Canadian Studies Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my websites and blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

Canadian Studies Videoconference Project

This videoconference project was written for Michigan 6th grade classes required to learn about Canada. We will match Michigan classes with classes in Canada to share what they have learned, compare and contrast geography, culture, government; or to discuss economic and environmental issues that impact both countries.

Map of Canada

History: This project ran February 2011 between Berrien RESA and schools in the Simcoe County District School Board; Barrie, Ontario; and Bert Edwards Science and Technology School, Kamloops, BC. Another similar project occurred between Berrien RESA schools and Peace River, Alberta schools and with Edmonton, Alberta in 2007.

Videoconference Agenda

Maple Leaf Bullet Introductions
Maple Leaf Bullet Each class takes a turn leading the interaction
Maple Leaf Bullet Question & answer time

How To Create Posters for Videoconferencing

This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.


Teachers! Please discuss with each other what you would like to present, interact, and share with each other!

Michigan Curriculum Focus on Canada
North America: People, Places and Issues Unit from Michigan Citizenship Curriculum

Potential Points of Discussion and Comparison

  • Issues related to the Great Lakes, including invasive species, water diversion, and pollution.
  • Trade patterns associated with NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Compare the governments of the United States and Canada and analyze their geopolitical relationships
  • Examples of conflict and cooperation in North America and categorize and make generalizations
  • about the types of and reasons for each of these.

Potential Focus Questions

  • In what ways are the countries and cultures of North America alike and different?
  • How do modifications to the environments of North America affect economic and social systems?
  • What global patterns exist between the past and the present in North America?
  • How does economic activity lead to the exchange of cultural and political ideas in North America?

Potential Presentation Topics

  • A presentation comparing the two governments (then discuss to see if both classes agree on the comparison).
  • Present how your country/state/province uses the Great Lakes and what issues are hot topics right now. What is being done to address the issue?
  • Present about a product that your country/state/province sells to the other country and how it is used
  • Present about a way that your country cooperates or is in conflict with the other country. What are the issues? What ideas do you have for a solution?
  • Create a presentation about Canada and it’s geography: languages, religion, economic system, governmental system, cultural traditions.
  • Create an illustration of imports and exports and economic interdependence between Canada and the U.S.
  • Michigan students: Have students share individually something they learned about Canada, and where they would like to visit, and their favorite hobbies (getting to know you activity).
  • Michigan students: Present about a book that you read about Canada, and then discuss the book with the partner class.

Potential Interactive Activities

  • Both classes present about their own government, then compare by having students use a venn diagram individually to find the similarities and differences. Then take turns having students share what they see as a similarity or difference.
  • Create a quiz on the geography and culture of Canada to quiz the partner class (topics can include: languages, religion, economic system, governmental system, cultural traditions).
  • Test the concept of cultural diffusion. Create a quiz for your partner class to see how close the culture is between Canada and the U.S.: (Identify and explain examples of cultural diffusion within the Americas (e.g., baseball, soccer, music, architecture, television, languages, health care, Internet, consumer brands, currency, restaurants, international migration).
  • Create a Conflict / Cooperation quiz for the partner class. List an issue and the other class has to say whether Canada and the U.S are in conflict or cooperation on that issue.

Can you think of other ideas? Discuss with your partner teacher what works best.

Michigan Curriculum Standards

(As of 2011 when this project last ran.)

