1. What are three key things associated with delivery of eLearning?

  • Communicating with students
  • Monitoring student understanding and engagement
  • Motivating students (Newberry)

2. What is the difference between assessment and evaluation? Why is understanding the difference important in eLearning?

Assessment is measurement of learning, usually associated with specific learning objectives or other established criteria. Evaluation can include assessment, but also includes a judgment of quality, establishment of value or worth along with communication about the significance of the student performance. (Newberry)

3. One of the readings this week suggests that a chat room should be set up to promote social interaction in online classes. Which reading is this and what are the pros and cons to this suggestion?

Some of the issues discussed by Haugen et al include:


  • Student may lack of proper technology
  • Student may lack technology skills
  • Students may lack writing skills and the ability to put thoughts into words
  • Faculty may lack technology and infrastructure support from institution
  • Keeping up with new technology and migrating content can be difficult for faculty
  • Planning and delivery are time consuming
  • Challenges in maintaining student contact


  • Flexibility
  • Ability to attract a diverse population from varied geographic locations
  • Students who might not regularly communicate with their peers of instructors have new platform for communication (Haugen)

4. What is “deep learning” as discussed in the readings? Is “deep learning” something we should promote in online learning? Why and how?

According to Stansfield et al, deep learning is a transforming process which leads to greater personal understanding. Students who engage in deep learning aim to understand new ideas and relate them to prior knowledge or experience. They show active interest in the subject matter and view learning as personal growth and development that has changed them in some significant way. (Stansfield)

Deep learning should be promoted in all courses, whether online or face to face. Knowledge that transforms the way students think will prepare them for life. By promoting deep thinking in the classroom teachers will help their students learn to think critically, solve problems, and set goals.

5. Identify and explain each of Kolb’s four-stage learning cycle.

Kolb defined learning as the process whereby “knowledge is created through the transformation of experience”. He introduced the idea of the experimental learning cycle and stated that the four stages of this cycle include:

  1. Experience
  2. Observation & reflection
  3. Formation of abstract concepts & generalizations
  4. Hypothesis tested by active experimentation (Stansfield)

Effective learning is seen when a person progresses through a cycle of these four stages: of (1) having a concrete experience followed by (2) observation of and reflection on that experience which leads to (3) the formation of abstract concepts (analysis) and generalizations (conclusions) which are then (4) used to test hypothesis in future situations, resulting in new experiences. (McLeod)

6. Explain how the readings this week (and your own research) connects with the Blackboard discussion.

The readings gave me an understanding of deep thinking vs.shallow thinking, the importance of social interaction in online classes, and the difference between assessment and evaluation. There is a connection between the three that happens more naturally in face-to face classes. The readings discuss the difficulties in promoting social interaction in online classes but offer useful and doable suggestions that will help instructors not only promote social interaction but also encourage deep learning in the online class, and make assessment possible. The blackboard discussion questions directly focused on two of these important aspects of our reading. The instructor was directing us toward deeper understanding of the topics by asking us to discuss them. He was in essence teaching us the concepts by using them.

7. Quote your best entry from this week’s Blackboard discussion. Explain why you chose it and what it demonstrates about your understanding, learning process etc.

I chose my entry on deep vs. shallow learning because for me it was a learning experience. After reading about these concepts I understood the importance of deep learning and realized that the promotion of deep thinking in our students is dependent on the instructor and the way in which the material is delivered. In the community college library I tend to emphasize methods more than concepts, especially in the one-hour, one-shot sessions. Perhaps I’m not promoting deep learning at all. I need to think about how to change that.

What is the difference between shallow and deep learning and how can we achieve this in an online classroom?

I wasn’t familiar with these terms so I did a quick search in my college’s EBSCO and Gale database and retrieved no results. This surprised me because I thought it would have been discussed in the academic literature. But a Google search produced a few articles that helped me understand the difference:
Sometimes our understanding of deep learning isn’t all that deep. Typically, it’s defined by what it is not. It’s not memorizing only to forget and it’s not reciting or regurgitating what really isn’t understood and can’t be applied. The essence of deep learning is understanding—true knowing. (Weimer)

Effective learning is deep learning, marked by deliberate intention to learn, as well as individual and social orientations to learning. Orientations to learning may be academic, vocational, personal and social (Rhem 1995). The notions of deep and superficial learning derive from the seminal work of Marton and Säljö (1976) on surface learning and deep approaches, and the more recent work by Biggs (1987). (Manion)

I think the two online classes that I’m taking now, ETEC500 and ETEC648, do an excellent job of encouraging us to be deep learners by asking to research concepts and apply what we learned in our discussions. We are actually construction our own knowledge instead of just receiving it. As Manion, et all point out “For deep learning to occur, teachers have to ‘let go’ of students and give them freedom to learn and pursue knowledge.”

