Empowering Knowledge-Building Pedagogy in Online Environments: Creating Digital Moments to Transform Practice

Wendy Barber, Stacey Taylor, Sylvia Buchanan
unpublished
The idea behind this collection is to present current trends in e-learning from the wide range of research topics presented at the conference. The main emphasis is on social and mobile digital learning and the growing role of MOOCs in online Education. Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine a specific online pedagogical tool, "Digital Moments" that can be an effective strategy for building online communities in a knowledge building environment. While the paper will examine the
more » ... examine the specific techniques and teaching methodologies that enabled the authors to create authentic online learning experiences in undergraduate and graduate courses, it also analyses how and why this strategy moves beyond simple constructivist thinking to the complexities of teaching in the digital world. Knowledge building in online environments requires students to take risks, try new digital tools, and find the modalities that work best to express the new knowledge they are creating. This pedagogical approach views students as more than consumers of technology, but creators of new and innovative digital means of expressing concepts. Using both synchronous and asynchronous methodologies, the authors examined the highs and lows of translating meaningful face to face practice to the online environment. The paper examines teaching strategies used in a six week online graduate course using Adobe connect, Blackboard LMS and synchronous weekly meetings. Through the use of unique strategies such as "digital moments" and embracing creative thought, an authentic, constructivist community was created. The authors' journey to developing this authenticity, their online pedagogical style and an innovative, safe learning community has been chronicled using narrative qualitative inquiry in this paper. The writers' use of digital moments empowers students to create and have ownership of their own online community. This paper articulates their journey into the abyss of digitizing themselves as teachers; it examines the specific techniques used for best practice in online learning, while simultaneously celebrating the splash of colour that is essential to brighten digital learning environments.
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