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OLTD 502 Week 2

Presentation by Kim, Michelle & Ben

A script...

Good morning everyone, and welcome to our Prezi presentation on Traditional vs.
eLearning classrooms. Kim, Michelle and I will be taking you through our thoughts on the
benefits and limitations that these two very different types of classrooms have to offer both
students and teachers.

Traditional vs eLearning Classrooms

So here we have these two opposing sides, locked in battle! We will be looking at the
advantages and disadvantages that each side possesses

Must we continue meeting like this?

Hopefully by the end we will have found some common ground, and a way to take the good
aspects of each side, and make something that benefits both learners and teachers.

Traditional Classrooms

So we are going to start on the Traditional side of this battle. I should say that when we are
talking about traditional in this presentation, we are talking very traditional. This is not
necessarily a best practice traditional classroom. This is a teacher as lecturer, controlling the
content, delivery and timing of each lesson. There is little to no access to computers, or web
based technology.

Traditional Students (BEN)
o Advantages:Develop social and friendship skills,
o It was interesting in designing this presentation, because the more I researched,
the more that traditional classrooms seemed inadequate and outdated
compared to what an online classroom has to offer. In terms of flexability of
content, delivery and representation of learning online learning has an
advantage. Face to face classrooms however, are an asset when we think about
classrooms as a way to develop social and friendship skills in our students. So
much of how we communicate is nonverbal, and while online communication
OLTD 502 Week 2
Presentation by Kim, Michelle & Ben

has a window into this world, it does not yet rival the full on emersion that face
to face experience provides. In our readings Gunwardena and McIssaac talk
about how the social presence of ones group effects learner satisfaction and
motivation. Short et al. suggest that this social presence is greatly increased by
the communications system being used, and factors such as physical distance,
eye contact, and smiling play a large role in shaping this. As Tracy, Jane and
Michael said on Saturday, physical contact and proximity is also a benefit of face
to face time, and something that especially resonates with younger students.
Discussing the role of social presence in online learning, McIsaac and
Gunawardena (1996) and Tammelin (1998) observe that it can be linked
to the larger social context including motivation, interaction, group
cohesion, verbal and nonverbal communication, and social equality.
o Disadvantages
o A lot of the disadvantages of face to face classrooms can be looked at in Terms
of Moores Transactional distance theory, which says that dialog, structure, and
learner autonomy are the three most important components to consider in an
online course.
dialog - Learning is often passive Students have little say in what or how they learn,
and merely take in the content that the teacher provides.
structure of the instructional programs -
o there is little flexability in how information is received, and student learning is
autonomy, or the degree of self-directedness of the learner .
o going at the pace of the class (overwhelmed or bored)
o We progress through course content as a group. While there are adaptations
and modifications for learners who are struggling with concepts, or need more
challenging material, both sides of the learning spectrum are kept close to the
pace of the majority of their classmates.
Digital illiteracy If students arent exposed to emerging technologies, or learn how to
use them properly, then they will have, at best a surface understanding, and at worst no
idea how to interact with it. We should be educating citizens who will be thrust into a
world that is becoming more digitized each year.

Traditional Teachers (KIM)

OLTD 502 Week 2
Presentation by Kim, Michelle & Ben

Traditional Content (MICHELLE)
Advantages3. Course Structure and Design-Traditional Methods
Constructing Meaningful and Directed Face-to-Face Interactions: According to
Vygotsky, all learning is social, and with traditional teaching methods, the teacher has
the ability to construct face-to-face social venues for students to engage in authentic
and meaningful dialogue. The social constructivists view that the process of
collaboration results in learners building understanding that wouldnt be possible in a
solitary environment.
The Importance of Context: The context that the learning occurs is as important as the
learning itself. This is the constructivist view that the learner must apply their
understandings to authentic tasks, where the student takes part in activities that are
directly relevant to what theyve learned, and that they take place in an applied setting.
It is reasonable to assume that a hands-on learning activity provides a means of
illuminating a concept to students. As well, the active process involves understanding
things while doing and experiencing them, which aids in deep retention and
Limited Resources: In a traditional classroom the learning materials are strictly what are
available in the class. Often these are outdated textbooks or content-based resources
that the teacher gathered to support their educational agenda. There is little
opportunity for the student to contextualize their learning by researching aspects of the
content that are of interest to them.
Planning with the Middle in Mind: Teachers tend to develop courses that work well for
the average student. In a traditional classroom, it may be difficult to personalize
learning for every learner. Often one assignment is given to all of the students, and the
teacher expects the same outcomes for everyone. With this approach, many students
interests, abilities and different ways of learning are overlooked.
Curriculum & Teacher Driven not Student Driven: The teacher, not the student, plays
an active role in designing the educational opportunities presented in the classroom.
The material is curriculum driven and the content is disseminated in a top-down
fashion, utilizing direct-instruction, with students playing a passive role in their

eLearning Students (BEN)
Self Paced - When asked why learning through an online class might make school more
interesting, 47 percent of students in grades 9-12, 39 percent of students in grade 6-8
OLTD 502 Week 2
Presentation by Kim, Michelle & Ben

and 25 percent of students in grades 3-5 responded that they wanted to learn online to
control their own learning experience. Students do not expect online courses to be
easier. They do however, expect the online learning environment to facilitate their
success because they can review materials when they want and are more comfortable
asking teachers for help.
Flexible In terms of time, place, and content. This again goes back to Moores
transactional distance theory - allowing students control over the direction of their
learning, how they represent what they know, and providing a venue in which students
can interact with their peers and teacher in a way that works for them is extremely

