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EDUC-5105 Porfolio


Portfolio Item #1: 
Activity Plan - Designing With a Community Partner in an Online Setting


     Creating content for online, or blended, courses can be quite different than in-person classes. As an educator shifts from being the center of attention to being a facilitator, this can be a daunting experience when they are thrown into a situation where they have to teach students virtually. Even with technology skills and experience using technology, an educator has to understand who their students are, the drawbacks and benefits to delivering content online, and how they can ensure an experience comparable to in-person classes. 

     This activity allows students, in an online synchronous setting, to use design software to create options for a community partner while going through a Real-World Learning (RWL) experience .  Students will be reminded of various design elements, and then introduced to a community partner and their "problem" that needs to be solved".  Students will then work collaboratively to come up with options before they break out individually to do their designs.  Ongoing teacher feedback and guidance will be provided, as well as peer feedback, before final designs are submitted.  Students will also be given feedback from the community partner, and will then complete a self-assessment at the end of the activity.


  Activity Plan - Designing With a Community Partner in an Online Setting


     In creating this activity within EDUC-5105, I wanted to ensure I brought in as much of the in-person experience as I could by using technology that would allow us to interact and create.  As educators, especially in an online setting, we can easily fall in the trap of having students complete projects without them knowing the full context. As Allen (2007) explains: “when a situation makes no sense to learners . . . you’re more likely to generate learner frustration and anxiety than interest” (p. 184). My goal was to ensure students had context, as it can be "one of the most challenging aspects of web-based learning design" (O'Neill, 2023). Furthermore, motivating my students to do activities is one thing I find extremely important and helps to “build outcome anticipation” (Allen, 2007, p. 182). This challenge will build on context as students will have to consider “various courses of action and select the best one” (Allen, 2007, p. 131).

     I feel this is a sound activity that allows students to go through an RWL scenario, while practicing, refining, and demonstrating their skills using a design software application. In addition, it integrates synchronous components using MS Teams and to allow students to talk with the facilitator and the community partner, as well as have an opportunity to share ideas with their peers.  This activity  has various online components that are emphasized by numerous scholars studied in EDUC-5105 . It provides clear pedagogically sound instructional design, (see Lui, 2019; Swan et al., 2014; Soffer & Cohen, 2018), includes blended discussions (see Hans & Ellis, 2018; Garrison & Kanuka, 2004; Graham & Robinson, 2007; Spring et al., 2016, as cited in Manwaring, 2017), opportunities for student collaboration (see Chickering & Gamson, 1987; Zhao & Sullivan, 2017), integrates a peer feedback and review process (see Filius et al., 2018), and closes out with a reflection component (see Arnett & Bourgoin, 2019; Hans & Ellis, 2018).

     I believe that there is much that eLearning design ideas can show educators on how to reach students and ensure a positive experience. Moving forward, I would like to continue focusing son ways to provide my lessons and activities online to enhance the learning experience of my students (whether they are online or in-class). 


     Allen, M. (2007). Designing successful e-learning: Forget what you know about instructional design and do something interesting (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.

     Arnett, K., & Bourgoin, R. (2018). Access for success: making inclusion work for language learners. Pearson Canada.                                                               

     Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE bulletin, 3, 7.                                                     

     Filius, R. M., de Kleijn, R. A., Uijl, S. G., Prins, F. J., van Rijen, H. V., & Grobbee, D. E. (2018). Strengthening dialogic peer feedback aiming for deep learning in SPOCs. Computers & education, 125, 86-100.                           

     Liu, Y. (2019). Using reflections and questioning to engage and challenge online graduate learners in education. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 14(1).        

     Manwaring, K. C., Larsen, R., Graham, C. R., & Henrie, C. R. (2017). Investigating student engagement in blended learning settings using experience sampling and structural equation modeling. Internet and Higher Education, 35, 21-33.


     O’Neill, L. (2023). Unit 2: Establishing meaningful, memorable and motivational Contexts. [Lecture notes]. Cape Breton University.


     Soffer, T., & Cohen, A. (2018). Students’ engagement characteristics predict success and completion of online courses. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 35, 378-389.                                                      

     Swan, K., Day, S. L., Bogle, L. R., & Matthews, D. B. (2014). A collaborative, design-based approach to improving an online program. Internet and Higher Education, 21, 74-81                                                            


     Zhao, H., & Sullivan, K. P. (2017). Teaching presence in computer conferencing learning environments: Effects on interaction, cognition and learning uptake. British Journal of Educational Technology, 48(2), 538-551.

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