Here’s the second to the last of my discussions for Designing Instruction for eLearning. I really learned a lot in this class and enjoyed my time and interactions with my classmates on the discussion board. This week, we had to post a best practice theme related to the design of engaging and fair collaborative experiences within an eLearning course. Below is my response.Ohhhhh… you should see some of the responses to my posting.
“Only the educated are free.” – Epictetus
Best Practice Theme
The best practice I have selected is to group students by ability in the online classroom.
Ability grouping refers to a practice of placing students into different small groups based on their initial achievement skill levels, readiness, or abilities (Hu, Makel, & Olszewski-Kubilius, 2016, p. 850). Teachers in different grade levels may use ability groups for any number of reasons. Some teachers may wish to use ability grouping to personalize teaching. Some may want to use ability grouping as a form of competition between students for academic standing (Life, 2015, p. 690). The reason I selected grouping students by ability is that ability grouping can encourage team building among students.
The most effective teams, no matter the hobby, profession, or sport, the best results are usually found when people’s strengths and weakness are utilized in for the good of the team (Eisenhauer, 2017). The same logic can be found when it comes to students and how they collaborate in the classroom, either online or in a brick and mortar setting. When students participate in a collaborative project, the classes where students are grouped by ability will have an advantage (Helgeson, 2017, p. 43). This is because of how each member of the group is categorized and identified by their abilities.
For a particular group project like a science experiment, students who are strong writers or readers may work on finding literature for a project. Teachers can also do the opposite of the above suggestion. Students who are strong in certain areas can be placed intentionally in a weaker position to help the student grow and learn instead of having the student stay in a place where they are strong.
Is a teacher’s attitude or predisposition an indicator of how they will group students, or will teachers rely on individual student abilities as a factor when placing students in groups according to the students’ ability?
Eisenhauer, T. (2017). 5 ways to effectively determine employee strengths and weaknesses. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/effectively-determine-employee-strengths-2951397
Helgeson, J. (2017). Differentiating through literature circles. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 53(1), 41-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00228958.2016.1264821
Hu, S. S., Makel, M. C., & Olszewski-Kubilius, P. (2016). What one hundred years of research says about the effects of ability grouping and acceleration on K-12 students’ academic achievement: Findings of two second-order meta-analyses. Review of Educational Research , 86(4), 849-899. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/0034654316675417
Life, J. (2015). Success in higher education: the challenge to achieve academic standing and social position. Interactive Learning Environments , 23(), 683-695. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2013.792843