8.11.2005

A Good Read for IVC Pros

I've been reading a great book called, Engaging the Online Learner, by Rita-Marie Conrad and J. Ana Donaldson, published by Jossey-Bass, 2004. The book is based on a framework for engaging online learners which the authors call "the Phases of Engagement". The book also provides specific ideas for tested activities that help improve the online learning experience.

I got really excited when the authors began Chapter 1 by showing the links between the constructivist and problem-based learning philosophies within a collaborative context. This combination naturally creates a student-focused, engaged learning environment, which is ideal for teaching with emerging technology. The authors stress that engaged learning requires "engineering" by the instructor or teacher, and they proceed to share practical techniques.

Key chapter titles and topics in the book include "Adapting Classroom-Based Activities," "Choosing an Effective Communication Tool," and "Measuring Online Engaged Learning." The second part of the book is packed with actual activities that teachers/instructors can use to engage learners in the two-way interactive or other online environments.

PS-- IVC is a common acronym for "interactive videoconferencing"

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