What is a wordle? Wordle is an online tool
that generates "word clouds" from text that one enters into a list. The
words can be modfied to appear more pronounced than others and different
fonts, colors, and schemes can be created. Wordles can be used for
introductory activities as demonstrated below or embedded as a
curriculum activity such as evaluating a reading passage or book, key
issues in an historical event, etc. Create your own Wordle now! (http://www.wordle.net)
Online courses should begin with ice
breaker or team building activities that are designed for learners to
get to know a little about each other! We're going to start with a
creative visual called a Wordle that describes who you are!
Uses in Career Development:
I would complement the personality and/or
learning style profile with Wordle by having students create a Wordle
of their results! This would be fun an excellent culminating activity!
Online Learning Assessments
Read this article - Online Student Support Services: A Best Practices Monograph.http://www.onlinestudentsupport.org/Monograph/readiness.php.
Take Dr. Lynn Schrum’s Student Online Readiness Tool (SORT) which is available online at: http://www.yourcallla.org/SORT/sort/html/tool.html.
Another good online assessment: http://www.elearners.com/advisor
current educational setting and then compare and contrast any two
online learning readiness assessment including the features you feel
would be most relevant.
I am currently working as an applications administrator for a
school district in Lebanon, NH. I have worked as an educator since
1998 when I started my first teaching job as a HS Business Teacher.
Since then I have also received my computer technology educator
credentials and worked as both a teacher and technology integration
specialist. This is the first “non-teaching” job I have had but I
still spend over 50% of my time working directly with teachers and
students in the classroom providing technology integration support. I
have two areas of interest in online learning. First, I would love to
have the opportunity to teach courses online, as it is a good match
for my experience and learning/teaching style. I would be interested
in doing this independently or as a facilitator for online learning at
a HS as well.
Both the SORT and Washington
Online (from the Cascadia Online link) offered questions in areas of
computer skills, motivation, and reading and writing but I found the
Washington Online Assessment more user friendly and helpful to me as a
student. It offered specific feedback to each reply in each category.
I felt it was difficult to bring the SORT assessment together in one
place to evaluate the results. I feel that they each addressed the
most important areas for students to evaluate for online learning. It
is important for students to consider:
· Are they self directed learners/self motivated?
· Do they have the access to technology that is required
· Do they have the technology skills required?
· Can they be organized and manage their time?
· Do they have a motivating reason to be successful or a strong desire?
My SORT Assessment:
I fared well with the sort as my strengths are very much
aligned with the qualities that make for a successful online student.
My area of weakness is the discussion board as I have difficulty
interpreting “voice” or inflection if there are many different people
posting. If that class is smaller it is easier for me to find ways to
relate to each person’s ideas and contributions.
Applying to My Scenario:
I liked the Is ELearning For Me? assessment tool available through Washington Online:
This assessment is user-friendly and I found
the feedback very easy to understand and use. I think students in my
online course would prefer this assessment to the SORT.
Medieval Personality Activity
There are a variety of "personality" indexes
and profiles available online. The Medieval Personality activity is
unique and likely to engage participants.
Read the article and then access the Thy Kingdom Come
quiz. It takes just 8 questions for you to determine your middle
ages profession. Write a short paragraph describing your new medieval
persona and post on the Online Community of Learners forum in the
Discussion Area. Respond to at least three of your classmates posts
to start building our community!
My quiz resulted in "The White Knight." - I'm not sure I can
relate to their dialog as a perfect match but here are some thoughts
given the feedback:
I work very hard to help other people when I can, do my best
and live up to my commitments and promises. I like to give to others
when it is not expected. I enjoy doing random acts of kindness when
noone is looking. I can be impulsive and I like to use the term
emotionally immature as opposed to sentimental - but noone is perfect!
I have a tendency to be a crusader for things I believe in to be good
- but can often get tunnel vision.
They wrote:" >our
distinct personality, The White Knight, might be found in most of the
thriving kingdoms of the time. Don Quixote was a White Knight as was
Joan of Arc, the Lone Ranger and Crusader Rabbit. As a White Knight
you expect nothing in return for your good deeds.You are one of the
true "Givers" of the world. You are the anonymous philanthropist who
shares your wealth, your time and your life with others. To give, is
its own reward and as a White Knight you seek no other. On the
positive side you are merciful, sympathetic, helpful, giving and
heroic. On the negative side you may be impulsively decisive,
sentimental and misdirected. Interestingly, your preference is just as
applicable in today's corporate kingdoms."
