Discussion Question: Overcoming Barriers

We have all experienced barriers in our educational or professional settings. Although barriers can be difficult and frustrating, they push us to problem-solve and to ignite our inner creativity. For some, barriers can shut down growth and improvement, while for others, barriers can increase motivation and effort. There are many barriers that exist in the development of online courses and the integration of technology.

I recently read an article titled “Barriers to the Adoption of Online Learning Systems.” The focus of the article and research within the article is online learning systems in higher education. The overall purpose of the research was to try to determine what steps could be taken to increase the effectiveness of the online learning systems in the institutions (Guthrie, 2012).

Guthrie (2012) outlines four barriers of online learning in higher education. These barriers include the following:

  • An unwillingness of instructors to give up control of course design and methods for teaching content
  • Lack of funding and investment
  • Changes in teaching roles and expectations
  • Institutional costs are not changing as originally thought with an increase in online students

I believe collaboration and strategic planning can help organizations overcome barriers. With that said, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in relation to these questions:

  • What do you see as the largest barriers in implementing online learning or technology in your organization?
  • What might have to change in order for your organization to overcome these barriers?
  • How is your role affected by the barriers and how might you personally move forward?
  • Are there some barriers that cannot be overcome? If so, how might this affect your organization or your work?

Resource:

Guthrie, K. M. (2012). Barriers to the adoption of online learning systems. EDUCAUSE Review, 47(4). Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/barriers-adoption-online-learning-systems

5 ways to use Twitter in e-learning [List]

Modeling is one of the best methods of learning a new technology tool. I have been fortunate to have participated in two graduate classes that have utilized Twitter as a collaborative learning tool over the past year and a half. As a result, I understand the benefits that Twitter can bring to the online classroom and also some of the pitfalls to watch out for. Below are my top five ways that Twitter can be used or can enhance an online classroom:

1) Sharing resources and current events

It is very easy to share links in twitter. You can shorten a link using a service such as bitly.com. Students can click on the link from Twitter and are instantly brought to relevant resources or current events. This can help to deepen understanding of a topic or provide real-life experiences related to a topic.

2) Asking students questions about content or students asking you questions about content

I love the idea of posting a question in Twitter that all students can respond to. Responding in Twitter can appeal to both an introvert and extrovert student. Questions can be simple or complex. You can also use Twitter as a place for students to ask questions.

3) Encouraging student interaction and relationship building

Twitter allows for students to see what their peers are posting and to reply to their posts. It is a social media tool that encourages interaction and the benefits increase as participation increases.

4) Using a course hashtag

A course hashtag organizes posts made by the students or instructors of the online course. It helps to build community, but also provides an easy way to stay on top of tweets made by your students.

5) Connecting participation in Twitter to overall course participation

By connecting student interactions in Twitter to course participation and grades, students will be more invested in using the tool and will hopefully gain appreciation for its benefits. Students will most likely participate at various levels, but setting a weekly goal will help encourage some consistency.