Monday, 24 September 2007

Teaching Methods and Techniques

In this study unit, we will discuss online teaching methods, devices, and techniques. You should start with the text in this introductory reading and then go on to read the Definitions of Pivotal Terms for Online Teaching. Finally you should read The Online Report on Pedagogical Techniques for Computer-Mediated Communication.

Teaching Methods

Verner (1964, 36) distinguished between individual and group methods of teaching. Applied to online education, you will encounter a more detailed classification of methods. Harasim (1989) distinguished between one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many learning approaches. Here, Harasim's classification is supplemented with the one-online learning approach to support the four communication paradigms often used in CMC. The paradigms are information retrieval, e-mail, bulletin boards, and computer conferencing. The classification is derived from Rapaport (1991) who used it in his book; Computer Mediated Communications: Bulletin Boards, Computer Conferencing, Electronic Mail, and Information Retrieval. According to the discussion above, we will here distinguish between the four methods: one-online, one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many.


Activity on Teaching Methods

Find the definitions of the four teaching methods that are discussed in this study unit. How would you describe the balance between them in this course?

Teaching Devices

Verner (1964, 37) referred to "various mechanical instruments, audiovisual aids, physical arrangements, and materials" as devices that can enhance the effectiveness of an adult education process. Verner also stated that television could be regarded as a device when used in a classroom and as a method when it is the primary medium used in a distance education setting. From this, one may argue that CMC could be regarded as both device and method. Here, CMC is viewed from the device perspective.

Let us use the CMC-classification derived from Rapaport (1991). There are four major CMC-devices: information retrieval systems, e-mail systems, bulletin board systems, and computer conferencing systems. These devices correspond to the four methods: one-online, one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many.

Activity on Teaching Devices

Which information retrieval systems, e-mail systems, bulletin board systems, and computer conferencing systems are utilized in this course?

Teaching Techniques

We use teaching techniques to accomplish teaching objectives. The techniques introduced here are organized according to the four communication paradigms used in CMC. The techniques are discussed in detail in The Online Report on Pedagogical Techniques for Computer-Mediated Communication (required unit readings).

The foregoing considerations result in a framework of four methods, four devices, and a number of techniques as shown in table 1. First, the techniques classified as one-online are characterized by information retrieval from online resources, and the fact that a student can perform the learning task without communication with the teacher or other students (e.g. search of online databases). Second, the techniques classified as one-to-one can be conducted via e-mail applications (e.g. e-mail based correspondence studies). Third, the techniques discussed as one-to-many will typically be conducted via the WWW, bulletin boards, or distribution lists for e-mail (e.g. publication of a lecture). Finally, the techniques presented as many-to-many can be organized within computer conferencing systems, bulletin board systems, or distribution lists for e-mail (e.g. debates).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Techniques

Teaching Devices

One-online

Online Databases
Online Publications
Online Software Applications
Online Interest Groups
Interviews

Information Retrieval Systems

One-to-one

Learning Contracts
Apprenticeships
Internships
Correspondence Studies

E-mail Systems

One-to-many

Lectures
Symposiums
Skits

Bulletin Board Systems

Many-to-many

Debates
Simulations or Games
Role Plays
Case Studies
Discussions
Transcript-based Assignments
Brainstormings
Delphi Techniques
Nominal Group Techniques
Forums
Projects
Student Presentations

Computer Conferencing Systems

Table 1. Teaching methods, devices, and techniques

Activity on Teaching Techniques

Describe in writing some WWW teaching techniques that you would recommend for this course.

(Cisaeer)

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