Course 3 Discussion Question #1

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    • #21894
      Katie Holloway
      This DQ has three parts:
      1. Which category of synchronous interaction strategies* do you want to engage more deeply in your practice?
      2. What challenges do you anticipate from students?
      3. How can the safe path help you overcome student reluctance and apathy?
      *category examples include  long response, short response, MAC, or invisible

      Part C: Interaction with Community
      • Respond to at least two of your peers.

      Posting Instructions:
      Hit reply to this thread to post your initial response. Do not start a new topic. Only start a new topic when you are starting a new thread of conversation.
    • #25513
      Pierre Lafun

      Hello again Georgia educators! Hope you are finding this course useful so far.

      Personally, I find the Safe Path formula a real key to promoting engagement online. Using abbreviated responses in the chat is a simple, trivial request that can get learners participating. Celebrating their success there can help them move into other online formats where you may request long responses (like Padlet, discussion forums, or interactive PDFs).

      I know your organization is using Blackboard. What sorts of opportunities for online interaction does the software provide? Could you potentially use any of them to get students having online conversations with you? Or each other?

      • #25614
        Joan l Duffie

        I have students that are on an online learning program. I have not established the Blackboard program for my online students.  I also have In-Person students.

        However, upon implementing the Blackboard program, the following responses is what I plan to do:

        (1) The State Change: I plan to play a variety of music and space out training sessions.

        (2)  Distractions at home, i.e., small children, internet connections, students work schedules

        (3)  By taking small steps until each student feels comfortable with the new way of learning

        • #25621
          Peggy Wilson

          I agree that distractions at home do provide a challenge, and it is important that we are mindful of this when trying to implement our well-thought-out plans!

        • #25740
          Brianna Gillis

          I agree Joan.  Distractions at home have been a challenge for my online class.  We definitely have to take that into consideration.

          • #26131
            Sylvie Archer

            I agree. Nonetheless, we must also be flexible since none of us planned for this pandemic. A lot of students are home with their kids, so it would be inconsiderate of us to expect perfection.

        • #27099
          Annette Merier

          I agree music would be a interesting addition to class.  I think that it might help some students relax.

      • #26130
        Sylvie Archer

        I have already begun using the polls as an instant response strategy. However, I’d like to engage it a lot more since it forces students to participate. The challenge I have faced and expect to face is that sometimes the poll isn’t complete, and fails to have a true summary of response, due to the lack of active participation by one or more students. The safe path I plan to implement to help solve future issues is to provide incentives for participation.

    • #25538
      Roxie Carroll

      My response might appear a bit simplistic, but I think my learning situation is slightly different from the Safe Path model. However, I recognize and understand why the differences might occur. I am a former math teacher who is now teaching ELL completely online, and it as odd as it might appear, I want to go “down” the steps right now, instead of “up” because I think it might be easier or quicker for new students coming in next semester to obtain the level of interaction that we have going on in my class right now.

      To be more specific…my class is very interactive, and we do have a sense of community and belonging. Unlike a lot of instructors, my students stay unmuted unless I’m teaching my short sprint or if there is background noises going on. I always give them notice before I mute them, and I give them the reason. But for most of the class, I want them talking. So, for the specific interaction on the Safe Path that I would like to engage in more is to hop down to a trivial request, such as abbreviated responses, because it is not trivial to them. To be even more specific, I can put up an image in the Blackboard panel and give them two minutes to write as many perfect sentences as they can about the picture. Everyone in the class will type sentences in the chat. I even divide them up in teams and they eagerly compete writing sentences after sentences. Yet, if I ask them to type a “r” in the chat box if they’re ready, I only get one or two responses, although I model it and a couple of students model it, and I acknowledge them. However, they will freely respond to me orally. I’m actually thinking this through as I’m typing (to be expected…purpose), and I think that to follow that path, I will have to actually teach that behavior of typing abbreviated response, but it’s not necessarily trivial to these ELLs. I think something more trivial to them is orally responding to casual questions about themselves and their lives. I’m rambling, thinking outloud, no typing… Anyway, I think I have it a bit resolved, and I will teach abbreviated response next semester because it does save time.

      • #25572
        Roxie Carroll

        I got the abbreviated response quest figured out, and hopefully managed.  I think my students were not perceiving any relevancy in doing this, whereas they did understand the importance of knowing how to write sentence. And yes, I did tell them the reasons for doing so, but they still didn’t grasp how relevant it was to class.  However, I showed them today by taking the time and asking everyone in class individually if they were on the correct link and able to see everything. After I took the time to do this and after I received all my replies, I explained again how this process could be hastened by just an abbreviated response. After that demonstration, all but one cooperated and gave me abbreviated responses when asked. Guess, I’ll keep reminding them.

