This is the blog of Dr. Curt Bonk, Professor at Indiana University and President of CourseShare (there are NO Guest Blogs and NO advertisements permitted).

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R2D2 book is out!!!!!!!! May the force be with those who use it!
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Yippie! My R2D2 book came out July 2nd. Just in time for the firework displays!

Bonk, C. J., & Zhang, K. (2008). Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Here is a picture of the cover...

This book goes through the Read, Reflect, Display, and Do model for online teaching and learning that Dr. Ke Zhang from Wayne State University and I designed. There are 25 activities in the book for each phase. Some might see it as a learning style approach, but Ke and I view it as a problem solving model. A wheel. One goes through it in any order to learn. Some might prefer diferent parts of the wheel.

The R2D2 book has 10 chapters totaling 303 total pages. Naturally, there is an introductory chapter and an ending recap chapter. To help the serious reader as well as casual browser, there are also summary tables at the start (i.e., see Chapter 1) and end (see Chapter 10) of all 100+ activities. Ke and I decided to have one chapter introduce new learning technology and then the following chapter have activities with it. The activities chapters are loaded, however, with many juicy pieces of information about new technologies and learning tools. There is an intro to each phase of R2D2 that you will find in Chapters 2, 4, 6, and 8. We cover topics like blogging, podcasting, wikibooks, simulations, virtual tours, digital repositories, online concept mapping, etc. The four chapters with the 25 activities are Chapters 3, 5, 7, and 9. For each online idea or activity, we give the following:

1. Description and Purpose of Activity.
2. Skills and Objectives (the activity addresses).
3. Advice and Ideas.
4. Variations and Extensions.
5. Key Instructional Considerations (List includes a Risk Index (Low to High), Time Index (Low to High), Cost Index (Low to High), Learner-centered Index (Low to High), and the Duration of the Activity.

In effect, we have templates for 100 online learning activities for any age group from K-12 to higher education to government, military, and corporate training. All of 100 of them can be used in higher education and most of the rest can be used in any setting. Sometimes it may require creativity on the part of the instructional designer, teacher, or trainer, but they can work nearly anywhere with access to technology and the Internet. And with 100 variations and extensions, there are at least 200 activities or ideas in the book, not just the 100 promised. So it is a good deal. Smile.

Some "Read" activities: Online Poetry Readings, Online Language Lessons, Online Scavenger Hunts, Audio Dramas, WebQuests, E-Book and Wikibook Reports and Critiques, Text Messanging Course Reminders and Activities, and Online Synchronous Testing.

Some "Reflect" activities: Podcast Tours, Posting Model Answers, Collaborative and Team Blogs, Electronic Portfolios, Social Networking Linkages, Field and Lab Reflections, Reuse Chat Transscripts, and Self-Check Quizzes and Exams.

Some "Display" activities: Interactive News and Documentaries, Broadcast Events, Online Visualization Tools, of Google Maps, Anchored Instruction and Online Video, Virtual Tours, Online Timeline Explorations and Safaris, and Design Reviews and Commentaries.

Some "Do" activities: Web-Based Survey Research, Action Research, Online Tutoring and Mentoring, Learner Podcast Activities, Events, and Shows, Real-Time Cases, Wikibook Projects, and Online Role Play of Personalities.

You can order it on Amazon for $40.

You cam find the R2D2 model and a 20 percent off order form off my homepage at:

***A PDF of an order form with a 20 percent discount from Wiley/Jossey-Bass os also available.

The visual of the R2D2 as well as the book cover and more information about the book can be found at

I have also gotten permission from Jossey Bass to post all the Web links mentioned in the book by chapter. I also posted all the references that ended up in the R2D2 book; many include Web links to the actual article or report. Check them out. This is all free for you and me!!!!!!!! You can find lots of resources at

Ke Zhang and I hope you enjoy the book. Send us any feedback, suggestions, comments, and so on that have. We look forward to hearing from you! By the way, six chapters that Ke and I wrote that were more general or theoretical in nature, including one's on learning styles, training and support of instructors to teach online, Generation X and Y students, and instructional design comparisons to the R2D2 model, were not included in the book. Comments and inquiries for such chapters or about anything related to the book, can be sent to me at: or to Dr. Ke Zhang at

Later this summer, I will be working on another 100 idea book related to online motivation and retention using my TEC-VARIETY model. Each letter stands for a motivational principle (Tone, Engagement, Curiosity, Variety, etc.). This book will have ten motivational principles and 10 activities for each principle as well as variations and extensions related to each one. In effectm, it will be another 100+ activities book for online learning. First, I must finish revising my big book about the more open learning world we are in. That project is killing my brain right now! Back to revising.

Oh ya, here is a picture of Ke and I showing off our R2D2 talents:

May the force be with you always!!!!!!!

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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 11:32 AM  
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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

See my complete profile

Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Visit the Indiana University Home Page of E-Learning Expert Curtis J. Bonk.

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