Reflection of Online Learning
In creating my online course, I tried to keep things simple. As a full time classroom teacher, I understand the importance of effectively using the time that I have, both in terms of planning as well as instruction. Rather than starting from scratch, I modeled my course after my actual classroom model of instruction. My science class operates under a workshop model, so I continued that throughout my online course. I’ve included both in-class and computer-supported cooperative learning elements in addition to hands-on learning activities. I made use of many ready-made materials to cut down on planning time. To maximize learning time, I also included reading and writing elements, allowing for cross curricular learning.
When thinking about the theoretical foundations of the course, I came across an article describing three perspectives about learning. These perspectives, the associationist/empiricist perspective, the cognitive perspective, and the situative perspective are all very different, but in my opinion, are all valid in terms of assuring learning. By using the blended model of online learning, I am able to hit all three of these categories. The first perspective, the associationist view, focuses on the idea of learning being an activity. Students learn skills, make connections, and create patterns in order to learn. This is addressed in my classroom model by the use of hands-on activities in which the students learn skills, such as measuring. They can also make generalities and connections through the use of the online and hands on labs. The cognitive perspective, on the other hand, views learning as a way of achieving understanding. This is the ultimate goal of my course and is supported by the use of cross curricular teaching. Students are also presented with information in a variety of formats. At the end of the lesson, students are assessed for their level of understanding using a brief constructed response. The final perspective, the situative perspective, focuses on learning as a social practice. The workshop model in itself is a perfect means of supporting learning through the use of socialization, but the addition of online learning takes this to a new level. In addition to working together in their stations, students also collaborate online through the use of blogging and comments.
When I initially started this project, I had a much smaller scale idea in mind. Upon starting, however, I realized that a simple five page website would not cut it. Online courses need to have some serious depth to be valuable! I honestly did not have many other pitfalls in the design of my course, but I think that is due to the fact that the course is modeled after my actual classroom practices. I did not set out to reinvent the wheel; I simply wanted to take what I already do and adapt it to an online format which I think helped to make this much more manageable.
CEP 820 Links
General Notes: Areas of focus copied from DN: I chose student self assessments as a focus because I feel like it is so important for students to not only think about the concepts they’ve learned, but also about how well they think they’ve learned those concepts. It is something that I haven’t incorporated much so far, so there is room for growth in that area.
I'm Edie - wife, mom, teacher, instructional designer, home renovator,
and lover of nature, travel, technology, and vintage campers!