Supporting Virtual Communities

Module Code:   LTTC 5808                  ECTS: 5Teaching_Online_Image

Aim: This module aims to explore the development of a virtual community of practice by equipping practitioners with the knowledge, competencies, experience and confidence to perform the complex role of an eTutor in an online environment. Sustaining this will be exploration of a number of relevant design frameworks for creating and supporting eLearning communities.

When? Online. Jan – Feb over 5 weeks. Dates for 2017 to be confirmed.

To Apply:  You must complete the online application form at least 10 working days prior to module commencement: Online CPD Application Form

Fees and Fee Waiver Information: DIT Staff Fee Waiver: If you are a current DIT staff member i.e. with current staff number, you may be eligible for a DIT Staff Fee Waiver. Please read the DIT Fee Waiver Policy and complete the associated Fee Waiver Application Form‌ if applicable. This form must be completed before or at the time of applying.

What will I learn?  Upon successful completion of this module, participants should be able to:

  • Explore access and motivation issues to initiate online discussion
  • Develop strategies for managing and facilitating online discussion
  • Develop discussion strategies and activities to promote knowledge construction
  • Update their skills to access and use online conferencing for facilitation online learning and in undertaking a range of collaborative tasks online
  • Experience and build confidence in using the online conferencing system as a key resource in building an online learning community
  • Design effective activities for students to undertake individually and / or I groups in an eLearning environment
  • Monitor learner progress and engagement in learning communities
  • Design timely and effective feedback and support for students participating in eLearning collaborative activities as a manageable part of your tutor workload
  • Critically evaluate peer asynchronous and synchronous discussion designs
  • Create, develop and sustain the necessary environment and climate for a successful virtual community
  • Reflect on personal learning experience as an online student and utilise this knowledge to inform practice as an eTutor.

How will I learn?
The module is delivered wholly online using Webcourses and a variety of relevant and current learning technologies. It is offered over an intensive four week period and has been designed to provide time and space to think through complex issues, identify how they impact on the participants’ own work and make plans for future developments in practice. It is activity based, supported by module texts and by specially developed online resources. Each week participants will work through guided readings, record their thoughts online, share their work with others in the group, discuss their own work and that of other members of the group, and analyse and summarise findings. They will also be required to maintain their ePortfolio for the MSc Applied eLearning.

How will I be assessed?    

The module will be assessed in two parts:

  • A collaborative group activity
  • A critical reflective report of the student’s own online participation (involving contributions from self, peers and the module tutor), with examples. Word guide (2,000 – 2,500).
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