By Deanna Mayers, Curriculum Coordinator for

Have you ever heard others talk about online learning and refer to it as a self-paced, independent study? While some online courses fit this description, others are beginning to use collaborative tools to engage learners.  But, how can we use research based strategies such as these from The Global Development Research Center in the online classroom?  During my session at BbWorld 2010, “Building Collaborative Learning Activities in your Online Course,” you will experience how research based collaborative strategies transfer to online learning.  We will work together to complete a “Read and Respond,” have some fun in a “Jigsaw” activity and experience a progressive writing activity among other activities.

Research tells us that student’s need to reflect on their understandings before actively participating in group work. So we will also use some research based learning strategies from Robert Marzanno’s research and a few others to build independent reflective thinking.  In the session you will learn and experience practical research based strategies that foster student to student and teacher to student communication and collaboration. Attendees will leave with templates to help them quickly use strategies such as learning logs, note taking strategies, and concept maps.

Many school districts are building professional learning communities that build collaboration with teachers.  One teacher in Atlanta, Georgia, shows how these professional learning communities can move to the online collaborative world also, check him out: Teachers are beginning to use online asynchronous and synchronous collaboration technology to stay informed and build strong learning opportunities with students.  During my BbWorld session, I will show examples of how you can begin collaborating online and introduce the professional learning community where you can share your “best practices” with others while searching our database for ideas and learning objects for your courses.

In preparing for my session, I “googled” the terms “online collaboration” I got 34,900,000 hits and more than the first thousand hits were focused on tools for business professionals to collaborate online.  Businesses are using online collaboration to do everything from develop concept maps, plan projects, create drawings, chat and discuss to sharing documents and videos.  With online collaboration skills essential in the global work force, it is more important than ever to build these skills in our students.

Session Info:

Title: Building Collaborative K-12 Courses Online

Date: July 16, 8:30 – 9:15am

Room: Sun 5/6


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  • andy

    Online collaborating and teaching can work, If you have trust and the right tools.
    I recently tried – good app for uploading documents and working on them in real-time.
    Most file types are supported and it needs no installation. – andy