Connection ways and learning group development on online learning

(VLU, 09/11/2021) – During the online learning process, connecting and creating learning groups is essential to create interaction between teachers and learners. Through the practice of teaching, lecturers from the Faculty of Fundamental Sciences have provided a number of ways to connect and create online learning groups for students.

Need to connect and create a learning group when learning online

Connecting and creating learning groups is a necessity in all forms and learning spaces. Because learning is an interaction, connecting the subject with the environment, in which, there is interaction, connection between the subject and other objects and individuals. Connecting and creating learning groups is not only a way to share information, help each other in learning but also an important skill of learners.

On online learning environment, connectivity is more necessary than ever, especially for Van Lang University (VLU)’s Course 27 (K27) students who have never been to the university. Understanding the expectations of students, lecturers actively spend a lot of time, find ways to connect with each other so that we feel like a "big family" in the way of returning to the learning space. Therefore, although it is an online learning environment, the reality is no less vibrant and boisterous. But, what to do and how to connect and create a learning team in a digital learning environment? Through the practice of teaching for many years, lecturers from the Faculty of Fundamental Sciences have drawn up a few ways and asked to share.

Ways to connect and create learning groups

First, use MS Teams. This is the mainstream channel of connection between the faculty and students, a place of "peak convergence" for connection even though students are not always ready for their study time zones; But with the spirit of exchange, openness, sharing by livestream of lecturers, this place is not only a place to transmit knowledge but also to bring inspiration to many unforgettable online school stories.

Screenshot 201Chat box on MS Teams

Through the sessions on MS Teams, lecturers teach students how to learn, share necessary information and students directly express their thoughts, views, and feelings. Lecturers and students can also create small teams (5 to 10 friends each group), using chat boxes to chat. Through this, you can easily get acquainted, exchange learning, group meetings, project implementation, assigned exercises and easily save evidence of the process of doing that.

Second, connect, create a group on the e-learning page. MS Teams and e-learning site are considered as inseparable "best friends", always accompanying lecturers and students throughout the study at VLU. This is not only a place for lecturers to provide information about subjects, learning in the form of video lectures, readings, references, exercises but also a place to record the student's academic results in various forms. The requirements your teacher sets may be a multiple-choice exercise, essay, or a topic discussion forum for the subject. You share information, exchange about the content you have learned, and you yourself will enrich the resources of the subject.

Screenshot 199A forum on e-learning

The e-learning page has tools to help lecturers connect with students and students to connect with each other very useful such as chat and forum. With the chat app, lecturers and students can communicate directly with each other quickly and quite effectively. As for the forum, lecturers will create forums with specific content for students to participate in discussions or students can also ask questions to discuss. With this application, students can easily see their opinions and information when participating on the forum. Lecturers won't spend much time answering the same question over and over again. Through the forum, students can also practice their skills in expressing opinions, critically and interacting with others.

Then, connect, create a learning group through the Zalo app. If MS Teams is where students receive the majority of their knowledge from their teachers, Zalo is their own "sharing heaven” with each other. The Zalo group of each class is set up for students to actively share the knowledge of one have learned, information from lecturers, through which students remind each other. It is interesting that often with a question posed in the group, the lecturer does not need to answer immediately because it is like that soon there will be members of the class to answer to their friends, the lecturer just needs to close the problem. Even, lecturer decentralizes group management for some friends, let them run the group themselves, help the exchange group get to the center. It is also a way for you to learn from each other, exercise self-control. From a large group, students can use this app to create small ones, supporting the learning process very useful.

Screenshot 203Group creating on Zalo

Fourth, connect, create learning groups on other applications such as Facebook, Padlet, google meet, google chat, ... - these applications are no longer too strange to students and lecturers. You can create groups on Facebook with your instructors, as well as lecturers can use Padlet for members to introduce themselves and create a learning group quickly and publicly in their classroom. If you exploit and make good use of these applications, you will no longer feel "lonely" in a digital learning environment.

Screenshot 197Creating groups and connecting using Padlet application

With the above methods, lecturers and students, or between students can understand each other better, more cohesive in the digital learning environment. Each app has its strengths depending on how you exploit and use it. Depending on the conditions and abilities, each faculty member and student will choose for themselves one or several different ways to connect, share and create an effective learning group. Being an expert in connecting creates advantages in the teaching of the faculty and the learning of the students. However, it must also be noted that there are many good ways and good means, but students must always be proactive, self-aware and responsible in learning; in group activities, it is necessary to respect, listen, share, help each other, adhere to the principles in teamwork. In this way, we can easily overcome the barriers of today's digital environment.


M.A. Bui Ta Thanh
M.A. Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy
M.A. Le Thu Hang

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