The infrastructure must be in place Need the computers, licenses, networks. Takes a
lot of planning for the initial start up.
Recquires background knowledge on how to use the technology effectively. Digital
technologiessuch as computers, handheld devices, and software applicationsby
contrast, are protean (usable in many different ways; Papert, 1980); unstable (rapidly
changing); and opaque (the inner workings are hidden from users; Turkle, 1995)
Discipline and time management skills because you dont necessarily have set hours,
or access to your teacher, you need to be able to work independently during
asynchronous sessions and manage your time effectively.

eLearning Teachers (KIM)
The 24-7 nature of asynchronous instruction creates flexibility for students and instructors
alike, and this not only promotes greater time-on-task, but also but generates more complete
discussions and interaction. In most F2F courses, students can attend without doing the
readings, but my on-line students cannot complete their postings without digesting the
readings first. Best of all, the lesson is always there so students can go back and repeat
particular parts of the lectures or exercises, thus promoting more durable learning--online post.

READING: http://cde.athabascau.ca/cmc/transactional.html


OLTD 502 Week 2
Presentation by Kim, Michelle & Ben

Course Structure and Design (Michelle)

Reliance on Technology : Constructing an elearning course requires more than using
new technology--as mentioned, it is not the technology that allows for learning, but how
the technology is used to support learning. Technologies are the vehicles that deliver
instruction, but do not influence student achievement. Research suggests that learning
is more influenced by the content and instructional strategy than by the type of
technology used to deliver instruction.
Resistance to Shift Pedagogical Practice: Educators must have clear theoretical
understanding of effective online teaching practices. The replication of traditional
methods does not capitalize on the dynamic nature of a technologically enhanced
teaching and learning environment. Some educators fail in their approach to Elearning.
Creating a successful online learning experience for high school students requires much
more than simply posting content in a Learning Management System for students to
retrieve and complete. Adolescents in particular require a more structured and
supportive environment than adult learners. They also require that materials are to be
taught in short realistic chunks in order to facilitate deeper meaning, and prior to
beginning the learning sequence, the student is informed of the learning outcome(s).
Lack of Support Structure: Students may not have access to facilities such as libraries,
gyms, computer labs, science labs, etc. Online learning cant always provide helpful
tools that may be needed to promote learning.

eLearning Course Structure and Design (Michelle)
Elearning provides many opportunities for assessment. These are assessment
opportunities that involve the teacher, but also ones that involve the influence and
expertise of peers. As well, there are opportunities for assessment by external experts
outside the traditional classroom, those that encourage learners to reflectively assess
their own learning.
Unlimited Resources (Online material): The Web provides an almost limitless access to
resources; allowing students the means and opportunity to increase their understanding
the content in a variety of formats and contexts.
Constructing opportunities to connect to the world outside of the classroom: This
relates to Siemens theory of connectivism which helps us to understand that learning
is about making connections with ideas, facts, people, and communities. Elearning
allows users to both find and utilize these connections. It also allows for the use of
simulations and real world applications that aid in the practical understanding of
learning objectives. (cited from: Andersons The Theory and Practice of Online Learning)
OLTD 502 Week 2
Presentation by Kim, Michelle & Ben

Dynamic Nature of Technology Enhances Students' Ability to Construct Knowledge: It
is important to note that it is not the technology per se that allows for learning, but
rather how that technology is used to support basic learning processes. Technological
applications that are dynamic allow for activities that engage students in active learning
experiences. Newer technologies such as Web 2.0 applications enables pupils and
others to collaborate in ways that reflect a broadly constructivist approach to education.
Strategies that facilitate the construction of knowledge through collaboration is a
transformative shift in teaching practice from one of disseminating information to one of
creating learning environments where students co-construct knowledge through
interactions. This relates to Vygotskys notion of social cognition, that demonstrates
how students can work together in an online learning context to collaboratively create
new knowledge. As well as Lipmans community of inquiry, that illustrates how
collaboration allows members of a learning community to both support and challenges
each other, leading to effective and relevant knowledge construction.
Personalized learning opportunities: Personalized learning opportunities: Using
technology to give students "control of their interactions" has a positive effect on
student learning, and can allow for students to become more effective independent
learners. Elearning course format allows learners to be in control of what they learn, to
work at their own pace and places all learners on equal footing. This format provides
authentic learning experiences and problem based learning that is multimodal to
accommodate different learning styles. Given the right hardware, software and
curriculum activities, all learners can achieve the same degree of success. (Cited from:
Inside Highered

So what is Best Practice?

Blended learning... environments that draw from the strengths of both