Some time ago, I began participated in a massive online open course (MOOC) with Dr. Curt Bonk, Professor of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University. The open course, Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success, has over 3,000 participants, ranging from lurkers to those earning a badge to document course completion.
So many ideas were shared in the course, so I decided to focus on ideas that would improve my learners responses to discussion threads and to the discussion posts of their peers in my courses. Dr. Bonk shares the strategy of “critical friends” in the course and in an upcoming book he is co-authoring. The strategy involves dividing the class into small groups for discussion purposes and identifying the attributes of an appropriate response. While providing a rubric is essential to defining expectations, it is also necessary to “teach” the expectations for appropriate responses. One of the members of the open course suggested sharing an article that discusses how to provide feedback to a peer. Another member suggested that group members establish ground rules for providing critical feedback to each other to improve the likelihood that they will comply with their own ground rules.
The open course with Dr. Bonk is still open for browsing. If you are interested, you can register for the course at https://www.coursesites.com/webapps/Bb-sites-course-creation-BBLEARN/courseHomepage.htmlx?course_id=_215194_1 . Continue on to Part 2 of this topic.