FCS: Online Interaction

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7.1 Online Interaction in Family and Consumer Sciences

Review foundational knowledge about Online Interactions in K-12 Blended Teaching (Volume 1).

FCS classrooms thrive on interactions with and between students. Both in-person and online interactions and feedback provide students with ways to share and support their positions, give and receive feedback, and to present both written and spoken opinions and positions with both civility and evidence.

In this video, Natalie Wilson discusses how she uses online interactions to connect with students, provide feedback, and create collaborative learning activities for her students.

Feedback and Stuent Connection–Natalie Wilson (2:27) 

7.2 Student to Student Interactions

Talking, discussing, reading, sharing, and applying instruction in a class or in a lab are at the heart of any Family and Consumer Sciences class. Conversations around these activities can help students to build critical thinking skills, express themselves, learn to be flexible in their approach to solving problems when needed, and learn skills that will help them be successful in future careers and throughout adulthood.Technology can enhance these activities, increasing student confidence, collaboration, and engagement. 

There are many technologies that support online discussions. Here are a few of them and how they can be used in FCS. (You might want to become proficient with one technology then branch out to another one. Don’t try too many at once.)

Just like in-person discussions and interactions, online interactions can become stale if they do not include variety and contrast, inviting students to think deeply and/or creatively. 

In this video Megan Wakefield describes several ways she uses online discussion and other student to student interactions in her FCS classes.

Online Discussions–Megan Wakefield (5:29) 

Here are some other ideas that are relevant to a FCS class.

Table 1

Online Discussion Ideas

Class Introductions/ Get to Know You Activity2. The teacher and class members learn about one another and continue to build on that to strengthen in-person relationships.1. Students introduce themselves and respond to specific questions about their personal experiences with a topic or what they would like to learn.
Brainstorming2. The teacher can refer to those toys during discussions of different stages of child development.1. In an online discussion, students discuss their favorite toy with one another.
Brainstorming/ Project

2. In class the teacher introduces a project where students will work in groups to plan a menu for an event their group selects. 

4. Students meet in class to solidify their menu plan and create a digital presentation of it based on the online discussion.

1. Students watch a video about menu planning for various events.

3. In an online discussion each group member takes a role in the planning and brainstorms ideas for the event menu and comments on other group members ideas.

5. One member of each group posts their digital presentation to a new discussion that everyone in the class can see.

6. Every member of the class comments on at least 3 posts.

Project Presentation 1

1. Introduce a Career Research activity and explain the expectations for the research project.

2. Students may begin work in class or complete all of the work in class by researching online.

3. Each student creates a slide and or video presentation about the career they are researching.

4. Students post their presentation in an online discussion and review and comment on others' presentations.

Project Presentation 2

2. Students access physical materials for their projects in class.

4. Students also ask questions of other students in person.

5. Students complete their sewing projects in class using the tools available there.

1. Students select a sewing project and access directions and tutorials online.

3. Students ask questions of other students in an online discussion.

6. Students benefit from an authentic audience by posting images of their completed projects in an online discussion.

5. Students review and comment on others' presentations.

Jigsaw Learning

1. Share several topics for student groups to choose from. Provide a BRIEF description.

2. Students collaborate in class to research their topics and prepare a slide or a presentation on their topic.

3. Students continue to collaborate online– outside of class time or from different areas of the room to build the presentation in slides or another online platform.

4. Students post their presentation in an online discussion and review and comment on others' presentations.

Troubleshooting Support1. Demonstrate how to use the sewing machine to students.

2. Create a discussion thread in your LMS where students can ask for help and other students can answer their questions. 

An online discussion is most effective when the instructions are clear.  For a review of how to create an effective discussion board post, see 5.2.2 Building Community and Setting Expectations in K-12 Blended Teaching (Volume 1). 

In your Blended Teaching Notebook create an online discussion for the lesson/content area that you are addressing with your problem of practice. How will you make it engaging for the students? How will you target your problem of practice?

If you haven't already opened and saved your workbook, you can access it here.

Not all online interaction has to take place in a discussion. It can take place in a shared Google Doc, in a real-time Zoom meeting, through blogs or social media, through visits to each other's websites, etc. 

Student to student or peer interactions can be powerful. Students can help each other, answer questions, give feedback, take feedback, explain concepts, and counsel with each other.

7.3 Teacher to Student Interactions

Interactions between students and the teacher are also important in an FCS course. Experienced blended teachers often report that their interactions with students online have strengthened relationships and contributed to student growth. What are some ways teachers can foster these interactions?

  • Participate in online discussions. You don’t have to chime in and respond to everyone’s posts. Instead your role in a discussion board is to guide and facilitate the discussion. You can monitor what is said for civility as well as content. If a discussion is going in a nonproductive direction, you can gently guide it back. You can respond honestly to good ideas and interesting insights. You can suggest further resources. 
  • Provide feedback. Students appreciate and need feedback. Teachers find that giving some types of feedback online is much easier than feedback with traditional paper and pen.
    • Give feedback on assignments through the LMS you use. Check out the ways your LMS allows you to communicate with students about their assignments. If you are using rubrics for grading, you can give very specific feedback then allow your students to improve the assignment. Your LMS may have additional ways to contact students.
    • Use written, audio, or video feedback. Some students prefer written feedback because they can access it easily; others prefer audio or visual because it’s easier for them to understand and feels more personable. There are also times when it's easier to provide audio or video feedback compared to typing out feedback comments. For instance, Mote is a Chrome extension that allows teachers to quickly add audio recordings to Google Document and Google Classroom gradebook. There are also several free screen-recording tools that allow you to create quick video recordings and then share them with students using an unlisted link. There are times when text, audio, and video feedback are the most effective and you can use all three during the year.
    • When students are online working during class, walk around the classroom, answering questions and giving verbal feedback as needed.
    • Schedule one-on-one meetings with students to discuss their progress and provide feedback. 

In this video, Mary Alice McCarlie explains how her students benefit from online feedback.

Student Feedback–Mary Alice McCarly (1:03) 

In this video Megan Wakefield explains how using a learning management system allows her to easily provide timely specific feedback to her students. She also discusses the importance of training her students to use the feedback.

Giving Feedback–Megan Wakefield (4:17) 

  • Explain to students your process for receiving emails from class members. Encourage them to email you with questions, explain when you will be available to look at emails, and answer them as promptly as possible. 
  • Email students who are not in class, letting them know that they were missed. 

The online space significantly increases opportunities for interaction between students and content, students and other students, and students and teachers. Students who never or rarely speak in class may find themselves suddenly communicating on a regular basis. The results of learning through a combination of content, interactions, instruction, and feedback can improve student outcomes, investment, and engagement with the subject matter. You don't have to start all at once. Just choose one interaction that looks promising to you—and begin. 

Previous Citation(s)
, , , , & (2021). K-12 Blended Teaching (Vol 2): A Guide to Practice Within the Disciplines, 2. EdTech Books. https://edtechbooks.org/-QNCX

This content is provided to you freely by EdTech Books.

Access it online or download it at https://edtechbooks.org/k12blended_facs/ela_olintUGkEUi.