As I examine the overall objectives and assessment strategies for my hybrid course, several issues plague me! How to ensure my students receive the appropriate information and are able to perform certain acute care tasks necessary to move on through the program. The heavy content course for the summer (nsg 520) will provide the rigor, in-class lectures with the traditional assessment methods of tests, quizzes, and presentations. The hybrid course that will parallel 520 has a current curriculum which augments the information taught in 520. Therefore, I have some flexibility to use more authentic assessment tools. Currently, I am thinking of using zaption case studies in critical care, VT and blackboard weekly posts, in addition to, simulation activities for the skills portion of the course. I am more comfortable using traditional assessment tools, however, advanced practice nurses need to know not only the book knowledge, but be able to apply that knowledge to real life scenarios. Some opportunities for growth for me will be applying these authentic assessment tools into my hybrid course and integrating them in a way, that they do not seem forced to be in there. Therein lies the dilemma!
As I forge ahead with the building of the WHNP 2 hybrid course I struggle with multiple things. How do I deliver content so that students can take that knowledge and then perform tasks? I have decided on content delivered online through recorded PowerPoint, zaption quizzes, and Voice Thread rounds. However, the ultimate test is if the students can pass the skills portion of the course working with simulated patients.
When I reviewed the assessment strategies it was clear that I am much more focused on the authentic assessment. I think in general most clinically focused courses are (or should be focused in that manner). The following comparison from the Mueller article highlights what we specifically look at in nursing simulations. Nurses need to be able to proficiently perform tasks in real life situations. They need to apply knowledge in situations that may not be “textbook”.
Traditional ——————————————— Authentic
Selecting a Response ———————————— Performing a Task
Contrived ————————————————————— Real-life
Recall/Recognition ——————————- Construction/Application
Teacher-structured ————————————- Student-structured
Indirect Evidence ——————————————– Direct Evidence
My strengths are in the creation of realistic simulation experiences as well as delivering content in a relate able and practical way. My area of weakness is creating rubrics that are meaningful and measurable. I generally adapt other rubrics for what I need but am not sure that they are truly valid or as concise and specific as needed.
I was interested to read about heutagogy. I am currently doing my EdD in Adult Education and was introduced to andragogy which I am embarrassed to admit I had not come across before. I am surprised that this term was not introduced to me in the EdD readings so I am looking forward to throwing it into the conversation in my next class! “What you haven’t heard about heutagogy?”
According to Lisa Marie Blaschke (2012) it is “a form of self-determined learning…[where] learners are highly autonomous and self-determined and emphasis is placed on development of learner capability, with the goal of producing learners who are well-prepared for the complexities of today’s workforce”.
- self-directed learning
- develop competency
- curriculum, discussions, assessment designed by learner
- self-determined learning
- develop capability
- curriculum, discussions, assessment designed by instructor
So the question is, would my students be able to design their own learning and would they want to? Blaschke states , “Distance education and heutagogy … have in common the same audience, mature adult learners”. By this she means the non-traditional, older, working adults with significant life experience. Does an 18 year old know what they need to know and would they know how to know it? I am sure many would and it is a good skill to develop but I am doubtful whether this would be highly successful when my leaners are on the other side of the planet. In addition, many of the learners I teach come from a very teacher centered system so this is something that would take time to develop. Now this is not to say it is something that has no value. I specifically like the reflection that goes on in heutagogy and this is something I already incorporate in my onsite classes (English 101). In addition, I have students design class activates where they are given a very general topic (such as “America in World War 2” and they have to choose a small section about that topic they are interested in and design an activity for the class to impart that information (PowerPoint NOT allowed, it must be something interactive and fun). So it’s like “creativity within constraint”. I am still not sure how this would work online and with a VERY different class (“grammar”). I need to think some more about this!
In my past and current teaching, I have encouraged self-evaluated and self-directed learning inside and outside the classroom, though only in tandem with more traditional approaches to learning. I think every time I ask, for example, “what makes a good thesis,” “how do we best conclude a paper,” “why do we read literature,” “what do you know, what are your questions, what do you want to learn,” I encourage self-directed learning to some extent, as I ask the students to actively reflect upon their own work and their own interests, capacities, and knowledge. They may come up with ideas that I have had too, or they may share thoughts that are not unique or surprising, but some students’ suggestions may indeed be new and innovative and compelling, thus influencing my teaching but also influencing their approaches to the material.
