Are you a higher education academic looking to build sustainable, meaningful on-line learning communities? Are you wanting more for your students than just mere implementation?

Our research recommends enablers and warns of barriers to develop higher-order thinking in students in the on-line mode, that should be able to help with your learning design.

five enablers

* higher education students should be taught how to learn effectively in the on-line mode it is important to consider that students are not necessarily aware of the unique modes of learning presented in an on-line environment, especially when they commence in a new institution, program or course

* on-line course educators must embed learning tasks that foster self-regulation and higher-order skills in students; look to guiding students with explicit instructions in the early stages of a course, with gradual withdrawal of teaching presence, and scaffolding challenging online activities that can foster long term self-regulatory skills

* on-line course design should include authentic tasks for students to apply new knowledge to real-life scenarios

* on-line educators must be offered ample professional development activities to build their their skills in on-line pedagogy  :challenges for educators are that this requires them to shift to a facilitator role and develop the skills to design and implement appropriate tasks.

* institutions should encourage translation of online educational research to practice.

five barriers

* instructor-centred designs, as students struggle to see the relevance to their current or future jobs.

* assessments based on theory replication and factual questions alone, they lack the requirement to demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving.

* lack of peer sharing or peer collaboration activities

* lack of work-related focus in the course resulting in reduced student participation

* inexplicit prompts with unclear due dates and the absence of examples create mass confusion, especially in larger classes.

Sandhya (Sandy) Maranna, Uni South Australia [email protected] @MarannaSandy @c3lresearch

John Willison, Uni Adelaide, [email protected]

Srecko Joksimovic, Uni South Australia, [email protected] @s_joksimovic

Nayana Parange, Uni South Australia, [email protected]

Maurizio Costabile, Uni South Australia, [email protected]



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