Use in My Scenario:
After taking this quiz I would
have student reflect on the results and how they identify with the
description and then relate their medeival career to careers that might
be good matches today.
The Kingdomality Quiz:
The Kindomality Lesson Planner Page
Theories of Online Learning
Read the "The Foundations of Educational Theory for Online Learning." http://cde.athabascau.ca/online_book/pdf/TPOL_chp01.pdf
Classify & discuss the online learning activities Behaviorist, Cognitivist, Constructivist, or a blend of schools.
The required and recommended reading, activities, and
these examples leads me to the believe that typical online learning
design chiefly employ the "constructivist" approach that is blended
with cognitive and behavioral approaches in optimal ways? Does anyone
else draw that conclusion?
Activity 1: Students work in
collaborative groups to create a Thinking Map or other conceptual
model of the properties and classification of minerals using a
graphical wiki program such as Kerika.
"Constructivist’s promote interactive
learning as a means of achieving higher-order thinking and here
students are working collaboratively in groups thus “being
interactive and involved in the process of “constructing” their own
learning” while applying cognitivists methods with thinking maps to
help facilitate processing."
Activity 2: Students participate in a virtual dissection simulation called Froguts.
Constructivist – students are interactively involved in
“facilitated” learning if they are actually “participating” using
interactive virtual tools. This would be well blended with the
cognitivists “metacognition” by having a series of questions to check
progress as one goes along.
Activity 3: Students take a Blackboard online quiz after reading a story on African cultures.
Cognitivist strategy of metacognition – a way to check and
receive feedback on learning and behaviorist in the belief that
learners should be tested to see if they have met the learning
Activity 4: Students
work with a partner to create a PowerPoint presentation on the steps
in calculating a discount shown in percentage and computing the sales
The interactivity “working with a partner” would employ some
constructivist approach, however wouldn’t it depend upon how this
assignment developed? Were the students in charge of researching the
steps (constructivist) or is this a summative activity to what has
been taught (behaviorist)? This activity could have began with a
behaviorist approach to learning with an instructor “teaching” the
steps and sequence to develop learning. This could be a cognitivist
(metacognition)-constructivist approach to assessment – giving the
students an opportunity to analyze and synthesize information to
demonstrate understanding while working interactively.
Use in My Scenario:
I like blended
activities and online learning is the perfect environment for that.
Having students participate in online activities and then create
something to demonstrate their growth is motivating and effective. An
example in professional development would be to take a lifestyle
calculator quiz and then produce a "budget" that brings together their
expenses and income.
Online Discussion Facilitator Response with Scenario
A teacher posts this writing prompt in the online discussion forum:
Choose an experience in which you helped
others by serving as a volunteer, making a charitable donation, or
stepping in to help make a situation better. In one paragraph
describe the experience. In another paragraph explain why that
experience is worth sharing with others. In the third paragraph
describe how much information you would need to include to make sure
your audience understands and appreciates the significance of your
The student posts this response:
One Thanksgiving, my family and I decided
to help out at the Salvation Army by helping to cook and serve
dinner. We worked hard to help these people. Some of them were very
nice to us and some seemed to be embarrassed because they were there.
Even though I missed my mother’s home cooked meal that day, I still
feel good because we helped.
The information I included to ensure that the
audience understands and appreciates the significance of my actions
is to tell them that we worked hard and gave up Thanksgiving Dinner at
Reply to this student, using what you think
is an appropriate voice and tone. Remember that you are addressing
the whole class, not just this student so that everyone learns more
about planning and drafting a paragraph, and that the online dialog is
extended, focused, or redirected to promote your learning goals.
After you have posted your response to the
student, reply to your posting identifying the type of voice and tone
from the article, Learning Online Facilitation Online that
best describes yours. Also include how your response furthered your
learning goals. Be sure to read and respond to others postings as
Certainly helping out the Salvation Army at Thanksgiving
is a genuine way to help others! I would be interested in any details
you might want to add to your first paragraph for example, what exactly
your role was and how you helped as well as who you helped. What
would their alternative be if they didn’t have this dinner?
For your second paragraph, I would
recommend making a list of at least three things that makes this
experience worthwhile and build your second paragraph from there.
