Monday, July 23

Encouraging Creativity in Student Online Work

Link to article (By Brent Muirhead)
"Teachers will need to develop a class structure and online teaching style that encourages creativity, reflective thinking, and self-directed learning. It is important that teachers enable students to have the freedom to ask questions and take intellectual risks in their written assignments and discussion groups. Teachers can provide valuable guidance by keeping dialogues focused, relevant and probing deeper into issues. This will require moderating discussions and creating a list of key ideas, references and student contributions.
Distance educators can pose a diversity of questions to foster reflective comments. Collision, Elbaum, Havvind & Tinker (2000) have created five types of questions to encourage richer student responses that are called full-spectrum questions:

  1. Questions that probe the so what! response- relevance, interest level, urgency and context.
  2. Questions that clarify meaning or conceptual vocabulary- ambiguity or vagueness and common concepts
  3. Questions that explore assumptions, sources and rationale- qualities assumed and study evidence.
  4. Questions that seek to identify causes and effects or outcomes-primary or secondary and causes, internal or external factors.
  5. Questions that consider appropriate action- weigh different courses of action (p. 143).

Teachers should view the full-spectrum questions as a tool for enhancing dialog. The choice of questions can be used to guide the discussion and help energize online interaction. It is wise not to overuse a particular question approach because students will begin to lose interest if the process becomes too predictable or even annoying."

(Please read the full article! Excellent! Actually, all educators should read this article )

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