WEEK 01 (5-11 October 2009)

Getting started – Setting learning objectives and goals

The first week of the course, we will get started – getting to know each other, engaging in planning and processes, and developing a weekly rhythm for working through the topics.

  • Introduction to the course
  • Setting ground rules for discussions
  • Doing a needs analysis related to teaching and technology
  • Looking at rubrics for self-evaluating discussion board posts
  • Finding out about your own learning styles (if time permits)
  • Discussion: Self-introductions; ground rules for discussions; rubrics for posting
  • Creating a blog
    • Each week, record your activities and your thoughts about what you could use in your classes in your blog. The final entry will be an overview of how you will use what you have learned from this course in your class this fall. See more information on the Blog page.
  • Learning objectives for this week:

Participants will log into Nicenet and share information about themselves with each other, starting to create a learning community.

Participants will collaborate in setting ground rules for discussions and rubrics for self-evaluating discussion board posts.

Participants will fill out a needs analysis survey to help ensure that the course topics are appropriate.

Participants will create a blog on www.blogger.com using the instructions in Blogger how-to (PDF to download) and share the URL with the group.
Having created a blog on Blogger, participants will write about what they have done and what they learned in the course so far In at least one published post on their blog.



Readings are required! Go carefully through them and use them to help form a basis for your postings in the weekly discussions.


Additional Resources:


Weblogs for Use with ESL Classes – an introduction to blogs and what you can do with them

Sample blogs

Discussions: Go to Nicenet, log in, and participate in this week’s topics. Participants registered for this course should have information about logging into Nicenet from your email. If you are registered and do not have Nicenet login information, let Deborah know.

  1. Introduce yourself to the group. Include the courses and types of students that you teach, how long you have been teaching, and your favorite saying or short quotation in English.
  2. Think about professional discussions you have had, either face-to-face or in writing. What has made them good? What has made them unproductive or annoying? Look at the suggested ground rules for discussions. Do you see any changes that need to be made? Do you agree with these as good basic rules for our discussions in this course?
  3. We will examine different rubrics for evaluating discussion question postings. See: Online Discussions – Comparing Rubrics.
    What features do they have in common? How are they different? What do you see as some advantages and disadvantages of each rubric? Which would you be more likely to use and why?
    Note: If you’d like more general information on rubrics, also see Assessment Guides and Rubrics for Language Classes.

Weekly Requests and Reminders:

Please make sure you log into Nicenet early in the week. Let Deborah know if you have any problems logging in. It’s good to contribute to the discussion early in the week, then check back at the end of the week to read what others have said and reply to some of them.