Friday, February 6, 2015

@ONE Course Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning Week 4

Much to my angst, my original post for this final week disappeared. As I recall, this week's content was about the following:
and formative feedback, such as the following:

Use a likert scale to encourage students to rate a series of topics.

1 = Never; 5 = Always
  • I understand what is expected of me in this class.
  • The learning units make sense to me; I understand their purpose.
  • I feel encouraged to participate and respond to others in discussions.
  • I have a clear sense of the areas I need to improve upon throughout the course.
  • The learning activities are clear to me; I know what the task is.
  • The instructor treats students with respect.
  • The instructor effectively guides and stimulates discussion.
  • The instructor fosters a learning environment that encourages critical thinking.
  • I feel comfortable approaching the instructor with questions or comments.
  • I received comments from my instructor that were helpful to my understanding of the class content.

Questions that encourage feedback about improving learning:

  • I think that I would learn better if a different format were used for this class (suggested below).

Questions applicable for problem-solving or laboratory classes:

  • The problems worked in this class help me in working other problems on my own.
  • The problems worked in this class help me in learning the content ideas in this class.
  • I feel that I learn how to solve problems more easily when I work with a group of students.
  • I find the laboratory lectures helpful in understanding the purpose of the experiment.
  • I find the instructor's comments during laboratory help my understanding of key steps in the experiment.
  • I find the comments on my written laboratory reports helpful in understanding the experiment.
  • I learn more from the laboratory when I am given questions about it to think about first.
  • I learn more from the laboratory when I am given questions about it to write about first.

Questions for discussion-oriented classes:

  • I find class discussions help me in understanding the readings.
  • I find class discussions help me in understanding key ideas in the course.
  • I learn more if class discussions are more structured.
  • I feel that class discussions are dominated by one or a few people.
  • I learn better when I have more of a chance to speak.
  • I learn more from discussions when I am given a question to think about first.
  • I learn more from discussions when I am given a question to write about first.

Questions for classes using team or group work:

  • I feel that I learn more when I work with a group.
  • My group works well together
  • I feel that I need more guidance for our group work.
  • I find that working in a group confuses me.
  • I find it helpful to get feedback from my group on my own performance in the group.
  • I think that groups work better when each person has an assigned role in the group.

Student questions adapted from the samples provided on the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching website.

Also, the course's culminating assignment was the submission of a full learning unit with some materials.  Here's mine:
Learning Unit:  Learning a New Education System

Duration: one week

Total points: 30

Hi, students! In this unit you will build upon what you may already know about the American education system. You will learn vocabulary and terminology used in the application and enrollment processes for college and university.  This will help those of you planning to take credit classes in the future to make a smooth transition. Finally, you will use what you know about the education system in your native country and what you have learned about the American system to write a paragraph explaining a few similarities and differences between the two.  In your speaking and writing, you will work specifically on the grammar for making comparisons.

Time:  Completion of this learning unit will take approximately 12 hours 

Learning objectives.  By the end of this learning unit, you will be able to do the following:

1.      Identify key information in a lecture.

2.      Interpret key information from an authentic text using a variety of reading strategies (for example, comprehend vocabulary words and phrases using context clues, make inferences, skim, scan).

3.      Compose a well-organized, coherent paragraph comparing and contrasting two educational systems.

4.      Revise content, organization, grammar, and mechanics in your writing from feedback.

In order to achieve the learning goals above, complete the following assignments by following the steps below. If you have questions about any of the materials or if there is anything you do not understand at any point in the learning unit, please post your questions to the Q&A Student Lounge in Blackboard. You will receive an answer from me within 24 hours.

 Here we go!

1. Listening and note-taking. First, learn about American education system by listening to a lecture and taking notes. Download this handout: AmericanEducation System.  Answer as many questions as you can in Part I by writing short answers. Preview the note-taking form in Part II.  Then watch the video lecture American Education System  as many times as needed in order to identify the key information by taking notes from the lecture in Part II.  The answers for Part I are provided at the end of the video. After you watch the video lecture and take notes, think about how this system is similar to and different from the education system in the country where you received the majority of your schooling before coming to United States.

2. Reading. Now you will learn how to read a schedule of credit college classes.

  • First, learn and practice some words commonly used for college application and enrollment with these College Words flashcards. Select “Practice Mode” or play the games “Match Game” or “Waterfall Game.” 
  • Now download and print out this “How to Read the Course Schedule” PDF file. (source: MiraCosta College Spring 2015 Credit Class Schedule page 4, accessed online). Read it over paying special attention to the definitions.
  • Then watch this video, “Reading a College Credit Class Schedule,” which will provide you with more practice using a class schedule to locate specific class information, and answer the questions within the tour.
  • Last, test your ability to interpret key information from MiraCosta College’s current class schedule by using various reading strategies. Open this link (in Blackboard) and take this 10-question, 10-point short answer quiz. (This document shows the quiz questions, which will be in a Blackboard quiz).

3. Let’s review and practice grammar!  When comparing and contrasting people, places, or things, we use comparative and superlative adjectives (describing words), and we use comparative and superlative adverbs to describe actions, among other things.

