Module 03

Module 03 Homework-Blog Posting

  1. After reviewing the Quality Matters Checklist, what are three best practices you can extract. List each one and explain its significance and importance. Be sure to give an example of how using this idea would make either delivery or assessment better in a specific eLearning context.
Standards Learning Objectives Significance and importance Relevence to E-learning
Learning Objectives 2.3 All objectives … stated from the learner’s perspective. Unless learners know what is expected from their own lenses, miscommunication will be the norm.
  • Given lack of f2f conversation non-verbal cues, that account to some 93% of communication is lost (Heathfield, n.d.)
  • To paraphrase: Clarity is in the eyes of the reader. (VSB)
Course Activities and Learner Interaction 5.2 Learning activities provide opportunities that support active learning As deep learning is the goal for each class, activities need be structured to that goal
  • With both ETEC 500 and ETEC 648, I’ve noticed disparities between students’ commitment to the discussion board postings. Enhancing high quality peer interaction is the goal (e.g., via probing questions) takes each student and ultimately the class move beyond merely meeting the basic class requirements. (Solution: create a rubric for discussion board entries that force deep thinking)
Assessment and Measurement 3.3 Specific and descriptive criteria are provided for the evaluation of learners’ work and tied to the course grading policy Grading qualitative dimensions of students’ contributions to a class
  • While qualitative assessments are sticking points in both f2f, and blended learning environments, they are especially difficult in E-learning situations. (Solution: develop some sort of grading criteria that better quantifies qualitative responses.
  • Many non-verbal cues are lost. (Solution: inclusion of at least one skype or phone call meeting mandatory)
  • Further, the asynchronous nature of E-learning makes a dialogue difficult. (Solution: require at least one individual or small group chat)

Heathfield, Susan M. n.d. Tips for Understanding Nonverbal Communication. About Money.

http://humanresources.about.com/od/interpersonalcommunicatio1/a/nonverbal_com.htm

  1. After reviewing the readings (and other sources that you locate on your own) what are some ideas that you can take from the work of Chickering and Gamson? How well do their suggestions map to online education in general? How well do they map to the students and/or content you might teach or develop for?

While all of Chickering and Gamson dimensions are relevant to on-line learning, several seem especially appropriate to adult professionals in an on-line environment.

Chickering and Gamson Dimension General Observations and Relevance to e-Learning
  • Encouraging contact between student and instructor
With aynchronous on-line learning, faculty have greater numbers of students and adult professional learners find themselves balancing work and class responsibilities. This might be best overcome with synchronous and blended classes. As a cost-saving measure, many corporations sponsor and/or conduct synchronous and blended programs for short term training and workshops, and reimburse students’ graduate studies for all three modalities.
Encouraging interaction between students As with the previous C&G dimension, competing priorities result in time lags between discussion board, blog posting and email problems, in general, and with group projects, in particular.  This is probably most visible with asynchronous learning situations. To save money, several corporations and training organizations sponsor and/or conduct synchronous and blended short term training and workshops. Similarly corporations appear more receptive to all three teaching methods.
Encouraging active learning In general terms, the days of a training junket to some destination city are pretty much over. Today, companies are more apt to bring the educator/facilitator to a given site or employ technology with a particular interest in synchronous learning.

However, there is a distinction between two types of professional adult learners: quantifiable (specific, measurable skills) and the more amorphous management development.

  • Quantifiable skills be easily accomplished via synchronous and asynchronous methods. Both can be expanded beyond the scientific/technical arenas.

-With synchronous learning, adult learners work through (e.g., practice) a series of specific skills as defined by the course title, objectives, etc. This is done with the assistance of the facilitator/teacher. Also on-line videoconferencing can be used as a “how to” tool

-In asynchronous situations, adult learners have weekly assignments that, ideally, relate to current work skills. If that is not possible, Progress can be readily assessed and/or quantified via on-line assignments. The educator becomes more the monitor than the facilitator. While video technologies (e.g., MP4) can be employed, peer learning and problem solving is not an option.

  • Management development is more amorphous. Yes, the goals can be articulated; however, measuring actual skills and deep learning can be more difficult asses.

-With synchronous programs, on-line video-conferencing, including YouTube-style videos allow for idea sharing, teamwork and peer learning. It becomes easier to observe learnings and assess individual progress.

