Activities & Tools: Working Collaboratively and Independently
This chapter introduces an essential collection of adaptable activities that can be used across a range of fields and types of students.
Class Participation and Discussions
Student engagement in distance learning environments: A comparison of threaded discussion forums and text-focused Wikis
Online Journaling Activities
By Bill Wolf
Blogging with WordPress
You will be broken into groups to run a collaborative blog hosted by WordPress where each of you will post information relating to your personal, professional, and educational interests. You will post responses to the readings in the blog. Each group will:
1. Name their blog.
2. Learn several WordPress blog features (how to create posts, links, and so forth).
3. Choose the topical themes of your blog (based on the interests you previously listed).
4. Choose a layout theme for your blog consistent with your topical theme.
5. Write an about page that describes who you are (you can keep your identities anonymous) and what the blog is about (not just for an assignment!)
6. Post at least 3 posts per week per individual (if there are 3 people in the group, that’s at least 9 per week total. Do not wait until the end of the module to do all of your posts—I will be looking to see that you have done the required amount each week.
1 or 2 posts can be about the readings (these will not have prompts; the response topics and lengths are up to you. I strongly suggest that your posts in response to assigned readings are at least the equivalent of 1/2 page single space, Times New Roman, font 12).
1 or more should be about other things directly related to the topical theme of the blog. These can be any length—whatever you think is best based on the topic of your post.
7. Write at least 1 comment to a post on your course blog, and at least 1 comment to a post on a different module blog (these can be of any length, but should be more substantive than something like, “Nice post!” or “Great idea”—the goal should be to further the conversation).
8. Add at least 5 sidebar widgets to your blog, including a blogroll (or, “links” as it is called in the dashboard) and the class’s Twitter stream. I encourage you to add and change images and learn the many features of this great blog software. To learn how to do just about everything, see WordPress topics and click on the topic that interests you. You can also stop by the WordPress forums. Look at these first before you email Dr. Wolff.
Shared Knowledge Base
Wikis in Plain English
This website from Michigan State University contains useful reference materials on multiple choice testing.
You may also want to look at…
T4LT – Online Student Engagement Tips and Strategies