    • #25568
      Jackie Roach

      It is really hard to answer this question because my online teaching set-up is not like most instructors’ set-ups. My students are completely distance ed students and they work on Blackboard at their own pace. So most of my students’ learning is asynchronous. I do have Collaborate sessions with my students, but most of them are one-on-one since most of my students cannot all meet at common times. However, I do think I can incorporate the abbreviation response into my teaching. When I am doing a Collaborate session, I can use this technique to make sure my student(s) are focused and engaged.

      • #25570
        Roxie Carroll

        Hats off to you, Jackie Roach. I think I would have a very difficult time teaching mostly asynchronously.
        Abbreviated responses would indeed help keep them focused.

        • #25622
          Peggy Wilson

          Jackie, I also face the challenge of getting my students together for synchronous sessions as many adult education students have jobs and families which tug on their time.

      • #25675
        Laura Sanabria

        Roxie, I know what you mean about the relevancy, but I wonder if it was my own hesitation about using this attendance check that had me questioning its relevancy. In the last few sessions I’ve noticed reluctant students in my super multi-level beginners class responding to the abbreviated response, just because they can and it is easy. So, at least they find a way they can participate.

        • #26132
          Sylvie Archer

          Wow! In our program, we don’t have a choice but to engage our students in synchronous learning (live sessions). Howeever, I’ve found out the hard way that students will sign up for classes during their work hours. That means that I am often competing with their work demand. But then I think to myself, what if this is the best they can do to attempt to achieve their dreams. A good balance of empathy and consistency is key.

      • #25741
        Brianna Gillis

        Jackie, My online class set up is the same.  We have an online platform that we use that is self paced, but I have incorporated Blackboard Collaborate twice per week for virtual sessions.  I have been using abbreviated responses in the chat box and the students love the interaction and feedback.  They are really enjoying the class.

      • #26289
        Ericka Reid

        The abbreviated response does help, especially when you want to see if the students have returned from their state change. I also use the hand raised for the students to let me know when they have completed example problems online.

    • #25577
      Shelia Hall

      My class is joined together  Blackboard and face-to- face  for an hour and an half.  I have my BB students using the abbreviation responses, this way my face-to face students can see the BBC responses.  This also helps when the F2F students have to join me on BB, they will know what responses to use.

      • #25585
        Roxie Carroll

        Well, I’m happy to get my using it today. Hopefully, they will continue to do so. My class is all online, but I do know some of our teachers had some face-to-face and some online at the same time. I miss seeing students, but I also love the online component of teaching as well.

        • #25615
          Joan l Duffie

          Once I have Blackboard up and running I  plan to have synchronous and face to face students working together

          • #25616
            Joan l Duffie

            Yes I agree I miss seeing my students in person too!

      • #25840
        Sara Mercer

        I didn’t serve my online students as well when I had face-to-face and online students all working at the same time.  I found myself talking to the students actually sitting in the seats more than jumping back to the computer to see responses for students.  I love the hybrid idea, but need to work on the smooth transition better I guess.

        • #27102
          Annette Merier

          I agree.  When my class is hybrid, I tend to focus more on  the face to face students as well.  One of the reasons is my set up. When I am working on the smart board, I can’t see the computer and so I don’t know if the students are leaving responses.  I have started connecting to the classroom surround sound speakers so that I will hear their replies come in.  The students actually like this and they can talk to each other through my microphone and everyone can hear their responses.

    • #25623
      Peggy Wilson

      Which category of synchronous interaction strategies* do you want to engage more deeply in your practice?
      What challenges do you anticipate from students?
      How can the safe path help you overcome student reluctance and apathy

      1) I want to work on redesigning my course by breaking the instruction into smaller chunks.

      2) The challenges I anticipate is establishing dates and times for synchronous sessions that work for my students.  Presently that is a challenge!  It is very easy for an online class to be out of sight and out of mind, especially with our students’ other life obligations.

      3) Providing clarity through small steps, technical  guidance, purpose, psychological  safety, support, and a sense of belonging can help students relax, trust, participate, and learn!

      • #25841
        Sara Mercer

        I need smaller chunks as well.  This is all a work in progress and I forsee many changes, for the better, coming as I learn.

      • #26290
        Ericka Reid

        Oh, trust me the smaller chunks are so helpful! It has allowed me to focused more on important details, whether it is math, English, or science. It also has allowed the students to stay more focused. They know that the lesson is only going to have a few key details which they feel like they can handle.

    • #25673
      Laura Sanabria


      I’ve already started using the State Change. It didn’t work at first. I had some men extremely reluctant to participate, but all of a sudden, they are stretching, standing up, moving around, touching their head, touching their nose and turning around and rocking out. It just takes a few sessions to get to their involvement. I am amazed! I try to do this with music, but now, I’ve created a slide with the words, and pick on someone to shout out instructions to the rest of the class.

