas at Arlington

    Learn one digital tool at a time and do it well before moving on to another digital tool. That piece of advice I learned about teaching online before I taught my first online course in 2008 came from Erika Beljaars Harris, who worked in the Center for Distance Education (then) at the University of Texas at Arlington. I knew I wanted to engage my students with dialogue-based innovations in digital reading and writing such as blogging and podcasting, to add interest to the course, and to move beyond the learning management system.

    The first thing I wanted to learn about was blogging. Erika advised me to get really good at using blogging with students before moving on to another digital tool or pedagogy such as podcasting. This was excellent advice, and I&rsquove thought about her words to this day. I took the advice to mean that, as a complete novice to online teaching, I needed to fully understand the first digital tool I was going to implement. I needed to know what blogging was, all the pieces and parts of blogging, its possibilities, the rationale for its use, and the technical aspects and caveats of the tool.

    I next sought out my own further mentoring about blogging. I contacted a campus administrator, Michael Moore, who taught his government class via a blog. Dr. Moore (currently at the University of Arkansas System) explained to me how he engaged students in dialogue and how he structured his blog. I later learned how to use blogs for cross-course mentoring where my online students, who were also experienced K-12 teachers, wrote and informally mentored my undergraduates (future teachers) on the same blog. It&rsquos not that I didn&rsquot try new digital tools in the meantime. But I fully explored that one tool and sought total understanding.


    Developing a Classroom Culture That Supports a Problem-solving Approach to Mathematics

    What this article and its CPD activities offer
    This article offers you practical ways to investigate aspects of your classroom culture. It also offers suggestions to help you develop the culture further so that students are encouraged to develop as independent mathematicians with strong problem-solving skills. This is important as we know that independent problem-solving skills are essential for students for 21st century life and work. To read more about this, have a look at the ACME report Mathematical Needs: Mathematics in the workplace and in Higher Education.

    How to use this resource
    You can use this article and its activities as an individual, with a colleague, in a focus group or as a whole school staff together, as you seek to offer students the highest-quality learning opportunities in mathematics.

    Problem-solving skills
    A problem is something you do not immediately know how to solve. There is a gap between where you are and getting started on a path to a solution. This means that your students require thinking and playing-with-the-problem time. They need to test out ideas, to make conjectures, to go up 'dead ends' and adjust their thinking in the light of what they learn from this, discuss ideas with others and be comfortable to take risks. When students are confident to behave in these ways they are then able to step into problems independently rather than immediately turning to us as teachers to ask what to do!

    As teachers we can support our students to develop the skills they need to tackle problems by the classroom culture we create. It needs to be one where questioning and deep thinking are valued, mistakes are seen as useful, all students contribute and their suggestions are valued, being stuck is seen as honourable and students learn from shared discussion with the teacher, Teaching Assistant (if present) and peers.

    What's happening in your classroom?
    How does the cameo above compare with your classroom? We invite you to investigate this by videoing your next 'problem-solving' lesson to watch by yourself, or with a trusted colleague, and see what you notice about the key aspects detailed below.

    You may like to work with this as a whole school and investigate one key aspect at a time, for example 'who does most of the talking?'. This will give you the opportunity to share good practice across the school as well as support each other in developing high-quality mathematics classrooms.

    Aspects to consider More information on each aspect
    1. Who does most of the talking in whole-class parts of the lesson? Generally, in a strong problem-solving environment the teacher needs to be doing around 30% of the talking and the students 70%.
    What do you notice about the balance in your classroom?
    What type of things are you saying when you are talking? Explaining how to do something? Asking questions?
    2. What questions do I ask? Do you ask closed questions such as, 'can you see how the system works?' or open questions such as, 'what system can you see emerging in this problem?'.
    3. Who answers the questions? Is it the mostly the same students?
    Is it the more articulate ones?
    Is it more often boys or girls?
    4. How well do I listen to the students' answers and seek to understand what they are saying? Do I respond by telling the whole class what I think a particular student said without checking with them?
    Do I slightly adjust what they said to make better sense or fit a 'better/right answer'?
    Do I ask the student a 'clarification' question, such as 'can I just check what I think you said was . '?
    5. What do I do with the students' answers? Do I praise them for a fabulous answer?
    Do I simply evaluate their answers with comments such as 'Good', 'Well done', 'Right', 'OK', 'No', 'Think again'?
    Do I carry on with the next thing I was going to say?
    Do I ask other students to comment on what was said?
    Do I ask another follow-up question such as 'are you sure?' or 'how do you know that?'?
    6. How do I facilitate the learning? Do I explain how it needs to be done and make sure they understand it as fully as possible before working on their own?
    Do I give them key pointers/hints/clues to help them?
    Do I pull out the learning from the students' thinking and use that to develop the journey of the lesson?
    7. How confident are the students to take a risk, to try out ideas, to make mistakes? What evidence is there of the students taking a risk in what they offer to the discussion or ideas that they try out?
    What evidence is there that the students are trying out their ideas rather than replicating mine?
    When is it helpful for them to replicate mine?
    What do I do when a student makes a mistake or follows a 'dead end' line of thought?
    8. What does my body language communicate? Do I communicate interest/acceptance/frustration/disapproval .
    How does my body language change through the lesson?

