In both PME 832 and 851, you will be required to contribute to several discussion board topics. These are listed in your respective syllabuses. For those of you who have taken PME 801, the boards were required but not graded directly. For my classes, I did look carefully at what contributions you made to the boards and took this into account when deciding upon a grade. However, in these two courses, you will be graded on each board individually.

So, I would like to discuss my expectations for these boards a bit more thoroughly. I ask you to read about the community of inquiry, ( You can peruse the site and if you have not heard of this model you really must read a few of the articles listed therein.

In brief, the model highlights how we first must make the community (your classmates) feel safe through social presence – making sure everyone understands your  perspective, context and the purpose of your post. This is not always as obvious as you may think. It also requires that you give (literally) permission to others to challenge you, and to feel confident to ask questions of your classmates about their posts. As with any classroom, f2f or virtual, we all must let each of us (the participants) place themselves in the community and in a context where they feel they can contribute.

 COI model front

The next step is the notion of teaching presence. This is the guiding force of the community. These are the questions that we ask each other and more importantly, the answers that we give. I will ask you challenging questions, quite simply to challenge you. Usually, I expect an answer. You are expected to ask questions of your peers. And when asked, you are expected to answer. In other words, to make the most of this discussion board and community, I charge you with asking pointed and direct questions of each other in the posts. Students must ask other students questions. There is only one of me and many of you. This is to push each other forward in the quest for knowledge.

 Once we have social presence and teaching presence, then we will get cognitive presence, the creation of new knowledge, and not before.

So, let me reiterate that not only is it appropriate for you to ask each other questions, but it is imperative that you do. Teaching presence not only comes from the teacher (me), but comes in the form of directing questions and inquiry which is what gives the community direction and guidance for sharing our cognitive presence. Social presence is that which makes us comfortable doing so.

That is why we are here.

Published in PME 832 - Fall 2017
Monday, 29 April 2013 19:34

EDUC 409 - Tell me a story

This week we are going to review some aspects of your performance and try to give you a chance to use a new (old) tool.


One issue that I am encountering is the writing of daily reflections. Many of you are asking if you can do them once a week. If you do, then they are not daily.

Also, many of you are asking if you can just do them in Word and then paste them in. This is also not acceptable because then you will be tempted to not only paste them all on a weekly basis, but also write them on a weekly basis. Please see this post to clarify what you can do.


Related to your reflections is the concept of anecdotal evidence. Many of you are collecting surveys and interview data. Much of this is anecdotal in that it is a collection of short sotries, examples and comments. Please see this post for some links and comments on this type of research.


Please complete this survey which we hope will help to make your TP experience better.

Story Telling

I have talked about this before, and will most likely talk about it again - Story telling.

First of all, let me ask you the meaning of:


to be authentic

I realize that this word can be applied to many different situations. I want you to think about what it means in your teaching....

Good. Now, lets watch the video below. Make notes.

According to the person talking, what are the five main points that you need to consider when telling a story?

Now, over the last few weeks I have watched many of you tell a story. I have seen some of you create digital stories, I have seen some of you sing a story, I have seen some of you tell stories in English and tell stories in Arabic.

I would like to see those stories get better and better!

Go to the Education Community Site:

First, log in and then edit your profile. You change the language for your profile to Arabic.

Second, find the discussion forum topic: Telling a story.

  • In two or three sentences, discuss either:
    • one of these points and how it can make your story better. Use a story you have told recently.
    • story telling in general and how it can help your teaching. Again, use a story you have told recently.

Peek here to see the five points

Published in EDUC 409

Please view the presentation on a paper to be published in the 2013 HCT eLearning Journal. The presentation is at the bottom of this post.

Preview a variety of discussion board formats: