These are the discussion we did for the first week:
These questions have been completed.
So these should help you to answer the questions for the Critical Thinking Questionnaire:
John Seely Brown, professor at USC, spoke at MIT and said, “We learn through our interactions with others
and the world and there’s no more perfect medium for enabling this than an increasingly open and organized
World Wide Web.” To learn more about his talk on “Relearning learning” please watch the video below from
MIT World – a free and open site aimed at distributing intelligence to the world: Relearning Learning – Applying
the Long Tail.
The Cartesian method of learning views knowledge as a substance, pedagogy as a knowledge transfer. A
more social view of learning approaches knowledge as a socially constructed (others inform others) – we learn
through our interactions with the world. Advocates of social learning might not be surprised then that one of the
strongest determiners of success at Harvard is how fast you develop a collaborative study group. These study
groups also exist virtually.
Dewey, in “Democracy and Education” warns of the dangers of informal to formal learning. He argues that
students learn best in environments free from constraints and natural to the learner. Based on this notion, you
might reflect on moments where you have seen counter culture classrooms with bean bags, couches, open
spaces for learning where students can move freely around the room in a more relaxed manner. The educators
who designed these classrooms had educational progressives like Dewey in mind.
Based on the philosophy of Dewey, the beliefs of John Seeley Brown, and the idea that study groups are
essential to success and can take place virtually, what type of online learning environment would best meet the
needs of virtual study groups? What would the role of the teacher be in managing and facilitating these
Conducting Research in the Ashford Library
A peer reviewed journal or article is an article or journal that has been reviewed by experts in the field and
deemed to be worth reading by other professionals. Typically this is an extensive process in which reviewers
are carefully vetted for expertise and professional experience. In this assignment, you will have an opportunity
to examine a peer reviewed article and apply what you have learned to a professional scenario or activity.
Please refer to the following tutorials for guidance on conducting scholarly research at the Ashford Library:
About Scholarly Journals and Online Databases
How to Conduct Research Using the Ashford Library
Imagine you are the lead for a team of 10 remote employees in an organization. [Note: The organization might
be an institution of higher education, a PK-12 school, a corporate initiative, or even a military group. The choice
is yours; as you consider this dilemma however, keep the employee/learner audience you have selected in
mind!] The 10 employees live across the United States and are therefore in different time zones. There is no
budget to bring everyone together physically in the same location. The dilemma is that you need to quickly train
your team of 10 on new policies and procedures for your organization about taking leave time. You also need
to train everyone how to use the scheduling system for leave time. A few of the employees suggest a meeting
with the group using a webinar. Pat, one of your employees, recommends Adobe Connect. Ryan, another
employee suggests Blackboard Collaborate. However, you are thinking of free options, such as Skype or
similar free software for synchronous interaction given your budgetary restrictions. To prepare for your
decision, you decide to review literature about synchronous e-learning.
STEP 1: Review Synchronous Learning Literature
Pat sends you Hrastinski’s (2008) article about asynchronous and synchronous e-learning online and Ryan
sends you the McBrien, Jones, and Cheng’s (2009) article on employing synchronous online classrooms for
Hrastinski, S. (2008). Asynchronous and synchronous e-learning. Educause Quarterly, 4, 51-55.
Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eqm0848.pdf
McBrien, J. L., Jones, P., & Cheng, R. (2009, June). Virtual spaces: Employing a synchronous online
classroom to facilitate student engagement in online learning. The International Review of Research in
Open and Distance Learning, 10(3). Retrieved from
Although the articles are helpful, you decide you need more current literature about synchronous learning.
Therefore, you decide to go to your favorite library (i.e., the Ashford University Library!) to research more
current articles about training with synchronous tools.
After reading the articles from Hrastinski (2008) and McBrien, et al (2009), linked above, use the Ashford
University Library to locate at least one more scholarly article about use of synchronous tools for E-Learning
and instructional design. The article needs to come from a peer reviewed source (e.g., Journal) and be a fulltext article.
Tip: Suggested search keywords are “synchronous learning,” “elearning tools,” “synchronous
instructional design.”. You should then use this article(s) to support your response in the weekly
discussion. Please specify the database where you located the article(s) as part of your APA citation.
STEP 2: Research Specific Tools
Review the following product pages for the three products you are considering to gain more familiarity with
each tool in terms of options and pricing. As you review each product, consider how you might design the
training for your team of 10 and what features you will want to incorporate based on the literature about
designing for synchronous learning you reviewed in Step 1.
STEP 3: Write a Response to the Dilemma
Construct a response (e.g., Letter, Email, Video) to your team addressing the suggestions made for webinar
training and the tools you’ve considered. The letter must explain your thoughts on the use of a synchronous
learning as an eLearning tool and discuss specific trends and issues with instructional design in relation to
using synchronous learning. Support your discussion in the response by synthesizing and referring to the
literature you reviewed. For the citation of the article you selected from the Ashford University Library, please
be sure to include the database where you retrieved the article. If you select a video option, a transcript or
closed captioning is required.
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