  • 6 – H1.4.3: Use historical perspective to analyze global issues faced by human long ago and today. See also 7 – H1.4.3.
  • 6 – G1.2.6: Apply the skills of geographic inquiry (asking geographic questions, acquiring geographic information, organizing geographic information, analyzing geographic information, and answering geographic questions) to analyze a problem or issue of importance to a region. See also 7 – G1.2.6.
  • 6 – G1.3.1: Use the fundamental themes of geography (location, place, human environment interaction, movement, region) to describe regions or places on earth. See also 7 – G1.3.1.
  • 6 – G2.2.1: Describe the human characteristics of the region under study (including languages, religion, economic system, governmental system, cultural traditions).
  • 6 – G4.1.1: Identify and explain examples of cultural diffusion within the Americas (e.g., baseball, soccer, music, architecture, television, languages, health care, Internet, consumer brands, currency, restaurants, international migration).
  • 6 – G4.3.2: Describe patterns of settlement by using historical and modern maps (e.g., coastal and river cities and towns in the past and present, locations of megacities – modern cities over 5 million, such as Mexico City, and patterns of agricultural settlements in South and North America).
  • 6 – G4.4.1: Identify factors that contribute to conflict and cooperation between and among cultural groups (control/use of natural resources, power, wealth, and cultural diversity).
  • 6 – G5.1.1: Describe the environmental effects of human action on the atmosphere (air), biosphere (people, animals, and plants), lithosphere (soil), and hydrosphere (water) (i.e. Great Lakes) See also 7 – G5.1.1.
  • 6 – C3.6.2: Compare and contrast a military dictatorship such as Cuba, a presidential system of representative democracy such as the United States, and a parliamentary system of representative democracy such as Canada.
  • 6 – C4.3.2: Explain the challenges to governments and the cooperation needed to address international issues in the Western Hemisphere (e.g., migration and human rights).
  • 6 – C4.3.3: Give examples of how countries work together for mutual benefits through international organizations (e.g. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Organization of American States (OAS), United Nations (UN)).
  • 6 – E3.1.1: Use charts and graphs to compare imports and exports of different countries in the Western Hemisphere and propose generalizations about patterns of economic interdependence.
  • 6 – P3.1.1: Clearly state an issue as a question or public policy, trace the origins of an issue, analyze various perspectives, and generate and evaluate alternative resolutions. Deeply examine policy issues in group discussions and debates to make reasoned and informed decisions. Write persuasive/ argumentative essays expressing and justifying decisions on public policy issues. Plan and conduct activities intended to advance views on matters of public policy, report the results, and evaluate effectiveness.


This project used this Google Spreadsheet evaluation form for feedback.

Facilitator Confirmation Email Template

To: Teachers & techs on both sides
Subject: Canada Studies VC Project Confirmation: [date]

Greetings and welcome to our Canada Studies Videoconference Project. The goal of this project is increase the understanding of Canada for our Michigan students, and to more fully understand and appreciate the interdependence between Canada and the United States.

Dates & Times
[date & time in both time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

The lead teacher for this project is [local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].
The other participating school is:
[local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].

Preparation materials and resources are available [here]

For the actual connection, I recommend this format as a rough guideline:
5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
10 min. One class leads the interaction
10 min. The other class leads the interaction.
10-15 min. Ask each other questions.

Action Items
Here’s what needs to happen next.

  • Teachers: Please email each other to discuss further.
  • Techs: Please sign up for a test call here: [ADD LINK]

Let me know if you have any questions along the way. We really appreciate you participating in this project with us!


Wikispaces to Blog Conversion Feedback

Thoughts on the conversion of wikispaces videoconference projects to this blog format? This conversion is a summer project for me, and feedback is welcome.

Setting Your Own Pace and Sequence: Self-Direction in Digital Learning

This blog post accompanies my presentation, Setting Your Own Pace and Sequence: Self-Direction in Digital Learning for National Conference of the United States Distance Learning Association.

PowerPoint presentation: Setting Your Own Pace and Sequence

Description: Self-paced learning isn’t dead! Learn the surprising results of research showing how students are more successful when at least one assignment is done out of the intended sequence. Explore modes of flexible self-directed learning in informal and formal education. Learn and share strategies for student success.