-Asynchronous learning is more difficult. Professional responsibilities, including those pesky emergencies and deadlines, compete with the training program. This combination makes teamwork especially problematic. The educator becomes more the monitor than the facilitator.

 

Providing prompt feedback More technical and soft skill professional development both require timely feedback.. It seems that this is best achieved via synchronous programs where there are options for off-line conference calls with participants.
Communicating high expectations High expectations need to be an expectation with both synchronous and asynchronous programs.

A program I developed for a Fortune 500 was a variant of blended learning. Expectations were defined by the department head.

1- I conducted an initial f2f professional development program for three sections of a department. 18 staff representing the sections leads came from different parts of the country.

2-At the end of the training, each team became responsible for developing an action plan that filled a department priority. It was required that one plan would implement the plan of the other two sections.

3- Via conference calls, I facilitated the development of each sections action plan

4- After 4 months, I facilitated a conference call with some 50+ department employees.

5-Over the next few months 5 of the action plans were implemented.  [A reorganization and sale of a business unit intervened with at least one implementation.]

 

Emphasizing time on task In the above situation, team leads within each section were required to stay on task. My role was to provide technical assistance.
Respecting diverse talents and learning styles In some ways it is easier respect diverse talents and learning styles in asynchronous learning situations where f2f situations are less the norm.  However, it is a problem with both synchronous and asynchronous systems to work around different experiences and skill levels.  This is especially true with the management development training.

 

  1. According to the text, what are Objectives, Outcomes and Competencies. Provide an example of each.

According to Palloff and Pratt (2009, pg 6):

Objectives: “What students will learn, generally at the end of a unit of study.’

For example, the professional will be able to identify the role of performance evaluation in creating a more valuable employee.

Outcomes: “What students will able to know or do, generally at the end of the course.

For example, “The professional will know when and how to employee Management by Objectives (MBO) is the best choice of performance review tools.

Competencies: “How students demonstrate knowledge or skill acquisition, generally at the end of study.”

For example, “Using MBO as the performance review framework, the student writes four different measurable objectives that can be measured in 6 months.”

 

Paloff, Rena M and Keith Pratt. (2009, pg 6) Assessing the Online Learner. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA)

 

 

  1. List the six levels in Bloom’s taxonomy. Now list one eLearning task, question or assignment for each level.

This answer is based upon the original Bloom taxonomy (Old Dominion University, n.d.)

Ranking Blooms Original Taxonomy eLearning task
Low
  • Knowledge
Identifies four different types of performance review tools
  • Comprehension
Defines four different types of performance review tools
  • Application
Explains why MBO is an effective performance evaluation tool for technical employees.
  • Analysis
Articulates the relationships between Performance Planning ->Managing Performance-> Reviewing Performance->Rewarding Performance-> Planning Performance vis a vis performance planning for 8 team members
  • Synthesis
Able to use the MBO to assess the performance of 8 team members
High
  • Evaluation
Able to summarize and report on how MBO increases productivity and decreases turnover with a team of 8

 

Overbaugh, Richard C. and Lynn Schultz. n.d. Bloom’s Taxonomy. Old Dominion University. http://ww2.odu.edu/educ/roverbau/Bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm

Paloff, Rena M and Keith Pratt. (2009, pg 6) Assessing the Online Learner. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA)

  1. According to the text, what is “learner focused teaching”? How does this concept relate to the work of Chickering and Gamson? Provide some ideas for providing “learner focused teaching” in an eLearning setting and give at lest one example.

Weiman in 2012 updated her 2002 discussion on learner focused learning model. In the newer discussion:

  1. Learner-centered teaching engages students in the hard, messy work of learning.
  2. Learner-centered teaching includes explicit skill instruction.
  3. Learner-centered teaching encourages students to reflect on what they are learning and how they are learning it
  4. Learner-centered teaching motivates students by giving them some control over learning processes
  5. Learner-centered teaching encourages collaboration.

 

In a corporate consultant capacity (i.e., developer, facilitator, evaluator) of professional learning in both blended and on-line environments my role evolves. At minimum, the consultant:

  • Transitions from the educator/teacher to the facilitator who allows the professional to articulate already learned knowledge—think andragogy—and/or build upon previously acquired technical expertise
  • Learns to be the self-teacher.
  • Sets as the goal, higher level learning and reinvention.

