Sunday, May 1, 2016

Journal: Week 5

Well it's been an interesting journey. Overall my fellow students were very encouraging and helpful, which was nice. I'm still thinking about social media and how to utilize those the idea of having my own app for a class.
Since many of the students used their journal to record their notes and resources - I thought I'd copy in the word doc I used as a "holding tank" for some of my notes, a bit of a jumble.
Notes for final paper:
 Best practices:
1. downloadable work that is titled to load in a specific order that way students are clear about the order I want them to be working in. This would replicate the “learning management” work that I use in class, so each can build on each other.
2. All docs are formatted as pdfs to ensure correct readability in all platforms.
 From 7 guidelines: 1. Instructors should provide clear guidelines for
interaction with students.
 Principle 2: Good Practice Encourages Cooperation Among Students: Well-designed discussion assignments facilitate
meaningful cooperation among students
 3. Students should present course projects.
 4. Instructors need to provide two types of
feedback: information feedback and acknowledgment feedback.
 5. Online courses need deadlines.
 6. Challenging tasks, sample cases, and praise for
quality work communicate high expectations.
 7. Allowing students to choose project topics
incorporates diverse views into online courses.
 In terms of success rates and retention, in the past two years the Visual and Media Arts department online courses have met or exceeded the rates in our face-2-face courses.
I would like to submit this proposal for an online version of Art 80: Elements of Photography which is one of our primary GE classes on Tracks X and Y of the Education code. As this is a lecture-only course, I feel it is well suited to the online formats.
Key Elements:
The course will consist of the following elements
• Each section will start with a multi-media style lecture.
• Assignment critiques will happen online to foster understanding of critical thinking and to help create a sense of community and student-studetn learning.
• Study groups to evaluate specific issues.
• Strong instructor interactions and participation in the discussion boards.
• Office hours on computer.
Re: Questions about Distance Learning
xxxxxYou replied on 4/13/2016 4:26 PM.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 11:56 AM
Ann Mitchell

Hi Ann,

Sorry for the delay in responding to this--I hope it's not too late. 

Some of the problems I've heard colleagues discuss are usually based on lack of participation in discussion forums and not submitting weekly homework assignments.  Those are far and away the most common. 

One problem I have, that I'm currently in the process of trying to solve, is making sure that my student are reading my lectures each week.  I have them posted as powerpoints, and I can tell, from the mistakes that students make in their essays, that some of them simply aren't reading the lectures.  I'm starting to write some lecture-response quizzes that will, hopefully, address this problem. 

My dilemma, though, is how to find that right balance.  They already have  a lot of reading and response work to do from the course textbooks since this is a composition course, so I have to find a way not to over-burden them by just adding more to their already-full workload. 

I hope that helps!  Let me know if there's anything else I can do.  I promise to respond more quickly next time :)

