By Patricia Brown (Columnist) Mar 22, 2016
Video in the classroom is powerful, because it has the ability to make the classroom come alive, and make meaningful learning experiences and connections. Video allows you to deliver long-lasting images, and reach children with various learning styles. But how do you make sure you’re keeping things fresh?
Here are a few ways you can incorporate video projects in your classroom—on a daily basis.
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So this is what I came up with. I designed a blended course where instructors would work together to build a course as a team. It is a three-week course that covers the aspects of course design. The first week is course organization, navigation and content creation. Week two looks at assessment. Then the final week is spent on communication and collaboration. Participants were giving the role of an instructional designer on a team building a fictional course. They were provided information about course durations, student demographics and course learning objectives.
Each week the team was provided a list of objectives to complete on the course. Week one was to design a course navigation structure and course outline for content, then to begin collecting or creating content within the course structure. To help with the tasks at hand the instructors were provided tips and suggestions, both pedagogical and technical in nature. Every instructor had the opportunity to receive additional tips and suggestions by completing knowledge challenges on the features and functions of the LMS. Challenges were designed in three levels of difficulty, with more difficulty challenges earning more points and thus opening more tips and hints. There was also an opportunity to randomly earn bonus points by taking the challenges. Each instructor would work independently with the planning part of the task then the group would come together and finalize their plan and actually build that part of the course in the LMS.
There were some decisions I made based my research into game theory and my previous experiences. Fist the course material would not be on a subject the instructors were familiar with. The idea was to get them away from their preconceived notions of how to teach that subject and be open to looking at other parts of the LMS. The course topic was basket weaving. Second, challenge points earned by team members would be combined to create a team total, in an attempt to foster competition. Along these lines, instructors were able to take the challenges at any level as often and as many times as they would like to better their score.
Posted 06/19/2015 11:12AM
Personalization is all-the-rage across the country, and it’s no small wonder. Until recently, personalizing student learning felt like a dream, but now, in an age where user-driven practices are the standard and where technology helps us function more effectively than ever before, personalization is feeling less and less like a dream, and more like a blissful reality.
Along with any dream, however, comes some unattainable and idealistic myths. While these myths make perfect sense, many of them deter teachers from even attempting to personalize learning, perpetuating the deep sleep of the one-size-fits-all approach. Are you one of those teachers dreaming of personalizing your classroom of thirty kids? Train your brain to break these three myths, and then get to personalizing!
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I looked at obstacles I have faced in my current training. Faculty were resistant to looking at new features, saying that would not work in my discipline or what I have works well enough. I also had faculty continue to struggle with finding support resources. It also felt from a support role faculty were getting the how to steps of the LMS, but not the why they should do something. Also from the feedback I got from students many faculty were missing key best practices and pedagogical principles of the online tools they were working with.
So I dug into game theory and found some tips that I found very helpful. The first was the idea of a role. If I could get the faculty to step outside the role of instructor and have them look at the course design process as an instructional designer they might just see the course and learning objectives in a new way. They would not be limited by their current set of LMS tools. I also though the idea of designing for someone else would help them get past those barriers. Other things I know I needed to address was the idea of levels of experience the ability to allow for mastery, an element of chance or randomness, a level of interactivity, the ability to earn rewards and to provide realistic feedback that is instructional. I know if people fail, they want to know why.
As I look back at the Learning Management System (LMS) Training I have done for the last several years I find many flaws. The LMS has gotten so complex it is impossible to cover all the tools and features that a faculty may or may not use. It is hard enough to get faculty to sit through training and if you are throwing things at them they don’t think they want or need you lose them. The result I have found are faculty that continue to use only the features they are comfortable with and only change as students demand it or the changes in the LMS require it.
What I needed was a way to get faculty out of the mindset of updating their skills for their course needs and think more broadly about what the LMS has to offer and then to select the tools and features to meet their pedagogical needs. You know make them an active participant in their learning. I wanted to encourage them to explore resources and develop ideas to address the learning objectives of the courses their were teaching. To address this I decided on a game, but how to turn the LMS Training into a game?