Author: Leslie Nicole

I am a traditional, classical Naturopath that specializes in wellness. That is to say, teaching clients how applying natural lifestyle approaches can act to facilitate the body’s own natural healing and health building potential. The traditional naturopath does not undertake to "diagnose" or "treat diseases," but rather recognizes that the majority of sub-health conditions are cumulative lifestyle effects, and that the underlying cause of what we call "disease" (or, "dis-ease") is improper diet, unhealthy habits, and environmental factors which cause biological imbalances leading to a weakening of the bodies’ natural defenses and subsequent breakdown in health. I have over 10 years experience in the Natural Health industry as a Holistic Wellness Lifestyle Coach and Certified Reflexologist. I develop and conduct holistic wellness and nutritional classes for the corporate business community, non-profit and community organizations.

Fostering Effective Online Collaboration in VLE’s

Web2 0 collaboration

In the 21st century, it is essential to teach students how to effectively navigate in today’s collaborative platform. There are few professions and work environments that only focus on individual competencies (Marcinek, 2011). Most modern work environments involve some type of collaboration or connected problem solving to enhance their corporation or product (Marcinek, 2011). With the convenience of the Web 2.0 tools, we are provided with a diversity of options in which we can collaborate socially online. However, K-12 learning institutions are seeking to provide more opportunities for students to learn how to effectively work in groups in an effort to prepare them for today’s work environment. The wiki is commonly used in the 21st-century work environment as an effective collaboration tool. VLE (Virtual Learning Environments) provide an environment for new forms of group work or computer supported collaborative learning (Witney & Smallbone, 2011). Higher education learning institutions are using VLE’s to introduce collaborative learning in a group, foster peer interaction, develop teamwork, and to develop e-skills with the students. Based on what you have learned this week respond to the following questions:

  • What online collaboration tools have you used in your work environment?
  • Do you think the use of wiki’s for group projects can create collaborative learning? Why or why not?
  • Do you think that group projects in a wiki foster a collaborative learning community?
  • Do you think online collaboration efforts foster higher order thinking skills?
  • Can a social learning environment be established as a result of an online group collaboration project?

Review this week’s learning resources and proceed to the discussion board and post your responses to the questions above on the discussion board.

By Wednesday:

Review this week’s learning resources and consider the following questions and proceed to the discussion board:

  • What online collaboration tools have you used in your work environment?
  • Do you think the use of wiki’s for group projects can create collaborative learning? Why or why not?
  • Do you think that group projects in a wiki foster a collaborative learning community?
  • Do you think online collaboration efforts foster higher order thinking skills?

By Sunday:

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings. As you read their responses, note those to which you would like to respond with advice, questions, comments, and/or encouragement.
Respond to two or more of your colleagues’ postings in any of the following ways:

  • Build on something your colleague said.
  • Explain why and how you see things differently.
  • Ask a probing or clarifying question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.
  • Ask for evidence that supports the posting.

Discussion Board Rubric

The rubric for the discussion board is provided below. Click the link to view the rubric.
Discussion Board Rubric Week 7 Application Walden University


Baiyun Chen, Aimee DeNoyelles, Kelvin Thompson, Amy Sugar and Jessica Vargas (2014). Discussion Rubrics. In K. Thompson and B. Chen (Eds.), Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning. Retrieved August 8, 2016, from

Marcinek, Andrew (2011), Importance of Collaborative Assessment in a 21st Century Classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved from

Walden University (2012). Rubric for Discussion Board. Program Resources. Retrieved from

Witney, D. & Smallbone, T. (2011). Wiki work: Can using wikis enhance student collaboration for group assignment tasks? Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 48(1), 101-110.  Retrieved from the Walden Library.

Plagiarism Detection and Prevention

online plagiarism Week 6Plagiarism in an online learning environment is a challenge that many learning institutions are confronted with today. With the availability of unlimited online resources on the Web, students have many channels to use to help them complete their project assignments and research papers. There are several websites that proffer complete manuscripts on a wide variety of topics (over 100 such sites at last count according to TechTrends magazine) that make obtaining entire assignment papers as easy as copying and pasting for students (Chao, Wilhelm, & Neureuther 2009). There is many plagiarism software available today for online instructors to help deter plagiarism. The eLearning Industry provided a list of the top 10 free plagiarism detection tools (see table below). The website provides greater detail on the pros and cons of these free plagiarism detection tools (Pappas, Christopher 2013). Based upon the information found in the eLearning Industry site there are several options to support help the online instructor with tools that are easy to use to deter plagiarism.

Detection Tool Table








Designing an assessment can prevent academic dishonesty by creating assignments that are unique and may require research that is off the beaten path. This will initiate a higher order of thinking for the students and create a greater level of exploration into the subject matter (Brown, Jordan, Rubin, & Arome, 2010). In addition creating collaboration assignments using wikis, blogs, discussion threads, emails, and chats which provide a variety of writing samples and a sense of each student’s writing style can also reduce plagiarism (Brown, Jordan, Rubin, & Arome, 2010).

cartoon for plagarism week 6

As a future online instructor, the primary strategies I would implement to deter plagiarism is education about plagiarism and how to properly cite resources. Studies have shown that students’ do not know what constitutes plagiarism and that student can benefit from instructions and feedback to avoid plagiarism (Chao, Wilhelm, & Neureuther 2009). I would have the students review the learning institutions Code of Student Conduct and give a quiz on it to emphasize the importance of the information and their responsibility to show integrity. I believe that this information could be invaluable and also provide the students with knowledge that they may be unaware of. Another important factor is to teach the students values, how to handle pressure, and the customs of authors as part of their course of studies so they understand why it is important to use their own words (Brown, Jordan, Rubin, & Arome, 2010). The Online Learning Curves states that “For one, schools absolutely must publicize clear anti-plagiarism policies in the documentation of their general academic standards and disseminate these policies to online students at the beginning of each course. In addition, online instructors must incorporate such academic policies into each online course. To reiterate the importance of this, schools can add electronic consent forms that require students to agree to not plagiarize any resources that they use for their courses” (McHugh, 2010).

I believe that providing training and instruction to the online instructors on the benefits of using plagiarism detection tools, and how to effectively use them can potentially make them more apt in using the tools. As I stated above I also believe that educating the students about plagiarism and also providing the APA guidelines will also reduce plagiarism in online learning institutions.



Brown, V., Jordan, R., Rubin, N., & Arome, G. (2010). Strengths and weaknesses of plagiarism detection software. Journal of Literacy and Technology11(1/2), 110-131.

Chao, C., Wilhelm, W., & Neureuther, B. (2009). A study of electronic detection and pedagogical approaches for reducing plagiarism. Delta Pi Epsilon Journal, 51(1), 31-42.

McHugh, Nathan (2010). Academic Plagiarism. The Online Learning Curve. Retrieved from

Pappas, Christopher (2013). Top 10 Free Plagiarism Detection Tools. eLearning Industry. Retrieved from