Does your audience understand how
important Thanksgiving is to you or who the people were that you
helped? What was their situation? These details may need to be
included so your audience can appreciate your efforts!
this case I tried to clarify by being
analytical and "curious." I wanted the student and others in the
class to think more deeply about the details to include in the
My voice stems from "omissions/misunderstandings" in the post -
so I took on more of a "reflective guide" to bring out what was good
and what needs to be built upon.
Use in My Scenario
Learning Online Facilitation Online http://leaders.flexiblelearning.net.au/fl_leaders/fll00/lyn_ambrose.htm
I will uses this resource to help me
organize and facilitate my online course. Some of the procedures I would
like to apply to my course:
- Having students login right away and get acclimated with the learning environment.
- Send weekly emails that recap recent learning activities and post the highlights for the upcoming week.
- Develop a strategy for providing ongoing private feedback
- Use the above article when crafting posts to make sure I am applying voice, tone, and critical thinking strategies effectively.
Collaborative Web 2.0 Toolkit
Work collaboratively to research and
evaluate web-based collaborative tools that may complement the
instructional experience. Post the results to the discussion board.
Web Publishing (submitted by me)
http://sites.google.com Google Sites
Google Sites is the quickest and easiest way I know to create a
professional looking website. In addition it integrates with Picassa,
You Tube, - making it easy to add photo shows, video clips, etc. It is
all quick-click - there is not html required. There are templates to
choose from and you can even make your own template and share! It
links to google calendar as well so you can easily post to your google
calendar and embed it in your website! Classroom Example: http://sites.google.com/a/googleclassrooms.org/mrs-richau/Home
Here is a link to a site I created (http://sites.google.com/site/lebanonms/)
- for our district. They wanted a web site independent of the
district site for their Middle School Project. It is so easy to add
elements. I was able to add video, audio, slide shows, in just
minutes! This was the first time I had used Google and it was easy!
Glogster http://glogster.edu Glogster.edu
- Well, glogs are not exactly web pages - or web sites - but Glogs are
a way to publish on the web - it is like an online poster! Glogster
Edu -a couple of is an examples:
Here is a page I created with resources to Glogster: http://www.sau88.net/Pages/LebanonNH_DISTTech/amollica/glogs
Podcasting (submitted by me)
If you are using a MAC or PC, I recommend downloading a free tool to create your audio file - Audacity is a popular tool which will allow you to create your recording.
Then, check out this excellent tutorial for creating podcasts in the classroom. You can use this set of instructions to have students create podcasts or create them yourself!
He even has another page posted with
instructions on setting up a blog, posting your podcasts so they can be
RSS feeds as well. Click here for the RSS Feed Instructions.
Here is a list of podcasting links and tutorials.
All of the above come from Room 34 - Mr.
Coley's Classroom at Tovashal Schoool. This is so comprehensive and
focused, these resources should be more than plenty to get you started
Also, here's a podcast rubric: http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/podcastrubric.h
Assessment (submitted by me)
Quizstar is a web-based
quiz maker that allows the user to create, grade and manage quizzes.
Quizstar is great because you can add multimedia to the questions, it
can be accessed from any internet computer and allows the student to
review a test after completion citing incorrect responses with
Rubistar is a free tool that helps teachers make quality rubrics. You
can create an account allowing you to build your own rubric or search
for an already designed rubric that suits your needs. In Rubistar a
teacher can save, print, edit and even analyze their rubric. If you
have a hard time getting started on a rubric, are looking for ideas or
just simply want to use a tool that makes the rubric building process
efficient – Rubistar is for you!
Wikis (submitted by Y. Lanier)
make wikis easy to use for everyone, not just technical users. It
provides a simple interface, a visual page editor, and a focus on
community collaboration. It is available exclusively for K-12
educational use. It is open worldwide to teachers, students, and
educators. Cost: Free for educators
http://www.wiki-teacher.com Wiki-Teacher is
a forum for teachers to share their collective intelligence through
lesson plans, unit plans, demonstration videos, unwrapped standards,
and much more. Cost: Free for educators
http://www.curriki.org Curriki is a wiki for teachers. It provides a great way for teachers to share curriculum and teaching resources. Cost: Free for educators
Accessibility Tools (submitted by L. Fosco)
A-Checker http://achecker.ca/checker/index.php Description: On line accessibility checker that tests web pages for conformance to various accessibility guidelines. Free.
