E-Learning Survival, E-Learning
Success: You Can Do It!
Curt Bonk, Indiana University
President, CourseShare.com
Exponential Growth of the Web
A Vision of E-learning for
America’s Workforce, Report of the
Commission on Technology and Adult Learning, (2001, June)
• A remarkable 84 percent of two-and four-year
colleges in the United States expect to offer
distance learning courses in 2002” (only 58%
did in 1998) (US Dept of Education report,
• Web-based training is expected to increase
900 percent between 1999 and 2003.” (ASTD,
State of the Industry Report 2001).
To Cope with the Explosion, We
Need Instructor E-Learning
Problems Faced
• “Lack of admin vision.”
• “Lack of incentive from
admin and the fact that
they do not understand the
time needed.”
• “Lack of system support.”
• “Little recognition that this
is valuable.”
• “Rapacious U intellectual
property policy.”
• “Unclear
concerning int property.”
• “Difficulty in performing lab
experiments online.”
• “Lack of appropriate
models for pedagogy.”
• “More ideas than time to
• “Not enough time to
correct online assign.”
• “People need sleep; Web
spins forever.”
Best of Online Pedagogical
Changing Role of the Teacher
The Online Teacher, TAFE, Guy Kemshal-Bell (April, 2001)
• From oracle to guide and resource
• From providers of answers to expert
• From solitary teacher to member of team
• From total control of teaching
environment to sharing as a fellow
• From provider of content to designer of
learning experiences.
Online Teaching Skills
The Online Teacher, TAFE, Guy Kemshal-Bell (April, 2001)
• Technical: email, chat, Web
• Facilitation: engaging, questioning,
listening, feedback, providing support,
managing discussion, team building,
relationship building, motivating,
positive attitude, innovative, risk
• Managerial: planning, reviewing,
monitoring, time management
Key Skills or Attributes (scale 0-3)
The Online Teacher, TAFE, Guy Kemshal-Bell (April, 2001)
Ability to provide effective online fdbk (2.86)
Ability to engage the learner (2.84)
Ability to provide direction and support (2.82)
Skills in online listening (2.76)
Ability to use email effectively (2.70)
Ability to motivate online learners (2.66)
Positive attitude to online teaching (2.66)
Skills in effective online questioning (2.65)
Less Impt Skills or Attributes (scale 0-3)
The Online Teacher, TAFE, Guy Kemshal-Bell (April, 2001)
Higher-level Web page development (.606)
Use of video/audioconferencing (1.06)
Ability to develop simple Web pages (1.45)
Skills in using online chat (1.84)
Ability to build online teams (2.10)
Skills in planning, monitoring trng (2.20)
Ability to say dumb things.
Ability to offend people.
Ability to sleep 24 X 7.
Ability to get distracted.
The Web Integration Continuum
(Bonk et al., 2000)
Level 1: Course Marketing/Syllabi via the Web
Level 2: Web Resource for Student Exploration
Level 3: Publish Student-Gen Web Resources
Level 4: Course Resources on the Web
Level 5: Repurpose Web Resources for Others
Level 6: Web Component is Substantive & Graded
Level 7: Graded Activities Extend Beyond Class
Level 8: Entire Web Course for Resident Students
Level 9: Entire Web Course for Offsite Students
Level 10: Course within Programmatic Initiative
Study of Four Classes
(Bonk, Kirkley, Hara, & Dennen, 2001)
• Technical—Train, early tasks, be flexible,
orientation task
• Managerial—Initial meeting, FAQs, detailed
syllabus, calendar, post administrivia, assign email pals, gradebooks, email updates
• Pedagogical—Peer feedback, debates, PBL,
cases, structured controversy, field reflections,
portfolios, teams, inquiry, portfolios
• Social—Café, humor, interactivity, profiles,
foreign guests, digital pics, conversations, guests
Technological Hat
• Address tool/system familiarity
• Require early assignment to test
• Have orientation task, early training
• Be flexible, smooth out problems
• Plan, test, support
Social Hat
Create community, set tone, motivate
Welcome, thank, invite, reinforce positives
Foster shared knowledge
Support humor and conversational tone
Use tools such as cafes, profiles, pictures
Invite to be candid
Managerial Hat
• Set agenda, timetable/calendar, assignment page
• Set objectives, clear times, due dates,
• Explain rules, assignments, intended audiences
• Assign teams and coordinate meeting times
• Monitor discussions and track logins
• Provide weekly feedback and class updates
• Manage gradebooks
• Post grading rubrics
Pedagogical Hat
• Use PBL or inquiry environment
• Refer to outside resources and experts
• Coordinate student interaction, team
• Assign roles, set goals, foster peer feedback
• Ask probing questions, refocus, nudge, instruct
• Scaffold, give advice, mentor
• Weave, synthesize, link ideas, provide overviews
• Know when to intervene and when to leave alone
Review Four Key Instructor Hats
– Technical—do students have basics?
