Topic 1: July 6-9 Introductions, Privacy, and Human-Centred Learning

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Welcome to EDCI339 Section A02. My name is Dr. Verena Roberts and I will be your instructor throughout this course. This video summarizes the course outline. Please watch it and feel free to send me any questions or concerns:

T1: Introductions, Privacy, and Human-Centred Learning

Human-Centered Learning: The Importance of Building Relationships, Clear Communication and Designing for Interactions and Engagement in K-12 Distributed and Open Learning Contexts

In the course readings, Whiteside and Garrett Dikkers (2015) argue that, “social presence is an essential literacy for cultivating emotions and relationships that enhance the overall learning experience and have published several studies detailing specific methods instructors use to build and facilitate social presence in online and blended learning” (p. 510). Specifically, they are advocated for instructors to consider and amplify their social presence as they design and facilitate the course. 

Garrett Dikkers, Whiteside, & Lewis (2017) summarized the literature that considered social presence before the Covid-19 Remote Access Learning context. They proposed five aspects of a K-12 Social Presence Model: 

  • Affective Association – how students and teachers show emotion online; 
  • Community Cohesion – seeing the class as a community; 
  • Instructor Involvement – how the teacher shows involvement in student learning;
  • Interaction Intensity – what ways and how often students interact; and 
  • Knowledge and Experience – ways students share their prior knowledge and experiences with course content (Garrett Dikkers, Whiteside, & Lewis, 2017, p. 160).

Similarly, in Higher Education contexts, the Community of Inquiry framework (CoI) focused on three presences as a means to communicate in online learning mediums. The three presences are: cognitive, teaching and social. 

Both of these models amplify the types of interactions that support learning. There are three types of interactions: 

  1. learner-instructor interaction
  2. learner-learner interaction
  3. learner-content interaction

Traditional online courses have been criticized for the emphasis on learner-content interactions where learners only interact with the content in a course (Garret Dikkers, 2018). Examples of this kind of interaction include content laden eBooks and personalized learning platforms where students complete online assignments without any connection to other peers and only connect with teachers to clarify any questions they may have.

The Covid-19, remote access transition from face to face classroom to digital learning across Canada in March 2020 amplified the need for all teachers to recognize the importance of social presence in every learning medium, online and face to face.

The following readings exemplify the need for HUman-Centered learning – learning which: 

  • Emphasize positive communications and relationship development
  • Co-design well-being supports with the individuals and communities affected by them
  • Broaden definitions of success to reflect a holistic view of human development
  • Broaden learner supports to include more individuals, roles and organizations
  • Restructure education to encourage connection, cross-curricular integration and meaning
  • Broaden curricula to address honest historical truths (Knowledge Works, 2019)

The activities this week are intentionally designed to focus on how to develop your social presence in K-12 online and open learning. 

As you explore this topic, consider your own experiences with online and open learning. What did you experience and what would you like to experience? What are some of things you need to consider when teaching in online learning contexts to develop a social presence? What are some practices you will learn more about, design considerations you would expand upon, digital tools you would examine, resources you would share and fellow teachers that you would suggest to others to learn more from? 

This week you will complete your activities in UVic coursespaces. All course activities are guided through the #EDCI339 course blog

Required Individual Activities:

Required Pod Activity:

  • Find your group, introduce yourself, share your contact information and best time to meet/ complete activities throughout the dates for this course and share one “Fun Fact” with each other about an online learning experience. 
  • REPLY to the Topic 1 blog posts of all the members in your pod (Due July 10)

Optional Activities:

Building a PLN/ Social Media

  • Twitter Hashtag: #EDCI339
  • Add a tweet to the #EDCI339 course hashtag and lurk in the Twitter stream 

Optional Webinar

  • Participate in the optional course zoom webinar on Topic 1
  • Dr. Barb Brown – Wednesday, July 8, 6-7 PDT (Zoom Webinar Link)

Optional Create Activity

Optional Slack Conversation

(Informal communication space – Invitation LINK)

  • Participate in the topic conversation thread focused on the course readings in the course Slack channel –EDCI339 A04’s informal communication tool.

Topic Readings:

Garrett Dickers, A. (2018) Social Interaction in K-12 Online Learning. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 509-522 ). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Regan, P., & Jesse, J. (2019). Ethical challenges of edtech, big data and personalized learning: Twenty-first century student sorting and tracking. Ethics and Information Technology, 21(3), 167-179. DOI: 10.1007/s10676-018-9492-2 

Additional Resources: 
What is Human-Centered Instruction?

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