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Synchronous Lesson Evaluation Instrument

April 17th, 2012 Comments off

Synchronous Lesson Evaluation Instrument

  • 10 Points.  Lesson delivery was smooth and there seemed to be no technological issues on the instructor’s end.
  • 20 Points.  Appropriate methods for recognizing student interaction / involvement (i.e. virtual hand raising) was employed.
  • 10 Points. Appropriate methods were in place to encourage all students to participate.
  • 10 Points. Adequate time was given for students to participate before moving on.
  • 20 Points. The instructor involved the entire class in the activities / discussions.
  • 20 Points. A variety of questioning methods were used including direct and indirect questioning, surveys, polls, and quizzes / knowledge checks.
  • 10 Points. Appropriate methods of assessment were used and were delivered free from any technological issues.
Evaluation of Plagiarism Lesson
  • 10 Points.  Lesson delivery was smooth and there seemed to be no technological issues on the instructor’s end.  5/10.  The beginning of the lesson was rough and a lot of dead air.
  • 20 Points.  Appropriate methods for recognizing student interaction / involvement (i.e. virtual hand raising) was employed. 15/20.  I didn’t see any real interaction.
  • 10 Points. Appropriate methods were in place to encourage all students to participate. 10/10.
  • 10 Points. Adequate time was given for students to participate before moving on. 5/10.  I felt very rushed.
  • 20 Points. The instructor involved the entire class in the activities / discussions. 20/20.
  • 20 Points. A variety of questioning methods were used including direct and indirect questioning, surveys, polls, and quizzes / knowledge checks. 10/20 I didn’t see many opportunities for direct questioning or at least it wasn’t really modeled.
  • 10 Points. Appropriate methods of assessment were used and were delivered free from any technological issues. 10/10.

Total 75/75

Evaluation of Icebreaker Activity

  • 10 Points.  Lesson delivery was smooth and there seemed to be no technological issues on the instructor’s end.   5/10.  Intro was somewhat smooth, but the visual was cutoff.
  • 20 Points.  Appropriate methods for recognizing student interaction / involvement (i.e. virtual hand raising) was employed. 20/20.
  • 10 Points. Appropriate methods were in place to encourage all students to participate. 10/10.
  • 10 Points. Adequate time was given for students to participate before moving on. 10/10.
  • 20 Points. The instructor involved the entire class in the activities / discussions. 20/20.
  • 20 Points. A variety of questioning methods were used including direct and indirect questioning, surveys, polls, and quizzes / knowledge checks. 20/20.
  • 10 Points. Appropriate methods of assessment were used and were delivered free from any technological issues.  10/10.
Total – 95/100
Categories: General Reflection Tags: ,

 


Module 5 Reflection and Summary

April 17th, 2012 Comments off

Synchronous learning is something that we have grown up with and that we are familiar with since we participated in it every day that we say in classrooms during our time in elementary, junior high and high school as well as many college classes.  While this trend is starting to change the majority of us still experience it on a regular basis.  It is only natural to want to use synchronous learning in the online environment and at times it may even be more appropriate.

During module 5 I explored the confines of adobe connect and I found that it is a particularly effective method of delivering synchronous learning.  It has many tools that would make the facilitation of a lesson easier like the breakout rooms, shared whiteboard, chat function as well as support for audio and video if necessary.  The downside is that a dedicated server is needed and some technological expertise is needed for an instructor to adequately deliver a lesson using it.  I found that some other services / websites might offer alternative methods.  One that I have been very interested in is Facebook.  I know.  It sounds crazy, but many students use it.  It has the ability to host private chats that can include multiple participants.  It has the ability to have postings and other comments.  It has the ability to include video, photos, and audio as well as video conferencing.   It has potential and I am exploring it.

I worked with my partner to develop a lesson plan for a synchronous lesson.  I found that experience to be quite enjoyable.  I’ve always enjoyed planning.  I found it beneficial as well that my partner is a friend and colleague that I did undergraduate work with, so we already had a good working relationship.

I think that the synchronous evaluation tool is helpful because it really made me think about what is a good lesson.  For the most part, I found that what was expected to be good in a traditional lesson could and should carry over into a synchronously delivered online lesson.   The main difference is that the delivery method is more prone to technological issues.  This is something that has to be considered and planned for.  What happens if all of the student’s audio doesn’t work?  What happens if the instructor loses an internet connection?  These types of problems don’t present in a traditional classroom.  I think that one of the best methods to this is to practice and have reliable and maintained equipment.

I evaluated two of the recorded lessons and for the most part found them adequate.  I looked at the lesson on plagiarism and I like that he would split the class into three groups that looked at different things and then reported back to the class.  I also liked how the groups then would have a class discussion.  This type of teaching is very appropriate and helps students not only build bonds between themselves but also to learn from each other.  Now with that being said, I feel that this lesson could have been much more affective as an asynchronous lesson.  The groups could collaborate via email, chat, and message boards to research and synthesize their findings and then they could have posted their findings in another discussion forum.  The entire class could have then come together asynchronously via a discussion forum to debate and discuss the issues.  The PowerPoint could have still been used to deliver lesson content.  This type of lesson needs careful consideration and I don’t feel that the students would have had enough time to really sink their teeth into it.