- Acc-an Accessibilty Evaluator http://appro.mit.jyu.fi/tools/acc/ Description:
Acc - an Accessibility Evaluator is a developing Firefox Extension,
which is capable of evaluating and reporting some accessibility
criteria. Can spot some basic explicit HTML-coding flaws like other
tools, but it includes features like: Visual layout extraction
implementation; Basic scalability test; Deeply nested layout tables
test; Skip to Main Content link check; Navigation consistency check
compared to previous page; and Scripted page evaluation. Free.
- Acrobat 7.0 Professional (version 7.0) http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/tutorials.html Description:
Acrobat 7.0 Professional has a variety of accessibility checks for
PDF accessibility: 1) the Acrobat "quick check" examines a PDF file
for structure and tags to see if it has the information necessary to
make it accessible as well as checking for inappropriate protection
settings; 2) the Acrobat "full check" list errors and provides
suggestions for how to fix them; 3) using the "read out loud" feature
assists an assessment of access to all appropriate content and that
the information is presented in an understandable order. $$
Video Conferencing/Communication (submitted by T. Eisenhartt)
Skype is a free software. It is designed to support instant messaging
as well as video chatting (conferencing) to users with cameras and
microphones. This is a great tool for expanding the classroom beyond
the walls of the school. It is useful to all ages and is easy to load
iVisit is a free software. It allows you to communicate one-on-one,
in 8 way videoconferencing rooms, or with up to fifteen other people
anywhere anytime on both Windows and Mac PCs. You can combine video
conferencing, voice calls, instant messaging, web co-browsing and file
sharing for all your online meetings. This one is more geared toward
higher education, ie.-11, 12, college
Oovoo is a free videoconferencing software that allows 2-way
conferencing and chatting. It has upgrade abilities that can record
conversations. This would be useful if students needed to recall
lectures or video meetings for projects or class assignments. It is
easy to download and upgrade.
Chapter 2: Toward a Theory of Online Learning (download the PDF)
Post a response to the Discussion Forum on
Learner Interactions: How would you prioritize the three types of
interaction --student-teacher interaction, student-student
interaction, and student-content interaction? Explain your rationale.
Prioritize Learner Interactions
Student-Content: I support
Information Literacy as a major literacy for all of us to be competent
and competitive in society (and the workplace). Therefore, I feel that
this is the most important relationship in online learning. I feel that
students need to be able to locate, organize, analyze, and synthesize
information fluently! This is a vital skill to be a competent citizen
in this era! There fore, in my opinion, this is the most vital
component of online learning.
in an online course often serve as facilitators to learning and although
are the expert on the material the students are usually involved in a
discovery learning process. Teachers can support learning objectives
with some synchronous communication but this should not be overplayed or
overemphasized in a rigid manner - such as a rigid schedule or
platform. In other words, a teacher should not try to "recreate"
face-to-face" / the physical classroom in a virtual environment.
discussion forums and areas where students enrolled in an online course
can review and comment on each other's ideas is a valuable arena. This
helps bring many facets of the course together. However, I do not feel
the collaborative work in an online course has the same relevance as it
does in face to face situations and should not be considered as "vital"
to learning. I think it should be integrated as much as possible as an
"option" so if there are 2 or more folks enrolled that want to and can
work collaboratively together they can but those who thrive working
independently should not have to.
Use in My Scenario
After reflecting on my above response and that of other
students in the course, I may value student - student interaction more. I
think younger students will be more apt to find this as a
vital/important interaction where as the older students may not simply
because of time constraints and thus one of the reasons they engage in
online learning. My target audience is younger in this scenario so I
believe my prioritizations for this audience will be different with more
emphasis on the student - to - student interaction.
Learner Support Agreement
A learning support agreement establishes
roles and responsibilities of the facilitator, learner, and other
members of the online community. Revisit the article Learning Online
Facilitation Online and read the section on Learning Support Agreements.
Look at the sample Learning Support Agreements in the second item in
this folder. Design a Learning Support Agreement that you feel would be
suitable for the grade levels you teach and save it as a Google Docs
word processor file. Invite your group from Module 5 to make editorial
suggestions for your Learning Support Agreement. When your Learning
Support Agreement is finished, attach it to the LSA Discussion Forum
Learner Support Agreement for HS Sakai Online
Welcome to HS Sakai Online! This document is meant as an overview
on this online course and a confirmation that both the student and
instructor agree to the general expectations of each other throughout
the duration of the course. Sakai Online will allow us to collaborate
more easily and provide more opportunities for various communication
and assessment activities. However, we will need to be fully aware of
our responsibilities to the online environment in order to make it a
Online learning requires a more interactive role between the student and teacher.