My Research

  • Lim, J. (2016). Predicting successful completion using student delay indicators in undergraduate self-paced online courses. Distance Education, 37(3) , 317-332. doi:10.1080/01587919.2016.1233050
  • Lim, J. (2016). The relationship between successful completion and sequential movement in self-paced distance courses. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(1). Retrieved from



  • Anderson, T. (2003). Getting the mix right again: An updated and theoretical rationale for interaction. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 4(2). Retrieved from
  • Delfino, M., Dettori, G., & Persico, D. (2010). An online course fostering self-regulation of trainee teachers. Psicothema22(2).
  • Lin Hsiao, J. W. D. (1998). The impact of reflective facilitation on middle school students’ self-regulated learning and their academic achievement in a computer-supported collaborative learning environment. (Ph.D.), The University of Texas at Austin, United States — Texas. ProQuest Digital Dissertation database.
  • Mager, R. F., & Clark, C. (1963). Explorations in student-controlled instruction. Psychological Reports, 13(1), 71-76.
  • Panadero, E. (2017). A review of self-regulated learning: Six models and four directions for research. Frontiers in Psychology8, 422.
  • Perna, L. W., Ruby, A., Boruch, R. F., Wang, N., Scull, J., Ahmad, S., & Evans, C. (2014). Moving through MOOCs: Understanding the progression of users in massive open online courses. Educational Researcher, 43(9), 421-432. doi:10.3102/0013189×14562423
  • Roe, K. V., Case, H. W., & Roe, A. (1962). Scrambled versus ordered sequence in autoinstructional programs. Journal of Educational Psychology, 53(2), 101-104. doi:10.1037/h0047185
  • Schraw, G., Crippen, K., & Hartley, K. (2006). Promoting self-regulation in science education: Metacognition as part of a broader perspective on learning. Research in Science Education, 36, 111-139. Retrieved from  doi:10.1007/s11165-005-3917-8

Live Online Sessions: Designing for Interest and Interactivity

This blog post accompanies my presentation, Live Online Sessions: Designing for Interest and Interactivity for the Andrews University Teaching and Learning Conference.

PowerPoint presentation: Live Online Sessions


Shared in the order presented.

Maximizing Reach, Learning, and Reflection with Online Professional Development

This blog post accompanies my session, Maximizing Reach, Learning, and Reflection with Online Professional Development, presented at the 2018 Nebraska Distance Learning Association Conference.


Models of Online Professional Learning

Scaffolding for Success with Large Scale

  • Cheat sheets: simple instructions with screen shots for each tool used
  • Phone numbers: who to call? tiered level of support
  • Facilitators for large groups
  • Mechanism for smalls schools to interact
  • PDF agenda, resources, instructions, handbook. Printed ahead of time.

Flipping Your Classroom: Practical Strategies and Ideas

This blog post accompanies my session, Flipping Your Classroom: Practical Strategies and Ideas, presented at the 2018 Nebraska Distance Learning Association Conference.



Video Resources

Open Courses and Resources

Recording and Hosting Videos

Assessments at the Door

Resources for Teaching, Active Learning, and Engagement


For Further Reading

Jazz Up Student Engagement in Your Online Courses

This blog post accompanies my session, Jazz Up Student Engagement in Your Online Courses, presented at the 2018 Nebraska Distance Learning Association Conference.




Note that I have deliberately not included tons of sites and ideas because I wanted this to be simple and not too overwhelming. To pique interest.

Learn about Designing Significant Learning Experiences

Learning How to Learn


Human Dimension

  • Blog or discuss ways in which one’s personal life affects and is affected by the subject via WordPress, VoiceThread, Weebly, Edublogs.
  • Be an ethical, responsible member of a team serving others; tools to support groups: GoogleDrive and similar tools to support collaborative learning.
  • Observation of real-life human experiences related to the content; report back to the class.



  • Analyze and critique an issue or case study, and organize and present it via Padlet.
  • Apply the skills in context; document ability with video via YouTube, Videoscribe, FlipGrid, or Animoto.
  • Create a recommendation for a corporation in a real-world problem/situation, build and present on GoogleSites or PowToon.