The second lesson that I looked at was the icebreaker.  This lesson was perfect for synchronous delivery.  It was intended for students to get to know each other and there is no better way than direct synchronous interaction.  This lesson could have been conducted asynchronously but the effect would not have been as immediate or as real.

 


Module 4 Reflection and Summary

March 31st, 2012 Comments off

Chapter 4 in the Building Online Learning Communities was filled with information on common issues that arise and considerations that need to addressed and pondered when designing or delivering an online course.  They talked about time constraints, timing constraints, and other time issues.  Also, they discussed synchronous vs. asynchronous facilitation and some of the advantages and pitfalls of each.  I was surprise to learn that an instructor puts more time into an online course than a traditional course.  I had never really given it much consideration though.  After reading it, it does make sense.  The instructor has to check on and monitor the course daily if not more often.  It was also surprising to learn that they often make less money or have to facilitate these online courses in addition to their normal brick and mortar work load.

Creating the communication plan is a great idea.  It gives me a springboard so that I can launch other communication events within my online courses.  It also gives me some great ideas that can help to jumpstart the online community and learning.  I probably will use this discussion plan in my future online or blended environments.  It has ideas to help me manage time.  I feel better about my future classes now that I have this.  I may not refer to the document on a regular basis, but I have done the mental groundwork now and it will remain with me.

Facilitating the discussion this week was interesting.  The class-members, initially didn’t respond to the prompt and I was beginning to think that I would not have much work to do and was worried about the quality of the prompt, but after a while responses started t flow in.  I was surprised at some of the reactions to the prompt.  There a wide variety of opinions of the quality of the activity presented that caught me off guard, but I tried to remain objective and give each opinion it’s due.  It was a good learning experience.

I used my assessment criteria to assess one of my own discussion prompts.  Here is how it broke down.  I was on time with my posts and replies.  5.  I tried to elaborate on other class members postings beyond the “I like or I agree statement” but I may not have gone far enough. 3.  I always try to be thought-provoking, but in the particular post, I may have fallen a bit short on that one.  3.  I did follow the five rules of basic netiquette. 5.  I feel that my replies demonstrated my understanding of the material under discussion. 4.   So the total score is an 80%.  This is not my best work and I can see that.  I realize that all students have time constraints and I am no exception.   We don’t always put forth our best work and this is an example of me not putting forth my best effort.  In the future, I shall endeavor to be a better participant and live up to my own expectations.

I have always been of the mindset that synchronous delivery of online content would be a better choice.  After learning about all of the timing issues and the benefits of asynchronous deliver, I feel that I might lean more in that direction now.  Asynchronous deliver seems to allow for deeper thought and less anxiety about participation since students can participate at their own pace and with forethought.  That’s not to say that synchronous methods will never be used, but with all of the issues and time problems (especially for a more globally distributed group of students) it would have to be planned and implemented very carefully and would not be the bulk of the course.

 


Communication Plan

March 31st, 2012 Comments off

Part 1 – Routine Tasks

  • Check and respond to course email (daily)
  • Monitor and respond (if necessary) to course discussions (daily)
  • Contact dormant or quiet students via email (weekly)
  • Contact dormant students that have not responded to emails (bi-weekly)
  • Admin work for course management [posting grades, making new modules available, etc.] (weekly)
  • Grading / Scoring Assignments (weekly)
  • Hold office hours via synchronous chat and telephone (semi-weekly)

 

Part 2 – Discussion Forum Strategies

 

Personal Statement:

Hello and welcome to all.  My name is Fabio Cominotti.  Beyond school, I have four children (three of which are boys) and a divorced wife.  I say divorced wife because we are divorced but still together.  It’s really a long story and not very interesting.  Okay, it’s interesting but really too long to tell.  Anyway, family is important to me as I assume it’s important to most of you as well.

I’ve never liked being called Mr. Cominotti.  Mr. C has been okay, but I really prefer my name.  Sure I have and have had many nicknames and I probably won’t share them.  So calling me Fabio is fine and I like it.  While we not be on the same level as far as course content, I am her to facilitate and guide your learning.  I am not better than you and I don’t like being ascribed that status by forcing you to call me by a title unless you’re my daughter’s date or boyfriend.  If that’s the case, then you must call me Doctor Cominotti and / or Sir.  As for anyone else, please address me as you would a friend or acquaintance—by my first name.

There is not much to tell about me.  I enjoy reading and writing—especially short stories or sci-fi.  I also enjoy talking about good stories or movies.  I also enjoy many other things like scuba diving, jet skiing, parachuting, and bareback bronco riding to name a few.  Okay, I don’t do any of those things.  Well I did get on a jet ski once and promptly sunk it but we don’t need to dwell there.  Needless to say my family won’t let me use one again.