Much of the learning takes place as a process of student discovery
and research. The instructor guides the student through that
process. Therefore the student needs to be prepared to take an active
and interactive approach. Some learning will take place independently
while other initiatives will be collaborative.
- There is a video in on the home page
of the course that describes the Sakai environment and how the course
will be conducted.
Learner Roles and Expectations
In your workspace are tools that are
exclusively viewed/owned by you. This is where you will complete your
FIRST ASSIGNMENT. You will need to update your profile by adding
your email address in the email field and SKYPE id in the inline text
box. More details about this are provided in Module One.
For this class the following tools will be used:
- Syllabus - Review the syllabus of this course and email me if you have any questions.
- Announcements - I will post
the beginning instructions when modules are released here. Any other
relevant course information will be posted here.
- Resources - All course documents and files are located here.
- Wiki - Collaborative pages that all participants have access to read/edit.
- Roster - Contact information for all course participants - click on individual names to view contact information.
- Modules - The course is
organized into weekly Modules (units). Each module has the resources,
reading assignments, activities, rubrics, and a final checklist.
- Discussion Forum - The first
post in the discussion forum explains "how to use it." Make sure you
follow the general guidelines when posting.
- Assignments - The assignment
link will contain the assignments for each module - some assignments
will be submitted inline (typed or copy/pasted into the text box) -
others such as multimedia files or word documents with formatting will
be submitted as an attachment.
- Tests/Quizzes - If a module contains a test or quiz component, it will be accessible here.
- Polls - Each week there will be a new poll question that correlates with the current module.
Facilitator Roles and Expectations
- Reply promptly to emails from your instructor
- Log-in regularly for updates and announcements
- Look to the Modules for general dates, deadlines and update your Google calendar or any external calendar you may use.
- Complete assignments in a timely manner.
- I review the discussion forum and email
daily. If you post a question in either area I will normally respond
within 24 hours.
- Feedback on forum posts and assignments will be provided within 3-5 days of submission.
- Upon notification of omissions or errors within the context of the site, I will respond within 24 hours.
- Tech Support Resources:
- Use the HELP feature link in Sakai for general questions about using Sakai.
- Join our Learner's Support Site for
help with Sakai and Online Learning. (In "My Workspace" go to
Membership>Joinable Sites>Click on Learner's Support
- Academic Support:
Contact me with questions about the course! If you think your
question has relevance to all, please post to the discussion forum (if
you include your email in the question I will reply to the forum and
email you the response directly as well. This may help others who
have the same question. If you are not comfortable asking questions
in the forum or it is an individual question, by all means email me
Access to Course Content
All courses are re-assigned at the end of the term. Please
be sure to back up/save any course documents to your workspace
resources if you would like to access them after the course ends.
Use in My Scenario:
I will definitely use
this LSA as a foundation to creating one that I will use in my online
course. I think they are a vital part of the course and by having this
will most likely impact success for all parties.
Parent Guide to Online Learning
involvement and interaction in K12 online learning is critical. Most
students are minors and parents will want to play an active role in
monitoring online activities for safety reasons, ensuring that
students are meeting learning objectives, and communicating with the
instructor about student progress. A Parent Resource Guide for your
course is an invaluable communication tool for helping parents to
become involved in their student’s online learning activities.
Use Contribute and work collaboratively with a partner/group to develop a Parent Guide to an Online Learning Scenario.
Whoville Online Virtual High School
Parent Guide - K12 Online Learning
Welcome to Whoville Online Virtual Learning
Environment. Our online collaborative suite is open to all K-12
educators and students. This guide is to provide you with information
to provide information for parents as they support their online
learner. Please read through the information below that will
outline some of the key advantages and challenges of online
learning, an overview of our virtual environment, parent access
information and learner readiness and suggestions for helping your
Advantages of Online Learning
Having to be in one particular place
physically at a specific time...that's what we've been used to in
prior years whether it was high school or college. Today, all grade
levels have an opportunity to explore online learning. Many
parents tell us they think they know that online learning is a good
thing but don't really know why. Here are only some of the
- One Stop Shopping!
Resources, assignments, syllabus, gradebook, discussions, chat, etc -
they are all in one place - in one online location. This makes it
easy for students to stay focused on what really matters in the
course and not waste time chasing resources and information!
