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  1. Leslie Bowman January 22, 2014 at 9:07 am |

    Good points made here about student conversations in online academic venues. Many of us who have been teaching and developing online classes for years use specific strategies in computer-mediated communication to guide online dialogue. Commenting on blogs follows the same premise with a different platform. With regard to “requiring” commenting in the assignment, indeed, sometimes this is the only way to get students to participate, however that does not promote true learning. We can and should teach students how to communicate effectively through modeling, examples, and, most important, allowing students to create the assessment parameters for dialogue/conversation requirements in online classes. Whether the conversation is through traditional LMS discussion boards or class blogs matters not. In Communities of Practice, I explain a completely new design for computer-mediated communication in online classes, through discussion boards and class blogs. In my presentation last spring at the VCU Online Learning Summit, I went into great detail about how and why these new online course communication strategies promote self-directed learning and motivate students to want to learn, not just fulfill “conversation” requirements. I’ll be looking forward to reading updates on this blog about how these student blogs play out during the grad course.

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