This is the final installment in the more-or-less daily Technology Supported Learning workshop. The TSL workshop covers a lot of material that can be used in many ways within conventional classroom teaching as well as in hybrid, blended or fully online learning.
You have had an opportunity to be a participant as well as a course developer. I hope that you have had some new and interesting learning experiences yourself, and that these will encourage you to enhance your own courses.
Please take some time to review what we have covered and consider how technology can contribute to your students’ learning and success.
- Review your course against the entire Course Evaluation Checklist. How are you doing? Are there specific areas that will help your students engage in your course content? Are there specific actions that you can take that will contribute to supporting learning and retention?
- Looking back at your introduction and expectations, how would you summarize your learning experience? What were your expectations when you started this course? Have your expectations been met? What one thing could YOU have done differently that you would have benefited from?
There are no right answers, but there are lots of good ideas.
Thanks for sharing.
All the best,
Students’ contribution to course development
Students are very generous with their time and their knowledge. Asking students to participate in enhancing or updating course materials can yield some great results. Ask them for feedback about assignments. Include assignments that require research to find new resources to update the course. Include optional or extra credit assignments that encourage students to “teach” something they have learned.
You could be the next DeAnza star
The DeAnza Media Center is available to help instructors create video or audio to enhance course material. This may be as simple as recording a weekly reading of student work with comments. Some faculty have developed extensive videos to demonstrate medical procedures and practices to prepare students for actual clinical work.
Learn more… Catalyst / Moodle
DeAnza Distance Learning Center
Students are usually asked to edit their profile in Moodle. It is also possible for the site administrator to edit users’ profiles. These instructions reflect the 1.9 format of the user’s page for the site administrator. A student has a shorter list.
Course settings control how the things appear to the participants in a course. It is the first page viewed after creating a course. It can be edited through the Settings link in the Course administration block menu. This page has links to other pages that may describe a setting in more detail. Different versions of Moodle may not have all the settings listed below.
Required Regular / Frequent Access to the Course
Asynchronous discussion is one of the important technology-supported learning activities. To be effective, students must participate regularly and often. Requiring frequent access is essential to keep discussions moving and to ensure that all student contribute.
There is a tendency for students to assume that “anytime, anywhere” assignments means the 20 minutes before the due time and date. Establishing guidelines for participation frequency is key to successful discussion.
In “hybrid” classes, a significant amount of the course learning activity has been moved online, making it possible to reduce the amount of time spent in the classroom. Traditional face-to-face instruction is reduced but not eliminated.
Ten Questions to consider when redesigning a course for hybrid teaching and learning
Setting High expectations for students lets them know that this important and interesting. Being clear about what you are asking them to do directs their actions. Students coming to higher education at a community college vary enormously in background, recent academic experience and motivation for learning the subject. Expectations can be presented and reinforced through evaluation, communication, and modeling.
Research has shown that a teacher’s expectations have a powerful effect on a student’s performance. If you act as though you expect your students to be motivated, hardworking, and interested in the course, they are more likely to be so.
Set realistic expectations for students when you make assignments, give presentations, conduct discussions, and grade examinations. “Realistic” in this context means that your standards are high enough to motivate students to do their best work but not so high that students will inevitably be frustrated in trying to meet those expectations. To develop the drive to achieve, students need to believe that achievement is possible -which means that you need to provide early opportunities for success.
–from Motivating Students
Rubrics or explicit descriptions of grading criteria help students determine what is expected of them for a particular assignment, and can determine if they have adequately fulfilled the requirements. Rubrics take the guess work out of the assignment definition and grading process. Publishing the rubric along with the assignment helps set expectations.
Using new skill or knowledge to create a product or deliverable is an important milestone in learning. Having students create presentations of their work reinforces their learning. Presentations can be PowerPoint slides, web pages, wiki entries – all can be shared with other class members who benefit from the work as well.
Open Source Content
Rather than having to create everything from scratch, consider adding pre-made materials to your course. Many creative and computer literate instructors have gone ahead and made their work available to any faculty or students who wish to make use of it. One such example of a library of college-level course materials is the Sofia project made available through Hewlett Foundation funded project at Foothill. Sofia initiative includes courses in language arts, art, geography, music and computer programming. http://sofia.fhda.edu/
Other sources of open source content are maintained by MIT, Harvard, Rice University, UC Berkeley and many others. All the materials are available under the Creative Commons licensing that permits any use of the material.
- Rice University Connexions – view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc.
5. Emphasize time on task
“Time plus energy equals learning. There is no substitute for time on task.” — Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson
Some assignments and course activities produce wonderful learning experiences for students. Some are viewed as drudge work and don’t produce the desired results. We think our subjects are important and interesting. Getting students to spend the time can be a challenge.
For promoting student Time on task there are a number of technology-facilitated learning activities. These include web-based research, collaboration and presentation.
Media in Course Work
Many students enjoy watching and listening to their learning. For many students, being able to rewind and review lectures is invaluable.
There are plenty of well-respected instructors who have recorded their lectures and make these available. Even if their views and content isn’t exactly in line with your course, these differences provide a wonderful opportunity for asking students to compare and contrast your course point of view or facts with those in the external content. Students spend time on task watching the video AND on the critical thinking assignments that you create to bring the students back into your focus.
Moodle – Grades
The two central ideas of grading in Moodle 1.9 are:
- Grades are scores attributed to participants in a Moodle course
- The gradebook is a repository of these grades: modules push their grades to it, but the gradebook doesn’t push anything back to the modules