Friday, April 26, 2013

AEL: Final Posted

I cannot believe it is Friday!  And that it is also the last day of my class. I had until midnight to upload my final project but I uploaded it now. I'm not very happy with it. But it is what it is...
I learned so much from that class and now I have a great collection of resources at my disposal to use for assessing my classes. I also feel more confident in using a variety of assessment tools in my Lib and Tech 7 class and will have to spend the summer working on my Tech Leadership class. I have a much better understanding of backwards design and also feel better about writing learning objectives. However, it is definitely one of those things that you need to keep doing over and over again to get into the practice of it. I suppose that's with all things. To become an expert, you just need to do and repeat.
I think, I will take the next course in the Certificate program. I would do it in the summer but we have to prepare our course for the 1:1 program that is finally starting at our school and I'm teaching 2 summer classes, one using Scratch and the other Computer basics for 5-6 graders. I need a 48 hour work day. I might have to use the mantra that Murakami mentions in his book on running, "I am a robot" so I can just plug away at things.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Last Week In E-Assessment

Wow. I can't believe it's the last week for our E-Assessment class. We are writing our final notes to our classmates on the class discussion board and reflecting on the 8 weeks that have gone by.
First, I learned a lot! I am so much more comfortable working on a wiki space after building our midterm toolbox. Second, I have a better understanding of rubrics and their application to a course, whether it's online or offline. It is useful for all assignments. Third, I have "met" some great people and their support and help has made this course so much better!
I am still working on my final! I know! I know! But it's also nearing the end of the school year and things are getting hectic.
Anyway, if you are looking for a great program, you should try the UW Stout  program for E-Learning.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Reflections: AEL: Week 6 - Cybercoaching

This week focused on cyber coaching as a way to approach being an online instructor. The course I teach actually lends itself fairly easily to this type of teaching. I am definitely more a faciliator and guide as opposed to someone saying "do this and you will know how to do this." I am not saying that I do not need to know what I am doing but it is more of letting students take the reigns as opposed to me forcing them to move at my pace of teaching.

I am finding our discussion very helpful and supportive in how we approach our final project. I have fallen behind but I do not feel so alone and definitely,  not as lost.

Monday, March 25, 2013

AEL: Team-Based Learning

This week in Assessment in E-Learning (AEL) we read a lot about assessing team-based learning project. As a young student, I never really enjoyed group projects because there were always someone who did not do anything and a few people who did a lot of the work. It also was challenging just meeting with your group because we all had such different schedules.

When I started taking classes online, I always dreaded team projects because how were you supposed to meet? How were you supposed to schedule things when you were all in different parts of the country and sometimes, in different countries? However, now that I have used G00gle docs and other online collaborative tools, I feel like, team projects are a little easier. You can "meet" whenever you are available. You can email and people will respond and there is just an understanding that you are all working when you can and you trust your partners to respond and do their part. I also appreciate the fact that there is a history of who has worked and who has not. You cannot really get away with not doing your part on a project.

Also, reading more about assessment is helping me evaluate what I do in my 7th and 9th grade classes. When I first started teaching this course, I had a difficult time trying to figure out how to assess my students skills because it is not a traditional course where I can just give them a test. They cannot really regurgitate information like on a standardized test. Trying to come up with different assessments is key because that is the only way I can really "test' them.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mapping, Assessment, Oh My!

This week in Assessment in E-Learning, we started our group project, where we are creating a toolbox of assessment tools, and also created concept maps for projects in the courses we teach. Since, I am attempting to create e-portfolios for my class, I decided I would try to create a concept map using Popplet. Popplet is a fun and easy tool to use to create mindmaps or collections of images or media.

What I found most challenging was trying to write out learning objectives for the project. I am not very confident in my ability to write learning objectives so I really struggled with creating one sentence that encompasses the goals of a project.

Dave Wee actually put it in terms I understand a bit better. Writing learning objectives is like a formula. Condition, behavior, and criterion. I also read about this in NERC "Guide to Writing Learning Objectives" but I guess, I needed it laid out a little differently.

I will have to revisit the concept map again and again I think as I build a better project.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Assessment Class: Let's Go To The Movies

My favorite movie is Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back.
The second of the Star Wars franchise was released in 1980. However, in the series, it becomes Episode 5 after the release of Episodes 1 through 3, in 1999 - 2005. In this film, Luke Skywalker is training to be a jedi under the tutelege of Master Yoda. While Luke is in training, Darth Vader is pursuing his friends, Han Solo, Leia, and other rebel forces. It is a cat and mouse game between the Imperial forces and the rebels. There is the fight between good and evil. It is part of an epic saga that has a lot of themes but one of my favorites is the coming-of-age aspect and the ability to choose your own path.
I remember going to see this movie at the movie theatre located next to the base housing we lived in. My dad decided to take my siblings and I to see a matinee for my birthday. It was a rare treat for us to go to a movie theater, we usually would go to the drive-ins, so this was a big deal. It was a sunny day and we were going to a matinee showing. You could really feel the excitement in the air with all the kids and their parents waiting in line. We had to sit pretty close to the front of the screen so during the epic space dogfight at the end, I got pretty dizzy. The movie ended and we were all filing out. I remember grabbing my dad's hand as we walked up the aisles to exit the building. As we walked into the sunlit lobby, my six year old self looked up. To my horror, I was holding some other dad's hand!!!!! I dropped his hand, still dizzy and now horrified and turned around. There were my siblings and my dad looking at me amused

Monday, March 11, 2013

Reflections: Assessment in E-Learning Week 2

Student E-Portfolio Work in Progress
This week in Assessment in E-Learning, we discussed a number of different assessments as well as elements of assessment, such as rubrics. The best part of this module is the Authentic Assessments page, which is filled with wonderful resources from everything from blogs to e-portfolios.

Since I decided to try out e-portfolios with my students this year, I focused on reading the various e-portfolio articles linked on that page as well as the rubrics. I have not been comfortable with using and sharing rubrics with my students. Other teachers seem to be very guarded with sharing the rubrics in other courses so I thought that was the norm. However, I am finding that when I share rubrics with students, they have a much better understanding of what I am grading them on. They  are more careful and take more responsibility for what they turn in.

I am lucky that I work with Dave Wee, who blogs at Big Building, Lots of Books, and is trained as a teacher. He is a great person to bounce ideas off of and to also brainstorm assignments and assessments with. This year, he has really utilized the use of rubrics in our LMS and I can see how much better his students work is in regards to blog posts.

Hopefully, as the class continues, I will develop and improve upon the courses that I teach. I am already utilizing rubrics for my technology leadership course and hopefully, that gives my students a better understanding of what is required of them.