Are you teaching online classes and interested in an instructional strategy that could help to strengthen your relationships with students, while also influencing their level of performance, motivation, and engagement?
The online classroom does not change the basic principles of adult learning; rather the format of adult learning has changed when it becomes enabled by the use of technology. However, the online classroom may change the nature of the student's involvement. A student's need for self-motivation and taking responsibility for their involvement in class may be greater with an online classroom.
The online student's engagement in the class is usually encouraged through the use of discussion boards and asynchronous interactions with his or her instructor. Performance in an online classroom environment is based upon the student's work product, whether this is accomplished through learning activities or written assignments. Depending upon the level of involvement by the instructor and the student, it may easy for a student to experience a sense of disconnection from the class and his or her instructor.
Another environment where issues of individual motivation, engagement and performance are studied can be found within the organizational setting. These issues are considered essential factors of a successful employee and lead to improved overall organizational performance. The field of organizational development has produced numerous theories of employee development and one theory that addresses development from a positive frame of reference is appreciative inquiry.
Appreciative inquiry has been successfully utilized within organizations and has demonstrated an ability to affect individual motivation, engagement, and performance. Due to this success of appreciative inquiry and its ability to impact individuals as well as organizations, it has the potential to be adapted to other environments, including the online classroom environment. As an instructional method, appreciative inquiry has a potential to help bridge the gap between the instructor and student within an online classroom. Appreciative inquiry also has the potential to assist in the development of positive working relationships, which in turn may improve the student's motivation, engagement, and performance.
Dr. J developed an innovative approach to online teaching with an instructional strategy called Appreciative Andragogy. This takes Appreciative Inquiry, an organizational developmental strategy, and combines it with the principle of teaching adults called Andragogy.
Appreciative Andragogy emphasizes the positive nature of adult learning and the enhanced view of self that will occur through supportive interactions with an instructor. Through the use of appreciative andragogy as an instructional method, the instructor may have a tool that can build nurturing relationships and increase the instructor's presence within an online classroom environment. With a positive approach to student development the student is likely to experience a greater sense of motivation, engagement in the classroom, and improved performance overall.
Now you can learn about this innovative instructional strategy in Dr. J's book, Appreciative Andragogy: Taking the Distance Out of Distance Learning.
Appreciative Andragogy: Overview
The book I have published is based upon my dissertation and follows the journey that took as a doctoral student, from the initial research conducted to the research study and then finally the conclusion and recommendations.
The following list provides the chapters that are within this book.
Chapter 1: Introduction – This chapter included a background of the study, a statement of the problem, and the research questions. This establishes a broad overview of the entire book.
Chapter 2: Literature Review – Within this chapter I have provided an overview of the research conducted. The areas of research that I was especially interested in included online learning and appreciative inquiry.
Chapter 3: Methodology – This chapter described in detail the development of a research study and the research questions to be answered, and provides information about the research participants and the research site.
Chapter 4: Data Collection and Analysis – The research study was developed as a case study and this chapter presents a summary of each of the nine participants, along with a final case study summary. Within this chapter you will find out what it was like to test Appreciative Andragogy as an instructional strategy.
Chapter 5: Results, Conclusions, and Recommendations – This chapter provided a final summary and overview of the research study, along with a discussion of the results and how they are transferable to the entire online teaching population.
You can read the complete details of Dr. J's research and learn how this can enhance your facilitation practice by purchasing your copy of the book.
Dr. J has presented his research findings in the following:
Published in the Online Learning Journal: The results of Dr. J's research study were published as a scholarly peer-reviewed journal article in the Online Learning Journal, formerly the Journal of Asynchronous Networks (JALN), October 2014. (Vol. 18, No 3, October 2014, ISSN 1939-5256)
Presented at an International Online Learning Conference: Dr. J presented his research and a method of applying appreciative andragogy to any online class at the 21st Annual Online Learning Consortium International Conference, October 2015, Transformation of Online Teaching Practices Through Implementation of Appreciative Inquiry.