Discussion-Week 7

The Virtual Classroom

The virtual classroom is essential to the distant learning community. The virtual classroom functions just like a face-to-face classroom but in a distance learning environment students engage in an asynchronous learning environment. With emerging technologies such as web conferencing, video conferencing, and live streaming education in the virtual classroom can operate both asynchronously or synchronously. To ensure a quality virtual learning classroom or course Instructional Designers and instructors must able to construct a viable distance-learning environment with meaningful instruction coupled with meaningful activities. A big part of the virtual classroom is getting and keeping the online learners engaged in ongoing discussion activities, which is crucial to distance education.

Review this week’s Learning resources Chapter 9. “Designing for the Virtual Classroom” (pp. 463-471) https://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/201520_02/MS_INDT/EIDT_6511/Week 7/Resources/Resources/embedded/Horton_Ch9_DesignVirtual_.pdf

  • Based on the information from the learning resources, what strategies can be used to design meaningful discussion activities?
  • Based on your personal experiences what are some meaningful strategies you past instructors used that kept you as a student engaged?
  • How might you apply those meaningful strategies to the virtual classroom that you will design in the future?

By Friday

Post your thoughts about the state of the virtual classroom along with 2 strategies that will make the distance-learning environment engaging and valid.

By Saturday

Respond to two of your course mates posting offering a meaningful response.

Scoring Rubric


Plagiarism Detection and Prevention

  • What plagiarism detection software is available to online instructors?
  • Instructors use both automated and manual plagiarism detection methods. TURNITIN.com is the plagiarism software detection of choice. Turnitin.com is an automated plagiarism detection method that calculates a percentage of copied text. Instructions like to use this in conjunction with manual methods to detect plagiarism.
  • How can the design of assessments help prevent academic dishonesty?
  • The design of assessments can help prevent academic dishonesty by challenging the learner to apply critical thinking skills rather than regurgitated answers. If the learner has to apply what he/she has learned than the desire for academic dishonesty will diminish. Online education for the adult learner should be about application (doing), not question and answer.
  • What facilitation strategies do you propose to use as a current or future online instructor?
  • Facilitation strategies I propose to use as a future online instructor are:
  • Discussions: the discussion format encourages learners to analyze alternative ways of thinking
  • Self-directed learning: is initiated and directed by the learner and, can included self-pace, independent and individualized learning
  • Small and large group learning: learners can discuss content, share ideas, and solve problems
  • Projects: online projects give students an opportunity to pursue their special interests and can be done individually or within groups.
  • Case studies: requires learners to draw upon their past experiences, and is participatory and has action components which are links to future experience
  • Collaborative learning: the process of getting two or more students to work together to learn.
  • What additional considerations for online teaching should be made to help detect or prevent cheating and plagiarism?
  • With the online learning environment for the adult learner, to prevent cheating and plagiarism more emphasis needs to on plagiarism by communicating to the online learner in the form of education. Updating and keeping the student abreast of what plagiarism is and frequency should reduce the amount of offenses.


I think that most cheating and plagiarism online by mishap. I personally did not realize that an online learner could plagiarize form himself or herself. Education is the key to prevention for plagiarism in the online community.


Patrick Hopkins


Jocoy, C., & DiBiase, D. (2006). Plagiarism by adult learners online: A case study in detection and remediation. International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning, 7(1), 1-15.
Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Education Research Complete database



Impact of Technology and Multimedia

The point of an online experience is to gain knowledge and use of new technology. The world around us is evolving with new technologies and we have to keep pace. Naturally in an online environment, technology takes center stage. Using and becoming proficient with new technologies gives added benefits to online learning. To effectively implement online instructional strategies the use of technologies should be gradual giving the learner confidence using the technology and the desire to want to learn and understand more complicated technologies.

  • What impact does technology and multimedia have on online learning environments?
  • Technology and multimedia have a tremendous impact on learning environments. It is because of the technology that makes asynchronous learning possible because of the medium it provides for instructors and student alike to deliver or view content. The technology enhances literacy and provides a greater access to information.
  • What are the most important considerations an online instructor should make before implementing technology?
  • Before an online instructor implement technology, he/she needs to be certain that they understand the technology before implementation. If the instructor doesn’t understand the technology that they require the learners to use, that would be disastrous for the instructor because of problems students may encounter. If problems should occur there would be nothing the instructor could do to help the learner.
  • What implications do usability and accessibility of technology tools have for online teaching?
  • Usability and accessibility of technology tools work hand and glove for online teaching. Technology first and foremost has to be user friendly for online students to reduce frustrations on the student’s behalf and to foster cognitive learning. If the technology is user friendly the learner has to spend less time getting to know the technology and focus more energy on learning. Moreover, accessibility is equally as important as usability. With most technology tools we use at Walden, the University makes sure that learners have access through alternative free software.
  • What technology tools are most appealing to you for online teaching as you move forward in your career in instructional design?
  • The most appealing tool for me for online teaching is the Adobe Creative Suite. Adobe Creative Suite allows the full gambit of multimedia experiences for the online learner. The drawbacks of Adobe Creative Suite are cost, and usability. To fully understand and use this technology it require tutorials on behalf of the user to become proficient.

Patrick Hopkins

Setting Up An Online Learning Experience

  • What is the significance of knowing the technology available to you?

It is important for the instructor of an online course be familiar with the technology that is available. Moreover, the instructor should follow the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method. Only use the technology that is familiar because having students use technology that you as an instructor are not familiar with can have irrevocable consequences. As you become more and more familiar with technology, than new technologies should be introduced into online courses.