      • #25756
        Mary Baxter


        It is encouraging to hear about the success you’ve had with state changes! I also like how you give students the chance to give out instructions.

      • #26055
        Philandria Williams

        Sometimes people can be reluctant to change, but I’m glad that they joined the fun!

    • #25676
      Laura Sanabria

      After re-reading the DQ, I realize I left out some parts of the question in my answer……

      Challenges with the Safe Path? I have some concerns about keeping students engaged with the longer response activities. I can anticipate tech challenges of having to open a second vehicle of of communication outside the class, do the assignment, take a picture of it and then send it to me, the teacher, who must share the work with the class. LOVELY idea, but too many steps for the technically challenged ( I include myself). I think I would have to opt out for the “do your work” and “show me on screen” . Here again, if they aren’t using a camera, the activity won’t work.

      A version of this  is  – here is your assignment, start it now, you have 10 minutes, finish for homework and send to me. I later project on the screen during the next class. Not nearly as elegant as the Safe Path suggestions but they do enjoy seeing their work displayed.


    • #25742
      Brianna Gillis

      1.  I want to engage more deeply in the Long Response Interactions category.  I have not been using this strategy in my online class this way.  However I have been using short responses and it is working great.  My students love the interaction and I feel it is building their confidence.

      2.  The challenges I anticipate are from technology stand point and getting students to follow through, but I feel like with assistance they will be able to do it.

      3.  The Safe Path participation strategies will increase student engagement by providing a sense of belonging that they do not always feel with online classes.  It will also build their confidence and encourage them to participate and interact with their classmates.

      • #25757
        Mary Baxter


        You bring up a good point about how students do not necessarily have a strong sense of belonging in the online environment. I agree that the strategy can help increase student engagement and participation and foster a sense of belonging.

    • #25755
      Mary Baxter

      1. I am not currently teaching, but I have observed a need to incorporate discussion boards in our classes. We do not currently use this method, but it would help to engage students and create a better sense of community.

      2. We work with ESL students. One of the biggest challenges to incorporating discussion boards is helping students learn how to use them. This is especially true of our lower-level students. They have difficulty navigating new online platforms and understanding detailed instructions.

      3. It is not reluctance and apathy that we need to overcome, but rather confusion. Breaking information down into small steps, as described in the Safe Path, would be a way to overcome confusion and would help the students to feel less overwhelmed. Explaining the purpose would give them motivation to work on becoming comfortable with this new platform.

    • #25836
      Sara Mercer
      1. I would love to see more long responses from students.  It isn’t easy to get them to say more than a word here or there.  Using this strategy may make them be more responsive.  Especially since they can email me the information which won’t put them on the spot.
      2. Many of my students use their phones for class.  This makes it hard to write long prose.  Many have connection issues also which causes problems with keeping up.
      3. Students can take their time in some of the strategies to gather their thoughts and reflect before responding.  The immediate response can be intimidating to some of my shyer students.
      • #26054
        Philandria Williams

        I agree that cell phones are not ideal for longer responses.

    • #26053
      Philandria Williams

      I would like to use MAC and specifically incorporate music. I have enjoyed the music from Mockingbird and think it is an excellent choice for engagement. Students may not enjoy it if it is not their preferred “style” of music, but I can always switch it up. Even if the state change/dancing is an invisible interaction, most students will still enjoy it.


    • #26288
      Ericka Reid

      I would like to start using the long response pathway. I try to have the students interact more, but many times they only will say I agree, or I don’t know. At which time, I would have to try to pry someone to have a longer response.

      I think the only issue I will find using the long response pathway is finding a suitable outlet. Many of my students have internet issues and I do not want to have too many time limits for the students in case they run into issues.

      One way I was thinking to reduce this issue was to also allow the students to email me in case they run into issues. Some do this when submitting homework if they are having issues with BB.

    • #27098
      Annette Merier

      1.  I plan to focus more on short or instant responses.  With these responses, I will know that the students are still with me.  Also students probably would not resist most of these such as typing a letter in the chat box.  I would also like to add in more poll-range questions.

      2.  I think that some students will have difficulty navigating to the chat box.  I think that they will learn quickly and soon will be able to answer with no problems.  As for the poll-range questions, I anticipate some students always answering the middle number like 3 if the numbers are 1 to 5.

      3,  I can start with easy responses like R if you are ready.  I plan to do that one every class.  I also plan to add in something easy like how do like the weather or are you ready for the weekend at the beginning of the lesson to get student interest and get them ready to answer questions in the chat.


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