What worked. The instructors seamed to like the challenges and did attempt them several times. The team members worked very well together to build great courses. All instructors reported they learned new things about the LMS.
And what didn’t. My immediate feedback from the group was the instructions to get started were not clear enough. And as a result they felt they were behind to start with. It was clear after the first week that team member abilities with the LMS and course design were no where close to even. As a result of that the idea of team totals based on the challenges would be unfair and eliminated.
And what worked with modification. Changes were requested early on in the way challenges were run. Originally challenges were available up until the time the team members meet face to face. Everyone asked that they remain open so they could continue to take them. Also, the challenges were originally setup to display only the scores of the challenges and they all wanted to know what they got right and wrong.
What will change next time. The challenge points will be changed from a team score to individual score, with the opportunity to earn badges along the way for them. A desired team score is still needed so the courses designed will be evaluated using a modified version of blackboard’s quality course rubric. The rubric score will give each team a score. Also, the idea of random points from the challenge is being removed.
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.
14 Great Books on the Importance of Video Games in 21st Century Learning
February 28, 2015
Gaming is a growing trend in the 21st century learning paradigm and you don’t need to look hard to see the evidence. Digital and video games take up a big part of the lives of our digital natives, and of course, as is the case with every ‘new technology’ doubtful and cynical voices are the first to be heard. When writing was first invented some 6 thousands years ago, people were very critical of the new invention. In Phaedrus, for instance, the popular Greek philosopher, Plato expresses serious reservations about writing. He viewed it “as a mechanical, inhuman way of processing knowledge, unresponsive to questions and destructive of memory.”(Orality and Literacy, Kindle location. 891). The same criticism and initial rejection were levelled against other inventions that transformed humanity (e.g invention of telephone, radio, TV, and Internet).
Read the original and complete list here
Plan to join us for the twelfth annual SLATE Conference, October 23-24, 2014. Over the past eleven years over 3000 people representing over 165 unique institutions from the Midwest, across the country, and around the world have attended this conference. Recognizing that deployment issues, support concerns, teaching strategies, learning styles, best practices, etc. are common among the varied CMS/LMS clients (Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, etc.), this conference invites all faculty, system administrators, CIO’s, Web developers, instructional designers, librarians, students, and user support staff from institutions that are deploying and/or currently using any Web-based tools, applications or programs, in their teaching and learning.
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So it occurs to me that if we are moving to a learner center paradigm for education and we are asking students to be self directed, we better know how to motivate them effectively. So for my next book I have selected Drive: the Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink. The book arrived yesterday from amazon and I started right away. Although the book has primarily a business focus I can easily see the implication for education. I actually had to stop myself from reading. I wanted to slow down and reflect a little as I go. The first this that struck me was the seven deadly flaws of Carrot and Stick or Reward and Punishment.
- They can extinguish intrinsic motivating
- They can diminish performance
- They can crush creativity
- They can crowd out good behavior
- They can encourage cheating, shortcuts and unethical behavior
- They can be addictive
- They can foster short-term thinking