Does their equipment work? Passwords
– Managerial—Do students understand the
assignments and course structure?
– Pedagogical—How are students
interacting, summarizing, debating,
– Social—What is the general tone? Is
there a human side to this course?
Joking allowed?
– Other: firefighter, convener, weaver, tutor, conductor, host, mediator, filter,
editor, facilitator, negotiator, e-police, concierge, marketer, assistant, etc.
How to Combine
these Roles/Hats?
• Refers to online teaching and facilitation
role. Moderating used to mean to preside
over a meeting or a discussion, but in the
electronic world, it means more than that.
It is all roles combined—to hold meetings,
to encourage, to provide information, to
question, to summarize, etc. (Collins &
Berge, 1997; Gilly Salmon, 2000); see
Other Hats
Weaver—linking comments/threads
Tutor—individualized attention
Participant—joint learner
Provocateur—stir the pot (& calm flames)
Observer—watch ideas and events unfold
Mentor—personally apprentice students
Community Organizer—keep system going
Still More Hats
Devil’s advocate
2. Questioning: "What is the name of
this concept...?," "Another reason for this
might be...?," "An example of this is...," "In
contrast to this might be...,""What else
might be important here...?," "Who can tell
me....?," "How might the teacher..?." "What
is the real problem here...?," "How is this
related to...?,“, "Can you justify this?"
5. Feedback/Praise: "Wow, I'm
impressed...," "That shows real insight
into...," "Are you sure you have
considered...," "Thanks for responding to
‘X’...," "I have yet to see you or anyone
6. Cognitive Task Structuring: "You
know, the task asks you to do...," "Ok,
as was required, you should now
summarize the peer responses that you
have received...," "How might the
textbook authors have solved this
Converting a Class to the
The First Week: Do’s and Don’ts
• DO
– Encourage
– Use icebreaker
– Help learn the tool
– State expectations
up front
– Allow buffer for late
– Count on students
to be ready to go
on day one
– Start content-based
work until everyone
is ready to start
– Communicate in a
manner that you do
not wish the
learners to adopt
Selecting Instructional Media
• Determine, as best you can, the technology
that learners will be using
• Only use that media which will truly
enhance the instruction (or, don’t use media
for media’s sake)
• Make configuring computers (plug-ins, etc.)
as easy as possible
• Provide transcripts of media elements for
learners without plug-ins or with slow
Assignment Guidelines
• Be as explicit as possible regarding
• Provide a model whenever possible
• State how to turn assignments in
– Include file saving and uploading
directions as relevant
• State when to turn in assignments
(may need to include time zone)
Designing Discussion
• Remember, “discussion” is a generic title
given to a complex activity
• Discussion can take on many formats
• Discussion doesn’t just “happen” -- it
must be carefully designed and facilitated
Common Instructor Complaints
• Students don’t participate
• Students all participate at the last
• Students post messages but don’t
• Facilitation takes too much time
• If they must be absent, the
discussion dies off
More Reasons Why...
• Students post messages but don’t
converse, because…
– They must post a min # of messages
– They think the instructor wants to see how
much they know
– Not been taught to value conversation
– They don’t know how to have an online
– Need modeling, good discussion prompts, clear
expectations, multiple answers.
Redirect Off-Task Students
Dealing with Difficult Learners
(Barbazette, Feb 2002)
• Confront known disruptive participants
and ask for help before the event
• Know who question askers are and ask for
their help before they interrupt
• Ask direct questions of talkers and
• Ask each person to make a summary of
the learning pts
• Acknowledge various pts of view.
– …that’s an interesting question, how have you handled similar
– …how do others of you view this issue?
Guide Behavior With Questions and Info
Reducing Online Problems or
• Ask yourself, why are they off task? Look at
the pedagogy?
• Do they value the assignment?
• Are tasks relevant, challenging, & current?
• Are ideas valued and woven into the
• Are you organized?
• Are students in the right class or level?