    What next?
    Having investigated what is actually going on in your classroom, take a look at the relevant sections below and see what would help you develop your classroom culture further.

    How did this turn out? As teachers we are very good at talking! You will not be alone if you talked for a good percentage of the time in your video. Sometimes we find it hard to let the students have a go and then develop their thinking from there as we are worried they might get stuck, waste their time or lose confidence. We need to give them the confidence that part of the mathematical process is getting stuck and learning from 'dead ends' or things that don't quite work. To explore this aspect further take a look at Number 7 in this article.

    Idea to try

    • Look for problems that require little explanation to start yet are rich in thinking. For example, you could try How Would We Count? at Stage 1 or Stringy Quads at Stage 2. Try these out and see if that helps you to talk less!


    • Give the students 5 minutes to explore the problem and see how they might get started. Then discuss it together as a class.

    • Use our games that have a video clip to show the students the game being played: Dotty Six or Strike It Out. Then they can work out the rules through discussion together, rather than you telling them and then making sure that they understand them! This is great for developing their mathematical thinking skills as well as enabling you to talk less. You can develop this idea further by playing any new game under the visualiser with a Teaching Assistant or student so that the students can then try working out the rules. Not got a visualiser? Then use large equipment and gather the students round.

    • Discipline yourself to only make a comment on a student's answer to your question after another student has responded to clarify what was said, ask a question or take the thinking further.

    • You may like to ask the students to explain their thinking so far to the rest of the class and then take questions from their peers rather than you, as the teacher, intervening.

    Do extend this list with your own ideas or ask other colleagues what they do. This would be a great discussion in a staff meeting.

    Digging deeper
    Explore the article on Groupworthy tasks. Using these tasks also will also help us talk less.


    The article includes a CPD activity that focuses on the value of Groupworthy tasks in developing students' mathematical thinking. It includes a look at how such tasks can help students learn how to persevere and use a 'dead end' to foster a new way of working or a new possible solution to trial.

    Different questions work well at different stages of the lesson and statements can also be useful, such as 'tell me how you know that'. Below are some examples of generic questions that can be used to guide students through a problem, and at the same time prompt higher levels of thinking.

    We can use these questions to guide the students through problems while stimulating their mathematical thinking and gathering information about their knowledge and strategies. As we know, assessment for learning is key to helping us to support students' to move forward in their learning. In Vygotskian terms this enables us to work in the students' Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) that he saw as the most effective way of promoting learning.


    Ideas to try

    The questions are grouped in three different ways: stage of the lesson, level of thinking and mathematical skill. See which you find helpful.

    Choose one of the three sets of questions and try dividing the questions into three categories:
    • questions you use a lot
    • questions you use occasionally
    • questions you never use.

    What do you notice about your categories?

    Add your favourite questions to the list.

    Try developing a school set.

    You may like to take one or two that are new to you or that you use occasionally and see if you can embed them in your classroom over the next two weeks.
    Alternatively you may like to work on a stage of the lesson where you would like to develop your questioning.

    This could be a good opportunity to work with a colleague to develop your questioning by sharing ideas, team teaching or by getting involved in some lesson study.

    The Questions

    A. Stage of the lesson

    Here the questions are grouped into four main categories according to the stage of the lesson (Badham, 1994)

    These take the form of open-ended questions that focus the students' thinking in a general direction and give them a starting point.

    What have we done before that is like this?
    How could you sort these .
    How many ways can you find to .
    What happens when we .
    What can be made from .
    How many different . can be found?

    Questions to stimulate mathematical thinking

    These questions assist students to focus on particular strategies and help them to see patterns and relationships. This aids the formation of a strong conceptual network. The questions can serve as a prompt when students become 'stuck'. (Note: we can be tempted to turn these questions into instructions, which is far less likely to stimulate thinking and removes responsibility for the problem solving from the student).

    What is the same?
    What is different?
    Can you group these . in some way?
    Can you see a pattern?
    How can this pattern help you find an answer?
    What do think comes next? Why?
    Is there a way to record what you've found that might help us see more patterns?
    What would happen if.

    Questions such as these ask students to explain what they are doing or how they arrived at a solution. They allow the teacher to see how the students are thinking, what they understand and what level they are operating at. Obviously they are best asked after the students have had time to make progress with the problem, to record some findings and perhaps achieved at least one solution.

    What have you discovered?
    How did you find that out?
    Why do you think that?
    What made you decide to do it that way?

