It’s been exciting and a fun learning experience for me. However, I don’t believe I’ll ever be teaching an online course. I need to be investing my valuable time in other endeavors. I wish each of you the success you deserve. Thank you, Lisa. Coach John
October 14, 2011 by coach john · 2 Comments · Uncategorized
Don’t have anything substantive to share except a colorful sunrise to brighten your day. Coach John
October 13, 2011 by coach john · No Comments · Uncategorized
I finally finished the reading and playing with the assignment. It took a while, but ultimately found a site to help me understand jing, (somewhat)! It seems fairly simple once I got through my wandering around in it, not sure what it was going to do for me. Here’s the link to the helpful site.
Anyway, here is my first jing-a-ling. Hope it works and is helpful to you as you continue to explore the jing.
October 5, 2011 by coach john · 1 Comment · Uncategorized
Regarding the Ch. 5 reading: I Liked the notion that the syllabus is a contract between the instructor & the students. Nice perspective. The ideas I liked and will likely use are the following:
1. To define for students the grading policy pertaining to their participation. Since my class will require a significant amount of participation, students will benefit from knowing precisely how it will affect their grades, as well as their ultimate success.
2. Students expectations: defining for them what they can expect from me: how & when will I be available to them, in what ways I will be a resource to them, etc is vital to their understanding of what to expect from me and what I will expect from them.
3. Setting the stage for them: another great idea that I will use in my class. As I set the stage for them I will probably use a video introducing myself, allowing them to see & hear me, get a preview of who I am and how I will interact with them. They will get a feel for what to expect and get to know me up front, just so they know a little about me and my expectations of them in this class. After the overview, then I’ll lead them into more detailed explanations in a variety of formats.
4. I liked the idea that the syllabus is a ‘map’ : not the territory, but a map. I especially liked the description that it is a ‘narrated guide’, and I definitely plan to provide it. A helpful approach.
5. The class schedule, by weeks. That allows both me & the students to know what is next, when it’s due, and the topics that will be covered. Since I am leaning toward using Moodle, (since I’ve used it before), it also allows me to put the weeks into specific topics. These will be designed and presented as a means of getting students more deeply involved in their learning and more deeply involved in their own problem-solving in the course.
6. I agree with the redundancy notion, especially realizing how we are all inundated with bombardment of input moment by moment, day by day. We can easily become overwhelmed. To help keep students, (and myself) on tack, and on ‘course’, repeating fairly often, my expectations of them at every step of the journey. Their learning in this class is a journey of discovery about who they are as they learn more about creating joy in their lives. So I repeat, redundancy is a useful notion in this class and I will use it, repeatedly. (That is, again & again!)
7. Assignment drop-box. Never even thought about it! It makes such great sense, not only for students, but for me knowing there is only one place I need to look to find students’ assignments. What a simplification to all of us. (I’m not sure I know how to set that up yet, but I’m sure I will soon, especially after getting to know the management systems.)
8. Checklist for my online syllabus. I will definitely use this, since much of this is new to me. Without a checklist, I would leave out much of what is essential to be there. This will be very helpful to me.
As far as what I would not use, I truly didn’t find anything specific that I would ignore. This chapter points out several areas that I will need to create a syllabus that will be useful to students, and just as useful to me as the instructor. Thank you, Ko & Rossen!
September 28, 2011 by coach john · 6 Comments · Uncategorized
Design for my introductory class:
The introduction to my class begins with a set of questions to my students; this will get their curiosity up & running and introduce them to how the class is structured. This set of Qs is based on my decision that this class will be student-centered. Students will be required to discover their own knowledge & understanding. Students will explore both online & offline resources to find their answers, then post their answers on the class blog.
They will compare answers with a small group of fellow students and share their discoveries with the class. Students will expand their knowledge and deepen their understanding of the topic by reading the postings of at least 3 other students and commenting on them thru the blog.
Finally, students are asked to reflect on all they have learned during the week and determine the greatest insight they have gained in their discovery process. This class is about self-discovery. They will realize each of them is in charge of their learning & it is their responsibility to learn by exploring, discovering, reflecting & sharing with other students.
This introductory class sends a strong message about how this class is organized & reminds each student that the primary responsibility for their leaning belongs to them. The following link is to my first attempt at using Prezi. It is also the applied design of my intro0ductory class as described above. Click here for the link.
I found Prezi to be fun and very useful, fllowing my initial frustration while I slowly explored how it works. I will definitely use Prezi in my online teaching. NOTE: I just found out that my grandaughter uses Prezi regularly in her college classes. So when I return next week from Yellowstone NP, I will hire my personal Prezi tutor!
Regrading HTML, I found it totally confuding, even frustarting. After several attempt to undertand what the heck it was, I found I had no moyivation or inkling to explore it any further. I decided that I would explore & discover several other resources to use in my classes and leave HTML for those who have Higher Thoughts Mutilating Language. (It reminded me of my college freshman calculus course, long before most of you were on plnet earth. Yes I AM that olde! Love to all, Coach John
September 25, 2011 by coach john · 5 Comments · Uncategorized
September 21, 2011 by coach john · No Comments · Uncategorized
Coach John’s Week 3: Goals, objectives, and use of provided resources.
Goals for “Creating a Joyful Life”:
Understand what joy is and what having joy in your life will do for you.
Realize that each person is responsible for the joy in their life and is in control of the process of creating their joy.
Be aware of the many resources that are available to help students create their joy, including their fellow students.
Objectives for the introductory session for this class.
- Create an environment that invites and encourages each student to participate actively in his or her learning.