What to do? Keep it Human
Jennifer Hoffman, Learning Circuits; Jan. 2000.; Judith Smith,
August, 2001; Clive Sheperd, Jan 2002)
Keep the learning process social
Design breaks
Have agenda or structure; establish rules/procedures
Call on by first names
Point to role models, archives, or course alumni
Ask about interests
Include anecdotes and examples
Provide consistent feedback
Allow or foster learning communities
If can’t control, then what to do?
Join up
Give up
Commit suicide
Find a new job
Protest e-learning
There is a
But How Avoid
“This form of structure… encourages
teachers designing new products to
simply “shovel” existing resources into
on-line Web pages and discourages any
deliberate or intentional design of
learning strategy.” (Oliver & McLoughlin,
How Bad Is It?
“Some frustrated Blackboard users who say
the company is too slow in responding to
technical problems with its coursemanagement software have formed an
independent users’ group to help one
another and to press the company to
(Jeffrey Young, Nov. 2, 2001, Chronicle of
Higher Ed)
Intrinsic Motivation
“…innate propensity to engage one’s
interests and exercise one’s capabilities,
and, in doing so, to seek out and master
optimal challenges
(i.e., it emerges from needs, inner strivings, and
personal curiosity for growth)
See: Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R.
M. (1985). Intrinsic
motivation and selfdetermination in human
behavior. NY: Plenum
Motivational Terms?
See Johnmarshall Reeve (1996). Motivating Others: Nurturing inner
motivational resources. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. (UW-Milwaukee)
1. Tone/Climate: Psych Safety, Comfort, Belonging
2. Feedback: Responsive, Supports, Encouragement
3. Engagement: Effort, Involvement, Excitement
4. Meaningfulness: Interesting, Relevant, Authentic
5. Choice: Flexibility, Opportunities, Autonomy
6. Variety: Novelty, Intrigue, Unknowns
7. Curiosity: Fun, Fantasy, Control
8. Tension: Challenge, Dissonance, Controversy
9. Interactive: Collaborative, Team-Based, Community
10. Goal Driven: Product-Based, Success, Ownership
Encourage activities that
motivate thinking.
(Sheinberg, April 2000, Learning Circuits)
1. Tone/Climate:
Ice Breakers
A. Eight Nouns Activity:
a) Introduce self using 8 nouns
b) Explain why choose each noun
c) Comment on 1-2 peer postings
B. Coffee House Expectations
a) Have everyone post 2-3 course expectations
b) Instructor summarizes and comments on how they
might be met
(or make public commitments of how they will fit into
busy schedules!)
1. Tone/Climate:
Ice Breakers
C. Favorite Web Site: Have students
post the URL of a favorite Web site or
URL with personal information and
explain why they choose that one.
D. Two Truths, One Lie
1. Tell 2 truths and 1 lie about
2. Class votes on which is the lie
E. Chat Room Bud: Create a
discussion prompt in one of “X’ number
of chat rooms. Introduce yourself in the
chat room that interests you.
1. Tone/Climate:
Ice Breakers
F. Storytelling Cartoon Time:
Find a Web site that has cartoons.
Have participants link their
introductionsor stories to a particular
cartoon URL. Storytelling is a great way
to communicate.
G. Public Commitments:
Have students share how they will fit the
coursework into their busy schedules.
2. Feedback
Requiring Peer Feedback
A. Require minimum # of peer comments
and give guidance (e.g., Read 3-4 articles
and respond to 3-4 peers)
B. Peer Feedback Through Templates—give
templates to complete peer evaluations.
C. Have e-papers contest(s)
2. Feedback:
D. Self-Testing and Self-Assessments
2. Feedback (Instructor)
E. Reflective Writing
1. Minute Papers, Muddiest Pt Papers
2. PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting), KWL
3. Summaries
4. Pros and Cons
1. Email instructor after class on what learned or
failed to learn…
(David Brown, Syllabus, January 2002, p. 23;
October 2001, p. 18)
2. Feedback (Instructor)
F. Anonymous Suggestion Box
George Watson, Univ of Delaware, Electricity and
Electronics for Engineers:
1. Students send anonymous course feedback (Web
forms or email)
2. Submission box is password protected
3. Instructor decides how to respond
4. Then provide response and most or all of
suggestion in online forum
5. It defuses difficult issues, airs instructor views,
and justified actions publicly.
6. Caution: If you are disturbed by criticism,
perhaps do not use.
