segunda-feira, 10 de maio de 2010

Unit 3: Transparency in Online Teaching - Annotated Bibliography

Processos Pedagógicos em E-Learning
An annotated bibliography on Transparency in Online Education

Much can be said and writen about transparency in education, and particularly in online education. Some important texts were already presented in our course, so, in this annotated bibliography, I focused on some other issues I consider interesting. Therefore, I recommend the following texts about: (1) the way each one of us can become a teacher by making our thoughts and learning transparent, (2) the importance of social networks to promote transparency in education, (3) the learning contract as a transparent tool, and (4) an example of how difficult it can be to make a transparent online course. 
1) Teaching as transparent learning, by George Siemens
This is a very interesting blog post that makes us think about the importance of being transparent when teaching and learning. Sharing in blogs, wikis, social networks, and so on, what we know or what we are learning promotes transparency and enriches knowledge. The author states something important and absolutely true: «when we make our learning transparent, we become teachers. Even if we are new to a field and don’t have the confidence to dialogue with experts, we can still provide important learning opportunities to others.». He gives the example of prominent educational technology bloggers, such as Will Richardson, Terry Anderson, Stephen Downes, Grainne Conole, that are transparently share with others their thoughts and findings about technology and related trends.
2) Social networking sites: Transparency in online Education, by Christian Dalsgaard
This article analyses how important social networking sites can be in facilitating transparency in learning. Networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Ning combine personalization and socialization, what promotes transparency and creates awareness between students, because they can see each other’s work. Social networking may be used to share information and resources created by the students individually, but made available to others through bookmarks, references, links, and notes. This shows us that if these tools are used, combined with other tools, they can contribute to a more interesting course.
3) Para uma Pedagogia do eLearning: o ‘contrato’ como instrumento mediador da aprendizagem, by Lina Morgado; Alda Pereira; Luísa Lebres Aires; António Quintas Mendes (Centro de Estudos em Educação & Inovação – Universidade Aberta)
Transparency in online courses can be achieved by an important tool that all of us know well by now – the learning contract. In this article we can find an explanation of how the learning contracts are used in Universidade Aberta as well as its importance to make online learning more transparent. We can read about the nature of this tool and the way both teachers and students use it. For a better understanding on this subject, the authors analyzed a set of learning contracts defined and negotiated in three post-graduations at this university. It’s an interesting article, because it’s something very close to all of us.
4) Moving a Large Course Online: Psychology, posted by Robert Griffiths, shared by Ellen Furlong and Melissa Beers from the Psychology Department of the Ohio State University
This article is not a theoretical text but the description of the implementation of an online course of psychology, starting in 2007. At the beginning, students scored lower on exams and were more likely to fail the online course than the classroom-based sections. Many changes were needed before the results improved significantly, in 2010. One of the major problems was that the structure of the course wasn’t transparent enough for e-students, so they had problems in organizing and working. At the end of this article we can read the following: «Our initial evaluations suggest that to help students succeed in an online environment, course structure is critical. We would encourage instructors interested in teaching online to pay special attention to making structure transparent to students when converting a classroom-based course into an online format.» It’s a good example of the importance of transparency in online courses.

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