It is my hope that you not only learn from this course, but have fun and enjoy it as well.  Please, my virtual door is always open so please don’t be afraid to contact me for any reason.  I will respond as quickly as I can and, legally, I must warn you that this call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance.  Thanks and have a great semester.

Critical Thinking Prompters: 

When speaking of literature or any subject, it is always a good prompter to ask students why?  I love this question.  It forces students to think about why they did, said, wrote something.  It forces them to reflect and analyze their own thought processes and work.

What motivates this particular character to perform this particular action?  This is a generic question that can be modified to relate to the current character under discussion.

How would you change this story or ending to make it better? Why?  I like this question a lot as well.  It forces students to engage with the text and try and find things that they can improve upon or make clearer or better.   I then ask them to elaborate and explain / defend their decisions.

Purpose and Expectations of the discussion boards and / or areas.

 The purpose of the discussion boards in this course is multi-faceted.

  • The boards provide a place for you to get to know your classmates and colleagues as well as your instructor.
  • The boards provide a means in which to communicate and have a meaningful discussion that we all can learn from.
  • The boards also let us come together as a group and discuss topics and ideas.

Because these discussion boards are so important to this class, you are expected to adhere to the following.

1. Be respectful of others

2. Keep what you post related to class

3. Keep what you post appropriated for the environment

4. Think about what you are writing before posting

5. Be honest in what you write.

Introductions / Ice-breaker activities:

Please provide a paragraph or two about yourself.  You can include in that paragraph, your name, likes / hobbies, current job, reason for participating in this course, last book that you read and liked (as well as why you liked it), last book that you couldn’t finish as well as why you couldn’t finish it, and any other information that you might find useful or informative.

Next pick a book or movie that best describes who you are.  Present that to us and then elaborate and explain why this movie is a portrayal of you.  This explanation should be approximately two paragraphs or more.  Also please post a link to the IMDB article for this movie or the amazon description of this book (or other web source that can provide a summary and other information about your book or movie).

Part 3: Discussion Forum Assessment

All participation in the discussion forums will be assessed according to the following criteria.  Each category will be assessed on a scale of 1 (being the lowest) to 5 (being the highest).

  1. Discussion prompts / replies are posted within established deadlines.
  2. Discussion prompts / replies follow the basic rules or netiquette as stated above.
  3. Discussion prompts / replies are thought-provoking and show effort and forethought.
  4. Discussion prompts / replies fully explore ideas and avoid simple, “I agree” or “I like” response.
  5. Discussion prompts / replies demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of the material being discussed.

Your scores will be added and multiplied by five.  That will be your grade for the discussion portion of the course.

Part 4: Management issues and strategies.

  • Inactivity (group)

If the group becomes inactive, I might have to contact the group leader or individual members.  It’s possible that the group might be using some other means of communicating and working.  If this is the case a gentle reminder to use the venues provided by the course should be issued.  If this is not the case and the group is just inactive, I must ascertain why.  Gently probing should be used here.  Once a reason is determined, gentler  probing and suggestions might stimulate activity in the group.

  • Inactivity (individual)

An individual that becomes inactive within the class deserves an email.  If the email is not responded to, a phone call should be placed.  Once communication is established, I need to find out if the student has any concerns or issues that I can help with and see what I can do to help bring this student back into the class.   Some gently probing as to what some issues might be might be required.

  • Dominant student

For the dominant student, I have to step into the discussion and start asking questions directly to other students so that they feel like I and the group value their opinion and to give them the signal that they can participate.

  • Digressions

For digressions, some simple redirection questions should be posted to the discussion boards.  Sometimes a gently reminder that we are getting off-topic might be needed.

  • Misconceptions

I think that the best way to handle misconceptions is to set clear expectations.  When a misunderstanding or misconception occurs, I can make reference to the expectations and requirements.   I can also allow for error and the grace to make up for errors that might occur on a case by case basis.

  • Inappropriate Communications (flaming)

The offending student will be contacted directly and privately and asked to cease their inappropriate communication.  I would remind them that we are here to learn and that flaming is not allowed.  If the flaming persists, then removal from the course must be considered.  The key here is communication and careful monitoring of the discussions.

  • Poor quality of participation

Students suffer from a wide range of issues that can affect their quality.  I would contact the student directly via email or telephone and see what their circumstances were and if I can help.  I might make some adjustments for that student if they need to catch up.

  • Stagnant discussions

In this case, I would intervene with some new prompts / topics that relate to the discussion.  I might also ask students to elaborate on already posted ideas.  Basically, I won’t let it stop even if I have to start asking more and more questions.

 

 

Categories: S4 - Management Tags: , , ,

 


Building Relationships on a Call

December 4th, 2011 Comments off

I created this presentation and presented via Adobe Connect for EDTECH 523.  The video of the presentation is embedded below and a link to a PDF of the presentation as well.

 

View the PowerPoint presentation

Categories: General Reflection Tags: ,