    Final discussion questions

    These questions draw together the efforts of the class and prompt sharing and comparison of strategies and solutions. This is a vital phase in the mathematical thinking process. It provides further opportunity for reflection and realisation of mathematical ideas and relationships. It encourages the students to evaluate their work.

    Who has the same answer/pattern/grouping as this?
    Who has a different solution?
    Are everybody's results the same?
    Why/why not?
    Have we found all the possibilities?
    How do we know?
    Have you thought of another way this could be done?
    Do you think we have found the best solution?

    B. Levels of thinking


    We can also look at how these questions can stimulate different levels of thinking, outlined in the table below. You may like to consider the level of question that you are using and how to use more higher-order questions.
    Are there one or two new questions that you could include in your lesson?


    LEVELS OF THINKING GUIDE QUESTIONS
    Memory:
    recalls or memorises information
    What have we been working on that might help with this problem?
    Translation:
    changes information into another form
    How could you write/draw what you are doing? Is there a way to record what you've found that might help us see more patterns?
    Interpretation:
    discovers relationships
    What's the same? What's different?
    Can you group these in some way?
    Can you see a pattern?
    Application:
    solves a problem - use of appropriate generalisations and skills
    How can this pattern help you find an answer?
    What do think comes next? Why?
    Analysis:
    solves a problem - conscious knowledge of the thinking
    What have you discovered?
    How did you find that out?
    Why do you think that?
    What made you decide to do it that way?
    Synthesis:
    solves a problem that requires original, creative thinking
    Who has a different solution?
    Are everybody's results the same? Why/why not?
    What would happen if .
    Evaluation:
    makes a value judgement
    Have we found all the possibilities? How do we know?
    Have you thought of another way this could be done?
    Do you think we have found the best solution?

    C. Mathematical skills
    Another way of grouping the questions is according to the mathematical skills they encourage.

    Exemplifying, Specialising
    Describe/demonstrate/show/choose/draw one of ”¦
    Is there another?
    What's it like?
    Give me one/more examples of ”¦
    Is ”¦ an example of ”¦?
    What makes ”¦ an example?
    Can you find one that doesn't ”¦?
    Are there any special ones?

    Completing, Deleting, Correcting
    What must be added/removed/altered in order to allow/ensure/contradict ”¦?
    What can be added/removed/altered without affecting ”¦?
    Tell me what's wrong with ”¦
    What needs to be changed so that”¦?

    Comparing, Sorting, Organising
    What's the same about ”¦?
    What's different about ”¦?
    Sort or organise these by ”¦
    Is it or is it not ”¦?

    Changing, Varying, Reversing, Altering
    What happens if we change ”¦?
    What if ”¦?
    If this is the answer to a similar question, what was the question?
    Do ”¦ in two or more ways.
    Which is the quickest/easiest ”¦?

    Generalising, Conjecturing
    Of what is this an example?
    What happens in general?
    Can you say why this is special?
    What happened here? And here? Can you see a pattern?
    Is it always, sometimes, never ”¦?
    Describe all possible as succinctly as you can.
    What can change and what has to stay the same so that ”¦ is still true?

    Explaining, Justifying, Verifying, Convincing, Refuting
    Explain why ”¦
    Give a reason (using or not using”¦)
    How can we be sure that ”¦?
    Tell me what is wrong with ”¦
    Is it ever false that ”¦? (always true that ”¦?)
    How is ”¦ used in ”¦?
    Explain the role/use of ”¦

    Adapted from Jeffcoat, M., Jones, M., Mansergh, J., Mason, J., Sewell, H. and Watson, A. (2004) Primary Questions and Prompts. Derby: Association of Teachers of Mathematics.
    (See also Watson, A. & Mason, J. (1998) Questions and Prompts for Mathematical Thinking. Derby: Association of Teachers of Mathematics.)

    ASPECT THREE

    I wonder what you discovered when you took a look at your classroom? Was it a range of students who answered the questions or did certain students repeatedly answer?


    Ideas to try

    • Give 5 seconds wait time before allowing the students to respond to a question. Have you tried using your fingers to count to five behind your back? It is surprising how long that takes! You may well find that this gives more students time to think of their answer and respond.

    • Encourage the students to become fluent with the mathematical vocabulary. Students learn to join in conversations by hearing what others are saying, listening to how words are being used and 'playing around' with those words themselves. This means that some modelling of talk is useful - between you and your Teaching Assistant, you and a puppet or you and one of the more articulate students in the class.

    • Capture key words and phrases that you hear students using as they talk and put them up on your mathematics 'talk wall' or other display to support the students to use those words. Putting the words inside ready-cut out laminated, speech bubbles can be very effective and create an appealing and interactive display.

    • Play dumb! You can stimulate some talk by joining in with a pair/group of students and 'playing dumb'. For example, make a deliberate mistake and see how the students respond.

