Posts Tagged With: flipped instruction

The Learning Project

Screen shot 2013-11-11 at 10.32.23 PMI’ve posted all three portions of my learning project under the page “Learning Project,” with a brief explanation of the flipped segment and the curated content collection, as well as an explanation of the lesson as a whole. The lesson plan has its own page, instead of a link.

Between draft 1 and the final draft, I made a major structural change, electing to have the students work in groups during class instead of working as a whole class with the instructor as a focal point. The whole-class work seemed likely to discourage quieter students from participating, while group work would give students the opportunity to learn from each other. A group work segment also allows the instructor more time to personalize “instruction,” since the instructor can move among the students answering specific questions and troubleshooting specific problems, without slowing down students who already understand WorldCat.

I kept the independent segment as the last part of this session (session 2 in a series of 3). The group work should prepare the students to work on separate topics, though they may still ask questions of each other and the instructor. The independent segment is the “real-world” application, since this is where students apply what they learned from the video and in the group work to their own work. Seeing an immediate application of using WorldCat should reinforce the idea that WorldCat is a valuable resource in research, not just an assignment for this one session of one class.

Originally, I included six indicators from two different ACRL standards. However, a classmate suggested narrowing the indicators to a more specific focus. I chose the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education because their broadness better describes how this lesson fits into the purposes of an academic library (although I think the indicators chosen could also apply to an elementary school media center).

I’m curious. Did anyone else have to teach themselves WorldCat, or has anyone else encountered a focused explanation of “here’s WorldCat, here’s how you can use it?”

Categories: Answers to 635 Prompts | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Learning Project- Peer Review Updates

Having discussed my learning project draft with Jarrion, I am considering changing the class session to having small-groups instead of the whole-class work. The original idea, to have the whole class working together, was to give the students a chance to learn from each other. I think the small-group environment would be better suited to learning the skills.The small-group work would probably make it easier for quieter students to participate in the process and would allow the students to “teach” each other, reinforcing what they’re learning. This could also incorporate a suggestion from SuAnn to give them pre-selected topics that I’m already familiar with so I could assess “on the fly,” instead of having to wait and assess after the session.

I suggested to Jarrion that he narrow his topic, choosing a section of his current plan and really fleshing it out.

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Learning Project- Draft 1 Reflection

As I was constructing draft 1 of my lesson plan, the thought that kept occurring was “there’s more to this lesson planning thing than I realized.” I was not an education major in my undergrad, so this is my first official “lesson plan” sort of assignment. I’ve taught things before, informally, but those were much less structured in their planning. I may have thought about similar components, but putting them all into words, and connecting the pieces, was kind of new. I have a much better appreciation of how instructors have to prepare for lessons having attempted a plan myself.

The hardest part for me was describing the assessment. I suppose, to a certain extent, when I teach someone a new skill, I rely a lot on non-verbal cues to see if they “get” it, which is why I included more slippery standards like “Are students asking questions?”– if, for instance, several students ask about a particular step, I should probably go over it again in another way.  I’m not really a fan of tests and quizzes, so I chose a worksheet as a more neutral sort of “solid” assessment. Since it’s not a “test,” it should be less stressful for students with test anxiety, while still giving me a measurable standard– either students can successfully complete it (and are ready to move on), or they can’t (and aren’t).

The independent worksheet in particular should also make clear the connections between WorldCat and real-world (well, real-academia) applications, since students will use as their beginning topic their research for their composition class (which is the basis of this lesson). Besides demonstrating WorldCat’s usefulness, it should also allow them to begin researching for the class in an environment where they can receive research help. Since this lesson is part of a series about library resources, it should reinforce the idea that the library is a place to come for help.

The final assessment survey is more an assessment of how well the lesson worked. If students are all confident in navigating WorldCat and intend to use it again, the lesson has probably done well. If more than one or two students are not confident in WorldCat and do not intend to use it again, the lesson was very likely to blame. If only one or two students will not use WorldCat again, the lesson may not have been constructed broadly enough (or they may just not like WorldCat–there could certainly be other factors).

Do these assessments (non-written, in-lesson; worksheets; survey) seem like they would give the instructors the needed information to know if students “got” it? Any suggestions as to improvements?

Categories: Answers to 635 Prompts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Flipped Classrooms

For the TEDEd page, click here.

I was already familiar with Lars Brownworth’s podcast series, “12 Byzantine Emperors,” so this one really appealed to me. Although reading or listening to words describing is a fairly good learning method for me, the podcasts never could give me a definite idea of what the walls and strategic position of Constantinople were like. This video did that through the visuals. Although they were simple, just colors and basic shapes, the diagrams of the walls and of the defense strategy made the point very well. Their simplicity prevented the visuals from distracting from the words as well. The visuals supported the verbal very well–one of the problems I’ve always had with a podcast, even an interesting one, is concentrating on the words when there are so many other non-related visuals around to distract. Because this video engages two senses (sight and sound), I found it much easier to concentrate on the information presented.

One of the other advantages this video demonstrates that I think would apply to others as well is length. I’m not ADD, but I do have a limited attention span. Even an hour of lecture is tough, especially since I’m a “captive” audience. Shorter videos, which are more “interesting” anyway than sheer verbal, are usually over before my attention span runs out. Longer videos, since I can watch them on my own time, allow me to stop the video and come back later if I can’t concentrate. Since I’m not a “captive” audience, I’m a little more willing of an audience–I can wait to watch the video when I’m interested or wide awake, instead of being forced to attempt concentration when I’m out of it.

One problem I might encounter though–short videos can’t always convey enough information or examples to really “make the point.” Since I already had some background in medieval Constantinople (from the podcasts), I had a context in which to place this video. For something like history or literature, I’m not sure if a short audio-visual lecture can convey all the needed information effectively; but if you record a longer video, you get kind of the same problems you have with classroom lectures.

Any thoughts on how you might employ this for teaching traditionally heavy-reading material (like history or lit) without using just sound-bytes? Or resorting to a long lecture-video?

Categories: Answers to 635 Prompts | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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