Any tech tools, resources, recommendations, including the vast world of online learning.

Frustrations with Online Learning

Keith Heggart High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

I thought we should have a discussion forum where we can discuss things that really frustrate us with online learning. Ideally, this would be a constructive discussion, with contributors suggesting solutions for our frustrations.

So, here goes my biggest frustration: Assessment and Marking. How can we take the paper out of the online learning process? I can get students to learn and complete work online. I can get them to submit work online. But when it comes to marking the work and giving feedback, I am yet to find a system that is as quick and as efficient - as well as meaningful - as simply writing comments on a printout of student work.

I've tried editing via word processing, but that is cumbersome. I've tried using a digital pen, but that lacked the precision I needed.

So, any ideas out there?

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High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Quote:Pat, Online learning

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Pat,

Online learning costs a lot. Thankfully, we have a great grant writer that got us into the online learning arena. Our district initially offered only credit recovery in online classes, but this summer we are offering new credits in English, math and science. We have registered 70+ students at this point. We hope that, when grant money is no longer available, the district will recognize that it is important to fund these classes without the grants.

Hi Maureen,
It would be great to hear more about how this is going, as it progresses. Can you give us some updates, where you discuss what parts of your online learning trial have worked well, as well as others that need more development?

Keith.

Instructional Technology Specialist for Sussex County Public Schools

Use Google Docs! :-)

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Have you considered using Google Docs? You could create a quiz or test using Google Forms; have the students respond whether to multiple-choice, short answer or whatever; then add comments to each students answers within the spreadsheet where all the answers are stored; copy and paste each student's responses with your comments into a spreadsheet created just for assessment for that student and voila! Now you have one document to track each student's progress plus being able to add your comments and you have the overall class spreadsheet to show overall scores and comments.

High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Hi Anita, That sounds like a

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Hi Anita,
That sounds like a great idea! Do you have like an instructional demo or video showing how you did it?
Keith.

Instructional Technology Specialist for Sussex County Public Schools

Hi Keith,I haven't created

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Hi Keith,
I haven't created what I call 'Quick Start Guides' but may do this over the summer. Meanwhile, I will provide you some links to help get your feet wet with some practice. I am pretty much self taught in this and I hope these links will help get you started.

Here are some links to some sites to help with learning more:
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dcdn7mjg_72nh25vq
http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddnctvgt_216hf44mcfn

Here is a link to a blog which has some really good info on it especially the 'Quick Checklist' towards the bottom and then all the links provided there. http://tbarrett.edublogs.org/2009/10/21/introducing-google-docs-to-the-c...

Here are some links to some videos to help you with this:
Google Docs in Plain English: http://bit.ly/9hAa0L

Or, just go to the Google Channel or community at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Google
http://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleDocsCommunity

Here is a link to a quiz template you can use. http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AiXKkRApaS28dFJ4RlhmeVZNakptc3VP...

Just open the quiz template link. You will see the spreadsheet where the data will go once the students submit their quiz. Click on the 'Form' tab and then click on 'Go to live form' so you can see what the quiz will look like when your students go to take it. After viewing it, you can then make a copy of this form for yourself by clicking on 'File' and then 'Make a copy'. You will then see a copy of this form in your Google Docs. You can just rename it to be your 'master copy' and preserve the formatting of it. Then open it up, make another copy and rename it to be whatever quiz you want it to be. Once you have your quiz named, then open it up, click on 'Form' and then on 'Edit form'. It will open up in a new window and you can edit it from there. Play around with it and feel free to contact me. The videos links I provided will help tremendously with this too.

Wish you the best with it all and hope this helps,
Anita

Second Grade Teacher Public School

Gess Teacher

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I am finishing my Masters Degree with fellow "live" cohort members. One of my last assignments, in lieu of a final reflection paper, was to advocate for NOT having the Lesley University branch programs be "reduced" to a series of online courses. NM is pretty big and I understand people feel isolated and need the online/outreach. I had never considered online courses all throughout my career (18 yrs.) I was delighted to find Lesley and,all cohort members agree that developing community that's encouraging and empathetic can only happen "live".

Second Grade Teacher Public School

I am currently working on my

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I am currently working on my Masters Degree through Lesley University. One of the last papers I wrote, in lieu of a final reflection, was a letter to the director of the program advocating that the Lesley Program NOT be reduced to a series of online courses. I can appreciate that some find them convenient, but I have never chosen an online course throughout my career. The entire cohort agrees that developing and cultivating our community was vital to our drive to do our best and advance our group. We are a cohort that shares encouragement and empathy for one another; I wouldn't have it any other way.

High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Hi Gess, Interesting point

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Hi Gess,
Interesting point that you make; in some ways, I am the exact opposite. I recently completed my masters in a completely online way; the only time I stepped into the university was for my graduation! For me, the strength of doing the work in this way was that I was able to work at a time that best suited me - whether that was early in the morning or late at night. I felt that my cohort did communicate well, via online discussions which were moderated by the lecturers, although different lecturers did this more or less effectively than others.

However, there were times when I did want to talk to someone face to face; you know, just a question to ask - was this right or something similar.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my experience - sort of the other side of the coin.

Keith.

Online Course Credit

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If the courses are from a regionally accredited college or university this makes no sense. The accreditation process requires the course to be the equivalent of an onsite course and also requires the university to provide access to appropriate services (library, advising, etc.)for online students.

Irene Smith, NBCT, Yakima, WA

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I have found markup in Microsoft Word to be effective, but you have to teach students how to use it before you can expect them to engage with it.

What you use depends

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on the CMS/LMS that you're using. If you want students to submit written work using drop boxes, which are a part of most CMSs, then you can download their papers to Word. Then use the Comments function to create text boxes with your comments, corrections, etc. Then attach/upload the students' papers after you save them. I do that for marking up my master's project students' papers. Seems to do the trick.

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