    Digging deeper


    Take a look at how these are ideas can be used in the Dotty Six game.


    ASPECT FOUR

    Listening carefully to what the children actually say is sometimes harder than we realise. We may not hear clearly what they say as we may be expecting them to give us a fixed answer that we have pre-determined - this can be called, 'guess what is in the teacher's head!' We need to be ready to be open to their answers and be curious to understand what they are trying to say.


    Ideas to try

    • Be curious about what the student was saying and ask a clarifying question such as, 'so what you are saying is . ' You could alternatively invite the students to tell a partner what they think their peer said. This is also useful if their answer is rather jumbled or rambling. Our temptation, in this case, is to rephrase it, reorganise it and repeat it back to the class in what we consider to be its new, improved form. We may hear ourselves saying something like,

    'Thank you, Elspeth. What Elspeth said was . '

    See what happens, if instead, you check with the student, 'Elspeth' if you have heard what they said correctly by saying something such as, 'I think what you said was . Am I right?' When saying what you thought they said try and use the same words that they used.

    • Resist the urge to finish their sentence for them with what you think they want to say or what you hope they will say! See what happens if you just repeat back to the student what they have said, using the same words they have used, and see if that helps them to finish the sentence. Doing this for a number of weeks can help them gain confidence to finish what they wanted to say rather than what we thought they might want to say!

    • Avoid making assumptions about what the student is saying. Check it out! It will help you to support the student's learning much more effectively.

    Here's an excerpt from Bernard's article What's All the Talking About? that illustrates how easy it is to make an assumption:


    Five Online Tools for Collaborative Communication

    Blackboard Collaborate
    Blackboard Collaborate allows teachers and students to interact with each other synchronously and asynchronously. Interactions via Blackboard Collaborate allow for active participation and help keep students engaged. This tool can be used to support online learning via live lectures, question and answer sessions, conference calls, webinars, virtual office hours, and much more. Educators can present a PowerPoint, video, etc. while students answer questions via the chat or by responding with a microphone. Students can also take the lead and present a PowerPoint, video, etc. There is a free 30-day trial that educators can use to examine this platform for promoting communication and collaboration.

    Skype
    Skype is a great way for teachers to connect with students, parents, and fellow educators. This free communication technology allows participation in voicecalls, video-calls, and messaging, and it can be used to connect with classrooms from all parts of the world. Educators can use the screen-sharing feature with students so they can provide guidance and help with assignments, projects, etc. Or educators can bring in a guest speaker who may be living in a different city or part of the world. The group call feature allows students to brainstorm, collaborate, and share ideas. Download Skype for free and start exploring this great tool.

    Google Hangouts
    Connect and collaborate with others on a Google Hangout. This tool is a great way to promote peer-to-peer and peer-to-teacher collaboration. Students can work together via Google Hangout and use several features, from face to face conversation to utilizing a Google Document to present ideas or even a formal presentation. This tool allows up to ten participants to asynchronously work together. Explore Hangouts today to promote interactive “face-to-face” virtual meetings.

    Today’s Meet
    Educators can create a chat room for discussions, facilitate question and answer sessions, post comments, etc., which can take place both asynchronously or synchronously. This tool is easy for educators to use, and creating a Today’s Meet chat room is easy. Teachers have to determine a name for the room and how long it will be available for student use. This generates a URL that can be linked into an online course for students to actively engage and participate in discussion with both their teacher and peers. Try this “backchannel” tool to start promoting structured interactions in an online course.

    Join.Me
    This tool allows educators to utilize screen sharing and host online meetings. The free basic version allows for Internet calling, screen sharing, 250 views, share control, multi-monitor, chat, and sending files. These features allow educators to promote communication and collaboration as well. It’s great for online tutoring, pair collaboration, live discussions, etc.

    Chen, L. (2011). Improving teachers’ teaching with communication technology. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 40(1), 35-43.

    Smith, R. (2011). Enhancing learner-learner interaction using video communications in higher education: Implications from theorizing about a new model. British Journal of Educational Technology. 42(1), 113-127.

    Su, B., Bonk, C., Magjuka, R., Liu, X., & Lee, S. (2005). The importance of interaction in web-based education: A program level case study of online MBA courses. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 4(1), 1-19.


    Conclusion:

    So, above are some of the points which explain why interpersonal skills are necessary for the teachers, students as well as the managers.

    The interpersonal skills are important in every stage of life because at every moment we meet someone or the other and we speak to them.

    It is due to that interpersonal communication that the conversation continues. It is vital to take into consideration the field of experience of the individual whom you will be talking to. If the field of experience differs, the communication may come to an end.


    Watch the video: Μαθήματα Fless. Προετοιμασία συμβουλευτικής συνέντευξης ENG (December 2021).