  From: XXXXX
Sent: Monday, April 4, 2016 9:21 AM
To: Ann Mitchell
Subject: Re: Problem with Online?
Some follow up -
 As you heard in Senate, it sounds like the college is willing to make a long-term financial commitment to Canvas, so that sounds promising. Also, I wanted to clarify that I think the problems with Moodle were systemic - not a problem IDTC - they’ve been great, and I think that XXXXX is trying to take things in the right direction.
 As far as the identity issue, there is a Federal requirement about this, and we minimally meet it by having the students agree to regulation 6000-something when they login in. Of course, we don’t check every students’ ID when they come to a f2f class, but we do get to see the same student taking the exams. We have no way of knowing if it’s the same person taking online exams, even with writing samples. There are a number of monitoring tools/services out there, and I think that we need to take a closer look at them institutionally.
 XXXX resource was used in our Student Engagement group project.Best Practice 2: Create a supportive online course communityA good strategy for developing a supportive online course community is to design a course with a balanced set of dialogues. This means designing a course so that the three dialogues of faculty to student, student to student and student to resource are about equal. In most online courses, the dialogue of faculty to student is provided with (1) mini-lectures in text or video or audio podcasts, (2) weekly coaching and reminder announcements and (3) explanations/interactions with the students.
Here are three strategies that can be used to encourage peer-to-peer, student-to-student engagement and thus the building of a course community. Note that an online instructor wants to develop three types of presence:social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive/content presence.
    Launch the class with a personal introduction posting so that students can get to know one another and you get to know "where students' heads are." The types of info often shared by faculty and students include info on professional experiences, personal information such as family/friends/pets, and a photograph. Faculty also often include a note about their teaching philosophy and research projects.
    Encourage use of a general open student forum for students to post and request help and assistance from each other through the various student-to-student tools, such as discussions, help areas, etc.
    Set up small groups where students can assume responsibility for supportive mentoring of fellow students and summarizing key points of a class assignment. The students might work in groups of 2, 3 or 4. This strategy is similar to a study group.
    Set up problem-solving forums or discussions boards, and assign students or student teams to monitor and support or direct questions.
Note: Learning within the setting of an online course community will work better for some students than for others. Some students may choose not to participate very actively at all; other students find it is the best way for them to learn in an online setting. The point of this is that for those students who need it, it is an essential part of how they learn. Vygotsky's theories remind us that we learn as social beings within a social context. The online community is part of what makes this happen for some students.
 From the Institutional Challenges threads:
xxxxCourse construction and excite the learnersThe two challenges I find in my online course construction are: how to best evaluate learning and how to excite the learners.
My current method is basically, just make sure they do the work.  They read the text, take a quiz, respond to a study guide and contribute to a relevant discussion.  Their two projects are individual and one involves reading and analyzing a play, the other is a "See a Play Paper".  I would say more than 50% of my students have never seen a live play.  I enjoy their record of discovery.  I already have decided that many changes are due.  I want to add group projects so I am looking forward to seeing how that works as we work with our respective groups.
Also, I am doing a lot of thinking about how I can improve my classes so the learners are inspired to discover the world of theatre.  I use Power Point lectures but need to update them and add transcripts and audio.  I use youtube to assign design, acting and directing clips that demonstrate an artistic choice.  I would like to learn how to add more complete plays and videos.  I would also like to learn how I can assist my students in acquiring current plays without major investment.  Technical assistance at Solano Community College is good but I am learning how to be a better teacher from this class.
 xxxxRE: Course construction and excite the learnersCOLLAPSEHello, Carla.

Trying to peak students interests can be very difficult. Because of that, I’ve also tried to improve my powerpoint presentations as well. I tried to  create Prezi presentations because I think it’s more visually interesting than powerpoints. I even added videos to my presentations to make them more interesting. However, I went to a workshop about ADA compliance where I was told that Prezi isn’t ADA compliant.  I now have to change those lectures back to powerpoint presentations.
 xxxInstitutional ChallengesThis articles brings up a lot of challenges we have or will encounter when teaching online. One of the challenges that I’ve seen as a point of contention at a school I’ve taught has been the concept of intellectual property. At the community college where I used to work, there was a counselor who was provided with a stipend for developing an online course. Once she developed the course, her department chair demanded that she allow her fellow faculty members to copy her entire course shell. When she refused citing intellectual property rights, another faculty member simply registered as a student in her class and copied her material that way. Because unlike Colorado State University, community colleges can’t give royalties to their faculty members, it’s more important that they receive either adequate payment to develop a course and that their intellectual property be respected.

Another concern that this article brings up is the online resources schools that colleges have. We are obligated to offer the same or similar resources to online students as we do to on-campus students. Online students need more than just technical support; they also need access to student services which are designed to help students success. This is especially important for online students because the geographical distance may make it prohibitive for them to come on-campus. Some schools are very good about offering those student services online, but many are still do not have the technological capabilities.  The class that I’m hoping to teach online requires that students complete on educational plan which necessitates meeting with a counselor. However, many of the online instructors don’t require that students meet with a counselor because that resource isn’t available online. This is a disservice to online students because they don’t receive the same benefits as on-campus students.
 xxxxRE: Imformative FeedbackHi Karen, your post really gives a feel for some of the challenges with your classes and technology. I don't have the same questions, but could relate to having many like you do!
In my 12 week (so far) experience with Canvas, the Discussions are very smooth to facilitate. Instructors can customize a lot of features and settings at the overall Discussion level down to individual posts. And there is a Peer Review option right in the Discussion setting.
I haven't done a group project entirely in Canvas yet, but have entered group project grades. It is very user-friendly to set up groups and grade options for group work, even with groups who have different project due dates (such as presentations).
For phone conferences, you can try a technology like Adobe Connect. I used that for virtual office hours and chats within a class. It has different "rooms," and areas where you can display artifacts or files. That is one of many online conferencing platforms.
 From previous examples:
Some type of Rationale
  Oportunities and Strengths
 Key structural Elements o fthe Course
  Challenges and Solutions
 Potential Weaknesses
 Targe Population
 Integration of Technology
 Key Elements of Course structure
 Course content:
 Best Practices
 Strengths and Weaknesses
 Opportunities / Threats

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