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Online Classroom?

Discussions and resources for coaches / instructors

Online Classroom?

Postby GregS » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:54 pm

A forum is a great tool: we can discuss (and hopefully learn from) experiences, float ideas, make plans and more... but discussion of technique and skills could present a few issues. For most matters, discussion of nuances is obviously likely to be better face to face... especially for improver / intermediate paddlers!

On the other hand...

...students have been found to be in favor of the self-paced, self-regulated feature of asynchronous discussions compared to face-to-face discussions [...] Everything that gets posted gets read over and over again [...] people are given time to research and consider their comments before replying. This in turn, makes high-quality discussion [...] and appropriately facilitated online discussion can provide a learning environment that allows the immediate application of new information to learners' [...] lives. Besides, online forums are more flexible compared to face to face communication as they provide time to reflect and think and allow both introverted and extroverted students to be involved in online discussions.

Single Blade will work best when those with something to offer "willingly share their wealth of knowledge and experience with other members [such that] every member of the forum can benefit".

See source for above quotes.

  • Note to coaches: we trust that freely available discussion will ultimately encourage interest in, and uptake of, coaching... and will also aid the consolidation of learning. This Forum is not promoted as an alternative to coaching, but as an encouragement towards coaching, and of more targetted coaching.
  • Note to students: this site endorses no specific coaches, and no specific coaching schemes.
Returning to our topic: whilst some threads will be didactic (providing a "how to" guide) most will not... and readers will have to take responsibility for what they make of the content!

  • Note: working out whose contributions can be trusted is a challenge for members of any online community. Our "who's who" guide and culture of referencing sources are both intended to help, but we don't pretend there's an easy answer on this front!
So what CAN we expect? For many, this might be limited to:

  • Introducing techniques and skills, raising awareness of possibilities...
  • Highlighting key considerations: provide "food for thought" on different matters...
  • Getting feedback on experiences...
For advanced / expert practitioners (and especially instructors), we might add:

  • Nuances of techniques and skills...
  • Teaching strategies...
Some determined folk might actually manage to learn techniques and skills through the forum: great. For the majority, I suspect a more realistic aspiration is simply to understand what is being witnessed when observing others (on video or in the wilds).

The forum contains discussions of external materials already available on the web and materials unique to this site. Members are encouraged to use the search facility to find what's needed, but a new discussion thread will usually lead to links being provided. Suggestions for updating existing content are always welcome!

Ps. See also The Four Stages of Learning
GregS
 
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