- 24 Hours / 7 Days! Every
student has access to courses and materials 24/7. With the hectic
schedules we live with today, being able to access a course early in
the morning, middle of the day and late at night allows us to
accommodate everyone's schedule!
- Assessment - Useful & RealTime.
Students can get immediate feedback on assessment and teachers can
implement a variety of assessment strategies "just in time" to help
them with both formative (where do we go from here) assessment and
summative (how have we done/have we learned) assessment!
- Collaboration and communication.
Students don't have to meet at a library, stay after school or travel
far to work in groups. Collaboration can take place with our wiki
tools, forums, chat, and shared workspaces. The best part is that
students can work together and the technology can demonstrate how
each person contributed to the group.
Even with the many advantages online
learning offers, as with anything it has it's own set of challenges.
But again, there are always ways to tackle individual challenges and
here are some tips for facing some common challenges:
Be Informed- Each course schedule is posted through the "modules" section.
- Read through the course syllabus, content, and learning modules at the beginning of the course.
Prepare For Your Class
- Put contact information in your email address book, bookmark web links, etc.
- Post the steps toward completing the
assignments/modules in their calendar/schedule in coordination with
their other activities.
- Set up required elements of the course
at the very beginning - for example if you need to download a tool
or register for a web site do this right away so you have time to
troubleshoot problems and learn how to use it.
- Have a technology back up plan - if you
lose access to your Internet/Computer - does the library have what you
need or a relative? Have a plan if you can!
Keep Current - To avoid the last minute "crunch" students should:
- Regularly schedule time to "be in
class." This means a regular time to check the course for
updates/assignments, post to the discussion forum and/or work on
- Check progress via the grade book
regularly. This will indicate if all the course requirements have
been met to date and what the assessment (grades) are.
Avoid Distractions -
It's easy to get distracted especially if you participate in your
class while doing other things. That is a big mistake! To avoid
losing your way:
- Create a study space where it is quiet, has good lighting and immediate access to the computer, Internet, and printer.
- Turn off cellphones and other devices that could pull your attention away from your studies during your "class time."
Description of Virtual Environment and Tools
Each course provides students with online
assignments, test, and quizzes. The announcements and calendar sections
of the course provide up-to-date information about assignment
dates, changes, and directions. Students use these tools as well as
collaboration tools within the course context. Such tools may
include discussion forums, group pages, and chat. Students must
read and sign our online acceptable use policy and conform to
acceptable standards for using these tools. Essential to each course
is the GRADE BOOK! Parent have access to this tool through the parent
portal which is described below.
Access Information for Parents
Upon enrollment, both students and
parents receive a username and password to access the course
information. Parental access is limited to viewing the grade book,
emailing the instructor, viewing course requirements, and viewing
general announcements/calendar updates from the instructor. Parents
may use this portal for observing only. Active posting and
submitting assignments is designated for student access only.
In order for students to be successful in
the online learning environment, they must have access to computer
software and hardware as well as a reliable network to access the
Internet. Students who are successful demonstrate the following
- strong organizational skills
- strong motivation
- good reading, writing and computer skills.
- willing to ask questions.
To check your students compatibility with
the online learning environment, try on the Student Online Readiness
Tool (SORT) questionnaire below.
Student Online Readiness Tool (SORT)
Suggestion for Helping Your Online Learner
- Time Management: Help your learner with managing daily activity and long-range projects.
- Communicate with the course instructor:
It is essential to the success of your learner to understand the
expectations of the course and the course instructor. Be proactive in
your approach with the instructor.
- Talk to your learner:
Communicate with your learner on a daily basis. By talking about due
dates and daily workloads, you can help them organize their
thoughts and plan for the future.
- Use the parent portal:
Whoville offers you a secure link to the grade book where you can
monitor your learner's progress. This helps to guarantee that course
requirements are being met. Within the portal, parents can email
the instructor and view upcoming due dates as well as general
announcements from the instructor.
Use in My Scenario:
I think for my scenario a parent guide would not be
distributed but I would definitely post something like this on my public
web page for a parent resource. As the school begins to use online
learning more it may be something we (as a school) may want to include
in our School Handbook.
This type of assignment could be incorporated
into my class. Students could collaboratively create policies or
guidelines for the classroom as part of "preparing themselves
professionally" for the world of higher education and/or work.
