Otl201 Post 5

What are the 2-3 most important concepts that have impacted your thoughts on student engagement and retention during this course?

-I would say that the instructor strategies are what have most impacted my thoughts on the topic of student engagement and retention. These strategies appear helpful in both creating a more responsive environment for the students, as well as allowing instructors (who have not had a hand in creating the content) more sense of ownership and control. The activities that are of most interesting to me are the suggestion to include a tutorial at sensitive or difficult points in the course as well creating a FAQ.


Discuss your rationale for implementing 1 or 2 course facilitation strategies to increase student retention and engagement.

-I plan to implement both a tutorial at sensitive or difficult points in the course as well creating a FAQ. I also plan to ensure that I create an environment that emphasizes flexibility, and respects the needs of online learners. My rationale for implementing these strategies includes my desire to create a responsive and safe learning environment. Additionally, I was a co-author on the course I will be teaching, so I know the students will be expected to explore some personal experiences, attitudes, skills, and values as part of their course work.


Identify 2-3 specific goals that you would like to achieve in light of what you have learned about social presence and creating effective educational media.

Goal 1:

I will look for opportunities to naturally emphasize my social presence in my course (s) before the students begin the course (m/t). I will aim for at least three opportunities—at the beginning, mid-point, and end (a/r).

Goal 2:

In reviewing the course before it begins, I will also identify at least two early opportunities to inject support in the form of video tutorials (s/m). The tutorials will be brief, but inclusive and descriptive with an invitation to ask for further support (a/r/t).

Goal 3:

I will use student questions and comments to inform a FAQ document (s). I will add questions and responses as they occur (m/a), and aim to post the FAQ within the first or second week of students moving through the course (t). I will also revisit the document on a regular basis.


Think about some questions you still have with respect to student engagement and retention.

-I am interested in exploring more strategies for engagement and retention.

-In one of my online courses, we utilize conference calls with or without adobe connect, and I a plan to explore the findings on these strategies.

-I am also interested further exploring how I can ensure students feel comfortable enough in the environment to ensure their needs are met.


OTL101 Post 4

OTL101 Post 4

Are there any gaps between your practice of offering feedback to students and what Hattie recommends?

  • Much of what Hattie said about offering feedback really resonated with me. I believe I am guilty of several missteps examined in the article most often out of a desire to be nice, and encouraging of student efforts.

In what ways can you improve the effectiveness of the feedback that you provide for your students?

  • I found the article as well as the diagram helpful in allowing me to be more deliberate and planful in the feedback I offer students in the future. I think the idea of appropriately challenging students toward specific goals through feedback is something I try to do with my students; however, this article opened my eyes to feedback opportunities and possibilities of which I had not previously considered or had previously misjudged the effectiveness (i.e. offering feedback to the entire class).????


Olt101 Post 2


What do you know now that you did not know prior to starting the course?

  • Much of the information provided to this point wasn’t necessarily new; however, I really appreciated the exploration and breakdown of the practical inquiry model. Additionally, my background is not in education, so I am always interested in exploring theories and practices that strengthen and/or reinforce my teaching.  I am grateful for a forum that allows us the opportunity to explore these ideas.

What gaps or discrepancies do you notice between your ideas in Post 1 and what you have learned since then in Lesson 1?

  • The gap that stands out for me most is the iterative nature of the learning. In my previous post I reflected in the importance of safety and responsiveness, and perhaps I missed the fact that as critical inquiry is iterative my attention to the quality of the environment must be iterative as well.

What questions would you like to explore on the topic of cognitive presence?

  • I am interested in further exploring practical opportunities to best support meaning making and genuine engagement within the CoI thereby maximizing that teaching presence. I really appreciated the focus on process and product as well, and I hope to explore these aspects further.

Provide an example of how you have seen effective cognitive presence modeled in online learning.

  • In my online teaching experience, I do see this process in every cohort, and with almost every student-participant. I teach adoption education courses (AEP’s). In the first of the twelve modules student-participants are introduced to the concept of openness with birth family (triggering event), and this concept is often uncomfortable and even upsetting for many learners. Throughout the course, the student-participants engage (exploration) with the course material, each other, and myself. Here they are encouraged to test the applicability of the theory plus their feelings on the issue of openness against adoption research, the experiences of previous adoptive families, child-development, and the legislation. A great deal of personal reflection, and group exploration occurs throughout this period. In their (integration) phase, student-participants must construct their own meaning with the idea of openness, and it’s value to both themselves and their future child(ren). From this point, student-participants must begin to achieve (resolution) an understanding of openness into their family planning. They must be able to articulate their desired openness model to adoption professionals and each other.

Tanya  ????

Post 1


My name is Tanya, and my answers to question 3 are the following:

What is the most important characteristic of high quality online learning environments and why it is important?

  • I have taught in an online cohort-based moodle environment for the last few years, and there are a few qualities I have experienced as beneficial to a high-quality learning environment. I have found that establishing a safe and respectful environment is paramount when students do not have the benefit of other typical classroom cues.  In my experience, responsiveness and patience have also proved to be important instructor qualities as they allow me to bridge the electronic gap that sometimes leaves students feeling “alone” in their learning. Both these qualities seem to better facilitate the trust learners need to establish to effectively engage in the process, and take chances in their learning.????

What is one thing that you have learned about teaching online (or face-to-face if you haven’t taught online) in the last year and how has it impacted your practice?

  • I have found that online learning can be very anxiety producing for some students, and this anxiety must be addressed (normally successfully and simply through time, experience, and support within the environment) before students are going to feel comfortable with the course work. I tend to offer a lot of support and increased responsiveness in the beginning to ensure students are able to achieve an early sense of competency.  Ironically, this is my first experience with blogging, so I am feeling a lot of that anxiety, and I am hoping to feel some competency soon. ????

What questions do you have about online teaching and learning?

  • I have a few questions I am interested in exploring. First, I look forward to learning more about TRU-OL’s teaching and learning environment. Second, I am always interested in exploring issues of assessment and feedback especially in an online environment. Finally, I am very interested in hearing how others have motivated students to engage, keep up, and generally progress through their courses in a timely manner.

I am looking forward to this course.

Tanya ????