Well, This was a huge week. I finished and submitted my final project, and I must admit there was a moment of intense pride at what I submitted. There has been an incredible amount of work put into this project, loads of revision and editing along the way, and hitting the send button had the butterflies in my stomach fluttering at full force. This coming week, I am anxious for the peer review, wondering what changes will need to be made and eager to see the work of my colleagues, knowing they have been working as diligently as I have.
As the class wraps up, I am so grateful for the continued level of excellence these courses have been. I have been able to create a course for Junior High Social Studies on the Underground Railroad, and used Weebly as my platform of choice. I found that it was quite user friendly and made web creating a relatively simple task. Making changes to both content and style were pretty hassle free as well. Here’s hoping I won’t have too many changes to make in this last week.
Take a look at my project here and feel free to leave comments on this blog afterward if you wish. Feedback is appreciated.
I’m beginning to wonder if taking two courses at the same time was a wise move. With working full time, and being a mom to two teenagers, I have an overflowing plate. I am afraid that something is going to fall through the cracks or I’m going to crack under the pressure before it’s all said and done. But then I remember that if I take one task at a time, one step at a time, it becomes more manageable, and I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel (unless the light is actually a train headed straight for me).
Cybercoaching was the topic of conversation this week, and generated some interesting dialogue around the challenges that arise in the classroom (whether F2F or online) of providing genuine and constructive formative and summative assessment in a manner that is both timely and realistic without burning ones self out in the process. From the readings for this week, the article E-Learning and Constructivism: From Theory to Application, the assessment model I am using is well in line with what the article suggests, from a variety of sources, not just between the learner and instructor, but between the learner and the content, and between the learner and their peers. SOme of my activities are not “graded” per se, but “success” is determined by the completion of a given task and others’ ability to use the completed task to get from one point to another.
This week we focused on a pre-course survey, and were to use personal starts to the questions so that our potential students could get a glimpse of who we are as instructors. This was a challenge for me, to create a series of questions that give me a glimpse int the personality and preferences of these students while giving them a hint or two as to the direction the course will take.
I used SurveyMonkey to create my survey, Getting from Point A to Point B and have used a variety of open ended questions including multiple choice and short answer. The survey making tool was simple to use and easy to link to both this blog and my web page. Go to the link and take the survey, as I would be interested in a wide variety of answers.
This week, our focus was on Learning Objectives for our online course, and we created a Taxonomy Table using Blooms Revised Taxonomy to aid in the process. Since I’m currently not teaching, and the course is one I am putting together myself, the feedback from the instructor, her assistant, and my peers has been helpful. I’m on the right track, and with a few tweeks, I know this can be an exciting and engaging class for junior high students. Looking at a wide range of higher order thinking skills to engage students beyond simple knowledge acquisition became the challenge, and finding Web tools to use for those processes was also part of the challenge. I’m still working on thinking beyond traditional learning ideas which seem to be my drawback, and move more toward what online teaching is intended to be – student-centered, innovative, and exciting. As we posted our taxonomy to the discussion board, I was very pleased by the feedback from my peers about the course. Their enthusiasm was contagious and has me encouraged about the direction I am headed.
This course is designed for a junior high social studies unit on slavery and the Underground Railroad. One Module is devoted to quilts as communication by slaves and those on the UGRR. One of the final objectives is under synthesis: (design and create) I remember learning Bloom back in the early 70’s when I was getting my degree in Education. His lower and higher order thinking skills were helpful in making lesson plans – plans that were very much teacher centered as I focused on those very important nouns and how I could have such wonderful classes that we would move right up that list to those higher level skills in short order. I was young, and naive, and idealistic. But as I read the rather lengthy revised taxonomy, I felt that same excitement all over again. His revision, using verbs, brings those concepts alive in a way that puts the student squarely as the focus of the learning plans.
The student will design and create a quilt block using their research from quilt symbol identification and the written directions or video link provided.
Besides the attachhed Assessment Taxanomy, you will see the video link and written instructions link.
My taxonomy table can be found here
The Instructional video can be found here.
This week was a crazy one. I took a mini vacation to Michigan with some of my quilting friends and worked on a difficult paper-piecing project. 20 blocks finished, 16 to go. I had 2 video/tele-conferences while there, to complete work on two separate collaborative projects, one being the mid-term for this class. I was up every morning at 6 to do school work till 10, so I could enjoy quilting the rest of the day till the evening collaborations with my classmates.
Our project (the link is at the end of this post) was to research and compile a report on different assessment tools available to the online teacher. We chose from 4 different categories, each of us taking a different category, and evaluated one tool from within that list. Not only did we learn about our own tool, we also shared in the review of each other’s as we built the Assessment Toolbox as a team. We also got to try out WebEx firsthand as that was the tool we used for our group meeting and document review. Our team worked very well together as not only did we each do our individual parts, but each stepped up to make the project a cohesive unit as one wrote the intro, another the conclusion, another communicated with the professor, etc. All in all, a great collaborative experience where the concern for the good of the whole was evident throughout.
Quilting and collaborative work have a lot in common. Both start with individual parts and come together to make a beautiful whole. Both require patience and attention to detail. Both require hard work and careful planning. But piece by piece, each builds upon something else, until the finished product is far greater than the individual parts.
Our project can be seen here AssessmentToolbox(1)