I use VoiceThreadin my online course as an ice-breaking activity to support and facilitate social interaction in an online web-based teaching and learning environment:
So students can get to know each other.
So students will feel a sense of belonging in the course.
To establish a sense of class community. So students will establish trust with me and their classmates – so we can move on to teaching and cognitive presences. (Garrison, Anderson, Archer, 2000)
So students can form distinct impressions of others in the course – so students feel those they interact with are “real.”
So students can form a distinct impression of me. I want them to know that I am “real” and that i am more than just their professor. I use the interview of my daughter to help them see me through her eyes. It helps them to seem me as multidimensional, and that i am not just what i do, i am also a mom, a wife, an artist, and i like chocolate! : )
The various commenting options can be used in a multitude of ways to personalize, add humor to, and to self-disclose within interactions. Interactions can be extemporaneous, ephemeral, conversational, or more formal or scripted presentations. Students can co-create the VT conversation by adding central images and commentary, or respond to instructor-created materials. Within a VT, interactions are enhanced with voice and the tone that comes with one’s own voice, which conveys a sense of personality to help students form distinct impressions of the instructor and their classmates. VT allows interaction that significantly supports building social presence and a sense of class community starting with the icons/avatars that represent one’s contributions, and by facilitating the use voice, video, tone, images, even the pen annotation tool, to create an environment that is a rich multi-sensory experience .
How do you build a successful online community for education and professional development? Create relevant value.
What defines success in online communities? Members find relevant value in the community and engage, contribute and participate in the community.
What elements of community building contribute to the ongoing engagement of members in an online community? -generosity and willingness to share what you know for the good of the community -shared passion, values, interests, purpose -positive non irritating communications -relevant content -rulz – aup – tolerance, respect -a continuum of expertise is represented in the community from novice to rockstar -leadership with cred, skillz, and willingness – it also helps to have heart, charm, personality, and a POV = passion -supports network and ways to contribute and a place to talk – interact. -TRUST and a shared sense of belonging. -continuous improvement with community input -interaction.
What role do community leaders play in the sustainability of their online community? depends on where the community is in its life cycle. at the beginning it is essential that leaders play a major role – Herculean effort that requires authentic heart, genuine passion. it requires being a force of nature.
How do you encourage members to create content? ask questions, provide a focus and context for relevant affinity groups and discussions
What kind of community features are most used? profiles, introductory discussions
Can you share any best practices for moderating a community? keep it fresh/updated, with regular current relevant new content. Work smart not hard. Guide, seed, cultivate, model, give generously of your IP and time. don’t trick people or use gimmicks.
What kind of rules or guidelines will your community have? -new member guide – what you can do features – description of and links to all the stuff you can/should do to get started. -community guidelines- what NOT to do and what to do. -FAQs -TOU -a way to report problems/suggestions/questions -privacy -copyright
How do you measure success? People join, share, contribute, participate, interact, come back, invite other/more people, post content, initiate interaction, respond, express that the resources and community are valuable People value their membership and feel ownership of and belonging to the community.