This post is one in a series for a MOOC. You can find similar posts searching under the Category MOOC or searching for hashtag #eteacherTOOL for more about this particular MOOC.
I am not an online teacher presently, but I have used an LMS and some form of the diagnostic tools referenced in this scenario. I will describe to you a training I observed recently which I thought was well grouped and speculate what type of data it might yield if it we a larger, longer online experience.
In my observation I noted that the participants were grouped strategically, but not by intellectual ability; they were grouped by experience/savvy with technology. The intention of this was to offer multiple groups with differing levels of complex or simple technology with the technology interfering with the product to be created. Within the highest rate of technology integration the groups had more high achievers and more than one person asserting him/herself to take charge. In the lowest technology-infused group half of the participants required multiple prompting to use the appropriate devices, most of this group was passive in group product creation, and only one person was taking over leadership tasks for the group.
I imagine a heat map (similar to the one provided in the original post) of these participants might find the highly integrated technology groups toward the right, while the majority of the lowest technology integrated group toward the left of the chart. Not for their level of technology enthusiasm, knowledge, or savvy, but due to the fact that they were not attempting to create the product, seemed to be creating distractions, and would not engage.
A notable exception was the member who was attempting to lead the group. She did need to be in the ‘low-tech’ group, but it was not a reflection on her work aptitude. That might beg the question, were the others there because of their technology aversion, or was the technology aversion another way to avoid completing tasks? If this were my class I might ask them to break off to pairs and then individually if the work was not quicker in forthcoming.