Teaching Strategies That Enhance Online Communities
Dr. Selia Karsten
TCC Poster Session:  April 15 - 5pm EST - Concurrent C

Holistic Approaches to Information Technology is an online graduate course that I teach at the University of Torontos Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. I developed and first delivered this course in 2002.  It has now been given three times as a 12-week course, and four times (most recently 2007) compacted into six weeks for the summer session. While aimed at a masters level, doctoral students are also allowed to join. A waiting list is maintained insuring enrolment of at least the maximum of 20 students. Over time, strategies have been developed that enhance and insure a dynamic online community of learners.

The course attracts those who are interested in holistic curriculum as well as those involved with computer applications. The ensuing mix of learners creates a marvelous cross fertilization of ideas. Three learning management systems support independent work and projects, learning partnerships and team projects. More technically advanced students act as mentors to those new to both online learning and to computers and the software used to develop projects.

In the TCC Poster Session  I give a guided tour of the main information site for the course (as it was delivered summer 2007) with all related resources. Learning partnership assignments and team work are primary strategies that are explored in this session.  Participants in the session are also shown a gallery of examples of both independent and team projects that have been produced during the course since 2002.

April 2008