A Framework for the Redesign Principles That Improved Engagement in an Online Graduate Class

A Framework for the Redesign Principles That Improved Engagement in an Online Graduate Class

Laura Lemanski (University of Minnesota, USA) and Megan McDonald Van Deventer (Weber State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7470-5.ch003

Abstract

At a large, Midwest university, the authors taught an online course to graduate students in an educational reading methods course. While the course covered compelling content, the user experience frustrated students as they struggled to navigate an outmoded online learning management system (LMS), which inhibited their ability to engage with course content. Recognizing that the course could be a powerful and relevant learning experience for students, the chapter authors drew on engagement theory, technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK), and the triple E framework to redesign the course. While maintaining the valuable course content, the chapter authors developed a framework to create an engaging and positive online learning experience. This chapter describes the framework and details how the course was redesigned, articulates the rationale for the course changes, and explores the positive impact it had on teaching and learning.
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Background

This case study examines the redesign of an online graduate course that serves approximately 200 students yearly. The course was a reading methods course for preservice middle and high school teachers that was a requirement for state teaching licensure. Having earned their Bachelor’s degree, the students enrolled in the online course were pursuing their M.Ed. in their respective teaching discipline, such as English, history, music, or P.E. These graduate students were enrolled in a one year teacher preparation program, and most of their courses were face-to-face. The online course was taught fall, spring, and summer semesters to several content areas simultaneously; for example, math and science preservice teachers were enrolled in the fall course together. The course was taught asynchronously and completely online.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Methods Course: Courses focused on the theories and teaching practices of specific content areas for pre-service classroom teachers.

Online Learning: Student learning that occurs online using internet or web-based instruction and applications that may take place fully online or in blended or hybrid formats.

Padlet: Customizable, web-based platform that creates a collaborative learning space.

Disciplinary Literacy: The specific approaches to reading, writing, and thinking taken up within academic fields.

User Experience: Encompasses end users’ overall interactions with web and technological applications.

Secondary Education: Educational programming structured to meet the needs of students in middle and high school settings, ranging in ages from 11-18.

Voicethread: A collaborative online platform where users can upload, share, and comment on digital media (video, images, documents) using video, voice, and text.

Engagement (Educational Contexts): The active involvement in activities that result in student learning.

Flipgrid: An online social learning platform that engages learners through video-based discussion, allowing students to post and reply to peers with short videos.

Learning Management System (LMS): Web-based technologies and applications that plan, create, manage, and deliver course content, activities, and assignments. Examples include Moodle and Canvas.

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