In a few classes in the past, I have asked students to evaluate themselves and other members of a team after they completed a group project. I would give them specific prompts and instructions before they would submit a note to me about their peers. I have also asked students to evaluate their in-class participation at the end of a couple of classes. I would tell students to submit a note with the participation grade they feel they deserve, along with a clear, meaningful explanation and justification. This last assignment did not necessarily prove to be extremely useful, as most students would, not surprisingly perhaps, rate themselves very highly, stressing all their strengths while not mentioning any problems (attendance, lateness, distraction); however, in conjunction with my own perspective, I was able to arrive at what I thought to be accurate grades. The first activity, evaluation of peers, was likewise associated with issues, as students are hesitant to judge their classmates. Occasionally, though, this exercise was eye-opening, as I would learn, for example, that one of four students did not contribute anything to a group project and never showed up to meetings; then again, most students proved to be very diligent and motivated according to the evaluations …
Several friends and colleagues have taken the idea of self-evaluated and self-directed learning much further. I know of one colleague who would sit down with his students at the end of the semester and “negotiate” a final grade. Apparently successfully so. I can see how this might be tempting to do (in an online class, this would have to be done via email or chat or Skype), as it would prevent grade complaints after the class. I’d be curious what other people think about such an approach to evaluation.
In my experience, the vast majority of philosophy courses use one, and exactly one, assessment technique: papers (and occasionally a participation grade). At times an instructor will require a summary of the reading (to demonstrate comprehension), and at other times, a critical response (to demonstrate both critical and creative thinking). Though the prompts vary, however, the format remains the same. While I am generally pretty good about having them write drafts and then improve upon those, I still have trouble getting students to craft a sound and reasonable argument. This class is providing me an opportunity to examine the grading rut I have fallen into, but unfortunately I’m having trouble seeing a better way to assess student learning and critical thinking than having them write papers.
My goals for my students, when they complete an assessment, are as follows:
-that they demonstrate that they understand the texts we’ve read,
-that they can think about the text as an argument,
-that they spend time carefully considering the argument as a whole,
-that they think critically about the argument,
-and that they formulate their own thoughtful response to it.
Source: Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching
Essentially, my goal is for them to work their way through Bloom’s taxonomy, and in writing a paper, to show me how they did it and where they ended up. I do sincerely believe that writing a paper is one of the best ways to do that, because it forces them to slow down and think.
However, I can think of two things that might improve their learning outcomes.
- Taking them through the stages of Bloom’s taxonomy paper by paper. In other words, require that the first paper be a summary, the second paper be an application, the third paper be analysis, the fourth paper be a critique, and the fifth paper be an original response. In this way, I can lead them through the process step by step, rather than just throwing them in the deep end.
- Using Voice Thread to break the argument into pieces for them, presenting them with a one part of it per frame, and then allowing them to respond to individual sections of it (bonus: getting to incorporate images for the visual learners). I think this might prevent them from getting overwhelmed by the task of taking on the argument as a whole, and instead break it into comprehensible, manageable chunks. It would also keep them from misunderstanding the text and then trying to base their whole response on a misunderstanding (which is a particularly frustrating paper to grade).
Both of these hinge upon breaking both the material and the students’ responses to it into smaller pieces. I think it’s a reasonable goal and one that would greatly benefit my students.
Teaching and online class can be a great tool to enhance students’ enrollment especially during the summer terms when students are traveling. It give the professors the flexibility to plan and manage the course ahead and also to teach from any place in the world. I believe I can be an effective teacher if I am able to convey to students the importance of taking responsibility for managing their own learning experience, and being active and creative students. Also the online environment can be a more comfortable venue for shyer students, they would feel more comfortable posting in a blog or preparing a VT. One of my biggest concern is to facilitate a discussion online, asking a question to students and expect a discussion similar to a face to face one seems difficult to achieve, especially in a second language classroom.
I have to say, I really loved Voice Thread. I can imagine creating a very concise introduction/explanation of the concepts to be discussed in class, spreading it across several slides, and then having students post their questions on the appropriate slide. Not only would that make our in-class time more targeted at their concerns, but it would also be a useful exercise for them and encourage some reflection (because they would have to spend a little more time formulating the question and figuring out where it fits into the explanation provided).