8. Identify the student you think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

This is a tough one. The class if full of intelligent, articulate individuals. I’m learning a lot from all of them, especially the classroom teachers. They seem to be the cream of the crop. Christen always has relevant and well thought out comments. She asks questions that are on point and answers questions in a timely manner. I’m in awe of her ability to keep on top of everything!

9. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

I completely agree with Christen on this and couldn’t have said it better. I came into this program because I wanted to learn the latest technology platforms, programs, and apps. I wasn’t prepared to think about teaching and learning in a deeper context. This week I struggled to get through and understand the readings but in the end I learned the significance of some key theories and concepts. I enjoyed reading the discussions on social interaction in online classes and on deep thinking. I realized that the manner in which this course is presented and the expectations placed upon the students truly do promote deep thinking. And that’s something I haven’t practiced in quite a while I guess. I need to get used to thinking rather than doing.


Haugen,Susan, Labarre, James, and Melrose,John. (2001). Online course delivery: issues and challenges. IACIS.

Manion, Lawrence , Morrison Keith, and Wyse Dominic. (2004). Deep and superficial learning. In A Guide to Teaching Practice. Retrieved from 

McLeod, S. A. (2010). Kolb – Learning Styles. SimplyPsychology. Retrieved from

Newberry, Brian. (2014). Delivery, evaluation and assessment in eLearning. Lecture  notes.

Stansfield, Mark, McLellen Evelyn, and Connelly, Thomas. (2004). Enhancing student performance in online learning and traditional face-to-face class delivery. Journal of Information Technology Education. Volume 3.

Weimer, Maryellen. (2012). Deep Learning vs. Surface Learning: Getting Students to Understand the Difference. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from

Other Discussion Topics This Week

What is the importance of social interaction between students in eLearning classes? Don’t forget to provide citations from your independent research to support your ideas.

Social interaction plays a significant role in all learning. The types of social interactions that would normally occur in a face-to-face setting (discussion, sharing, peer review, group activities, etc.) must occur via online technologies and tools in online learning environments. These tools, and their inherent utility and usability, do place some limits on what kinds of online interactions are possible and likely to happen. (Shank)

Forming bonds is one of the necessary elements for success in hybrid and online courses, the give-and-take of discussions around some issues can create a deeper engagement with the materials and the content. (Zimmerman)

Cox and Cox (2008) state that engaging the learner in reflective and collaborative thought processes through learner-to-learner interaction results in the most effective learning, whether the setting is a traditional classroom or an online environment. They further point out the importance of collaborative learning and various ways in which the online environment lends itself to increased student interaction, collaboration, and learning. The authors conclude that increased social interactions in online classes result in students’ developing a stronger sense of learning community and  connection  with their fellow classmates and their instructor. This in turn results in increased learning. A well­­-designed online course, one that utilizes various mediums to promote and encourage student interaction and collaboration, has the potential to help students form bonds that can create this type of effective learning community.

Some of these include:

  • Web-based delivery system
  • Threaded discussion boards
  • Asynchronous discussion groups
  • Blogs
  • Video and Podcasts

This study found evidence that social interaction between students in an asynchronous learning environment leads to a community of learners. The utilization of these different technologies in online courses provides students an opportunity to share their thoughts with others in the class and get new ideas and information from classmates. Discussion is a valuable tool in the teaching process and online discussion offers students the opportunity to engage in such dialogue. It establishes a collaborative learning environment by allowing students to become acquainted with fellow classmates for future classes as well as for professional contacts and develops rapport between students and instructors.


Zimmerman, Lynn. (2011). Critical Importance of Social Interaction in Online Courses. ETC Educational Technology and Change. Retrieved from

Shank, Patti. (2004). New Social Interaction Tools for Online Instruction ITFORUM PAPER #81. Retrieved from

Cox, B., & Cox, B. (2008). Developing Interpersonal and Group Dynamics Trough Asynchronous Threaded Discussions: The Use of Discussion Board in Collaborative Learning. Education, 128 (4), 553-565. Retrieved from AcademicSearch Premier. Cerritos College Library.