Web 2.0: Aligning Learning Outcomes with Online Learning and Assessment Strategies
My favorite thing about the internet is that it is, quite simply, the world’s most amazing knowledge machine ever created. But, it runs on wonder. Without wonder, it becomes my least favorite thing—the world’s most seductive distraction device. – Michael Wesch, Cultural Anthropologist and Media Ecologist in an interview on National Geographic’s Explorer’s Journal.
Learners have the best opportunity to achieve the goals of a course when educational activities and resources relate closely to the intended learning outcomes contained within a learning module or course. In this section you will find resources for effective practices using Web 2.0 tools which can be ‘wondrous‘ experimental vehicles for active learning: information gathering, knowledge attainment, collaboration, synthesis and presentation, all following a natural alignment with many course goals.
Our CUNY Commons Wiki has a section for Web 2.0 eTeaching and eLearning: Concepts, Theory, Uses, and Research which includes A Guide to Social Learning This guide explains Web 2.0 social learning tools (e.g., blogs, wikis, social networks, social bookmarking, podcasts, RSS, micro-blogging, photo sharing and video-sharing sites) and illustrates some of the ways in which instructors can use these tools to help students learn.
The Read-Write website provides a succinct overview of the enormous topic of e-learning in an ‘all you need to know’ genre. According to the site: e-learning 2.0 (as coined by Stephen Downes) takes a ‘small pieces, loosely joined’ approach that combines the use of discrete but complementary tools and web services – such as blogs, wikis, and other social software – to support the creation of ad-hoc learning communities. While the articles on this topic date to 2006, (the exploration into how web 2.0 would have an impact on education was still in its infancy then and its potential had not been realized) Steve Hear writes that these tools were ‘known for their ability to empower students and create exciting new learning opportunities’ and that this will ‘help define its impact on education’.
Still, their alignment with learning outcomes is a hot topic for educators just beginning to investigate the use of these tools for themselves.
This section will contain project based exemplary’s using Web 2.0 Tools
A blog (short for web log) is an electronic diary posted on the Internet, and usually created with software that requires little programming expertise. This technology is making its way into education because it promotes, among other things, good writing, active learning, and information literacy.
Blogging projects showcased at CUNY:
A wiki (from wikiwiki, meaning “quick” in Hawaiian) is a website or a webpage that can be edited by anyone accessing it. A well-known wiki is Wikipedia, an encyclopedia whose entries are written and regularly edited and updated by its readers.
Wikis lend themselves extremely well to collaborative writing projects, not only because they facilitate producing multi-authored pages, but also because wikis keep histories of a page’s edits. A wiki is, by design, a collaborative work in progress, progress that can be tracked back to its earliest stages and that can be added to by anyone. For an introduction to wikis in the context of education, see:
Lamb, B. (2004) Wide Open Spaces: Wikis, Ready or Not. EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 39, no. 5 (September/October 2004): 36-48. http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm04/erm0452.asp.
A podcast is a syndicated series, delivered via the Internet. Typically the content is audio, but it can also be video.
Podcasting is a useful way to disseminate recordings of lectures. For example, the instructor records and uploads files, and the students subscribe to a syndication feed that automatically delivers new files (and deletes old ones) to a computer and/or a portable media player.
Faculty Blackboard users can activate iTunes for their class, and use it to distribute podcasts.
As the name implies, an electronic portfolio (or digital portfolio) is the virtual version of the real thing. An electronic portfolio might contain information about a student’s progress through an academic degree alongside samples of the student’s work and discussion of future objectives. An electronic portfolio might include writing samples, summaries of projects, and reflections on progress. These are assembled and organized inside a web-based interface that might incorporate a variety of file types including text, images, and sound.
Build Your Own Websites
Jetmir Troshani of LaGuardia Community College has compiled a list of free Website building tools worth visiting, most of which do not require any coding to get up and running in only a few minutes. Most of these simple to use site builders allow you to create a website, blog, embed videos, twitter and use many available widgets.
(Introductions courtesy of Queens College.
- How Do You Know They are Learning?
- Aligning assessment with Learning Outcomes in Outcomes-Based Education