I also think the response options (text, video, or audio) are great. As someone who expresses herself much more effectively through writing and absorbs information much better visually, I appreciate that discussion participants are able to choose the medium best suited to their communicative and learning styles. I would definitely use Voice Thread even for classes that weren’t online.
Online teaching has the potential to make education available to those who might otherwise not have access to it, and for this reason, I think it’s important for instructors to understand the best practices for teaching their discipline online. The liberal arts, in particular, are losing funding in favor of the STEM fields, and diversifying the ways that we can offer classes might help offset this trend. I’d like to feel comfortable teaching online, should the need arise.
When it comes to my own teaching, one thing working in my favor is my desire to be prepared and organized. By keeping the course organized and presenting the material in a transparent fashion, I think I am able to communicate expectations and overall course direction clearly, thereby minimizing student stress. This seems especially important in an online course that has fewer synchronous meetings than a traditional face-to-face course.
But I suppose I should be perfectly honest: the idea of teaching a philosophy course online is very intimidating. The texts we read can be very difficult, and a large portion of face-to-face class time is spent ensuring that students adequately comprehend the material they’ve read. Sometimes, comprehension requires a brief history lesson (to explain to them why that thinker is concerned with that particular issue) or connecting the text to the students’ own lives (perhaps by showing them how they have encountered the text’s central questions before). The remainder of the time is generally spent engaging with the text critically and learning how to appropriately analyze and critique it. As a result, philosophy courses tend to be heavily discussion-based, and it’s not always clear at the start of class time what issues students will need addressed.
For this reason, it would be very important in an online philosophy course to make sure that there’s opportunity for dialogue in between meetings, so that I would know how best to spend our time as a group. Discussion forums would be essential and might allow them to resolve some of their problems among themselves. Or, maybe students could complete a poll before the beginning of the synchronous class time to give a sense of where they’re struggling. I might also provide explanatory materials or other resources in advance. But I do worry that the wide variety of problems that can arise will mean that I’d have to reinvent the wheel with every single course, possibly completely on the fly.
Online teaching requires even more requirements than face-to-face classes. In an actual classroom, we as teachers can come up with spontaneous assignments and exercises, and we can then ask students to work on these in class, even if they are not graded; while students are working on the assignments, we can monitor them, and we may then call on individual students to share their responses. In the online classroom, such rather spontaneous lessons and interactions are rare. As online teachers we need to clearly outline the requirements, and we need to either have all students submit their work (such as responses to readings), or offer an incentive (extra credit for example) to students who do submit work. Students do the work on their own, outside from the teacher’s immediate supervision or purview (though on Blackboard, you can track views, for example); as teachers, we list/post requirements and then comment on and grade the students’ work. Whatever is not required, students won’t do. If readings are optional, most students will not do them. If posting comments or doing exercises is optional and not graded, most students won’t do it (one of the M1 articles mentioned this). The EFOT readings for this week and last week were optional. I’m guessing that most of us are pretty diligent and motivated, so all of us probably either read several of the M1 texts or at least skimmed most/all of them. I have to start thinking about my first online class in Summer 2017, and I know that some of these texts chosen by Leah will offer valuable advice, which is enough motivation to do a portion of the readings. Yet, our ESL students are primarily taking our classes b/c of the College’s GER, and unless extra credit is involved, they will not devote time to the “optional readings” or write an “optional blog post.” This insight means that we as teachers are required to include more requirements; for each exercise we come up with and for each text we find, we need to create a clear structure that involves and motivates every single student (when is it due, what do they submit, how will we comment). These are some preliminary thoughts on a particular aspect on both M1 and M2, and I am sure there are many additional or conflicting views on the topic, so feel free to leave your response here. Responding to this post is optional, however 🙂
(Addendum: I love Voice Thread and Adobe Connect. In the ESL Program, we were thinking that these would be a great tools not just for interactions with students, but also for interactions between us staff members while we are out of town.)
So far so good, I am enjoying the EFOT course, even though sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all of this new technology. I am positive, I will learn everything, step by step. I love the way the course is organized, very clear and straightforward. I had fun using Voice Thread and getting to know the people in my class. VT can be very useful in my language class for the students to practice their listening and speaking skills. I would probably use it to give instruction for activities, to comment on the students’ VT and to explain grammar. I would ask the students to create weekly VT about their daily activities, or read a specific passage, just to practice pronunciation. Would be possible to use VT to create dialogues with two or more people?