  • Why is it essential to communicate clear expectations to learners?

Clear expectations needs to communicated to learners for many reasons. Learners need to have a clear picture of what is expected of them and what they can expect to get from the course. This can be communicated through outcomes, goals and objectives.

  • What additional considerations should the instructor take into account when setting up an online learning experience?

When setting up an online learning experience, it is important for the instructor take an opportunity to get to know the learners individually. Adult learners are will be taking online courses for many reasons and they all have varied responsibilities and it is important to get to know your students to allow your course to work for all learners involved.

Online learning is a great tool for learners to continue their education. I have personally have taken a number of online courses in which, some were fantastic and others were not. The courses that I enjoyed the most are the ones with an active facilitator the related to me on personal bases. There were courses that were a struggle but the instructor was able to keep me on track by pairing me with other students or even walking through difficult areas. I have had courses where I felt that there was no one on the other end, all we received, as learners were our assignments and a due date. Often it took the instructor weeks to give feedback on assignments, which made it difficult to know what his/her expectations were. Immediate feedback and a personal relationship with learners are key to effective online instruction.

Patrick Hopkins



Scope Creep

My wife and I decided to build 12’ by 18’ foot deck on the back of our house. She and I decided on a budget which limited us to the size of deck we wanted to build. I decided to build the deck personally to cut down on cost, so I purchased a Deck Building 1-2-3 Guide from our local Home Depot. The decision to build the deck personally saved us three thousand dollars by eliminating labor cost. Originally we agreed the deck material would be all pressure treated wood because it is less expensive than composite material. My wife learned of the savings and she thought we can now afford to use composite materials for the flooring and railings and add a lower level patio to compliment the deck since we are saving three thousand dollars. I agreed to her demands like a good husband should. The original design using pressured treated materials minus the patio, cost fifty seven hundred to build using a contractor. I used the Just in Time building method to build my deck and purchased the materials as I needed them. Nearly eight thousand dollars and 2 ½ months later I built a new deck and patio with an exploded budget. It was all worth it because my wife is happy.

To better manage this project I should have augmented my plan to include all of the changes and compared the new budget to the original budget. Because I believed we were saving money I assumed the upgrades could be absorbed by my three thousand dollar savings of eliminating labor cost.


Patrick Hopkins

Communicating Effectively

My interpretations did change from one modality to another. I interpreted the e-mail message as a pressing matter but at the same time her use of words were passive. Just by reading the words it seemed as if the request for the report was urgent but it was not as important as what Mark was currently working on. The phone message sounded more urgent because of the tone in her voice, she sounded desperate for the report as if she had been waiting a long time to receive this report. The face-to-face meeting appeared to be a little condescending because of the tone in her voice; she really came across as if she is tired of waiting for the report despite how busy Mark has been.

The factors that influenced how I perceived the message is tone followed by a passive voice. She appeared to be sympathetic to Mark’s workload but she was clearly agitated that her report was taking a long time to complete.

I think that the face-to-face meeting and the voicemail both conveyed the true intent of her message because the words were spoken and Mark could her the urgency in her voice. Written communication could not capture the sense of urgency, in fact in written the same words comes across as passive.

Depending in the intent of the message, choosing the correct form of communication is essential. This is something that I have never given much thought to. Clearly depending on the message choosing the right communication will pay dividends. If I see a doctor and he/she has to deliver bad news to me, I would really prefer a face-to-face or phone conversation instead of a written correspondence. When matters are pressing verbal communication allows the receiver to respond or ask questions for further clarification, correspondence cannot offer instance feedback.

This activity opened my eyes about communication. As stated earlier, I have never given much thought about communication, I simply relied on common sense. Depending on the nature of the message choosing the correct form of communication is key.

Patrick Hopkins


I use to work for a well know retail store as an Efficiency Expert on the distribution side. The distribution center operated an employee incentive program called the Productivity Evaluation Program (PEP) to motivate employees to work harder and faster. The PEP system was designed to award employees a financial bonus to work above and beyond normal industry standards. The company had this term called “turn” which means the amount of turnaround time merchandise entered the distribution center from manufactures, processed and released to the department stores. The industry standard for “turn” was 2-day turn schedule and my company’s turn was operating on an 8-day turn schedule, which was completely unacceptable. However, the PEP system was paying bonuses at an all-time high for unproductive work. I was handed the task of reducing the turn schedule from 8-day turn schedule to an industry standard of a 2-day turn schedule coupled with aligning the pay incentive to those standards.

My very first task was too review the time and motion studies conducted for the pay incentive program for each recorded task. The scope of this project was very large because of the time and human resource requirements. Furthermore, I needed to review how the productivity was being recorded for each employee to determine eligibility for bonus pay. After a 5-month study it was my recommendation to suspend the incentive program until new standards and procedures could be put into place.

It was determined that the time and motion studies conducted by the previous Efficiency Expert were invalid for a number of reasons. To effectively conduct a time and motion study of employees, multiple studies has to be conducted using a large sample of employees and a variety or study methods such as video surveillances as well as in person studies both formally and informally. The previous study only used live studies and the sample was too small. The problem with live studies is that the employees become nervous and they do not work to their full potential or purposely work at a slower pace to relax production standards. Also studying a small amount of employees does not effectively measure the capabilities of all employees. By using a small sample size of employees to study coupled with a small frequency will skew the production standards in favor of the employee. With in a 12-month period I was able to put the distribution on a 2-day turn inline with the pay incentive program.


Patrick Hopkins