Tools for Engaging Online Learners

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Online Interactive Learning Tools

Importance of ToolsEffective online classes include strategic course designs and tools used to engage students.

Efficient and appropriately incorporated technology can enhance student engagement and participation throughout an online course.

Without intentional engagement of students, little, if any, learning will take place. The Quarterly Review of Distance EducationBenefitsThese online tools are :EfficientFree or low costEasy to useProvide rich experiencesEngagingWays for students to construct knowledgeCommunication ToolsTools are engaging elements that enhance learning in online instruction.

Establish a clear communication plan for your students.

Set guidelines and expectations

Evaluate toolsBlogsStudent posts can include: short essays in response to readings, brief interviews with experts, reviews of artwork, etc.Personal Blogs create a means for students to voice his or her opinions. Creates an open discussion between peers and instructorLearn to write for a wider audienceInstructors can summarize lessonsYounger students are engaged by blogs more than discussion boards

Social-Networking SitesFacebook, Twitter, and Edmodo

Younger generations enjoy being on these sites. Provide up-to-date course information

Establish a common bond between students and instructor. Ex: Hash tags, photosEdmodo ExampleEdmodo is beneficial for educators

A social-networking, educational website that calls for student interaction and learning.

Beneficial tool to engage learners

6SkypeCommunication through voice, video, text, simultaneous editing, and immediate feedback. Online support available if neededUser friendlyIt is a free download Are you familiar with communicating through Skype or any other video chat system? What is one way you learned how implement Skype in your classroom?

7Communication ToolsTechnological tools promote learner-centered engagement as well as peer interaction.

The tools can help connect teachers with their colleagues, department chairs, and other administrative resources in further quality, just-in-time faculty development.

Other good communication devices that are simple to use include: Back Channel Chat, ooVoo, Google Talk, Podcasts.PRESENTATION TOOLSNonlinguistic representations, graphic organizers, note taking, and setting goals/objectives are ways to effectively utilize presentation tools.Begin with examples9PreziTool to create presentations. Webbed presentations which are non-linear.Can include pictures, videos, hyperlinks, and more.Engaging projects that promote creativityOne can create a free account

Example: Great Jazz Bassists and their Influence through the Ages

10ZoomItInstructor can zoom in on screen

It allows the user to:Use the Control to zoom into the screenTurn the mouse into a markerAnnotatePut a timer on the screen

Works only with Windows

Free download

11GlogsterStudents can create book reviews, digital posters, topic explorations, use video, graphics, and text

Educators and students can express themselves in unique ways

Learners can interact in multi-sensory environments

Upload sounds, videos, pictures, utilize accent images,

Can name and publish Glogs

One can create a free account

Online Interactive Learning ToolsEnhances learning opportunitiesEngages studentsShould not be used to replace teacher but as a tool to spark learningFree/low-cost but high-quality informationAnimation Evaluation (Lamb & Johnson, 2006)Does the animation contribute to the effectiveness of the project?Does the user have control over the animation sequence or speed?Does animation attract rather than distract users?Is animation used in meaningful ways?Animation ExamplesThe Labs at the Building Big website Evaluation (Lamb & Johnson, 2006)Does the interaction contribute to the effectiveness of the project?Does the interaction provide levels of access or control to address individual needs?Do interactive elements function effectively?Do interactive elements contribute to understanding rather than confusion?Is the result of interaction clear and effective?Interaction ExamplesSimulations:Monterey Bay Aquarium (Make a Tide Pool) Dept of Agriculture MyPlate BlastOff Game Virtual Knee Surgery

Multimedia Evaluation (Lamb & Johnson, 2006)Does the multimedia contribute to the effectiveness of the project?Are media attributes used effectively without being distracting?Do the media elements address alternative learning styles?Were media elements clear and easy to understand and interpret?Multimedia ExamplesArts Alive Canada OperaDallas SymphonySan Francisco SymphonyPutting It All TogetherA Dancers Journal from the Kennedy CenterNational Zoo in Washington, D.C.

More ResourcesQuizletGoogle ResourcesBrainPop & BrainPOP Jr. (not all are free)National GeographicPBSDiscoveryScholasticNASA**An easy way to find National Geographic and add the word flash or interactive

Collaboration ToolsShould allow for anytime accessOften owned by a third-party company (ie. Dropbox, Flikr, etc.)May require download or a feeEase of use allows for an opportunity for sharing informationContributes a social element to the learning experienceGoogle DriveAllows individuals to store docs onlineAble to share with peers or keep privatePeers able to view may also editMay use documents, spreadsheets, forms, or presentationsVariety of formats available: DOC, XLS, CSV, ODT, PDF, RTF, and HTMLAllows for organization through folders and drag/drop optionsMore ResourcesDoodle, Meeting WizardOnline schedularLino, MyStickies,, Primary WallOnline sticky note servicePost memos, to-do lists, ideas, videos, and photos

ResourcesBoulos, Maged, Inocencio Maramba, and Steve Wheeler. "Wikis, Blogs, and Podcasts: A New Generation of Web- Based Tools for Virtual Collaborative Clinical Practice and Education." BMC Medical Education 6.41 (2006).Hargis, Jace and Wilcox, Michelle S. Ubiquitous, Free, and Efficent Online Collaboration Tools for Teaching and Learning. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE October 2008, Vol 9, Number 4Lamb, Annette, and Larry Johnson. "Flash: Engaging Learners Through Animation, Interaction, and Multimedia." Teacher Librarian 33.4 (April 2006): 54-56.ResourcesMeloni, Julie. Technologies for Teaching: Strategies and Pitfalls. Chronicle of Higher Education; 11/5/2010, Vol. 57 Issue 11, pB22.Revere, Lee and Kovach, Jamison V. Online Technologies For Engaged Learning: A Meaningful Synthesis for Educators. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, Vol 12(2), 2011, pp. 113-124.