1. Which learning theory do you think leads to students’ best learning? Why do you think that?

I believe students learn best through collaboration with classmates and professors. When students are asked to collaborate with classmates, it is more likely for them to give more effort toward learning the material due to the fact that they have to present their ideas. Students want to be able to make sense of the information knowing that their classmates and professors will be reading over their work. Another reason why I feel this learning technique is very effective is because students are able to obtain many different perspectives on the material from their classmates and professors helping them to better analyze the material. Collaboration also helps students who are struggling to understand the material, by having it broken down in several ways from different people.

2. Assume you are an e-learning instructor. Create an e-learning instruction/activity (fully online or hybrid), applying your theory in a ‘real’ online education setting. In the description of the activity, include the following information:

  • Course Title: Cyber Defense
  • Content/Topics: Information Security, Access Control, Cryptography
  • Target Audience: Cyber Security students
  • Delivery Format: Hybrid
  • Technology Tools: Laptops, Simulated Labs, Videos
  • Activity: The purpose of this class is to introduce students to a few of the basic concepts of the Cyber Security profession such as Access Control and Cryptography. Students will meet face to face once a week for the purpose of being able to work with the professor on simulated labs and collaborate face to face with the professor and classmates. Laptops are required for this course. Students will be completing labs along with watching videos and reading text online outside of class meeting times. After successfully completing this course, students should be familiar with identifying, authenticating, and authorizing users access to systems. They should also be able to control access of users as an administrator of an organization.
  • Course Title: Automotive Tuning
  • Content/Topics: Automotive Troubleshooting, Dyno Tuning, Engine Design
  • Target Audience: Students interested in the auto industry
  • Delivery Format: Hybrid
  • Technology Tools: Dynamometer, Laptop, Online Discussion Forums
  • Activity: This class will provide students with the knowledge needed to perform diagnostics on vehicles to identify problems, tune ecus on vehicles to provide maximum performance, and the ability to talk among automotive tuning professionals. Students will be required to have their own laptop to store diagnostic reports from vehicles and use them as a study guide. The class will take place in an automotive tuning garages providing students with hands on experience. They will be shadowing the instructor as they become familiar with the field. Once they acquire the basic knowledge, they will be tuning vehicles from real customers while guided by their instructor. The class will meet three days a week face to face and are also required to participate in online discussion forums outside of class.

3. Summarize this week’s discussions. Use this template to structure your production:

Did you fulfill the requirement to make your first post no later than Wednesday in the discussion?

Yes, I was able to make my initial post to the discussion thread no later than Wednesday.

Did you fulfill the requirement to post at least three times in each discussion topic any time Monday through Friday?

Yes, I responded to two classmates comments in my discussion thread along with commenting on another classmate’s discussion thread before the deadline.

Did you fulfill the requirement to post the answer to the prompts in your blog no later than Sunday (Jan 18)? 

Yes, I was successful in completing my blog before the deadline.

Did you fulfill the requirement to reply at least three classmates’ blogs during Saturday and Sunday?

I have not yet commented on classmates blogs, but I will do so before the deadline.

Quote your best post(s) from the week and explain why you feel these are the best.

“I see how this can be an issue, but I feel that this issue is more related to the overall structure of the course. I don’t think it would be any different from assigning a research paper or exam on Thursday and expecting it done by Sunday. I agree that timing of assignments can be an issue since I am also very limited on time. I believe that online courses work best when assignments are assigned on Monday and are expected to be completed by Sunday. As long as collaborations are asynchrous, I don’t see them becoming a problem. There are students that like to get their work done as soon as possible and student that wait until the last minute. As long as everyone doesn’t wait until the last minute, I see collaboration being a success. Also, having a bigger class usually improves the flexibility of collaboration.”

I was able to support my reasoning as to why I feel collaboration is an important learning technique in a classroom.

Quote several of the best posts from other students. Explain why you chose the ones you present.

“You advocate for collaboration in online classes.  Given that online students typically take online classes because of the flexibility for being able to work around jobs, family, etc., it seems like collaboration presents a real challenge.  For example, I have a class that requires weekly group collaboration.  We all have to post a piece of the work by Thursday nights and then we must respond to each other’s work by Sunday (imagine more substantial than Discussion).  Ideally I want to get all of my work done Mon-Wed, but now because of this collaboration, I can’t do most of my work until Friday.  Honestly, its a real frustration.  I think in order for collaboration to work, students either need to be grouped according to the days of the week they do the most classwork or there need to be very firm timelines that someone allow students to complete the class at any point in the week.  I’m not sure how to make collaboration work for all parties.”

Christen Smith

Christen’s post helped me to look back and re-evaluate my initial post on the discussion board and make a decision if I still feel that collaboration has the same significance in a classroom.

“When I design and teach an e-learning course, I would first want to know the time frame and a little about the students needs and want in learning expectations for the class.”

Laurie Hanna

I really admire how Laurie would take students needs and use this information to structure her class.

“Everyone has different learning style, and no one theory can fit all. If I am designing a course, I will do a survey before class started, and find out the percentage of students who are more comfortable with any of the teaching methods. Then choosing the majority of the students’ choice to be my teaching method, and assist more help to the students that are not comfortable with this teaching method, and try to work out well. ”

Xiaoyan Yang

Xiaoyan provided an excellent technique for structuring his course. I believe it is best to due some research on the students before structuring the course. It was also good to see that he would provide further assistance to students who are not comfortable with his teaching methods.

What did you learn in the discussion this week that will be useful to you or that changes the way you view something?

I learned many different learning techniques and the importance of each of them. Every student is unique so they don’t all learn in the same manner. It is vital to take this into consideration in order to be a successful professor. I also learned how Learning Community, Social Presence, Teaching Presence, and Cognitive Presence play an important role in structuring an online course. They all enhance learning in distinct ways. I also benefited from reading different perspectives and preferences of learning techniques from classmates.


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