That’s one day until our group, The Balancing Act, starts the Unit 2 teaching on Digital literacies. The Moodle course is taking shape, thanks to the others mainly, and I am learning both patience and to keep calm and trust that things will get done in time. I think one reason why I am not comfortable with groups is the ‘control’ element -if you work on your own, you can control the pace, the timing, the content, whereas of course working in a group you are by necessity reliant on others too. I am reminded of my reticence to get pupils working in groups during my high school teaching time – you’re (to a certain extent) relinquishing control of the class while they discuss and plan in smaller groups, when you would be more comfortable addressing and teaching the whole class. But of course we all need to be given some freedom to work things out for ourselves rather than be told them.
Chapter 8 of the book I am currently reading, Lessons from the Virtual classroom by Palloff and Pratt, devotes a significant part to online groups, going through the aspects of student, group, facilitator, task and technology.
The role of the group is critical to the success of online classes. [..] opportunities for teamwork, the completion of collaborative assignments […] Working with an online group can serve to reduce the sense of isolation..
I guess the groups for the next few units are actually sub-groups because we are already in a group by dint of the fact we are all together on this course and build[ing] a learning community (Palloff2013)
I plan to monitor the thought discussions carefully, make sure I have read all the materials proposed by the others and be both a facilitator and a student over the next two weeks.
Palloff, R. (2013). Lessons from the virtual classroom : the realities of online teaching. 2nd ed.