Technologies to enhance facilitation
Technology should be used as a tool to deliver or enhance an activity, but should not be the activity itself. In learning, pedagogy needs to come before technology, as students will disengage with technologies if the process of using it does not provide any pedagogical purpose, and they are not technically supported. The same goes for the use of learning technologies for facilitating student learning.
The list below is some of the more common technologies used by teachers to assist them in facilitating the delivery of content and interactions with students as part of the learning process:
- Interactive content delivery (using Moodle) – as FedUni’s Learning Management System, Moodle is the ‘home’ of the learning and teaching journey. Whether it be providing online content, facilitating online discussions, requesting feedback or submitting assessment tasks, your Moodle site provides the means in which to support and enhance all forms of facilitation.
- Virtual classrooms (using Adobe Connect) – provides a real time online learning space. Teachers can present information using a PowerPoint presentation, play videos, access websites, type text, draw on a ‘whiteboard’, and break student’s into groups for discussion. In providing opportunities for active learning, the teacher can hand the ‘controls’ over to students to lead all of the above. Everything you can do in the physical face-to-face learning space can almost be simulated in the virtual classroom, and has the added benefit of being able to be recorded.
- Virtual office hours (using Adobe Connect) – provides real time access between teacher and student online. As a teacher you advertise specific days and times for students to connect with you via screen-to-screen video for any questions.
- Live chats (using Moodle) – provides real time access between teacher and students. As a teacher you advertise specific days and times for students to connect with you via text only for any questions.
- Video messages (using Kaltura) – Have you ever considered providing video or audio responses within an online discussion forum? And students can do this too. For some, it is quicker to verbalise their response than typing it up, and the same can be said for the preference in listening to a 2 minute video rather than reading a 500 word post! And in maintaining teacher and social presence within an online course, allowing students to ‘see’ you and watch your enthusiasm, or visual cues of thought processes can be valuable.
- ePortfolios (using Mahara) – When students undertake reflective journaling as part of a work integrated learning placement, using an online tool like a Mahara ePortfolio can improve timeliness of providing feedback to assist in the process of learning.
- Video conferencing – When you don’t have access to any other online teaching tools, the likes of video conferencing or Skype of Business can be used successfully with small groups at one location.