Session 4: Response to Prompts

1. Decide if you will work individually or in a team.

2. If in a team it is up to you to put your team together and then work together to choose a course content area to work in and choose a primary contact person. This is the person who is responsible for the final aggregation of all documents and making sure they are presented to the instructor.

3. Attend the synchronous planning session with the instructor via Skype. At least 1 person (primary contact) from each group must attend the session. The purpose of this session is to further explain the process, expectations and to answer questions. Please note that if there are too many people for one Skype call we will do more than one.

4. With your group develop a list of topics and questions to be addressed in a Skype meeting. This list of topics and questions is due at the end of this week (sent via email from the primary contact to the instructor).

5. Each individual member of the team will make a blog post this week discussing their role in the group project and their thoughts on the instructional design process. If you are working alone you are responsible for making a blog post to discuss your process thus far.

Response:

For this project I have decided to work individually, due to the fact that my daily schedule is a bit hectic and meeting with group members would be difficult. It would of been an amazing experience to work in a group, as I would learn from others who are already settled in their teaching career, but I would rather save group members the stress and frustration. Anyhow, for the remaining parts of the project, I will be focusing my attention on designing an online course for students taking Geometry, as I mentioned before I would like to begin my teaching profession as a Mathematics teacher. Designing an online course is a tedious task that requires patience and attention in order to develop a course that provides an ideal learning environment for the learner and an ideal teaching environment for the instructor as well. It is for this reason that the 11 step instructional process is useful when designing an online course, it takes you by the hand and leads you through the steps that will help “keep the pain to a minimum and the learning maximized and you will be a successful online educator”, as stated by Dr. Newberry’s podcast.

My Process Thus Far:

1. Identify your underlying goal: Teach high school students who are taking the geometry course for the first time or repeating the course, to utilize important concepts, definitions and formulas successfully. Also, to demonstrate to students that geometry can be stimulating, improve many areas of thinking and can open their minds to thinking out side the box.

2. Analyze learners’ needs and abilities (Add an analysis of content and instructor needs/abilities/preferences): The content for this online course can be both convergent and divergent. I will need to carefully determine what falls into each category, so far I believe proofs fall into the divergent category, since proofs have more than one correct way of arriving to the final answer, and the formulas fall into convergent since specific shapes have specific formulas that will lead to the correct solution. The student and instructor descriptions are the same as I posted in previous sessions. I am the instructor of the course and the designer, so I will be designing the course with tools that I feel most comfortable utilizing. As for students, very little is known before designing a course and to get an idea of who I will be teaching I will require a survey to be completed. The survey will answer the questions necessary for me to design the appropriate course for the learners.

3. Identify what to teach: In order for me to identify what to teach I will need to go through several geometry textbooks and list the information that commonly comes up, meaning it probably is essential for the course. I will avoid forming my own opinions based on what I was taught in the past and will also avoid subject-matter experts, since I need to focus on the learners capabilities and not my own or anyone else.

4. Set learning objectives: A final objective is difficult to produce since you need to be clear, precise and worthy. I will be making the necessary adjustments to the objective I stated in my session 3 responses.

5. Identify prerequisites: Students must have prior basic algebra knowledge and be able to confidently perform algebraic procedures. Students must be open to learning important geometric facts, processes, definitions and concepts, that they will later apply in the problems presented to them throughout the course.

6. Pick the approach to meet each objective: As I looked through the different approaches available in our Horton textbook, I came to the conclusion that the most suitable approach for a geometry course is the Virtual-classroom e-learning approach. Horton mentions on page 37 that, “it is a good solution if you must educate novice, dependent learners who need the external motivation provided by the teacher”. Students for my course will be mostly freshman in high school, so this allows me to be more hands on with my students. However, I believe as I move on in this designing process I will incorporate other approaches.

7. Decide the teaching sequence of your objectives: The teaching sequence that I decided to utilize in this course is the bottom-up sequence. In a course like geometry it is important to set up a strong foundation for any material that will build upon other previous material.

8. Create objects to accomplish objectives: I will be coming back to this process as soon as I can develop a clear objective, also , I am not very clear with what is meant by a learning object. Does anyone have a clear understanding of what a learning object is? If so, any suggestions for my course?

9. Create tests (Add other methods to determine whether or not objectives are met as appropriate): Tests will definitely be a key aspect of my online course, there will be weekly quizzes regarding the lessons that were taught that week  and chapter tests. They will serve as a great tool to measure whether or not the design of the course is effective and it will allow me to make adjustments as we move along. I found the methods mentioned in the video linked below, to be very interesting and useful, I noticed that the teachers emphasize the importance of communicating and interacting with students, instead of just having them take tests and moving on to the next lesson. Two of the assessments that involve Learner-Instructor interaction are formative and summative assessment.

http://www.edutopia.org/comprehensive-assessment-introduction

10. Select Learning Activities: In this course I will incorporate Absorb, Do and Connect activities simultaneously. There is no perfect formula or proportions as to how much of each should be utilized, therefore will begin with a mix of 40-50-10 and make adjustments based on students performance. Some of the activities I will include in the course will be text, video presentations, practice, games, and group work.

eLearning tips

11. Choose Media (Add a discussion of activity structures and interactions): My decision regarding the type of media I will be incorporating will rely heavily on the material I will be teaching that week. For some material text and graphics will work best and for other material animation and video. The key to this will be choosing the medium that is essential in accomplishing my objective. For example, provide students with text material when it comes to definitions, theorems and formulas, so they can always go back and study them. Another example is, video presentations which will include me talking students through the steps of solving the geometry problems.

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3 thoughts on “Session 4: Response to Prompts

  1. What a great project! It will definitely be something you can incorporate into your class when you begin your career as a mathematics teacher.

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  2. Hi Jacqueline,

    Very well written post. I like the fact that you are choosing to use the bottom-up approach. I think that will work well in a geometry class.

    Regards,

    John

    Like

  3. I do like math as a content area! Be sure you can arrive at specific ideas for how to achieve your analysis. This includes both sources of information and the procedures you will use to query or use the sources.

    Like

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