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Collaborative Sites Taking Off in L&S Courses

March 24, 2010 by Doug Worsham

The Collaborative Sites platform has been customized to serve several courses

As the pilot program for Collaborative Sites continues
to grow, L&S instructors are exploring new ways to foster online
interaction in their courses.

This semester, L&S instructors using Collaborative Sites created a
wide range of online interactions for their students, including:

  • FaceBook-style status updates and media sharing in Italian 102
    and ILS 480
  • Group blogging and case-study analysis in
    Communicative Disorders 706
  • Peer critique and resource sharing
    in CommArts 262
  • Group-based literary analysis in East Asian 671
    and Scandinavian Studies 432

Many courses use Collaborative Sites to mix several forms of student
interaction. In the ILS 480 course, for example, students collaborate on
research projects, share events, post images and YouTube videos related
to course topics, and keep in touch with each other via status updates.

Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler, one of the ILS 480 instructors, says that
the online interaction on her Collaborative Site has a number of
benefits, from improving the quality of in class discussions to helping
instructors identify the course topics that resonate most with students:

"We have been pleased at how willing students have been to
participate in the virtual space. We have found that through sharing
and discussing on-line, we are getting further along in the content of
the class...we are able to dig much deeper into the material much
quicker. Also it is great how students really drive the on-line
content, so it helps us see what our students are connecting with and
how they are interacting with the material beyond our in-class
discussions."

L&S courses using Collaborative Sites will be featured at two
upcoming events:

  • Introduction to Collaborative Sites for Learning
    Language, Literature, and Culture
    - Brown Bag, April 14 at Noon
    in 254 Van Hise
  • Integrating Online Learning in
    Face-To-Face Classrooms
    - presentation at the 2010 Teaching and
    Learning Symposium, May 19, 10 AM. Pyle Center DE232.

Collaborative Sites are designed and developed by L&S Learning
Support Services for a limited number of L&S instructors each
semester. For more information, see http://lss.wisc.edu/collaborative-sites
or contact Doug Worsham (doug@lss.wisc.edu)
or Sue Weier (sue@lss.wisc.edu)
with L&S Learning Support Services.

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