Thursday, October 20, 2011

Connecting Experiences to Content

Connecting Experiences to Cont
It has been recognized that learning of new information is most effective when this one is connected to previous experiences. According to Horton, W. (2006), when students are asked to bring upon discussions their own life experiences, they feel safe and it becomes easier for them to find things in common. Furthermore, working in groups becomes easier because learners can identify with classmates who have more things in common than not.
To prepare for this assignment, read the article provided below and then reflect on the following questions: 
Article: Online Learning: Interaction is Not Enough

  • If in every class we face situation which we can connect to our life experiences, how do you think discussions may be focused on the content being facilitated rather than on the life experiences of all the learners?
  • How effective is real collaborative learning in an online class when specific guidelines are given for learners to engage?
By Friday,post an entry with your responses to the questions listed above. Then share a synthesis of your thoughts regarding your own experiences with drawing from your life experiences to interact not only with content but also with other learners.

By Sunday, read your classmates’ posts, and comment on the contributions of at least two of them.
Note: Your contribution will be assessed based on the use of this rubric. You are able to download it if you would like to use it as a reference to your responses by clicking "Download File" on the window from


Garrison, D. R., & Cleveland-innes, M. (2005). in Online Learning : Interaction Is Not Enough. Sciences-New York, 19(3), 133-148.

Horton, W., Designing for the Virtual Classroom, E-Learning by Design). Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used with permission from John Wiley & Sons Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is fraud. It means taking credit for doing or saying something which was said or done before by someone else. As with the expression of original ideas or inventions, copyright laws protect these intellectual properties (Brown, V., Jordan, R., Rubin, N., & Arome, G., 2010). According to Palloff and Pratt (n.d.), plagiarism is no more common in online learning environments than it is in face-to-face learning environment.

One of the ways to detect plagiarism is the use of software such as Turnitin. However there are opposing groups to the use of such software (Brown, V., Jordan, R., Rubin, N., & Arome, G., 2010). Instead, changing the way we engage learners in more authentic experiences may contribute to decreasing cheating in the first place.

Ways to decrease plagiarism are various:

• Assignments which would encourage each learner to contribute from their life experiences.
• Increase usage of internet tools: wikis, blogs, email, etc (Brown, V., Jordan, R., Rubin, N., & Arome, G., 2010).
• Model contributions to online discussions or through internet tools and provide plenty of practice on how to use the information found on resources – paraphrasing, quoting, referencing.
• Implement peer evaluation as a way to gather not only individual information but in sharing with others what has been learned within the community of learners (As found in Effective Peer Critique video) .
• Presenting specific expectations to learners in reference to what consequences they would face in case plagiarism is detected.
• Lastly, increasing learner’s confidence in their writing skills might reduce plagiarism since this might be unintentional (Elander, J., Pittam, G., Lusher, J., Fox, P., & Payne, N., 2010).


Brown, V., Jordan, R., Rubin, N., & Arome, G. (2010). Strengths and Weaknesses of Plagiarism Detection Software. Education And Training, 11(1).

Effective Peer Critique Video. Laureate Education, Inc.

Elander, J., Pittam, G., Lusher, J., Fox, P., & Payne, N. (2010). Evaluation of an intervention to help students avoid unintentional plagiarism by improving their authorial identity. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(2), 157-171. doi:10.1080/02602930802687745

Palloff and Pratt (n.d.). Video “Plagiarism and Cheating”. Laureate Education, Inc.