  • Download this file: Comparative and Superlative Adjectives and Adverb Notes.  Print it out and take notes and fill out the table as you view this PowerPoint slideshow (source: Fundamentals of English Grammar PowerPoint Supplements, Chapter 9 Comparisons, accessed online). Note: To view the PowerPoint file with animations, download it. If the file does not open, the computer you are using may not have PowerPoint installed. You can still view the file by downloading the Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer.
  • Complete the following exercises in your textbook, Fundamentals of English Grammar (4th ed.) Workbook: page 151 Practice 6, page 153 Practice 9, pages 164-165 Practices 27 and 28, page 168 Practice 33. Check your answers in the back of the book in the Answer Key pages 25 – 27.
  • Practice with this ungraded exercise on Blackboard (link). Do the exercise again as many times as needed until you have a score of 100%.
  • To practice speaking and listening using these grammar structures with your classmates, prepare your answers to any three questions on this document: Voice Board.  Then record your voice on this Blackboard Voice Board (Enter Voice Board link) before Monday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m.  Return to the Voice Board to listen to any two of your classmates’ voice recordings and leave a voice comment on each before Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. In your voice comment, ask a follow-up question, say what you thought was interesting, remark on what you and your classmate have in common or how you differ. This Voice Board assignment will be graded as follows:

4 points = at least three questions answered with correct grammar and intelligible pronunciation in post; at least two comments on others’ posts

3 points = at least two questions answered with correct grammar and intelligible pronunciation in post; at least two comments on others’ posts

2 points = at least one question answered with correct grammar and intelligible pronunciation in post; at least one comment on another’s post

1 point = at least one question answered with correct grammar and intelligible pronunciation; no comments left on any other posts

4. Writing.  Now it is time to use what you have learned and practice your writing!  Synthesize all you have learned by writing a comparison / contrast paragraph. 

  • Download and view this paragraph prompt: Comparison Contrast Paragraph.  Print it if you like. On this document or on a separate paper, make a Venn diagram (the two overlapped circles you see on the document). In the middle, write key words for similarities between the education systems in your native country and that of the USA. Now it is time to use what you have learned and practice your writing! On the left side, write key words for 2 – 3 features that are different in your native country’s education system. On the right side, write key words for 2 – 3 features that are different in the American education system.
  • Now put some of these ideas into sentences. Before Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 5 p.m., create a blog post for this learning unit (insert link) by selecting “Create a New Thread.”  The title of your post should be “American and ___(enter adjective form for your native country such as Mexican, Colombia, Iranian, etc.) Education Systems.” In the body of your post, write a minimum of six sentences total (three similarities and three differences) from your Venn diagram. Use at least two of the following in two of the six sentences: a comparative adjective, a comparative adverb, a superlative adjective, a superlative adverb.  Before Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m., reply to two classmates’ posts:  ask a question if there is something you do not understand or something you want to know more about, write something new you learned, or write about something interesting in your classmates’ blog posts, mention similarities or differences you notice between the education systems in your classmates’ native countries and yours. Your blog post and responses will be graded as follows:

4 points = blog post and two responses submitted on time; blog post contains six sentences with two sentences containing the target grammar structure used correctly; responses to classmates’ posts reflect depth of thought and clarity of expression

3 points = either blog post or one of the two required responses were late; blog post contains only 4 – 5 sentences with 1 – 2 sentences containing the target grammar structure; responses to one of classmates’ posts reflects depth of thought and clarity of expression but other response does not

2 points = blog post or the two required responses were late; blog posts contains only 2 – 3 sentences with only one sentence containing the target grammar structure or the grammar structures are not correct; responses to classmates’ posts lack depth or clarity of expression

1 point = blog post and two required responses were late or no/inadequate responses were submitted; blog post does not address the assignment

  • Read the requirements and the sample comparison / contrast paragraph on the paragraph prompt on page 3
  • Using the outline on page 2 of the comparison / contrast paragraph prompt document to guide you and the sentences you wrote in your blog post, compose the first draft of the education systems comparison / contrast paragraph. It is preferable that you use Microsoft Word (you can see this video for information on how to format your document). If you do not have Microsoft Word, please email me to let me know which word-processing software you have access to. (Note: You may also use any computer in the Community Learning Lab at the CLC – room 131). Before Thursday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m., submit your Word document to Blackboard Messages (this video shows you how). Watch your Messages inbox on Blackboard for audio and written comments regarding your paragraph’s content: topic sentence, organization, transitions, and conclusion. Using my comments and suggestions, revise and re-submit your second draft before Monday, Feb. 16 at 5 p.m.  Finally, you will receive your second draft with brief comments and editing marks for final revisions. These are the symbols that will help you understand what errors you need to correct in your paragraph, which were explained during Week 1: Editing Marks. The final version of your paragraph is due on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. and will be graded using this rubric: Comparison Contrast Paragraph Rubric

Remember: Writing is the last and most difficult skill to acquire and master in any language!  Don’t hesitate to questions to the Q&A Student Lounge in Blackboard, email me with questions or for an appointment, or visit the Writing Center (located in the Academic Support Center) on campus at the CLC if you need assistance with your writing.

 5. Reflection and Feedback. How did it go? Provide some feedback on this learning unit by answering the following questions in this brief (3-question) Blackboard survey (link).  Your responses are anonymous and will help me improve this learning unit and my teaching.


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