Practical Strategies for Assessing the Quality of Collaborative Learner Engagement

Practical Strategies for Assessing the Quality of Collaborative Learner Engagement

John LeBaron (Western Carolina University, USA) and Carol Bennett (WRESA Elementary & Middle Grades Curriculum Coordinator, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-753-9.ch014
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Abstract

Teachers and designers of computer-networked settings increasingly acknowledge that active learner engagement poses unique challenges, especially for instructors weaned on traditional site-based teaching, and that such engagement is essential to the progressive construction of learner knowledge. “Learner engagement” can mean several things: engagement with material, engagement with instructors, and, perhaps most important, peer engagement. Many teachers of computer-networked courses, who are quite diligent about incorporating activities and procedures to promote human interactivity, are confronted with the challenge of assessing the efficacy of their efforts. How do they discern whether the strategies and tactics woven into their “e-settings” are achieving the desired ends? This chapter outlines issues of self-assessment, including ethical questions. It lays out recommendations for self-assessment in a manner that respects student trust and confidentiality, distinguishing the demands of practical self-assessment from scholarly course research. The institutional pressures from which such assessment emerges are also examined.

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