This week has been really challanging because we had to give feedback to the way some forums were run and also look at some forms of alternative assessment and task design.
We looked at some forums where the discussion went completely wrong. At first we all had an impression that it was the moderators' fault as they didn't intervene. Then when we discovered that it was a student run forum and the moderatoirs were not really supposed to moderate it constantly, we changed our opinion. However, the messages made us understand that some form of moderation is required anyway.
I have decided to create a code of coinduct for any online students that I have which I can refer them to any time a problem arises.
As an example we looked at The British Open University and the University of Dundee's Code of Conduct.
For task design we first did some reading which was really useful for me. However, the most important for me was that the approach to online teaching should be task-centred rather than self-centred. Another very important point that I must remember is:
When introducing students to a new VLE, make sure that every single step is explained; everything should be as hassle-free as possible for a learner. I think that a screencast should be ideal in guiding students through all the sign in process and further us of the platform.
The last task of the week was alternative assessment. I actually quite liked the idea because in many cases students get so stressed when they hear that they have a test to write. Cecili Lemos gives very valuable advice in her slides and her presentation of the same slides. There are also some additional ideas on Web 2.0 Teaching Tools website. And a very useful overview of tools that can be used is given on Ridley School District's website.
NCLRC discusses the forms of alternative assessment and which form can be used for different situations.