Reinvigorating Online Education
How do you reinvigorate virtual communities so as to create dynamic interaction between online teachers and students? The Reinvigorating Virtual Environments manual, (available in Spanish as Dinamización de Entornos Virtuales) collects some of the best practices that aid in encouraging active participation and nurturing enriching eLearning experiences.
In today's world, many current and developing styles of education incorporate online tools that facilitate a horizontal model of communication, one that involves a higher degree of listening, dialogue, and transparency than previously possible.
Much of the virtual environment we use on a daily basis is still uncharted, however, and the rules and guidelines of best practices have yet to be defined in many cases. In the context of eLearning, teachers and students around the world face the challenge of adapting traditional education patterns to a new medium.
The Reinvigorating Virtual Environments manual, (available in Spanish as Dinamización de Entornos Virtuales) collects some of the best practices that serve to foster an online learning experience rich in dialogue, active participation, discussion, and feedback.
The handbook highlights some pointers essential to any course, such as time management and manners, which, though basic, require new standards for a 2.0 world. Internet netiquette has its own set of rules, for example, such as how to initiate a forum discussion, what kind of font to use or avoid, and how to confront trolls.
Other aspects of teacher-student and peer-peer interaction also vary in the online classroom, and so the manual also covers how to include tools like the telephone, skype, chats, forums, and more to better manage group projects, assessment and grading, and tutoring.
The report cites the fun theory as a way of stressing the importance of balancing hard work with creativity, good humor, and fun, prompting readers to really make the most of eLearning.
The full manual is available in Spanish here: Dinamización de Entornos Virtuales (Reinvigorating Virtual Environments).