2. Feedback:
G. Double-Jeopardy Quizzing
Gordon McCray, Wake Forest University, Intro to
Management of Info Systems
1. Students take objective quiz (no time limit and not
2. Submit answer for evaluation
3. Instead of right or wrong response, the quiz returns a
compelling probing question, insight, or conflicting
perspective (i.e., a counterpoint) to force students to
reconsider original responses
4. Students must commit to a response but can use
reference materials
5. Correct answer and explanation are presented
3. Engagement: Questioning
(Morten Flate Pausen, 1995; morten@nki.no)
A. Shot Gun: Post many questions or
articles to discuss and answer any—
student choice.
B. Hot Seat: One student is selected to
answer many questions from
everyone in the class.
3. Engagement
C. Annotations and Animations:
MetaText (eBooks)
3. Engagement:
A. Electronic Voting and Polling
1. Ask students to vote on issue before class (anonymously or
send directly to the instructor)
2. Instructor pulls our minority pt of view
3. Discuss with majority pt of view
4. Repoll students after class
(Note: B. Delphi or Timed Disclosure
Technique: anonymous input till a due date
and then post results and
reconsider until consensus
Rick Kulp, IBM, 1999)
3. Engagement
C. Survey Student Opinions
(e.g., InfoPoll, SurveySolutions, Zoomerang, SurveyShare.com)
4. Meaningfulness:
A. Perspective Taking: Oral History or
Expert Interview
1. Perspective sharing
discussions: Have learners relate the
course material to a real-life experience.
Example: In a course on Technology &
Culture, students freely shared
experiences of visiting grandparents on
rural farms. The discussion led to a
greater interest in the readings.
4. Meaningfulness:
B. Job or Field Reflections
1. Field Definition Activity: Have
student interview (via e-mail, if necessary)
someone working in the field of study and share
their results
• As a class, pool interview results and develop a
group description of what it means to be a
professional in the field
4. Meaningfulness:
C. Case Creation and Simulations
1. Model how to write a case
2. Practice answering cases.
3. Generate 2-3 cases during semester based on
field experiences.
4. Link to the text material—relate to how how text
author or instructor might solve.
5. Respond to 6-8 peer cases.
6. Summarize the discussion in their case.
7. Summarize discussion in a peer case.
(Note: method akin to storytelling)
4. Meaningfulness:
D. Perspective Taking: Foreign
Katy Fraser, Germanic Studies at
IU and Jennifer Liu, East Asian
Languages and Cultures at IU:
1. Have students receive e-newsletters from a
foreign magazine as well as respond to related
2. Students assume roles of those in literature from
that culture and participate in real-time chats
using assumed identity.
4. Meaningfulness:
E. Authentic Data Analysis
Jeanne Sept, IU, Archaeology of Human
Origins; Components: From CD to Web
A set of research q’s and problems that archaeologists
have posed about the site (a set of Web-based activities)
A complete set of data from the site and background info
(multimedia data on sites from all regions and prehistoric
time periods in Africa)
A set of methodologies and add’l background info
(TimeWeb tool to help students visualize and explore
space/time dimensions)
Students work collaboratively to integrate multidisciplinary data &
interpret age of site
Interpret evidence for site’s ancient environments
Analyze info on artifacts and fossils from the site
5. Choice:
A. Multiple Topics
• Generate multiple discussion prompts and
ask students to participate in 2 out of 3
• Provide different discussion “tracks”
(much like conference tracks) for students
with different interests to choose among
• List possible topics and have students
vote (students sign up for lead diff weeks)
• Have students list and vote.
5. Choice:
B. Discussion: Starter-Wrapper
(Hara, Bonk, & Angeli, 2000)
1. Starter reads ahead and starts discussion and others
participate and wrapper summarizes what was
2. Start-wrapper with roles--same as #1 but include roles for
debate (optimist, pessimist, devil's advocate).
Alternative: Facilitator-Starter-Wrapper
(Alexander, 2001)
Instead of starting discussion, student acts as moderator or
questioner to push student thinking and give feedback
6. Variety:
A. Just-In-Time-Teaching or Syllabus
Gregor Novak, IUPUI Physics
Professor (teaches teamwork,
collaboration, and effective
1. Lectures are built around student
answers to short quizzes that have an
electronic due date just hours before
2. Instructor reads and summarizes
responses before class and weaves
them into discussion and changes the
lecture as appropriate.