 

  • Moves the locus of motivation for professional learning from primarily external rewards to internal satisfaction

 

  • Makes teamwork and peer review the norm

 

In an e-Learning environment,

Weimer, Maryellen. 2012. Five Characteristics of Learner-Focused Teaching. Faculty Focus.http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/five-characteristics-of-learner-centered-teaching/

Weimer, Maryellen. 2002. Learner-Focused Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

While my addition to the Chickering and Gamson principles might be considered part of the Weiman analysis of student-focused learning, the combination of all these points seem applicable to the consultant’s role as the developer, facilitator, and evaluator of professional learning in both blended and on-line environments.

At minimum,

  • The educator becomes a facilitator.
  • The learner becomes a self-teacher.
  • Higher level learning and reinvention is the goal.
  • Motivation moves from external to internal.
  • Teamwork and peer review becomes a new norm.

 

 

Principle Adult learner e-Learning Example
  • The educator becomes a facilitator.
Probing questions on a blog or discussion board
  • The learner becomes a self-teacher.
Professionals identify on-line and/or other resources to satisfy e-Learning classes
  • Higher level learning and reinvention is the goal.
Through a systematic series of e-Learning training, new professional goals and a self-defined pathway to get there emerges
  • Motivation moves from external to internal.
Through e-Learning, a realization that reinvention is rewarding in and of itself, transitions the locus of control from the external to the internal
  • Teamwork and peer review become the norm
In the new professional world, on-line courses that promote collaboration either through blogs or discussion board postings, foster the growth of virtual teams.

 

  1. Explain how the readings this week (and your own research) connects with the Blackboard discussion.

While some of the readings (e.g., Bloom, C&G) have direct relevance to discussion board, there seems to be a more tenuous relationship between the Adrogogy posts and discussion board and assignment.

That noted, I have tried to relate the androgogy readings, as well as my own experiences with Knowles’ work and professional experiences  teaching, training and coaching adult learners. The CELT three dimensional model seems most applicable to the adult learning.

 

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (2012) Iowa State University. http://www.celt.iastate.edu/pdfs-docs/teaching/RevisedBloomsHandout.pdf

Old Dominion Unversity, n.d. Bloom’s Taxonomy. http://ww2.odu.edu/educ/roverbau/Bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm

Wilson, Leslie Owen 2013. Understanding the New Vesion of Bloom’s Taxonomy.The Second Principle. http://www.thesecondprinciple.com/teaching-essentials/beyond-bloom-cognitive-taxonomy-revised.

 

  1. Quote your best entry from this week’s Blackboard discussion. Explain why you chose it and what it demonstrates about your understanding, learning process etc.

My best entry to the discussion board relates to the discussion of quality. The rationale for this selection is at least twofold:

  • Real world experiences form the basis of the response.
  • By introducing the concept of relative definitions of quality, the conventional definition of quality becomes challenged.

 

  1. Identify the student you think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

Because we focus upon different audiences, Loraine Gersitz captured my attention. She explained how the QM rubric can be applied to the K-12 population. She also explained how it can be expanded to include library environments.

On the K-12 QM Rubric there are nine standards or checkpoints:

  1. The overall design of the course is made clear to the student at the beginning of the course.
  2. Learning objectives are measurable and are clearly stated.
  3. Assessment strategies are designed to evaluate student progress by reference to stated learning objectives, to measure the effectiveness of student learning, and to be integral to the learning process.
  4. Instructional materials are authoritative, up-to-date, and appropriately chosen for the level of the course
  5. Forms of interaction incorporated in the course motivate students and promote learning.
  6. Course navigation features and the technology employed in the course foster student engagement and ensure access to instructional materials and resources.
  7. The course facilitates student access to institutional services essential to student success.
  8. The course demonstrates a commitment to accessibility for all students.
  9. Local compliance standards.
  10. I think all of these quality features are important in an online class. I particularly like #7 because the facilities that are essential to student success includes the library and it’s online resources.
  11. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

Without becoming redundant, the CELT 3 dimensional model has changed my thinking about Blooms Taxonomy and how it can be employed with adult populations. It provides a sophisticated, yet approachable framework for designing, implementing and evaluating training/education programs for adult professionals.

The reintroduction to Androgogy, in general, Knowles, in particular creates a focal point for future assignments.

 

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