Designing Asynchronous Message Board Assignments for Deep Learning Discourse: A Longitudinal Heuristic Case

Designing Asynchronous Message Board Assignments for Deep Learning Discourse: A Longitudinal Heuristic Case

Shalin Hai-Jew (Kansas State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-071-2.ch009
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Asynchronous message boards provide a critical space for university students to learn collaboration, support each other, and develop critical thinking skills in freshman and sophomore composition and research writing classes. How asynchronous message board assignments—icebreakers, discussion questions, summaries, reading analyses, lead-up assignments (research topic proposals, source evaluations, outlines, and drafts), and cumulative projects—all work towards building reflective online conversations and deep learning. This chapter addresses the evolving strategies that have been used in the deployment of publicly viewable assignments used on asynchronous message boards for freshman and sophomore writing classes since 1997 through the consortium WashingtonOnline (WAOL), which consists of 32 community colleges in Washington State.
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The information-based economy assumes a level of information sophistication and literacy to function in a complex global space. This literacy often requires many years of work to acquire and apply. At the university level, freshman and sophomore students begin to explore information in more depth in foundational composition and research writing courses; they look at where information comes from, how it is captured and packaged (in genres, in writing, and in print and electronic forms), how to vet information for credibility, and how to participate in that informational universe by honing their own self-expression, voices, and writing skills. Deep learning in this context involves multiple dimensions.

Deep Learning about Information

Deep learning differs based on the particular disciplinary field. Traditionally, deep learning involves plenty of analyses, sustained and critical discussions, and hands-on applied experiences (including simulations). Deep learning implies transferability of the skillset and knowledge to different learning contexts; it also suggests longitudinal (life-changing) learning.

The Self in Relation to the Information Universe

It is said that while writing is very personal on one level, it has to have social value to make it into publication. It has to offer something of benefit to others, whether that is knowledge or insight or even a sense of aesthetic appreciation. One important deep learning aspect involves knowledge of the information that one has and how one has come by this information and the standards that one applies in vetting what they believe. A critical and difficult lesson for younger students is differentiating between experienced versus inherited information. Many young learners confuse what they have heard from others or seen on the Internet or television (mediated experiences) with their own experiences; they will fall into easy parroting of others’ ideas without a sense of their own lack of expertise in a particular area. Mastering the sense of one’s relationship in the information universe to the larger world involves metacognition (awareness of one’s thinking and learning) and an honest assessment of one’s own skill sets and potential for contributing to the larger world of applicable information. They need to understand discourse as part of a broad range of information exchange and an ongoing social activity; they need to explore the various informational artifacts in the real world—in terms of articles on digital repositories or libraries; scripts; short stories; essays; poems; plays; movies, and multimedia files. They need to synthesize information across various streams and create semi-coherent understandings of a range of topics.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
John Daniel
Ugur Demiray, Gulsun Kurubacak, T. Volkan Yuzer
Ugur Demiray, Gulsun Kurubacak, T. Volkan Yuzer
Chapter 1
Ugur Demiray, Murat Hismanoglu, Sibel Hismanoglu
Online discussion has become one of the most effective teaching tools in recent years in terms of its power to promote students’ critical thinking... Sample PDF
Promoting Critical Thinking Skills in Language Education through Online Discussions
Chapter 2
Gulsun Kurubacak, T. Volkan Yuzer
This chapter focuses on how to build a dynamic theoretical background of distance education, as a source of meta-communication, and how it affects... Sample PDF
Building a Theoretical Background for Distance Education: Towards Meta-Communicative Conversations
Chapter 3
Christine Clark, Gwen Stowers
This chapter takes a contrary view of the “meta” aspect of meta-communication (where meta is defined as “behind” or “beneath”) in the online... Sample PDF
The Meta-Communicative, Yet Dancing ‘Pink Elephants’ in the Online Multicultural Teacher Education Classroom: E-Racism, E-Classism, and E-Sexism
Chapter 4
Alexander G. Flor, Narong Sompong
The study was implemented from Kasetsart University in Bangkok and the UP Open University in Los Baños, with the latter hosting the KM system and... Sample PDF
An Online Conversation among Southeast Asian Higher Education Institutions and its Observed Oppressions
Chapter 5
Vardan Mkrttchian
This chapter describes the meta-communication model and illustrates its applicability. The model integrates previous discursive approaches to... Sample PDF
Avatar Manager and Student Reflective Conversations as the Base for Describing Meta-Communication Model
Chapter 6
Jennifer J. Neakrase, H. Prentice Baptiste, Ashley N. Ryan, Elsa Q. Villa
One of the goals of science education is to ensure that the discipline of science is accessible to all individuals. By many organizations this has... Sample PDF
Science for All through Reflective Interactions: Analyzing Online Instructional Models, Learning Activities and Virtual Resources
Chapter 7
Melanie Shaw, Susan Stillman, Gayle Cicero, David Cross, Dennis Lessard
This chapter includes information about communication patterns and organizational discourse at an online university, which utilizes a mentoring... Sample PDF
Multimodal Communication: A Case Study of Organizational Discourse and One-to-One Mentoring at an Online University
Chapter 8
Mary Beth Klinger, Teresa L. Coffman
Sharing knowledge through collaboration and community using distance learning tools is an important component of today’s 21st century education.... Sample PDF
Building Knowledge through Dynamic Meta-Communication
Chapter 9
Shalin Hai-Jew
Asynchronous message boards provide a critical space for university students to learn collaboration, support each other, and develop critical... Sample PDF
Designing Asynchronous Message Board Assignments for Deep Learning Discourse: A Longitudinal Heuristic Case
Chapter 10
Mehmet Firat, Isil Kabakci Yurdakul
This chapter is based on the claim that the metaphors as a new and powerful tool in different sciences especially including Information Systems and... Sample PDF
Metaphors in Meta-Communication
Chapter 11
Amani Hamdan
The purpose of this chapter is to build on the insights of educators regarding the relationship between culture and online learning. In this... Sample PDF
The Cultural Aspects of E-Learning and the Effects of Online Communication: A Critical Overview
Chapter 12
Kay Kyeongju Seo, Aimee deNoyelles
This chapter explored the technology perceptions and preparedness of pre-service and in-service teachers from three different countries. Twenty-one... Sample PDF
A Global Conversation on Effective Technology Integration in Education
Chapter 13
Simber Atay
But to what extent can it be taught? There are the heteronyms of this problem such as Polanyi’s “tacit knowledge’’ or Hegel’s/Agamben’s Eleusinian... Sample PDF
Knowledge Is Infinity, Language is Limit!
Chapter 14
Pradeep Kumar Misra
Distance educators at any stage of their career or dealing with any discipline of knowledge are required to engage into number of tasks like present... Sample PDF
Technology Supported Assessment in Distance Education: Promises, Pitfalls and Prospects
Chapter 15
Ugur Demiray, Nurdan Oncel Taskiran, Recep Yilmaz
This chapter examines and focuses on some issues and questions relating to how the use of meta communication concept should be functional and how it... Sample PDF
Meta Communication Concept and the Role of Mass Media in Knowledge Building Process for Distance Education
Chapter 16
Shalin Hai-Jew
In recent years, pre-recorded digital poster sessions have become more widely used as parts of real-time face-to-face conferences and as complements... Sample PDF
Adding Self-Discovery Learning to Live Online Conferences: Using Digital Poster Sessions in Higher Education
Chapter 17
Satya Sundar Sethy
This chapter discusses and examines online learning in distance education (DE) context. It seeks to argue how learners cope with online education... Sample PDF
Online Education: Reflection on Communication Skills of Distance Learners
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