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Tools for Designing Collaborative Online Learning Experiences

Tools for Designing Collaborative Online Learning Experiences


Jennifer Van Allen, Assistant Professor, Counseling, Leadership, Literacy, and Special Education, Lehman College


In this session, participants will examine the role of collaboration in active learning environments and explore three applications that can be used in hybrid learning environments (and even online or face to face learning environments) to foster collaborative learning structures. VoiceThread, Padlet, and NowComment are three free web- based applications that allow professors and students to bridge the gap between face to face and individual online assignments and interact in unique ways across time and space. Participants will be asked to share particular examples of how they foster student collaboration in their classrooms and the outcome of these experiences through a Padlet post. Next, the presenter will briefly establish a research-based rationale for fostering a collaborative learning environment and make connections to participant responses. After a brief introduction to these applications, the presenter will share an example of how these were previously used in teaching and engage the participants in a conversation about how they envision the use of the applications in their own teaching. Finally, attendees will revisit the participant responses on the Padlet to determine if and how the ideas shared could be fostered through one of the applications presented. Participants will walk away with several ideas they could implement immediately into their own teaching to foster collaboration through the use of VoiceThread, Padlet, and NowComment.

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