Foundational Knowledge

  • Create and share/narrate a mental map or conceptual structure of major concepts. or Mindly the app or MindMeister.
  • Create a presentation: Explain & predict concepts and ideas. i.e. Prezi
  • Have students access and interact with primary sources of content – i.e. TedEd, Library of Congress, and more.

Online Tools

Fink Taxonomy and Tools v2 PDF Handout – Permission granted to reprint freely. Please share any adaptations.

What would you add? Feel free to comment and share. 


The Power of Collaboration

This blog post accompanies my session, The Power of Collaboration, presented at the 2018 Nebraska Distance Learning Association Conference.

PPT (minus the video clips)

A few recommended blog posts regarding collaboration

COIL: Collaborative Online International Learning

COIL is the higher ed version of what the videoconference projects I was heavily involved in till 2011. Read more from my recent attendance at a COIL Conference where I made connections between the two:

K12 Collaboration Examples Shared


  • Cifuentes, L., & Murphy, K. L. (2000). Promoting multicultural understanding and positive self-concept through a distance learning community: cultural connections. Educational Technology Research and Development, 48(1), 69-83.
  • Martinez, M. D., & MacMillan, G. (1998). A Joint Distance Learning Course in American Government (No. ED428005).
  • Owston, R. (2007). Contextual factors that sustain innovative pedagogical practice using technology: an international study. Journal of Educational Change, 8(1), 61-77.
  • Sweeney, M. A. (2007). The use of videoconferencing techniques which support constructivism in K-12 education. Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • Warschauer, M. (1997).Computer-mediated collaborative learning: Theory and practice. Modern Language Journal, 81(3), p. 470-481. Also at
  • Yost, N. (2001). Lights, Camera, Action: Videoconferencing in Kindergarten. Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference.
  • For more videoconferencing related literature, see my research and dissertation.


Building Your Online Learning Strategy

This post accompanies my workshop, Building Your Online Learning Strategy, for the Adventist University of Africa, January 16, 2018.

PPT: AUA Online Strategy Presentation


Faculty Support

Student Services

A few references


Intersubjectivity and Discussion Characteristics in Online Courses

Just a quick notice of a new article published:

Lim, J., Hall, B., Jeong, A., & Freed, S. (2017). Intersubjectivity and discussion characteristics in online courses. Quarterly Review of Distance Education. 18(1). 29-44.


This study explores the combination of course structure, prompt type, and characteristics of discussion posts and their relationships with intersubjectivity. A content analysis measured the intersubjectivity of peer responses by analyzing the interaction analysis model (IAM) phase of each post and comparing with the IAM phase of the previous post. Results found that the type of discussion activity generated significant differences in levels of intersubjectivity. Some characteristics of the posts created higher IAM scores, providing clues for the emergence of intersubjectivity. Instructors desiring higher levels of intersubjectivity in discussion forums should consider the course structure and prompt type.

And a little snippet from the conclusion:

This study found the dialogue format generated significant intersubjectivity and role play was effective in creating dissonance. Intersubjectivity was more likely to emerge in the second week of the discussion forum. Discussion prompts beginning with the Understanding level of Bloom’s taxonomy, previous posts with fewer words, and peer responses addressing multiple classmates each generated higher levels of intersubjectivity.

Find it in your library, and let us know what you think! Feedback and comments are welcome!

Fending off the Webinar Woes: Designing for Interest and Interactivity

On Monday, Roxanne Glaser (aka @superdoodlegirl) and I co-presented for USDLA’s National Distance Learning Week webinar series.

The archived recordings are posted online.

An post-webinar online handout is available here. It includes resources that participants shared during the webinar.

Our slide deck is posted as well.

We focused on two major areas, after defining the challenges:

information design

cognitive and human interactivity

i.e. how do you make your message super clear and concise? And, how to you engage minds and provide opportunities to interact with each other and with you?

Check it out! I think you’ll enjoy it!