Universal Design for Learning Resources
As in the face-to-face classroom, you will
have online learners with special needs. Read the Universal Design
for Learning articles posted below and write 2 paragraphs with a
description and suggestions for how you can implement UDL to meet the
needs of all of your online learners.
What is Universal Design for Learning? http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html
Universal Design for Learning Guidelines http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines
UDL - focuses on the learner, not the "lecturing of knowledge."
I LOVE THIS IDEA! Students (learners) should always be the focus of
instruction! The UDL is identifies that inflexible - and rigid
approaches can be unable to meet the needs to students with OR WITHOUT
disabilities. In other words, - we are not all "vanilla" so how can we
accommodate all flavors to meet our goals? It's difficult as an
instructor to identify all the individual challenges one might face. As
a learner with ADHD I know what is helpful for learners with my same
perspectives and needs .
To provide multiple means of representation in
an online course I could provide a variety of ways to access
information - ie. text, podcasts, and/or movie/multi-media files. This
would allow for a variety of ways to access content for learning. For
those who have difficulty visually, having auditory (podcasts) available
for reading could be a major help! It would be ideal to have the the
text and audio versions available of the same or similar material.
To provide a multiple means of expression allows
for a variety of assessment techniques. Providing opportunity to
demonstrate understanding in alternative ways. While one learner may
thrive with written expression in a text/composition form, another may
find the creation of a digital poster (example: Glogster) to
demonstrate comprehension of a particular topic. Many times an
assessment can be written (a drawing of an ancient city), digital
(Google Sketchup design of an ancient city) or built / modeled (lego
replica of an ancient city). In an online course a student would have
to submit a digital photo or video of the "model."
The way I understand the multiple means of engagement for
an online course is similar to the way this course is set up. A
learner that prefers a routine can access all the modules and plan ahead
but with weekly announcements regarding new modules a spontaneous
learner can be given the opportunity to access the course in that
fashion. I like the idea of setting up the modules and having them
available from the beginning as that most fits my learning style! I
don't like "waiting" to see what is next. I also think having the
objectives clearly stated and all of the assignments clearly defined is
important to all learners. I like the idea of having a systematic
approach to all the modules/units. This way the learner doesn't have to
guess where to find the content, activities and assessments.
Use in My Scenario
Alternative assessment and multiple means of
assessment can be applied to one learning situation. When possible I
like to give students choices in demonstrating competency. I like the
idea of providing various ways students can access information - via
text, audio, video. I will continue to apply these principles with both
my online and offline instruction.
- Describe any experiences in this course that were personally meaningful.
The most meaningful parts of this course
for me were the differences we shared as students in our ideas about
Learner Interactions - and how we prioritize these. There were other
areas such as practicing our "voice" in the Online Learning Scenario in
which I learned from the input of others as well as my own.
I felt that evaluating different LMS
systems allowed me to further reflect on where we are at with Sakai -
the challenges, successes, etc. One thing I learned is that every
LMS/CLE has something the other doesn't have and is missing an important
component. Sakai has the built in opensource portfolio but does not
interact with PowerSchool and PowerTeacher. Tapestry has GREAT
assessment tools, is integrated with PowerSchool and PowerTeacher but
does not have a Portfolio piece. Blackboard 9 seems dynamic but
expensive and again is missing the portfolio (right?) Finally, more
K-12's are using Moodle and Maraha than I thought - I was informed a few
years back via a tech conference and other media that Moodle was going
downhill and schools were seeking out alternatives. I do know folks have
been frustrated with their portfolio component but don't know why.
Well, I'm sticking with Sakai but it is good to have this background
I learned a variety of ways to incorporate activities that appeal to all learners in an online environment.
- How will you use the experiences in this course to shape your online teaching practices?
I feel more qualified in teaching online
and better prepared to create and facilitate online courses. I will use
the resources about facilitating, moderating, and voice to better
interact and facilitate online discussions and student interactions.
- How does participation in this course help you with your professional goals?
My goal is to teach online or facilitate
online learning, be dynamic and effective with learning and assessment
activities, and keep up to date with instructional technology. I much
closer to reaching my goal as a result of this course.
I would go through the modules and tidy
them up a bit - by taking away repetitive information - put the reading
links in either assignments or reading and try not to be too redundant
throughout the module. It was confusing for me at times. But, I really
like the activities and felt that I was kept challenged and motivated
throughout the course.
- What suggestions do you have for improving this course?