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103 Using Book Clubs and Online Debates for Engagement and Learning

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM Wednesday, October 29


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Engaging learners online in an authentic way presents challenges for instructors and designers trying to create effective and pedagogically sound courses. An ideal educational experience happens when students encounter a cognitive presence, a social presence, and a teaching presence. Such an experience can also be grounded within the community of inquiry model and personal learning environment.

In this case-study session, you will explore how book clubs became the stepping stone to transform a traditional online asynchronous classroom activity to an engaging, social, and active online-learning experience through asynchronous peer interaction and collaboration. You will learn how these book clubs provided the scaffolding for small-group debates. You will discover how Southern New Hampshire University successfully implemented asynchronous online book clubs and debates in a combined community and global Health course. You will discuss overcoming potential difficulties and limitations in the successful deployment of collaborative activities within a learning management system.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to implement collaborative strategies in an online environment
  • How book clubs and debates can create student engagement and learning opportunities
  • How to reference the community-of-inquiry model in asynchronous activities
  • Design, development, and implementation techniques for group forums, wikis, and discussions

Novice designers and directors.

Technology discussed in this session:
Collaboration and other tools available in Blackboard, Adobe Connect, Skype, etc.

Janet Syed

Instructional Designer

Southern New Hampshire University Online

Janet Syed, MEd, is a lead instructional designer at Southern New Hampshire University, where her chief goal is to maximize the range and pedagogical effectiveness of technology. Her curricular development work is grounded in careful analysis of users’ needs and capabilities in order to enhance and exploit the potential of technology to communicate with all learners. She seeks versatile applications of instructional-design best practices and the application of universal design to ensure equitable access to diverse audiences. She creates multi-media-rich opportunities to support learning so her students can interact collaboratively through various online mediums.

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