- Students will clarify their own specific desired outcome for taking this class and share that outcome with the class.
- Each student will create relationships with other students that will support them in their learning throughout the course thru small group discussions, blogs, etc.
- Students will explore the resources available to them for achieving their desired outcome: offline, online and within this class and compile a list of these to share with their classmates.
The Beginner’s Questionnaire will help me achieve the above because my responses reminded me of how much I require that students accept responsibility for their learning. Small group discussions, forums and blogs can be used to achieve these objectives. Following my introduction to the content and leaner objectives, students will begin their journey to achieving their desired outcome. Some of this will be accomplished individually; others will be through small group work. The questionnaire reminded me of how much a constructionist I am as a leaning facilitator.
Even though I had some pretty clear ideas of how I wanted to begin this online teaching process, The Getting Started Chart clearly brought home how much help I will need in order to plan this class effectively. By reviewing the chart, I concluded that Moodle is a way to go that will provide me with the organizational structure I need to design the class as well as provide many opportunities for students to interact and share their discoveries and conclusions. Moodle will also help me organize the materials and learner objectives by topic and provide my students with a flexible means of finding resources.
As I analyzed the ‘how I like to teach’ section, I realized I have several options. I like discussions and group work as the foundation for my class. I was pleasantly surprised that again Moodle ‘s flexible format will allow me to share my topics in this format in a convenient way.
Reflecting on the 7 principles, I realized that online teaching allows frequent contact among students and the instructor. Reciprocity and cooperation are achieved in a variety of ways, including small group discussions and blogs. Active learning techniques are easily achieved in online instruction by frequent interaction among students and my daily participation in the process of sharing resources and monitoring student progress. Giving prompt feedback will be easier in an online environment, since as I review assignments, reports, etc., I can easily provide my feedback immediately. That way I won’t have to return a second time to students’ assignments so it will be more efficient for me.
Communicating high expectations will be an ongoing process: individually as I notice opportunities for each student as I review their work and for the class as a whole as I notice a trend or just believe it is time for a reminder of my standards and expectations of them as a class. Respecting diverse talents and individual ways of learning will keep me on guard all the time. I need to remind myself to be open, flexible and accepting of the wide variety of unique learning styles and preferences.
Lastly, # 5, emphasizing time on task: This has been one I philosophically do not agree with. When emphasis is given to time spent, time becomes the focal point. That can distract from the quality of the work students are doing. I’d rather emphasize the outcomes achieved by the students. I allow for their individual differences in style and the amount of time needed for each outcome. I want them to carefully audit their progress and the quality of their work and I will do the same. Time on task is not one of my criteria for success. There are other ways to do this more effectively.
September 21, 2011 by coach john · 2 Comments · Uncategorized
Coach John’s Week 3: My use of provided resources
When I first viewed Lisa’s video, I believed it was a good overview and introduction to this week’s work. I didn’t see it as being personally valuable to me. However, after I downloaded and reviewed the ‘Getting Started Chart’ and had taken the Beginner’s Questionnaire, I realized how much I could profit from what Lisa was saying. So I viewed her presentation again and it began to make so much sense to me. (Thanks Lisa)
From the Beginner’s Q., I realized that I like small group discussions best as a means of gaining students’ interest in the topic. In small groups, the students have a chance to share their personal interest, and to find who else in the class has similar interests and concerns. A bonding begins to take place at this time. The relationships built at this point are valuable for the remainder of the course.
For content, I concluded that students should be given the opportunity to create at least part of their learning activities to personalize the content. I use both small and large group discussion for them to process what they are learning. The large group discussions provide an overall understanding of the big picture, i.e., the ‘umbrella’ view. It helps the class become connected to the topic as a group and I learn something about the expectations of the class as a whole. It also gives me the opportunity of giving the entire group my expectations and the foundation of the expected outcomes to the class as a whole.
In small groups, the students are able to share their expectations and needs to a more intimate group of their peers. They are able to connect with the material of the class as well as with one another. This is the place where the outcomes of the class become cemented with individual learners. It becomes more real and more relevant to each of them. This is not possible in the large group environment.
It is my strong belief that students must be actively engaged in their own learning. Otherwise it is not ‘learning’. If any student is going to embed the ideas, understandings and attitudes about the topic, they must take personal responsibility for their learning. They must be actively engaged in each step of the learning process.
Lastly, I believe that assessment serves many purposes. For me, the most important of these is as a learning tool for students. This is where they understand where they are in fulfilling the learner objectives. Each assessment is another opportunity for them to experience and realize where they are on a continuum of the journey to fulfillment of the expectations of this course. It speaks to them clearly about where they have fulfilled and where they have yet to master the content so they can re-focus their energy and attention on the class outcomes. (It also gives feedback to me about where each of them is on that road to completion.) This feedback to students is critical in their understanding of their personal responsibility for their learning.
My total score is 10, and I lean pretty heavily on the constructionist side of the equation.
Regarding the 7 principles, I agree wholeheartedly with six of them. I’ve used these for nearly 30 years in my teaching in grades 6-12 and for scores of classes designed and taught for adult learners. I have a concern about # 5, time on task. Obviously there is a correlation between time invested in the learning process and the results achieved.
However, in my experience, when one emphasizes time spent, that becomes the area of focus. I’m not nearly as interested in the amount of time used as I am about results achieved. I emphasize gaining the learner outcomes rather than the amount of time spent. Each learner is different; each has their unique approach to learning. Some objectives will be achieved in a shorter amount of time, others over a longer period. I prefer to measure the outcomes achieved, not the amount of time spent getting to those outcomes.