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ROLE: Research in Online Literacy Education; A GSOLE Publication

Research in Online Literacy Education, 2020

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Developing an Ecology of Feedback in Online Courses in the Disciplines

by Alexandria Rockey and Kem Saichaie

Originally published as part of Research in Online Literacy Education, Vol. 3, No. 1

The growth of online courses across public and private non-profit higher education institutions (Seaman, Allen, & Seaman, 2018) establish the need for empirically-based pedagogy to guide instruction in this unique context. Interactions between instructors and students are important for the success of an online course, but online courses are often criticized for a lack of instructor-student interactions. Integrating feedback in online courses provides an opportunity for instructor-student interactions and to foster student learning. This study examines an ecology of feedback to understand how students perceived feedback, what feedback instructors gave, and how technologies mediated this feedback in an online course in the disciplines. Findings suggest feedback variations occurred over the term in three ways: student perceptions of the feedback, types of feedback instructors provided, and technologies used to provide feedback.

“Not-So-Invisible Mending”: Developing Editing Skills in Large Online Classes through Visible Labour

by Ariella Van Luyn, Beck Wise, and Kate Cantrell

Originally published as part of Research in Online Literacy Education, Vol. 3, No. 1

To learn to work as editors, students must develop a diverse set of practical and metacognitive skills that far exceed proofreading strategies; however, teaching these is challenging because, as Tuffield (2015) and Johanson (2006) note, editing is a largely invisible practice. This challenge is amplified in an online context, where students work remotely and asynchronously, further concealing the labour involved in producing an edited text—and further amplified in the large, low-touch classes characteristic of Australian writing programs. In this paper, we assess the development and implementation of a vocationally-focussed editing class at an online university in Australia, and argue that by foregrounding metacognition and reflection while working with “live” texts (Dunbar 2017), instructors can effectively support the development of editing skills in large classes. However, implementing regular, low-stakes learning activities and focussing on metacognition challenged students’ existing study practices, while the learning management system (LMS) did not always support such pedagogical strategies. We offer potential solutions—including managing student expectations, offering flexible timelines, and working against the grain of the LMS—for other instructors developing editing classes intended to support diverse students in large online courses.

Distributed Localized Instruction: Using Skype to (Re)create On-Site Learning Experiences in International Online Education

by Kirk St.Amant

Originally published as part of Research in Online Literacy Education, Vol. 3, No. 1

A growing number of forces are shaping online education today. The backgrounds of students seeking learning opportunities are shifting as online instruction provides new options for pursuing formal education. Folded into this context is the rapidly expanding global dimension of cyberspace. Thus, who we teach is changing as much as how – or via what media – we provide instruction. Meeting these needs requires new approaches to offering online instruction and new examinations of the technologies we can use. This entry summarizes one instructor’s experiences using a particular synchronous communication technology (Skype) to teach an online class in an international context.

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