B. Variety: The Virtual Classroom
Joachim Hammer, University of Florida, Data
Warehousing and Decision Support
1. Voice annotated slides on Web; 7 course modules with a number
of 15-30 minutes units
2. Biweekly Q&A chat sessions moderated by students
3. Bulletin Board class discussions
4. Posting to Web of best 2-3 assignments
5. Exam Q’s posted to BB; answers sent via email
6. Team projects posted in a team project space
7. Add’l Web resources are structured for students (e.g., white
papers, reports, project and product home pages)
8. Email is used to communicate with students
7. Curiosity:
A. Electronic Seance
Students read books from famous dead people
Convene when dark (sync or asynchronous).
Present present day problem for them to solve
Participate from within those characters (e.g.,
read direct quotes from books or articles)
• Invite expert guests from other campuses
• Keep chat open for set time period
• Debrief
7. Curiosity
B. Online Fun and
(see Thiagi.com
Or deepfun.com)
1. Puzzle games
2. Solve puzzle against
3. Learn concepts
4. Compete
5. Get points
7. Curiosity:
C. Electronic Guests & Mentoring
1. Find article or topic that is controversial
2. Invite person associated with that article
(perhaps based on student suggestions)
3. Hold real time chat
4. Pose questions
5. Discuss and debrief (i.e., did anyone
change their minds?)
(Alternatives: Email Interviews with experts
Assignments with expert reviews)
D. Peer Questions & Team
Meeting: Moderated
8. Tension:
Role Play
A. Role Play Personalities
• List possible roles or personalities (e.g., coach, optimist,
devil’s advocate, etc.)
• Sign up for different role every week (or 5-6 key roles)
• Reassign roles if someone drops class
• Perform within roles—refer to different personalities
B. Assume Persona of Scholar
– Enroll famous people in your course
– Students assume voice of that person for one or
more sessions
– Enter debate topic or Respond to debate topic
– Respond to rdg reflections of others or react to own
8. Tension.
C. Six Hats (from De Bono, `985; adopted
for online learning by Karen Belfer, 2001, Ed Media)
White Hat: Data, facts, figures, info (neutral)
Red Hat: Feelings, emotions, intuition, rage…
Yellow Hat: Positive, sunshine, optimistic
Black Hat: Logical, negative, judgmental, gloomy
Green Hat: New ideas, creativity, growth
Blue Hat: Controls thinking process & organization
Note: technique used in a business info systems
class where discussion got too predictable!
8. Tension:
D. Instructor Generated Virtual
Debate (or student generated)
1. Select controversial topic (with input from class)
2. Divide class into subtopic pairs: one critic and
one defender.
3. Assign each pair a perspective or subtopic
4. Critics and defenders post initial position stmts
5. Rebut person in one’s pair
6. Reply to 2+ positions with comments or q’s
7. Formulate and post personal positions.
9. Interactive:
A. Critical/Constructive Friends,
Email Pals, Web Buddies
1. Assign a critical friend (perhaps based on
2. Post weekly updates of projects, send
reminders of due dates, help where needed.
3. Provide criticism to peer (I.e., what is strong
and weak, what’s missing, what hits the mark)
as well as suggestions for strengthening.
In effect, critical friends do not slide over
weaknesses, but confront them kindly and
4. Reflect on experience.
9. Interactive:
B. Symposia, Press Conference,
or Panel of Experts
Find topic during semester that peaks interest
Find students who tend to be more controversial
Invite to a panel discussion on a topic or theme
Have them prepare statements
Invite questions from audience (rest of class)
Assign panelists to start
(Alternative: Have a series of press
conferences at the end of small group
projects; one for each group)
10. Goal Driven:
A. Gallery Tours
• Assign Topic or Project
(e.g., Team or Class White
Paper, Bus Plan, Study
Guide, Glossary,
Journal, Model Exam
• Students Post to Web
• Experts Review and Rate
• Try to Combine Projects
Motivational Top Ten
1. Tone/Climate: Ice Breakers, Peer Sharing
2. Feedback: Self-Tests, Reading Reactions
3. Engagement: Questioning, Polling, Voting
4. Meaningfulness: Job/Field Reflections, Cases
5. Choice: Topical Discussions, Starter-Wrapper
6. Variety: Brainstorming, Roundrobins
7. Curiosity: Seances, Electronic Guests/Mentors
8. Tension: Role Play, Debates, Controversy
9. Interactive: E-Pals, Symposia, Expert Panels
10. Goal Driven: Group PS, Jigsaw, Gallery Tours
Pick One…??? (circle one)

E-learning survival, e-learning success